New England QSO Party
Class: SO Mobile LP
QTH: NH, VT
Operating Time (hrs): 20
Band CW-Dig Qs Ph Qs
20: 660 55
15: 38 2
10: 0 0
Total: 1196 57 Mults = 77 Total Score = 188,573
Club: Yankee Clipper Contest Club
with pilot extraodinaire: Kurt W6PH
Elecraft K3 running off car battery
Two Hustler MO-2 Masts (braced by homemade harness attached to car roof rack)
Comet antenna mounts. Monoband Hustler RM-series coil/whips on top.
Although I discovered a problem with my car's AUX stereo jack in the center
console a day before the event, between what we could get out of one of the
speakers and the K3's own speaker we were still able to pump enough audio into
the car for Kurt to listen in to the action. There was a lot of ignition noise
(or fuel injectors) on 40m. Kurt would keep the accelerator down while I was
transmitting and let up if there was a weak signal calling so I could get the
call and report! Twenty and 15 were completely quiet.
Kurt and I were moaning and groaning most of the day Sunday �" it felt
like a nearly unbearable slog most of the day. After a record-breaking 2013
effort in the NEQP, the score contracted a bit this year. I kept trying to
keep in mind that the NEQP is notoriously a slow starter on both days. Aside
from 15 Meters being seemingly open without activity Saturday afternoon at the
start, we were still on a record pace after the first operating period with 637
QSOs and 67 Multipliers, so we felt really good Sunday morning.
We headed up to Orleans VT immediately Sunday morning before turning west to
Lake Champlain. I had visions of a massive pileup for a county in high demand
when we got there. We spent 33 minutes and got 21 QSOs out of it. :-( Same
thing happened in Grand Isle. Nothing seemed to be working and our only hope
was that we’d have the normal Sunday afternoon “crescendo” to the end of
the contest when activity/rate tend to steadily increase (at least this is my
experience as a 9-year mobile veteran)
We started to sense the rates improving around 2000z, but we were still
grousing how week signals were and that we couldn’t get a really good rate
going. But I kept giving Kurt an update on QSO totals about every 50 or so and
before we knew it I was saying a fairly big number. We started to grouse less.
In the last 1.5 hours, the 60-minute rate finally broke 100/hr. It stayed
above 100 until the end of the contest, peaking at 117 and settling back to 115
for the last hour. Now we were in a good mood. :-) Originally the plan was to
finish at the border of CHEshire and HILlsborough county with no activity in
HILNH. But Kurt cut SULNH short and raced through CHENH so we could spend the
last 20 minutes in HILNH which proved to be a good idea as the rate on 40m was
phenomenal (compared to all day on Sunday).
77 Multipliers break down as 52 St/Prov and 25 DX. Down from 1472/88 from last
year. There were a lot valleys with high terrain right next to the road. Kurt
and I both think that roving in Vermont is more difficult than Maine for this
reason. Besides propagation and activity the terrain was definitely a factor
in a lower QSO total. Very happy with our totals.
For st/prov mults, we missed DE, MS, NM and NV (yeah, W1AW/7 was active all day
Saturday from NV - I know), KH6, KL7. Missed NF, LB, PEI, and the territories
I was reminded by folks far smarter than I that signing /M in a CQ transmission
is a BAD idea in these QSO parties. RBN/Skimmer doesn't help "alert"
CW operators who use that god-forsaken, um, Thing (tongue-in-cheek folks ;-)
that I changed counties; I should've sent the county designation after /
instead. Lesson learned....
It’s nice having a buddy along for the ride in these things. I couldn’t
imagine doing mobile contesting alone again �" Now if I could just get
Kurt to operate… :-)
Thanks to everyone for all the QSOs!
Bob WA1Z/M uh... /ROCNH
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