Hi FQP Fans,
The K4OJ MM/m had a terrific time again hitting the open roads of our
Sunshine State and having a great time along the way.
Team members Kevin N4KM, Red K0LUZ and I knew there would likely be
challenges with propagation this year but were determined to make the best
of things. Kevin felt that, given the poorer conditions, this was our
best outing ever. See lot of positives below.
Like others we dedicated this FQP to Ron WD4AHZ (sk) - Ron was a real FQP
fanatic and always went full throttle to support it.
The 2016 FQP starting operator meeting point was also one of the last times
I got to visit with my brother Matt, who passed away unexpectedly last
Sept...and you can bet this FQP, with our starting point only 5 miles from
Matt's home, was full of mixed emotions for me. RIP, dear brother - this
one's for you! I even took our Gator 2008 FBS championship caps along in
your memory (he treated me to that game!).
Lots to relay to you fanatics -
First, the results (still working to combine station logs - always trouble):
*K4OJ - SCORE SUMMARY:*
* Band Mode QSOs Pts Mul Pt/Q*
* 7 CW 937 3748 12 4.0*
* 14 CW 2047 8184 55 4.0*
* 21 CW 54 216 1 4.0*
* Total Both 3038 12148 68 4.0*
* Score : 826,064*
Still checking with N4BP, our log guru, to ensure that this is a good
'final'; combining our station logs and correctly scoring the master is
always a challenge.
*20m - K4OJ Max Rates (K0LUZ Op):*
2017-04-29 1951Z - 5.0 per minute (1 minute(s)), 300 per hour by
2017-04-30 1739Z - 3.6 per minute (10 minute(s)), 216 per hour by
2017-04-30 1916Z - 2.7 per minute (60 minute(s)), 163 per hour by
*40/15m - K4OJ Max Rates (N4KM Op):*
2017-04-29 1806Z - 4.0 per minute (1 minute(s)), 240 per hour by
2017-04-30 0056Z - 2.8 per minute (10 minute(s)), 168 per hour by
2017-04-30 0119Z - 2.0 per minute (60 minute(s)), 122 per hour by
Considering the conditions, we all were amazed at the *many* positive
things we observed/experienced this weekend.
- The MUF move downward made for a Record 40m mobile QSO total of more
than 900 QSO's; way overshadowed what we have done in previous years. One
key difference - We had moved the 40m antenna to the rear of the roof
where the (unneeded) 10m antenna used to be and it really played well!
Kevin was working as far away as W8, W1 at 12:30pm both days - now that was
a hoot! That antenna really worked, and Kevin played it for all it's
worth. We ended up with a 40m total of 550 Q's the first day, so there was
still lots of action on Sunday, even as we headed to South FL. We felt
Loud on 40m with quiet Rx levels too; very rewarding for this station
When 40m got slow Kevin would try 15m with a bit of success too.
Overall, this made us very happy that we decided to do the
multi-transmitter thing again.
- A bonus of moving the 40m antenna is that we had very little RFI into
20m, which meant Red could run unfettered - and he ended up with 2000+
QSO's even with the conditions (Wow - can you spell Q-S-B?). Top notch
effort, Iron Butt! That man only too one break each day :-)
- A 2nd bonus of our 40m operations - we were really pleased to help our
buddies in W4-land have more fun working us nearly fully time as we
roamed. MANY thanks to you guys for tracking and calling us - I remember
WN4AFP in particular working Kevin 'endlessly'. Others were very active
searching us on 40m too and were nice to occasionally spot us. Friends, we
will see YOU again next year on 40m; you can count on that! I've already
challenged Kevin to break 1K QSO's on 40m in 2018 FQP.
- Rock solid station/antenna/power reliability - nothing stopped
working, period. Almost boring, but careful what you wish for! Best ever
for our team; but Murphy is always looking to visit. I guess shaking a
dead chicken at the Suburban helped. BTW, my Sub now has 378K miles with
original engine and it just keeps running. I don't ask questions; just shut
up and drive.
- Our route planning/execution went without any major hiccups; the
driver did get lost in ALC but allowed the copilot named Garmin to take
over when there was smoke in the cockpit.
- Probably the lightest traffic on our entire route ever. Fires? What
Fires? Minimal road construction and cops/cameras too; this made for many
enjoyable driver observations - see below.
- Much improved band conditions, especially on 20m, on Sunday. Gave us
all renewed hope!
- *The Pile ups!* Both Red and Kevin enjoyed some Texas-sized pile ups,
with truly A1 operators on both ends that kept it manageable and fun! NAS
and GIL pileups were especially huge, and then there was...
- *MONROE!* Both Kevin and Red were getting **all sorts** of inquiries
as we headed through the Grand Dragon County of CLR for almost an hour
before getting to that sweet little swath of paradise at MON.
Finally, about 5 minutes before we got there, I turned the air
conditioner fans to max cold to put us into a deep chill. You see, it is
usually 90 degrees plus at that swamp-stop, and with the difficult QRN/QSB
levels we turned off the SUV completely to minimize both electrical and
audio noise to work the pileups.
Red in particular had a HUGE GRIN on his face when the pile up started;
quickly that changed to the concentration of a CW Master, making every dit
Kevin also had some nice action on 40m, working all the way up to W1-W8
(midday from MON - wow!) but was fairly lonely CQing on an open 15m band
with but a few callers. I overheard at least one sweep on each band,
including one guy that thanked him about 10 times!!
With Garbage Truck sized horse flies buzzing all around us trying to
find an open window to carry us off to their young, Red and Kevin worked
down those pileups until they were no more. We even did a bit of SSB and
then, after half an hour in MON and sweltering in our Easy-Bake-Oven, on we
It felt so special to give many of the deserving FQP supporters help
towards a Sweep. We were hoping team K1XX/m would clean up anyone we missed
but we had not yet received word of their misfortune (so sorry Charlie and
Marty - next year!).
- One TERRIFIC highlight was our dinner with teams AD4ES and NO5W,
hosted by my wife and I at home Sat night. Lili had the pizza hot and
ready as we traded stories from the road and commiserated with each other
about conditions. Both teams AD4ES and NO5W have very impressive
station/antenna setups; well done, gents.
Chuck, Eric, Wolf, Mike, Ted and Chuck - thank you so much for modifying
your routes to join us; such fun! Let's do it again, friends.
- 10m = didn't even set up an antenna; 'nuff said.
- 15m = 54 QSO's (2016=300+; 2015=1300+); sure can see the Cycle at work!
- Monroe SSB - We called and called on SSB on 40m and 20m for 5+ minutes
without a single answer. Still - I got to watch Red work a mic; talk about
Rare DX! :-)
- This one is a both a positive and negative. Building only 2 stations
is easy as pie as opposed to cramming the Sub with 3 or 4 stations; huge
difference in complexity. The downside is I sure do miss teammates N4BP,
W4LT and KR4X being part of the MM/m madness. Band conditions make the
rules though, so for now two transmitters only.
This driver really enjoys operating FQP but the Stations management, route
planning and especially Driving the road rally can be both challenging and
very reward. Our state is so beautiful and the endless green fields, huge
trees and inviting lakes/ponds make this part of FQP fun for me.
Any I also noted some real Strangeness including:
- We stopped for a quick GP (not ground plane, but rather Gas & Pee)
break. As I started into the store, a man started driving away with the
gas hose still attached to his car! Fortunately he stopped, and an
onlooking started running toward him until she realized she had a cigarette
in her mouth - yikes! That was a first for me...
- While waiting on the DES line in a neighborhood I saw a 3 ft black
snack race to the bushes as a Blue Jay tried to peck/claw him. Mr. Snake
lived to fight another day. Another first!
- Less exciting but very enjoyable was 'racing' a 100+ car freight train
heading in parallel at night in POL
- Also enjoyable to be crossing the humongous Sunshine Skyway in
PIN/HIL/MTE watching a loaded monster barge head out to the Gulf; probably
headed with chips and salsa to the "O" team's home (KN5O and NO5W) in LA.
In summary, we had a great time with a trip that once again exceeded our
expectations. Red and Kevin and perfect teammates; we have great synergy
and encourage and help each other.
Thanks to our FCG/FCP organizers including K1TO who is the heart and soul
of this FB contest with countless hours of leadership and support each year
- thank you so much Dan. Also want to give a huge bow to Floyd KK3Q for
doing Yeoman's work on our FQP website - folks, I worked with him just a
bit and observed both his technical expertise and dedication to create a
new website with much improved functionality and user experience. Thanks
Great appreciation goes to former teammate Bob N4BP, who is helping up put
together our logs and ensure we turn in a valid workable on - thanks Bob
for helping again.
Also a *must* - sincere appreciation to Bob K0RC and Chuck NO5W for their
super-duper county tracking tools - these are indispensable for working the
sweeps, planning routes and more. Bob/Chuck - you guys are the best!
Thanks for your major support.
A tip of the hat to our fellow road warriors, each of who do an amazing job
of getting cobwebs of antennas, rigs, pc's power plants and vehicle and
routing set up to make the first contact. I sincerely am in awe of your
enthusiasm for hitting the road and am proud to call you fellow FQP mobiler.
Also have to give huge kudos to our fixed and 1x1 spelling bee partners -
you are the foundation of our way-cool QSO Party - thank you for standing
strong on all our bands representing our State.
Finally - my biggest, loudest applause is for all of you out-of-state
operators who are the real heros. Whether you make a dozen or several
hundred QSO's, your enthusiastic participation and support help make the
FQP fun for all. We can throw the party, but it is you that keep coming
back every year - thank you, thank you, thank you!
See you in FQP 2018!
Chris, NX4N - K4OJ MM/m Team Lead
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