[3830] GaQP NO5W RoverCW LP

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Sat Apr 15 11:14:13 EDT 2006

                    Georgia QSO Party

Call: NO5W
Operator(s): NO5W
Station: NO5W

Class: RoverCW LP
Operating Time (hrs): 16

 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs
   80:    24    0
   40:   851    0
   20:   282    0
   15:     0    0
   10:     0    0
Total:  1157    0  CW Mults = 42  Ph Mults = 0  Total Score = 97,272

Club: NARS - Houston


Hardware: IC-7000 radio, HiQ 4/80 antenna with Turbo Tuner, K1EL Serial WinKey,
Garmin Street Pilot III GPS 
Software: CQ/X de NO5W version 1.4
Vehicle: 2002 Pathfinder

We arrived back in Houston and e-mail connectivity late yesterday (4/14) so I
hope this report is still of some interest considering that the GA QP was almost
a week ago. What a party!! The 2006 GA QP is one we won't soon forget since the
party itself as well as some pre and post party activities made the trip very
enjoyable and worthwhile. 

On the return trip from the OK QP my wife, and designated QSO party driver,
asked "When's the next one?" to which I replied, "Well there's Georgia in mid
April." It turns out she has always wanted to visit Savannah and Macon so a deal
was struck. We'd drive to Macon on the Thursday and Friday before the party,
take advantage of the late Saturday start to visit around Macon, then begin a
big two-day clockwise loop along the western edge of the state, then across the
northern tier of counties and then head south, finally ending in Savannah with a
2-3 day recuperation period at a nice B&B -- of which Savannah has many --
before beginning the trek back to Houston.

Saturday started out with a very enjoyable eyeball QSO over breakfast with Paul,
N4PN. The two of us, both QSO party "roving animals", had worked many times over
the years but had never met so that was a treat. The weather situation on
Saturday looked pretty grim with the tornadoes that had ripped through Tennessee
causing considerable damage in the Atlanta area and appearing to be headed for
Macon. So our Saturday start was delayed while we decided what to do. Finally,
about an hour after the official start, as the thunderstorms appeared to be
passing through Macon and since our initial route was up the western edge behind
the storm we decided to head out and begin operating as soon as we reached
better weather which turned out to be in Crawford, the next county west of

The weather was just the start of our Saturday problems. Things were going
pretty well until around Troup county the radio suddenly started cycling off and
back on.It would stay on in receive but would cycle during transmit. My initial
thought was RF getting into the remote cable since I had had a similar problem
with the IC-706 several years ago. So, initially I reduced power and that seemed
to improve things until we hit a rather large bump and the radio died completely
and would not power back on. This was actually fortunate as it forced me to
forget about the pileup and focus on the problem at hand. Initially I thought I
would replace the radio with the 706 spare that I thought I had brought. Well
the 706 spare was indeed along for the ride but I then realized that the power
cord for it (which is different than the one used by the IC7000) was still in
Houston! So it was live or die with the IC7000. Then it occurred to me to settle
down and approach the problem systematically, from the source -- the power
cabling. That quickly led, with some relief, to a bad fuse clip that had lost
its spring. Replacing the fuse clip put us back in business and absolved the
radio from any role in the problem -- a relief to me and my "accountant". 

While stopped in a parking lot replacing the fuse clip a car load of local
teenagers pulled up to ask if they could help. I assured them that I had the
situation under control. As they went on their way I heard one of the young
ladies say to the others "Did you see that dude's cool muffler?" Obviously she
was referring to the HiQ 4/80 which had been removed and was laying on the
ground while the repairs were being made. The thought occurred that I hoped it
was allowing me to create more "noise", not less!

The remainder of Saturday went pretty much as planned except that with the lost
time for weather and repairs we had to stop well short of Dalton, our intended
stopping point, and had to forgo putting on several of the northwestern counties
that were in our original plans. Both 40 and 20 played pretty well on Saturday
and in the Hampton Inn parking lot high on a windy hill overlooking Rome I
managed a number of Qs on 80 just before the close of the Saturday session.
Sunday was another story as I couldn't get anything going on 20. Fortunately the
pileups on 40 kept me busy so there was very little time to consider going to
20. But I know some participants outside the 40M propagation were disappointed,
as I was, with the poor conditions on 20. 

The main thing that I won't soon forget about the 2006 GA QP were the tremendous
pileups on 40 and the speed with which new counties would generate another one.
It was great fun but at times exhausting. Here are some statistics:

County Qs Mins_In_County Initial_10_Min_Rate Avg_Hourly_Rate
Bank   34       26             150                78
Bart   21       13              90                97
Bryn   19        7             114               163
Bull   29       20             132                87
Cand   30       14             156               129
Carr   34       18             156               113
Chtm   50       36             132                83
Clke   25       42              30                36
Cowe   38       22             126               104
Craw   21       15              84                84
Effi    5        2              30               150
Eman   37       31             144                72
Fann   39       16             174               146
Floy   73       52             138                84
Gilm   38       25             138                91
Gord   29       13             144               134
Gree   23       12             126               115
Habe   29       21             114                83
Hara   35       16             138               131
Hear   42       22             168               115
Jack   28       20              96                84
Jeff   45       27             126               100
Madi   23        8             138               173
Mcdu   31       17             126               109
Meri   57       38             108                90
Murr   30       16             144               113
Ogle   36       16             156               135
Polk   36       19             120               114
Rabu   34       29             138               128
Tali   24       21              96                69
Tayl    8        5              48                96
Tlbt   52       30             132               104
Town   30       26              42                69
Trou   21       16              36                79
Unio   29       14             150               109
Upso   18        9             108               120
Warr   20       12             114               100

We certainly planned to spend more than 2 minutes in Effingham but unfortunately
by that time on Sunday the driver was exhausted and not feeling well so we
decided to forgo any sidetrips off of I-16 on our way into Savannah.

Many thanks to all who made the above possible by participating in the party.
Special thanks to the following stations who provided the indicated number of
Qs: W8WVU(32), W9IU(32), W2YC(30), K4EJ(29), NU0Q(28), K8MFO(27), WB2ABD(27),
K8MR(25), K3ONW(25), W9OL(23), K9UIY(22), K8QWY(21), K0ARS/M(21), VE3NBJ(21),
NF4A(20), N2CU(19), WB8JUI(18), N9LF(18), AD8J(18).

Of course a very special thanks to my driver, Keri, who logged nearly 800 miles
during the party often with little direction from the radio guy who was buried
in the pileups.

Also congratulations to Jim, N9JF, who completed the county hunter WBOW with our
QSO in Taliaferro.

Finally, although a bit off topic, I'll tell you about an interesting "its a
small world" thing that happened on the last morning at the B&B in Savannah.
Waiting for breakfast I struck up a conversation with four ladies who had
arrived the night before. In response to the standard "where are you folks from"
question they replied "Vashon Island near Seattle". To that I replied that
several years ago I had spent a weekend in late June camped out on a beach on
Vashon operating a radio with a fellow named Ward Silver. One of the ladies
exclaimed -- "you know Ward Silver?! He lives across the road from me". We both
agreed it's sometimes a small world. She wanted to know if we were in Savannah
on business or pleasure. Seeing the opportunity I went on to try to explain why
we were in Savannah and why it took us two days and about 800 miles to make the
170 mile trip from Macon in something called a QSO party. I'm afraid she left
unconvinced of the fun that could be had from such an outing. Hopefully Ward can
help her understand when she gets back to Vashon! 

Hope to see you in the Texas QSO Party in September.

73 es safe travels,


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