[3830] FlQP K4KG M/SMixed LP

webform at b4h.net webform at b4h.net
Mon Apr 30 23:00:40 EDT 2007

                    Florida QSO Party

Call: K4KG
Operator(s): K5KG VE7ZO
Station: K4KG

Class: M/SMixed LP
QTH: 44 FL counties
Operating Time (hrs): 20

 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs
   40:   630    21
   20:  1075   152
   15:     6     0
   10:     0     0
Total:  1711   174  CW Mults = 56  Ph Mults = 40  Total Score = 361,920

Club: Florida Contest Group


This joint K5KG - VE7ZO mobile operation was similar to prior years with two
exceptions.  First, our special weapon this year was a Force12 Sigma 5 vertical
mounted on a small steel trailer and, second, we did not try to maximize the
number of counties in our route.  Last year we covered a record 50 counties,
but this year we did 44 counties at a more leisurely pace.  

Trailering the Sigma 5 proved to be a challenge.  In advance of the FQP, we
reserved a small U-Haul trailer.  However, upon showing up to rent it with a
Ford Explorer, we were greeted with "we don't rent to no Ford Explorers".  I
explained our situation to the U-Haul manager, but he was not amused, nor would
he budge.  We ended up finding a trailer dealer who had a lot full of trailers
for sale, but none suitable to rent.  After a lot of discussion about the
importance of this "emergency communications excercise in preparation for a
hurricane", he worked a deal (and such a deal it was!).  If we purchased a
trailer ($500+, ugh), he would take it back on Monday and refund all but a
rental fee.  We thought this was fair, or at least as fair as we were going to
find, so we took the deal.  Bottom line: the trailer worked fine, and we did
get our money back, sans the rental fee on Monday morning as promised. Early
concerns about the Sigma 5 holding up physically with all of the jostling on a
tralier proved to be unfounded.  It survived beautifully, didn't clip any
trees, and it now sports an abundance of bug splats!  We would appreciate any
reports on how our 20m Sigma 5 signal compared to other mobiles. 

The equipment set up was as follows: IC-756Pro2 (which never did more than 60
watts), Microham CW Keyer, Vaio running WriteLog, Targus power adapter for
laptop, High Sierra Screwdriver on the Explorer, Sigma 5 on trailer, and 15m
Hamstick on a roof mag mount.  We installed a new battery in the Explorer on
Friday.  This proved to be a good move, as the Pro2 would kick off when keyed
due to low voltage unless the engine was running.  Once set up and fully
checked out, we experienced no equipment problems to speak of.  We did have a
minor problem at the beginning with the computer locking up, but a reboot cured

I won't go over any details of our route, other than to say that we dropped a
few counties out of the plan in order to stay on schedule.  Our plan was for 48
counties, but we only managed 44 when it was all said and done.  The route over
the Skyway bridge and the causeway into Tampa was a thrill; the signals peaked
beautifully over the salt water and the rate to picked way up.  We felt loud!  

As others have mentioned, 20m petered out early on Saturday.  We went to 40m at
2200z, and this was probably an hour or so too late.  On Sunday, we went to 40m
at 2139z which, again, may have been a bit late.  We experienced a great deal
of electrical noise along many of the roads, and we know there were times when
folks were calling, but we just could not pull them out of the S5-S7 noise
grinders.  We had no noticable vehicle noise. 

On Sunday morning, we erected a dipole on a zip up MFJ fiberglass mast. 
Signals were 2 S-units stronger on this antenna compared with the screwdriver,
and we enjoyed a nice run for an hour on so using this antenna.

Our most worked station was Ken, W8MJ, who made it into our log 60 times. 
Running a close second was K5YAA at 50.  Consistently loud signals were Mike,
K9NW, Mark, K1RX, and Chris, G4BUE on 40m.  We appreciated all of the many
regulars who were always there: W7SE, K2TA, W9IU, K3TW, K3WW, K4LTA, K6LA,
K8IR, K9LJN, N2AA, N2CU, N2NC, just to mention a few.

Being mixed mode to get the SSB mults is a challenge.  It is difficult to get a
run going on SSB as a mobile, and we only managed a few brief runs there.  But
what was most exasperating was trying to get stations to move from CW to SSB so
we could pick up their multiplier.  Stations consistently refused to move up to
SSB, in spite of the fact that they could still have submitted a "CW Only" log
with SSB contacts in it.  One guy said "no mike", and that is ok, but mostly we
think that the CW only ops either don't understand the rules, or they just don't
want to bother with the QSY...who knows?  Each time we would ask for a QSY from
the stations whose mults we needed, although we knew full well that we would
most likely be turned down.  Eventually, we got VE1OP to give us a SSB Qso, so
we jokingly asked if our requests had finally worn him down!

We want to thank everyone for all of their participation.  See y'all next

73, George, K5KG

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