[3830] TxQP KG5U SO CW Mobile LP

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Tue Oct 2 20:32:39 EDT 2007

                    Texas QSO Party

Call: KG5U
Operator(s): KG5U
Station: KG5U

Class: SO CW Mobile LP
Operating Time (hrs): 18 hrs

 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs  Dig Qs
  160:    0     0       0
   80:    0     0       0
   40:  229     0       0
   20:  560     0       0
   15:    0     0       0
   10:    0     0       0
    6:    0     0       0
    2:    0     0       0
  UHF:    0     0       0
Total:  789     0       0  Mults = 86  Total Score = 223,562

Club: Texas DX Society


Semi Final Score = 203,562 points.

       County Points = 19 counties x 1000 = 19,000 points

       5-County stations = 2 x 500 = 1,000

    Final Score = 223,562 points.

 Soapbox Comments

What fun that was!!  I left Houston on Thursday afternoon for El Paso.  I took
my time and played at a new hobby I've recently picked up: Geocaching.  I
stopped at small towns, rest stops, wherever, along the way searching out the
geocaches.  I found six.  A miserable result considering I looked for over 20
caches.  But, I'm still new at it.  It was fun, nonetheless.

This year, I borrowed a Yaesu ATAS-120 autotune antenna from Madison/W5MJ to be
the 2nd antenna on the car.  It would sit on 40m and my own ATAS-120 would be
the 20m and other bands antenna.  Sadly, the dozen or more checks I made of 15
and 10 meters during the TQP netted zero in the way of signals heard, much less
any QSO's. But, switching between 40 and 20 was much easier, so I was happy
about that.  

However, I was unhappy with the Comet lip mount antenna mount I bought the week
before the TQP.  It sucks.  I should have ordered a Diamond K-400C like my other
mount.  You just about have to twist the heads off of two hex head screws to get
them tight enough to keep the antenna from laying over.  Saturday night, in Del
Rio, I found the 40m antenna laying over at a 60 degree angle.  Fortunately, it
layed across the back of the car and not out into the right lane.  Forewarned is

Again, this year, I was driving and operating.  I stopped at each new County
and used the laptop for logging.  When the rate died (if it ever existed;
sometimes, it didn't), I would start rolling and paper log (homebrew logsheets
with big line spacing).  I've been doing paper logging for a number of years
and feel pretty comfortable with it.  I don't log while in traffic.  But, most
of my route was pretty straight, flat, and lightly traveled.  

I had a really bad time with my paddles.  A year or so ago, I bought a pair of
the AzQRPion's (Arizona QRP Club) paddles.  They are fine for general QSO's
while driving.  But, the spring has such a very light tension, and the quick
movements I made during the contest caused me to make a lot of keying mistakes.
My fist was really crappy the whole trip.  I should have swapped them out for my
Vibroplex paddles.   

For next year, if I am again solo, I'll parallel the laptop CW output with a
memory keyer so I can easily and conveniently hit the memory buttons containing
Exchange and TU messages without having to look away from the road. 
Throughout the trip, I don't think I ever exceeded the speed limit.  While just
driving, I would do the limit.  While driving and operating, I was usually 10mph
below the limit.  

Driving through Alpine, Brewster County, N5DO called and asked where I was.  I
knew he was in/around Alpine but not exactly where.  I told him I was stopping
for gas, so he drove over and we had a nice eyeball QSO while filling up and
scraping dried bug juice/chitin off the windshield.  That was fun.
While driving through Pecos County, a Texas DPS officer passed me going the
other way.  Without looking directly at him as he passed, I could see his head
swing to take a hard look at me was we passed each other.  He topped the rise
behind me and I never saw him again.  From the way he looked though, I fully
expected at any second that I'd see him and his flashing lights screaming up my
six.  Never happened.   

I overnighted in Del Rio.  Dining recommendation: Chuy's Spanish Inn.  Not the
tex-mex Chuy's in Houston (or wherever else.).  This was a good Steak & Seafood
restaurant--I don't remember seeing much in the way of tex-mex on the menu and
the decor didn't seem to be Mexicanish.

Sunday morning, I pulled over into a flat spot on the shoulder about 10 feet
off the roadway at Uvalde county and was operating the new county pile up.  In
my rear view mirror I saw a car pull up about 50 feet behind me followed by a
Texas DPS trooper with his lights flashing.  They did their thing for about
fifteen minutes and the guy finally got back in his car and drove off.  A
minute or two later, I happen to glance to my left and there's the DPS car
right next to my door.  GEEZ!  How long he'd been there I have no idea.  

I turned the radio volume down, rolled down the window and said good morning. 
He asked me if I stopped here often.  I told him it was my first time and I was
just passing through.  He said that because of the road's closeness to the
railroad tracks nearby this was not a good spot to sit.  Illegal aliens (you
can call them what you want) frequently look for rides along that portion of
road.  He suggested I keep my doors locked as long as I was sitting there. 
Then he said goodbye and drove off.  He never even asked what I was doing. 
What a nice guy.  My first thought when I realized he was sitting next to me
was that he was going to ask what I was doing and to get moving.

On the 'course', I think I saw more DPS in two days than I've ever seen in my
life.  They were out in force this weekend, either just cruising or being
inconspicuous while stopped alongside the highway...heh, heh.... I do so love
my cruise control.  

My plan was to finish the contest in Gonzales county, but I missed by one
county.  Looking over my logs, there are a few 15-30 minute open spaces.  I
hope I was at least driving during those 'off' times.  

Thursday-Friday, I drove 538 miles to Fabens, TX, my starting spot.
Saturday-Sunday, I drove about 710 miles in TQP and another 160 miles home.

County breakdowns: 
EPAS: 38
HUDS: 45
CULB: 48
JDAV: 36
REEV: 32
PECO: 40
BREW: 62
PRES: 45
BREW: 20
PECO: 10
TERL: 36
VVER: 34
KINN: 32
UVAL: 60
MEDI: 69
FRIO: 18
ATAS: 44
WLSN: 29
KARN: 46
DEWI: 45

Some type A's: 

AB7RW(9) K2SX(7) K3TW(12) K4AMC(17) K4BK(8) K5UV(16) K6DGW(6) K8MR(10) K9CW(8)
KN4Y(13) KQ0B(14) N4CD(9) N4JF(17) N4PN(14) N5DO(6) N6MU(16) N8II(15) N9FC(10)
NX5M(9) W0EAR(16) W0ETT(12) W2LHL(8) W3BBO(15) W4PM(10) W5TM(10) W7GVE(10)
W8IQ(11) WA3HAE(13) WA4PGM(10) WB2ABD(15) WB8JUI(13)

There were a lot of familiar calls in the party this weekend.  Some, I had not
heard from in a long time.  And a lot of new ones.  It was great hearing from
and working everyone.  
It was a good party! 

dale, kg5u

P.S., After seeing NO5W's score, next year I'm doing smaller counties....

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