[3830] TxQP N5RZ/M SO CW Mobile LP

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Wed Oct 10 09:22:37 EDT 2007

                    Texas QSO Party

Call: N5RZ/M
Operator(s): N5RZ
Station: N5RZ

Class: SO CW Mobile LP
Operating Time (hrs): 6.75

 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs  Dig Qs
   40:  146     0       0
   20:  329     0       0
Total:  475     0       0  Mults = 59  Total Score = 96,075



Was hoping to put in a full effort, but due to other commitments and
unavailability of a driver on Saturday, I was able to put in only the Sunday
six hour session.  Checked the website on Friday and saw there wes a swath of
counties just south & west of me that hadn't been spoken for.   Was able to
convince my YL friend to drive on Sunday so I was set.

Was finally able to reinstall the FT857 in the 2001 Mazda 626 on Saturday
afternoon, but couldn't get either of my Hamsticks (40M or 20M) to load up on
the existing mount.  I have a Little Tarheel, but didn't feel it had as much
"umph" as the Hamsticks, especially on 40M, but decided it was all I had, so
gave it a try.

Everything seemed to work (SWR was good, screwdriver mechanism was working,
etc.) when I got it all hooked up in my driveway.  Only one problem - no
signals on the bands.  Also, the ignition noise was about S8-9 on 20M.

After tuning for a bit, heard some weak sigs on 40M, so decided to go to a
nearby park in MIDLand County (my home QTH) to test out the setup about 1930Z
on Saturday afternoon for an hour.

With the engine off I was able to hear well on 20M, but the band was very poor.
 Tried 40M with some success, then went home to prepare for a dinner

I had mapped out an ambitious route covering almost 500 miles and 12 counties
for Sunday, so hoped for the best.   Wasn't able to hook up the PC, so did all
logging by hand and sending by hand except for CQ's which I programmed into the
FT857 memory.

Got on the road about an hour before the contest started up Sunday morning so
would be well into GLASscock County at 1400Z.   40M had some nice loud RTTY
sigs to dodge, but first QSO there was with N5BO/4 in FL - that was
encouraging.  Tried 20M at 1413Z and caught a few up there - the band was
opening nicely.

The ignition noise was terrible on 20M, so we ended up stopping for about 10
minutes in each county with the engine off to make a hard run on 20M before
hitting the road again.   Ignition oise was not bad on 40M.  Anyway, I know I
was an alligator on 20M when we were in motion and my apologies to those I had
to turn away.  Went back and forth between 20 & 40 all day long with good

I worked W5RQ/P in Loving County which was one county I was planning on putting
on.  However, with all the stops we had to make, we were getting way behind,
even with the 75 MPH speed limit in most of the counties.  I changed the route
to bypass Loving County, which cut out well over 100 miles and allowed us to
finish only about 40 miles from home and only losing one county (Loving) in the
run.   Unfortunately, that change cut out a major run in PECOs county, which we
were only in for about 5 minutes where it juts into CROCkett, so only made 13
Q's in PECOs. (We had already been though that little section of Pecos when I
decided to make the route change).

Anyway, had lots of fun and hopefully I will be able to work out the noise
issues on 20M and do a full run next year.

Score includes 12,000 bonus points for activating 12 counties.

The YL friend really enjoyed the 380 mile trip and was a great driver.  Was
quite surprised at how well the Little Tarheel worked on 40M - WB2ABD from NY
checked in shortly before noon - WOW!

Worked 23 TX Counties, 35 states/provinces & only 1 DX stn (DL8USA).

Thanks to all you folks who chase us mobiles around and keep things
interesting.  Sure makes the time pass quickly and makes it all fun.

73,  Gator

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