[3830] OkQP NO5W Rover-Assisted LP

webform at b4h.net webform at b4h.net
Mon Mar 10 22:49:57 EDT 2008

                    Oklahoma QSO Party

Call: NO5W
Operator(s): NO5W, KU5B, W5ZL
Station: NO5W

Class: Rover-Assisted LP
Operating Time (hrs): 18

 Band  CW-Dig Qs  Ph Qs
   40:     940       6
   20:     675     201
Total:    1615     207  Mults = 59  Total Score = 310,281

Club: Central Texas DX and Contest Club


Vehicle: 2002 Nissan Pathfinder
Power Supply: 75AHr AGM Battery with Super Power Gate charging system
Logging Software: 2 CQ/X Clients plus CQXServer Communications Manager
Computers: Dell Laptops running XP
Networking: Peer-to-peer wireless, TCP/IP over Ethernet
GPS: Garmin GPS 18-PC DLX
Mapping Program: Streets & Trips 2007
Station 1: IC-7000 at 75W, HI-Q 4/80 antenna with MFJ 1924 controller,
Navigator USB I/F box, W3NQN bandpass filters
Station 2: IC-756 ProII at 100W, Hustler Resonators for 40/20, W3NQN bandpass

The 2008 OK QSO Party -- what a blast! It's not often that you can recruit a
couple of excellent operators to drive 300 miles, spend two nights on the road,
to then ride in the cramped space of a medium size SUV for another 1000 miles
over two days, skipping lunch, just to play radio in a QSO party using
software, a major part of which, could best be described as being in beta test.
I mean a normal person, having driven that far, would want some assurance that
the thing would work! 

But in the case of our operation there wasn't even any recruiting involved.
KU5B and I had decided after our trial run in the LA QP that we would repeat
that single-op expedition in the OK QP and were in the process of finalizing
plans the week prior to my trip to the MS QP when Gary (W5ZL) called from
Austin and said he had read our 3830 LA QP report and wanted to be part of the
OK QP operation. He proposed doing a multi-two. Since I was headed to the MS QP
that left only one weekend for us to setup the hardware and test for inter
station interference and to checkout the software. So Gary drove over on the
Sunday before the OK QP bringing the W3NQN bandpass filters (thanks Terry,
AD5K), and his ProII. We  checked out the interstation interference with the
Hustlers on the roof and the HI-Q 4/80 on the trailer hitch. Those filters
really did the trick of eliminating most of the interference and we decided it
was a go.
But there was still the matter of the beta test part of the software, CQXServer
that manages communication between the two clients. Sitting at the kitchen table
on that Sunday afternoon and attempting to have the clients exchange logging
information via CQXServer using the wireless router upstairs, it didn't look
good because we couldn't get the clients to stay connected. Oh well, I had a
few days to sort that out -- perhaps it was just the security settings on the
router which we wouldn't really need in the mobile. Following Gary's visit I
checked it out and that certainly seemed to be the case because testing with
two of my laptops and an isolated wired router indicated that the software was

So it looked like we were all set but then there was the matter of powering the
wired router without using an inverter and all of the noise that it brings.
Looking around I found a USB-powered wired router and wired up the two
positions in the vehicle. Arriving in Ardmore on Friday on a bitterly cold 22
degree night (remember now we're from south Texas) Gary expressed his concern
over RFI getting into the wired router and wasn't satisfied that all the
ferrites I had installed would eliminate this problem -- "we need to setup a
wireless peer-to-peer network".

None of us knew exactly how to do that but we had an ace-in-the-hole in Scott-
KI5DR, an alum and network support guru, from the K5NA Driving Burrito Brothers
of TX QP fame. A quick call to Scott and we had the wireless peer-to-peer
network up and running -- thanks Scott. Furthermore the software was completely
happy (as was its developer) with the networking arrangement as we ran through a
few simulated OK QP QSOs -- it looked like we would be able to make (and log) at
least a few Qs in the OK QP.

That's the story of how we got started. You can see from the totals above that,
yes, we were able to make a few Qs. The majority of the operation was on 40M and
20M CW with occasional unsuccessful attempts at 15M. Our original plan was to
also operate some 80M but when you travel with seniors you're subject to those
moments one of which occured when NO5W left the 80M tophat hanging in the
garage back in Houston. 80M would have come in handy in Coal county near the
end of the Saturday session and also in the first hour Sunday morning that came
an hour early due to the DST switch over.

Here's some statistical data for each of the 35 counties we activated.
County           Time      QSOs     TenMinRate   AvgRate
PITtsburg      00:52:45    122          270         139
SEMinole       01:06:44    116          228         104
LATimer        00:34:40    107          252         185
LEFlore        00:53:50    104          240         116
CHOctaw        00:56:48     96          264         101
BRYan          00:53:52     95          240         106
CARter         01:23:14     88           84          63
OKFuskee       00:25:29     76          246         179
PUShmataha     00:59:14     74          210          75
SEQuoyah       00:25:28     73          270         172
GArVin         00:34:30     59           66         103
MCIntosh       00:26:45     58          186         130
MARshall       00:27:31     57          174         124
McCUrtain      00:22:26     56          204         150
HASkell        00:16:37     52          180         188
JEFferson      00:32:48     52          192          95
LOVe           00:33:13     50          174          90
MUSkogee       00:13:14     50          246         226
COManche       00:43:04     49          174          68
MURray         00:37:51     44           60          70
COTton         00:23:47     44          156         111
PONtotoc       00:45:12     44          126          58
POTtawatomie   00:11:27     41          228         215
GRAdy          00:29:37     37          138          75
OKMulgee       00:11:28     37          198         194
STEphens       00:17:47     35          156         118
COAl           00:24:52     29          156          70
HUGhes         00:06:24     25          150         234
ATOka          00:06:26     23          138         215
JOHnston       00:05:10     22          132         255
McCLain        00:27:31     19           54          41
CLEveland      00:12:19     15           90          73
CADdo          00:03:31     11           66         188
OKLahoma       00:20:52     10           36          29
Note that the above data includes dupes.
TenMinRate=hourly rate during the first ten minutes after entering the county.

Of course none of these numbers could have been achieved without participation
from the calling stations. Thanks to all of the callers but special thanks to
the following frequent callers who contributed more than half the QSOs:
N6MU(56), N2CU(56), N4PN(39), N4IG(34), WB8JUI(31), W5LE(29), KO1U(28),
AE1T(27), K4AMC(27), K3TW(27), W8MJ(26), AE8M(25), N4JF(25), N1LN(23),
W7OM(22), N9QS(22), N9FC(22), W5MF(22), WB2ABD(21), WA3HAE(20), N8II(20),
K0RWL(20),AB7RW(18), K0GSV(18), K4PBY(18), K2SX(18), K4BAI(17), W8WVU(17),
N4VA(16), K4LTA(16), KB6TAL(16), KE5LQ(15), N6MA(15), NG7Z(15), KN4Y(15),
N8NA(14), W0EAR(14), N3RJ(13), OM2VL(13), VE3CRU(12), N3KR(11), W5ESE(11),
W1END(11). There are probably a few dupes in this data also. Thank you for
spending the better part of your weekend tracking us around OK. Signals were
not that great during most of the weekend, even the normally loud stations were
barely more than S7. It was the general feeling of the three of us that we were
being heard better than we were hearing so our apologies to anyone who received
a CQ rather than a QSO. 

Based on the above county data it appears that we should have spent more time
in those counties supporting a high average rate but having a small amount of
time. Unfortunately, our route, which was ambitious in the first place, would
not allow for much flexibility. We pretty much had to drive the route at the
fastest legal pace in order to complete all of the advertised counties and in
those counties that we detoured into and stopped we allowed for 10-15 minutes
at the most. This was especially true on Saturday. Sunday our route went much
faster than planned because the maximum legal pace is 75 mph in many of those
counties rather than the 65 we had used in planning. Because of this we found
ourselves close to the final county (LOVe) with about 1.5 hours to go and at a
point where we could continue on to LOVe and spend more than an hour there or
detour to IH35. A quick calculation indicated that we would have time to reach
IH35 and repeat some counties which had been low producers early Sunday morning
(CARter, MURray and GaRVin) by heading north and then return back south on IH35
to reach LOVe with at least 30 minutes remaining. So that's what we did. It was
also fortunate that an overpass had been built on the GaRVin county line, the
most northern county in that detour, allowing our detour into GaRVin to be
tighly controlled to the maximum we could tolerate and still reach LOVe. We
were happy to hear that this detour contributed to at least one station making
a sweep.   

Gary-W5ZL: I've been a part of several multi-op mobile operations in the TX QP
and now one in the OK QP. There's always a great amount of comeraderie that
develops between the operators/driver in the multi-op. But in addition to that
is the comeraderie that develops betwen the rover and the chasers. It always
feels like seeing old friends when you're on the roving end. The "Old
Reliables" - great ops like N6MU, WA3HAE, KN4Y, K3TW, AB7RW, W2LHL, N4PN,
K4AMC, WB8JUI, and so many others who always seem to be there at the beginning
of a new county. This makes roving in these state QSO parties a real pleasure.
That, coupled with the constantly changing scenery, is what does it for me.

Colin-KU5B: Nothing totally broke and we didn't have any major problems...I'll
call it a resounding success.

Sounds like a good summary, Colin.

Hope to see you in the next one which for me will be the FQP in April. Thanks
to Jerry-K5YAA and the OKDXA for organizing another fun OK QP and to the other
in-state stations, mobile and fixed, who helped generate enthusiasm for the


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