[3830] TxQP N5DO SO Mobile LP

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Tue Sep 28 13:29:59 PDT 2010

                    Texas QSO Party

Call: N5DO
Operator(s): N5DO
Station: N5DO

Class: SO Mobile LP
Operating Time (hrs): 16

 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs  Dig Qs
   40:  421    294       
   20:  194     59       
Total:  615    353      0  Mults = 148  Total Score = 394,548

Club: Central Texas DX and Contest Club


My first time to operate mobile in a contest, so I was a little apprehensive
about how well it would work.  I convinced K5FD to drive while I operated (I
sold him an FT-897D and said that in return for selling him the rig he had to
drive me around in the Tx QSO Party). One concern was that maybe I would get
carsick -- I remember as a child riding around southern Arizona in the back
seat of the car and getting sick; as an adult I have never been able to read in
a moving car without feeling nauseous.  But that concern was unfounded.

I did decide on some things to do better next year:

1.  Use NO5W's OS/X program.  I had communicated with Chuck and decided I was
starting too late to get everything together for this year.  I used TRLog and
probably spent an 1.5 hours of the 16 hours I operated changing the log and
logcfg files as we came in to a new county.

2.  Arrange meal times a little better.  I told K5FD we would eat lunch in a
little cafe in Quemado, a small town in Maverick County.  I had eaten there
before and it was a neat, classic restaurant specializing in such Texas treats
as Chicken Fried Steak (a friend told me that when he was 9 years old he went
with his father and some other men to a steak house in a small west Texas town.
 The waitress asked him how he wanted his steak cooked and he said "chicken
fried" -- he thought that was the only way steaks were cooked!)  The only other
place I knew was in Eagle Pass (the county seat, and right on the border).  So
we went to the Charcoal Grill in the Mall de las Aguilas.  It was fine, but
slow.  An hour and a half later we hit the road.  At 8:20 p.m. we stopped for
the night in Sonora, county seat of Sutton County.  All the retaurants closed
at 9:00 p.m. (ending time for the first day of the TQP) so we went right over
to the Sutton County Steakhouse (it seemed like the only place for a mobile
station in the TQP going from county to county to eat).  It was good.

3.  Worry more about the itinerary.  I wanted to leave my home in Alpine
(county seat of Brewster County) on Saturday morning and head east to pick up,
in particular, Val Verde, Kinney and Maverick counties.  In order to do that we
drove for an hour to get to a little bit of Pecos County and saved my home
county for the next day.  I had planned to end up on Sunday in Presidio County
after driving through Brewster County, but we ran out of time before we got to
Presidio County.  Fortunately, N5NA activated Presidio County.  The counties in
west Texas are big, so it takes planning to make it all work out.  (To show how
big, my home county, Brewster, is the largest county in Texas.  It has an area
of 6193 square miles.  In comparison Connecticut has 5543 square miles, and has
8 counties in it. But the total population in Brewster County is a little less
than 10,000).  Next year I am thinking of driving on Friday over to central
Texas and work our way back to west Texas.  We could pick up some extra
counties and see some different country .

4.  Check and doule check everything before we leave.  K5FD put an Alpine
screwdriver antenna on his Chevy 2500 pickup truck the night before we left. 
We drove around Alpine and it seemed to work fine with my K3, but when we got
on the road it locked up the computer so it would not send CW.  I sent by hand,
and often used the second antenna, an Outbacker.  The Outbacker did not work as
well as the screwdriver antenna did.  When I look at the totals from other
mobiles, it seems like they did much better on 20 than I did.

All-in-all it was a great time and a real adventure.  James (K5FD) and I are
looking forward to doing it again next year.  We ended up operating from 17
counties and driving 721 miles.  In addition to thanking K5FD for the use of
his truck, antennas, and driving, I would be remiss if I did not thank Chuck,
NO5W, for his tireless efforts to promote the TQP and make it one of the best
state QSO parties around.

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