TxQP N5RZ/M SO CW Mobile LP
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Thu Sep 30 20:53:38 PDT 2010
Texas QSO Party
Class: SO CW Mobile LP
Operating Time (hrs): 18
Band CW Qs Ph Qs Dig Qs
Total: 1790 0 0 Mults = 117 Total Score = 658,790
Club: Midland Amateur Radio Club
Wow! What a blast!
I didn't have a lot of time to plan for this one, and had planned to run the
Panhandle Counties with my YL Friend, Deborah, KF5HHD at the wheel. A couple of
weeks before I noticed a big swath of counties to the East of me that weren't
"spoken" for so I signed up for and planned my route around them. Lashed
together my FT857D & Little Tarheel on my 2001 Mazda 626. Put an ANC4 noise
canceller in the line and that dropped the engine noise quite well. However,
the air conditioner added about 5 S-units of crud. Decided I could "suffer"
and only run the A/C when necessary.
Friday night before the contest, tried hooking up the laptop with CQ/X. Uggh -
my inverter was crapped out. Go to plan B: Spiral Notebook, pencil, and
sending by hand. I'd done this many times, and knew the big pain would be
entering the log into the N3FJP software (just got finished tonite). Also,
decided to put a 102" CB whip on the little Tarheel to hopefully provide a
little more ooomph then the stock 36" whip. Tuned up great on 20m & 40m, but
still had RF problems on 15M (which never opened anyway).
On the road Saturday Morning. Low rate to start, and hit rain about 10 miles
east of Midland. The rain would increase, and for the first 3 hours (7
counties) we experienced very heavy rain, lightning, and road flooding. Had a
few places where we wondered if the Mazda would make it, but luckily no
problems getting through. Just lots of noise from the rain and static
discharge. Things finally cleared up a bit in Fisher county and at 1700Z made
a 20 minute Dairy Queen stop to de-stress a bit. Only 221 Q's in the log so far,
and we were about 45 minutes behind schedule.
Back on the road at 1720Z. Rates still not what I thought they should be, and
we still were hitting some heavy rain off and on thru the next 3 or 4
By the time we got to Stonewall County at 1938Z, was only up to 393 Q's after 5
1/2 hours, and about an hour behind on our route. By then, we were out of the
rain and the roads were clear. One positive: it was cool enough to leave the
A/C off. Continued on uneventfully through the end of the first night. The
rate finally picked up and 40M was pretty good. Ended the first night with
1056 Q's in the log. When 0200Z arrived we were about 80 miles from home.
Got home and then had to plan a Sunday route!! Got to bed about midnite, and
was able to sleep in a bit, since the first county we put on would be from my
driveway!! And I am about 2 minutes from the next county, Upton.
Rates were much better, and ended up with 734 Q's on Sunday, averaging over
120/hr - that's more like it. Was cool meeting N5NA/m in Crockett County!
Put 30 counties on, so score includes 30,000 bonus points for that. I did
activate all counties I signed up for, so that goal was reached. Had a hard
time breaking the pileups to the other TX mobiles, and K5NA/m was the only
mobile I worked 5 times for an extra 500 points. As a result, my mult was low
with only 59 TX counties worked. Worked all states except SD & ME. DX mults:
OE LZ HK OK G F DL SP OM. Didn't even think about trying 80M Saturday night -
looks like some of the guys did well there.
What a great time. Chuck, NO5W, is doing a great job beating the drum and
getting the mobiles on. Still would like to see the contest moved a week
earlier to avoid conflict with the RTTY contest (which I would love to be able
to participate in as well!).
Thanks to all for the contacts and your patience with my noise & hand sending.
Hope to have multiple antennas for quicker band changes next year - may even
consider SO2R, and get the laptop going!! And many thanks to my driver,
Deborah, KF5HHD, who will be taking her General the second weekend of
73 & CU in the next one.
--Gator N5RZ & Deborah KF5HHD
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