[3830] KsQP W0BH Mobile MOST LP

webform at b41h.net webform at b41h.net
Sun Oct 2 19:29:39 PDT 2011

                    Kansas QSO Party

Call: W0BH
Operator(s): W0BH AD0DX
Station: W0BH

Class: Mobile MOST LP
QTH: 21 Texas counties
Operating Time (hrs): 10.3

 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs  Dig Qs
   80:    7      0       
   40:  203     27       
   20:  530    108       
   15:   46     10       
Total:  786    145      0  Mults = 85  Total Score = 246,080



Score includes 21,000 bonus points for activating 21 counties.


TQP weekend is always Homecoming weekend at Hesston College. This year, our
Aviation department sponsored homecoming, so my presence was strongly
"requested." I was able to attend festivities on Friday and Saturday morning,
but I couldn't stay away from Texas! It was my pleasure to have Ron/ad0dx
accompany me this year as a multi-op. Ron did a great job running mobile in the
Kansas QSO Party, his first ever attempt at mobile contesting. Ron drove down
from the Kansas City area on Saturday morning, and we both arrived at W0BH
about the same time. After a quick pack, we headed out at 11:00am for the five
hour trip to Texas.

We used the five hours to get Ron up to speed on w0bh/m .. logging, radios,
GPS, strategies, and driving. Ron made some CW Qs with Texas stations using his
own call, but we quickly noticed that the bands seemed to be exceptionally quiet
with very unusual propagation. Later we found out that a major solar flare had
occurred which explained a lot. By the time we hit Texas, things had settled
back down, but as others have already said, conditions just weren't what they
were a year ago.

We had two "bugs" on the way which cost us some travel time. The logging
computer appeared to crash again as it had in the Kansas QSO Party. That time
it was RF in a different van and some ferrites solved that problem. I'd never
had this problem in the Astro, so I was really puzzled. Switching computers
seemed to solve the problem and I've since corrected what turned out to be a
programming "bug." The second problem occurred after we switched computers -
the radio locked on transmit. That turned out to be a stuck footswitch and had
nothing to do with the new computer. I unplugged the footswitch and we used the
PTT switch on the headphones to key SSB. During our stop overnight in Amarillo,
I took the footswitch apart and resoldered the connections to solve the
problem. Note to self .. order a backup footswitch!

Our plan called for a Texas border crossing at 4:00pm. We arrived at 4:40pm
which has traditionally been a really slow propagation time in most "summer"
QSO parties. I ran the first county to give Ron a chance to see and hear
everything working, but signals were really weak. Our highway had powerlines on
each side for most of the county, so it was really a struggle to hear anyone.
John/n6mu told us we were 59+ in CA and lots of ops were calling us, but we
could barely hear anyone. We lost one set of powerlines which helped, but it
was several counties before signals came back up to "normal" levels. Ron jumped
in with both feet in our second county and away he went!

It's always fun to try out new equipment. My setup in the Astro hasn't changed
much for the last couple of years, so just check out last year's TQP post to
see the equipment. This year, I added an N8XJK 12V Boost Regulator for use at
county line stops. I bought the new "Super Booster" which includes a fan, and I
added the remote meter/switch so I could watch battery voltages and remotely
turn it on and off. The Super Booster lets you set the output voltage with an
external trim pot, so I set it to 13.8V. I've gone to extremes to limit noise,
so without trying the booster "barefoot", I went ahead and added big torroids
(also sold on the tgelectronics.org web site) to the input and output power
leads. The end result was impressive. Absolutely no noise from the booster that
I could detect on all my mobile bands, and full output on the radio with the
engine off. The remote on/off worked fine, but the meters were analog and
didn't seem to be very accurate. Digital meters would be better and the remote
box could presumably be made smaller. I did notice a "hot" smell from somewhere
after I used the booster for about 20 minutes at my first county line. I think
it happened when the fan first came on and the "new" electronics warmed up. I
noticed it one other time at another line, but this time I left boost on with
no further problems, and the smell went away.

Ron did a great job and seemed to particularly enjoy CW (as do I!). He quickly
picked up the art of changing counties, but one time I saw him start to change
when the GPS said we still had a number of miles to go. We'd passed a sign that
looked like a county line, so Texas (and Chuck/no5w) almost had a 255th county
called Hedley to add to the list! I did convince Ron to try SSB from time to
time as well. Ron is Canadian, so calling CQ, he says "mobIle" instead of
"mobeel" (yes, we do identify as mobile, just not always in pileups!). A voice
came on that said, "Must be a Canadian." When we asked who the station was, it
was VE4ZZ, which turned out to be our only VE4 multiplier! Ron also tried his
first two-county line on CW .. another art to practice!

Saturday went way too fast. Since we arrived later than planned, we skipped
Randall county on Saturday and arrived in Potter county with about 5 minutes to
go. Even so, top ops like K4ZGB and N6MU found us anyway. Someday, I'll have to
find out how they do that! We ended the day with 355 Qs in the log.


After an overnight in Amarillo (right near the scene of my famous 2007
tow-truck mobile episode), we headed out to the Randall/Potter county line and
a nice pileup before joining the planned route. Sunday was much better than
Saturday for propagation, and there were some really loud signals. The pileup
at our four-county line stop was amazing. Great job to all who worked us ..
very FB manners by all! We arrived at our last county on schedule, then drove
through and sat near the Texas/Oklahoma border to finish out the route. Special
thanks to John/n6mu and Don/K8MFO who rode along with us in all 21 counties!


We operated 10.3 hours, 931 Qs, 228 unique calls, 4 dupes. 

US/VE Worked : 37
TX worked : 35 counties
DX worked : 3 countries (DL YV XE)

Saturday 2140-0200 : 82 Qs/hr
Sunday - 1400-2000 : 97 Qs/hr

Total W0BH/m : 931 Qs, 85 mults, 21,000 bonus = 246,080 points

County Breakdown (in visited order)

Saturday (196 miles during the QSO party)
01 OCHI 34 Ochiltree
02 HANS 31 Hansford
03 HUTC 32 Hutchinson
04 MOOR 36 Moore
05 SHMN 40 Sherman
06 DALM 44 Dallam
07 HART 50 Hartley
08 OLDH 77 Oldham
09 POTT 06 Potter

Sunday (241 miles during the QSO party)
09 POTT 32 Potter (again)
10 RAND 23 Randall
11 CARS 47 Carson
12 ARMS 54 Armstrong
13 DONL 33 Donley
14 HALL 43 Hall
15 CHIL 57 Childress
16 COLW 32 Collingsworth
17 WHEE 50 Wheeler
18 HEMP 65 Hemphill
19 GRAY 41 Gray
20 ROBE 52 Roberts
21 LIPS 52 Lipscomb

Special thanks to the following ops for 10 or (way) more contacts:

29 K4ZGB
27 VE3KZ
25 N6MU
24 K8MFO
21 N4JF
17 KE0G
18 K5KG
10 VE7CV
Texas mobiles worked (5): N3BB/m N4CD/m N5NA/m WB0TEV/m 

W0BH Award Winners - First Place ----- Very Honorable Mention
Most overall Qs ---- K4ZGB/29 ------- VE3KZ/26 ------ K8MFO/24
Most CW Qs --------- VE3KZ/26 ------- K8MFO/24 ------ N6MU/23 
Most PH Qs --------- W2AJW/11 ------- K4ZGB/7 ------- 5 ops/4
Most counties ------ N6MU and K8MFO/21 -- WB9CIF and VE3KZ/20 

Ron's Comments

Many thanks to Bob for taking me along for my first entry in the Texas QSO
Party. Bob is very generous to share his knowledge of mobile contesting, and I
really learned a lot. This was only my second mobile contesting experience, my
first being the Kansas QSO Party.  Working those county lines is really
exciting, and I'm still learning to pick out those callsigns. Sitting with Bob
at the 4 county line, I was amazed at the pileup .. it was literally a wall of
CW. I feel like I've got a taste of what it's like to be a rare DX station -
right from the Texas panhandle! Another highlight was working my friend
Michael, KD0OJN, back in Kansas City.  Michael is 10 years old and already
enjoys contesting. Watch out for him in the years to come.


Ron and I drove a total of 1022 miles round trip, including a drive by Morse
Junction, Texas. We'll have to stop there next time. Special thanks to
Chuck/no5w for coordinating the event and keeping track of the mobile routes
and counties. Thanks to NARS for sponsoring the event, and of course a big
thanks to all who participated from both sides of the state line. Even though
we couldn't be on full time this year, we were there! A special invite to all
the Texas mobiles to come join us here in Kansas for the 2012 Kansas QSO

73, Bob/w0bh and Ron/ad0dx

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