[3830] 7QP K7EAR Cnty Exped M/M LP

webform at b41h.net webform at b41h.net
Tue May 7 20:18:48 EDT 2013

                    7th Call Area QSO Party

Call: K7EAR
Station: K7EAR

Class: Cnty Exped M/M LP
Operating Time (hrs): 18

 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs  Dig Qs
   80:   224      4       
   40:   562    380       
   20:   564    802    114
   15:   496   1000     40
   10:    16    110     24
Total:  1962   2296    178  Mults = 69  Total Score = 735,540

Club: Arizona Outlaws Contest Club


What can I say?  MOTHER NATURE RULES, as many of you know and receive further
emphasis each year in Amateur Radio.

And when MOTHER NATURE finishes with you and MR. MURPHY decides to pay a visit,
the best laid plans of men and mice go to pot in a hurry.

I could stop right there, present some statistics to go along with the score,
and call it THE END.  However, I believe the effort by the K7EAR group deserves
an additional accounting of what actually happened and what effort resulted in
the best score we could muster with the hand that was dealt to us.

The prep of the radios and networked logging computers in the two operating
buses was enhanced by the installation of the latest effort by the N1MM
software upgrade.  The logging of contacts for both our counties in a County
Line Expedition mode was like sliced bread and canned beer.  What a treat to do
the test logging and see everything work as advertised.  This year was going to
be FUN, especially working other expeditions on county lines or mobiles on 2 or
3 county locations.  Just watch the Qs add up.

The transfer of the buses from home base to the 7QP site on the Graham/Greenlee
County line together with the two trailers of towers, antennas and accessories
transpired without incident.

But what to our amazement at daylight on Friday morning (tower erection and
antenna mounting day) there are high winds blowing from the southeast and
visibility is limited to ~ 2 miles due to Texas migrating across New Mexico
into Arizona.  And it didn't get better.

Long story made short; 

Only one tower was erected to the normal full height of 60' and only three of
the normal 4 antennas were mounted.  The other three tower were erected to
TWENTY FEET only and a single antenna per band was installed.

The final antenna configuration = 60' tower has the 15 Meter beams for SSB, one
each to the NE and NW, plus the Stackmatch.  This tower also carried One 10
Meter beam for SSB oriented NE.

One 20' tower with one 20 Meter beam for SSB oriented NE and the center of the
75 Meter Double Extended Zepp.

One 20' tower with one each 10 Meter and 15 Meter beams for CW oriented NE.

One 20' tower with one 20 Meter beam for CW oriented NE and the center of the
80 Meter Double Extended Zepp.

Fortunately we were able to deploy the 4 Squares for 40 Meter CW and SSB, and
the digital stations' antennas (4-Square for 20 M and the Hustler 5BTV for the
other bands).

So ended Friday with a start of the generator, all radios and computers on,
functioning and the network fully operational.  Off to bed and an early rise to
"Rock and Roll" at 6 Bells local time.

Enter Murphy.  Trumpet fanfare please.

1.  One of the digital ops decided to turn off his computer Friday night
unbeknownst to the network gurus.  That PC had to be booted up Saturday morning
AND it wouldn't communicate with the network.  The 20 Meter SSB op on duty was
the main network person and lost the first prime hour of operating while
diagnosing and correcting the digital station PC networking problem.

2.  30 minutes or so into the contest the 20 CW PC decides it is old and slows
down to an 8 second response to each keyboard entry.  The 20 CW operation was
then moved to the 6 Meter CW setup as no 6 Meter signals had been heard.  Off
and running with 30 minutes of prime time lost.

3.  An hour or so later, all of a sudden; no cw keying on the 6 Meter turned 20
Meter CW position.  It appeared that PC had decided it would go on strike. 
Absolutely no communication on the USB for the WinKeyer or the serial port for
radio control.  All the normal gyrations could not restore the two comm ports. 
So, I moved the 20 Meter CW operation to the 10 Meter Cw position where 10 CW
had made only 16 contacts.  That left us with 3 operating CW positions; 20 M,
40 M and 15 M.

4.  The very low antennas caused some interstation interference that we had in
previous years been able to overcome.  Some juggling of filters caused most of
the interference to be abated to an acceptable level.  You have to remember
that we operated THREE stations in two bands simultaneously; CW, SSB and
Digital.  Making it all play has been a challenge

One or more of the operators threatened Murphy with his life if he hung around
any longer, so the gent quietly went away after inflicting much prime operating
time displeasure.

Now back to the rest of the story.  Operating continued with the 15 Meter SSB
ops grinning ear to ear because they could see the handwriting on the wall;
they were going to be the position winners among the EAARS group.  Other years
it has always been a knock down, drag out fight between the 20 Meter SSB and CW
positions to see who could work the most Qs.  But with the limited antennas on
the two 20 M positions vs the 15 SSB, and the above mentioned prime time
fiascos for both 20 Meter positions, it was NO CONTEST.  15 Meter SSB
conditions were very good and the ops at that position took full advantage.

20 M played as well as could be expected with single, low antennas (20' AGL)
and minimized operating time.

40 Meters played well as always with the 4-Squares.

15 M was the best we have enjoyed during the years of 7QP participation.  The
CW op had sparse contacts late in the afternoon when every signal that called
was LOUD and CLEAR.  There just were not enough stations on the band at that

The 10 Meter SSB ops stayed with it all day and managed just 110 Qs. 
Limitations of one antenna at 10' AGL and one azimuth certainly did not enhance
the contact possibilities.

The 75 Meter SSB operation was unable to dig up any contacts in the evening. 
The 80 Meter CW station managed 112 contacts.  Both of these stations were
limited with the center of the DEZ's just 20 feet AGL and the ends a couple of
feet off the ground.  There are no trees at this site and we depend on the
towers to get the center of the DEZ's up in air enough to be effective.  With
just 20' max it didn't work so well.

We wrapped it all up at midnight local.  Here are some stats from this limited

The DX total of which only 10 count as multipliers: 6Y, A7, AP, CE, CM, CT, DL,
EA, EA8, EI, F, FR, G, GI, HI, HK, I, JA, KH4, KP4, LU, LY, OK, ON, PA, PY, S5,
SM, TG, UA, VK, XE, YB, and YV.

Worked all 50 States except ND.  Worked all VE Sections except NL, NS, NT &
NU.  Missed the max total of multipliers by 5.

The Top 5 QSO providers by State were CA=310, FL=238, IN=224, TX=224 and
OR=204.  The bottom 5 States were RI=10, DE=14, WV=16, VT=18 & ME=20. 
Total VE Qs was 120.  

The hourly totals of Qs in Zulu time were: 13=328, 14=330, 15=276, 16=220,
17=324, 18=236, 19=206, 20=162, 21=244, 22=366, 23=294, 0=238, 1=310, 2=280,
3=148, 4=156, 5=122, and the last hour, the 0800 hour, we dropped below the
100/hour to just 96.

Back at 5:30 AM to start the disassembly and loading of all the paraphanelia. 
Due to an ever more trained and experienced crew, plus the fact that three
towers were only 20' high, everything was loaded and ready to travel at 100 AM.
 A police call was made of the area and we left it as we found it; extremely dry
(no cactus flowers for photos this year) and a westerly breeze blowing at 10-15

Did we have fun?  YES!!!  Did we work hard?  Yes.  Did we accomplish what we
set out to do?  Yes, on all points except the final score.  We had a goal and
the intent of bettering our 2013 record of 1.1+ million points.  Didn't happen.
 This was a going away party as EAARS had previously made the determination that
this would be the last 7QP operation of this magnitude.  EAARS members and the
hired guns will participate in some other operation starting next year.  So,
the field is wide open for someone else to step up and do a County Line
Expedition in the Multi-Multi class.

It has been a load of fun for 6 years.  As the EAARS 7QP Chairman I want to
personally thank all the 2013 participants who assisted as a team to make this
operation a success.  They are, in no particular order, John-KF7JCJ,
Larry-N5BG, Rick-W5CF, Robyn-KF5SOF, Joe-K7JEM, Jim-W7AZY, Marie-W2AZY,
Larry-W7LLE, Beth-AA7NW, Dave-N7AM, Rick-KF7YOU, Warren-NI6L, Sonney-K5IWA,
Ted-AD1N, Steve-AI7AZ, and Grace-KB7CSE.  Oh, and then there is the tail-ender,
Milt, N5IA.

73, y Hasta La Vista.

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