[3830] 7QP N7WA/M MobileMixed LP

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Wed May 8 00:39:40 EDT 2013

                    7th Call Area QSO Party

Call: N7WA/M
Operator(s): N7BV N7WA
Station: N7WA/M

Class: MobileMixed LP
Operating Time (hrs): 17

 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs  Dig Qs
  160:    0      0      0
   80:    3      0      0
   40:  138     40      0
   20:  147     46      0
   15:    9      2      0
   10:    0      0      0
    6:    0      0      0
    2:    0      0      0
Total:  297     88      0  Mults = 46  Total Score = 49,082

Club: Western Washington DX Club


Sorry for the delay in posting, it takes a while to type a handwritten log into
the logging program. But, I'm getting ahead of my story...
I've had a lot of fun mobiling through Eastern Washington the past couple of
Salmon Runs. This year, I decided to add the 7QP to the mix - it's become a
popular test thanks to the hard work of the Central Oregon DX Club.
This trip, Chuck N7BV came along to share the driving duties and to operate SSB
while I handled the CW side. It was dicey even getting Chuck on the road when
his hot water heater broke down a couple days before the test. He made it but
Murphy must have followed him over from Port Angeles.
We headed east for Yakima about 4:30PM on Friday after I got home from work.
	As we came upon the Tiger Mountain Pass, about 15 minutes from home, I
realized I had left my vest with wallet and cell phone back at home. We gotta
go back <sigh>. A half hour later we were back at the pass with	wallet in
hand and only 45 minutes behind schedule. The rest of the trip to Yakima was
pretty uneventful and we even had a nice dinner in small bar in downtown Cle
Elum. We made it to my step-sons place in Yakima as the sun was setting and
after a few minutes of visiting, it was time to crash. After all, 7QP starts
early (6AM)in Washington.
We made it on the road on time and the first contact went in the log at 1302
UTC. We started out on 40M and the activity was decent as we worked the west
coast. Checking 20M, it was open too with activity into the midwest and even
some JA activity. We were headed for Klickitat County and got stopped for some
road work. It wasn't a bad delay (I figure 15 minutes) but enough to be
irritating. I knew Murphy was riding in the back of the pickup. At Satus pass
in Klickitat, with 50 CW Q's in the log, it was time to try SSB. I guess I
can't really blame lackluster SSB results on Murphy. It's tough enough to be
heard as a mobile. Doing it on phone is a real challenge. Non-the-less, Chuck
kept up the effort as I drove us back to Yakima County and through to Benton
where we switched back to CW.

And that's essentially how it went. One of us would work phone and one would
work CW. Murphy was doing his thing too. The battery level indicator on the
computer was steadily dropping despite the DC charger that was plugged in and a
glowing LED that indicated it was operational. Somewhere in Walla Walla County,
the computer was finished and we got to practice our handwriting skills for
logging. Me, I also had the pleasure of sending CQ manually innumerable times
over the next 12 hours. (We had a Winkeyer but those things are a pain to
program manually, especially bombing down the road.)
We wound our way through SE Washington, then back up towards I-90 where we
had dinner and had to make a decision. Either head back west on I-90 (and 	a
decent bed time) or keep heading north to US2 before turning west. We choose
the latter.
I'll admit, I forgot how dark it gets out in rural Eastern Washington. Plus
	the towns close down early - even the gas stations. It was like driving down a
lonely dark tunnel for most of the way to Wenatchee. It would have been nice to
stop and check out the stars in the clear sky but fatigue was setting in and
you just want to get it over with. Our last county was Chelan as we reached
	Wenatchee. Even though there was another hour left to the test, I just said
"forget it". All I cared about was getting home. I think there were
plenty of other guys giving out Chelan and Kittitas throughout the day so our
lack of participation was no big loss. We got home about 1:30AM local time
nearly 20 hours on the road and 800 miles.
Major takeaways. 1) No more SSB. It just isn't worth the effort and extra
	complexity in the mobile setup. We could have done more time on 15/40/80
CW with the time instead. 2) Bring the RIGHT computer power supply. I finally
figured out I was using a supply for an older laptop and it's voltage output
too low for my current laptop (stupid, stupid, stupid).   3) Reduce the
complexity of the cabling. I thought I had done that after the last Salmon Run
but it still needs work. Getting rid of SSB will help. 
Thanks to all those who followed us. We got lots of nice comments while out on
the road and put a few new counties in some logs. Look for N7WA/m in September
for the Salmon Run.

dink, n7wa

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