KsQP W0O(W0ZQ) Mobile Unassisted LP
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Wed Aug 27 12:03:22 EDT 2014
Kansas QSO Party
Class: Mobile Unassisted LP
Operating Time (hrs):
Band CW Qs Ph Qs Dig Qs
Total: 1093 0 0 Mults = 50 Total Score = 163,950
Club: Minnesota Wireless Assn
I had two visits from Murphy. The first occurred on Friday afternoon while
driving down from Minneapolis. Somewhere in the middle of Iowa 20m sudden
became very quiet, … was there a flare? Also, the tuner suddenly changed its
settings. Hmm. Antenna problems. At the next rest stop I discovered that I had
a dead short across the coax. I did bring along a second coax run so I switched
out the feedline but to no avail, still a short. Hmmm. Well these things are
just not that complicated so I detached the feedline from the antenna and
measured right at the feedpoint and it still read a short. How can that be.
Out came the wrenches and 3/8 to SO239 was disassembled. What I found was that
the small star washer had physically moved and was shorting out between ground
and the center feed through on the 3/8 to SO239 assembly. Some quick
mechanical modifications with my Leatherman and it was good as new again.
Better to find these things now than during the contest.
My second visit from Murphy came Sunday morning. I had drove from the hotel to
my jumping off spot in RIL, had everything powered up and ready to go, was
enjoying my cup of coffee from a scenic spot, noticed that it was 8:58 am and
just two minutes to go to the start of the contest, and suddenly noticed that
N1MM on my computer was set up for the Minnesota QSO Party. What! A quick
inspection of the available logs did not show my KSQP log from yesterday …
where did that go ?? Instead of burning time looking for Saturday’s log I
reconfigured N1MM for the KSQP as a new log. That was the fastest that I had
ever done that. OK, set up and ready, but no, the CW Macros are all wrong.
OK, reset those. Oh, I messed up and sent W00, not W0O …. changed that and
now we were off and running and just three minutes late. However, in the back
of my head all day long I was wondering what happened to my Saturday log?
That was it for Murphy. Both days were hot with highs hitting 101 degree on my
car thermometer and not a cloud in the sky. Unlike the Minnesota QSO Party, a
well stocked cooler is mandatory equipment for the KSQP. On the other hand I
didn’t need my snow boots.
My goal for this contest was to beat my score from last year. On Saturday I
was about 40 Q’s ahead of last year’s pace, a good sign. However on Sunday
I fell behind and ended up with about 26 less total Q’s and two less
multiplies compared to 2013. In looking back at my log I am unsure why this
happened but it looks like Sunday afternoons propagation cooled off a little.
I also noticed that 40m did not produce like last year. 20m was the band for
me with 851 of 1093 Q’s, the remainder worked on 40m. DX stations accounted
for 140 of those 851 20m Q’s, or 16%. Post contest, once home, I did find
my Saturday log. For some reason it was not showing up in the N1MM file
directory but it did show up using Windows Explorer.
I only had two visitors stop by while I was operating. One was a local who was
just checking me out and told me I was in the “highest spot in the county”
and that it should be a good spot for playing with my radios. The second guy
was actually a ham himself who was amazed to see another ham. I hope that I
recruited him for next year’s KSQP.
A big tip of the hat to Bob, W0BH, and his team for putting on a great party.
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