Rabbits and Love Bugs and the K4FCG mobile saga - very long post!
Jim White, K4OJ
k4oj at tampabay.rr.com
Tue Apr 29 05:28:30 EDT 2003
FQP Mobile Entries from K4FCG/M....and a long story - hit delete now or
be sucked in!
Before we get too far along team K4FCG/M (K4OJ + N4KM) would like to
extend our thanks to the following:
a) N4OX (Fri.) and W4SO (Sat) who were kind enough to open their homes
to us allowing us to crash in order to do such a lengthy route - 412
counties in 1200 miles worth of road trip - plus the drives up and
afterward - total mileage around 1600!
b) W1YL for a cooler full of pop and sandwiches so we could keep running
- not exactly like you can go through the drive through with ham sticks
above an SUV!
c) The entrants in the FQP who keep us coming back for more each year -
your following us and working us whenever we go into a new a county is
great... love those initial pileups!
QSOs Mults Claimed Score Running total
30 14 1,680 ESC ESCAMBIA 30
33 18 2,376 SAN SANTA ROSA 63
36 18 2,698 OKA OKALOOSA 99
27 17 1,802 WAL WALTON 126
29 16 1,856 HOL HOLMES 155
26 16 1,664 WAG WASHINGTON 181
46 25 4,500 JAC JACKSON 227
39 17 2,618 GAD GADSDEN 266
35 18 2,484 LEO LEON 301
34 19 2,508 JEF JEFFERSON 335
40 24 3,744 MAD MADISON 375
29 19 2,166 SUW SUWANNEE 404
28 18 1,944 CLM COLUMBIA 432
44 26 4,524 BAK BAKER 476
36 23 3,220 NAS NASSAU 512
47 30 5,640 DUV DUVAL 559
54 30 6,480 CLA CLAY 613
43 25 4,300 PUT PUTNAM 656
40 26 4,056 FLG FLAGLER 696
47 30 5,520 VOL VOLUSIA 743
59 29 6,844 BRE BREVARD 802
21 15 1,230 IDR INDIAN RIVER 823
47 25 4,700 STL ST. LUCIE 870
34 18 2,448 MRT MARTIN 904
60 27 6,426 DAD MIAMI - DADE 964
74 32 9,344 MON MONROE 1038
115 41 18,778 CLR COLLIER 1153
63 32 7,036 LEE LEE 1216
49 26 5,096 CHA CHARLOTTE 1265
65 31 7,998 SAR SARASOTA 1330
49 28 5,432 MTE MANATEE 1379
49 28 5,432 PIN PINELLAS 1428
54 29 6,032 HIL HILLSBOROUGH 1482
54 29 6,148 POL POLK 1536
71 35 9,730 LAK LAKE 1607
42 26 4,316 SUM SUMTER 1649
58 23 5,290 HER HERNANDO 1707
97 46 16,928 CIT CITRUS 1804
72 32 9,216 MAO MARION 1876
50 29 5,626 LEV LEVY 1926
73 34 9,860 ALC ALACHUA 1999
219,690 points total claimed score for the Seffner Amateur Radio Club
...can you believe it, 1999 claimed QSOs - and our goal was 2,000 - talk
about being on target!
1999 qsos is a rate of 100/hour :-) - or - about 49 QSOs/County... or
1.667 QSO's per mile!
Hottest counties as far as rate were the last two where a pro rated rate
of 176 and 175 per hour was attained - I knew I was cross eyed waiting
for the final bell so we could find me a rest room, but did not
anticipate my sense of urgency to translate into that much of an ensuing
Some of the trip highlights:
Fri. PM on the way North telling friends to look for W1YL this weekend.
N4OX's cats and the laser pointer "toy"
Sat AM brunch with N4OX and NF4A before the party had begun!
Wondering if our last QSO would be with W1END, while he was our last QSO
in one county, our final QSO of the weekend was with K3TW
Turning down an unmarked road and hoping it was that back road that
leads to Monroe county... no street signs, no county line marker, but
there was a pavement change...and a little further on there was a "you
are here map" and sure enough I had guessed right and we were on thE
road into Monroe from Alligator Alley - only to find out as I crept down
it that it changed from poorly maintained asphalt to crushed shell/rock
and that we would have to do a u-turn and then park 'til the deserving
Hearing many say thanks for the sweep to N4KM when we activated Monroe
early Sunday AM - old FQP sweep record was roughly mid day Sunday
Telling N4KM to hold up for a minute when we were in MONROE, I heard
something - a station off to the side in HIL/Hillsborough was off the
side of the filter - realizing it was my Mom, and she WAS using the
contest software... and she was running 'em
Dodging alligator and turtle while in the "big cypress" Everglades area
- dodging even more turkey vultures feasting on road kill along
Just when we thought the colder wx meant fewer problems with Love Bugs
this year suddenly finding ourselves alongside a convoy of Volkswagens
that stretched all the way across the Sunshine Skyway in Pinellas -
including of course plenty of, you guessed it Love Bugs! Plenty of VW
buses, dude - and despite our efforts to avoid the Miami Airport's
Rabbit explosion - there we were alongside you guessed it: Rabbits! And
there were "Things" and Dune Buggies...according to the local paper
there were hundreds of VW drivers in the "convoy" - they took up the
right lane all the way across the Skyway!
Having WA3HAE ask us to go up to sideband and then me picking up my cell
phone - squeezing the volume button thinking it was the PTT button on
the mike, talking into the phone - which was plugged into the cigarette
lighter and had a curly cord on the back of it, too... I lost it -
'HAE then asked what was so funny and I told him that I tried to call
him on my cell phone - we agreed that those frequencies were NOT allowed
in the FQP rules! Then having N4KM accuse me of being a phone lid!
Having KU8E call us in Hillsborough and realizing we were headed for
each other - going opposite directions on I-4 - quickly QSYing to work
each other bands, including our only 10 meter contact of the weekend!
The computer interface between the laptop and the IC706 and NA software
all working so well - only a few instances of the gear balking all
weekend long - try sending fast CW manually when you are driving the
less than properly maintained alligator alley!
The building crescendo of rate at the end of the contest...only to have
it come and then totaling the qsos realizing we had hit our mark for the
Reports on our signal varied with some saying were you parked by a lake
in Citrus County - you were really loud there - to, you should find out
what "______" was using and do what they did - "______" being a
different station depending on the reporter!
Wow.... then finding out Mom had made 400 QSOs and computer logged them
all - this was a banner weekend!
On a personal note:
Several years ago I got an e-mail from K9UIY telling me that there was a
guy moving to Florida and that I should look him up... site unseen I
asked him to join me in the FQP and we haven't missed one since... that
guy is Kevin, N4KM and our friendship has grown a lot since that first
FQP. Kevin has engineered his SUV really well and the trip is smooth as
silk in it - sure the contest going on helps the time go by, but the
exchanged laughs and "optional phonetics" for callers-in are a hoot. I
look forward to our FQP weekend each year with great anticipation, we
have a blast.
Ham radio plays a very large role in my life, and at the forefront is
contesting which has made me many friends - and a few enemies (who for
some reason do not like seeing my e-mails!)
In two weeks time the main man behind the FQP, K1TO, will be inducted
into the Contesting Hall of Fame along with N6RO - and another contester
N6TR will be the Hamvention Ham of the Year....
Before I was even licensed I saw this same kind of excitement about
contesting when my parents helped form a contest club in New England
called Murphy's Marauders...today my Mom is using contesting software
that contains algorithms she wrote about in QST about 50 years ago!
The next time somebody tells you contesting and contesters are not
politically correct you remind them of the longevity of the contesting
spirit... how can you help but love this stuff!
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