[CQ-Contest] N3BB Mobile SS

Jim George N3BB n3bb at mindspring.com
Wed Nov 9 20:49:01 EST 2005

Hello guys and gals.

I found myself in Roanoke, VA Sunday morning.  This was after a *very* short 
night following the Virginia Tech-Miami game, and I was nursing both a 
hang-over and bruised feelings after Miami kicked my Hokies all over the field 
in Blacksburg.  Bummer.  But kudos to the 'Canes for a great game.

My wife was flying out to San Jose on a very early flight Sunday morning to 
play grand mother baby sitter, and I was going to drive alone back home to 
Austin.  As a fairly new mobile operator, I was enthusiastic to try mobile 
contesting.  In the spirit of true candor and full disclosure, I decided it 
would be dangerous to try and log the entire SS exchange and drive, so I logged 
only the station's call letters along with the number I sent.  That way, I 
would be sure to send the proper number, and also would have a real time update 
on how many contacts I was making.  Also, in the spirit of common sense, I 
decided to S&P only, as CQing would have put more pressure on me to try and 
sort out multiple callers.  I wrote the info in my ARRL mini-log while it was 
propped on the steering wheel.  I made 264 contacts and am guessing (very 
roughly) that I missed ten sections.

I started at 6:50 AM in the morning local east coast time at the Roanoke 
airport.  40 meters was the rocking band at that time, and my first contact was 
with N2IC in CO. I was thrilled to have Steve come back, as I have had fairly 
little experience with the FT100D and the Yaesu ASTA antenna on the sedan's 
rear trunk.  Then I realized I was not clear on the exchange sequence.  I 
bumbled through the exchange, sending "1" and forgetting the "A" and not 
sending my call at all.  It was a totally lid QLF performance, and I wish to 
apologize to Steve publicly for that.  After four of five contacts, I "got it" 
and things were pretty smooth.  It was amazing how good 40 meters was there in 
the heart of the east coast.  In fact, I had to force myself to QSY to 15 
meters at noon local time.  There still was plenty of action on 40 even then.

15 meters was quiet but the stations that were loud were LOUD.  The champs over 
the next several hours were K6LA, N6RO, N2IC and WP2Z.  Oh yes, also W5VX in 
(very) South Texas.  It was interesting comparing Bill's (W5VX) signal with my 
buddies in Austin.  K5TR (KE5C), K5NA, and K5YA all were 300 miles or so closer 
than W5VX and all three were 549 and sounded watery like back scatter.  I 
didn't even call them as I had calibrated by then that the other station had to 
show at least some signal strength on the FT100's meter for me to be heard. 
N5DO out in West TX was loud as well, as Dave was far enough away.  I operated 
from Virginia, Tennessee, and then cut through Northern GA as I took the 
southern route and wanted to operate from as many sections as possible.  East 
of Knoxville I changed to I-75 and went south through Chattanooga and through a 
slice of Georgia and into Alabama, then through Birmingham and on into 
Mississippi.  I QSYed to 20 meters for several hours, and ended up again on 40 
meters as I drove through Mississippi.  Even with active stations in Alabama 
and N4OGW's activity in MS, several stations thanked me for a new mult in AL 
and MS.   I stopped for the night in Jackson at about 02Z, so the SS still had 
a bit to run, but I was dead tired.

I had to do the "dupe sheet" in my head, but only had one station send me "QSO 
before," so that was pretty good.  Hopefully it's kosher to send multiple 
sections with the same call.  I was where I said I was, and that's my story and 
I'm sticking with it!

I was able to work almost anyone I called, and it was a real blast mobiling the 
entire day.  My guestimate is that I worked 70 sections from listening to the 
reports and remembering them in my head.  I missed AK even though I called 
KL7WV and KL7FH.  I did work VY1JA who was booming into TN on 15 meters.  I 
never heard NNY (like many) or ND, and the Florida sections were scarce for me 
for some reason.  N6AA was my last QSO, and I worked Dick from the parking lot 
of the Holiday Inn Express in Pearle, Mississippi!    My "non-score" is 
estimated at 264 x 70, or 18K or thereabouts.  From memory, I missed VE1, VE2, 
WCF, NNY, VT, MS, ND, AK, DE, and maybe NFL.  Probably one or two more.

Looking at the 3830 reports, I never heard a peep from Tree at W5WMU, or Tor at 
N4OGW.  I heard K5ZD a lot, but only when Randy was S&Ping.  I finally heard 
and worked K5YA near here on 40, but never got K5NA as I didn't hear Richard 
CQing other than weakly that time on 15 meters.  Ditto for John (KE5C) at 

It was, as they say, a long and strange journey, and a lotta fun.

73,  Jim N3BB

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