[CQ-Contest] GA QSO Party at Half Time

John Laney k4bai at att.net
Sun Apr 13 01:04:11 EDT 2014

KU8E and I went out mobile today to 20 counties in SW GA.  Jeff's oldest 
son was also with us as navigator and did a bang up job. Didn't let us 
make one wrong turn!  He is looking forward to next year when he might 
share the driving also.  Everything worked fairly well.  We had two mag 
mounts and could work 20, 15, and 10 (dead) without stopping and later 
could work 40, 20, and 15 without stopping. After dark, we could work 40 
and 80 without stopping. This is an improvement, as, in the past, we 
have usually had to stop and change resonators to change bands.  As a 
result, we operated two or even three bands in most counties.  
Conditions seemed terrible.  Activity from outside the state seemed 
enemic. Maybe the result, in part, of my being away for the last nine 
days and not doing my e-mail reminders personally to past participants. 
Maybe our signal was weak?  SWR seemed OK on most bands.  We did have 
some RFI problems in the computer and couldn't use rig control and had 
no computer keying of the rig most of the time. We (I) made a few band 
changes and forgot to change the band in N1MM and we had to do most QSOs 
and CQs with the paddle since we had no memory keyer either...we were 
just using the internal keyer in the rig.  (Almost like the old days 
except very little logging on paper--only while Jeff was working on the 
computer and I made a few QSOs and entered them when the computer was ready.

We made only 540 QSOs with 44 mults, for a half time score of 48,420.  
All CW QSOs so far.  Most by running, but some S&P since rates were so 
slow.  Surely conditions and activity will be better tomorrow.

15M was nearly dead with only signals from WI, KS, CA and K4EOR in 
HARRis County, GA that I recall right now.  No DX.  20M was only fair. 
Did work a few GA stations and W0SK in TN, but other than W0SK, skip 
seemed rather long with only a few from VA, none from NC, and a few from 
FL.  We hadn't expected to work 40M much during the middle of the day, 
but we were able to work up to OH and IN during the day and DL3DXX and 
and CA stations at night.  Bulk of the QSOs were on 40.

80 M seemed fair with little activity. Worked MA and OH, but nothing 
very far west. Did hear DL1IAO working someone else in GA with a great 
signal.  80M was quiet just after sundown, but QRN was bad in the last 
90 minutes or so.

Several stations called (in addition to N8XX that I know of) that we 
couldn't pull through the road noise, power line noise, and QSB.  Very 
sorry about those.

We plan on another ten hours tomorrow.  Maybe we can get the RFI 
problems fixed.  Will report tomorrow night or Monday on final result.

Thanks for all the QSOs so far and keep up the good work!  73, John, K4BAI.

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