[SECC] GQP - W4NZ/m - Multi-op CW LP - Very Long

Kt4zb at aol.com Kt4zb at aol.com
Tue Apr 13 06:31:22 PDT 2010

WOW!  that's all I can say...WOW!
Great job - Jere, KT4ZB
In a message dated 4/13/2010 9:14:18 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
W4NZ at comcast.net writes:

Georgia QSO Party 2010 - Welcome to Mark, Gary, Erik and Ted's  (almost)
Excellent Adventure!

operators: Erik N5WR,  Gary K4VIG and Ted W4NZ
Started the party from Dade County, in the parking  lot at Covenant College
atop Lookout Mountain (el. 2100 ft). Headed South  through Walker, Chattooga
and Floyd counties where Murphy caught up with us  by crashing our logging
computer at what seemed random intervals. By a  process of elimination we
found that RF was getting into the computer via  the external keyboard's usb
interface.  Snap-on torroids would not fix  it so we eliminated the external
keyboard and used the laptop's.  This  sometimes made for interesting typing
and explains why we would ask you to  wait to get it straight (thanks!)
After an initial 129-QSO hour(N5WR) the  rate tanked in the next two as we
had to make some unscheduled stops to  chase away Murphy. But as we 
on through Polk, Paulding, Haralson  in spite of somewhat poor propagation,
the rate climbed back over the 100  mark and held for the remainder of the
trip, peaking at 170 Q's in the  0000Z hour. Continued on through Carrol,
Heard, Troup, Meriwether, Pike,  Spaulding (Hi, Rick!), Coweta, Fayette and
Clayton where we picked up I-75N  to I-285 West. Exiting 285, we cut through
a corner of Douglas on the way  to Fulton County. The plan was to work our
way toward Smyrna or Marietta  and Cobb County to I-75 North.  Well, Murphy
threw up a roadblock,  literally.  There was a traffic accident which
completely closed Route  5 so we had to pull out Erik's GPs and navigate a
way around the  accident.  What the GPS didn't show were the several detours
put up  due to construction!  Eventually we made it I-75, Cobb, Bartow,
Gordon  and Whitfield counties. We had planned to also catch Catoosa county
but ran  out of time.  But not to worry, we would start in Catoosa on  
anyway.  So, after 10 hours we had 1129 QSO's in the log,  covered 425 miles
and 22 counties. But wait...Murphy was just getting  warmed up, read on.

Sunday -
operators: Mark K0EJ, Erik N5WR and Ted  W4NZ
An absolutely georgous day!  Starting in Catoosa County (1.5  miles from my
QTH) we continued on through Whitfield, Murray, and  Gilmer.  Again, rates
were good. Mark had 118 Q's the first hour. On  to Fannin, Union, Towns,
Rabun, Habersham, Stephens, Franklin and Hart.  Hart County...crossing I-85,
the plan was to travel through Lavonia and  into Hart just long enough to
work the pileups and then backtrack to I-85,  travelling Southwest to catch
Banks and Jackson. It was in the middle of  Lavonia that we got the first
clue that Murphy wasn't done. The van's  engine quit while sitting at a
traffic light right in the middle of town.  It did restart, idling rough but
we were able to drive the 5 or 6 miles  into Hart county, stopping at a
convenience store/gas station to check  things out.  Leaving the van idling
(very roughly!) we continued to  operate.  At 1435Z we logged what turned 
to be our last QSO as the  van quit...fini...dead! Checking the odometer's
trip counter, 225 miles, it  was our farthest point from Chattanooga on the
planned trip. Naturally!  Murphy! Ok, it's Sunday afternoon, we're stranded
in the middle of nowhere  with a dead vehicle. Mark's a member of AAA so he
got on the phone with  them about arranging towing. I went into the store 
asked the lady  behind the counter if she knew of any mechanics that might 
willing to  take a look at our vehicle. She said she might and made some
phone  calls.  So we wait. Around four o'clock two men drive up in a  pickup
and said they had been called by the lady in the store. The  mechanic, a
fairly young guy, had a T-shirt on that said "I can't hear you  without a
beer in my hand". I was having thoughts that we were being  rescued by
Goober. (not to mention the $$$$ signs) But, at this point, I  didn't care 
it was Goober, Gomer and Barney, too, if they could fix the  van.  Around 
same time a tow truck sent by AAA arrived. Adding  more to the local flavor,
the towtruck driver had his wife and young son  with him.  As for the
van...after doing some testing, taking the  inside cowling off and checking
the fuel line, the mechanic decides the  fuel pump is gone. He made a call 
a local O'Reilly auto parts and found  a pump, we agreed on a price for his
labor and it looked like we had a  plan.  The tow truck loaded the van and
followed the mechanic and all  of us (in his extended cab pickup) to his 
and  "workshop"..umm..actually it was a concrete pad behind his
"single-wide".  We waited while his wife took the log chain off their female
Pit Bull and  put her inside the house. With the van sitting on the concrete
pad, the  mechanic's buddy was getting the vehicle ready to remove the fuel
tank  while we went to get the new pump. After returning with the needed
parts,  Mark, Erik and I could do nothing but hang around and watch. 
this  turned out to be better than TV. In spite of all appearances to  the
contrary, these two guys seemed to know what they were doing,  mechanically
speaking that is.  It got a bit interesting when, after  removing the gas
tank and partially draining it, one of them stood not 6  feet away smoking a
cigarette. You could taste gas fumes from 15 feet away.  Then there was the
Natural Lite beer in the cuzzi holders and two shotgun  blasts from a 
truck on the highway about dusk.  Our friends  didn't react at all to the
gunshots. Maybe that was just a celebration  (instead of fireworks) and we
just misunderstood their meaning <G>.  Still, I was glad we were behind the
house! With the new fuel pump, it was  about 2330Z when the guys got the van
cranked and running, idling a little  rough still, but running nevertheless.
Erik pointed to the time and said we  might still get in a few more QSO's 
another county. Just then the van  unexpectedly quit..and failed to start.
Spirits sank!! This time it was  traced to a very a dirty, clogged fuel
filter, easily fixed. With the  filter cleaned, the van started with no
problem, running smoothly...we  looked at the time...almost exactly 0000Z!!
Coincidence? Hmm. After a  "Thank you", handshake and the agreed monetary
exchange with our new-found  friends, we were rolling again. Unfortunately
the QSO party had ended about  15 minutes earlier. Well...there is always
"next year".  BTW, the ride  home was totally uneventful.

- To everyone for the  QSO's and for riding along with us. It was maximum
- To Mike NE4S  and all the folks that make the GQP possible. Thank you for
letting us come  play in your yard again this year.

**Last, and certainly not least,  thanks to Steve and Keith, the two men who
were willing, on a Sunday  afternoon, to help three stranded strangers get 
their way home.

A  few statistics:
Band    QSOs     Pts   Sec   Mul
3.5     254     508   3    0
7    1280     2560   30    1
14     108   216   14    0
21     1       2    0     0
Total   1643    3286   47     1

Operating time: 14:37

Estimated Score : 157,728

High  QSO's:
,N9CK(26),K3ONW(26),K5WE(23)-Erik's  dad!,N9FC(21),WB8JUI(20)

And a special mention to OM2VL - 20 QSO's and  the lone 15M contact.
Outstanding signal on all bands!

Congrats to  the SECC and SEDXC on a great QSO party!!

73, from the entire W4NZ/m  team: K0EJ, K4VIG, N5WR and  W4NZ.

SECC mailing  list
SECC at contesting.com

More information about the SECC mailing list