[SECC] [SEDXC] K4BAI/M Claimed Score, 2010 Georgia QSO Party

Dale M. Schwartz dale at immlawfirm.com
Tue Apr 13 15:01:16 PDT 2010

WOW! Talk about Murphy's Law.....


Attorneys at Law
St. 450 RiverEdge One
5500 Interstate North Pkwy., NW
Atlanta, GA 30328
Tel:  (770) 951-1100
Fax:(770) 951-1113

-----Original Message-----
From: sedxc-bounces at contesting.com [mailto:sedxc-bounces at contesting.com]
On Behalf Of Robert Gerace
Sent: Tuesday, April 13, 2010 5:48 PM
To: John Laney; secc c; ALQP ACG; SEDXC; W4CVY at yahoogroups.com; Charles
K. Epps; Jim Jordan K4QPL; K1to at aol.com; NS
Subject: Re: [SEDXC] [SECC] K4BAI/M Claimed Score, 2010 Georgia QSO

I read it all, and it was a fantastic read.  Got any pictures?  That
would make it even better!

Thanks for both the effort, and the story.


-----Original Message-----
From: secc-bounces at contesting.com on behalf of John Laney
Sent: Tue 4/13/2010 5:18 PM
To: secc c; ALQP ACG; SEDXC; W4CVY at yahoogroups.com; Charles K. Epps; Jim
Jordan K4QPL; K1to at aol.com; NS
Subject: [SECC] K4BAI/M Claimed Score, 2010 Georgia QSO Party
                     Georgia QSO Party

Call: K4BAI/M
Operator(s): K4BAI, KU8E
Station: KU8E/M

Class: Rover Multi-Op LP
QTH: 27 GA counties
Operating Time (hrs): 14:31

  Band  CW-Dig Qs  Ph Qs
   160:       0      0
    80:      39      0
    40:    1063      0
    20:     506      0
    15:       0      0
    10:       0      0
     6:       0      0
Total:    1608      0  CW-Dig Mults = 50  Ph Mults = 0  Total Score = 

Club: Alabama Contest Group


Like W4NZ/M, Murphy struck us repeatedly in this year's GQP.  Before 
Jeff, KU8E,
took his family to OH for Spring break, he planned a 41-county route for
perhaps a bit ambitious, but mostly doable, and checked out the antennas
the car for the trip.  The Clarke family changed plans and returned home

Friday night rather on Thursday, so there was little time for last
checks.  When I arrived at Jeff's QTH about 12:30 PM, Jeff was unhappy 
with the
connector on one of the antenna feedlines and changed it out for a new
Because time was short, we hurried that chore and would regret it later.
However, it seemed fine when we tested it out.  Jeff's Icom Pro was in 
the back
seat of his 1998 Toyota Avalon connected directly to the battery.  I 
brought a
logging computer with NA programs created for every anticipated county.
was a Dell which has a split hard drive and we use NA in Windows 98 and
usually works very smoothly.  That was connected through a transverted 
that was
powered through the cigarette lighter plug.  We have had some problem 
with this
particular laptop in the past.  The laptop was purchased to replace an
one that had crashed (but we had backed it up before it crashed).  At 
first we
had a hard time keeping this one charged up.  I purchased a new battery 
for it
at Battery Source and it worked OK in GQP and FQP last year.  We also
taking a GPS with us.

We got started about on time from Jeff's driveway in HARRis County. I
operating while Jeff got everything else gathered up and packed in the
We had a Hustler 15M resonator with a DX Engineering top hat for 20M and
Hustler 20M resonator with DX Engineering top hat for 40M.  For 80M, we
just the Hustler 80M resonator.  It had a narrow spot on 80M CW where 
the SWR
dropped to about 2 to one and I hooked up a MFJ mobile tuner to reduce 
that to
amost 1 to 1 from the transmitter.  One base was on a trunk lid mount on
right side of the trunk and the other was on a magnetic mount (tri
point) on
the left side of the trunk.  We had some strong cord around the two
and anchored inside the back of the car to provide some guy like support
the antennas.  By using the antenna post 1 and 2 on the transceiver, we
able to change bands between any two bands with the touch of a button on
radio.  Monitoring of 15M during the past few weeks indicated that 15M
likely be useless, but we did listen once or twice and heard nothing on
band and no one asked us to QSY to 15M.

20M seemed very weak and very long at the beginning of the contest, but
tried both 20 and 40 in every county until we were in Crisp County, well

dark, and we only made 3 QSOs on 20M.  40M was pretty good everything
considered, but we didn't hear any other GA stations on Saturday on 40M
heard few signals from AL or SC.  FL, NC, MS, and TN seemed to be mostly

OK on
40M.  We were surprised during the early afternoon to work as far away
as NH
and WY.  We worked OM2VL on 40M before 22Z and on 80M too.  He had an
outstanding signal on 20, 40, and 80.

After we had gone about 10 miles from his house, Jeff realized he had 
left the
charger for his GPS at home and we stopped at a Best Buy in MUSCogee, my

county, for him to pick up another.  That resulted in more time being 
spent in
HARR and MUSC than we had expected and we got on to the next county,
CHATtahoochee, about 20Z.  We had planned to spend Saturday night in 
all the way on the other side of the state, as the guests of Jere 
(KT4ZB) and
Conni and to have breakfast with some Savannah contesters Sunday morning

the contest resumed. At this time, it seemed doubtful that we would get
Savannah that night.  Whenever the car was idling, the CW sent by the 
got squirrelly and we received several comments about this during and 
after the

Things went nicely except for the computer sending occasionally sounding

  Jeff stopped for a quick bite to eat around 7 PM.  He ate in the car 
with the
accelerator keeping the engine from running too slowly.  We changed the
antenna out for the 80M antenna in TURNer County.  80M sounded great.
It was quiet and signals were strong.  We were surprised to work KO7X in

WY and
OM2VL on 80M in the early evening, just after dark.  It looked like a 
good night
for switching between 40 and 80.  After the first run on 80 from Turner,
pressed the button on the transceiver and went to 40.  I worked N4CD 
with some
difficulty and then got no more calls for a minute or so.  I then 
realized that
the SWR meter on the rig was showing infinity.  So, I told Jeff, who was
driving, and we stopped at a rest area on I 75.  This was about 8 PM 
with four
hours left on the first day.  We spent most of the next two hours at 
that rest
stop trying to make the transceiver work.  Unfortunately, the problem, 
which we
didn't immediately realize, was the new coax connector on the 40M
After proper diagnosis of the problem, the soldering iron was plugged 
into the
cigarette lighter and an attempt was made to solder a new connector onto
40M coax.  The soldering iron just barely would melt the solder and it 
impossible to get it properly connected.  My assumption is that it was 
of the limited amperage allowed by the cigarette lighter plug, but don't

that.  Two of the coax connectors actually physically broke in the 
process.  We
had a number of extra connectors and finally got one that we thought 
would work.
  Jeff tried to get it to connect to the transceiver on both antenna 
post 1 and
antenna post 2.  Maybe it worked for a second or two on one of the 
posts, but
generally the receiver seemed dead.  He probably applied a little too
physical pressure and then noticed that the plate on the rear of the
transceiver seemed loosed and one SO259 was wobbly.

So, we got out the spare rig, an Alinco DX70, that I inherited from the
Cliff Watson, KR4M (ex K4ADU) about ten years ago.  It is a very nice
mobile/portable non-contest rig that even has a "narrow" CW filter. 
However, I
had had nothing to eat and by now it was past 10 PM and I couldn't 
remember how
to set up and operate that rig.  We knew I would no longer be able to
use my
paddle like I like to do a lot in pileups to keep the rhythm going when 
I may
mis=enter a call in the computer because we had been using the internal 
in the Icom and the Alinco doesn't have one.  Jeff had brought along a 
but we had no power source for it since it had been wired to take 12V 
from the
Icom auxiliary plug.  We were both very tired and frustrated and talked 
"packing it in" and heading home.  However, Jeff thought it would be
best to
get some sleep and try to figure something out in the morning.  So, we 
lost the
last four hours of Saturday night and ran only one county on 80M.  Very 
about that.  We went about 15 miles to Tifton, in TIFT county, stopped 
for some
supper, and found a motel near the Interstate.  We got into the room 
about 11:15
PM.  We left a wake up call for 8 AM, keeping in mind the contest start 
time on
Sunday of 10 AM.

Jeff spent about the next two hours checking the internet to try to 
figure out
who had covered what counties and what were the most needed counties
left on
our list, diagnosing the problem with his rig, and mapping out a new 
route for
Sunday.  The resistors connected to each SO259 had each been physically 
in two during our efforts to reconnect the 40M feedline.

I got up at 7:15 AM, went downstairs, ate breakfast, and re-read the 
manual for the DX70 for the first time in several years.  I made notes 
and knew
exactly what I had to do to get it to operate at maximum efficiency for
situation.  Jeff came down about 8:30 or so and unlocked the car and we 
the DX70 into the transverter and I made all the internal adjustments
seemed to be required.  I did not transmit, since I wasn't sure which 
was hooked up to the rig, but I did hear a UP station on 20M, which
pretty good for DX, but too long for most US contacts.  Turned out that 
was the
20M antenna.  I then decided to start the car and try to transmit with 
the DX70.
  The battery wouldn't turn over.  It seemed that the battery was dead. 
  So, I
had to find Jeff and then called AAA for a battery jump off.  They 
promised a
response within 45 minutes, which would put it about 30 minutes after
contest started again.  Eventually, Jeff found the motel maintenance man

and he
jumped us off and we cancelled the AAA call.  Jeff thinks that he may 
have left
the dome light on the night before.

Eventually, we got set up and on the way, losing about an hour on Sunday
morning.  We ran some counties in the vicinity of Tifton and, when it
that it would work OK, we headed toward Waycross and a few counties in 
the SE
corner of the state where no activity other than by us had been 
promised.  At a
Wal Mart, Jeff stopped and got a device to connect the transverter to 
his cable
to the battery so that the computer would not be powered through the 
lighter.  This seems to have solved our computer problems.  The computer
lock up twice during all of Sunday and I we had to re-boot, but that 
seems to
happen to all computers from time to time.

20M was slow at first, but eventually opened up strong to Europe and the

coast of the USA.  The W1, W2, WI, MI, MN, KS, TX stations came in 
pretty good
most of the day.  Later on, we worked N8II in WV once and a few IN 
stations on
20M plus one QSO with TN and one with AR.  So 20 got shorter, but we 
never had
much propagation to the PA/VA/OH area or points closer.  The DX stations
worked us are to be congratulated on good ears and perserverance.  They 
plus KH6LC in HI.  Any DX station may request a bureau QSL by e-mail, 
but please
send complete QSO information since the computer files are separate by
county.  Any other QSL requests by mail will be promptly answered. 
(QSLs for
W4AN in SPAL, from the NQ4I contest station, may also be requested by 
e-mail to
me for DX stations and by regular mail for other or for DX stations who 
want a
direct mail QSL.)

We missed five US states:  AK, SD, ND, UT, and VT.  We worked Canadian 
VE1, VY2, VE2, VE3, VE7.  Thanks for all QSOs.

You haven't lived until you have run intense pileups for nine hours
using an
Alinco DX70 as a receiver!  Thanks for all the fun.

We ended up running 27 counties.  We had planned on 41. We ran some not 
on the
original list and missed many on the original list.

We hope to be better prepared for the Florida QSO Party on the weekend 
of April
24 and 25, when we will be QRV as W4AN/M in many FL counties.  The
problems seem to be solved, the antenna feedline will be repaired, we 
will have
a keyer and paddle to keep up the rhythm, and we will use Jeff's oldie
goodie Kenwood contest radio.  Again, the Alinco will be back up.

I did get one report of a slight chirp on Sunday when we were using the 
rig.  It didn't chirp when KR4M used it, but he was using it from a
station with a switching power supply. If anyone else noticed this or 
any other
problem with the signal on Sunday, please let me know.

Anybody who actually read all of this deserves some kind of a reward.
Thanks to all of your for your support of this year's Georgia QSO Party.

year on the second weekend in April, we will have the 50th anniversary
Rusty, K4BVD (now W6OAT), put together for the Columbus Amateur Radio 
Club the
first GA QSO Party in May 1962.  If any of you was active in that first
please let me know.  We are planning for some type of special 
celebration next

I hope we got all 159 counties on this year, but I fear we did not, 
largely due
to our problems with Murphy's law.  Sorry about that.

73, John, K4BAI and Jeff, KU8E.

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