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Class: Rover Multi-Op LP
Operating Time (hrs): 20
Location: In State/Province
|Summary: Compare Scores|
|Band||CW Qs||Ph Qs||Dig Qs|
|Comments: [email] 2017-04-03 21:20:00|
|Well that was a lot of fun, even if I couldn't hear many stations in Missouri. I'm sure that this year there will be a lot of out of state stations that get the SHOWME certificate and fewer instate stations. My friend Bill was my driver on Saturday from 9am to 3pm. We did a nice loop around NW MO starting and ending in Kansas City where I live. I have done a lot of work on my Ford Ranger but still seem to have engine noise. I have put bonding strips on the body, doors and hood and put rf chokes on the spark plug wire etc but when the accelerator is down going uphill you can really hear the engine noise in the radio. On Sunday morning after the rain it was much worse. I worked mostly CW. I did try SSB but it's just so much easier to get a clear frequency on cw compared to phone. And with my K3 and the 500hz filter it does a great job removing those nearby stations. Just a quick word on the K3; really love it. I program M1 with 'CQ MOQP de N0E/M NOE/' and do not change that throughout the contest. Then I put the county in M2 (memory 2) i.e. PET for Pettis county. Then when I want to call cq I push M1 and then M2 and the K3 chains them together. If you listen there is a slight pause after the second / on my cq but I'm ok with that because it sort of emphasizes the county abbrev. I program M3 with 'TU MOQP NOE/' so that after I get the report and location of the station I am working I can hit M3 then M4 and get on with the next qso. I send the callsign of the station I am working by hand and his / her rst and my county using the keyer in the K3, usually at 27 wpm. If I go much above this I seem to make more mistakes. I worked N0O for a few counties on Sunday morning and I was really having a hard time sending cw well. Thanks Ward for your patience as I sent my callsign wrong a few times. Speaking of Sunday morning, it all began with sparks for me. That is, I hooked up my inverter backwards and got some nice sparks as I blew it up. Sigh. I ended up stopping in Jefferson City at the Walmart to buy a new one, and this one has blade fuses. Hopefully I will not blow up this one. I bought a 750 W inverter knowing that my laptop only needs 300 W; hoping that the inverter will not generate too much electrical noise. In the past I have bought some cheap inverters, and 3 or 4 hours into the contest when they get hot they can really generate some spurious rf. This happened to me once during the OKQP a few years back; one lesson learned the hard way. I want to say thanks to everyone who was patient with me when I occassionally sent .-... (wait) to get back to you. I have probably done 10 qso parties as a mobile, and at different times I have asked stations calling me to wait becuase; we were going around a corner at high speeds, going through an intersection and I thought we were going to be hit by another vehicle, there was a lot of noise in town (electrical noise in the radio due to signs, transformers, power lines etc), the driver was asking me for directions, I was taking a much needed drink of water, then engine noise was too loud while going uphill, I was changing the county / roverqth in N1MM, etc etc. If you ever wonder 'what is wrong with that guy in the mobile and why is he taking so long to get back to me', you should really offer to drive for someone during a qso party and see how much is involved. When everything is working it's a beautiful thing, but there is a lot involved and a lot that can go wrong. It's also a lot of fun, and being on the receiving end of a pileup is really something to get your adrenaline pumping. The largest pileup I have ever heard is the 4 county line in the Texas panhandle during the TXQP. I can only describe it as a 'wall of CW'. If you had fun during the NPOTA last year and would like to experience being on the receiving end of some nice pileups, I strongly recommend you give mobile operating in Qso Parties a try. It's a lot of fun with a good bunch of guys (and gals). Anyway, on Saturday I took a nap from 4 to 5, ate some food at home and then was back on the road, heading south. A good general rule of being mobile in qso parties is to only activate a county once (not always possible though). I sat at the Cass / Bates county line and then the Vernon / Barton county line. I stayed there too long and didn't get home until midnight. In hindsight I probably should have just stayed at Cass / Bates county line and changed over to 80m once it got dark; I probably could have picked up more MO counties for multipliers. Live and learn. One interesting aspect of mobile contesting is choosing your route. On Sunday my wife and I headed out to Jeff City and ended at Rocheport. My wife is an active birder and she walked along the MIssouri river and I operated from Boone county for the last 30 min or so of the contest. I'd like to suggest to the MOQP sponsors that the operating hours for mobile operators be changed to 12 hours (current max is 14 hours). This is a long time to be driving, and if you want to win you are compelled to be on the road the entire time. If mobile operators were only allowed to operate for 12 hours but the Sat contest hours were 14 hours, this gives the mobile operator another variable to play with to optimize their score. Sleep in and miss the first two hours? Take a nap at mid day? Quit at 9pm and get a good nights sleep while losing 40m being open to the west coast after dark and also the chance for 80m after dark? My wife and I are currently planning a move west, hopefully June 1st if everything works out. In that case this will probably be our last mobile run in the MOQP. Thanks to the BEARS for sponsoring the MOQP and to everyone for all the qso's. Cheers, Ron, AD0DX / N0E/M|