7QP 2017

Yaknow, I can’t say too much about 7QP this year.  It went splendidly, save a few whoopsies from Murphy.  My van decided to throw an O2 sensor error and stutter a bit on the way down.  The mason line got tangled around my arm while launching a 2oz lead shot up over the 100ft pondy, leaving me with a nice manly rope burn.  And it snowed on us Friday night.  But, everyone had fun, we didn’t beat our score from last year, but we had some great pileups, and worked almost all states save Nebraska and South Dakota (which have always been hard for me).  On behalf of myself, KU7F, WN7K, W7JHR and W7SCY, a shout out to all that participated!  Here’s my 3830 post:

For the 4th year, AE7EU (ex AE7IK) activated the county line at Lake/Kalamath at
my special little spot. Up on a ridge, this place boasts easy driving access
and 100ft ponderosas. This years activation was a bit of a comedy of errors
and Murphy. Driving down, my van decided to throw a check engine light. For
the entire weekend, I was afraid the transmission had gone out (Code check
later said O2 sensor) and I was going to have to worry about how to get back
home. Arriving Friday, we got started setting up antennas, and my first
attempt at launching a length of mason line snagged around my arm, giving me a
nice little bit of rope burn. We got the haul lines up and over the trees
though, and our 80/40 dipole hit 75-80ft, the TA33jr was up and securely
pointed east, despite the winds that were picking up trying to blow the line
off the trees. Which later turned to snow.

Antennas up, we went to set up the radio, and I’d forgotten a power cable for
my power supply. No matter, Jim had brought his. But we were getting RF in
the audio, which wasn’t diagnosed until Saturday morning after the first few
contacts. So we switched from my kx3 + Jim’s KXPA100 + My SB200 to Brain’s
TS440 + My SB200. Things worked well after that, though we didn’t really get
cooking on the bands until 20m really opened up later on in the morning.

Lunchtime found I’d forgotten the avocados and cucumbers…. How are you
supposed to have a good salad with just spinach, carrots and onions? Ohwell,
worse things to have forgotten.

Once we got a pile started though, they just kept on rolling. None of us are
iron-butt operators. There were times where I could keep 150Q/hr rolling no
problem though, and it’s really hard to give up the reigns at that point. Our
score wasn’t as good as last year, and we missed South Dakota and Nebraska, but
all things considered I’m quite happy with how things turned out. A big shout
to all those who were patient in the pile, and we look forward to doing it
again next year! (Minus, of course, Car issues, wind, snow, rope burns, food
issues, RFI and forgotten cables 🙂


Snow on ground with antenna up in the air
Snow on the ground at Lake/Kalamath County Line, 7QP 2017

Wilderness Stewardship

I’ve been helping out in the Three sisters wilderness doing volunteer work for the forest service.  Here’s my notes for Doris/Blow/Senoj lakes this last Saturday…



2432222121122 = 26 unique individuals contacted.  Might have missed a few in there, so I’m saying ~30.
Left hiking boots at home.  Left home at 8:15a.  Stopped by Green lakes for 30 second and said hi.  Can’t remember when I got to the trailhead.  Made some 10-ish visitor contacts in the parking lot before starting (one very sweet aussie dog that suddenly curled up in my lap when I knelt down to pet it).
Went first to Blow lake.  Cleaned up some fire rings but they were away from the water.  Shrunk one in size a slight bit and continued on.  Did not circumnavigate blow lake.  Stop was short, use was not too high from what I could tell.
4 people (2 groups) without proper permits at Doris lake upon arrival.  One group kept their bubble form and put the other half in the slot.  This group was also camped right on the shoreline at the area right near (but not in) the main well-marked day-use area.  Other group didn’t know and had a very amicable conversation (and their dogs were very cute too, and on leash/well-behaved).
Cleaned up a campsite that is downhill of an established fire ring.  Contact a solo young lady who may have camped there, but didn’t utilize the fire ring there.  Educated.  Found the site, it was well established, about 20ft from the water.  Tent pad was swept clean of litter down to mineral soil.  Fire ring contained ~30lbs of charcoal and ash.  Pictures retained. Used two of the fire ring rocks (they were pretty healthy) plus one of the seating logs to iceberg the tent pad.  Did my best to duff the area before moving on.  Pictures retained.  Had lunch at noon after completion on the lakeshore.
Proceeded clockwise around Doris lake and found all the camping spots.  Most looked unused, except for the one when I got close to the main throughfare.  Looked for signs of TP/Poop, didn’t find any.  Found a package of brats in the fire ring along with other typical debris.
After circumnavigating, hit the main trail to Senoj.  Got lost.  I don’t know this area very well.  I could see a couple with what looked like a dog on the other side of the lake, but I found the terrain difficult to follow.  Follow up:  Contact a wilderness ranger familiar with Senoj to get scoop on campsites in that area and problem spots.  With the bugs, not many people were going to Senoj.  The one couple I talked to going to Senoj (didn’t have a dog) said they had ‘their spot’ that was well off the beaten path, but they might go to Zowie if the bugs were bad (they were).  I did not re-encounter them on the trail after I saw them at Doris lake.
The trail from Doris to Senoj has a fair number of trees down.  User trails are being created around some of them.  MOst are <12in diameter, with one 15″ perhaps.  Details vague.
I was bushwhacking at Senoj because I didn’t know the area.  Ran into a lady who thought she was at Doris lake, and glad to learn she had gone further than she had expected.  Helped her back to the main trail (She was like 10 feet from it).  After failing to find any issues at Senoj (other than trees), I diverted to the PCT just for shits and grins.  No major trash found.   There are maybe a few trees down, but nothing too major.  Worst (included in last two pictures) is a tree that fell down across a curve in the trail.
I suddenly, probably 1/4 mile from the PCB, found I’d dropped my mosquito net, and turned around promptly.  Found it about a half mile back.  Decided it was time to head back home.  Encountered one group of two that was going to Goose lake.  Former USGS spotted frog researcher, planned to just cover his poop with a rock, no shovel.  Gave him tips on using a stick to at least dig a hole, rocks aren’t good, etc.  His asian partner said she planned on just holding it in until tomorrow morning (ooooohkay).  Proceeded back to Doris.
Contacted one individual at Doris on the left side of day use area who had just pitched his tent right on the shoreline. Valid permit, receptive, showed him on the permit where it said 100ft from water, gave him my 3 talking points, and moved on.  Buried an older pile of toilet paper with turds still attached.  Thinking back, I thought I had heard someone while I was rehabbing the camp/fire ring at lunch earlier in the day… and ran into where someone had been pooping right on the shoreline not far from where I had been working (srsly folks?).  It had been marked with a stick.  I reburied it away from shore with the other pile of older turds/toilet paper.  Proceeded back to trailhead, contacted dispatch to extend ETR due to the PCT detour, and then got back to Bend ~6:15.
Bugs:  Nasty at Doris and blow.  Okay at Senoj, but present.  Mostly non-existent on Six Lakes Trail to PCT.  They found the part of the sleeve/cuff that is open and doesn’t have a button.  They also found the hole in my glove.  When I took my backpack off, they were swarming around it.  I will remedy these situations (except the fact that they like me so much, natch).

7QP 2016

This year has been… wow!  We absolutely smashed our previous records despite the noisy crappy conditions.  Brian and I did the Lake/Kalamath border again at our favorite haunt, this time joined by Sterling WN7K, the local ham radio groupie who provided his RV for hosting the station.  We also upped our game this year, since County Line Expedition M/S is power-agnostic (doesn’t matter if you run 100W or 1500W), we borrowed the club’s SB200 for a good 600W output.  And boy did it work gangbusters.

Also joining this year were Jim Ruff, W7JHR, who was recently licensed, and his neighbor Don WA6TNQ who’s been getting back into ham radio after 20 years of inactivity.  Aaron KI7CRE also joined us as our new newbie, and got to make his first HF contacts under AE7EU control operator supervision using our 40m dipole, and also operate for a bit in 7QP.  A big thanks to all those who joined in and were patient with the newbies!

This year our dipole was up even higher then previous years, and our helper couldn’t have picked taller trees:


This year we had an 80/40/20 fan dipole courtesy of Brian, and a 20/15/10 TA33jr Yagi courtesy of the Central Oregon DX Club.    The yagi was only up 30 feet, but that’s all it needed.  You get much more than a little under 1/2 wavelength and going higher doesn’t get you a whole lot.  15m never opened up really and 10m didn’t stand a chance, so it basically was just used for 20m.


The trees in this area grow big and tall, and there are plenty of 100+ft tall ponderosa pine’s with perfect spacing for dipoles.  Sterling can be seen at the base of one of the dipole support trees, and if you look closely at the picture (click on it!) you’ll see the dipole haul line that Sterling is taking down.  Note there are two people in the picture.


Overall, we did around 740 QSO’s for about 14 hours operating time, including a clean sweep of all US states (Canada kinda missing though).  I actually got more multipliers in 2014 than this year, oddly… But I think those were DX because I’ve never clean-sweeped a contest.  We started right at 6am, did a little 40, and then moved up to 20m which quickly started opening.   We stayed on solid until about 4-5pm, and then took a 2 hour lunch break where nobody really chose to man the station, and we just sat in chairs in the sun and BS’ed about random topics.  Around 7pm we got back on just as 40m was starting to open up, and got a good solid 3 hour run in on 40m before it closed up for the night.  Neither Brian nor I are Iron-Butt operators, so for the time and effort we put into the QSO party, the conditions, and our newbs on the air, (we consider ourselves lazy contesters), I’m _really_ happy with what we got.  Thanks too to the Oklahoma stations that have already QSL’ed on LOTW… That’ finishes out my WAS!

Band Mode QSOs Pts Mul
3.5 LSB 7 14 0
7 LSB 181 356 9
14 USB 542 1070 50
21 USB 2 4 0
Total Both 732 1444 59
Score: 85,196
1 Mult = 12.4 Q’s

Just missing Canada YT, NU, PE, QC, NL, NT, NS.

The statistic most interesting:  96% of our QSO’s were done on 3 frequencies that we ran over the 14 hour period.  Kudos to Brian for finding clear spots…

7.191:  161 Qs

14.259:  384 Qs

14.292: 160 Qs

161+384+160 = 705 / 732 total Qs = 0.963

Thank you all for another great QSO party!

Prime rib and oh my

Its the holidays and that means family.  Family means feeding people, and that means we gotta have at least one big meal.  Enter the 7.5lb prime rib roast, Yorkshire pudding, garlic red mashed potatoes, pan gravy, veggies, salad, and naturally, a desert of Lemon Meringue pie.  Prime rib came out perfect at 18min / lb, and there ain’t a single bit of empty room in a stomach anywhere in the house.


In other words, to fuck with my belt buckle.

Bumper stickers I need…

After hauling a good ton and a half of gravel in my old beater pickup through Bend traffic, it’s becoming clear to me that I need some bumper stickers.  Some ideas that I like:

“This old truck hauls more than your fancy truck”

“How’s that 4-wheel-stop treating you?”

or maybe more general to bend,

“Save a deer ; hunt a Californian”

Or the classic “If it’s tourist season, why can’t we shoot them?”

California QSO party


Beautiful day out here in northern California playing nerd…

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It’s up and running!

Yay, this should auto-post to Facebook too.  If you’re seeing this, that means things are integrating nicely!  You probably wont ever see me post to facebook again… Instead, I’ll post here, and it’ll cross-link to facebook!

If you mute my feed, well, I can’t say I blame you!  We’ll see if this works in general, bare with me…