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 🙂
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…
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
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!
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.
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?”
Beautiful day out here in northern California playing nerd…
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…