I really enjoyed the PaQP last year, and so I figured I’d operate this year as well. I was really hoping to make some 160m contacts, but I could only manage to get the dipole to tune extremely low in the band and was only able to squeeze out one Q. No matter, the rest of the party as a blast. 40m was a hotbed of activity on SSB and CW. I never thought to try RTTY this year. I did manage to work the bonus station, K3SMT, twice.
On Saturday night I found 80m to be noisy and lacking in contacts. I’m not sure if everyone just stayed on 40m much longer than usual or if the noise was so bad that I just wasn’t hearing people. But, typically on 80m I do pretty good into neighboring states. So I’m really thinking the activity was down on that band.
K8MR/M, W3USA/M, N8II/M, WA3WSJ/M, W3NO/M, K3YTL/R, K8RYU/R, N3SW(/R?), W3WPA, WU3U/R, KD8MQ/R, and NK8U/3, WI8T and W3TDF apparently running /P were all worked one or more times. A special thanks goes to these folks for getting out of making the extra effort to put counties on the air.
I believe Saturday night I had all but 7 or 8 counties. So I spent Sunday just hoping I’d run across the remaining ones, although I wasn’t hopeful. After getting some of the needed counties from mostly mobile/rover ops I ended up needing just one county — Sullivan. Then, on 40m on Sunday afternoon I heard W3ZR answering another stations CQ and stating he was in SUL. I broke in and asked if I could contact W3ZR, and the running station kindly obliged. Unfortunately, W3ZR was already gone. Then, I looked for a clear freq down the band a little bit with the hope that I could sit and call CQ and maybe have W3ZR stop in. I stopped in a clear spot, listened for a minute and was about ready to ask “is this frequency in use?” when lo and be hold, I heard W3ZR asking the same thing. I waited patiently for him to determine that the freq was not in use and to start calling CQ. When he did, I pounced. W3ZR in SUL was the last county I needed for a sweep, and I got him! Upon reading the PaQP reflector afterwards, W3ZR wasn’t even scheduled to be operating in Sullivan Co, so it was a stroke of good fortune that I ran into him.
All in all I think I probably made about 40 more Qs than last year. I am claiming a sweep, and I think I was missing 6 or 7 county mults last year. I sure wish I could have found more CW to work. I looked for K8MR, W3USA (both were K8MR but with different drivers) as well as K8RYU, K3YTL and W3NO when I could, but I was hardly chasing mobiles. i should have though, since most of them were on CW. I needed more points, and CW was a way to get it.
Being so close to PA, the only bands really worth using were 40m, 80m and 160m. I heard at least 12 stations on 160m CW when I tuned around briefly Saturday night, but since I couldn’t get the antenna tuned I didn’t work but one station. I really really wish I would have been able to do 160m. I also wish there would have been more ops on CW.
K8JQ and W8TM were omnipresent, so my hope of winning my section were dashed early on. Those guys are running far better antenna systems than I. The contests need a category for “low wires only”!
I had a great time. I’ll be back next year to give it another try, but I doubt I’ll be able to improve upon the score from this year.
Thanks to the sponsors and all to all of the stations who were on the air in PA, especially W3ZR and all of the mobile and rover ops.
Pennsylvania QSO Party
1600Z, Oct 8 to 0500Z, Oct 9
1300Z-2200Z, Oct 9
Class: Single Op LP
QTH: Toronto OH EN90ql
Operating Time (hrs): 15
Band CW Qs Ph Qs RTTY Qs PSK31 Qs
80: 35 24
40: 115 144
Total: 152 168 0 0 Mults = 67 Total Score = 32,024
Club: Mad River Radio Club
Thanks to all of the PA stations — and an extra pat on the back for the mobiles
/ rovers. I had a lot of fun. I am claiming a sweep — we’ll see if that
pans out. That’s eight more counties than I got last year. Sullivan was hard
to come by. Thankfully W3ZR showed up on a frequency that I was about to QRL?
on. Of course I waited for him to CQ and nabbed him ASAP.
I was hoping to do some 160m CW, but dummy me forgot to verify the antenna
would tune. Shows you how much I play on 160m.
I bested last year’s score, but not by a whole lot. Most of the additional Qs
were Phone Qs. I wish I would have made more 80m Qs Saturday night, but it was
noisy as all get out and most people stayed on 40m really late.
Thanks to the sponsors as well.