AA8IA Amateur Radio

Ohio QSO Party 2011 Summary

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I had originally planned to operate using the N8W 1×1 callsign. However, prior to the start of the OhQP I was working the KsQP and had forgotten to change my station info in N1MM back to N8W. It wasn’t until I had made a handful of QSOs as AA8IA that I realized I didn’t make the change to N8W. So, I simply operated as AA8IA in the OhQP.

Different this year was the switch from the 105′ doublet to an Alpha Delta DX-LB+. I did this figuring that there would be a better pattern on 10/15/20m with the LB+ vs the doublet. Of course, I didn’t anticipate making many Qs on 10-20m during the OhQP since historically the bands of choice are 40/80m. 10-20m has been fairly pisspoor as of late anyway. I did manage a few Qs on 15m and about six dozen or so on 20m.

Last year, 80m was equal if not better than 40m, even with me not having access to 75m last year. Totally different this year. 40m never seemed to go long like it did last year. So I made many more Qs on 40m this year. The LB+ allows me to work nearly all of 40m without a tuner. I also got a Ameritron ATR-20 this year, which allowed me to tune anywhere I needed to go on any band. Initially I had problems on 40m with RF getting into my CAT/CW interface. Relocating the interface and snapping on some ferrite stopped the problem… this time.

As mentioned above, 80m just didn’t have the activity. There didn’t seem to be a lot of stations on 80m. Then again, upon looking over the scores of some other Ohio stations there was definitely more to be worked on 80m. I apparently didn’t show up on 80m at the right times. I had problems initially on 80m SSB (75m) with RF getting into the audio. KW8N brought it to my attention while I was making my first 80m Q. The only thing I could do to get rid of it was swap out my Heil ProSet + Hand Switch with the stock microphone and my Sennheiser headphones. Once I did that, 80m SSB was fine.

For reasons I won’t go into, I can’t use a footswitch. A handswitch is a pain in the rear end for keying the mic, and using the stock mic is even more of a pain. But it was a lot of fun, and a challenge, to continuously swap between the keyboard for logging and the microphone.

I’ve never worked so much SSB in a contest. It was a welcome change, aside from the points disadvantage. [In the OhQP you get more points for CW contacts.] It was nice to actually match voice to some of the people I’m used to working on CW/RTTY. I am longwinded. In a QSO Party especially, I don’t like to be a standoff. I try to be polite, and I try to repeat things an annunciate well enough so that the other guy [or gal] is less likely to need a repeat. I want the people participating to feel welcomed. After all, not only are the ops from other states our guests, but many of the in-state stations are not contesters but jump on an operate because it is Ohio’s own QSO Party.

As far as score goes, it went very well. Below is a comparison between this year and last year.

band/modeOhQP 2011OhQP 2010

The 80m CW total was down 66% this year, and the 80m band total was down 57%. The 40m CW total was up 153% this year, and the 40m band total was up 474%. The 20m CW total was up 58% this year, and the 20m band total was up 92%. The 15m total was exactly the same. The overall CW total was about the same this year, while the overall SSB total was up 461%.

Bottom line is that I made about twice the number of CW QSOs as last year and nearly doubled my QSO total by operating much more SSB.

It was great to work more DX this year. DL2HBX, OM2VL, and perhaps another 10 or so DX stations gave me a call on various bands/modes. Although DX do not count as multiplier, I’d really like to work even more next year.

Thanks to many… Kenny, K2KW, for again spearheading the promotion of the OhQP; the Ohio stations, who really stepped up to the plate to put counties on the air; the abundance of out-of-state participation — ya gotta have that!; the DX stations who joined us for the party, and the half dozen or so mobiles, aero-mobiles, and rovers for traveling far and wide [in some cases, from outside Ohio] to make counties available.

Oh yeah — Thanks to the guys who were spotting us Ohio stations, especially K5KG — a sudden influx of stations answering one’s CQ is a great pick-me-up.

Ohio QSO Party
1600Z, Aug 27 to 0400Z, Aug 28

Call: AA8IA
Operator(s): AA8IA
Station: AA8IA

Class: Single Op LP
QTH: Jefferson Co
Operating Time (hrs): 12

Band CW Qs Ph Qs
80: 55 55
40: 119 151
20: 62 13
15: 5
Total: 241 219 CW Mults = 79 Ph Mults = 91 Total Score = 119,170

Written by Mike

August 31st, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Posted in Contesting,QSO Parties

Tagged with , , , ,

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