AA8IA Amateur Radio

Archive for the ‘QSO Parties’ Category

Pennsylvania QSO Party 2011 Summary

one comment


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

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

Class: Single Op LP
QTH: Toronto OH EN90ql
Operating Time (hrs): 15

Summary:
Band CW Qs Ph Qs RTTY Qs PSK31 Qs
—————————————
160: 1
80: 35 24
40: 115 144
20: 1
15:
10:
6:
2:
—————————————
Total: 152 168 0 0 Mults = 67 Total Score = 32,024

Club: Mad River Radio Club

Comments:

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.

Written by Mike

October 11th, 2011 at 10:37 am

California QSO Party 2011 Summary

leave a comment


10-20m was a blast. 10/15 were open both days just great between OH and CA.
I probably spent too much time on those bands, but I couldn’t help myself. I
did better on 80m last year. Can’t tell if it was a noise problem or that
nobody was hanging out on 80m. I just know I barely heard a station, and the
few that I did hear had trouble copying me on 80m.

I did a lot more SSB this time around, which forced me to make some extra
contacts just to beat out my score from last year. When bands are good and
the radio is working right, it’s too easy to go to Phone and neglect CW. I
gotta remember that there is usually a point bonus for CW Qs.

I was down about 30 Qs from last year on 20m and but made up for them on 10m
this year.

I missed YOLO, SHAS, DELN and MERC. Last year I only missed two, and they
were SISK and GLEN.

K6AQL was sounding great from all the counties I worked him on 40-10m.

Thanks to the sponsors and all of the CA crowd for putting on an extremely fun
contest.

California QSO Party
1600Z, Oct 1 to 2200Z, Oct 2

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

Class: SOFixed LP
QTH: Toronto OH EN90ql
Operating Time (hrs): 11:42

Summary:
Band CW Qs Ph Qs
——————–
160:
80: 4
40: 57 27
20: 83 40
15: 65 47
10: 76 47
6:
2:
——————–
Total: 285 161 Mults = 54 Total Score = 63,558

Club: Mad River Radio Club

Written by Mike

October 3rd, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Texas QSO Party 2011 Summary

leave a comment


I initially planned to work a significant portion of the TxQP and then not do
anything else radio-related this weekend. But, after I started looking for
Texas stations at 1930z and found very few, I played a bit in CQWW RTTY.

Anyway, sorry i didn’t set aside more time to work the stations from Texas.
Hope you all had a great time.

Texas QSO Party
1400Z, Sep 24 to 0200Z, Sep 25
1400Z-2000Z, Sep 25

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

Class: SO CW LP
QTH: Toronto OH EN90ql
Operating Time (hrs): 0:16

Summary:
Band CW Qs Ph Qs Dig Qs
—————————-
160:
80:
40:
20: 8
15:
10:
6:
2:
UHF:
—————————-
Total: 8 0 0 Mults = 7 Total Score = 168

Club: Mad River Radio Club

Written by Mike

September 25th, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Posted in Contesting,QSO Parties

Tagged with , ,

Washington State Salmon Run 2011 Summary

leave a comment


Score includes 500 bonus for working W7DX. Thanks for the Qs. I tried to
work too many events this weekend.

Washington State Salmon Run
1600Z, Sep 17 to 0700Z, Sep 18
1600Z-2400Z, Sep 18

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

Class: SOMixed LP
QTH:
Operating Time (hrs):

Summary:
Band CW Qs Ph Qs Dig Qs
—————————-
160:
80:
40: 1 1
20: 35 10
15: 1
10:
6:
—————————-
Total: 37 11 0 Mults = 17 Total Score = 3,390

Club: Mad River Radio Club

Written by Mike

September 19th, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Arkansas QSO Party 2011 Summary

leave a comment


Score includes 200 bonus points for two Qs with AA5AR. Thanks for the Qs
folks. Wish I could have operated more. The mobiles on 20m were always very
strong. I wasn’t on long enough to joy most of the 40m activity.

Thanks to the sponsors, the fixed stations, and especially the mobiles covering
so many counties and doing it well. W3DYA was sending EMARI for MARI and it
through me off for a while!

Arkansas QSO Party
1300Z, Sep 10 to 0100Z, Sep 11

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

Class: Single Op LP
QTH: Toronto OH EN90ql
Operating Time (hrs): 1:16

Summary:
Band CW Qs Ph Qs
——————–
80:
40: 4 1
20: 11 6
15:
10:
2:
——————–
Total: 15 7 Mults = 15 Total Score = 955

Club: Mad River Radio Club

Written by Mike

September 11th, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Tennessee QSO Party 2011 Summary

leave a comment


Storms in the midwest/east made for some rough listening on 80m. There was a
lot of QRN on 40m, but the strong TN signals made it through fine. I shut
down for a storm cell and decided to take a break then, so I managed only 7 of
9 hours.

Chasing the mobiles was fun. I’d have chased more fixed stations if i had
heard them. Worked the following mobiles: w4nz(17), n4zz(14), w4sig(10),
ad8j(6), n4q(3), and w40qg(2).

Thanks to all of the TN stations who made themselves available to be worked,
and to the sponsors for putting on an exciting QSO party.

Tennessee QSO Party
1800Z, Sep 4 to 0300Z, Sep 5

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

Class: SO FixedMixed LP
QTH: Toronto OH EN90ql
Operating Time (hrs): 7

Summary:
Band CW Qs Ph Qs Dig Qs Mults
———————————–
160:
80: 22 19
40: 71 27 52
20: 14 9 20
15:
10:
6:
2:
222:
432:
———————————–
Total: 107 36 0 91 Total Score = 36,163

Club: Mad River Radio Club

Written by Mike

September 4th, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Colorado QSO Party 2011 Summary

leave a comment


I operated on and off all day. All was quiet in the house since family were
visiting other family out of county. 80m was extremely noisy here, and I had
to decrease power to 10w on 80m due to RF into the CAT control. Thanks to
W0IMD for pulling out my sig.

40m was also noisy this evening. It’s obvious to me that we’ll be getting some
storms just in time for the TnQP tomorrow. Sorry I didn’t work more of you.

20m was most productive and I worked quite a few mobiles.

Thanks to the Colorado stations for the good times, and to the sponsors for a
very enjoyable QP.

Colorado QSO Party
1200Z, Sep 3 to 0400Z, Sep 4

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

Class: SOMixed LP
QTH: Toronto OH EN90ql
Operating Time (hrs):

Summary:
Band CW Qs Ph Qs Dig Qs
—————————-
160:
80: 1
40: 17 4
20: 25 14
15: 1
10:
6:
2:
222:
432:
—————————-
Total: 44 18 0 CW Mults = 23 Ph Mults = 14 Dig Mults = 0 Total Score = 7,844

Club: Mad River Radio Club

Written by Mike

September 4th, 2011 at 12:35 am

TnQP and CoQP this weekend

leave a comment

The Tennessee QSO Party and Colorado QSO Party are both this weekend. Thankfully, they do not overlap at all. I’ll play for a while in the CoQP, and hopefully the thunderstorms will remain only a threat so that I can operate the full nine hours of the TnQP.

Colorado QSO Party 2011
1200Z, Sep 3 to 0400Z, Sep 4
Sat Sep 3 8AM – Midnight EDT
Website | Rules

Tennessee QSO Party 2011
1800Z, Sun Sep 4 to 0300Z, Mon Sep 5
Sun Sep 4 2PM – 11 PM EDT
Website | Rules

Everyone should consider jumping in amongst the fray and making some Qs!

Written by Mike

September 1st, 2011 at 11:20 am

Ohio QSO Party 2011 Summary

leave a comment


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
80/cw55160
80/ssb5539
40/cw11947
40/ssb1510
20/cw6239
20/ssb130
15/cw51

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

Summary:
Band CW Qs Ph Qs
——————–
80: 55 55
40: 119 151
20: 62 13
15: 5
10:
——————–
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 , , , ,

Ohio QSO Party 2011 — August 27th

leave a comment

The 2011 OhQP is this weekend, from 1600z Sat, Aug 27th to 0400z Sun, Aug 28th. For those of us in the Eastern Timezone, that’d be Saturday noon to midnight.

Full details can be found at the Ohio QSO Party website including the Rules, a HowTo, the submitted Planned Operations, and an area where you can submit your operation if you are a station operating from an Ohio county during the OhQP.

Oh — one more thing. The Ohio QSO Party does not do Facebook and does not do Twitter. The only official web presence for the Ohio QSO Party is http://www.ohqp.org . Don’t let the impersonator fool you.

Below is a semi up-to-date map of planned fixed, mobile and rover operations. However, this is but a small number of Ohio stations that will actually be on the air. Not all Ohio stations submit their planned operations to the OhQP website. This QSO party is one of the largest / most popular.

Note: Click on one of the counties to see what stations have submitted operating plans for that county. Different colors represent different #s of stations.


View Larger Map

Written by Mike

August 26th, 2011 at 4:39 pm