AA8IA Amateur Radio

Archive for the ‘QSO Parties’ Category

2011 AlQP — AA8IA SOLP Mixed — #1 Ohio, 2nd US

leave a comment

Checked the mail today, and lo and behold there was an envelope from Jim / KC4HW.

I opened up the envelope, and inside was a beautiful certificate for getting High Score – OH / 2nd Place US in the SOLP Mixed Category in the 2011 AlQP.

I’m a 44-year-old guy. I’ve accomplished a few things in life, although none of them have been in the realm of amateur radio. And, I wouldn’t consider this an accomplishment. However, I wasn’t that far behind WQ5L, the winner [1st Place] in the same category. It sure was nice to get the certificate — it actually means something to me.

It got me to thinking. I don’t look at it so much as a certificate of any sort of achievement. Instead, I look at it as the ACG guys saying “we appreciate that you thought enough of our QSO Party efforts that you put some time into helping make it worthwhile for all of us who put on event.”

The bottom line is that the ACG (Alabama Contest Group) puts on a great QSO Party, and they go through a great deal of trouble to say thanks to all of the people who participate by issuing Plaques, certificates, etc. What a great bunch of folks!

I can think of many many stations who, if they would have operated in the AlQP, could have totally wasted me. But they didn’t. Why not? They didn’t play in the game. It sure gives me some motivation to put the AlQP on my list of must-do QSO parties for 2012. Who knows… I could actually win in my category next year. I’ll definitely try harder. Even if I receiving nothing for my effort, I’m guaranteed to have a helluva lot of fun!

Written by Mike

August 26th, 2011 at 9:52 am

Maryland QSO Party 2011 Summary

leave a comment


I’m not even going to post my full summary. 5 Qs. I just didn’t hear many. One of the bonus stations was heard, but they apparently weren’t hearing me. There was a lot of QRN on 40m, which would have been a good band for this during specific time periods. I was not operational on 80m CW because I couldn’t manage to tune up there, and I actually didn’t even think to try out 80m since QRN was so bad on 40m.

Written by Mike

August 18th, 2011 at 12:40 am

Posted in Contesting,QSO Parties

Tagged with ,

Maryland/DC QSO Party 2011 Summary

leave a comment

Maryland/DC QSO Party
1600Z, Aug 13 to 0400Z, Aug 14, 2011
1600Z-2400Z, Aug 14, 2011

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

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

Summary:
Band CW Qs Ph Qs Dig Qs
—————————-
160:
80:
40: 1 4
20:
15:
10:
6:
2:
432:
—————————-
Total: 1 4 0 Mults = 5 Total Score = 160

Club: Mad River Radio Club

Written by Mike

August 15th, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Upcoming Operating Events

leave a comment

Below are some of the upcoming operating events I am interested in. For full details on any of these [and many others], check out the WA7BNM Contest Calendar

CWops Mini-CWT Test
1300Z-1400Z Wed, Aug 10
1900Z-2000Z Wed, Aug 10
0300Z-0400Z Thu, Aug 11

Hard for me to find time midweek for these short ones, but they sure are fun and help break up the monotony between the weekend tests.

WAE DX Contest, CW
0000Z Sat, Aug 13 to 2359Z Sun, Aug 14

Single-op stations can operate up to 36 hours, multi-op up to 48 hours. I forgot all about this one. I had a blast last year, but I struggled learning the whole QTC thing. I don’t think I’ll be any better off in that regard this year. The EU ops are brilliant, patient, and eager to take QTCs.

Maryland-DC QSO Party
1600Z Sat, Aug 13 to 0400Z Sun, Aug 14
1600Z-2400Z Sun, Aug 14

Two time periods. I want to make some Qs in this one since MD-DC is “just down the road” from me and they make contacts in the OhQP for us.

SARTG WW RTTY Contest
0000Z-0800Z Sat, Aug 20
1600Z-2400Z Sat, Aug 20
0800Z-1600Z Sun, Aug 21

This same weekend is the CW Ops Open inaugural and the NAQP SSB. I will have to sit out the SARTG WW this year.

CWOps CW Open
1200Z-1559Z Sat, Aug 20
2000Z-2359Z Sat, Aug 20
0400Z-0759Z Sun, Aug 21

I’m looking forward to this one. I’ve only operated once or twice in the mini tests, and they are great. I want to be there with bells on for this event.

Three separate four-hour tests. Work any or all three slots.

North American QSO Party, SSB
1800Z Sat, Aug 20 to 0600Z Sun, Aug 21

Single-op stations work 10 of 12 hours, Multi-op work all 12 hours.

SSB typically isn’t my game. Mediocre stations make poor SSB contesting stations. However, this is a domestic constest and is limited to 100w, so there will be lots of mediocre stations just like mine operating. I’ll play in this one.

Written by Mike

August 8th, 2011 at 1:13 am

Posted in Contesting,QSO Parties

Tagged with , , , , , , , , ,

West Virginia QSO Party 2011 Summary

leave a comment


My back still hasn’t recuperated from all of the time spent in the chair for the June VHF QP and CQ WPX CW. I couldn’t manage to sit in the chair for any length of time. Also, something is wrong with the 80m doublet. It’s hearing worse on 80m than the 40m wire, and I was having difficulty tuning every band. I did a quick investigation and didn’t see anything wrong, but obviously something is broken — either at the feedpoint or in the ladderline.

West Virginia QSO Party
June 18, 2011

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

Class: Single OpMixed LP
QTH: Ohio-EN90QL
Operating Time (hrs): 1:52

Summary:
Band CW Qs Ph Qs Dig Qs
—————————-
80:
40: 6 11
20: 3 3
15:
10:
—————————-
Total: 9 14 0 Mults = 13 Total Score = 742

Club: Mad River Radio Club

Comments:

Score includes 300 points for working W8WVA three times. I only worked W8OP/m twice, and even worse was the fact that I only worked K8RYU/m once.

The June VHF QSO Party and CQ WPX CW required so much sitting time for me that I’m still trying to get my sciatica under control. I just couldn’t sit for hours searching out the random WV station or wait for mobiles to switch counties. I knew better and didn’t even try.

As you can guess from the 80m total, I must not have been operating in the evening. My heart wasn’t in it by that point. My 80m doublet was hearing less than my 40m wire on 80m. I was having trouble tuning every band on the 80m wire. I lowered the mast and looked over things briefly, and I didn’t see any broken wires. But somehow I had to have lost a connection / broken a leg of the wire. So 80m wouldn’t have been possible anyway.

This is only my second time working this QSO Party, and it was nice to see / hear a lot of fixed stations on. My score doesn’t reflect contact with a lot of fixed stations, but I’m quite sure many more counties were covered than I had heard.

W8OP and K8RYU sounded great on 40m when I worked them. I was really surprised that I was able to hear so many WV stations on 20m in early-mid afternoon.

The operating time is misleading. Like some others, I did tune around periodically on the bands looking for stations.

Thanks to all of the WV ops and the mobile ops for putting on a nice QP.

Written by Mike

June 19th, 2011 at 3:55 pm

West Virginia QSO Party Jun 18, 1600z to Jun 19, 0200z

leave a comment

The WVQP is happening this weekend.

I plan on jumping on.

Written by Mike

June 18th, 2011 at 11:39 am

ARRL VHF QSO Party 2011 Summary

leave a comment

ARRL Diamond Logo
Equipment used this year included the Yaesu FT-950 for 6m and the Yaesu FT-100 for 2m/440; a Par Electronics Stressed Moxon for 6m and a Diamond X300 dual-band vertical for 2m/440. I didn’t really plan nor expect any activity on 2m given that I was running a vertical and there wasn’t a whole lot of local activity. As it turns out, an additional factor in low VHF activity was the fact that 6m was open somewhere all weekend. I don’t remember what it was like last year, but I’m guessing conditions were better this year on 6m. Anyway, it’s obvious by the contest scores of others that a large majority played on 6m for the whole contest period.

I am never any good at recapping what happened during the contest. My mind is a blur after it’s all over. Notable was a nice West Coast opening, PJ2/K8LEE and T48K, and Florida/Texas very strong, all on Saturday evening. The better band conditions along with the Moxon this year (instead of a 40m wire) made for much more fun. Of course, I had to make about 30 trips out to the mast to turn it during the contest. After 6m died down Saturday night I swapped out the Moxon for the Diamond vertical and attempted to find something on 2m/440. I managed a few EN90/FN00 contacts as well as K2LIM on 2m. Heard nothing on 440, but I didn’t expect to and didn’t even try.

Sunday morning I turned the Moxon to FM/FN grids and got and handful or two of grids/contacts. It was great to manage a few contacts in that direction — as it turns out, some of my fellow MRRCers up north weren’t as fortunate into FM/FN. There was a lesser opening to the West Coast on Sunday — Seemed to be a much narrower section of stations available out West. Activity from the south was very poor compared to Saturday. The Heartland of America was out in force on Sunday though. I bet if you look at some of the scores from W0 you’ll see some really nice QSO counts.

Managed to work some locals / some MRRC guys, such as K8MR, N8VV, K1LT , K8MFO, and K8WFN. Worked quite a few other Ohio and MI stations that I had never heard from before this contest.

Had a lot of fun, but I’ll never bother with 2m/440 in a contest again until I have some directional gain antennas up and a rotator.

ARRL June VHF QSO Party
June 11-12, 2011

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

Class: Single Op LP
QTH: EN90QL East ohio
Operating Time (hrs): 13:16

Summary:
Band QSOs Mults
——————-
6: 172 91
2: 4 3
222:
432:
903:
1.2:
2.3:
3.4:
5.7:
10G:
24G:
——————-
Total: 176 94 Total Score = 16,544

Club: Mad River Radio Club

Written by Mike

June 13th, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Posted in Contesting,QSO Parties

Tagged with , , , , ,

Alabama QSO Party 2011 Summary

leave a comment

Alabama QSO Party
June 4, 2011

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

Class: SOMixed LP
QTH: Ohio
Operating Time (hrs): 7:19

Summary:
Band CW Qs Ph Qs
——————–
160: 0 0
80: 9 0
40: 63 8
20: 27 7
15: 4 1
10: 1 0
——————–
Total: 104 16 CW Mults = 48 Ph Mults = 9 Total Score = 12,768

Club: Mad River Radio Club

Written by Mike

June 13th, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Posted in Contesting,QSO Parties

Tagged with , , ,

7QP 2011

leave a comment


The 7QP is over. I only managed to put about 5.5 out of 20 hours. I really enjoy working this particular QSO Party. Many of the folks in this QP are ones I work all year in RTTY and other contests. I always look forward to working 7land.

I had planned on working all Saturday afternoon/evening, but some friends came over to help me evaluate installing a proper ground system and putting a tower up. Of course there was a lot of BSing as well. When all was said and done, my sciatic nerve was killing me. Way too much pain down the back of my legs and in my lower back. I had to take a Vicodin and sleep for a few hours.

In the end I worked a handful of stations on 4 bands and quite a few on 3 bands. Total Q count was only 150, with about 53 mults. Wish I would have been active more, maybe knocking out some more mults.

Some say that the 7QP would really benefit from more mobile activity. There’s no doubt that there are a lot of counties unaccounted for during the typical 7QP. On the other hand, it was a welcome change not having to follow the same mobiles all over the states just to get that mult. I’d rather work 100 stations once than work 5 stations 20 times, regardless of mult.

Aside from the short participation period, I had a great time. Thanks to all of the 7QP ops and the sponsors for a great QP!

7th Call Area QSO Party

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

Class: SOMixed LP
QTH: Ohio
Operating Time (hrs): 5:30

Summary:
Band CW Qs Ph Qs Dig Qs
—————————-
160:
80: 15
40: 30 4
20: 36 17
15: 35 13
10:
6:
2:
—————————-
Total: 116 34 0 Mults = 53 Total Score = 22,048

Written by Mike

May 8th, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Posted in Contesting,QSO Parties

Tagged with , , ,

New York QSO Party 2010 (NyQP) – Summary

leave a comment

My Results:

New York QSO Party

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

Class: SOMixed LP
QTH: Toronto OH
Operating Time (hrs): 1.1

Summary:
Band CW Qs Ph Qs Dig Qs
—————————-
160:
80: 21 7
40: 1
20:
15:
10:
6:
2:
222:
432:
—————————-
Total: 22 7 9 Mults = 19 Total Score = 969

Club: Mad River Radio Club

Comments:

Spent too much time in working JARTS RTTY. By the time I got around to
thinking about NY, it was almost over [and I didn’t realize it]. I had high
hopes of putting some time in on 80/40. I’m disappointed in myself — from
other submitted scores it looks like there was a lot of activity that I missed.
I need to make a note for next year to prioritize this one.

Thanks for the Qs!

Written by Mike

October 17th, 2010 at 3:10 pm