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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

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Ohio QSO Party 2010 – Summary


(subliminal message – If you operated the OhQP this year, and especially if you were an Ohio station, please upload your logs to Logbook of the World (LOTW) and eQSL. Many people worked this contest in the hopes of getting a rare Ohio county confirmation. Do your part and upload your logs. It’s not difficult. If you want to know more about LOTW and eQSL, click on the link at the top of this page)

I put a tremendous amount of thought into OhQP 2010 operations from my home this year. That’s not to say that I put enough effort into optimizing my antenna system. I did not. However, I did manage to at least get the 80m dipole up in inverted-V fashion. It sure is a good thing, because I actually made more Qs on 80m than anywhere else.

80m was rocking, both on CW and SSB. Unfortunate for me is the fact that I didn’t take into account how important SSB operations would be if i wanted to reach as many stations as possible. My 80m Vee tuned fine on CW but would not tune on SSB. I could not resist the temptation to operate [at reduced power levels] on 80m SSB even though I couldn’t come anywhere close to tuning the SSB portion. I made quite a few 80m SSB Qs, all things considered. But, next year I will be sure to have an antenna that easily tunes on 80m CW and SSB. Even with my situation on 80m SSB, stations seemed to copy me without a problem.

40m was a bust band for me. Apparently I didn’t know when the right time was to get on 40m. I made some 40m CW QSOs, but I didn’t make any 40m SSB Qs. And I see that a lot of other Ohio stations made significantly higher numbers of Qs on 40m. So I was definitely doing something wrong there. There were RTTY contests going on, and 40m CW was a hard place to operate. I heard some CW mixed in with the RTTY, but in the cases where I did I tried to avoid making a contact. I wanted to be friendly to the RTTY contesting guys. Too bad there was a RTTY contest on the same day as the OhQP though. This did affect things.

20m was alright. On only operated CW on 20m. Not sure why I didn’t bother to seek out SSB contacts.

I made 1 QSO on 15m. 15m/10m were pretty much deader than a doornail.

  1. There were a ton of Ohio stations on the air. Kenny [K2KW] did an excellent job with PR for this event.
  2. Weather was beautiful in all of Ohio for the contest
  3. QRN was at a minimum [at least for me] in Ohio

    I did a lot of CQing. It was effective. The problem is that I obviously didn’t know when to quit. Well, I knew there were many times when I should quit, but I didn’t. At those times I either should have checked other bands or SSB, or I should have QSY’d to a fresh frequency. Failing to adjust when rates were really low was a fatal flaw for me.

    Another fatal flaw of mine was that I didn’t choose the right band for the right time in order to maximize my Qs on all the workable bands.

    I also failed to look for the mobiles until the very end. This meant that I didn’t get a chance to work any of the mobiles/rovers when they were moving around East Ohio. The exception is K8RYU — Ralph did a fantastic job and I was able to work 3 counties on 80m with him. The mobile ops are all fantastic. They can copy fast/slow, without the need for repeats. In the end I was able to pick up a couple of county mults from the mobiles. If I had been on the ball, I’d probably have been able to snag K8MR and KC8YJJ on one or more bands/modes while they were in BELM / CARR / HARR / COLU / TUSC.

    Lastly, I failed to think ahead regarding the significant amount of SSB activity that would be occurring. This is probably because I usually run CW-only and because I usually have a piss poor setup for SSB. As it turns out though, low power aside, I actually have a good SSB setup now. I definitely need to get the 80m Vee to work on 80m SSB.

    In the end, I’m a bit disappointed with myself. Failure to pay attention caused me to not get any Qs for most of Eastern Ohio. I heard COSH and TUSC, but they weren’t CQing when I heard them and I never managed to catch up with them when they were CQing. Not even sure if they did CQ.

    I had a great time this year. I’m sure it is my best ever OhQP score. But even before the contest was over I new I made too many fatal mistakes and that had I given proper forethought to things I could have increased my score a bit and gotten the close counties. I also know there were some errors in my logs. I guarantine it won’t be a prisitine log, which is going to hurt my score.

    I saw the 3830 reports of quite a few out-of-state stations that did a phenomenal job, including working various OH mobiles 10-15 times.

    Thanks to all of the Ohio and out-of-state stations that worked me.

    My Results

    Ohio QSO Party

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

    Class: Single Op LP
    QTH: Toronto OH
    Operating Time (hrs): 12

    Band CW Qs Ph Qs
    80: 160 39
    40: 47 0
    20: 39 0
    15: 1 0
    10: 0 0
    Total: 247 39 CW Mults = 86 Ph Mults = 32 Total Score = 62,894

    What counties I did not work: ALLE , ASHT , BELM , BROW , CARR , COSH , DEFI , GREE , HARD , HARR , HIGH , HOCK , JACK , LAWR , MAHO , MARI , MIAM , MONR , MORG , MUSK , NOBL , PAUL , PERR , PIKE , PORT , STAR , TUSC , WYAN . 28 counties not worked! What the hell? Now, think about how many of those had mobile operations that I missed. I heard a station in BELM (probably mobile) but they were gone before I had a chance to throw out my call and find out their call. I heard [but did not work] COSH and MUSK.

    K9TM reports having not worked 8 counties. And out of those 8 counties he did not work, I worked 3 of them and heard 2 of them. That means that at the very least, there were operations in 85 of the 88 counties. So I missed at least 25 counties that I could have worked but didn’t.

    I worked 35 or 36 states. K9TM worked 47 states. So I wasn’t too far off. I didn’t do much on 40m or 20m. Had I put in more effort on CW/SSB on those bands, I probably could have picked up a few more states.

    I worked a few DX stations including IK2, G3, four DLs, HP9, OK2, and SP5.

    To sum it all up, I should have worked more 40m CW and I should have worked 40m SSB and 80m SSB. I should have made sure the Vee tuned on 80m SSB before the contest started and should have rectified that problem if it didn’t. I should have paid attention to the mobile routes / timelines so as to be able to catch some more mobiles in the “rare” counties.

Written by Mike

August 30th, 2010 at 10:21 am

Ohio QSO Party 2010

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The Ohio QSO Party (OHQP) is the last Saturday in August — this year Aug 28th and 29th. That’s less than two weeks away! Take this remaining time to check your antennas and other gear, and be sure to participate! The OHQP is one of the premier QSO Parties, with a lot of activity. Hopefully all 88 counties will be active during this event.

If you’re looking for a confirmation for a specific Ohio county, this is the best time to get on the air.

Details: Ohio QSO Party Website – sponsored by the Mad River Radio Club

  • 1600z, Aug 28 to 0400z, Aug 29 (12 PM Eastern, Saturday to Midnight)
  • 80m – 10m (no WARC bands)
  • SSB and CW

NOTE: http://www.ohqp.org is the official website for the Ohio QSO Party. There is no other valid website for the OHQP, regardless of what your favorite search engine tells you. The OHQP is not on Twitter, not on Facebook, and not on Myspace. The only place to find the Ohio QSO Party is at http://www.ohqp.org

Written by Mike

August 19th, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Posted in Contesting,QSO Parties

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