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Michigan QSO Party   2012   Apr 21   Comment Summary

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Click on a call below to see the score rumor detail. Click on the [email] link to send an e-mail to the contester who posted the comment.

 
N2ZN   Single Op LP   4,4722012-04-21 20:55:57
Operated a bit in the afternoon and then at the very end. Thanks to the
sponsors for their work in keeping the contest running.

73, Ken
 
W1UJ   Single Op LP   3,3602012-04-21 21:05:41
Band QSOs Pts Sec
3.5 22 44 8
7 27 54 17
14 7 14 5
Total 56 112 30
Score: 3,360
 
K8MM   M/S LP   38,7722012-04-21 21:12:29
I got on for the last few hours of the contest from my home station after
activating TUSCOLA county using K8MAD. I made about the same amount of q's from
each place.

Thanks to every for participating.

73,
Ian - K8MM
 
N9NE   Single Op LP   15,9602012-04-21 21:35:22
Main object was to follow mobiles. Interrupted by lawn work and a 'little nap'.
Conditions seemed decent, and mobiles were often as strong as fixed stations.
Mobiles worked (my apologies if I missed you!): W1NN and K8MR =14 counties;
K8IR = 12; NE9U = 9, and W8CAR = 6. I would have made the mobile trek to
western UP counties except for fatigue after having just recovered from a long
bout of bronchitis. Next year! This is a fun contest ... thanks to all.

Almost forgot: K8MR can hear anything, but one time I called him, he could not
get my number until I repeated it about 4 times. A quick look at the K2 showed
that I had turned the power down to 100 mW!
 
K8MAD(K8MM)   Single Op LP   35,2982012-04-21 21:47:45
When I saw that TUSCOLA county didn't have any planned operations listed as of
Friday afternoon, I decided to make a quick run up there to activate it. I knew
of a small roadside park that I could operate from and I got there about 45
minutes into the contest. After stringing up a G5RV and many weird look from
non-hams, I ran the coax into the car and got on the air. I was having a bit of
a problem with RF locking up the keyer on 20 but they went away when I backed
down the power to 50W. I only stayed there for a little but and then made my
way down to 40M. Forty was in the finest shape its been in for many years for
the covering the entire state. Locals, mobiles and guys way up in the U.P. were
S9 plus! Lots of guys were glad to get the TUSC mult and they said I was the
only one they heard from there. I operated for 4 hours then packed up and came
home to operate my station.

Thanks to everyone for the q's.

73,
Ian - K8MAD/K8MM
 
N4PN   Single Op HP   62,4842012-04-21 22:24:52
Thanks to the sponsor and all who showed up....it was a fun 12
hours...
K8MQP w/6 Q's and K8XXX w/7 Q's led the way among the fixed stns.
The mobiles, Jim, K8MR w/30 Q's, followed by Hal, W1NN w/23 Q's
and NE9U w/15, K8IR w/9...lots with 2 and 3 contacts...tks to all.

Also, nice to find my ole pal, George, W8UVZ near the end on Sunday
in CALHoun for a new one on CW and SSB. Had turned off the amp to
close down and ran across KG8JK in EMME for a new one on 80 CW at
the very end...0359!!

My score betters last years by lil over 4k...

Thanks again and see ya next year!

73, Paul, N4PN
 
K6JSS(N8XX)   Single Op QRP   44,0022012-04-21 23:49:04
Was there a Solar Flare or something local? I did 3 Q's in the first hour.
Thought my new antenna was shorted or something. Was hearing "fairly well" but
no one was hearing me. But, numbers for the stations I worked after about 1800Z
seemed that others were working more stations. I did fiddle with the antennna a
bit - maybe there was some corrosion on the feedline.

Anyway, things picked up - and being in a fairly "rare" county helped - got
several "Thanks for new multiplier."

Decided to operate from within my Ford Van - temperature was near freezing at
the when I arrived at the site. Worked out fine!

Thanks to the mobiles for a bunch of extra multipliers! Missed N1MM when he
was going through MCLM, but I was working new multipliers on 75 Phone! Most
every station was a new multiplier for quite a string.

Thanks to the organizes of this FB event!
 
K1TN   Single Op LP   19,1732012-04-22 01:42:47
Always nice to have such great CW mobile ops. K8MR and W1NN sure get around.
K8IR and NE9U both had great ears too (both were very weak here, probably too
close in).

I used the day to break in a new radio. I downsized (down-dollared) from an
Elecraft K3 to a Kenwood TS590S. I had used the K3 for nearly three years. Make
no mistake, the Kenwood is no K3 but it's a respectable radio, especially since
the price has come down a little since its introduction.

I don't like SSB operating, not a bit, but I wanted to see if the new radio
worked on 'phone, so I gritted my teeth for 61 Qs. I didn't like how the radio
sounded on SSB (receive) and it's sure not as easy to find good settings as on
the K3. I did get compliments on the TX audio though (with Heil boomset and
contest element).

Almost nobody I worked on SSB knew how to work a phone contest. I may be mired
in the CW Age but I know how to work phone efficiently. I wanted to lecture
them but didn't. I used to point out errors in restaurant menus, too, but
nobody appreciated my "help."

The 590S QSK is not as smooth as the K3. The auto antenna tuner doesn't have
nearly the range (and isn't as smooth). The front panel labels are hard for me
to see. And so on. But I can probably live with it.

I'll save the rest for an eHam review.

I did find a good home for my K3 and when you hear it in upcoming contests it
will be a LOT louder than it ever was from here at The Superstation.

I sold my little ALS-600 amp, too. With nothing but a low dipole here the extra
power helped in some contests at some times. But it just seemed I had an awful
lot invested in equipment while having such a crummy antenna, and no chance
I'll ever put up "real" antennas here.

One event got me thinking about downsizing. In the ARRL DX CW back in February
I stumbled on E21EIC CQing with a good signal high in the band on 20. I
immediately called him and I was the only one calling (one of the advantages of
QSK). He CQed three or four times in my face and I couldn't believe it! Then he
just disappeared. This happens to me all time on BY stations, too (for
example). I just decided that without (at least) a small tribander what's the
point?

Jim Cain
At the Downsized K1TN Superstation
In Wisconsin
 
NA4K   Single Op LP   3,7602012-04-22 04:26:50
Steve NA4K
 
KT8K   Single Op QRP   24,8042012-04-22 05:52:55
Pretty good participation when I was on. Condx were so-so and 40m was my
"money" band, as usual. Had four runs (a personal best in any contest, I
think) accounting for 2/3 of my Q's. I felt like a Big Gun (even without a big
tower
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNWZjzrzgwA&list=UUQfgI_rRySnBLgLlm2scwAA&index=7&feature=plpp_video).
Thanks to everyone - can't wait to get back to a full-tilt operation next
year!
72/73 & best rx to all - Tim, KT8K
 
W7KAM   Single Op LP   2,1602012-04-22 06:37:44
40 meters was the place to be.
 
KO7X   Single Op HP   26,7322012-04-22 06:40:03
As always a big thank you to the mobile stations. Never heard anyone on 15 or 10
although I didn't listen up there very much. I heard N7MZW calling CQ Michigan
on 20 - he was the only other Wyoming station that I heard.
 
WO1N   Single Op LP   1,0122012-04-22 07:58:34
Station: FT1000D, N1MM, DX-LB@45', C3-SS @38'

A few Q's with my 8 year old nephew by my side. Some potential here as he was
gettign wrapped up in the "competition". Looking for local N1IW/8 but never
found him. Oh well, looks like the 'IW challenge is not in the cards this
year....

Ken
WO1N
 
N2CU   Single Op LP   14,9762012-04-22 08:32:50
Spent a little time operating on a dreary day in WNY. In between honey-do's and
a Buffalo Bandits lacrosse game. This is a two-band contest from this close in.
Some ESP signals heard on 20m but no chance of making it through.

K3 @ 100w.
40m sloper
80m half-sloper
N1MM
GHE Radio Boss

73,
Tom N2CU <><
K3 #3582
 
K8IR/M   Mobile Multi-Op LP   89,4602012-04-22 08:33:18
A nice day to drive around Michigan, but apparently not the best day to play
radio in the car. We started in the Northern Lower Peninsula, and spent the
last 5 hours heading home across the U.P. It started out slow for us and got
worse as the afternoon went on. As usual, things came around after dark, and
the noise on 80 was better than some years. Thanks to my drivers, Eric, KG9GH
and Chris, N9JUD, who did such a great job we were able to add two extra
counties to the end of the route. 21 counties was the most we've ever done in
MIQP. Thanks to all who called in along the way.

Jim
K8IR
 
K9NW   Single Op LP   6,1202012-04-22 10:17:42
I was finally able to get to the radio for the last four hours or so. 40 seemed
to tank right around 0330z, otherwise FB signals from all stations up til then.

Thanks for the QSOs!


73, Mike K9NW
 
K4AMA   Single Op LP   1602012-04-22 10:29:12
Thanks for the Q's
73, Tony K4AMA
 
N5NA   M/S HP   12,3222012-04-22 11:02:59
This is a single band contest here in WTX until the evening when can work MI on
40m and later 80m.

Thanks to the mobiles for the QSO's - K8MR(19), W1NN(11), NE9U(9), K8IR(8), and
W8CAR(6).

Worked K8XXX on 4 bands. He was LOUD!
 
W8CAR   Mobile Solo Op LP   79,0002012-04-22 11:30:04
lots of fun!
 
NØIJ   Single Op LP   10,9022012-04-22 11:39:41
Pressing family issue kept me from going to my lake contest station, so
converted by one home antenna, F12 40XK back to 40 and did a low power single
band part time effort. With only fair antenna and LP, it's amazing how much
less active the contest feels. 1/3 of all contacts were with the 5 excellent
mobile stations. Had a hard time getting lots of the SSB stations, but somehow
everytime I heard K8MR he got me and we ended doing it up 15 times! Everytime I
heard the other Jim, K8IR, he sounded like he was portable UA9--a definite artic
sound--still made it 5 times. The lower MI guys all sounded pretty normal.
Lots of fun, but hopefully next year I'll be back to a serious entry from my WI
station.
John, N0IJ
Duluth
 
KN4Y   Single Op LP   1,9202012-04-22 11:49:28
Did not hear many CW mobiles, signals were good. Part time effort after a
meeting.
 
W1END   Single Op LP   2,9922012-04-22 13:05:41
Conditions to Michigan from here were strange or maybe I should say normal.
Thanks to all.

Eldon - W1END
 
OM2VL(@OM8A)   Single Op HP   34,4962012-04-22 13:08:02
Thanks for the FB QSO Party again. Not so good condx like last weekend during
the GA QP. Made a little bit less QSO than last year, but more multis. Final
score same as in 2011. On 15m was good condx, but only few station from MI. On
80m HRD few stations, bat was very week - only 3 contact... last weekend during
the GA QP made 27! QSO on 80m.

Many times I runing my CQ on SSB for multipliers, but must also check the
rovers frq. I think my score will be higher, if I focused only for stations
from MI ....
BUT! At the beginning of the QP I HRD K7RE/M from SD.... I need many counties
from SD, so I began check the frq of stations from SD and made over 40 QSO with
SD stations.


TOP rovers:

K8MR/M 36/16 (QSO/CTY)
K8IR/M 26/12
W1NN/8 20/10
NE9U/M 16/11
W8CAR/M 7/5
W8ZZ/M 6/3

missed counties: ALCO, ALLE, ALPE, BRAN, CHIP, ISAB, KEWE, KZOO, OSCO, OTTA,
ROSC, SANI, SHIA, STJO, TUSC, VANB.

Thanks for the nice contact! 73 Laci OM2VL
 
KD8GOX   Single Op HP   24,8642012-04-22 13:22:42
Decided to use the amplifier(500W-Heathkit SB200)this time. I jokingly thought,
maybe I can blow up the amp and get a new one. Let's just say the amp worked
better than the operator. At 6 hours I was making mistakes like I should have
been at 11 hours. This was my first QSO party where I tried to run CW. Only
20 wpm but that was a nice speed for me. Thanks for slowing down everyone.
Worked more DX stations this year than normal and not very many Ontario
stations. Thanks for everyone's effort, organizers and participants alike.
73 Karl
 
WØPAN   Single Op LP   1042012-04-22 14:37:05
Working the MI stations off the back of their beams is tough for us out west!
 
K4BAI   Single Op HP   7,3502012-04-22 18:41:34
FT1000MP, Alpha 78, 1 KW, TH6DXX, dipole, inverted vee. Thanks for all QSOs.
Time was limited this year. Congrats to N4PN for a great score. Mobiles
especially did a fine job as usual. Next week KU8E and I will be QRV in FL QP
as W4AN/M. 73, John, K4BAI.
 
VE5KS   Single Op LP   13,7602012-04-22 20:07:30
Great contest, enjoyed it very much. Many thanks to all the mobiles, you allowed
me to work many counties that I never would have worked at all.
 
NA8V   Single Op LP   106,3862012-04-23 07:26:54
A great contest! Hats off to the mobiles, they did a great job although are
often hard to work for me - the combination of the short skip and my 40m
vertical don't do so well.

Couldn't get much going on 20, that was a surprise. Condx on 40 and 80 were
quite good, not much qrn. Had bad line noise on 40m during the day, that hurt,
especially with the mobiles. It went away when the sun went down.

Great activity, both in and out of state.

greg/na8v
 
KV8Q   Single Op LP   27,3602012-04-23 09:30:02
This was the first time that I had the chance to operate this event. I had a
ton of fun. Lots of activity to keep things moving. I did grab a couple of SD
QSO's along the way. Found lots of fixed stations in addition to the mobiles
running around the state. Special thanks to the mobiles. Here are the
QSOs/counties that got in my log from them:
K8MR 24/23
K8IR 18/13
W1NN 18/15
W8CAR 12/11
NE9U 11/11
NF8M 6/6
Hope to have the chance to see you all again next year.
73
tom KV8Q ar
 
KJ4LTA   Single Op LP   1,3922012-04-23 09:34:50
Had a good time, bands did not cooperate on 10 and 15 again
 
VY2LI   Single Op HP   302012-04-23 10:18:02
A few mults from VY2.73,Bill
 
WØBH   Single Op HP   57,8502012-04-23 21:49:46
Pretty good conditions into MI from Kansas this weekend, and plenty of action. I
put over 50 Qs into the log from SD and ON which cut down on my MIQP time as
well, but it's hard to pass up mobiles no matter where they are! I was also
pleased to see a tornado-free Saturday, unlike a week ago.

The counties I missed and never heard were ALLE ALPE BENZ CASS CHAR KEWE OCEA
OTTA SHIA STJO. I heard W8ZZ say he was going to OCEA, but never heard him
again after that. Overall, I worked 92 unique calls.

K8XXX was everywhere. We worked 6 times to top my non-mobile list. A FB group
of mobiles for sure .. thanks for being out there!

35 K8MR/m 30 W1NN/m 28 NE9U/m 20 K8IR/m 19 W8CAR/m 03 W8ZZ/m

Running the northern part of the state, NE9U/m was almost always the loudest
into Kansas. If the QSO party rules count mults by mode, then it is GREATLY
appreciated when the mobiles are willing to QSY to SSB at a moment's notice. We
all got lots of practice, but K8MR/m takes the prize for the quickest changes. I
also heard mobiles going to 15m, but could never hear them from Kansas.

Congrats to N4PN/Paul on a nice score, and congrats to the MIQP sponsors and
participants for putting on another fine event. See you all next year, perhaps
from MI!

73, Bob, w0bh
 
W8CUB(WB2REI)   Single Op QRP   34,6622012-04-24 18:42:30
Decided to run QRP with the new to me K2. Impressive little rig. Have not run a
QRP contest since FD 1984! Great time and quite challenging compared to the
last 2 years QRO. I still want to get to KEWE someday for the contest. 73 all
and thanks for the Q's and the patience as I also used a new logging program.
See you all next year.
 
NE9U   Mobile Multi-Op LP   85,4842012-04-24 19:00:22
We had some computer noise issues in WQP that I thought we had squared away.
However when we began the contest near Iron Mountain, I had s7 hash. N9NE said
I was 579 and I couldn't hear him calling. Yikes!
Unfortunately I hadn't brought along any torroids, but we took 20 minutes or so
and switched in and out the various torroids i already had on existing cables.
I **Think** i got the noise down to s3 or so....not the best but it allowed us
to proceed. Sorry to anyone i was an alligator to!

Friday night before the contest N9BCA (my driver for 20+ years!) and I drove
up to my Michigan border cabin. We were joined by Jim WI9WI who also was going
to run some counties Saturday. We all had a nice northern Wisconsin Walleye
Fish Fry.

Unfortunately for Jim, he didn't feel well Saturday morning and ended up having
to drive back home instead of doing the contest.

Other than the noise issues, me and Art had another fun time driving around the
UP. Our route back west takes us along the length of Lake Superior and through
many miles of National Forest. Truly a beautiful route.

Each year me and Art threaten ourselves to drive down through Chicago and run
the contest from the SE corner of Michigan back up around into the UP so we can
do more than our handful of 14 BIG counties. Then we come to our senses and
decide to enjoy the beauty and fun of our annual trip up Nort!

Hopefully we will be back next year!

Scott NE9U and Art N9BCA
 
K8MR   Mobile Multi-Op LP   172,0322012-04-26 17:32:37
In order of appearance:

CTY CW SSB TOTAL
HILL 21 3 24
LENA 7 0 7
JACK 32 10 42
INGH 14 6 20
EATO 10 1 11
CLIN 48 4 52
IONI 23 4 27
GRAT 24 7 31
MIDL 25 6 31
ISAB 31 1 32
CLAR 19 3 22
GLAD 34 3 37
BAY 24 11 35
AREN 24 8 32
OGEM 38 7 45
ROSC 20 5 25
CRAW 19 15 34
OTSE 37 7 44
CHEB 9 1 10
CHAR 17 0 17
ANTR 38 4 42
KALK 41 4 45
GRTR 21 1 22
WEXF 42 4 46
MISS 23 1 24
OSCE 24 6 30
MECO 26 2 28
NEWA 14 2 16

TOTAL 705 126 831

Once again, a nice ride around Michigan to welcome spring. A nice sunny but
cool day. We often see the last snow of the year on the MiQP trip, but none
this year, either in the air or laying on a shaded embankment way up north. I
don't even recall seeing any deer other than a few dead ones along side the
road.

This year I teamed up with Bob, K8BL, for the trip. Bob enjoys driving and I
enjoy operating, so it was a good match with me doing most of the oping except
for a few bathroom and stretch the muscles breaks.

A couple of minor navigation errors led us do deviations from the route plans.
We mistakenly got on I-96 west out of Lansing instead of I-69 east. The first
exit after that was only about 3 miles from IONI, so we continued there and
ended up missing SHIA. We also missed the exit off M131 to get to LAKE, but
then worked WD8S in Lake about 2 minutes later so we did not head back to
there. OTOH we did manage to squeeze in CHEB, CHAR, and MISS that were only
tentatively planned.

The only equipment problem was the computer going catatonic about the time were
leaving EATO. Fixed by reseating the HDD. (I switch HDDs from the normal XP one
to a MSDOS to run NA for contest logging. It apparently had not been in quite
firmly enough). While trying to fix it had K7ZYV in MS calling in, but I
couldn't work him. Thankfully he called in later, but only once. Glad I did not
miss that mult for that reason.

Activity seemed been a bit lower, and/or conditions were somewhat depressed
during the afternoon. I was worried that Tennessee had been hit by an
earthquake or something, as that usually very common state did not make it into
the log until about 8 hours into the contest. During the afternoon a lot of big
in state stations were weaker than earlier or later on 40, and CQ'd in my face.
We did enjoy keeping the faithful supplied with QSOs and mults on both modes.

I hope to see you all in the Ohio QSO Party on August 25, as well as in Dayton
in May.


73 - Jim K8MR
 
K8XXX(@N8CC)   M/M HP   750,2602012-04-27 12:24:39
Thanks to Jeff N8CC for hosting our motley crew again. I think for the first
time ever, we had 10 transmitters going, one on each band/mode. It took a
while to work the bugs out, so not every station was QRV at the get-go. But
soon enough all the tubes burned brightly and the shacks warmed up on the cold
April day.

We were hoping the increased flux would propel us past last year’s score, but
not only didn’t we come close to our 1 million point target, we barely
eclipsed last year’s score. Total CW and SSB QSOs were down compared to last
year even though we had more butt-in-chair-hours.

For those of you who don’t know, Jeff and the team go to great lengths to set
up a complete CW multi-op station just for this event. The CW guys operate
Field Day style using a camper, generator, and temporary towers/antennas while
the SSB guys operate from the main station and the big N8CC antennas.

Thanks for all the QSOs, and especially to the mobiles who braved the
not-so-snowy roads this year. We had a great time and we’ll be back!

73 from the XXX gang
 
K8MQP(@W8MJ)   M/S HP   229,4842012-04-28 12:48:52
EQUIPMENT:

80/25/15 FT-1000MP Field, AL-1200, 80 dipoles, Three-stack of TH7s
40 FT-1000MP Field, AL-2300, dipole, wire beam, 2L Telrex

After several years in the multi-multi category, the K8MQP team dropped back to
multi-single this year. Several of the principals of the K8MQP effort are part
of the team that goes to St. Croix for WPX SSB, and we learned last year that
the short time between the two contests makes it hard to organize a competitive
Field Day style multi-multi for MiQP. This year's effort literally fell into
place on the Monday evening before the contest with the decision to do a
multi-single from W8MJ's contest station in Livingston County.

We split Ken's regular SO2R setup into two stations on Saturday morning, and
added a logging computer brought in by K8CC for the second station. After
networking the two logging computers, replacing a bad coax on the 80 dipole,
and pruning the length of the 40 dipole, everything was ready to go 30 minutes
before the start. One rig was on 40M and the other rig did all of the other
bands. The rigs were arranged so that the operators were shoulder-to-shoulder
and only one rig transmitted at a time to keep within the MiQP rules.

Our third op, Tim/KE8OC was only available for the beginning of the contest due
to a schedule conflict, so we let him start the contest on 7223 KHz. The band
was quiet and the skip was good in-state and Tim made 202 QSOs and 73 mults in
2:46 without touching the VFO dial. More importantly, lots of in-state
multipliers went into the log during this stretch.

Dave/K8CC followed this with a stint on 40 CW with rates that were excellent
initially but dropped off sooner than expected. At 1954, Ken/W8MJ went to 20M,
first on CW then later on SSB. Rates were initially decent, but not
spectacular. We were pleased to have a lot of Europeans answer our CQs, even
with the beams aimed west. 20 SSB was more productive than it usually is from
Michigan, but again the rates tapered off sooner than expected and our last 20M
QSO was at 2147Z.

In recent years 80M/75M has been very productive for in-state QSOs, even during
the daylight hours. Not so this year - activity on these bands in the early to
middle portions of the contest was pretty spare, but picked up late in the
contest. This was likely because 40M stayed short enough for MI-to-MI QSOs,
even at night and many stations spent more time on that band. We were working
Michigan stations (even mobiles) on 40M well into the final hour of the
contest.

Our goal for the contest was to break the MiQP Multi-Single record of 187K set
by K8EPV in 2009, and our claimed score of 229K accomplished that goal. (We'll
see how well we survive logchecking :-) ) To be honest, we expected to make
more QSOs, although we did pretty well on multipliers. Our claimed mult count
of 226 with one transmitter is only two less than the 228 we claimed with five
transmitters in 2010 from the same QTH.

No doubt our multiplier count was aided immensely by the excellent mobile
activity this year. Our mobile QSO counts were:

K8MR/m 10
NE9U/m 9
K8IR/m 8
W1NN/m 6
W8CAR/m 5
NF8M/m 3

Congratulations to these fine mobile efforts!

Thanks for all of the QSOs and we hope everyone had a great time in MiQP 2012!

73,

Dave/K8CC
Tim/KE8OC
Ken/W8MJ
 
AB1OD   Single Op LP   402012-04-29 14:49:20
Just a few Q's in passing
 
N1IW/8   Single Op LP   88,5962012-04-30 05:12:42
Another fun expedition to my cabin in Montmorency County combining radio and
morel mushroom hunting. Not a stellar performance this year; spent more time
trying to figure out the odd band conditions than I had planned. Qs and mults
were both down last year but the morel count was up. Compared to my past couple
of years operations, conditions on 20M in the first couple of hours were not
real great but 40M was surprisingly productive during the daylight hours.
Encountered an antenna issue late afternoon that took some time to resolve
given the limited resources at the cabin. 40M and 80M after dark did not
produce the rates I enjoyed in previous years even with my lower overall Q
count and thus being relatively fresh meat. Pretty much stuck to the SSB/CW
mode change recommendations and checking 15M and 10M for openings. Thanks to
the Mad River folks for hosting another great MQP and see you all next year.

Station: IC-7000, 80M OCFD up 30 feet
 
W1NN   Mobile Solo Op LP   157,5222012-05-14 13:05:36
This was my sixth mobile run in the Michigan QSO Party, although the last time
was 2007. I didn’t realize it had been so long until I looked at my old
files. It was really nice to visit again. MI is really beautiful in April.

For my previous efforts, I usually got up early on Saturday, drove to Michigan,
operated the contest, and drove back home to Ohio afterwards, making it a very
long and tiring day. This time I drove up from Ohio on Friday afternoon and
spent the night in Midland. That was a really smart thing to do because it
allowed me to get a good rest and be ready for the contest start at noon on
Saturday.

Unfortunately, I got off to a very bad start in the contest. I really
struggled to make contacts during the first two hours. It seemed like nobody
could hear me. 40 SSB was in great shape for picking up the in-state phone
mults but most of the stations I called would just CQ in my face. I changed
antennas, changed feedlines, swapped mag mounts, did everything I could think
of but nothing helped. My first hour ended with just 32 contacts and the
second hour was even worse. I stayed an hour and 15 minutes in my first county
trying to get things working properly, which put me way behind in my schedule.

Then I suddenly remembered that I had turned the radio power down to 10 watts
before the contest as I tested out various antennas and got things ready, and I
had failed to turn it back up! Stupid, stupid, stupid! I think it was 1:50 PM
(1750Z) when this dawned on me. I was pretty down about this because I knew
that it would be a really costly mistake for my score. But I had gone to a lot
of trouble (and expense) to get where I was, and I still had over 10 hours, so I
decided to go all out for the rest of the contest and try to recover.

I completely changed my operating style for this contest. Actually, the change
started with the Georgia QSO Party which I had done the previous week. There
were two changes: first, switching to a K3 from the old ICOM-706MKII + antenna
tuner; and second, logging on a digital voice recorder. The K3 completely freed
me from having to do any tuning or antenna switching whenever I switched bands
or modes, and it really was a big improvement. I first recorded a contest last
summer (the OQP) but still logged everything on paper because I wasn't sure that
I could rely on the recording, but when I checked the recording later, it was
fine so I thought I could trust it. It seemed to work well in the GQP.
Freeing myself from paper logging meant that I could pretty much keep moving
throughout the contest whereas in the past logging on paper meant that I had to
operate a lot of the time while stopped.

One special difficulty with the MQP is the QSO serial number. I knew that I
could never keep track of QSO numbers in my head while driving, working
stations, paying attention to traffic and trying to keep to my route. K8MR
came up with the idea to create a number check sheet and cross off each number
after I used it. This would require me to keep a pen in my right hand the
whole time, but I couldn't think of a better way, so I prepared one such sheet
for each county I planned to go through. After I got used to this system it
worked pretty well but I ended up giving out the same number to a number of
stations.

After I turned the power back to 100 watts, things improved dramatically (see
the table below). But by spending so much time in my first two counties, I got
way behind in my schedule and had to eliminate one county from my planned route.
I also had to forgo getting on 75 around dusk like I usually do, which probably
cost a few multipliers. But my Q total is about 150 better than I've ever done
before, so things turned out pretty well. If I had not screwed up at the
beginning I'm sure I could have done even better.

Hourly rates:

1600 31
1700 28
1800 53
1900 67
2000 58
2100 69
2200 85
2300 78
0000 71
0100 56
0200 82
0300 83

These rates may seem low to those accustomed to operating the Georgia or
Florida QSO Parties but it is useful to remember that there is no CW only
category in Michigan and if you want to maximize your score, you must spend a
certain amount of time on SSB to pick up those multipliers. When a mobile
station switches to phone, the rate usually tumbles.

Thanks to everyone calling in and a special thank you to those operators who
put in significant efforts. I had 30 contacts with W0BH, 23 with N4PN, 21 with
OM2VL, 19 with K8RYU, 18 with KV8Q, 15 with W8TM, 14 with N9NE, 13 with W7GKF,
12 with KI0I and KO7X, and 11 with N5NA. Your efforts were much appreciated!

73, Hal W1NN