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Michigan QSO Party   2008   Apr 19   Comment Summary

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KL8DX   Single Op HP   1,9222008-04-19 20:45:05
I wish I could have operated this entire contest instead of
just a few hours. Mine was a part time effort at that. Some
very good signals out of MI into AK!

The most worked for me was K8BB, who had a darn nice signal
most of the afternoon. Highlight for me was working K8RO, Dale.
I used to work Dale all the time on UHF/VHF when I lived back
in EN81om.

It was great working all the MI ops and I will be looking forward
to MI QSP next year. I'm always looking for my "old neighbors".

73,
Phil
KL8DX
 
WB2ABD   Single Op LP   5,4022008-04-19 21:00:51
Record 88 degrees temp. Sorry I couldn't spend more time.
 
KS8O   Single Op LP   10,2962008-04-19 21:06:59
Lots of Fun and good mobiles out their. Glad to see the large amount of Kids on
the air for this QSO Party. Made contact with the K8DAR, Dar Boys and Girls
club and a few other kids. Great to hear it.
See ya next year, and thanks mobiles......
 
WB8JUI   Single Op LP   10,5402008-04-19 21:08:55
Thanks to all for the QSOs.

73 - Rick WB8JUI
 
W1UE   Single Op HP   47,6002008-04-19 21:09:04
Participation by the many mobiles keeps one hopping. Many thanks for the
stations, particularly the mobiles, that QSYed, creating a number of double
mults.

I was only able to work 69 of the 83 counties- missed ALLE, BRAN, CHEB, HILL,
IOSC, KEWE, LAKE, MANI, MASO, OCEA, OGEM, OSCO, SAGI, AND TUSC. Some of them
were covered by mobiles that I worked 12 other times, but they weren't audible
for me when they were there.

20M was nice and strong for several hours Sat afternoon, but CQing there
couldn't produce much of a run. Best running for me took place on 40M, but it
was really a S&P day for this contest.

Thanks for the QSOs and a fun afternoon.

Dennis W1UE
 
KA9FOX   M/S HP   17,7122008-04-19 21:20:32
Mike K9NW was in town for a family event, so he stopped by for a bit and op'd
the contest, then we went to lunch, then he went to his event and I got on here
and there during the evening. About as low key as it gets. :-)

Looks like a new record for Multi-Op Out-of-State (not that the bar was very
high LOL)

73 - Scott KA9FOX
 
K7BG   Single Op LP   13,5782008-04-19 21:25:25
Gorebal warming brought us a blizzard and the temp right now is 16 degrees F, so
it made for a great day to play on the radio off and on.

Nice to work all the great ops in Michigan. Hats off to you all. W3USA, K8BB,
W8UE, N9NE, and N8MR were all over the place. Nice job.
 
K8KHZ   Single Op LP   51,9682008-04-19 21:26:04
First time in a while that I had been in a contest 12 hours. for the first time
truly dabbed in CW calling CQ. For those who worked my and were patient with my
missed characters, and bad cw, and most of all my key that screwed up
constantly. Well thank you. Conditions were ok. Not too well durring the day
time but great at night on 80M too bad the west coast was not too open on 20M.
Seemed like 80M was the place starting at 1600 EST. Not too many CW stations
calling either lots of new calls on phone. New Generals and Extras.
 
W1NN   Single Op LP   23,4002008-04-20 03:21:05
I was planning another MI mobile operation this year but I just couldn't pull it
off, so I put in a nearly full time effort from home. Northern Ohio is not the
easiest place to operate this contest from! 20 was unusable (thanks to N8SS
for my only Q) and it was real tough to work the lower half of the state on 40.
OTOH, the mobiles operating in the northern part of MI were booming in most of
the time on 40. WI9WI was especially loud here. 75/80 condx were fine and
most MI signals were very good, but there just didn't seem to be very many
stations operating on 80 CW.

Hope to be back on the road next year.

73, Hal W1NN
 
NG7Z   Single Op LP   6,8062008-04-20 06:18:00
Wow, lots of activity this year despite the lousy condx. As usual it was fun
tracking the progress of the mobiles. Worked my fellow fox Todd N9NE several
times.
73 Paul NG7Z
 
NO5W   Single Op LP   3,4322008-04-20 07:48:33
Good coverage by the fixed and mobile stations and conditions between MI and
Houston were fairly decent on both bands. Most frequently worked mobiles were
K8BB(5), W3USA(5). Looking forward to a trip over to Florida for the FQP next
weekend and a few days on the beach afterwards. Hope to work you there. Details
of the route are on www.no5w.com, the FQP website, and the county hunder sites.

73/Chuck/NO5W
 
N6MU   Single Op LP   14,1372008-04-20 07:55:47
Missed the middle four hours. Great mobile action but conditions continued to be
marginal. Top mobile was W3USA with ten Qs. Nuff said. 73...

John, N6MU
 
KG5U   Single Op QRP   7,6562008-04-20 08:02:56
Fun QSO Party in spite of it being a single-band activity for most of the
day--there was no 15m or 10m activity the whole time. Evening commitments made
me have to miss much of the 40/80 meter activity and fun. Thanks for a good
time and QSO's.
73,
dale, kg5u
 
K4BAI   Single Op HP   8,9572008-04-20 08:40:56
FT1000MP, Alpha 78, 1 KW, zepp, inverted vee. Thanks for all the QSOs,
especially from the mobile stations. Hope to work you all next weekend with
KU8E in FQP from W4AN/M. 73, John, K4BAI.
 
W5TM   Single Op LP   2,0722008-04-20 12:39:07
80m dipole fed with open wire.
Johnson KW Matchbox
K3, 100w
 
K8IR/M   Mobile Multi-Op LP   141,1202008-04-20 12:59:29
This is the seventh year I've gone out in the Upper Peninsula for MIQP. It was
the worst weather-wise with rain and fog over the western U-P. Once we got east
of Baraga County, though, it was just cloudy. The good news was that with no
sun, I could see the laptop screen with no problem the whole way.

But more importantly, this was probably the best propagation I have encountered
in the last seven years, which is reflected in my best claimed score ever. I was
expecting little from 20, 40 to be long, and 80/75 to be the workhorse band. As
it turns out, 40 was working for in-state contacts from the beginning, (but
then, Keweenaw County is as far from Detroit as Tennessee), 20 was in pretty
good shape, and not much was happening early on 80/75. In the evening, 40 was
really rocking, supplying the really big pileups I had not seen since for a
while. In the evening, 80 was very good at times, but there were other times
that it was quite slow. The night-time 80 meter QRN much better than last
year.

I shortened the route a bit this year, and spent more time in each county. I
had at least 50 contacts in each. The extra time caused us to be out of range
to make DICK at the end, but we were home by 0430, which was a nice benefit.
Thanks to Todd, N9NE for making sure the three western UP Counties we didn't
get to this year were covered.

Touring the U-P is always interesting. There was plenty of snow left in KEWE.
We saw a huge eagle soaring down the highway in front of us in ONTO, a timber
wolf in CHIP, and deer everywhere. The only real visit by Murphy happened in
KEWE, where we left the car idling while parked. The electric fan decided it
was going to stop turning due to a corroded connector, and suddenly steam
exploded from under the hood. A carefully placed tie-wrap made sure the
connector was happy, and we proceeded without pain the rest of the way except
at the pump. The highest we saw was 3.65 a gallon. Special thanks to Eric,
KG9GH, who was my driver for the second year. He did a great job getting
through the fog, avoiding the deer, and being good company.

The totals by county:

KEWE 53
HOUG 57
ONTO 55
BARA 54
MARQ 64
ALGE 51
LUCE 50
CHIP 73
MACK 66
SCHO 87
DELT 78
MENO 29

Thanks to everyone who called in. It makes the trip so worthwhile.

Jim
K8IR
 
N8II   Single Op HP   35,0402008-04-20 13:40:39
I started 40 minutes late which was mostly my fault. I couldn't find many
mobiles on CW or seem to get "in synch" with them. For example, every time I
heard W3USA, he was pretty loud and running at over 100/hr on 40 CW, but there
were long stretches when he was not heard. K8IR was the weakest mobile, but
heard me pretty well. 40 phone during the afternoon went well with a sustained
run in the 17Z hour. Around 23Z, the propagation and Wx gods started shining on
the MQP. It wasn't until about 0130Z, that some stations started skipping over
me on 40 and at 03Z there were still some loud sigs, amazing compared to some
nights. For once, I was about the right distance away from the target state to
really capitalize on 40. Also, despite local thunderstorms in the forecast
which held off until after midnight the QRN level on 80 was wintertime low and
signals were good! 20 was nearly dead to MI. I made a pretty decent showing on
phone and lousy one on CW. I should have broken off some phone runs to look for
the CW mults. Thanks to MRRC for sponsoring the event and I hope to be back
again.
 
K9TM   Single Op LP   186,2052008-04-20 13:50:56
Rig: 1 - 1000MP (100W)
Antennas:
40m/20m "shorty" G5RV as inverted-V apex @ 25' hung in a tree
80m broadband dipole as inverted-V apex @ 20' hung just below the G5RV

Old DOS cpu running NA. Voice-keyer (not cpu controlled). Tuner req for G5RV.

Operation was portable (field day style). It only took 15 minutes to break
down the entire station and load it into my vehicle after the event.

Found a new source of broadband noise... two neighbors fired up rototillers at
1PM local time. The noise on the bands went from S2 to 20 over S9 on all three
bands I had (80m,40m,20m). They didn't quit until nearly 6PM. The NB in the MP
helped but it really impacted my ability to hear. I was praying for the rain
that was forecast to hit (I figured you can't till in the rain, right?) but it
never did.

Thanks to all who participated. A big thanks to those who changed modes for
me. I had a good time!

73 Tim
 
N8M(N8XX)   Single Op LP   63,2802008-04-20 15:08:38
20 metres was marginal, even on CW. Did work a few Europeans on 20 CW, and even
a couple Michigan stations! Never heard a peep out of 15, didn't even listen on
10. Was surprized that my recently found microphone netted quite a few contacts
and multipliers on 40 and 75 metre SSB. Turns out that 40 metres was the winner
- it stayed open, probably until the end. 40 was noisy during the day, but
quieted down in the evening. This part time effort beat my personal best, and
the Kent County SOLP best. All in all, conditions were considerably better
than the past two years.

CW Counties (27)
ALGE ALPE BARR BAY CASS CHIP CLIN
DELT EMME GENE GOGE GRAT GRTR HOUG
LAPE LEEL LENA LIVI MACO MENO MTMO
OAKL ONTO PRES STCL WASH WAYN
CW States/Provinces (40)
AL AR AZ BC CA CO CT
DE FL GA ID IL IN KS
KY LA MA MD MN MO MS
MT NC NE NH NJ NY OH
OK ON OR PA RI SC TN
TX VA WA WI WV

Phone Counties (27)
ALLE BARR BAY CHIP CLAR EATO GENE
GLAD GRTR HOUG INGH IONI KENT KZOO
LAPE LENA MACO MECO MENO MONR MTMO
MUSK OAKL OSCE SANI STCL WAYN
Phone States/Provinces (18)
AL IL IN KY MD MN MO
NC NJ NY OH ON PA SC
TN VA WI WV
 
AD8J   Single Op LP   23,2292008-04-20 15:15:25
I'm too close to MI to work them on 20 meters. Managed to hang in on 40 and 80
meters for as much time as I could. K8BB/M was LOUD !!!
 
K8MQP(@K8CC)   M/M HP   606,3372008-04-20 16:12:55
For the past three years, we've been active in MiQP from KN8S's 10 acre QTH up
in Cheboygan County in the northern lower peninsula. When schedule conflicts
precluded operating from there, we decided to operate from the K8CC contest
station on 5 acres in suburban Detroit.

For the past two years, we've successfully had separate stations on 40M CW and
SSB simultaneously using in-line dipoles with about 200' spacing between ends
and older, non-synthesized radios. The existing antenna supports at K8CC would
not allow this, and we wound up with about 100' spacing between ends. With
legal limit power, this was simply insufficient as the SSB rig
(Corsair/4-1000A) would trash the CW rig (C-Line/PT-2500A) and vice versa. The
problem seemed to bother the CW station more than phone. After only 12 QSOs in
the first three hours on 40 CW, we determined something had to be done so we
went out to the far edge of the property and hung a low 40M dipole for receive,
fed with some spare RG-6 coax. This helped some, but did not totally relieve
the problem. We apologize to those stations who tried to work us early on 40
CW, where these receiving problems made us sound like lids.

We had a radio dedicated to 80M from the start, with moderate but decent rates
during the day, and a lot of in-state multipliers worked. We had QSOs on both
CW and phone in every hour of the contest. Thanks to those stations who
switched modes for us.

40 SSB was the real surprise, with by far our largest total ever, and almost as
many QSOs as both modes on 40 combined last year. Most of these QSOs were on a
simple 40' high inverted-V; it was doing so well that the ops didn't switch
over to the 3L yagi until the last two hours. Even the last hour of the
contest netted 71 QSOs on 40 SSB.

20 meters was a lot like last year; a seemingly unending supply of QSOs on SSB
(many appearing to be new callsigns) but CW productive only during the day. We
need to learn to concentrate on CW early, because we missed a few easy western
mults on CW that we worked multiple times on SSB.

15 and 10 meters were again not very productive. With 5/5/5 on both 15 and 10,
we were CQing on those bands at the recommended activity times, but did not work
anyone outside of MI. In fact, most of our QSOs were with in-state stations we
moved there from other bands. These bands will be a lot more fun in a couple
of years.

In the week leading up to the contest, a lot of outside antenna work was
completed, to the detriment of our inside readiness. Were were still finishing
antenna projects the morning of the contest, and as a result we were still
hooking up the 40M rigs when the contest started. We also had problems with
the networking of the logging computers, and making the computer key the old
C-Line (negative grid block keying) on CW.

We had good success working the mobiles this time. We had 14 QSOs with K8IR/m,
followed by 11 apiece with K8BB/m and W3USA/m, 5 with N9NE/m, 4 with W8UE/m, 2
with N8MR/m and 1 with WI9WI/m.

Despite our challenges, the team all had a great time. The activity seemed
very good this year, and propagation gave us somewhat of a break on 40M. Our
best hour (all stations combined) was the first with 194 QSOs, but our worst
hour was still 158 in the next to last hour of the contest. Our score is about
20% above the record from last year, and the first time an MiQP entry has broken
the 2000 QSO barrier.

73,

Dave/K8CC
For the K8MQP Team
 
KC9MEA   Single Op LP   1,2472008-04-20 18:14:42
Nick is 11 years old and part of the Young Amateur Contest Ham Team. This is his
firt attempt at the MIQP, but I am sure he will be here next year. From the
reports I recieved from him, he had a lot of fun with this contest...

Jim, ks8o
 
K8GU   Single Op LP   15,2642008-04-20 20:59:45
Equipment: 2X TS-930SAT+PIEXX, 80-meter dipole at 45 feet, 40-meter dipoles at
40 (E/W) and 25 (SE/NW) feet, 150-foot B.O.G.

After the first four hours, I thought I had a good chance at working all the
counties. Hubris. No sooner had I made that decision, 40 went long and 80
still had too much absorption for the mobiles. I heard W8AV working W3USA on
80...and I knew it was going to be a tough one. So, I relaxed and dabbled the
rest of the day, which was a lot less pressure. I was pretty certain my county
record would be in danger from listening to some of the high QSO numbers from
out of state. From the sounds of it, almost everybody out of state had the
long-40 problem; so, hopefully, it'll be safe another year.

Thanks for the QSOs and QSYs! I think I only missed one move with K8BB because
we landed right on a loud fixed station. Both K8BB and W3USA were very
responsive to move requests. Thanks, guys!

Interesting observation: As 40 went long, the UP guys were still workable and
the lower dipole was better for them.

I'm looking forward to some short skip to go after the sweep again! Thanks to
everyone who got on to make this contest fun...

73,

--Ethan, K8GU/9.
http://www.k8gu.com/
 
W7WHY   Single Op HP   5322008-04-20 21:25:14
Just a few minutes here and there. Propagation was pretty poor to the PNW. 73
Tom W7WHY
 
VE4EAR   Single Op HP   1,0342008-04-21 05:03:51
Thanks for the patience!
 
N2WN   Single Op LP   3,5642008-04-21 05:05:31
K8BB (5), W8UE (5), N8MR (4), W3USA (4)... Didn't have as much time this year
and trying to get comfortable with the new radio. Didn't hear much on 80 during
daylight. The mobiles were doing a good job bouncing back and forth between CW
and SSB.
 
OM2VL(@OM8A)   Single Op HP   22,5002008-04-21 05:38:58
Thanks for the nice QSOs in MI QSO party. It was my first MI QSO party - nice
contest. The condx was good, but sometimes I had problems with mobile stations
in USA pileup. W3USA was the strongest!
I worked with 56 different stations from MI. Thanks for the 80m QSOs also:
K8BB,K8EPV, K8IR, K8MQP, K8XXX, N8EA, NA8CW, WI8A.

The most counties with mobile: W3USA(21QSO/13COUNTY), K8BB(12/12), N8MR(12/10),
K8IR(8/8), WI9W (2/2)

Total worked: 27 SSB multi, 61 CW multi - 64 different county.

My missed counties are: BARA, BENZ, BRAN, CHAR, CHEB, HILL, IONI, JACK, MACK
MECO, MIDL, NEWA, OGEM, OSCO, OTTA, PRES, ROSC, SHIA, STCL.

See you in next year!

73de Laci
 
WØZQ   Single Op HP   5,2912008-04-21 07:06:48
Fun day of playing radio. Good low band condx's into MI from MN, even midday on
80m. Bands were pretty quiet for mid-April making 40 & 80m signals good copy.
Fun working the excellent mobiles, even on 80m, albeit they were a little
harder to find amist the fixed stations. 73, Jon.
 
WZ8T   Single Op LP   63,5042008-04-21 08:42:04
First time doing the contest from home qth.
Whats the dx window on 80 meters?? They don't seem to have any sense of humor.
 
KN4Y   Single Op LP   10,4002008-04-21 10:50:19
Good band conditions, a fun party.
 
N1IW   Single Op LP   105,3362008-04-24 05:28:40
WoW, what a blast! Blew away my 300 Q goal for this one. 20M was vy productive
to the west in the afternoon, 40M and 80M vy quiet after dark; no t-storms to
contend with. A lot more fun playing in this one from my cabin in MTMO than it
is playing from the home QTH in NH. I have no internet up there but I could
immediately tell when I was spotted by the zero-beat packet pileup that formed.
Lots of fun moments, one to relate: being moved from 20M cw to 20M ssb by OM2VL
to get the mult!

Station set-up vy simple: IC-706MKIIg barefoot onto a home built 80M OCFD
running roughly N-S up in the trees at abt 40 ft. N1MM and MicroKeyer for rig
control and logging.

Only odd thing to note was that many stations appeared to be confused by me
sending "MTMO" as the abbreviation for Montmorency County, especially on SSB. I
would say serial number then, "mike-tango-mike-oscar" and then get total silence
from the other station while they tried to figure out the county. I guess there
is some logging software out there that does not use the "standard" MI county
abbreviations... Wonder why.

Anyway, had a blast, thanks for the Qs and see you all next year from MTMO!
 
W3USA   Mobile Multi-Op LP   180,8942008-04-24 13:15:15
W3USA/M 2008 Michigan QSO Party, In order of appearance:

CW SSB
TUSC 25 1
SAGI 30 2
BAY 30 7
MIDL 25 2
ISAB 31 6
CLAR 28 7
GLAD 28 8
AREN 28 7
OGEM 31 4
OSCO 28 6
CRAW 32 29
ROSC 41 8
KALK 18 6
MISS 17 13
WEXF 28 5
OSCE 31 4
LAKE 28 7
NEWA 38 0
MECO 34 11
MCLM 47 14
KENT 16 6
GRAT 22 2
CLIN 37 0
SHIA 17 0

Mults: CW SSB
S/P 41 34
Ctys 21 22


If you can't have sunspots, at least have a low K/A index! This was my biggest
MiQP score since 2004, and the third overall of 9 going back to 2000. Only 2003
and 2004 were higher.

The route was much the same as last year, though some of the details changed.
My usual driver Jim, W8DRZ, was recovering from a cataract operation, so I
recruited John, AC8E, as the designated driver. The 12 year old minivan which
gets 21 mpg was replaced by my 2007 Honda Fit, which gets 35+. So N9NE (in his
Yaris) and I competed for the qsos/car size award. Fittingly, my last qso was
with Todd, our only one of the day. And once again we did the whole trip in one
day, leaving my house at 6:30 am and arriving back at John's at 3:45 am. My back
is still recovering.

Knowing that N8MR was to be out mobile, I decided that one Eight Mike Radio
Mobile was enough, so I used the W3USA club call. It worked out fine, even
being out of the normal call area.

QSOs of note:

OM2VL who moved my from CW to SSB not only on 20 meters, but on 40 as well. We
completed several 40 meter SSB qsos, simplex around 7190. If your state qso
party hasn't moved its 40 meter phone frequency down since the phone bands
expanded, you ought to. It's easier for a mobile to hit both modes, and there
are Europeans out there to work as well.

My 15 meter qsos were with K8EO as I passed though his home county, Gladwin. I
called him on 2 meter FM, and we qsy'd to the easiest quiet band for a double
mult.

Best timing award: While stopped at an isolated place in Oscoda county, I
decided to relieve myself outside the car during a slow period on 20 CW. Of
course once I got going, who else calls in but N4 Be Pee.

Thanks to all who followed us around and called in. See you all in Dayton, and
in the Ohio QSO Party on August 23.

73 - Jim K8MR
 
WI9WI/M   Mobile Solo Op LP   28,7852008-04-24 14:55:03
After my debacle in the Wisconsin QSO Party when I couldn't seem to come up with
a working antenna, I spent several hours working to make sure this wouldn't
happen again. I bought a magnet mount from K8GU and resurected my long
neglected Hustler antennas, which I hadn't used in over 15 years. I was at
least able to get a couple of them to work. Then I tried to figure out what
went wrong with my Bugcatcher antenna. I couldn't get it to load on any band in
the WIQP. I was able to get some RF out using an old tuner I had along, but I
think I was just loading the coax and the body of my car. Noone could hear me
well if at all. Nothing I could do later could recreate the problem. I think it
must have been a bad coax connector or a switch I had in line, but everything
checked out fine. I redid the tap points on the Bugcatcher, and got a
reasonably low SWR in the middle of the 40 meter band, high in the 75 phone
band, and in the mid 20 meter band. I then fed it through my old original model
LDG automatic antenna tuner, and was able to get full power out into it on all 3
bands both phone and CW.

I was going to start way up in KEWE, but I had to alter my plans when we had a
car problem and I was unable to leave Madison until mid afternoon. I drove to
our cabin in Winter and stayed overnite there. I rigged up the antenna,
computer and radio and tested them that night. About 08:30 CST I left the cabin
and drove the 3 hours to Norway Lake, about 8 miles south of Sidnaw in IRON.
There is a paved road to the lake and there are 3 counties IRON, BARA, and HOUG
which are within a quarter mile drive of each other. I spent about 15 minutes
scouting operating sites along the road. Last year I pulled into the boat
landing for IRON, but this year there was 3 feet of snow on the road to the
landing so I operated from the side of the road. After lunch and setting up my
gear I started in IRON. Conditions seemed very good particularly on 40. The
antenna worked fine. I spent about an hour in each county, then drove back
toward Wisconsin. I stopped in ONTO near Agate Falls for about an hour, then
drove to GOGE just west of Bessemer. The weather was poor with temperatures
below 40 all day, rain and fog. The fog got worse as the day went on. I was due
at my friends' cabin near Glidden, WI for dinner about 8 PM. Due to the weather
I was running a bit late. I quit in GOGE about 7:30 local as it was getting
dark. The drive from Ironwood to Glidden took almost 2 hours instead of the
usual 1. Visibility was very poor due to the fog. After a great dinner it was
to bed, and I drove back to Madison Sunday afternoon.

All in all this was pretty successful. I still need to work on my antenna
system. I also should spend more time on phone. I did call CQ a bit on 75 and
40 phone with few answers. On 75 I had a lot of people CQ in my face.

Gear:
IC-7000
LDG automatic antenna tuner
Texas Bugcatcher
Old Toshiba computer with WriteLog
Everything runs off an RV battery

Thanks for the QSOs

Jim
WI9WI
 
K8MM   Single Op QRP   70,4522008-04-24 20:58:36
This was my first time QRP in MiQP. It was lots of fun as always. I had a
terrible line noise problem so sorry to those who called but I couldn't hear.
See you next year.
 
N8MR/M   Mobile Multi-Op LP   92,5002008-04-25 03:36:38
I've only been doing the Michigan QSO Party for four years, but this was the
best propagation I've seen for this event. The weather was great for driving
through different areas of the state while playing radio.

Our original route was to drive along I-94 from Detroit to M-25 and then take
US-23 all the way to Mackinaw City. That route passes through 16 counties. We
chose that route so that, if propagation was bad, we'd at least see some parts
of the state that we hadn't seen previously. We didn't realize how long it
would take to drive from MONR to AREN. By the time we reached that point, the
sun was starting to set and we realized that it would be dark by the time we
got to ALPE on US-23. At that point, my intrepid driver/navigator decided to
take an alternate route - a route that would take us through a 17th county -
MTMO. Surprise!

We were limited in the number of bands we could switch to on the go. I bought a
second mag mount two days before the QSO Party and had little time for
experimenting. We kept the 40 Meter Hamstick on the trunk the whole time, but
the mount on the roof held a 20-Meter Hamstick from MONR to AREN. Sure wish I
had a third mount, as 80 CW was already hopping by the time I switched the 20
Meter antenna with the 75 Meter antenna. Many thanks to K8MR and K8CC for their
top hat suggestions for the 75 Meter Hamstick. SWR was great on 80 CW, but the
best SWR in the 75 Meter Phone portion was at 3.700 - 100kHz too low! The
AT-7000 wouldn't tune it at 3.800, so we had to remain on 80 CW.

After the first 100 or so QSOs in the log, our old Pentium II 233 running
N3FJP's MiQP logger seemed to get slower as we added QSOs to the log. This
caused delays in responding to the stations calling. It also caused momentary
delays in the CW sent via the COM port. By the time we got to about 350 QSOs,
the delay between keyboard entry and program response was pretty bad. It also
started giving us erroneous "dupe" warnings.

We arrived at our hotel in Mackinaw City at 0130 UTC. After checking in and
getting settled, I spent the rest of the MiQP handing out EMME QSOs parked
under a street light, beside the Mackinac Bridge. A reading light is a must for
night time operating.

Getting in more Phone QSOs, having an antenna resonant at 3.800MHz, doing more
S & P and stopping in more rare counties would have helped our score. But, as
always, it was a great time. Lots of in-state, out-state and DX activity make
it really fun. Thanks to the MRRC for sponsoring this event.


MONR 5
WAYN 33
OAKL 7
MACO 13
STCL 38
SANI 33
HURO 69
TUSC 14
BAY 31
AREN 26
IOSC 17
ALCO 32
ALPE 24
MTMO 22
PRES 20
CHEB 38
EMME 80
----- ---
Total 502

73,
Mike, N8MR
Lynette, KC8NAH
 
KV8Z   Single Op LP   42008-04-25 05:50:22
Worked K9JF and N1ABP, and I hope they did well!
 
K8BB   Mobile Multi-Op LP   186,9492008-04-25 11:50:19
Station:
- Ford E150 van (70k miles)
- Icom 765 modified for DC operation
- three HamStick antennas with triple-magnet mounts on the roof
- NA software for logging
- DeLorme StreetAtlas for navigation

Wow - a big thanks to the crew who puts this contest together and does a fine
job with "P.R." in the weeks leading up to it. Also, a big thanks to all who
sat there chasing the mobiles around. Friendship and camaraderie aside, it
helps make the trip worth the price - time, sweat, and fuel become measurable
commodities without lots of QSOs!

This was the second year that long-time friends K8BB and N8NM teamed up to go
mobile: last year was in K8BB's Jeep; this time was in N8NM's van. If we can
liken the back seat of the Jeep, complete with radio gear, to having the
comfort and maneuverability of a phone booth in a submarine, then N8NM's van is
a state room on the Queen Mary. We set up the "radio room" in the back seat on a
folding table, in front of a "captain's chair" for the operating position. The
radio desk put the computer and key conveniently right in front of the operator
and held the radio and antenna tuner, which were both strapped down for safety.
Also at hand were cup holders, snack holders, climate controllers, useful task
lighting, and an LCD TV/DVD should the bands really stink. Three multi-magnets
held the HamSticks on the roof and an array of tools and supplies (including
back-up station components) were within reach in the back. In the "wheelhouse"
we used another laptop computer with GPS navigation to keep us on route and on
schedule - K8BB and N8NM each only made one wrong turn and we made our last QSO
at 11:59pm while pulling in to N8NM's driveway.

We are fortunate to have found computers that produce no RF hash. Both laptops
run directly from 12vdc. The logging computer is a Compaq 486 that has a direct
120v connector and a direct 12v connector. The navigation computer is an IBM
Pentium II business-class computer (built like a brute) that actually runs on
16v. However, I have tested this at 13.8-14.1vdc (which is what most vehicles
actually produce when the engine is running) and the computer is usually quite
satisfied at this voltage. Occasionally when the engine reduces to idle and if
there are lots of other current-intensive devices running, like headlights,
A/C, wipers, and the transmitter, the computer will think it has been unplugged
and will switch to internal battery for a moment. Then, once you accelerate, or
the transmitter lets up, it is back on car power. I have used these two
computers for 5 or 6 mobile efforts and they have behaved flawlessly. When
setting up the radio equipment, we started testing before we were finished. We
had some major RF problems - hideous audio and locking-up CW. Once we grounded
the station components to a good chassis ground, we never had a single RF issue
again. There is a lesson to be learned here ...

We remarked to ourselves that it was nice to have relatively good conditions.
At one point, we worked N8MR/mobile in Emmett County on 80m, with the previous
QSO in Maryland, the following QSO in Montana, and we heard OM2VL very loud -
signals were coming from everywhere! We also worked a few Upper Peninsula
mobiles and W8UE/mobile in the Lower Peninsula. While we missed W3USA
completely (I thought I heard his signal on 80m in the last hour), conditions
seemed almost able to support more in-state mobile-to-mobile QSOs, which made
the fixed stations a slam-dunk. We managed to work some 75m SSB stuff on the
80m antenna by moving CW guys to the very bottom of the phone subband (3605)
for the multipliers where the CW antenna would still somewhat work. Later we
installed a 75m antenna and also worked some stations around 3800, including a
short "run" at 3833. Hearing such good 80m signals in nearly broad daylight
made us wish that maybe we had tried it earlier. However, it would have come at
the expense of 20m, which proved to net a lot of QSOs. There were a few times
that N8NM (better than me at checking 20m for activity) listened on 20m CW and
heard no signals, but called CQ anyway and got a big pileup. I tried 20m SSB a
few times but could not get anything going. Maybe there is a lesson to be
learned here, too ... SO2R mobile?

The weather seemed to compliment the favorable conditions. It was clear and
sunny most of the day. The late afternoon brought some clouds right when they
were needed to cut the low-angle glare while driving or trying to see the
computer screen. We did experience some rain around KZOO, but it only lasted a
few counties and we felt glad that there was no storm-related QRN to fight off.
This kept 40m and 80m nice and quiet, from an atmospheric point of view. (As an
aside note: I ran mobile in the Ohio QSO party in 2004 with W8MJ and 2006 with
KK8I and both years involved heavy QRN from large summertime thunderstorms.
This time was much easier.)

Aside from blowing up or arcing-over two antenna tuners in N8NM's driveway
Thursday afternoon (Dentron Super-Tuner didn't fail!) we had no major equipment
problems. We did have a few "oops" occurrences, however. The first of which was
the KEY. I use a black Wm. Nye paddle for these outings because of its
understated visual appeal (read: it is butt-ugly) and its (apparent)
durability. Yes, we managed to break it. Some of the internal screws that hold
the whole mechanism together started working themselves loose. Over time our
sending became very QLF because the paddle was literally falling apart inside.
When we stopped for gas at the end of Kalamazoo County, we went off the air for
a bit to take the cover off and fix it. Another "oops" occurrence was when I
swapped out the 20m antenna for the 75m antenna, but discovered I had packed
the 80m stinger for it by mistake, giving us two 80m antennas and no 75m
antenna. I managed to scrounge an Allen wrench when we stopped for gas and made
a blind adjustment. It turned out to work – the antenna SWR dipped at 3802 and
the internal tuner took care of the rest. There were also some route problems.
Part of the problem is that I don't do a very good job of planning when we
should cross county lines. I tried to shoot for 30 minutes in each county, but
the best paths through some of the counties were upwards of 25 miles and often
through small towns where local traffic and speed limits prohibit the 60MPH
necessary to make it to the county line on time. (Note to self: plan ahead ...
) Also, I mistakenly had an extra county in our schedule that I had pulled out
of our route. By the
tenth county or so, it looked like we were getting 10-15 minutes behind without
much hope for catching up. We eventually fell about 1/2 hour behind schedule,
and around that time we discovered the extra county in the schedule and
corrected ourselves. Now, I have made this same mistake several times before -
of not planning appropriate time IN each county for the intended route THROUGH
each county. Shouldn't I have learned? Lastly, there were some road issues.
There is something to be said for Michigan roads ... (go ahead and say it ... )
and some of our "lid moments" on the air were due to awful surfaces, taking
curves too fast, or sudden stops - you can't run a "yellow" light with nobody
behind you if there is a cop sitting at the intersection!

Overall, this was a big improvement from last year in three major areas: our
station was much more comfortable; conditions were much better; our score is up
considerably. Last year we submitted a score of 121,900 points. This year's
score of 186,949 is an improvement of 53%!

73 and thanks for the Qs!

Don K8BB and Steve N8NM

Most Worked Stations:
23 - WA3HAE
18 - W8AV
17 - W1UE
14 - WA2VYA
13 - KN4Y
12 - K8GU, OM2VL, N8NA
11 - AE1T, DL3DXX, K8MQP, K8XXX
10 - AD8J, K9OM, VA7RN, W7LPF

Most Worked Locations:
77 - PA
61 - FL
52 - OH
38 - MN
33 - MA
32 - IN
30 - TN, TX
26 - DX (Thanks!!!)
25 - NJ, WA
24 - IL
20 - GA, NH
18 - AZ, CA, MO, VA
14 - BC, DE, KS, WV
13 - AL, MD
12 - CO, WASHTENAW, WI
11 - BARRY, NY
10 - MT

County QSO Breakdown:
County CW SSB
OTSE 36 12
CHEB 25 13
EMME 28 7
CHAR 35
ANTR 38 4
GRTR 36 7
LEEL 23 9
BENZ 35 1
MANI 44 1
MASO 36 13
OCEA 19 2
MUSK 22 1
OTTA 29 7
ALLE 27 10
VANB 32 1
KZOO 36 5
STJO 42 5
BRAN 14
CALH 53 2
EATO 48
INGH 31 3
LIVI 23 4
OAKL 26 2
 
WØBH   Single Op HP   4,2682008-04-25 14:33:45
Conditions were excellent between Kansas and Michigan whenever I tuned in. This
might have been the year to really put in some time, but was busy with end of
school here at Hesston College. Enjoyed the time I did spend .. thanks to all
for the Qs!

Look for Tim, AB0S and me mobile in 31 counties in the Nebraska QSO Party this
weekend (26-27 Apr) as we mix it up with the FQP. Route details on my QRZ.COM
listing.

73, Bob, w0bh
 
K8DAR   M/S LP   2,3432008-04-25 16:11:22
First time entry for the K8KDZ YACHT group. They operated from the K8DAR Dar
boys and Girls club in Menominee, Michigan. Three young hams ranging in age
from 10 to 16 years old. We should be hearing much more of these youngsters,
they found the MIQP to be very fun and I think they are hooked.

Jim Pearson
Co-founder
Young Amateur Contest Ham Team
 
K8XXX(@N8CC)   M/M HP   700,4482008-04-28 09:05:31
It was a great QSO Party! The challenge of battling the great team of K8MQP
brought the best out of us and all for the betterment of MIQP! The K8XXX team
thanks all those operators who gave us their "No 1" QSO and to the spirited and
excellent K8MQP team who always seem to "raise the bar". Team K8XXX
 
N9NE/M   Mobile Solo Op LP   88,6602008-05-04 22:16:24
Left Oshkosh for the beautiful western UP at 6:45 am CDT. Arrived in Sagola in
DICK an hour early for beginning of the 'test. Plan was to operate 90 minutes
parked in each county, then drive to the next county without operating while in
motion. Drove 103 miles from the start in Sagola to the end at the Lac Vieux
Desert Casino parking lot (heh heh) at Watersmeet in GOGE, with IRON, BARA,
HOUG, and ONTO in between. Estimate that actual operating time was close to 9
hours. Left the casino at 11:20 pm CDT for the long drive home in thick fog and
drizzle and arrived home at 3:05 am CDT after 490 total miles of driving and at
least 5 cups of coffee. This was the first mobile event that I operated from my
little Toyota Yaris 2-door hatchback (30 to 40 mpg), and it proved to be a
successful 'shack' even on 80M. Setup was K2 to a 75M Hamstick and a 3-band
Hustler, both mag-mounted and guyed atop the roof of the car. I hand-logged for
simplicity but paid the price later, spending hours entering scribblings into
manualmode in NA ... LOL! Ran into lots of cool rain and fog. Most lakes were
still ice-covered. Deer and fox crossed the road. Had one crazy on-coming jeep
which veered into my lane which then lurched back into his own lane on 2 wheels.
Guy looked embarrassed but alive (and so I live to write this note). Oh my,
conditions were good from up there. 80M and 40M CW signals were bell-perfect
and strong. Only one mishap ... the stinger came out of its 20M resonator, so I
had to use a small, round file (the only thing I could find as a splint) wrapped
around the top of the resonator and the bottom of the whip with a lot of
electrical tape to hold it.

I really appreciate the dedicated group of ops who made it a point to follow us
mobilers all day ... I wish I could thank each of you personally!

This event marked my 50th year in ham radio to the day. Thanks to all for the
peak experience!

73
Todd
N9NE/AKA KN9LWV
19 March 1958
 
N8TC   Single Op LP   152,2802008-05-06 19:30:46
Another Nice MiQP! Condx were great for a change.
Was going to attempt a trip to the U.P Luce County,
but work shipped me out of town the previous week and
didn't get back home until late Friday eve. First
time in 3 years I operated from home station in GRTR.