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Michigan QSO Party   2014   Apr 19   Comment Summary

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K8BZ   Single Op HP   167,9862014-04-19 21:25:01
There were lots of contests going on over this contest period. In particular
the Nebraska, North Dakota and Ontario QSO parties created an extra challenge
as participants were working each other and had different exchanges, some
requiring a signal report and no serial number. You can usually
"radar" in a number 1 after a short explaination or non-contest
participants, but I'm not sure how that will all shake out in the scoring for
sharing exchanges between stations working different contests. Looks like the
Easter holiday kept participation down a little, which is understandable, but
it was still a good contest. The holiday probably limited the mobile
participation also. But that's what contesting is all about. As Gunny Highway
used to say, "you have to adapt, improvise and overcome." I sure like
the 12 hour format. It's long enough to be a meaningful challenge without going
overboard.
 
N8M(N8XX)   Single Op QRP   37,6482014-04-19 23:07:15
Conditions, and participation, not as good as last year. Bands seemed "up
and down" though no complete washouts, at least not for any extended
period. 40 was the "gold mine" it never really went south. Didn't
seem to be as many mobiles, or I couldn't figure them out, so multipliers were
down a bit. Object was to set a new record (current one is zero) for QRP in
MUSKegon County, so didn't stay till the bitter end. Thanks to Gerry, K8GGL for
helping with setup and tear down, and to his friend Joe Clark (non ham), who
lives a city block into MUSKegon County and provided his barn and back yard for
the operation!
 
KE9V   Single Op LP   1,2502014-04-20 04:07:22
Casual S&P effort on phone. Bands weren't in the best of shape but enjoyed
the operation between working in the yard on a gorgeous day. Thanks to all who
organized the effort and those in the scrum. See you again next year!
 
NF8J   Single Op HP   32,1232014-04-20 04:31:38
Could only operate 6 hours, too much yard work. 15 meters was dead from my QTH.
NF8J, Paul
 
W7KAM   Single Op LP   9022014-04-20 05:16:18
Part time effort this year. 100 watts into a G5RV up 20 foot.
 
K1RO   Single Op HP   10,7362014-04-20 05:46:15
Good activity, fun contest. Too bad conditions were not that great.
 
DM5EE   Single Op LP   4,7522014-04-20 07:57:16
This year's MIQP was different. Aside from somewhat forseeable circumstances
(DF9LJ's station not available, family obligations on Saturday and Sunday) I
had to get rid of my gall bladder on Wednesday. Got home from the hospital on
Saturday morning, so a limited participation was possible but no full effort.

I did some rerouting of antenna cables before the contest which may have been
the cause for some keying issued experienced during MIQP. Sorry for the
occasional QSD as the internal keyer of the FT-1000MP kept acting up.

My plan was to go Low Power. Originally, I thought of tackling the DX Low Power
record, but with the recent surgery this wasn't going to happen. Still gave it a
try.

The contest started slow and conditions seemed to be mediocre at best. I had S9
local noise on 15 and never heard anyone there or on 10. 20m yielded only four
QSOs in the first hour. I took a two hour break to participate in some
Easter-related event in our village and found signals to be much better after
19z. Over the next two hours, 34 QSOs came in the log, then things slowed down.
It was nice to have K8IR, W8UE, W8ZZ and K8MAD as mobiles for some fresh meat
every once in a while. Hank/N8M made it into the log QRP on both modes as well
as KT8K and W8CUB on CW.

Except for one QSO, everything happened on 20 for me. K8MAD was the only QSO on
40. I think that N8SS heard me too but the tremendous level of digital QRM
between 7041 and 7050kHz in EU did not allow for the completion of a QSO.

When K8IR could not copy me from BENZ county, I figured that 20 was closing. At
2:30am local (0030z) it was definitely time to QRT. 40m was still completely
trashed between 7041 and 7050. I heard N4PN, WO1N and K8JQ call MI stations on
40 but never could detect the other side in the digital mud. Maybe, the QRM
would have gotten better towards our sunrise but I could not check it out this
year.

I ended up with 63 QSOs during six hours of operation and a score which came up
20% short of my original goal, the DX Low Power record.

Hope to see you again next year,

73! Uli, DM5EE

Equipment: FT-1000MP, Cushcraft X7 clone at 55ft with 30/40m add-on dipole.
N1MM without transceiver interface.
 
KT8K   Single Op QRP   37,5392014-04-20 09:14:19
This one is always a blast - where else can a QRP-er do so much RUNNING?? 110
of my Q's, nearly half, were logged while running and none of the runs were
less than 30 Q's/hr (one was 72/hr, held for 16 minutes!). This may not sound
like much to you guys running the "big power" (over 50 Watts?) but
it's a huge grin for me. My Mad River clubmates said "run like the big
guns" and I did, and in this contest it actually worked.

Thanks to all who struggled to hear my weak signal. I wasn't having an easy
time hearing, either. Noise levels here were mostly high, as in S6-7 on 20 and
40 meters - not so great. Still, even the signals down in the noise level were
almost always workable, so maybe the noise was local to me.

The pace in this contest is always moderate, a bit more laid back and much like
I would expect from a "QSO Party". I crank down the CW speed and just
enjoy it (but I usually shift to match the speed of stations I'm contacting
anyway).

Crowding was rare but it was great to have stations from all over the country
and world participating. Perhaps because of the noise level, or because of the
Easter holiday, there didn't seem to be nearly as much action as in recent
years, but that might have been my noise level's fault, too. No matter - it
was a great and fun contest as always.

Radio contesting is a great and unusual sport, in large part because successful
competition means cooperation and collaboration, not evading or trying to hurt
the other guy. This sport far more closely typifies the pioneer spirit - it
wasn't gunslingers that built the Old West, for example, it was hard working
farm families working together in communities that built it. I see that same
spirit of helping each other played out in ham radio contests, clubs, elmering
relationships, and cross-cultural friendships. I believe this is the spirit we
need more of, today and in the future. In any case, I'm enjoying it, and plan
to keep at it until they pry the paddles from my fingers and roll me away.

Best rx to all & 73 de kt8k -- Tim

Equipment:
Tentec Orion
ancient Dell Inspiron 8200 laptop
WGA TR-2000 headset
MFJ Grandmaster 484c memory keyer w. 1st edition Bencher paddle

Software:
N1MM logging software running on XP

Antennas:
20/40/80m 3-wire inverted vee (double-U?), apex <50 feet
500' wandering horizontal loop in the trees, fed w. TV twin lead and LDG Z11
autotuner
 
K8MR   Single Op LP   5,0502014-04-20 09:27:30
It was 2000 when I did my first mobile contest effort in the MiQP with W8RU, and
I had not missed one since. But this year, with Easter on Sunday and my mother's
98th birthday on Friday, the entire family came into town for the weekend. So no
traveling.

As it turned out I did travel, except I headed east after the birthday
celebration on Friday. My daughter in NJ delivered our first grandchild on
Thursday (9 days past expected date), so NJ it was. My task for the first few
days was largely watching their dog at home, so with that I had some time for
MiQP. I only had a dipole at 20 feet, and with local urban noise and daytime
absorption things on 40 were pretty slow for the first six hours. I was just a
bit too close for 20M , though did catch a few people there. Later propagation
picked up on 40 and I was able to make a reasonable number of QSOs.

Good to catch my MRRC friends back in MI, but missed mobile activity other than
a few late afternoon QSOs with K8IR. I hope to be back in 2015 to help the
mobile activity issue.

73 - Jim K8MR
 
N4PN   Single Op HP   40,0862014-04-20 09:38:35
Nice way to spend the day before Easter....the one day event.
Only a few mobiles this year....kept looking for my buddy Jim, K8MR,
and later in the day he called me from New Jersey....? His daughter
lives there..
K8IR/m really put in an outstanding effort....worked 22 times!
Others who gave me a new one or two included: W8ZZ, W8UE...
Happy Easter and see you in the next one..
73, Paul, N4PN
 
W7WHY   Single Op HP   1,4522014-04-20 09:42:53
Just operated on and off during the day. Conditions in the PNW sucked to say
the least. 73 and thanks for the Q's.
Tom W7WHY
 
W8MMM(@K2YAZ)   M/S HP   119,4722014-04-20 09:43:18
First event ever for W8MMM. Operators were my wife, Liz KJ6RQU, father-in-law,
Bob K2YAZ and myself. Contest was a lot of fun, and it was great to see so
many ops from outside of Michigan coming out to support us. Our apologies to
K8MAD for first calling them a dupe when they worked us from TUSC, and then
failing to copy their exchange for about 5 minutes(the op at W8MMM at the time
shall remain nameless).

Ran 500 watts into wire dipoles at about 50 feet for 40 and 80 meters, and a
hexbeam at about 25 feet on 20 meters. Thanks to all for a great event, and
looking forward to next year.

73,

Ryan K6RQT
 
N6MU   Single Op LP   9,2342014-04-20 10:48:58
Lost interest early due to the very poor conditions. No one could hear me on SSB
which really impacted the mults. Did work K8IR/m 20 times. 73...

John, N6MU TS-570 & 5BTV
 
NF4A   Single Op HP   3,8952014-04-20 11:03:11
Part time effort...thanks to all the mobiles !!
 
W8CUB(K2CUB)   Single Op QRP   22,5252014-04-20 12:33:28
Only able to operate 7.5 hours this year due to family obligations. Early
conditions were not great for me on 40 meters until about 1900Z. Overall
participation was way down in MI and very much so out of state. I was unable
to find the rovers hardly at all this year. Always fun to run state QSO parties
and hope Easter is not near the contest weekend again for some time! Congrats
to Hank and other QRP guys who tough it out every year! I ran a new/used K3
this year and my K2 was very very jealous! Hi Hi. 73, K2CUB operator
 
N7MZW   Single Op LP   1502014-04-20 13:40:40
Kenwood TS-950SD, Heil ProSet with HC-5 mic element, and "home brew"
G5RV up 50 feet running N-S at 6,053 feet elevation from Cheyenne, WY. Just
passing by on this one!
 
KN4Y   Single Op LP   5,2482014-04-20 16:45:49
The Mad River was mobile and did CW and not to be outdone there many land locked
stations on CW. Would this be called a wet county contact? Who knows? Only the
shadow knows, (how many remember?)
 
K9NW   Single Op LP   722014-04-20 17:29:58
Traveling back from PJ2 most of the day. Snuck in a few minutes later in the
evening.

73, Mike K9NW
 
K4BAI   Single Op HP   2,1122014-04-20 17:58:33
FT1000MP, 100W, TH6DXX, dipole, inverted vee. Thanks for the QSOs. 73, John,
K4BAI.
 
N3ZZ   Single Op LP   4162014-04-20 18:50:56
Meant to participate in all the weekend QSO parties, but just caught
the MI QSO Party on Saturday AM.
 
WN4AFP   Single Op LP   1,3162014-04-20 19:55:30
My first MIQP! Part-time effort. Lot's of activity on the bands for this one
(more SSB than CW). Had a difficult time working Michigan on 20m with wire
antenna, so worked most on 40m after the band opened up. Looking forward to
next year. 73's WN4AFP
 
W1NN   Single Op LP   8,0642014-04-22 08:43:32
Activity seemed down a bit, in part because K8MR was not able to make his
regular mobile run this year. I had made plans to go mobile this year but too
many other things got in the way and I couldn't get ready in time, so I had to
cancel. Hope to be back next year.

Skip was long on 40 at the beginning but later I started to hear some of the
stations in the south. I am too close to MI for 20 to be useful so I never
listened there.

My normal logging software is Win-test but of course it does not support most
US QSO parties, so I had to fire up N1MM. The way N1MM handles serial numbers
is a big mystery to me. After you have worked and logged a station, the last
serial number you gave out still shows until you type something in the call
sign column. The problem is, there are many times when you want to work
someone but you don't know their call yet(such as when you are new on a band or
mode, or when you know you have not worked that multiplier, etc.). In such
cases, you risk giving out the same serial number because that's what the
software shows your serial number to be. This is a serious problem that runs
against all common sense and should be corrected.

73, Hal W1NN
 
K8MQP(@W8MJ)   M/S HP   180,9692014-04-22 16:08:07
40M: FT-1000MP, Titan, dipole, 2L Telrex Yagi
80M,20M,15M: FT-1000MPField, AL-1200, dipole, 3xTH7 stack

Score down 20% from 2012 when we ran the same category with the same setup.

The Easter holiday and bad wx in the UP probably hurt activity, particularly
with the mobiles. K8MR/m & W8CAR/m were missed but K8IR/m and W8UE/m
seemed to be doing well and were greatly appreciated.

Condx poor to SE and to the West Coast. CW seemed light but phone seemed to be
a bottomless pit of new hams. 20M was better than past years, but where was
everyone on 80M?

Thanks for all the QSOs. CU next year.
 
K8IR/M   Mobile Multi-Op LP   109,5652014-04-22 17:56:15
We decided to run below the bridge this year to keep some of K8MR's counties
warm until he returns next year.

Conditions on 40 were not good at the start with a lot of absorption, and 20
was better but not great. 40 starting coming around in the late afternoon, and
except for a period around sunset, remained productive to the end. Despite a
lot of strong signals on 80 before sunset, no one seemed to be able to hear us
until it got dark. It was thankfully one of the quieter years for QRN on 80.

Activity seemed down, but we had a loyal group following us through the route.
I see K0RI in the log 35 times, and K2DSW 30 times. Several others had over 20
QSO's. Thanks to everyone who called in and we hope we put a few new mults in
your logs.

It seems like we saw almost as many deer as we had QSO's this year. They seemed
to be everywhere. Fortunately the ones near the road were more interested in
grazing and licking road salt than jumping out in front of us.

The weather during the contest was fine, but we had rain all the way home
through the UP. At least it wasn't snow for a change.

I must again thank Eric, KG9GH, who graciously contributes his vehicle to the
effort, and who drove the route plus 4 hours to the start and 5 1/2 hours back
home afterwards. At times he was drawing up the route as we drove, and we
managed to activate 25 counties, one more than planned.

Again, thanks to all who called in.

73
Jim
K8IR
 
NA8V   Single Op LP   161,5682014-04-23 17:16:23
Condx and activity both down a bit from last year, especially w/ the mobiles as
many have noted. I worked K8IR a several times but never heard them after 23z,
assume that was propagation?

20 fone was productive this year for a change, but I just couldn't seem to do
much on 40. I guess my dipole isn't as 'magic' as i thought it was.

It was a great time and thanks for all the Q's!

greg/na8v
 
W8ZZ   Mobile Multi-Op LP   18,3042014-04-26 07:53:16
This was our first try at a mobile operation in MiQP. We usually do multiple
portable setups but didn't have the time available to do that this year. 40m
was poor for us until late in the afternoon, and 15m/10m were dead. 20m was our
money band and it, too, was pretty hit-and-miss. The weather was good and there
were no equipment problems so it made for a pleasant afternoon. Thanks to all
for following us from county-to-county and digging us out. 73, Ron (W8RU) and
Bill (KC8VGG).
 
WA8HSB   Single Op QRP   362014-05-12 15:35:20
In and out of shack during the afternoon. Thanks for the Qs! 73, John