OhQP K6JSS(N8XX) Single Op QRP
- Ohio QSO Party
Class: Single Op QRP
QTH: Glacier Ridge Metro Park, UNIOn County
Operating Time (hrs): 11
Band CW Qs Ph Qs
80: 67 51
40: 31 56
20: 18 2
15: 0 0
10: 0 0
Total: 115 109 CW Mults = 69 Ph Mults = 53 Total Score = 41261
SOAPBOX: Before I begin My soapbox, let me thank the QRP Amateur Radio
Club International for the honor and privilege of operating K6JSS/UNIO
in the Ohio QSO Party (OHQP) this past Saturday. I had a blast – set a
new personal (recent) record for number of Q’s during the OHQP. I’m
99.44+++% sure I set a new record for QRP operation in UNIOn county.
(There was no QRP fixed station operation in previous recorded history
from UNIOn county).
With that obligatory preface, let me start:
“Is it REALLY fun to spend 18 to 20 hours straight, out in the field,
for a ham radio event?” That was the question my wife, daughter,
son-in-law, and grand kids had for me as I prepared to go to Glacier
Ridge Metro Park in UNIOn county for the 2012 Ohio QSO Party.
I won’t answer that question directly, because it all started about
1000Z (6 a.m. EDT) with my alarm clock’s ”beep, beep, beep.” Bang the
snooze button, 5 minutes later, same routine. Manage to get out @ 1006Z.
Out the door by 1030Z, 7 minute drive to Glacier Ridge. Stop by Mickey
D’s for breakfast on the go. Arrive by 1100Z. No one at the
(non-reserevable) picnic shelter, so met the park ranger, who insisted
on helping unload the ham radio stuff.
By 1130 finished breakfast, contemplated best place for the antenna. By
1300Z had antenna “sorta placed”, but still needed adjustment to get the
mast vertical. (One never ceases to be amazed at the how flexibility of
fiberglass reinforce plastic mast.) One last adjustment. CRASH! Like
Humpty Dumpty, “All fell down!”
Luckily, I brought a couple extra mast sections, since one was severely
cracked at the joint. 2nd try? Got the mast up 36 feet, somewhat
precariously. Adjusting one guy. Result: CRASH! #2. Third try turned out
to be “the charm.” 36’ high (figured that the last 4 feet wasn’t worth
another crash!), looks good.
Drag out all the parts of the rig. Oh #$%&@ (exact words unprintable in
polite company)! Where’s the cord and connector between the 12 Volt
power pack and the LDG Antenna Tuning Unit? I KNOW I looked at it prior
to leaving home. Contemplate “Plan B.” Should I call wife, ask her to
find a Rat Shack and purchase a power plug? Nawww, ham radio ingenuity
to the rescue. The ATU worked fine if I just tied the negative lead to
the chassis ground, and touched the center pole of the power jack on the
back of the tuner as I let it tune…..
Finally got on about 1630Z. 40 meters was “OK” but figured that 20 would
be reasonable to get a few states. WRONG! Rate was abysmal - only 14 Q’s
in 70 minutes. Switched to 40 phone – couldn’t seem to get off SSB
because of folks calling, calling, calling. What a run!
The rest is history – highlights:
A group of Chinese Graduate students from Ohio State University invaded
the shelter a bit after 1600Z. Lots of questions about ham radio.
Reduced the rate, but part of the reason for going to a public place is
public relations for ham radio (other than to set a new record for an
otherwise unrepresented county in the QRP category.) About 2000Z the
family arrived with extra refreshements. Another 45 minutes to an hour
of chatting, including nice chat with a passing cyclist who had lots of
questions about ham radio, cycling with ham radio, etc., plus chit chat
with the grand kids. (Grand kids generally take precedence over hamming.)
By 0200Z there were 175 Q’s in the bag, but the rate was “OK, but
nothing spectacular.” Quick check of last year’s log resulted in same
number of Q’s, but slightly lower score. So, decision to plug on –
netted K8MR and W8O in new multipliers. Forays into SSB netted a few
more. Final tally, 225 Q’s, 69 CW mults, 53 Phone mults, total claimed
score 41261 – a new personal best for OHQP!
By 0600Z the antenna was down (it came down WITHOUT crashing!),
everything packed into the car. Locked the gate to the park, and made it
back to daughter’s place.
I MUST thank the personnel and management of Metro Parks. The ranger on
duty in the morning insisted on helping unload the gear, even though I
told him I figured he had better things to do. He also checked several
times during the day. The park manager was on duty, stopped by, and
apologized before leaving at about 0000Z – saying that getting ready for
a big marathon invasion on Sunday was occupying most of his time. His
major concern was that I’d be all alone after the park was closed. I
assured him I had a cell phone and could dial 911 in case of any emergency!
Finally, thanks to the organizers of the Ohio QSO party – FB job, FB!