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OhQP K6JSS(N8XX) Single Op QRP

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  • Hank Greeb
    Ohio QSO Party Call: K6JSS Operator(s): N8XX Station: N8XX Class: Single Op QRP QTH: Glacier Ridge Metro Park, UNIOn County Operating Time (hrs): 11 Summary:
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 28 1:55 PM
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      Ohio QSO Party

      Call: K6JSS
      Operator(s): N8XX
      Station: N8XX

      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!
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