[OhQP-mail] WW8OH - COOKEN -Licking County- Four Churches Farm QTH = 700+ QSOs
w3hkk at roadrunner.com
w3hkk at roadrunner.com
Sun Aug 28 11:20:11 EDT 2011
Great weather! About a dozen members turned out. Wacky 80/75m propagation into some counties but not as many as expected. We had a core of five operators manning three stations. One was all band CW. Another was primarily 75 SSB. The third was mostly 40 ssb plus 20-15. 20m was good late. 15m was good into EU and KH6 but not into the states when I was on. 40/80 sagged badly during the late afternoon, following a pretty good start.
Our Strategy was for the 75 SSB station to work on counties while 40 and up worked on rates. In actuality, of course, you do both, depending on conditions. Seemed like DELA was the most well represented county. Every ham there was on the air...or so it seemed! And CW felt like it suffered a shortage of stations, which greatly limited its multipliers. The centrally located Licking County never had an advantage of proximity. Too many holes in our search for counties.
The three separate copies N3FJP logging program need to be edited, parsed of typos and dupes, and combined, that is, once the core crew has unpacked their vehicles, rested, and the "Fog of Contesting" has cleared.
The operators began to run out of "gas" at around 11 pm and began to disassemble the stations and some antennas, as well as the table of nourishment including baked beans and a pot of Italian sausages that kept us going. Setting up is hard work but far less challenging than taking down three stations in the dark in a park environment while combatting moths and listening to coyotes in the ( not too far) distance. Also manoevering your vehicles around trees, concrete benches, and other obstacles while making youre "Great Escape" from the grassy knoll that once was "home"- That was around 1 am and was the final challenge.
Well, not exactly. What still remained was a 45 minute drive home from deep in the Licking County countryside, with things rattling around the suv and sliding on curves, to help keet me awake. I hit the sack at around 2am.
Now it's Sunday morning, and I havent gathered myself enough to go out and look inside the suv, and begin the unloading process. Which in my case includes reassembling the IC7600 home station.
Final thoughts: The IC7600 and its programmable on the fly CW memories for calling CQ OQP, and giving indexed qso numbers plus county.... is a real Blessing! Getting familiar with your software BEFORE the contest would have greatly reduced typos by yours truly. Working CW AND Logging ( as an acquaintance used to say...) "Simultaneously AND at the same time!" can be a real chore when the rate is up. So, having the luxury of TWO folks at each station (a logger and an operator) is the best of all worlds. Thanks so much to those who jumped in for a few contacts. YOU are the spice of the OQP and without you we quickly run low on working the limited number of Big Boys.
That said, some of the Euros did a fabulous job working Ohio stations into the hundreds! And Im sure they deserve more attention than they get, so Kudos for your perseverence! And lets take a listen for the DX. They are trying hard to pick kup new counties.
The club experience in setting up a FD like station is exhiliarating and brings a club together. We need to remember each member has different appetites, interests, and abilities to contribute. But in the end, and as a unit, it can bring about terrific results.
PS Keep an eye out for OSPOTA ( Ohio State Parks on the Air) on Sep 10th. It's an 8 hr contest that is really growing. COOKEN's club efforts produced the 2010 Highest Overall Score, and we will be at it again - once we rest our bones for a few days. Hope to see you there, as WW8OH rides again.
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