[OhQP-mail] K9TM/M OhQP Report

K9TM k9tm at buckeye-express.com
Thu Aug 30 20:40:52 CDT 2012

Band		CW		SSB
80		77		2
40		647		28
20		3		0
		727/74	30/17 = 135,044

Mult: 91
Counties: 31

Proof that no matter how much planning you do when the contest starts something always bites you in the bum.  We really only had one issue but unfortunately it was a big one.  For reasons that have still not been root caused, transmitting on 20m made the computer freak out.  When the computer would freak out it would not function the USB ports... so no external keyboard and no computer control of the rig.  The notebook then had to be rebooted to resume use of the ports.  Couldn't solve it and make QSO's so decided 20m was out, so now we were down to 1.5 bands for the entire contest period.

For whatever reason, not a lack of trying, SSB never lead to any rate.  Rumor during and after the event was that our signal was good for a mobile but that never translated to QSO's.  Many fixed stations CQ'd in our face and they were loud to us.

Not sure why 80m never panned out either?  Seemed we had clear freqs.  Signals were good.  Lotsa unanswered CQ's.  On SSB having only 20kc in the 3.650 range doesn't lead to any s&p opportunities.  Those who we moved there had no trouble hearing us but no one tunes down there so CQ's there were futile.

Heard W8O on SSB (Dan was operating) and thought he was calling us but he disappeared... since he said they didn't hear any mobiles I guess he was calling someone else?

I ended up fabricating a mount for the three antennas (Hamsticks) that could be bolted to the vehicle.  I'm not a fan of mag-mounts for holding an HF antenna on a vehicle.  The mount worked well.  We used my Chrysler minivan and the rack had studs available that were attached to the vehicle sheet metal so some 1" ground strap was used to bond the mount to the vehicle in 4 close locations.

I had chased the vehicle interference out in the two weeks leading up to the event and that part of it went well during the event... bands were quiet.

I decided to use the Kenwood 590 instead of the K3.  My K3's don't have antenna tuners as normally I don't need them and for an additional $350 each radio it's not worth it to me.  For the mobile an antenna tuner is necessary.  I decided around Dayton time to try the 590 (I was going to buy 2 more K3's for the FL QTH but decided to try the 590 instead) and I have to say that I really like it.  I bought 2 590's for the cost of 1 K3 (the way I config the radio) and the 590's have more stuff like the antenna tuner that my K3's don't have.  Excellent radio for the money.  The 590's also have USB built in, as well as a DB9 for RS232.  So this is real convenient for modern computers that have USB ports but not UARTS for RS232.  Two big thumbs up for the 590.

I ended up at the last minute making my logging software support OhQP and adding mobile friendly features.  It worked flawlessly.  Being able to write your own software is great if you want things the way you want them.

The look on Ken's face was priceless when he showed up and saw things.  No navigation for the driver, radio he's never used before and software he's never used before.  He picked all this up very quickly and did a great job!  As usual operating with Ken was a pleasure.

We ended up not making it to Henry.

We had a good/safe time and enjoyed working everyone, thanks for the Q's.  Congrats to Jim & Gary.

73, Tim K9TM

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