[OhQP-mail] W1NN/murphy

Hal Offutt hal at japancorporateresearch.com
Sun Aug 25 08:28:49 CDT 2013

Yesterday was not my day.  It was Murphy's day.

It did not start off well.  I left the box with all my maps and route information on the dining room table.  I realized it after driving for 20 minutes and went back for it.  This threw off my setup time.

I did make it to my starting point in LAKE with 20 minutes to spare so if nothing else had happened I would have been okay, but other things did happen.  

First I discovered that the K3 memory keyer would not work right.  I was counting on using the four built-in messages for my CQ and TU messages but it would not accurately play back what I recorded and it took four or five tries to get the message correct.  I finally had to get out my spare memory keyer and set it up.

When the contest started conditions were awful and there didn't seem to be many stations to work, especially on 20.  My first hour was a massive 33 QSOs.  Normally I am able to make 60 or more contacts in the first hour.  I did pickup some instate mults on 40 but after a while skip lengthened out and I couldn't hear anyone in state.     

Then the real problem reared its ugly head when I started driving:  terrible ignition/fuel pump noise in my Chevy Impala rental car.  The K3 was unable to do anything about it without causing an unacceptable level of signal overload.  It made operating while underway nearly impossible.  I had to ease off on the accelerator whenever a weak station would call or I couldn't hear.  Not a safe way to drive.  Since I was planning to drive most of the time, it completely foiled my route plan.  

I encountered two detours in my first hour of driving and I missed the county sign for ASHT and drove halfway across the county before I realized that I missed my turn south.  Then the road I was driving on suddenly closed and I had to figure out how to go around.  The sun was blazing down on my black car making it very uncomfortable and difficult to see.  

It was clear that Murphy wanted to ride along with me so I decided to let him out and spend the evening with the XYL.  

Total around 100 QSOs from five counties.

Next year will be different!

I hope everyone had a better experience than I did!

73, Hal W1NN/murphy  

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