Stellar numbers from the Utah DX Association K7UM operation on the Millard/Juab county line. Antennas shown here (right) are Force12 C3 at 55', Force12 Delta 240 at 48', and Spiderbeam (center) at 55'. Mast at left was for supporting 80m loop. See the entire writeup and the photos here:
KF7P Operation Recap
Larry (K7UWR) activated four Wyoming counties by operating for long periods from two county-line locations.
County Expedition #1: Hwy 34, Albany/Platte county line. Elevation 5990 feet.
County Expedition #2, Hwy 85, Niobrara/Goshen county line. Elevation 5064 feet. Larry comments: "Had to run to town to get hex key because the 40-Meter antenna was set too high in the band. Antennas were Hamsticks, radio was IC-706MkIIG. Solar powered during daylight."
Rick (KT7G): "Started at 6 A.M. at the WASKM/KLI line on the edge of snow and returned there at 10 P.M. for a few more. 431 miles in between and lit up five Oregon counties along the south edge of the Columbia Gorge. Did not get the required 25 in all of them, tough to count them off the N1MM screen. Created some pileups and enjoyed the trip. Equipment was Yaesu FT-100D, Ameritron ALS-500, and '97 F-150 platform, power and AC provider. Plan B was an IC-7000 on hot standby.
Antennas : Hi-Sierra Screwdriver on trailer hitch end, various Hamsticks on 3rd door. "
The "shack" of Rick (KT7G) -- note the "hot standby" IC-7000! Not shown here: the ALS-500 amplifier.
Rem (K6BBQ) put together this great video of his portable 7QP operation from Marin County California. Cameo appearances by: N3RC, W7VO (or at least his shack/antennas!), W7VS, KK7AC, the K7RAT guys (N2IC and WA5Y), NE7D, and AK7AR.
Per Rem: "I was mobile as I rode my recumbent tricycle to the San Francisco Bay. I used a Yaesu FT-817nd at 5 watts and a 20-meter quarterwave Buddistick vertical. The salt water of the bay helped my QRP signal. I had fun being outdoors on a great day and playing radio in a fun contest.
I tried to catch two of my missing US states: MT and WY. Although I did not succeed this time, the time was well spent -- I learned a bit more about propagation and not so tiny bits about geography of the western part of the US. This QSO party was probably one of the best "on-limit" equipment tests I have ever had. Equipment here was Kenwood TS-2000 with a tribander, with output power just 100 Watts. Since I worked the contest using our student satellite clubstation remotely from home (Remote Desktop+Skype), I used also DX Cluster to raise my success rate -- that's why my category is Multi-Single.
Lots of fun. Wish I had more time. Thanks for hearing my QRP signal and for all of the participation. The hard work of the organizers is very much appreciated by all of the QSO party aficionados. Hope to hear you all again next year.
I had a lot of fun participating in this years 7QP Contest with my oldie FT-757GX Yaesu radio on SSB & CW. 7QP is a nice Casual Contest to get warmed up for Field Day....
At my QTH in Sacramento I'm surrounded by all of the 7-land states. It's all short skip which makes it interesting when the bands go long. On 15 meters around noon there was an odd short path to WA; I could only hear WA and the east coast. 10 meters was open -- I could hear beacons and someone in 4-land calling for 7QP -- but never heard any 7-land stations. 40m early evening was great fun. Many thanks to the organizers for putting on this excellent regional contest every year.
I didn't expect much during the long daylight hours, since 7-land is usually too close for good signals on 20, and with the sunspots back worldwide QRM usually swamps my weak signal. But I guess long propagation on 20m was unusually poor, with the result that lots of 7-land stations were coming through but little else. Nice for 7QP from here!
It's nice to have a contest with a lot of freedom - work whatever band(s) you want, with voice, CW, or digital modes. I suspect that helps a lot in the quality of the contest experience by simply making each band/mode less crowded. I ran when there weren't any more unworked 7-stations, and never had a problem finding a frequency or holding it, which is very unusual for an Low Power/wire antenna station. Never found anyone on 15m or 10m, but I did find a few RTTY stations - wish there was more digital activity.
All in all, a nice contest - long enough to have fun, but not so long to require a long recovery from BIC syndrome.
CU in the California QSO Party from MENDocino County!
7QP is one of my favorite "regional" QSO parties. Terrific fun to make some Q's with great 7-land ops, in and amongst many weekend activities.
Thanks for sponsoring the contest.
Great fun, wonderful conditions, with HK3Q calling, and seeing the rate meter run up to 229 for more than just a minute, with the wonderful support of a long list of friends.... you'll find the list of their calls.... in my log. Score is almost double from last year, thanks to great props, and lots of great skilled ops.
Thank you all. And thank you to the fellows that put this all together. One comment I had the pleasure of getting after the contest was over... "Worked the 7QP, had a lot of fun, it is the best mannered contest of the year" And that is acknowledging all of us, what a great group. The station, with a K2 at 5 watts, and switched 360ft EDZs at 50 feet, 88ft dipole at 40, and a vertical, allowed keeping up with props and allowed quickly moving to desired directions.
Was glad to get out and put on six usually rare counties in Eastern WA. It's amazing how well 100 watts and a Hamstick can get out! Enjoyed the pileups on 20m CW, and it was fun to run across old friends along the way. Didn't quite make one QSO per mile driven, but had a great day.
Kittitas: Found my usual favorite spot on the Old Vantage Hwy is now part of the Wild Horse wind turbine farm so I operated from the parking lot at Ginko Pertified Forest State Park, had the added luxury of a vault-toilet within walking distance.
Grant: Crossed the Columbia River at Vantage on I-90, then turned south toward Mattawa - was heading for somewhere on the south side of Saddle Mountain and found a road signed "Saddle Mtn Crest" which looked good - went in about 1/2 mile and set up. Went QRT when a big black cloud came over and the QRN went sky high - was getting shocks off the key, rig, etc.
Adams/Franklin: Have a favorite spot along Hwy 24 where it crosses an irrigation canal - lots of swallows live under the bridge and put on an airshow swooping around.
Benton/Yakima: Had intended to operate from the rest stop just south of the Vernita Bridge across the Columbia River in Benton county, but it was closed (sign said it would re-open May 9th!). Didn't want to test the Hanford Nuclear Wasteland security by pulling off on a sideroad in the reservation, so continued southwest on Hwy 24 to the Yakima county line.
Driving back toward Yakima on the way home enjoyed watching a crow hovering over an irrigation sprinkler taking an inverted shower.
Equipment: IC-706MkIIG 100 watts (battery power), 20 and 40 meter Hamsticks with wire radials.
Thanks for the QSOs!
I had planned to do another high power mixed operation for 7QP this year, and maybe get 8-10 hours in the chair. Not only to have my fun, but to give the non-7s out there another W7 station to put into their logs.
I started out running on 20m CW and got off to a good start. After the first hour I decided to switch to phone, but seemed to be getting RF into my audio. I messed with it for a couple minutes and finally decided to scratch the phone and stick to CW. After all, CW is more fun, and much more relaxing anyhow, and I could fix the RF problem after the contest. So I went back to CW. I had so much fun I stayed in the chair continuously for the first 5 hours without standing up, but things slowed down around noon so I took a long 2-3 hour break and did my Saturday chores. I got back on later in the afternoon and intermittently stayed with it until the end, taking several shorter breaks. Total chair time added up to 13 hours.
I worked a small number of stations while S&Ping, usually when I was changing bands, but the vast majority of my time was spent running. It seemed to me that activity was down from previous 7QPs, but maybe I perceived that because I was operating CW only for the first time. I had 842 qsos with 570 different stations, so I worked many stations more than once (1 station (KK7S) on 5 bands, 14 on 4 bands, 36 on 3 bands, and 150 on 2 bands). I donít recall working a single 7th area mobile station, which was a huge surprise, and a bit of a disappointment. Special thanks to the small group of W7 county expeditioners who did set up on county lines. I worked several twofers, but no threefers or fourfers, which was also a bit of a surprise.
I missed South Dakota and Alaska for WAS, and also missed VE5, VE6, VY1, etc. I see on 3830 that KL7Y was on, but he apparently operated phone only so no joy for me. A KL7 did call me on 40M during the last hour, but I was unable to pull him out of the noise and had to give up. Lots and lots of DX called in on 15M and 20M. I never went to 10M so have no idea what I missed there.
All in all, another fun 7QP, and, as usual, I ended up spending more time in the chair than I had originally planned. Itís no secret that Iím truly a contest junkie.
Thanks again to the 7QP committee, and to all those who traveled and worked hard to put many of our rarer counties on the air. And thanks again to all the non-7 participants whose participation really makes the 7QP such a success.
Thanks for nice QSO Party. Good to see 15M propagation back.
Amp blew half way through contest. Nothing like working the HP category with 90 watts.
Nice activity, except the VEs. Exception was VE4EAR on many bands.
At the last minute, I was able to clear up my afternoon so I decided to try to cover a couple counties we didn't have anyone in. I drove to Roosevelt (Utah) and set up on the Duchesne & Uintah county lines -- which turned out to be in the parking lot of Unitah High School (I half expected the police to show up and ask what I was doing, but no one bothered me).
I had to be back by 5:00 p.m. So after a 2.5 hour drive (one way), I was left with about 90 minutes. Subtracting the time needed for setup and strike, I was down to just under an hour on the air.
When I arrived, the air was calm but within a couple minutes, the wind (and dust) picked up. The gusts were so strong that I had to strategically brace my Buddipole against the car door to keep it from tipping over. Once I was finally set up, I had visions of a great run -- everyone anxious to add these rare counties to their 7AP log. Instead, I had lots of noise and not a single response to my calls. Plus, my IC-7000 (attached to a battery) didn't seem to like the heavy use and would shut down or change frequencies after a couple minutes of heavy use.
After about 10 minutes, I gave up on running and moved to S&P. On the first pass of 20m, I couldn't hear anyone but on a slower pass, I found three or four signals in the noise but couldn't get through to anyone.
Checking the other bands, 40m was even noisier and I couldn't hear anyone on 10m or 15m. I moved back to 20m and started having visions of driving five hours and not making a single QSO. Finally, with about 15 minutes left, I got through to someone in Louisiana. I followed up with contacts to Oregon and Washington. So my grand total -- three contacts! Pretty lame, but hopefully it counts for something as we covered two more Utah counties.
What I learned:
(1) I'm not sure my IC-7000 is very good for contesting,
(2) Not all locations are created equal--something in the area was producing an S5-S9 noise level,
(3) Mother nature will not make things easy,
(4) It's a long drive to Roosevelt.
Location was 44 deg, 16.526 min N by 122 deg, 49.236 min W -- about 50 feet from the Lane/Linn County line.
The IC-706 Mk2g is NOT a true contest rig! At 100 watts out and holding a frequency on CW the radio got hot enough to (apparently) cause a crystal to stop oscillating, making all received signals sound almost like spark transmissions! Maybe next year I'll have my vintage Drake TR-4310 on the air.
Started at 6 A.M. at the WASKM/KLI line on the edge of snow and returned there at 10 P.M. for a few more. 431 miles in between and lit up five Oregon counties along the south edge of the Columbia Gorge. Did not get the required 25 in all of them, tough to count them off the N1MM screen. Created some pileups and enjoyed the trip.
There should be a rule that n6MA and n6MU cannot show up at the same time on CW. Worked them both but it was a little confusing for a bit.
Rig : FT-100D, Ameritron ALD-500, and '97 F-150 platform, power and ac provider. Plan B was an IC-7000 on hot standby.
Antennas : Hi-Sierra Screwdriver on trailer hitch end, various hamsticks on 3rd door.