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2019 Soapbox

Full writeup and pics of the K7KC operation from the Grand/Emery county line in Utah: K7KC

The Youtube video: 7QP Seventh Area QSO Party 2019 K7KC 2019 with K7UT, NG7M and N7RXL

I have been waiting a year for this weekend! 7QP is a BLAST.    Conditions were far from ideal but he who keep his fat butt in the chair as long as he can stand it usually wins.    Almost a WAS Sweep, only full hour till I had any food or caffein in me.    Those first QSOs I must have sounded like I was still asleep HI! All in all a fun weekend.   Thanks to all who braved, at times, HUGE pileups!


County Expidition in Skagit County Washington from Bay View State Park.    I'm a member of POTA so all contacts get hunter credit for K-3157.    Used my FT-897 with a Alpha Antenna End Fed up about 35 ft.    The solar flare really messed up 20 meters in the afternoon but in the evening 40 and 80 meters were great.    Made almost half my contacts after 5:00pm PDT.    I was hearing stations on the East Coast on 40 meters out here in Washington.    It was a fun contest.


Well, I did it again, and this year was something ELSE! I got to my ORDES/LAK location fine, albeit much later than I had hoped.    This year my XYL needed the van, so I had to pack all my stuff into my '87 Honda CRX.(!)

In spite of having a 20 meter EDZ with reflectors aimed east and a 40 meter EDZ broadside N & S erected as an inverted vee, I just couldn't scare up the activity on 20 that I had hoped for.    My most outstanding accomplishment was working N7XU in something like 7 counties on 20!

To add insult to injury, my trusty Honda generator decided to quit on me.    I discovered that it was low on oil, and the sensor shut the machine off.    I lost the 4:00PM - Midnight segment of the contest, so I did not get in on the 80 meter run.    To make matters worse, it really got HOT inside the tent, and the poor Jupiter dropped output to about 20 watts.    I set up outside in the trees and then later moved the tent to a shady spot.    As if that weren't enough, my CRX would not start this morning, so I had to get out the Astron power supply, wire it into the battery terminals and plug it into the generator.    I managed to coax around 5 minutes of use out of the generator--just enough to get the engine started! Now I know from experience how it feels to be way out in the middle of nowhere with an almost dead battery!


This was another WQ6X portable operation from W7AYT's QTH in Concord.    In addition to assisting the NX6T remotely, I found time to run all 4 QSO parties as WQ6X from the EB section in the SF bay area.    I ran the usual Yaesu FT-1000mp into a CH-250 vertical, a Cobra T-sloper and of course the WQ6X Lazy 8JK sloper.

Focus was mainly on CW as very few SSB stations were heard.    I worked many stations by calling CQ 7QP although I should not have needed to - y'all shoulda been calling CQ, not me.    Overall, I enjoyed working all manner of new counties; especially the county lines.


My first 7th area QSO party.   I had a blast.   40m was loaded with strong "7" stations.


My first contest - how fun! I learned a lot, and had a blast doing so.    Looking forward to the next 7QP.


Hadn't touched a ham radio since 1992, and this was my first effort at CW contesting in almost 30 years.   It took me a little to get back in the swing of things, and to learn the tricks of using logging software.   Had a great time, and think I am hooked again.    Was sad to not make any contacts on 15 meters.   But am looking forward to future years when the Sun is a little more active.


Very poor propagation conditions compared to last year.   We were over 400 Qs short of last year's total (we operated under call N7T in 2018 and 2017).

Propagation on 20, 40 and 80 could best be described as everything west of a line drawn north/south through New Mexico.   AK and HI was open all day and for the most part 20m was only good for local AZ contacts, NM to MT, CA, and the Pacific Northwest.

Anything east of NM (mid-west to east coast) could best be described as spotlight propagation -- we'd get an opening to one narrow area or one single state and within just a few quick minutes that opening would be gone never to return.   We heard almost essentially nothing from the eastern seaboard which was very unusual.

We were hoping the 4-point Qs would entice the RTTY operators to come out and play but we were wrong on that.   Thanks to the RTTY ops that were out there for the contacts.   Spending time calling in RTTY probably cost us contacts on phone.   Maybe FT4 next year?

As always, thanks to everyone in 7QP, IN QSO Party and NE QSO Party for making contacts with us.   It's a LOT of work to deploy as an expedition, but we enjoy the annual tradition of getting together to do this.


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Site last updated on: June 5, 2020
7QP / The 7th Call Area QSO Party

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