Operator(s): WA5Y, K7IA, N2IC, N5BG, W5CF, W7WGW, K7COR, K7LON, N7XEU, KB5ZKE, KB7CSE, AA7NW, N7AM, KB7ZZY, N7CSL, N5IA
Class: County Expedition Multi/Multi Low-Power
QTH: AZ GHM/GLE
|Band||CW Qs||Ph Qs||Dig Qs|
|80M||276 ||116 || 0|
|40M||820 ||360 ||0|
|15M||284 ||26 ||0|
|10M||0 ||16 ||6|
|6M ||0 ||0 ||0|
|2M ||0 ||0 ||0|
|Total|| 2294||1760 ||84 |
Mults = 70 Total Score = 745,360
Building upon two years of experience, the Eastern Arizona Amateur Radio Society, Inc. (EAARS) improved considerably in many aspects of operating in the 7QP this year. With new particpants, both experienced and contest beginners joining with the seasoned crew, a good time was had by all.
The weather cooperated for our high desert experience somewhat better than it had the past two years. It was warmer, and with less wind during the setup day. However, the winds on the operating day did reach 35-40 miles per hour for five or six hours and equaled the winds of two years ago.
The addition of the digital option this year by the 7QP organizers prompted EAARS to invest in an all band vertical for a digital station. It was anticipated that the cross polarization from the main station antennas and the low power of the digital transmissions would keep inter-station interference at a minimum. Suffice it to say that the SSB station receivers suffered some degradation while the digital transmitter operated.
Plans are already underway to mitigate that problem for next year. Our budding digital operators didn't make a bunch of contacts but learned a whole lot about how to use the modes in a contest environment. Watch out for them next year. They will become a real asset.
The installation of the club's four portable towers and antennas had no problems. The 2.4 gHz Internet connection worked well as usual and the 5.8 gHz link for the logging network, connecting the CW and SSB operating locations, operated without a burp for the entire contest period.
Two problems did show up which caused the CW team to leave a lot on the table. The genset for the CW operations intermittently would cut out for a couple of seconds, allowing the voltage to drop enough to cause the logging PCs to shut off. UPSs don't like small generator power, so besides fixing the genset problem we have to devise an effective power backup system for next year.
The power dropouts also caused another problem which was not discovered until very late in the contest. It appears that an unorderly shutdown (power going off)of one of the new transceivers causes the radio to be in the condition of the last orderly shutdown when it turned on again. Because the last orderly shutdown of the radio had been after a QRP schedule the night before the contest, each time the radio was turned on after the power bumps, it apparently came up in QRP power out mode.
The power out meter display automatically follows the QRP or higher power settings of the TX PO so the operators did not see a discrepancy until band conditions late in the day and early evening made something appear wrong. So, most of the contest period the 20 Meter and 80 Meter CW position was operating at less than 10 Watts. So much for Mr. Murphy coming to call on us.
The QRN on the low bands was quite heavy but was not as bad as two years ago. But it was a far cry from last year when at the end of the contest 75 Meter SSB sounded like 2 Meter FM it was so quiet. Last year we made 434 and 132 Qs on 80 CW and 75 SSB respectively. The QRN this year limited those stations to 276 Qs on CW and 116 Qs on SSB.
15 Meters was slightly better than last year. There was some decent sporadic E but no F-layer contacts at all. Ten Meters even showed it still exists with a handful of E-layer contacts.
Again 20 Meters was the money band. The CW ops and the SSB ops were in a very tight race all day long until 0100. The Q count was never more than 15 apart, with the lead changing a number of times. About 0100 the CW band ran out of stations to work. The later discovered QRP problem probably contributed to much of the problem that late in the day. The SSB station continued working them at a good clip until 0400.
The high rate hour for the whole operation was the very first hour, from 1300 to 1400Z. We put 410 Qs in the log during that hour.
EAARS thanks the stations everywhere that called in to our stations. As usual the California operators led the way with 562 in the log. Texas came in 2nd with 282 entries. Oregon was 3rd with 258, Washington 4th with 250, and Utah 5th with 164.
A great big thank you also goes to the ladies who braved the wind to setup the kitchen for the evening meal. It doesn't get much better than that; operating a contest while eating grilled hamburgers and home made potato salad.
A total of 21 DXCC entities were logged making it easy to achieve the ten DX mults needed. Domestic mults were up by four from last year. We achieved WAS in about eight hours. Only the rare Canadian mults were not heard or worked.
Thanks again to the 7QP organizers and the many, many ops in the Indiana QP and the NEQP who called in. It was one blast of a day.
After five hours of sleep, we were taking it all down at sunup. There was improvement in this aspect also, as we were totally loaded up and gone from the site in five hours time.
73, and we will see you all next year.
Chairman, EAARS 7QP operation
All photos of the K7EAR operation provided by Erin/KB5ZKE.