Operator(s): W7MCO, N5XNF, K7JEM, N5IA, K7IA, WB7ONJ, N7XEU, AA7NW, KB7CSE, N7QK, K7LON, KB5ZKE
Class: County Expedition Multi/Multi Low-Power
QTH: Graham/Greenlee County Line, Arizona
|Band||CW Qs||Ph Qs|
|160||-- || --|
|15||112 || 8|
|10||-- || --|
|6 ||-- || --|
|2 ||-- || --|
|Totals ||1992|| 1320 |
Multipliers = 64
Total Score = 551,424
The successful experiment of making a Field Day style outing for the 7QP last year, as a replacement for FD in the HOT summer, prompted the Eastern Arizona Amateur Radio Society, Inc. (EAARS) to fully support the 7QP this year. Not only did EAARS complete a serious field operation, but also voted to sponsor four plaques for the deserving out of 7th District participants.
The two-county line location searched out and used last year was agreed upon as the proper location for a 4A FD style deployment. Even though it was doubtful that 15 Meters would open enough to be useful, it was decided to install separate antennas for the CW station on that band. More stations meant more operating locations, so a travel trailer was located with 500' separation from the EAARS communications bus. This allowed feed lines to be shorter by 50% from what had been used last year. An additional 5.5 kW generator was deployed so each operating location had it's own power source and short AC power cords.
The installation of the antennas on the tower trailer and portable towers all went very well. Time was expended to assemble two new antennas. The wind was the only weather factor, but fortunately was only 25-35 MPH vs the 40-50 MPH stuff we experienced last year. It has been VERY dry in the southwest and our area is no exception. With the low humidity (single digits in the daytime and only into the teens at night) the temperature variation was in the 45-50 degree range. Temperatures at sunup were in the mid 30's and the afternoons were in the high 70's to low 80's.
N1MM was used as the logging program and a 5.8 gHz wireless link was installed to connect the LAN between the two operating locations. A 2.4 gHz wireless link was operated to provide Internet access from an access point 15 miles distant in New Mexico.
The CW stations started on 75 Meters and 40 Meters but 20 opened shortly thereafter. The networked PCs at the CW operating location showed no Qs being made by the SSB stations. Soon it was known that Murphy had made hisfirst appearance.
EAARS had invested in two MicroKeyer II units for their voice keyer capabilities on the SSB stations. Interfacing, programming and testing in the shack at home had shown no problems. But, in the FD environment with no real grounding, there was RF feedback into the Heil boom mics feeding the MicroKeyers. The recorded voices were A-OK, but the mics had extreme RF feedback. An hour and a half was lost while a trip was made to secure the Heil to Yaesu adaptors.
20 Meters again turned out to be the money band, but not nearly as good as last year. Most noticeable was the lack of DX. Some good runs were made with the rate meter on the SSB station hovering near 300 for short periods. The CW station achieved near 200 for short periods. Not bad for the long two county exchange. But those bursts were very short. For the most part 20 played the roller coaster routine.
15 Meters just barely opened for the CW station and signals were good for the few stations that actually showed up on that band. The SSB station just CQed into an empty band for the most part.
20 closed before sundown, nearly two hours before it did last year. 40 Meters shut down at 0500 Z. 80 Meters was good all evening for the CW station, but the 75 Meter station had tough sledding until the last couple of hours. At the time the contest ended at 0700, 75 Meters sounded like 2 Meter FM; nothing but loud stations on a nearly total quieted band. That was a drastic contrast to last year when the big storm in the middle of the country made 40 and 75 nearly unuseable the last 3-4 hours.
The PCs, radios and gensets were shut down in that order immediately after midnight ending time. Everyone was up and ready for teardown at approximately 6:30 AM. Everything was disassembled, packed and everyone was headed for home shortly after 12 Noon.
The EAARS group really enjoyed this outing and want to thank the 7QP organizers for providing the opportunity to compete FD style this time of the year. Thanks also to all the stations that called our stations. And a big thanks to all the mobiles who really helped the Q count.
One thing we noticed was the appearance of at least three mobile stations in Greenlee County. Greenlee is the least populated county in Arizona (by a BIG margin) and usually is not too well represented. Combined with the EAARS operation and one local station in the Duncan area, Greenlee appears to have been better represented than any other county in Arizona with the exception of Maricopa (Phoenix, etc.).
EAARS looks forward to next year and an advancing solar cycle with some sunspots to make 15 and even 10 Meters useable. 73 for this year.
EAARS 7QP Multi-Multi Two-County Expedition