Sunday, October 3, 2010

California QSO Party (CQP) 2010 Round-Up!

Sonovista, my friends! I know I haven't posted in a while (primarily because my G5RV antenna fell down this past summer and an examination showed that after only 6 months it had already started to deteriorate.) In any event, I've managed to get the antenna repaired (or at least back on the air) and have been waiting for our pal, Sol, to get in the game. In the meanwhile, this past weekend was the annual California QSO Party (CQP) Sponsored by the Northern California Contest Club. As I did last year, I headed into the Santa Cruz mountains to operate portable and give folks another shot at a Santa Cruz county station (there are lots of Santa Clara stations).

Saturday I was up on RT 35/Skyline with my Buddipole and had a nice run, though the power lines in the area induced some wicked noise unless i rotated the BP perpendicular to the lines. Sunday I went up to my favorite spot on Mt. Umunhum, unpacked everything, and realized I forgot to bring my coax with the BP banana clips. After cursing into the misty mountain morning for about 10 minutes, I headed back down the mountain to my home, with a brief stop for coffee and donut to bring me out of my funk. A few hours later I took another shot, and with cable in hand, headed back up to Mt. Umunhum and worked for another couple of hours, (breaking one of my BP masts in the process, pulling it out too hard.)

Skyline Drive - Santa Cruz Mountains

Mt. Umunhum - Santa Cruz Mountains

Not as many stations as last year, though on Sunday I did add two DX contacts - OK4U in the Czech Republic, and DL1YD in Germany.

Here's this year's honor roll:
W0BH Kansas; KI6BEN Alameda County; K5WMH New Mexico; N6NZ Maraposa County; KH6LC Hawaii; NY6Y Santa Clara; WB2TFM Florida; KH7Y Hawaii; KI6LDM Santa Clara; KM4RO Kentucky; K9CT Illinois; W6FUV Santa Clara; AL1G Alaska; W1UE Massachusetts; VA7DEC British Columbia; VE3TW Ontario; N6LTU Santa Clara; N8UM Tennessee; KI6YYR Alameda; N60 Contra Costa; VA3GKO Ontario; WA7ADK Utah; W8KNO Ohio; VZ7IR British Columbia; WA1FCN Alabama; N8NX Michigan; VA3YP Ontario; KE1B/6 Santa Cruz; VE6AO Alberta; K6RB Santa Cruz; KX4X Alabama; VC3M Ontario; N2CU New York; N4PN Georgia; WX7P Washington; OK4U Czec Republic; N0QO Colorado; AB4GG Tennessee; DL1YD Germany; K5XR Texas; W0EWD Iowa; NG7Z Washington; K4WI Alabama; N8BJQ Ohio

A lot of sun, a lot of fun, and a lot of bugs. The Buddipole was phenomenal on 15M, but not outstanding on 17M (non-contest) or 20M where I could hear folks but they had a hard time hearing me. I think its worth trying the BP again in a more vertical orientation (perhaps sloping dipole). I also realize that to be a serious contester I need to log my QSO's using a computer (the sheet of paper approach is slow, crude and subject to many errors.) But in any event my Elecraft K3 performed like a champ, easy to set up, easy to run, easy to adjust the bandwidth and passband when the adjacent stations were overpowering.

More stuff coming... Fingers crossed for more solar activity... Go SF Giants!!!
de Robin (W6RDG)

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