Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ohio QSO Party 2012

2012 Ohio QSO Party Breakdown 
This weekend was the Ohio QSO Party. Since I missed it last year, I wanted to make an attempt to operate in it this year. When I took a look at the solar conditions and my propagation path to the lower 48, I knew this was going to be a tough weekend for contacts. Also considering I'm 2 x LP (Low Power & Low Profile) that was going to make things even more challenging. But hey, I wanted to support the home team! Considering I'm originally from Ohio, with Alaska as only my second state of residence, I have a weak spot in my logbook for those Buckeye stations. 

Ohio QSO Party CW Stats
I normally use Win-test for contesting so I had to download the latest version of N3FJP's QSO Party log. I then had to scramble to find my notes on how I configured the settings to interface my rig with the software. Once I found my old notes, it was not long before I had the computer software talking with my Icom. I had issues with this software sending consistent CW and it was obvious that problem still exists. 

I started out on CW as that's my favorite mode and often I can work many more multipliers (counties) on CW. I was also going to spend a bit more time on SSB in the hopes of working a few more stations on that mode. In previous events, the mobiles really were the key to getting many of the counties (for me anyhow). It was not long after the contest began that I ran into the usual mobile stations running from county to county giving out contacts.

Ohio QSO Party SSB Stats
The only band which I had any propagation was 20 meters and it was pretty poor to say the least. I normally have a great path into Ohio but with added absorption miles above me, the band was here for a bit then gone. Several times I tuned the SSB frequencies not to hear a peep but thankfully a handful of Ohio stations could be heard on CW. CW once again saved the day as I worked 38 counties on that mode (See Photo Above) and SSB came in second at only 12 counties worked (See Photo Directly Above). I called CQ on both modes a few times but was really unsuccessful at getting many contacts. It seemed that S&P (Search & Pounce) was the only way to play today. 

The band (20 Meters) was pretty much toast for me by 2200z. I have to hand it to several of the Ohio stations for pulling my 100 watt signal out of the mud. The mobiles did an outstanding job as always and if it were not for them, I would not have worked half of what I did.

I cancelled my trip to Fairbanks to pick up some new windows for our house so I could at least work a few hours of the contest. Even though propagation was poor and I only logged 60 contacts, it was a fun time. It's always a pleasure to work so many of my old friends and familiar callsigns and hopefully sending a multiplier their way as well. 

These QSO Parties always take lots of effort by many individuals to make them successful. I have the easy part, participate and send in my log. Thanks to all those that make this, and all the QSO Parties possible. 

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