2010 Michigan QSO Party Photos

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The Team W8RU Multi-County Road-Trip

Team W8RU, a group of six hams with employment ties to General Dynamics in Ypsilanti, have been getting together to participate in the MiQP for five years. As the 2010 date approached, we learned that WA9WIX, AB8OJ, NX8C, and KB8VWM were all unavailable on MiQP Saturday. That left Bill (KC8VGG) and Ron (W8RU) to keep the tradition alive.

Ron, W8RU on 40M from Barry County

Bill, KC8VGG on 20M from Ottawa County

As was the case in prior years, Bill and I opted for doing a multi-county portable operation. We drive to a pre-determined spot in each county, stop, set-up dipoles, and operate in a Field Day fashion. After a couple hours of operating we break everything down and move to the next county. Power is supplied by 12v marine batteries so as to avoid the hassle and noise associated with a generator. The challenge for us is to quickly setup a decent station and keep inter-county travel times as short as possible.

We originally chose three counties in Michigan's Thumb region, but these counties were picked up via N8KR's airborne operation. To help fill in some holes in the coverage map, we changed our minds and planned for Ottawa, Kent, and Barry.

Uncharacteristically for an operation that involves W8RU, we hit the road for OTTA on time. Some road construction detours delayed our arrival at a city park in Jenison until just after the start of the contest. We had the 80m dipole up in about 20 minutes and KC8VGG started making noise. The weather was cool and windy, so we had to wear parkas and hats to stay warm. 80m was hopping and Bill got busy handing out the OTTA multiplier. W8RU set up on 20m using a newly-constructed aluminum tube dipole and had good success on CW; 20m SSB was a struggle.

After 2 hours of operation we took stock. Bill had run into at least 3 stations in Kent county on 80m, so we made a real-time decision to skip Kent. We spent another 30 minutes in OTTA, then broke camp. The KP4AO guys were active from Arecibo on 432 MHz on MiQP Saturday, so we spent about an hour trying to work them. They weren't very strong and we couldn't break the pile-up. As we drove through Kent on our way to Barry, Bill handed out a few contacts on 40m SSB. He was using an FT-817 running 5w to a mobile whip.

In Barry County we set up in a park-and-ride lot in the NE corner of the county.  Even on a Saturday a couple cars came and went, but there were no issues. Bill set up a dipole for 80m and Ron used the mobile whip on 40m. We did pretty well from this location. Temperatures were dropping and the wind did not abate, so we quickly got chilled. We spent about 3 hours on the two bands and in both modes. When the sun went down we broke camp and hit the road.

While on the road we were back to the FT-817 on 40m with 5w. Only WA5ZUP in New Mexico could copy us, so we gave him QSOs from IONI, EATO, and INGH. He certainly won our award for having the best ears.

 The cold weather certainly slowed down our setup and breakdown efforts this year.  The N8XJK battery booster eliminated the battery voltage droop we experienced in past years. We were able to put out 100w on all bands when parked. With the droop we could only get 40-50w output.

Multiple-portable operations are pretty demanding because of the physical effort to setup and breakdown multiple times.  Having dipoles . 

The new 20m tube dipole worked very well. The dipole was quick to assemble using hose clamps and required only a center support -- no end ropes. These small things make a big difference during setup. The tube dipole could also be rotated, and we made use of this feature a number of times during the day.

We had a great day on the bands and are already looking forward to MiQP 2011.


N8MRC operating position in Ionia County


Pictures from the K8MQP multi-multi, Livingston County

Gerry, K8GT on 40M CW

Tim, KE8OC and Rick, WR8W on 40M phone

Ted, W8UE on 80M

Mike, WD8S on 20M


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