Operating notes: MI QSO Party, Rookie Roundup

April 23, 2013 Dan KB6NU

I started the weekend off by going to the ARROW monthly breakfast. I don’t know why, but attendance was way down this month. Only eight of us showed up. One notable presence was Sam, KC8QCZ. We hadn’t seen him for quite a while.

After breakfast, I had intended to make a ton of points in the Michigan QSO Party from the Hands-On Museum station. Instead of using WA2HOM, which would have only confused people, we used W8CWN, the former callsign of Dr. Richard Crane, a U-M physicist and the builder of some of the earliest exhibits at the museum.

Ed, AB8OJ, met me down there, but unfortunately, the propagation gods were not with us. 15m and 10m were completely quiet. 20m was a little better, but even there, conditions were only fair to poor. After about three hours, we just gave up with only 74 QSOs in the logbook.

As it turns out, all the activity was on 40m, and we still don’t have the 40m inverted V back up yet at the museum. I really should have made more of an effort to do this last fall. It’s the first thing on my list to do when (if?) the weather here warms up enough to get up on the roof.

Saturday evening, I did operate the MIQP from home for about three hours. Since I don’t have an 80m antenna, I stuck to 40m. I was thinking of trying 20m again, but there was so much activity on 40m, I didn’t bother to listen to 20m.

The propagation was very favorable for MIQP operation. Not only was the propagation long enough to contact the eastern half of the U.S., it was also short enough to make contacts in the neighboring states and many MI counties. I ended up making more than twice as many contacts at home as I did at the museum in roughly the same amount of time. I quit at just after 10pm with just over 40,000 points.

On Sunday, I went down to the museum again for a short time. 20m was still in pretty lousy shape, but I made a couple of CW  contacts, then went looking for the Rotarians on Amateur Radio net. I was again unable to find them, but I did log into the Heathkit Net right at the tail-end of that net.

I then tuned around a bit before pulling the plug. I found a couple of stations working the Rookie Roundup. One of them was working W6YX, the Stanford University Amateur Radio Club station. The other was a husband and wife team working the same station with both their calls. I thought that was pretty cool.

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