2008 CQP


Nosey Bears, Blowing Pine Cones and Other Excitement

This was my 17th consecutive year operating a CQP county expedition from Mammoth Lakes in Mono County. On Wednesday I made the 300 mile drive from my home QTH to Mammoth...along the way, the news came out that a hiker had found some items near Mammoth Mountain that belonged to Steve Fossett, the pilot who had disappeared with his plane over a year ago.   Sure enough, just a bit later I saw the first of several news  trucks headed to Mammoth.  It sure put Mammoth Lakes on the national map...in all my pre-CQP QSOs everyone mentioned the story.

News Truck headed for Mammoth Lakes during CQP

Shortly after I arrived, I saw a bear and her cub climb into a van that some other people had left a door open. I quickly closed up my truck and sure enough the bear came over and looked in the truck window. I yelled at her and she took off, but I kept looking over my shoulder while I was unloading and setting up my 80m dipole just as it got dark.

Bear and Cub find a Treat in my Neighbor's Van

Heading for my Truck

Coming for a Closer Look

On Thursday I got my 40m dipole and 20m wire beam up and shot the guy lines for the 15m wire beam...I was debating whether to bother putting it up. Since I had time, on Friday I went ahead and put up the 15m beam, but as it turned out I only had two QSOs on 15m (KH6LC and W6SX in Mammoth).

A big storm arrived on Friday evening...all night the winds blew and it rained quite hard. When I went to bed I had dreams of finding all my antennas blown down by the storm. Fortunately on Saturday all my antennas were still up. The only unusual thing I found was that a pine cone had been blown so hard that it was stuck in the wire of my 80m dipole at about 60ft.


20M Wire Beam Survives the Storm

Pine Cone get Blown into 80m Dipole

Still Stuck on the Wire when Lowered

I had a second radio setup for SO2R, but I could never find two bands productive enough to use it much. Mainly I kept tuning and CQing on 15 and 40m while I kept the main radio on 20m, to see if there were any QSOs to be had. On Saturday I got a few on 40m, but on Sunday it seemed 40m never got going at all. My main joy was that I heard VY1MB CQing on 20m SSB on Sunday morning and he gave me his #13 for my sweep.  I finished with over 400 QSOs below my Mono County record set 2 years ago...Can't wait for 15M propagation again.



TS-850S and TS450S with Networked PCs running CT


As always, CQP was lots of fun and it was nice to have eye ball and CQP QSOs with the other active Mono County hams, W6SX and W7AB, W7FD and KT0AD at W6M.

Thanks to all!


Jim, W6KC @ W6ML, Mammoth Lakes, Mono County

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