2012 CQP


Bunks & Bears

This was my 21st CQP county expedition to Mammoth Lakes in Mono County...In addition to setting up my station and antennas, I had numerous upgrade projects planned for my condo including replacing a pair of old metal bunk beds with a new log set.  I left my home QTH in Santa Monica on Sunday before the CQP weekend.  The first challenge was leaving LA since a large portion of the 405 Freeway was closed that weekend for a major project..."Carmageddon" as it was named by the news media.  As it turned out, my detour was easy and the traffic was very light so the 300 mile drive to Mammoth went very smooth.  Below are some of sights along the road.

Driving through Red Rock Canyon

The GPS Shows 188 more Miles to Go

The Manzanar War Relocation Center near Independence


Shortly after I arrived in Mammoth, I noticed an bear looking in the park cars...I was careful to leave the back cover on my truck open the rest of my stay.  A bear had ripped the back cover on my truck a couple of years ago and I didn't want to have that happen again. Fortunately I didn't have any additional bear encounters during my stay.


Snoopy Bear Spotted Across the Street from my Truck


I launched all my antenna in their normal spots, except I found a closer area for my 3 element 20M wire beam.  The new placement allowed for a 200 ft coax run instead of the usual 400 ft run in prior years.  I was hopeful that the reduced line loss would help my signal, but I'm not sure it it helped since my rates on 20M did not improve.  It may have been partly related to amp not wanting to load above 500W on 20M.  My amp seems to work fine at my home QTH, but when I run it for my portable operation it gives me all kinds of fits.  I have tried lots of things to troubleshoot the problem, but I have not been successful in getting full output on all bands. 



20M Beam as seen from the Kitchen Window (PVC just visible at the Top)


This was my first CQP using N1MM logging software.  I had been using N1MM exclusively during the past year so it was a smooth transition from my prior 20 years with the CT logging program.   I was hopeful that I could improve on my personal best score from last year.  I did make my most CW QSOs to date (988), but had fewer SSB QSOs vs. last year so I came up a few thousand points short of a new record. It looks like sweeps from CA were challenging this year, so I was happy to get #17 from VE8GER for NT on Sunday afternoon to insure my sweep again this year.



10M Beam on a 30Foot Mast on the Deck


3 Element 15M Beam high Above my Pickup Truck


15M Beam Almost Down

The weather really cooperated...during the week went I was launching my 5 antennas, it was sunny and beautiful every day...see above no clouds in the sky.  It was also still beautiful when I was taking down all that wire and packing up.   


The K3 - Always Nice


This Year's Station Layout included a New 42" TV for Football Distractions

One problem, however, was that I had just planned too many projects to accomplish during my stay.  I had arranged to have a new log bunk bed set delivered during the week.  The combination of having two bedrooms painted, assembling the 50+ logs into a bunk and single bed set in addition to all the antenna/radio setup turned out to be a real physical challenge. I ended up staying an extra day after CQP to pack up and finish all the projects.


Before - Pallet of Bunk Bed Logs Delivered


After - Logs Assembled into a Twin over Double Bunk and Single Bed

When I quit for a 6 hr sleep break at 0744Z I had 1,195 QSOs (80/Hr Rate) which was my best ever mid-point score because I had a higher CW total than in prior years.   Unfortunately, as often happens on Sundays, my rate took a noise dive to to 53/Hr for the balance of CQP and I couldn't improve on my prior years results.  Fortunately, there is a whole year to come up with a better game plan.

Thanks for all the QSOs and great ops in CQP!


Jim, W6KC @ W6ML, Mammoth Lakes, Mono County

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