2019 CQP


Power-Less in Mono

On the Sunday before the CQP weekend, I drove the 300 miles from our home QTH in Santa Monica to Mammoth Lakes in Mono County. I like to keep simplifying my temporary wire antenna setup so this year I put all four of my antennas at about 60 ft between the same two pine trees. I ran my 15m and 20m dipoles end-to-end and in the middle where the dipoles were connected with a short piece of guy line, I attached my 40m and 80m inverted V's.

By Friday night I was all setup and glad that there was a CQP practice session to make sure everything was good to go.

Unfortunately, when I got up Saturday morning, I discovered that there was no power in my place or anywhere else in town.  Due to an equipment failure at SCE, the power was shut off in the town of Mammoth Lakes and neighboring cities at about 3am Saturday morning. As it turned out the power was not restored until almost 2pm. Since CQP began at 9am local time, I lost most of 5 hours of prime operating time. However, I was able to get on the air for some of that power down time by running jumpers from the battery in my car parked just outside of the window of the room where my radio was located. It turned out to be a good test of my emergency preparedness.

I had a brought a second radio (FT-991A) with me that I use when I'm traveling. It was already setup to interface with my laptop for logging and it had a set of alligator clips for a 12V connection. I could only get about 50 watts output running about 14 ft. of cable to my car battery, but I still made 115 QSOs in 2+ hours of operating and then my laptop battery died.

I logged 5 QSOs by hand on paper and then fortunately the power was restored. With the power back, I still needed to re-key all 120 QSOs into the logging program on my desktop PC. This used up another 30 minutes, so I finally made my first QSO with the benefit of my amplifier at 2139Z, 5 hours and 39 minutes after the CQP start time.

During Power Outage running off 12V Car Battery and using Backup Rig and Laptop - No AC Power means that the K3S, P3, Desktop PC and Amp are all Dark  :- (
All Wire Antennas - 20M and 15M Dipoles at 60ft with 80M and 40M Inverted plus 4 Coax Feed Lines Below



CQP 2019 County Expedition Station W6ML in Mammoth Lakes, Mono County





In addition to all the power problems, I had very a high noise level on all the bands and it was difficult to get any real runs going. I ended up with 500 QSOs less than last year and missed ND for the sweep. It was still fun and Mono County in the beautiful High Sierra is always a great place to operate in the CQP.  And thanks to Hank, W6SX for helping us share the bands with minor interference between our HP stations about 1/2 mile apart in Mammoth Lakes.

Rig: K3S, AL80B Amp, dipoles and Inverted V's, all at 60 ft plus 8,000ft Above Sea Level and iPad with TV Football for slow times as needed

Thanks for the QSOs and great ops in CQP!


Jim, W6KC @ W6ML, Mammoth Lakes, Mono County

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