1997 CQP - Our Best Score to Date Earns 1st Place in Multi-Operator County Expedition Category
This was the 6th year of operations from Mammoth Lakes in Mono County. By now we were pretty familiar with all of the pine tree combination needed to hold an every increasing amount of wire. Last year our 2-element wire beam quickly became just a 20m dipole when it came crashing down during installation and broke one of the PVC support booms. This year the redesigned model with a 3rd element added installed and worked like a charm. We also put up a horizontally mounted 40m delta loop thinking it would give us better short skip performance. Since we always got better comparison reports from the 40m dipole at all distances our antenna lab experiment didn't have the desired result. We ran 2 PC's with CT networked. It was cool to see the last 10 QSO count hit 233 at times when we were both running. The strangest PC problem we had was when the RF re-programmed my keyboard and all of the function keys were mixed up. F2 was now F1 and F1 was now F4 etc. I couldn't get it to reset so I went out and borrowed a keyboard for the last 3 hours of the contest.
Highlights: Working one of my ham buddies from Jr. High School days who I hadn't talked to in over 30 years. Seeing W6SW's wire beam at 55' and having it make a big difference in our 20m results towards an overall competitive score. Completing our sweep of 58 states/provinces after only 7.5 hours (2328). Winning 1st place in the multi-operator county expedition category with this year's score!
Lowlights:Only one. Taking down all of the antennas, packing up and not leaving Mammoth for the 300 mile drive back to Santa Monica until 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. Getting to bed about 1 a.m. knowing you have to get up for work at 6 a.m. the next morning is a true test of dedication to CQP.
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