Email from Harry, KA3NZR and Pete, WG2J dated 11 Aug 11.
Kevin, (i.e., Kevin Stuart, W4KLS)
please forgive me bad manners for not sending you a note earlier than this...
thank you very much for sponsoring the High VA Mobile Multiple Operator plaque for the SPARC and VA QSO Party.
it was a great honor for my partner, pete michel, WG2J, and me to win. pete and i started in franklin county, drove
to up and along the blue ridge partway from carroll back to roanoke city and then caught the other counties the
next day. we used a ten tec scout, to three hustler resonators on a mast located behind my pickup truck's cab.
i hope pete and i can do as well next year. pete and i operated using the franklin county amateur radio club call
sign of W4FCR.
one humorous except - i can't remember which county we were in, perhaps patrick, but there wasn't any parking
except at the head of farm driveways. pete was logging and i was concentrating on my CW. pete said something
to me which i didn't catch. when i looked up he had a funny look on his face as was pointing towards the road
lo and behold the farmer was in his car patiently waiting for me to move my truck so he could get to his
house! ;->>>>> thanks again, all the best to you and yours.
Gordon, (i.e., Gordon, NQ4K, Chair, Virginia QSO Party)
we appreciate what you and sparc do for amateur radio in virginia. i'm not sure how many years i have participated
in the va qso party but it has been fun every year. i hope pete and i can be as competitive next year.
cheers and 73,
harry weiss (ka3nzr) and pete michel (wg2j) franklin county
Date: 27 April 2011
Tnx for the update Gordon.
By the way I've updated the FARA web site with some highlights from
some of our members if you care to add to the Post-contest link or
soapbox section of the K4NVA VaQP 2011 site.
andyz - K1RA
Date: 7 Apr 11
Subject: Williamsburg Area Amateur Radio Club (K4RC) at VA QSO Party
I thought I'd share a few photos of our activities this past weekend
during the VA-QSO Party. My club setup a station at our Field Day
site in James City county, near Toano, VA (about 12 miles from
Williamsburg). The site is on the Chicahominy River which enters
into the James River about 30 miles west of Hampton Roads and
Norfolk. There are two nice picnic shelters on the property and
we use them both for FD. For this even, we chose the one up on
the hill and it gave us a nice location for the mast and a 135 foot
doublet antenna configured as an Inverted "V".
My K3/P3 was setup under the shelter on the table and we used AC power and my Astron PS. Photo "John_K3_10248"
shows the K3/P3 on the table. It also shows the bottom corner of
the Acer monitor we placed on the radio to provide a view of the log as
the data was entered by the logger at the end of the table (we were
carful not to block the vents for the KPA3). The hand in the
foreground belongs to John, AI4QQ, one of our operators.
shows the radio on the table and Ed K1NUH logging and Chuck AI4WU on
the mic. The little blue box under Chuck's right hand is my home
made PTT switch made from some surplus relay contacts and thin model
aircraft plywood. I find this more convenient for portable
operations then the usual footswitch.
Ed, and Chuck appear again in photo "Ed_Chuck-10231"
which shows the radio/P3 with monitor on top from a getter
perspective. With this arrangement, the operator no longer has to
strain to see the 'exchange' infor or call sign while operating, it's
right in front of him.
illustrates the fact that if you want to do something bad enough, you
can do most anything. George K4GAM is a disabled VET. He
has limited use of his legs a numerous other problems as a result of
his service in the ARMY in Vietnam. But he got his Technician and
General tickets and comes out to most of our club special events as
well as other portable operations. To his left you can see the
seat-back of his "Jazzy" and just over his right shoulder, is the ball
on the control stick. "Jazzy" George is real handy when
up-packing the car for these events, just pile it on his lap, and off
Well, we had a great time and made a lot of contacts. This is the
first time the club has made an effort for the QSO party, but I don't
think it will be the last. By the way, from the coats and glover
you might guess it's not Spring weather here, yet.
I don't know if you can use any of this in your scrapbook, but I thought you might like to see the equipment in use.
Thanks again for all you do.
...bill nr4c (president WAARC)
Date: 6 Apr 11
From: John, W4AU
This year was the first time that I had entered as CW only in the VAQP.
Boy, things are a lot slower on CW in this QP compared to working mixed
with SSB, and it's easy to miss many of the VA multipliers that are
only heard on fone. But I certainly didn't miss the deliberate
interference on 75 SSB that has plagued us in the past. Things were
very difficult Saturday evening on 40 CW, though, because the folks in
the BARTG RTTY contest completely dominated the lower half of 40 meters.
One thing that helped me stay in the chair was operating SO2R, and
during slow times I could even alternately CQ on two bands to try and
keep the rate up. I found 20 especially productive on Sunday morning
and afternoon working both the western U.S. and Europe; sometimes I
didn't know which way to point the beam! Also, my 191' Extended double
Zepp worked great on 40 as it is oriented to work both east and west.
I was pleasantly surprised on Sunday morning when my score passed the
existing HP CW record for the VAQP; it was a big lift and kept me
working as hard as possible for the rest of the time. I hope that my
score holds up as there were a lot of good CW ops on the air this
Thanks for all the Q's, especially for those folks who got on Sunday just to hand out a few numbers.
K3 & P3 -> Alpha 78
Orion -> Drake L-4B
KT-34A @ 50'
Extended Double Zepp for 40 @ 45'
Dipole for 80 @ 50
Inverted L for 160
73 - John, W4AU
QSL card from Kay Craigie, N3KN (Virginia resident and President, ARRL). Front side
, Back side
On, 3/24/2011 12:07 PM, [email protected]
We had a successful operation with a net 1008 QSOs (223 CW and
785 SSB) and claimed score of 203,987. I added a "/CTY" to a few of the
mobile and portable stations to eliminate dupes. Eleven operators have
been indicated in the cabrillo file: Bill, WF1L; Gordon, NQ4K; Kevin,
W4KLS; Jim, KF4PQL; Don, K7CS; Dick, W2YE; Kevin,WB0POH; John, N3QT;
Jim, AF4MO; Ray, KD4RSL; and Eric, AJ4LN. In addition we had Paul,
K4PDF, and Bud, W4KSN, as visitors.
Dick's, W2YE, station operating as K4NVA
. (Don, K7CS, operating at CW station. Phone station on right).
Close-Up on Phone Station
Close-Up on CW Station with Don, K7CS, operating.
Jim, AF4MO, operating
at Phone Station.
Dick, W2YE, the host
, one of the operators.
(Photos by Kevin, K4KLS and Gordon, NQ4K.)
Date: 30 March 2011 5:22 PM
This is always a great contest, and we lucked out with the weather! I
went out on the motorcycle and operated portable from Ashby Gap and
Snickersville Gap, where I had the good fortune to run into K2BFY.
Those ended up being my only successful QSOs, but it was still a great
time! Already looking forward to next year!
Joseph / KJ4FQJ
The Alexandria Radio Club, using the club call sign of W4HFH, participated
in the 2011 Virginia QSO by having a group of its members take a trip to
Buckingham county to set up a series of stations at the James River State
Park. Randy, KI4MWQ, Sandy, KI4QNG, Harry, N4CWP, and Marshall, KI4MWP
worked Friday and Saturday morning in setting up antennas and radios. As
can be seen by the pictures, a variety of antennas and equipment were used,
ranging from 80/40 meter NVIS, G5RV's, and Icom 746 Pro's. Many contacts
were made and the group thought this was a great way to participate in the
2011 Virginia QSO party.
President, Alexandria Radio Club
From: Jeremy, KF7IJZ
Date: 28 Jan 11
While working the 2011 VQP, I had a video camera running. I have
finished editing the footage and have come up with the following
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G28wjWKGSLs
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jdezch_RObc
Please feel free to share this. Thanks again for the contest, and I
can't wait until next year's contest!
-Jeremy / KF7IJZ
25 Mar 11
That fellow who spoke about NVIS predictions was spot on when you look at our graph of QSOs by band over time
John , KX4O
Member of Faquier Amateur Radio Association (FARA)
Note: Bernie, KJ4VOV, and Larry, AK4FB (members of the Culpeper Amateur
Radio Association) operated mobile from 7 counties (SPO, CLN, STA, FBX,
ORG, CUL, and FAU.
I didn't get a chance to take many photos during the party, but here's
three shots of our mobile attempting 2m SSB contacts from Caroline
county. Maybe you can use them for your website. KJ4VOV_1.JPG
(Did not make a single 2m SSB contact from anywhere)
Bernie - KJ4VOV
I had a blast! Propagation is the recent past
was tough to work the state next door. This year the ions did
nice work. The activity from Virginia was nice and it came from
all regions. Setup was a K2 running into a low off-center fed
dipole 250 feet long, up 25 feet to tickle the clouds on the way to the
Old Dominion. Later I used my 80 and 160 meter verticals also.
TNX es 73 Curt WB8YYY Eldersburg, MD
This years VQP had lots of activity and was a lot of fun. It really helped that the bands were in great shape with little noise.
I've been working the VQP for a many years, casually trying to work all
the Va counties. I have been stuck for awhile needing just two -
Smyth and Halifax. I was happy to find Halifax this year.
See everybody next year. 73! Bob NA2X
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2011 21:52:23 -0400
Here is my submission for the Virginia QSO Party. I was using a
portable setup in a Chesapeake park with an inverted V dipole wired for
40M and placed up in a tree around 25 feet for NVIS use. I sat in the
front seat of my vehicle and used a deep cycle marine battery to power
my Yaesu FT-857D transceiver. The NVIS worked great for 40M on Sunday
since about the only signals I received were local to Virginia. I only
worked the 40M band for all my contacts during the QSO Party. My signal
was coming in strong and I was able to reach and work stations even
when I turned the power down to 10-20 watts. The park was only open
duriNg daylight hours so I had to take down my antenna by sunset and
leave the park. I went back the next morning and strung my antenna back
up in the tree the next day.
I can't actually use my home for ham use because of restrictions and
radio noise in the area. So far, all my contacts have been while
Wesley Jacocks AI3F
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2011
Here is the photo of my setup. I used 3 100' long orange ropes to tie
up the antenna, 1 hanging from the tree limb for the center, and 2
others for each of the wires in the inverted V. In the photo, you can
see the lower orange ropes and the one up in the tree. One rope is on
the left of the photo wrapped around a tree and the other lower rope is
wrapped around a tree on the right. The thicker tree above my vehicle
is the tree with the center of the dipole and you can see some of the
orange rope going up in the tree. If you look close, you can see the
white balun hanging down. I think I shook the camera during the middle
section, so it looks slightly doubled and blurred in the middle of the
I am using an antenna from the yo-yo-tenna people and it has
worked good for me so far. I used it during the ARRL International DX
competition with a length for 20M at this same park, but in a different
tree and adjusted the height and rotation angle of the wires to try to
change the direction and range of propagation during the contest, it
might have worked, because at first I was picking up a lot of QRM, but
after adjustments to the height and direction, the QRM seemed to be
reduced and I started picking up some different countries from before.
I had been playing with some antenna modeling software and it seemed to
show the vertical gain changing with height along with the angle of
greatest antenna gain.
Wesley Jacocks AI3F
SOAPBOX: Seemed to be quite a bit of activity and, when I had a
SOAPBOX: chance to sit in front of the radio, there was always
SOAPBOX: someone new to work. Maybe I'll have an 80 meter
SOAPBOX: antenna for next year. Thanks to everyone that heard
SOAPBOX: my QRP signal and thanks to the organizers. State QSO
SOAPBOX: parties like this one are a lot of fun. 73, Will, NQ2W
Subject: VAQP: Initial feedback from 6Y5RA
From: Iain McFadyen
Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2011 19:46:03 -0700 (PDT)
* I was only able to access the shack at University of West Indies from
1800UTC Saturday to 2359UTC aturday. This club station location
(access/keys) is turning out to be a real hassle.
* I took an external manual tuner for the 40/80 antenna, and manually I
was able to do what the TS-2000 internal tuner failed to do earlier in
the week: Match the G5RV.
* I totally overlooked the possibility of connecting TS-2000 to the PC,
to automatically populate QSO freq to the logger program, and it caused
me some hassle later on, when it came time to update the actual
frequencies I had worked on. Thank goodness for the paper log...
* Though I had expected to have Internet access at the shack, this
proved not to be the case. So no spotting available, and no callsign
* I worked around 26 stations in the 6 hours I was on. I sent out
reports up to "029" but some were given to stations who were not in
* Initial listening around: 14MHz SSB was intimidating: Huge signals
covering the whole band, from people running in a "Russian" contest.
Some of the signals were terrible quality! I switched off preamp and
noise blanker, and switched on attenuator but no improvement.
Definitely a problem at the originating end!
* Further initial listening around: Noted all CW stations on 14MHz
doing around 40wpm. All keyers, or PC-generated no doubt. So I was
initially too intimidated to break out the straight Morse key.
* I ran into one station operating VAQP on 21MHz with a terrible
signal. Advised him and he adjusted his processor. I ran into the
*same* station on 14MHz and noted the same terrible audio and splatter
on the signal. I didn't want to offend anyone too much so I didn't
mention it a second time.
* I initially went into search mode on 14MHz: Looking for the VA stations between the loud stations. Slow going.
* I later switched to 21MHz. Heard NOTHING at all on the band. Sat
myself on 21.370. Put out 3 calls, and got a response from a VAQP
station. Apparently I had been "spotted". But that was a good and bad
thing: I spent the next 2 hours fending off non-VAQP stations,
interspersed with the occasional VAQP call.
* And then...... The Carnival procession came through the University
campus. Kilowatts of audio power, and speaker arrays the size of
shipping containers! I had absolutely no clue about this. I apologised
profusely to the stations on 21MHz about the background noise, shut the
(ineffective) glass shutters to keep out some of the noise, tried to
keep going. Though the VA stations advised me that there was no
distortion/background to my audio, the issue was really that I was
unable to hear the receiver audio, even in headphones! I eventually had
to walk away from the radio and cease operation till the procession
moved on. Only in Jamaica, right?
* So later I went back on the air. The mini-pile-up on 21MHz had
dissipated. A few calls did not get any response, so I went scanning
around the bands. A couple of contacts on 7, then a couple on 14, and
then back to 21 again, but didn't hear SSB activity there. But I
happened to briefly switch to 21.050, and heard.... SLOW Morse! I
thought: "Wowee! I'm gonna work this fella!" So I did. Shame he was in
the NDQP though :-( Only came to light because his county abbreviation
is not in the VAQP list.
* But it was enough of an incentive to try a couple of CW contacts
myself, and hence why I owe apologies to K4ORD, K4C, and K4NVA for
having to reduce their CW speed to 10-15wpm to complete my three CW
contacts on 21, 14, and 7MHz respectively.
* Unverified results: 27 contacts.
Counties/Cities worked: (12)
LDN HBX FFX CHE FAU VBX MPX HCO CUL PRW FLO ALB
Bands worked SSB: 21, 14, 7.
Bands worked CW: 21, 14, 7.
Worked one Mobile station, but the logger program gives me 0 points if I add the /M to the person's callsign.
* Thanks for letting me play along, guys! Sorry I was unable to operate Sunday due to access issues at the shack...
Iain KI4HLV/6Y5 Operating "6Y5RA".
Subject: Great VA QSO PARTY THIS YEAR
Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2011 19:44:00 -0400
This year W4KGC operated out of King George County via Internet Remote
from Home to Barn where equipment and antennas are located; 1800ft down
the road. There really should be a special multiplier for
stations that work a VAIR station -- think about it.
The following hams operated the W4KGC VAIR station this year.
NV8U - Dale Robertson
N4CV - Ben Mills
WA3GIN - Dave Jordan
We noticed much of the Northern Neck wasn't heard by us... and over the
years hasn't been represented. We're thinking about setting up mobile
operations for the nothern neck for next year.
ARPSC Board Member
CATEGORY-OPERATOR: SINGLE-OPERATOR ROOKIE
NAME: KEVIN STERNE
ORIGINALLY MEANT TO ACTIVATE ROA, CRA, GIL, BLA, TAZ, AND WYT.
HOWEVER, BY THE TIME I GOT TO GIL, THINGS WERE GETTING FAIRLY CHILLY
AND MY ONLY BAND WAS GETTING FAIRLY QUIET. I WAS LIMITED TO JUST
2 BANDS, 20M AND 2M. MY 20M ANTENNA BEING A CRUDELY BUILT
INVERTED V DIPOLE THAT I BUILT IN 30 MINUTES IN MY DRIVEWAY THE MORNING
OF MARCH 20TH. I COULD PICK LOTS OF PEOPLE ON THAT ANTENNA DOWN
IN THE 40 AND 80 M BANDS, BUT I COULD NEVER GET IT TO TUNE CORRECTLY TO
BE ABLE TO TRANSMIT THERE. NONE THE LESS, I STILL GOT INTO ITALY,
LATVIA, AND ARGENTINA WITH THAT INVERTED V DIPOLE.
SOAPBOX: ALMOST BY CHANCE ON 3/21 I PICKED UP ANOTHER 10 QSOS JUST BY
LEAVING MY 2M RIG ON IN THE CAR WHILE DRIVING I-81N AND THEN
I-66E. IT WAS GREAT TO HEAR SO MANY PEOPLE ON 2M SIMPLEX!