CQP 2011 Plans?

As I mentioned a few days ago, the NCCC awards meeting in March gets me fired up for upcoming events, such as ARRL Sweepstakes and CQP. Last year my CQP log was tossed out due to formatting issues with N3FJP’s CA QSO Party software. While I have not contacted Scott about this formatting issues, I guess N6RNO and volunteers who help for the CQP had seen it in the past. I don’t expect to use this software in the 2011 CQP.

Much like March 2010 I have grandiose plans for CQP. There is a good chance none of it will come to pass, but I have begun considering a mobile operation (again) for CQP. There is only one other mobile that has submitted a log the past few years, K6AQL (op: W0DI) operating. Unfortunately running only 100w with an FT-857 and an ATAS-120A probably puts me at a bit of a disadvantage. Up to now I have not had good luck operating mobile on a daily basis. Although the upswing in the solar cycle has made operating conditions better I have considered alternatives.

After speaking with Rick, N6RNO on Monday, he said putting together a mobile operation or a county expedition are two ways to “help” when it comes to CQP. His idea for a mobile operation could include driving up and down I-5. If you are start in San Diego county, you end up driving through 16 counties (still 8 short of what K6AQL did in 2010). But it’s not about how many counties you hit, it’s about “BIC” time and handing out counties in the contest. Of the 16 counties in the I-5 plan, 8 of these counties had 4 or less logs submitted in 2010. What is even more surprising, 5 counties submitted only 1 log (Del Norte,Lake, Mariposa, Napa and San Francisco). The I-5 route would encompass about 697 miles and 11 hours, 31 minutes of travel time, without stops.Looking at feasible routes, there are some options once north of Sacramento as to which counties you have a possibility of driving through. Not having driven the roads north of Sacramento during October I am not sure what sort of conditions to expect.

As for the mobile station, I have considering renting a 24′ RV for two days to make the road trip for CQP. I would turn my current shack into a rolling shack, using my FT-1000MP, a laptop and possibly the Alpha 76PA. Only problem I am running into with the linear is a 220v outlet. I could possibly convert the amp to 110v or use a step up/step down converter. Much like my plans this too is still in the early planning stages.

I haven’t really considered a county expedition…yet. I am sure I could hook up with the guys at N6RO, who always put out a good signal. There might be another option (if) when I am introduced to John Galli, W6JZH via email from Rusty, W6OAT. John has a great looking station from the outside, as I stare in awe of his antenna set up when I have driven by his house.