Friday, March 24, 2017

Countdown to Missouri QSO Party/ POTA run - 7 Days out

These posts will be a little different for me since I will try to post everyday with the preparations for the Missouri QSO Party which will include an activation of 8 to 10 state parks that are part of the World Wide Flora and Fauna program. The dates of this QSO Party are April 1st and 2nd. Usually I operate the QSO Party with a special event call but this year I will be using my ND9E/0 call. I will be a mobile/rover.

Delayed preparations

I have planned to operate in this QSO Party for a long time but the preparations were stalled due to a hail storm that hit my home location on Feb 28th. This storm hit around 5:35 PM just after I got home from work. The hail was slightly bigger than a golf ball and was very jagged. This barrage lasted about 1 or 2 minutes. Now my truck (mobile operating platform) with only 6000 miles on it looks like a golf ball. We wound up with 3 damaged vehicles and now need new roofs, siding and window screens. The insurance claim process has taken a bunch of time and I was not sure if my truck may be in a body shop during the QSO Party. No fear of that now as the body shops in the area are backed up for months. I was fortunate to get an appointment in June!

7 days out

Tonight I finalized my plan and the counties that will be activated and uploaded the plan to the W0MA website. 

All of my latitude and longitudes have been documented in Google Earth and in my phone using the Waze Android app. Here is a screen shot of my locations stored in the Waze favorites. Waze is an excellent navigation app which I like better than Google Maps even though Google bought out Waze. I like the looks of the screens better plus Waze gives you more notice for turns then Google Maps. 

The next step was sort through all of the flip cards I made for the MO counties. I use these as I drive through counties and flip to the new county as I enter it. They have the county name, 3 digit designation and the phonetics. Why the phonetics? Yes I know the proper phonetics but when I start hitting the 10th or 11th hour of the event my mind gets numb and I still have to drive. Sometimes I am lucky to remember my call sign. 

That is all for tonight. Tomorrow I start taking equipment from the basement and the attic of the garage to start transforming my truck (mobile operating platform) that looks like a red golf ball!

P.S. Sometime this week I also have to get the tractor ready for grass mowing season!

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