Monday, August 28, 2017

2017 US Island QSO Party

On Saturday August 26th, the US Islands Awards Program held their annual QSO Party where much  like other QSO parties you can be a chaser or an activator. Activators are made of rovers, portable and expedition classes. I choose to operate as a rover station again this year operating from my truck. Here is a breakdown of my island adventures.

Cora Island- MO006R- Missouri

I am fortunate that in the St. Louis area there are around 6 islands that have easy access. I selected 4 of them where I can drive onto the islands. Cora Island looks more like a swamp at times but usually I am the only person there while operating. The Kansas and Ohio QSO Parties were also just getting started so the bands were packed. I managed 12 phone contacts with 2 island to island contacts. The first island contact was with K4I on VA069L which had just been qualified a few minutes prior to our QSO.  The second island contact was with VE3SCN on ON023.


Ellis Island- MO003R- Missouri


Next island was Ellis Island which was about a 10 minute drive from Cora Island. Here I made 10 contacts which is normal from here as the noise level is higher here probably due to being across Mississippi River from some industrial buildings. I did manage 2 more island contacts. Contact was made again with island ON023 but this time it was from a different call sign. Hopefully I did not mess up the call sign or island number. This call was VA3TIC. My second island was FL003S which was being activated by Greg N4KGL. Greg is a very active portable operator and has been active with the NPOTA, POTA and RaDAR. Check out Greg's excellent Google+ group. Link is below.



Chouteau Island- IL003R- Illinois


I crossed the Mississippi River at Alton IL and headed to Chouteau Island. There is some farming that happens here but it is mostly known as a large former landfill. My vantage point from the truck was staring at the large mountain of trash! This is an island due to a channel that was cut though to help with barge traffic which is known as the Chain of Rocks Canal. 

I made 22 contacts total with them being 10 phone and 12 CW. I made 3 island contacts here with K4I again at VA069L, NC6Q at CA074S and VA3TIC again at ON023. 

Here is a picture of the truck at Chouteau Island. 31ft mast and with tape measure radials. 




Walkers Island- IL019L- Illinois

This was my final stop of the QSO Party. This island is in the middle of Horseshoe Lake Park which is part of the Parks on the Air program as KFF-0998. I was hoping that this also being a park would drive up the QSO count.

All the contacts were on phone and mostly 40 meters. I hated to switch bands as the contacts kept coming so when I hit the point where the spots had stopped and I started calling CQ,  I switched to 20 meters. I made 128 contacts in 107 minutes of operating time. There was another island contact made with NC6Q on CA074S. 



Wrap up

The truck was unloaded on Saturday night and I began working on the logs. As a rover, you submit a log for each island. There is no logging program out there just for this event so I used N3FJP, exported the ADIF file to Excel and then created a template so I did not have to write out the log sheets. Logs get sent in on Tuesday night. 

Please check out the US Island program with the link below. Also visit their Facebook group. 





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