Sunday, August 8, 2021

2021 MOQP

 This will be a summary of my rover activities during the Missouri QSO Party. 

ND9E was the call used.

211 contacts

54 multipliers(28 states, 21 MO counties, 4 provinces, 1 DX)

11394 claimed points

515 miles driven

Start of contest Saturday.

Lincoln County- Set up a inside Cuivre River State Park. I was parked rest to a small creek and had a bunch of people swam in all at the same time. Everyone was standing on the edge of the creek and not really moving around much. I then realized that it was a local church holding a baptism. 3 contacts made.

Pike County- Operated from a state conservation area. Lots of bugs! 32 contacts

Ralls County- Set up in a church parking lot. There was a lot of RF noise coming from the trucks on the highway and the power lines. 15 contacts

Marion County- Found a road side park to operate from with a couple of local folks stopping by to see what I was up to. 24 contacts

Lewis County- Wakonda State Park- Great location to operate from! 14 contacts

Clark County-I set up again in a state conservation area. Had 2 visitors checking on me. 15 contacts

Scotland County- My original location didn't work out by I did find an empty parking lot at an USDA office. More locals checking me out. 18 contacts

Schuyler County- I set up in a parking area of a public river access ramp. This location was planned for just a 2 meter contact with W0W superstation operating at the Union Ridge Conservation area. 3 contacts

Putnam County- Another 2 meter contact with W0W. 3 contacts

It was starting to get dark and my night vision was giving me some troubles so I headed to Kirksville to the motel for the night. 

Start of contest Sunday.

Left the hotel and got breakfast as I headed towards Sullivan County.

Sullivan County- Made a 2 meter contact with W0W and 1 HF contact. 4 contacts

Adair County- Only made 2 meter contacts while I drove. Only 2 contacts

Macon County- Another state conservation area that I thought would work out but it was very noisy RF wise and horse flies the size of a Cessna. 24 contacts

Randolph County- Set up in a parking lot of a movie theater. The theater was closed when I started but while I was operating the workers opened up the joint and something they turned on made it hard to operated due to high noise levels. 16 contacts

At this point I was supposed to go to Boone and Callaway Counties but in talking with W0W and W0S they both needed Audrain County. I had just enough time to get there and operate before the contest ended. 

Audrain/Montgomery Counties- I had about 30 minutes to operate here and made 16 contacts to close out the contest. 

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Winter Field Day 2021-ND9E


My claimed score of 12330 has been calculated by the WFD folks and my actual score is now 5858. I did not lose any multipliers or bonus points but I lost more than half of my QSO points. This was because of "not in log" errors and busted contacts. I am considering going forward to scale back my operation and just make contacts without a log. 

Another Winter Field Day approached and I did my normal process of watching the weather, making grand plans and then making a last minute decision. Here is how it all played out for 2021. 

About 6 days out my plan was to setup a 30 foot mast and put up a 80 meter doublet antenna. I would operate from an ice fishing tent on my deck and run on generator power. The weather guessing people thought that we would have a little rain on Saturday with temperatures in the mid 30's. The radio setup would be the IC-7100 running into an AH-4 ICOM tuner. N3FJP would be the logging program and I would be using FLDIGI for PSK-31. 

At around 2 days out the weather forecasts were starting to say more rain was possible along with some wind. Now I am wondering how waterproof the ice fishing hut would be so research would show that my model of tent would leak at the seams unless it had been waterproofed. There was not time to properly waterproof the tent and now they were saying that we would have at least an inch of rain so I decided that either I had to operate as a home station or move the operating position to the uninsulated garage. I could claim more bonus points by operating as an indoor station away from home and long as I still set up the temporary antenna so a garage operation it would be!

Now with the plan finalized I proceeded with setting up the mast and antenna Friday afternoon. I got the cables run into the garage before it got dark and then setup the radio in the garage. Saturday morning I would just have the generator to get setup. 

Saturday morning I started up the propane heater and took the generator outside and placed it under the eve of the garage to keeping it out of the rain. I had a 20lb propane tank tied to the generator but could not get it to start which was frustrating since I had tested this a month earlier. I did get it to run on a 1 lb bottle so this would be a test to see how long that would run. 


The Baja generator ran 3 hours on a 1 lb propane bottle. Ran another 7 hours on the 20 lb tank. 

The Bioenno inverter ran the radio for 6 hours on Sunday morning and was still at 75% charge.

The EMI filter that I built worked well on suppressing the generator and inverter noise. Also the ferrites from Palomar Engineering took the rest of the noise out of the radio. 

Waterproof your connections! AH-4 tuner, tuner control cable and taped up coax connections.

80 meter doublet

Guy rope tensioners


Saturday, February 6, 2021

EMI filtering for inverter generators


I had purchased a Baja inverter generator for ham radio use and so I didn't have to lug around my 3500 watt generator which is overkill for just running a radio. The Baja runs on a propane tank as shown above or the Coleman green bottles. I knew when I purchased this that there was good chance I would get EMI noise in the radio and boy does it put out some noise! 

I built some filtering based on these two great write ups.


First I built the filter box capable of 10 amp loads. Testing showed that this filter knocked down about 50% of the noise and my noise blanker on my IC-7100 would take care of the rest but I wanted to eliminate some more noise before it got to the radio. 

Next I added some products from Palomar Engineers to each end of the extension cord.

Using the filter box and the ferrites took care of all of the EMI from both the Baja inverter generator and the Bioenno inverter shown above. I tested the generator with and without a ground rod connection and it did not make any difference. It does help to get as much separation as possible between the generator and the radio. 50 feet worked well. 

IC-7100 External memory keypad


ICOM has provisions on the IC-7100 to use an external keypad to activate the voice and CW memory keyer slots. This mainly frees up the screen on the control head for other uses and still allows the memory keyer to work. This plugs into the microphone jack. The advanced manual has the schematic for this but it is mainly 4 switches and 4 resistors. There is a menu item in settings to turn on for external keypad use. 

Since it uses the microphone jack and I still needed to use the mic I found a RJ-45 splitter on Amazon that parallels all 8 wires on each port. 

Here is the board with the switches and resistors soldered on. Nothing fancy needed here. Just point to point wiring. 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

ARRL 10 meter contest-2020

 There were only about 2 hours available to play in the ARRL 10 meter contest this weekend. Luckily I picked the 2 hours that the band was open in Illinois. I heard nothing on the band Saturday night and all day Sunday so my only activity was Friday evening. Not much to show here but it was nice to operate on 10 meters again. 

Saturday, November 14, 2020

KFF-4105 Washington County State Recreation Area- ND9E


ND9E activation of KFF-4105

It was time to do another park activation and clear the cobwebs from the equipment. It was also time to take a break from projects at home so this location was chosen because it was the closest to my house and it had not been activated for WWFF. The drive was just over an hour and then a 20 minute setup put me right about noon time. I checked out the bands and looked for park to park contacts while I ate lunch. I started calling CQ on 40 phone around 1815z and 40 meters did not disappoint. 55 contacts were logged on 40 meters and then I went to 20 phone. I never seem to get a good run going on 20 but wound up with 72 contacts total for the day with a total on the air time of 75 minutes. 

I ran into a strange noise on the 40 meter band that I first thought that it was someone messing with me but it turned out to be around 15Khz wide so I think it was something local like a pump or motor. It lasted just long enough that I gave up on my 40 meter run. I ran into the same noise on 20 meters but not as strong. 

72 contacts, 75 minutes air time, 2 park to park contacts. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

2020 Illinois QSO Party-ND9E


Alexander/Pulaski County line

This years plan was the same as the previous 2 years with a start on the Alexander/Pulaski county line. I arrived in plenty of time to setup a 40 meter doublet to the AH-4 tuner. Everything worked as I hoped except the guy lines on each end of the antenna took turns falling down. Operating time was about 2 hours and 45 minutes. I tore everything down and moved to my final location which was the 3 county corner of Pulaski, Johnson and Massac. 

Pulaski, Johnson, Massac County corner

At this location there used to be a farm road along the trees next to the farmers field. Over the last 5 years this road has slowly been taken over by the trees and the crops. I normally set up an inverted L down this farm road. This year the farmers soybeans had not been harvested yet so I had no path for the antenna. I settled on putting up my 31ft vertical that I use for park activations. I knew this antenna will work for 80 phone so I felt good about putting it up but I had never tried this antenna on 80 CW. Turns out the AH-4 can't match this antenna on 80 CW. There was a lot of activity on 80 CW the last 90 minutes of the contest so I missed out on that action. I did make contact with some local hams on 146.55 so it was good to get those multipliers. 

Overall it was still a good outing but my score was way down from last year. I will need to find a spot next year to replace this 3 county corner. 

ND9E's Contest Summary Report for ILQP
 Created by N3FJP's Illinois QSO Party Contest Log
 Version 4.1

 Total Contacts = 340
 Total Points = 25,515

 Operating Period: 2020/10/18 17:03 - 2020/10/19 00:36

 Total op time (breaks > 30 min deducted): 5:24:13
 Total op time (breaks > 60 min deducted): 5:24:13

 Avg Qs/Hr (breaks > 30 min deducted): 62.9

 Total Contacts by Band and Mode:

 Band       CW     Phone     Dig   Total       %
 ----       --   -----     ---   -----     ---
   80        0      13       0      13       4
   40       65     256     0     321      94
    2        0       6         0       6        2
               --    -----     ---   -----     ---
 Total     65     275     0     340     100

 Total Contacts by State \ Prov:

 State       Total     %
 -----       -----   ---
 IL            140    41
 GA             24     7
 PA             18     5
 TX             14     4
 OH             11     3
 AL             10     3
 IA              9     3
 NC              9     3
 OK              8     2
 FL              7     2
 IN              7     2
 MI              6     2
 MN              6     2
 ON              6     2
 VA              6     2
 WI              6     2
 MO              5     1
 MS              4     1
 SC              4     1
 CA              3     1
 CO              3     1
 DE              3     1
 KY              3     1
 MA              3     1
 MD              3     1
 ME              3     1
 NH              3     1
 NM              3     1
 NY              3     1
 KS              2     1
 LA              2     1
 NE              2     1
 TN              2     1
 WV              2     1