[FQP] W4ZW Observations of Relative Signals from the FQP

W4ZW w4zw at comcast.net
Sun May 1 20:28:28 PDT 2011

I kept a few notes through the contest about relative signals from the FQP
and they must be taken with a few notes.  All my notes are for CW, and I
only made a handful of SSB contacts when someone sent "SSB." The signals of
the mobiles were subject to rather rapid change depending on where they
were, but overall these are my observations over the whole period.  Perhaps
those with the consistently stronger signals will share their mobile setups
with us for the next FQP.

These are relative strengths taken within the same half-hour on Sunday,
logged in the sequence I copied you and read from the S-meter:

K4OJ	  S8
K4Q	  S4
N4TO	  S9
NX4N	  S6
NF4A	  S9+15
K1XX	  S7
K4ZK	  S5
K4FCC	  S9+20
N4IG	  S9+20
W4LY	  S9+15
AC4TO	  S9
WJ9B	  S9_5
K2EK	  S9+15
WK2G/4 S4
K9ES	  S4

Later, after the band (20M) seemed to drop out from 1700Z until 1900Z, these
mobiles kept consistently strong signals: K4KG, N4TO, and K4OJ.  The 2nd
tier, in about the same time period, but about 1 S unit below them were K4Q,
NX4N, N4AO, and W4WQ.  K1XX seemed to be on the same level, but seemed to
suffer more from QSB, as did AD4ES.

As an observer, 1,600 miles away, with a fixed antenna with 8 dBi gain at 22
degrees to Florida, the standout mobiles all the time were K4KG, N4TO, and
K4OJ, although OJ's chirp seemed to really become progressively more serious
toward the end. Right after them were K4Q, NX4N, W4WQ, and K1XX. Later in
the day (Sunday), NF4A, KN4Y, N4AO, AD4ES. and KC4HW seemed to be as strong
as the first tier about 50% of the time, but seemed to take big dips almost
into the noise while the three beacon mobiles stayed up.  I only heard K4XS
on Saturday but he couldn't hear me, and I never heard him again on Sunday.

I know all of you were running pile-ups even when I could hardly hear you,
because I could hear the 8's, 9,s and NE working you. (And the other Ø's who
beat me consistently).  AND  I1VEQ who was as loud here as any of you guys!
On Saturday, the JA's were the bigger QRM for you on 20M, but NIL on Sunday.
Only heard the occasional EU (especially the SP's), except for I1VEQ, who
was always up there and should have been signing /FQP! (One of the lobes of
my big loop on 20M is on Europe)

For the fixed stations, the big standouts consistently were N4BP, K2EK,
N4IG, W4LT, K4FCC, (K4LQ on Saturday), with WJ9B, WO4O,  and K9ES about 1
S-unit under these but varying over a wider range. I'm sure the variations
in the fixed stations were the result of beam azimuths, since they tended to
vary through the entire period.

Some comments for the mobiles, especially:

K4KG, N4TO, and K4OJ, in addition to steady signals ran the pileups much
faster than most by IDing every 3 or 4 Q's. NX4N and N4AO also ran through
them rapidly.  Guys, by Sunday, most of the regulars in the pile know who
you are and you don't need to do a "FQP de xx5xx/CTY" after every Q.  These
guys also ran the first callers in piles on Sunday at 30-35 wpm, and often
N4TO was just using the "dit dit" for the QSL message, and often getting two
callers from the pile at once. (must have been the mutant!)  He fooled me
once with a "RR Jon EXCH", before I realized it was me he was working and he
was probably a bit behind with the computer. Sometimes, when you were
running at high speed, the slower callers in the pile were enough to cover
you up and you needed the second EXCH, but the rate was still quite high.

I hope to be one of the mobiles next year!

73's from 10,000'

Jon Hamlet, W4ZW/Ø
Breckenridge, Colorado 

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