CQ Centennial QSO Party

I decided to try something new on Friday night and called “CQ Centennial QSO Party” on 40m phone to see if I could generate any response. And indeed it did.

I had a heck of a time finding an open section of the band, but I finally settled on 7.249 mhz, asked if the frequency was in use a few times, then proceeded to call CQ. I had nearly instant success, with W4RCJ coming back to me almost immediately.

I next worked WM9I, W4PUD, KK4COZ, KD8VMD and KK4ZDK in fairly rapid succession. I was logging using a general contest template on N1MM, and settling into a nice rhythm when hateful sounds splattered my frequency. Checking the panadapter, I noticed very strong signals exactly 1 kc down the band. I tuned over and found a local guy and a Georgia station, both booming, engaged in ragchew about dogs, food and antennas. No callsigns were being used of course.

Because they were only 1 KC down, their signal was overlapping into half of mine. There went my nice Centennial QSO Party run. Here are a couple guys who don’t believe in listening before transmitting.

When it comes to single side-band, I’m going to admit something sad and/or shameful. I don’t really like talking on the radio. Until Friday, I’d never called CQ on voice and actually had anyone respond back to me. I’m not going to count the time I called CQ at 5 watts to test the SWR of my 6-meter moxon and the guy living just outside of my neighborhood came back to me.

So yeah… After achieving Worked All States, the Triple Play, and logging more than 100 DX entities, I’ve never had QSOs originating from my own CQ calls on voice modes, until Friday.

Going Mobile

I saw a very nice install of a dual-bander in a Ford Focus posted at Reddit, and it’s inspired me once again to consider placing a mobile rig in my Focus hatchback.

The gentlemen who installed the radio used the MT-7 seat bolt mount to position the control head inside the cramped interior. I’ve often considered using this very same mount for an HF or dual-band mobile solution, as the Focus has virtually no flat surfaces or extra space for any sort of rig. It’s good to know this solution will work in the Focus. Now to figure out the hard stuff: Where to run a power line through the firewall, how to route the cables for the control head to the radio itself (and where to locate it), antenna options, etc.

I really don’t need a mobile rig for the small amount of repeater/simplex VHF/UHF I do, but it would be nice to have in there for working events and talking to some bros around town.

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