Sponsored by HDXCCthe Hoosier DX and Contest Club

2002 Soapbox

AE9YL and K9LA hand out northern counties (by Vicky AE9YL)

I have participated in the Indiana QSO Party (INQP) before, but never as a mobile station. My husband Carl K9LA and I went to a Hoosier DX and Contest Club meeting in Indy, where they talked about the upcoming INQP. One of the topics discussed was a need to put all 92 Indiana counties on for the Party, prompting Carl and me to think about helping out by "going mobiling" from our Northest Indiana QTH.

Over the next few weeks, we put together the route that we would travel. Carl would be the driver and I would be the operator. The route, and thus the counties we would activate, was predicated on lunch at a restaurant in the northwest corner of the state named Teibelís. Carlís family has been going there since he was a little boy (Carl grew up in Hammond), but we go there for only special occasions since we live so far away. So Teibelís here we come!

HDXCC posted the counties we were going to try to activate on the INQP web site.

We had a rig for operating mobile (FT-747), but we didnít have mobile antennas. So we bought a set of Hamsticks for 40m through 10m, along with a triple magnet mount. This made the mobile antenna installation on our van very easy.

The Saturday of the INQP finally arrived. We packed up our dog Heidi and headed west on US 30. Carl drove and Heidi sat up front. I sat in the far back seat of the van, with the bench seat in front of me folded down. The laptop, powered from the cigarette lighter with an inverter, was placed on the folded bench seat. The 100 watt rig was placed next to the laptop

Carl said 20 and 40 meters would be our best bands. He was right! We tried 15m and 10m briefly but couldnít stir up any activity on these bands. (Most of state party mobiles seem to prefer 20 and 40)

After a leisurely mid-day lunch at Teibelís, we took the northern route home along US 6 to hand out more new counties.

When we finally got back to Ft Wayne, we had mobiled through 14 of Indianaís northern counties, hitting Allen, Whitley, Kosciusko, Marshall, Starke, LaPorte, Porter, Lake, St Joseph, Elkhart, Noble, Lagrange, Steuben, and De Kalb. I worked 40 states and 3 Canadian provinces in 211 QSOs. Three stations followed me across Indiana.

The only "problem" I had was that when we started I didnít note what county we were in as we drove. So when we got home we had to go back and match our driving speed with the QSO times to see which counties we were in for the early QSOs! When we realized this was a problem, Carl called out the county as we entered a new one so I could put that in the log.

We had a great time and a lot of fun, including Heidi. We stopped in the afternoon for an ice cream break in Nappanee, and yes, she got some, too! It was a nice way to spend a Saturday (the weather sure cooperated sunny and warm). In the 2003 INQP weíre considering traveling the north-south route along the Indiana-Ohio border.

WT9U mobile covers a lot of ground

I talked my broadcast engineer friend, Rick Owens into driving for me. I gave Rick a basic idea of the four-county intersections I wanted to sit on and then he planned the route with his fancy mapping program so we could drive on county lines as much as possible. He spent loads of time fiddling with this, and I am certainly grateful.

We initally thought we'd start at the corner of Starke/Marshall/Pulaski/ Fulton, but after reading who was to be where we decided to reverse the route. We didn't want to finish at Lagrange/Steuben/Noble/DeKalb and find AE9YL and K9LA parked there.

We left home at 7am and hit our first corner with about 30 seconds to spare. Murphy had already visited. Rick was using a borrowed computer (his computerís power supply blew up earlier in the week), its hard disk was full, and there was something funky going on with the cigarette lighter power. We started on 40 meters and things were slow, so we decided to head to 20 meters and found RF on the keying line. I don't know what caused this, as this was exactly the same set-up we used two weeks earlier in the Michigan QSO Party without trouble. Disconnecting the 12v line from the computer, it would key fine. To make matters worse we hadn't brought tools or troubleshooting equipment. Rick cobbled together a ground strap between the computer and radio and shielded the plug with a beer can he found by the road. That worked well for most of the day although some of the rougher roads caused some problems. Note to self - double check things thoroughly the week before the next contest!!!

I'd put together TR config files for all the counties we were going to operate from plus a bunch of the county combo's. That proved to work fairly well. I then merged them as appropriate to come up with the individual log files for each county. That could have been a lot of post contest work but I got most accomplished during mandatory off times. (There are no off times in 2003)

There was more in-state activity this year, but we've still got a ways to go. It helped to work the county hunters (MARAC). I called a number of them but don't think very many called me. (Weíll post the INQP on the MARAC reflector again in 2003)

Operating-wise it wasn't nearly as productive as the larger Michigan test was; the qso numbers just weren't there (I probably wasn't aggressive enough). The county line operations saved the day though, really adding to the qso point values. Anyway, I've found a new way to have a bunch of fun with radio. Next, the Ohio QSO Party.

73...Jim, WT9U (Jim was the high score Indiana mobile)

Special thanks to WT9U; some 10 of my multipliers came from his operating from the four corners of the earth. (well, four county corners at a time)

73, George, W9WUU

Jeff N9AVG runs QRP from Delaware County

I was QRP CW in the QSO Party. I did "OK" in S&P for a short while, but then I had worked everyone that I could find who was calling in the INQP. Once the NEQP fired up, I was toast. Calling CQ INQP with a whopping 4 watts was a little like fishing with the wrong bait. The Q rate/hour was pretty low. I finally surrendered after about 5 hours (total).

K8JP was Hamilton County, not Belize

For the first time since we moved to Indiana 13 years ago and I became contest re-active, there was activity wire to wire in the INQP. If I am capable, Bev has agreed to drive, I think we will go mobile next year.

Congratulations on a great restart of the INQP. What fun it was chasing the mobiles and portables about.

Best regards de V31Joe"Palooka" K8JP

KJ9C/m activates 26 counties in southeast and southern Indiana

No driver but me, no logger but me, and sending CW while underway in a 5-speed four wheeler ainít fun on winding roads (the southern part of Indiana is definitely NOT flat). Most multi-county corners are not accessible, but I managed to hand out a number of QSOís to the "loyal followers", among them AD1C 22, LY3BA 20, W9RE 17 (and most all of them TOUGH on 20 meters ground wave), W0GG 16, WC5D 16, and WA4PXP 16 (who often called CQ INDIANA!). I even worked WT9U/m way up in the FLAT northern counties for 7 QSOís (40 meters mobile to mobile over about 200 miles distance. Good ears, Jim).

As for activity, Texas led the mults at 40, followed by Massachusetts (the New England QSO Party helped that). Marion County was the most popular (and populated) Indiana county in the log. Most popular VE was VE2AWR (thanks Serge), and many DX countries, mostly Europe. LY3BA chased me from county to county and mode to mode. Some SSB contacts were ROUGH (ignition noise made copy difficult).

Most interesting event - Following a winding narrow country road just into Greene County. It was very dark with no place to pull off. But I finally found a turnoff with a barricade. Being late at night and Saturday, there was no activity on the road or behind the barricade,and no lights of any kind - a good place to sit tight and call CQ. Responses were strangely very weak. Within minutes a pickup truck pulls up, a guy with a shotgun steps out, and I hear banjo music in my imagination. It turns out that I was parked inside a gravel pit, and there had been a lot of vandalism in the area. Since the gravel pit was blocking most of my ground wave signals, and the shotgun did not look friendly, I was all to willing to shut down operations with just a few QSOs in the log. Those who got me in Greene County are among the VERY privileged.

Second most interesting event - Being trailed by numerous county hunters along the long slow roads of Brown County, all requesting neighboring Bartholomew County, which was NOT in my game plan since there are LOTS of hams living in Barth County but it appears that none were on. Once I crossed the county line it was like being on the DX end of a P5 pileup. Worked 14 or 15 stations in 4 minutes. Talk about rate! Then three minutes later, it was over and I was on my way back to my planned route.


Sorry I couldn't operate, I simply HAD to go to Las Vegas that weekend :(
73/Dx/Mike ---Yeah, to a Hooterís girl pageant ; ) ---

K9MI operates a multi

Wrist didn't care for this, so didn't get as much accomplished as I hoped. At club station W9VCF, Jack, KB9NTD logged for me. We didn't stay long as he is busy with family commitments and I wasn't feeling all that great, it being only a few weeks since my wrist surgery. I found out real quick that the wrist didn't like keeping the hands poised and ready over the keyboard when trying to run on 20 SSB. So, I found the pain pills, ice pack and laid down. OK, enough whining. I just figure you guys should get to listen to me whine everyonce in a while. The xyl hears it all the time..ha
73 - Mike K9MI

K9NW gives it a try

All 40m CW....worked all the fixed stations I heard but not enough of them. The 10m dipole doesn't radiate enough juice on 40 for the mobiles to hear reliably. I don't even try phone with it on this band....

N9RV gets out of bed to activate Delaware County

Indiana activity was a lot better than last year. Congrats to the Hoosier Contesters for reviving this nearly-dead contest. (Itíll be better in 2003)

It was fun working Europeans who probably had no idea what contest it was. Also had fun working the New England QP boys. I wonder how many of them thought I was in Delaware? At the end of the contest I worked a bunch of Russians on 20m CW in the ARI contest. Suitable modifications of the exchange and ... voila!.. they were also participating the INQP (whether they knew it or not).

Operated around tower work, lawn mowing, and a dinner party.

Hopefully this will give us something to build on for next year. Thanks to the SMC-er's for the Q's.

Pat N9RV

K9RU operates fixed and mobile with three calls

Operating 14.266 from W9RCA in Hamilton county, some jerk was giving me all type of problems. I moved to 14.244 and he followed me. I gave up and switched to 15m, later 10m and worked mainly DX stations which did not do much in the area of mults.

I also operated from W9VW in Marion County and K9RU/mobile from Hancock, Henry and Wayne Counties. I did not do that well mobile, the ARI and the NEQP were too much competition. (But he was there!)

Jim K9RU

W9LDX/Mobile - The three musketeers in western Indiana

This was the second consecutive year that we (W9DF, W9TN & N9LF) set out mobile for the INQP. Last year, we didn't have any specific route planned out, so we just drove south, then turned around and headed back north.

This time, we mapped out a specific route, with the intention of catching the most number of counties in the time allowed. Equipped with the W9DF mobile shack (Chevy Blazer, Yaesu FT100D and ATAS-100 mobile HF antenna), we set out Saturday morning and headed south along a path similar to our 2001 trek. W9DF again did all the driving while W9TN & N9LF ran the radio and logging computer.

In the end, we worked from 15 counties. More importantly, we achieved just short of triple our QSO count from the previous year. Look for the W9LDX/m team again next year. (This was the high scoring multi-op station)