On March 11 and 12, 2017, I put eight Idaho counties on the air in the Idaho QSO Party. Saturday's effort started in Idaho county near the town of Ferdinand followed by Lewis county just outside of Craigmont. With no driver I had to stop and operate then drive on to the next county. Nez Perce and Latah counties finished the day for me at 2300Z, because I wanted to use the rig as the second radio in the NCJ RTTY Sprint which started at 0000Z, March 12. Idaho and Lewis counties were good to me with 29 and 34 Qs including the Slovak Republic in both counties and a pair of JA's in Nez Perce county. Deep and fast QSB with strong signals on call-up then often quickly fading during the exchange on many of the stations.
On Sunday I had my wife, Meg, as a driver so I could operate while in motion. I started on 40 m at 1400Z from our home in Latah county as it was getting light. 40 m was a big bust with nothing heard for 25 minutes until I changed antennas to 20 m and soon started working folks. Sunday's route took us into the forested mountains east of our home in Moscow where there was still plenty of snow, but, fortunately, clear roads. Counties for Sunday were Latah, again, Clearwater, Shoshone, Benewah, and Kootenai. Europe opened up briefly with QSOs with Italy and Germany when we were in Latah and then in Shoshone counties. Except for Latah county were were able to find a pullout off the road and operate. In our truck it sure makes a difference in road noise when stopped. Much easier to pull out calls.
For the nine hours I operated which includes driving time on Saturday, I made 151 Qs with 28 mults, all on 20 m CW, for a score of 2,772 which was better than the last IDQP for me in 2015. K7AWB, Steve, in Spokane, WA, found me in all eight counties which I found pretty amazing given that the mileage from Spokane to the eight Idaho counties ranged from 120 to 40 miles and all the Qs were on 20 m. K1RO in NH worked me in five counties. K0HNC in KS, NA2X in NY, W8CAG in MI, and WB5JID in TX found me in four counties.
My rig was a K2/100 at 75 watts to a 20 m Hamstick mag mounted on the roof of a Ranger pickup. I used N1MM+ on a Gateway LT4004u netbook for logging and sending.
I had a great time and thank everyone who worked me or tried. I know there were folks that tired that I could not pull out.
I will activate eight counties in the Idaho QSO Party on March 11 and 12 on CW using my call of K7TQ. I'll be on 40 and 20 with occasional forays to 15 m. On Saturday I'll not have a driver so it will be an operate then drive routine. On Sunday I will have a driver so I'll be on all the time. You can work me each time I change bands or counties. I'll try to be around 7.029 MHz, 14.0435, and 21.0435 MHz.
Here is the timeline and an Idaho map with the route.
County TimelineMarch 11, 2017
March 12, 2017