Wednesday, October 7, 2020

WQ6X Dual-OPs another CQP as K6C & K6A

From the beginning, something about the 2020 California QSO Party (CQP) event seemed attractively different.  Heading to Concord Thursday evening, I did a thorough "inventory" of WQ6X's portable setup at W7AYT's QTH in Concord.  Everything from re-routing audio cables to coax swapping between radios was reconsidered.  Throughout the day on Friday, cables were upgraded. 
Just before sundown I climbed onto the roof adding a pair of 80-meter counterpoise wires
to the base of the cheesy Comet CH-250 vertical - oh what a difference that made!

After the Comet CH-250 vertical received its 2-wire counterpoise addition, the decision was made
to route it to the Antenna-B connector on the back of the FT-1000mp, while the Antenna-A connector runs to an MFJ-949E 300-w Antenna Tuner - the balanced line going to the 8JK Cobra-Trapezoid
and the "A" Antenna going to a coax-fed Cobra Sloping-V.  Because of the overall broadband design of the Comet CH-250, the FT-1000mp's internal tuner found a match on all bands, including 160.

There's always something more that can be done.  On instinct, Monday (after the contest was long over), out of curiosity I lowered the 8JK antennas for inspection, noticing a break in one side of the phasing feedline - Oops.  After repairs the 949-E tuner tuned completely different, now with almost
no RFI floating around the shack anymore.

Prior to the CQP weekend, CQP pages on the WQ6X.Info website were updated. 
Pictures from the 2019 CQP page help set the stage for the 2020 CQP page.
Every few years CQP finds additional ways for operators to earn achievement awards. 
You may remember the CQP 2015 GOLDRUSH Bonus.  For 2020, contest organizers
added the SEQUOIA Bonus.

The accomplished goal for this weekend was to put K6C on the air from Contra Costa county throughout the weekend, interspersed with a pair of operating stints (9-11pm & 3-5am) remotely
as K6A.  While I largely ran frequencies, every hour a LooK was made for out-of-state callers
calling "CQ California".

Originally, I had registered the K6A callsign to activate a multi-OP event from Alameda; this was before CQP had announced the SEQUOIA challenge.  However this year, putting a team together turned out to not be a viable idea.  Instead, because NX6T is known for putting out a decent signal, making large numbers of QSOs and can be run remotely, the CQP contest committee contacted me and asked if I would be willing to assign the call to NX6T for this year's event.  K6C (a CQP callsign I've used before) was my replacement; I can organize a K6A event from Alameda next year.

Oh the difference a better station + Multi-OPs make.  While I prefer the Yaesu FT-1000mp
to the Elecraft K3 for CQP, having access to an Expert 2-K amplifier, 13mh antenna towers
and a 900' ASL QTH certainly make for a superior operation.

Being a multi-mode contest, having access to operators who can work both modes is always a plus. 
While K6C ran mostly Cw with brief appearances on Ssb, K6A found considerably more time to make Ssb QSOs, altho Cw still outranks voice, for all kinds of reasons.  The OPs at K6A certainly know how to run a frequency.

Now that CQP is over and most of the relevant scores have been submitted,
it would seem that NX6T took a resounding 1st-place for the Multi-single category. 
It would seem that transferring the K6A callsign to the San Diego Contest Club was
certainly a GooD idea - no doubt about that.
While the K6C operation only resulted in a 38.4k point score, it is evidently enough to secure
a mixed-mode 1st-place from Contra Costa county and a 9th-place for California overall - not
bad for just screwing around.
DiD YOU work the California QSO Party?
Is K6A or K6C in YOUR LoG?
FEB 2021 UPDATE - Here is how it actually turned out: 
It also turns out that the CQP Results page showcased the K6C/K6A
operations prominently alongside the AWEsome W6E Multi-multi setup.

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