W9XC/K9XE Illinois QSO Party Operations, October 2011

For the Illinois QSO Party on Sunday 10/16, Ray (K9XE) and I (W9XC) operated portable from Lodge Park in Monticello, IL:

Latitude: 40.0672558 -- Longitude: -88.5637794
County: Piatt (We activated Piatt County knowing it would be fairly rare.)
Grid Square: EN50rb

The weather reports had threatened rain, so as a precautionary measure we hauled my popup camper trailer out to the park and set it up as an operations base. That was probably not a bad move; even though the rain held off, it was somewhat cool outside anyway. Setup took about an hour and a half, including camper, power, and the antenna. We were on the air from about 18:00Z to 23:00Z, using an Elecraft K3/100 pushing about 90 watts into a large delta loop, and the W9XC call. Pat (N9GOC) generously lent a generator to the effort, and it worked flawlessly. Thanks, Pat!

We operated mostly CW, with some SSB. Band conditions were as good as they recently have been. We concentrated our contacts on 10M, 15M, and 20M CW, and on 40M SSB and worked a total of over 150 stations. This included the following DX, among many more domestic and Illinois contacts: JQ6, HP1, and T32C on 10 meter CW; VA1 and F8 on 15 meter CW; and DL6, G3, LA8, LY5, PA3, SA8, SM3, SP5, and YV5 on 20 meter CW.

This event was essentially my first real contest experience. Ray is a much more experienced contester and made evident what a master operator can do. It was amazing to witness how smothly he managed high-speed contest CW and QSO logging at the same time.

Photos from the event are below:

The trailer setup

The Delta Loop antenna

The Delta Loop antenna with the trailer in the background.

Generator hidden behind a big oak tree for noise isolation.

Ray (K9XE) demonstrates his masterful two-handed CW+logging technique

Les operating SSB.

Two happy hams.