K9XE/W9XC Illinois QSO Party Operations, October 21st, 2012

As last year, Ray ( K9XE) and Les (W9XC) operated portable in beautiful Lodge Park, Monticello, Illinois, on October 21, 2012. This year we activated Piatt County under Ray's call K9XE.

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

We set up in the park on a gorgeous autumn day, sunny with temperatures in the 70s the whole time. The arrangement was just as in 2011, with W9XC's popup camper as the shack. Our rig was an Elecraft K3/100, Kenwood MC-60A mic, and N0SA single lever paddle. For the antenna we used a large Delta Loop of about 122' total circumference, with the apex at 41 ft. on a guyed SpiderBeam fiberglass pole. The loop was fed directly in its corner (vertical polarization) by an SGC-237 remote autotuner, powered "locally" by a 12AH gel-cell battery, then about 25' of RG8/X coax to the K3. This loop has been a wonderful antenna each time I've set it up - see here and here.

Overall station and camper power was provided by a Yamaha 2KW generator, generously loaned to us for the day by Pat, N9GOC. We put the generator behind a tree to cut down the noise. A Samlex 1223 power supply inside the camper converted the generator power to 12V for the K3, via a fused RigRunner power distribution panel.

In the end we worked over 200 contacts on the 80, 40, 20, and 10 meter bands, including 164 CW QSOS and 66 SSB QSOs, across 52 Illinois counties, 35 states/provinces and 3 DX contacts (Norway, England, and Germany).

Pictures below illustrate the fun.

(Click on pictures for high-resolution versions)
The setup Generator behind a tree Closup view with SGC-237

K9XE ready to go! Operating position; K9XE running SSB K9XE operating, W9XC logging

K9XE on the air Master operator at work Doing it all (while W9XC loafs/photographs)

Delta Loop on Spiderbeam pole SGC-237 tuner on loop corner SGC-237 tuner with its battery

N9GOC came to visit with Mordecai Happy hams K9XE and W9XC: 200+ contacts