In September 2019, the SJRA participated in the New Jersey QSO party. In the end, they were successful in operating out of nine counties in 12 hours. Here is an excerpt from the March 2020 Harmonics Newsletter:
Twelve hours, nine counties. This was the challenge of the 2019 New Jersey QSO Party
last September. In years prior, the contest was held over a weekend. The SJRA would operate
as a rover station from the nine southern NJ counties over two days. This year was a bit more
challenging in that we had to find a way to operate from nine counties in twelve hours. This
included travel, setup, operation, and takedown. Somehow, we managed to do it with over 100
contacts. Our efforts paid off, as the SJRA was awarded 1st place in the Rover category. While
operating as a Rover is fun, as social media says it, “The struggle was real.”. Between having to
relocate, noisy conditions, and the four hours of driving, we actually did it.
Our adventure began before the contest started. Ken K2WB had devised a precisely
timed schedule for us to follow. It had our operating times and driving time down to the minute.
Without it, none of this would’ve been possible. He also had our secret weapon- a custom made
40m vertical antenna. If you know Ken, you know his designs are both technical and practical,
making the antenna’s deployment faster than unrolling 50ft of coax. The rest of our equipment
consisted of a Yaesu FT-991, a 35A switching power supply, a portable 800w generator, a Heil
Proset, and a Windows 10 laptop running N1MM.
Our first county was Cumberland county. We were in an area that had a lot of room to
experiment with the antenna setup and to determine all the tactical nuances that we’d need to
master throughout our day. We arrived at 10:00, two hours before the start of the contest. Once
the contest started, we were on the air! After 40 minutes of operation we packed everything up
and moved to our next location. Our next stop was Cape May County. This location was a picnic
area between the Northbound and Southbound Garden State Parkway. We found a nice table to
setup on and operated for around 40 minutes again. Before we left, we saw a tree that caught
our attention. It was “The Famous Shoemaker Holly Tree”, as the sign said. The tree was over
300 years old! Our next stop was Atlantic County. Here, there was a rest stop and a large
parking lot. We operated out of the truck and setup the antenna on a small island.
Next, we were off to Ocean County…
For the full article, please see the March edition of Harmonics.
Author: Holden Correia-Fisher, KD2JPV