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Some hams like to communicate from the vehicle. That may be to wile the miles away, or to challenge what is inherently a difficult environment at least for HF communications, or for a contest.The mobile setup is now complete, at least for now. Details here.Speaking of contests, the impetus for creating these ‘ham’ pages on the blog was to post some information about an interesting mobile contest. It’s called the Texas QSO Party. ‘QSO’ is ham-speak for a contact, a conversation if you will. In the Texas QSO Party (TQP) the object is, basically, to contact as many mobile units in as many different counties in Texas over a 1-1/2 day weekend.  Both fixed and other stations try to work the mobiles, and the mobiles get extra points for making at least five contacts in a county.  Those contacts are quite brief, seconds really, as the object is quantity and not a chat session.

I will log my contacts using the very fine program by Chuck, NO5W. In addition to logging contacts, the program tracks your time and distance (approximate) to the next county crossing which requires that you lay out those crossing points.  His program integrates the radio and GPS so that it knows where you are and can do the driving calculations. It also does the logging to automatically include the 4-letter county code, GPS data, and other relevant info in addition to the basic callsign and signal report.  I’ve prepared the crossings file with lat/long and you can see the points on a Google Earth map.

Jen will be driving (she’s a trouper) and I’ll have the laptop computer in (where else) my lap all connected up to the radio and GPS, and will be doing the “hamming.”  You can follow us on the internet by clicking here.

If you have Google Earth on your computer (and you should — it’s a cool program, and free), then click here to open my crossings file in GE.  Or click here to open a jpg image of the route, county line crossings and county overlay.

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