October 10, 2021
Texas QSO Party
—Tom Yenny, K5LOL
Five MARS hams and one guest participated in the annual Texas QSO Party on the weekend of September 18–19 from Fort Richardson State Park in Jacksboro. Ron Reeves, NN5R, Kevin Grantham, N5KRG, Andy Parcel, KE5KOF, David Duke, KM5YQ, Tom Yenny, K5LOL, and John Hill, KF5VO, operated under special event call sign N5T.
Our team rented two air conditioned “bunk houses” that each had accommodations to sleep four people but did not have any running water or restroom inside. Unlike Field Day, there are no categories or bonus points for operating on generator or alternative power sources, so our team operated on commercial sources from the park.
The objective of the TXQP is to work as many of the 254 Texas counties as possible so the fewer number of hams in any particular county, the more popular your operation will be. Our team selected Fort Richardson State Park in Jack County because there are a very few hams in that county, there were good accommodations in the park with easy access to Jacksboro and restaurants just 5 minutes away, and the Park is only about 90 miles from Dallas. Everyone brought their own “go kit” and we used several different antennas including a 20-meter dipole, a multiband OCF antenna, a multi-band vertical dipole, a multi-band delta loop and a 6-meter Buddipole™ Yagi.
While we made only 120 contacts, our team enjoyed a wonderful weekend of being outdoors. The weather was warm, and the skies were blue. Kevin and Tom toured old Fort Richardson which has a rich history for Texas forts.
Our team ate a couple of meals in town but also cooked several meals outdoors and they were truly delicious. It was fun to have such a great group together who love both ham radio and camping in the outdoors.
With less than six hours of operating time over the weekend, we managed to rack up a respectable score:
“First blood” was Ron with N6OKU on 20m at 9:24 AM. N6OKU was heard all day Saturday on 20m running the QSO Parties.
36 Texas Counties—noticeably absent Dallas and Jack—most Texas counties had only one contact each
31 States plus Ontario (1551 miles away on 20m)
240 QSO Points
Total Score 16,080
Thanks go to Ron who compiled the statistics. The only question now is, when will you get out and contest?