I plan to go mobile again this year for the VA QSO Party in March. This is an enjoyable contest with lots of activity. You will probably see every County and City in the State activated at some point over the weekend. I will be using the callsign KT4KA/M so as not to confuse people by using my normal “3” call KG3V.

I try to do something a little different every year for this Contest. This year I am going to attempt to take a complete SO2R (single operator 2 radio) station in my pickup truck. I have an ICOM IC-7000 permanently in the pickup and I will be adding my SO2R Controller box, the DX Doubler, and my FTDX-3000 for the HF Bands. Plan is to use the IC-7000 for mainly VHF/UHF. The SO2R controller allows me to work HF continuously and still hear anything that pops up on VHF/UHF.

I am still in the process of building the station. I had to completely rewire my HF antenna, a Screwdriver antenna from HiQ Antennas. All of my connections had corroded after 3 years of use with little maintenance. I also had to buy a new door mount for the VHF/UHF antenna as the feedline for mine had gotten cut in half by the door hinge.

Had one setback today. My homebrew USB interface for the DX Doubler was not working and it turns out the Arduino board (a Pro Mini) had died. So I replaced that and all seems to be working again. Still not sure what happened to the Arduino, but this was a $3 board. more proof that you get what you pay for, I guess.

If you are not a regular in VAQP, give it a try.