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The NAQCC January 2020 Challenge

All challenge info such as rules are now in the hands of Gary K1YAN. Email him with any questions in that regard at pix_email_k1yan (1K).

The results on this page are the responsibility of Hap K7HAP. Email him with any questions in that regard at pix_email_k7hap (1K).


Have you ever looked at the hull of a large ship and wondered what all those markings are? They don’t mean much to the average land locked person but they do provide critical information to the nautically savy.

Starting at the stern or back of the ship we find the owner, ship name, port and IMO number. The owner, APL Co., and name, MEXICO CITY, are obvious. The port or flag, SINGAPORE, designates the country of registration and may differ from the country of ownership. This may be done in an effort to reduce costs, take advantage of lower taxes or to deal with less strict safety requirements. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) number is like your cars VIN number and stays with the ship for life.

pix_stern.jpg (406K)

How much weight can the ship safely carry? You will find the “Plimsoll Line”, a circle with a horizontal line through it and a letter one each side indicating the ship’s registration authority. If the line is underwater the ship is overloaded. The name comes from Samuel Plimsoll who, in 1876, sponsored a bill in British parliament that made the line mandatory on both sides of a ship. There are also markings called load lines for specific climatic conditions such as tropical seawater (T), summer (S), winter (W), fresh water (F) and tropical fresh water (TF).

pix_plimsoll.jpg (551K)

Draft marks are a string of numbers, on both sides of the hull, arranged in a vertical line that tell how much of the ships hull is submerged. By comparing the readings on each side you can tell if the ship is riding level and how heavily it is loaded.

pixdraftline.jpg (239K)

A tugboat, looking to attach a tow line, will look for a “T” shaped symbol with an arrowhead on the bottom of the T. This indicates a “chock”, an opening that houses a post for connection of a tow line. Next to the chock is a marking like SWL 50t, which indicates the safe working load that may be applied, in this case, 50 tons. You will also find sets of black “brackets” painted on the hull which indicate the points where a tugboat is supposed to push the ship.

chock.jpg (517K)

So, welcome to the world of the seagoing insiders. On your next visit to the harbor take a look for some of these markings and make sure that ship is properly loaded and being correctly handled by those tugboat captains.

The first day of the month 0000Z through the last day of the month 2400Z

Just make ALL these words from calls of stations you work subject to the General Challenge Rules. (Any spaces in the phrases should be ignored. For example the challenge phrase "INVERTED V ANTENNA" should be treated as if it is the single word "INVERTEDVANTENNA.")


The 86 total letters contain these 20 different letters: A C D E F G H I K L M N O P R S T U W Z

You can use each letter in a call TWICE. For example you could use K3WWP for 2 K's, 4 W's, and 2 P's.

Subsequent QSO's with the same station cannot be used for additional letters. For example, no matter how many times you work K3WWP, you can only use his call for 8 of the letters in the words.

See General Rule #5 for more details on what callsign letters can be used.

If you need some help with your alphabet challenge record keeping take a look at our Alphabet Tutorial page for everything from some great pencil & paper methods to fully computerized tools.

A certificate and Participation Point go to everyone making all the words and submitting their report before the deadline.

A Participation Point goes to everyone making at least 1, but not all the words and submitting their report before the deadline.

A choice of an item made by master woodworker Gregg WB8LZG as shown on our prizes page here goes to someone selected via a random drawing from all who participate and submit a report for this month's challenge. A person can only win once, then they become ineligible for future drawings.

For your report, list the words you made and the station used for each letter in the word. The number of stations listed must be the same as the number of letters in each word, even though you use the same station for more than one letter as in:


(Note how N2OD is listed for both the O and D.)

You may also include comments about the challenge. Please preface any comments you want posted with "SOAPBOX:" so we will know what you want posted and what is private.

Send your results as text in the horizontal format shown above to:

E-mail: pix_email_k7hap (1K) (You must type that address into your email program.)
Subject must read: (your call) NAQCC (month) Challenge
For example: K3WWP NAQCC February Challenge

All entries must be RECEIVED before the 10th of the following month at 2400Z.


All the above get a certificate and participation point.

All below get only a participation point.

Not eligible for a certificate or participation point for the following reason(s):
@ = Non-member
$ = QRO power