pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

April 8, 2007NAQCC Web Site Issue #044

In this issue:
1. April Sprint.
2. March Challenge Results
3. Latest Bear Hunt News
4. General Club News
5. Member News

1. SPRINT: Our April sprint is coming up on Wednesday, April 11 at 0030-0230Z. Remember that's Tuesday evening, April 10 here in the USA. Our Special Award this month goes to the one making the most QSO's on 40M. Of course, that is in addition to our usual awards for 1st place in our two categories, or 1st and 2nd if we only have entries in one category. We also offer a nice certificate to the one making the highest score who has never won a certificate in any of our previous sprints. It sounds a bit complicated but we want as many different hams as possible to win something in our sprints.

For those who may be planning to enter one of our sprints for the first time, we welcome you. The sprints are designed to be low key - we want to acquaint newcomers to CW and contesting with the procedures of operating in contests and sprints. We try to keep CW speeds down by offering a huge bonus to those who operate with a straight key. So don't be afraid to jump in and have fun even if you're not a CW speed demon. If you are a high speed CW op, please QRS a bit for our sprints. Remember we need those new to CW to become contesters to keep CW contesting alive for future generations.

This is our 30th sprint since the club was started in October 2004, and I'd like to give a brief history of our sprints here.

They didn't start out as SK sprints, but following up on a suggestion from Gary, K8KFJ, we decided that having sprints that honored the use of a straight key would be a great idea. So we gave those using a SK in the sprint a 2X multiplier for their final score beginning with sprint #2. This quickly became very popular and led to our sprints being low-key (no pun intended) events suitable to those new to contesting.

Since our club is the club with a difference we decided to have a different kind of schedule. We knew that folks couldn't always be available for the first Monday Spartan Sprint schedule or for other such fixed dates each month so we decided to have our sprints at random days of each month. This wound up conflicting with other club's on-air activities, so we quickly changed our plans since those other clubs had already established their schedule before ours and we believe in the 'first come, first served' approach to scheduling. So our random scheduling ended in April of 2005, our 6th sprint.

Wanting to keep some randomness to our schedule, yet have a fixed schedule that wouldn't conflict with other activities, we decided that beginning with our 7th sprint in May of 2005 we would go to the second Tuesday evening in even numbered months and the third Wednesday evening in odd numbered months. That schedule has worked out very well and is very popular with our members. Now those who were tied up every Tuesday or every Wednesday evening could at least enter half our sprints as could those who were tied up each second week or each third week of a month.

Our weeknight sprints became so popular and such a good idea that other clubs copied our idea and now have weeknight sprints of their own. Unfortunately one club that wasn't even founded when we fixed our schedule has come into direct conflict with our schedule, and has stubbornly refused to take a 'first come, first served' approach and adjust their schedule as we did when we conflicted with another club. We would like to thank the foxhunt organizers, especially N9NE for being very cooperative with us.

It would be very nice if we could have a record turnout for our 30th sprint. I hope all reading this will join in on the fun this Tuesday evening. See you there.

Full Sprint info here.

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2. MARCH CHALLENGE RESULTS: All the results may not be in yet because the entry deadline is still a couple days away. You can find the complete results via the link below after the 10th of the month. So far it's as follows: K3WWP - 28 members worked in March, KD2MX - 26, VE3HUR - 15, KC2EGL - 4. A no-cost certificate goes to the one who worked the most members in the challenge. All who worked at least 1 member and reported it to us get a Participation Award point and a listing on the web site.

Full challenge info here.

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3. LATEST BEAR HUNT NEWS: From our Bear Master Ron, K5DUZ:

Full bear hunt info here.

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4. GENERAL CLUB NEWS: I had a question about making donations to the club after I mentioned it in the last newsletter. We only accept regular checks, money orders, or cashier's checks. No credit cards, no PayPal or any kind of Internet payments. They must be made payable to Tom Mitchell or John Shannon and mailed to either of our addresses shown on our Contact Us page.

This is the third of our 'new format' newsletters and the emailing system is going very smoothly.....so it's time to turn to other matters in our ongoing club updates.

You asked in the survey for some kind of a printed member list, so we are going to explore some options for doing that. With almost 1800 members now, it will take some kind of a small booklet or pamphlet to include all the names without making the print too small to read easily. I made such a printout here at K3WWP a while ago and I did make mine too small for my aging eyes. That took up 4 to 5 8-1/2 by 11 inch pages printed one side only. We will discuss options among our officers and then throw the options out to the full membership in the next newsletter for your ideas on those options.

Another matter is our recruitment award. Larry is working on the full rules for such an award and is going to be supplying a beautiful plaque for the winner. We have already gotten off to somewhat of a start on it by adding a 'source' or 'referred by' field to our membership application where new members can tell us where or from whom they heard about the club. So if you recruit a new member, be sure to tell them to mention you when they sign up to join the club.

If any non-members are reading this, please be specific when you give a source or referral. Don't just say Internet, say what site on the Internet if you possibly can. Maybe you are so enthralled by the NAQCC site, you can't remember how you did get there. That's OK, however just "Internet" doesn't really help us much in determining how folks are finding out about the NAQCC. Nor does something like 'surfing', 'various' or a blank entry.

We signed up 55 new members during March. That was one of our best months since the heavy rush the first few months of the club back in late 2004. I would love to see our membership reach 2000 by the end of the year or by our third anniversary in October. To do that, we need to average roughly 35 new members a month.

You can help not only by referring non-members to the club, but by suggesting places where we can publicize the club. For example if you see a web site that lists QRP clubs, but ours is not there, either notify the webmaster directly or send the URL of that site to W2LJ (USA) pix_email_w2lj (1K)or VA3RKM (Canada/DX) pix_email_va3rkm (1K) and they will take care of it. We're interested in hearing about any place you think the club would benefit from publicity.

Also if you work someone who is not a member, but say they operate QRP and if you don't get a chance to mention the NAQCC in the QSO, send that ham's call to Paul, KD2MX pix_email_kd2mx (1K) for recruitment.

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5. MEMBER NEWS: This is YOUR section of the newsletter. We want to know what our members are doing with CW and QRP on the ham bands. We will only present POSITIVE news here. Brag about that new rare country you worked last week. Tell how you finally worked KL7 to finish your 40 meters WAS. Share your excitement in working halfway around the world to Australia with 100 mW. Tell us how you built that new little QRP rig or keyer paddle from scratch. Give us the URL to your brand new CW/QRP web site so we can all take a look. Do a review of your K1 you just finished building. I think those are enough examples to let you know what kind of news we want here. Basically anything POSITIVE that concerns CW and/or QRP. Nothing about other modes or QRO please.

Send your news items to our news editor Paul KD2MX at pix_email_kd2mx (1K).

pix_blueball (1K) From Tom KB3LFC #0001 - CW is dead! Everyone who operates SSB knows that, of course. However, recently I've been wondering just how dead is dead. After getting on e-BAY and bidding on a few Morse Code straight keys I realized that the bidding is quite lively and the competition downright fierce. Gee -- I wonder why so many people are buying straight keys if CW is "dead."

And speaking of CW keys, it was my great honor to receive a key (of sorts) from Dave, K4TWJ, NAQCC member 0384.

The key is Dave's own unique invention called the WILD WOODY WARC KEY, and each key is consecutively serial numbered. (My key is number 476). WILD WOODY WARC KEYs have a place of honor in the ARRL Headquaters, and in the offices of Kewnwood, Icom and other such places. Dave, as some of you may know writes a monthy column for CQ Magazine and is the author of several books on keys, QRP operation and other subjects. The WILD WOODY WARC KEY is pictured below. Ingenous simplicity -- a true work of wonder. Thank you Dave.

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And speaking of CQ Magazine, our club will be featured in the June issue of CQ along with a photo of my HW-9 set up (My main and just about only HF station).

We thank CQ for devoting space to QRP and CW operation and ask our members to keep this in mind the next time they want to subscribe to a great amateur radio magazine.

That's all for now folks,

pix_blueball (1K) From John K3WWP #0002 - I recently had a wonderful eyeball QSO with one of our newest club members, Karl N3IJR. Karl lives in McKeesport, PA which is about 40-50 miles south of here and came up to visit several days ago.

Karl loves CW and his enthusiasm for the mode showed in the visit. He is very interested in helping newcomers to CW and is a FISTS 'Code Buddy'.

We spent about 3 hours together discussing our various interests.

pix_blueball (1K) From Burl N5DUQ #0356 - Greeting to all NAQCC members and associates. I enjoy hearing the 'POSITIVE' news and think this club offers so much.

I bought a 'nice' Index Lab at the Green Country Hamfest in Claremore, OK a week or so ago. It is a "plus" version. I wrote Bruce Franklin, K7DYY, who I met some years ago to tell him of my good news. He is such a nice guy. As you probably know, he no longer produces the rig. It was changed by SGC into a 20 watt rig and called the '2020', which I am sorry to say is discontinued.

In case someone is wondering about the power of the Index Lab., this one is about 7 watts. However, I have cut it back to 4 watts. Best of luck to all and I hope to work many of you with my new rig and a straight key (an antique J-38).

The publication of our next newsletter will be announced via email to all members for whom we have a valid email address unless you specifically have unsubscribed from the email.

If you came directly to this newsletter, we invite you now to browse the NAQCC Web Site.