pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

June 9, 2007NAQCC Web Site Issue #048

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

1. SPRINT: This is it!! Time to give away the K4TWJ books on Key collecting to the 2 members (officers excluded) with the highest scores in the sprint coming up this Wednesday, June 13 at 0030-0230Z. Remember that's Tuesday evening, June 12 here in the USA. Thanks again to Dave, K4TWJ for the donation of one of his books, and to our members for the donations to purchase the second book.

In addition to the books we also have our usual array of goodies. Our Special Award this month goes to the one making the highest score while operating out of doors away from their regular QTH. A good chance to practice from a projected FD location?

Then of course, our usual certificates 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. So there is a lot to shoot for in this month's sprint. I'd like to see a record turnout despite it being in a summer month with its usual lessened activity.

If you use paper logging for our sprints, we have a log and summary form available for you to download and fill in with your text editor. Download here - Form - Instructions.

Sprint Tip: Please check your clocks for the correct time before the sprint. Correct times make cross-checking logs much easier. I often see times off by as much as 10 minutes (or more) from the other fellow's QSO time. Also be sure to have the correct band logged.

If you're entering one of our sprints for the first time, we welcome you. Keep in mind the sprints are designed to be low key (no pun intended). So try to keep your speed down - we want to acquaint newcomers to CW and contesting with the procedures of operating in contests and sprints. Thank you.

Full Sprint info here.

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2. MAY CHALLENGE RESULTS: This sounded like an awfully difficult challenge when Tom first suggested it. However our members didn't seem to think so, and by the time the month was over, I (K3WWP) also changed my mind. QRPp does work, and work well even at the bottom of a sunspot cycle. One reason is the super efficiency of the CW mode. The challenge indeed would have been VERY difficult for any other mode, I'm sure.

A few participants went (well) beyond the required 10 QSO's and a couple reported less than 10 just to earn that precious Participation Point. We're grateful to ALL who participated and sent in their results. You are the ones who help the club in its efforts to show that CW is still a very popular, useful, and efficient mode of communication.

I don't have time to list them all, but there were many DX QSO's included among the mW QSO's that were reported. Yes, QRPp does work, I repeat. It will be interesting to run this challenge again perhaps once a year and follow the progress of results through a sunspot cycle.

Full challenge info here.

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

The Bear Hunt article in newsletter 46 must have scared would be Bears back into their caves as there was no response to it. With propagation conditions improving somewhat of late on 40 and 20 meters as evidenced by recent sprint results, it would appear that perhaps the main reason for the lack of Bear Hunting activity is just due to a lack of interest. Perhaps most die hard QRPers have already achieved two way QRP (2X QRP) WAS. The NAQCC and other sprints provide good opportunities for working QRP stations so the Bear Hunt could be too much of a duplicate activity. One of the original purposes behind the Bear Hunt was to encourage QRP CW stations in the more rare states to get on the air and dish out QSOs to the NAQCC membership at large. That hasn't happened very many times for whatever reason. Perhaps the Bear Hunt is just ahead of its time and once the NAQCC membership has significantly increased it will become of greater interest. Regardless of the reason for the lack of activity, the Bear Master has decided to temporarily shelve the Bear Hunt unless the Bears and Bear Hunters begin to show a greater interest in it prior to newsletter 50.

If you would like to see the Bear Hunt continue, now is the time to apply for your Bear suit before it is boxed up with a bunch of moth balls and placed on the shelf. The concept is very simple. Just sign up to be a Bear, announce your projected schedule of operation, call "CQ BH" and have a bit of Bear fun! Nothing to it! Almost as much fun as skinnying up a honey tree and eating wild honey! So get your paw limbered up and sign up soon!

Full bear hunt info here.

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4. GENERAL CLUB NEWS: The WorldRadio article about the NAQCC has been very successful in bringing in new members to the club. Because of that plus the article in CQ Magazine and the usual sources like Larry W2LJ's Internet postings we signed up 61 new members in May. That was our best month since January 2006 and put us over the 50 new member mark each month so far this year except for a slow February. Club growth continues to amaze me, especially when our club is somewhat limited in the pool of potential members because of our dedication to the narrow interest of CW AND QRP. Strictly CW clubs can draw from anyone who operates CW, no matter the power level, and strictly QRP clubs can draw from those who operate voice and all the other strange digital modes that exist nowadays. Yet the NAQCC really only interests those who combine CW and QRP usage.

Anytime you happen to write anything for WorldRadio or any other publication, be sure to mention the NAQCC. Also in any other communications like your email signature, other clubs' soapboxes, and the like. Fit in a mention of the NAQCC in some way or other. Since our target of potential members is rather narrow, we need to publicize the club in as many ways as possible. There are many hams out there who would love to join us, but they just haven't found out about us yet. You can help get the word out and help us reach the 2000 member level before too long. Also remember if you work a non-member interested in QRP but don't have the time to tell them about the NAQCC, send their call letters to Paul, KD2MX and he'll do the recruiting job. - K3WWP

pix_blueball (1K) Tom KB3LFC, Karl N3IJR (see Karl's comments on the hamfest below in the Member News), and I (John K3WWP) had a great time at the Butler hamfest on June 3rd. We signed up some new members for the club and met several current members as well. It's always a delight to get to meet and talk with our wonderful members in person. We signed up the following as new members: Rich KB8GAE, Richard AA3TG, James AA3JK, and Bill K3RKC. Some other hams also took our application forms or said they would check us out on the Internet. We hope to be signing them up as well.

Although I neglected to note down all those current members who stopped by to say hello, it was still nice to greet and talk with everyone. The ones I did note were: Frank KB3AAG, Bob WC3O, Bob W3BBO, Joe WB8CTC, Bill KB3XS, Kevin KE3V, Don NN8B, and Ronald N3FCS. If you were one of the ones who visited, but are not listed, let me know. I'd like to mention you in the next newsletter.

Frank KB3AAG donated 5 code practice CD's to the club. We are going to decide just how to give them away to our members. Details in a future newsletter. Thanks to Frank for his thoughtfulness and generosity. - K3WWP

pix_blueball (1K) I can't remember now who it was because we had so many hams visiting and talking with us, often more than one at a time, but one visitor did mention something very interesting about antennas. He uses a kite-borne antenna for his ham operation. With it, he has worked some 250 countries using QRP. He also gave us a web site with more info on kite antennas. If you're interested, just search N9ZRT on the Internet. It's awesome! - K3WWP

pix_blueball (1K) Tom and I discussed some club matters on the way to and from the hamfest. One of the things sprung out of a discussion we had about making our first Worked All States in ham radio. Tom mentioned he had had a competition with another ham to see who could get the WAS first. When he said that, the idea popped into my head that a 'First WAS' competition among club members might prove interesting. So we are going to implement that idea, probably starting January 1, 2008 or maybe sooner. The member to make the first WAS will get a nice plaque, and club officers will not be eligible. Keep up to date with the progress of that as well as other club innovations by reading the newsletters regularly. - K3WWP

pix_blueball (1K) Tom and I also had the pleasure of attending a meeting of the New Kensington-based Skyview Radio Society on May 29th. We were invited to give a talk on QRP operation and the NAQCC. I feel very uncomfortable speaking before a group of people, especially those I have never met before. However the relaxed atmosphere of the meeting and the wonderful members made it instead a very comfortable and enjoyable time. We were treated royally and even fed very well by gourmet chef member Bob WC3O. It was wonderful to find a local club that is so interested in CW operation. Nowadays many clubs shun CW and even those who operate CW, but not Skyview. My only regrets were that we didn't have more time to answer all the questions and especially to get a chance to hook up a receiver and check out reception at their wonderful site with the big antenna farm. We had to leave early because of other committments. - K3WWP

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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 John K3WWP #0002 - I had a blast in the CQ WPX contest for 3 different reasons. First of all because of the NAQCC challenge, I operated for a large portion of the time with QRPp (600-800 mW) and got over 100 QSO's that way. Then I gathered in several new prefixes such as DR80, 6H1, 6F75, EE8, and so on. Finally the last couple hours Sunday evening provided a wonderful DX opening. I racked up over 40 DX QSO's as signals on 20M were similar to what they were in the sunspot maximum days. 20M sure didn't sound like it should with the low SF of 67 and high A index of 14. For whatever reason it was fun and I worked almost every DX station I was hearing although I did have to use 5 watts then instead of mW power.

pix_blueball (1K) From Bill AA0RQ #1301 - I recently got my Argonaut 515 back from my son, KC4MJB, who had it on loan for 20 years. It is difficult to put into words the feeling I have now QRPing with this classic radio once again. I received the radio May 15 when UPS pulled up to the front door of my house here in the Colorado mountains. With just an end-fed wire antenna, I have had 16 QSOs and worked 12 states so far. Truely the joy of QRP has entered my blood once again, what a sweet addiction it is.

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My QTH sits down in a mountain valley so QRP for me has an extra challenge. I better sign off and get back to the rig...72/73 Bill

pix_blueball (1K) From Paul KD2MX #1091 - A co-worker passed the Technician and General Class license exams over the holiday weekend. He has wanted to be a ham since he was a kid but was always put off by the code requirement. Now you might be shaking your head, bemoaning the fate of cw, but here's the best part of the story. He went home after the exam and downloaded the G4FON Morse Trainer so he could learn cw! He's interested in minimal ham radio and low power and realizes that cw goes a long way. "The pressure is off now" was his explanation for this irony.

Even better, his son was really excited to learn that there's no minimum age requirement for a ham license and also wants to learn cw. My friend reported that the VEC session was packed. In comparison, when I took my Extra exam last year, I was the only one in the room.

pix_blueball (1K) From Rod W5GZT #1705 - Here are some pictures of the package that I use either for Field Day or for general portable use. The only item not shown with the "Go Box" is the battery. I have both 12V20AH, and 12V33AH which are float charged and ready to pick up and take. I also have a 12v48AH for prolonged use. Of course, there is always the car or truck for an energy source.

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pix_blueball (1K) From Bart W0ITT #0588 - I just wanted to share a bit of news about special event callsign K0N. We applied for the callsign to be used in conjunction with OzarkCon. OzarkCon is one of a handful of QRP forums that take place annually. OzarkCon 2007 was the fourth forum that we have held near the end of April of each year in Joplin, MO.

We were new to running a Special Event station and this year proved to have a real learning curve. We hope to be back next year with much improved activity.

K0N was used at the actual forum for a dummy load contest. All attendees were encouraged to bring a rig and dummy load and to work K0N from the confines of the motel where the forum was taking place. Over a third of the attendees were able to contact us and we used their qsl cards to have a drawing---the winner won, would you believe -- a dummy load kit. The neat little kit was made available by NorCal, http://www.norcalqrp.org/ncdummyload.htm.

100% of the dummy load contacts were made using cw. When activating K0N we used qrp power, simple wire antennas, and mostly cw.

We will be back next year activating K0N for a bigger and better event. We hope to work you then! cu es 72

pix_blueball (1K) From Bob W3BBO #1001 - Gasoline may be $3.10 a gallon, but what the heck! Neal, W3CUV and I went down to the Alleghany National Forest and operated from the Hearts Content recreation area. What a hoot! Neal operated his MFJ 5 watt QRP rig and I ran my Wilderness Sierra at 2 watts.

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It was the first QRP field operation for Neal, who loves to backpack the trails for weeks at a time, and he had a ball working stations on 40 meter CW. The weather was perfect, maybe a little on the too warm side, the drive was easy, and a great time was had by all!

After we packed up the car, Neal insisted we take a short 1-1/2 mile hike through the woods. It was great! I really chowed down when we got into Corry, PA and I slept very well that night!!!!

pix_blueball (1K) From Rich W2RDD #1565 - I have been working more QRP (CW, naturally) lately. No QRP DX from here but stateside QRP contacts on 30 meters have taken place without too much difficulty.

I have just taken my old Kenwood hybrid rigs off the operating table. With the exception of a TS-820S which I intend on keeping (as I think everyone should have one Boatanchor). The Kenwoods and some other gear will be making the rounds of nearby hamfests this summer and early autumn. Those that aren't sold will be donated to a worthy cause.

So that leaves the Argonauts and the SG-2020 to put on the air. Now, that is surely a committment to low-power operating, no?

If anyone else has decided to dispose of their QRO gear and go full-bore QRP, this season's hamfests offer an opportunity to make a sale and perhaps pick up a used QRP radio. Maybe make an even swap, which would be really great. 73 es good CW QRPing

pix_blueball (1K) From Mark WU7F #0257 - Last night I worked a friend on 80 meters using LESS than 100 mW!!! The lowest the K2 readout goes is 0.1 watt, but there is still a little play left in the potentiometer below that, so I don't know exactly how much (or how little) I was putting out. Nevertheless, KV7V was able to copy me with no problem. He lives on the other side of a mountain, about 30 miles away. Sometimes we can't even talk on 80, but last night was great! I also worked ZM2M - but that was on 40 meters using 5 watts. 73...

pix_blueball (1K) From Harold KC9EDY #1883 - I am interested in getting started with QRP operation. I'm currently working on my general license and cw. I hope to get it by August 2007. I've had a technician license since 2004, but have been inactive up to this point. I understand the club is geared for QRP, cw only operation and this is the direction I want to go in. When I think of amateur radio, I think of QRP. Don't get me wrong I have an interest in all parts, but I can think of no greater achievement than working a DX QSO under QRP.

pix_blueball (1K) From Karl N3IJR #1770 - John, I was thinking about our day together on Sunday (at the hamfest) and had a couple of reflections on the day. The first one, is that I enjoyed being with both you and Tom, it's not everyday that you get to spend time with both the President and Vice President. I know we are not to say negative things in the Newsletter and such, but give me just this one thing, it is very surprising just how many ham's don't know their call in CW. It was fun as you and I sent code with my keyer and watched so many Ham's walk right on by as we sent their calls, Wow! Thirdly, It was so nice to meet some of the fellow NAQCC members, eye to eye, I really enjoyed Frank, KB3AAG, we had a great time talking QRP and CW together. You know when you are face to face with a fellow QRPer it really does get the blood flowing, hi hi. The last reflection is the one Ham, forgive me I don't remember his name or call, but he said when you work somebody on CW you work a gentlemen. I think that says it all for me. I am proud to be a member of NAQCC and to be one of those Gentlemen who use CW. 73 es 72

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