pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

Sep 15, 2007NAQCC Web Site Issue #054

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

1. SPRINT: Our sprint is this Wednesday evening, Sept. 19th at 8:30-10:30 PM EDT (Thursday 0030-0230Z).

After a test run last month with only about a 75 percent success rate, we've worked to make our new autologger better and more reliable for any browser/email client combo, not just the standard IE/Outlook Express setup. After you finish up the sprint, go to here to submit your log and related info. I've tested it with those who had trouble with the original version, among others, and this new version worked just fine for everyone. Thanks to all who helped with beta testing (K3WWP, K4BAI - two separate computers, N4LK, W1OH, KD2MX, WY3H, KC9EHQ, N3ZL, AE5BH, AA4W, NS9I). There may still be more bugs to work out, but with your help we can make it work. Give it a try and report anything confusing or any bugs you find.

We are continuing our prize giveaway this month. For the third month now and continuing indefinitely we're giving away a set of books in CW on CD and a CW course on CD to the highest scoring MEMBER who hasn't won the CD's previously. Club officers (WY3H, K3WWP, W2LJ, KD2MX, K5DUZ, VA3RJ, and AA4W) are not eligible, nor are previous winners (K4BAI, K1EV). The CD's are generously donated by Chuck K7QO. Chuck has upgraded his offer and now includes 12 CW books on CD worth about $130 plus his excellent CW study course. Of course our winner gets them for FREE. Thank you Chuck.

In addition to the CD's we also have our usual array of goodies. Our Special Award certificate this sprint goes to the one making the highest score and running 4 watts or less. Perhaps it's time to remind you again why we have the Special Award each month. Most sprints including ours have a rather small pool of folks who win time after time. I've embarrassingly won 5 in a row now, for example. The Special Award gives someone else a chance to win one of our beautiful colorful certificates. Beginning this month, a first (or second) place winner cannot also win the Special Award. For example if K3WWP is eligible for the Special Award, but also wins the first place certificate, then the next highest eligible scorer gets the Special Award. In addition to the SA, we also have 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 (excluding the SA) in any of our previous sprints. Those of you who have never won any kind of certificate in our sprints probably don't know what they look like, so here's an example. All the sprint certificates are similar with different wording for each achievement.

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So there is a lot to shoot for in this month's sprint. Let's see if we can break our record for number of logs for the second month in a row after last month's wonderful 50 logs submitted!

If you use paper logging during the sprints, we have a log and summary form available for you to download and fill in with your text editor or you can transfer the info to our on-line form mentioned above. Download here - Form - Instructions.

If you're entering one of our sprints for the first time, we welcome you and hope you will be a regular participant from now on. Last month we had 16 hams who submitted a log for the first time ever.

Full Sprint info here.

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2. AUGUST CHALLENGE RESULTS: In August we began our giveaway of a set of bug/paddle handles donated by Gregg, WB8LZG in conjunction with our challenges. This will continue at least through September 2008. They are just beautiful to look at, and anyone would be proud to have them on his or her paddle or bug. Having seen them in person so to speak, I can say that they appear even nicer than the pictures on Gregg's web site.

I am very disappointed and embarrassed by the showing for the August challenge. It was a rag chew type challenge, and despite many of our members saying they enjoy rag chewing, only 3 members submitted their results. One of those was an officer, K3WWP. One member said he wasn't interested in the drawing for the bug/paddle handles. I hope we will have a much better showing for the September challenge. Let's at least show Gregg how much we appreciate his generous offer. I hope he's not offended by the lack of interest in August.

Our bug/paddle handle winner for August by default - no drawing needed - was Bruce WY7N. Bruce chose which of the 13 sets (12 different styles) he wanted and the set was mailed to him on 9/12.

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: - Thanks to a Herculean effort by Dave VA3RJ who laboriously checked the info on all our 2000+ members on various Internet sources, and the subsequent updating of that info on our various club lists, the NAQCC should now have one of the most accurate membership lists of any amateur radio club.

It was shocking to me to see that nearly 200 or 10% of our members have changed their calls, addresses, emails, or other info and didn't notify us of those changes. If those members had notified us, Dave would not have spent so much of his time searching for the corrections. Incidentally he did it all on his own initiative without any kind of compensation from the club simply because he wants our NAQCC member list to be as accurate as possible. I think we should all thank him for his efforts.

After all the info was gathered by Dave, I incorporated all the changes into our four main lists. 1. Our master Access database. 2. The web site membership list page which is now changed a bit as I'll mention in a minute. 3. The GenLog data file which is also changed a bit. 4. Our alphabetical by call letters downloadable membership list. Whew!

I've now made a separate page listing members who have a web site. See the Web Sites page in the Member List section. I've changed the GenLog data file a bit to more closely reflect a member's on-air name. In case you haven't noticed (and it took me a few sprints before I did), the member's name is shown near the top of the GenLog window when you enter the member's call. This is a nice feature that lets you greet someone by name if you have forgotten it.

We hope that from now on, all members will notify us when any of their info changes - call, email address, mailing address, or any other such info like obtaining an extra call and so on.

pix_blueball (1K) - We currently have the following officers and members signed up to operate our special event call N3A next month - WY3H, K3WWP, AA4W, AE5BH, N3ZL, NU7T, WY7N. VA3RJ also volunteered, but we found out the Special Event Calls are for use only by USA licensed hams in the USA. Bummer. These "Magnificent Seven" hams are going to have a lot of fun in October. You can still join them if you sign up before Sept 22.

pix_blueball (1K) - PLEASE if you have a web site, a listing on QRZ or other Internet presence, be sure to proudly display your NAQCC number with a link to the NAQCC site if possible. Remember if you want to make the link a bit more fancy, our logo is available in different sizes for download here. Many folks still don't know about the club and may find out through your web site or QRZ listing.

Another thing you can do to publicize the club is to be sure to include your NAQCC number proudly in any signature you have for your ham radio related emails. Also of course on your QSL cards. Don't forget your eQSL card as well.

pix_blueball (1K) - To check the status of all our club giveaways, see here and make plans now for what you are going to try to win.

pix_blueball (1K) - We've shot past the 2,000 member mark now and are heading toward 3,000. Perhaps we'll have more guessing games as to when we reach milestone numbers like 2,500 and 3,000.

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5. MEMBER NEWS: Thanks to your news submissions, this is becoming a very popular section of the newsletter. We hope you will continuing telling us of your QRP/CW doings and including the wonderful pictures as well. Remember we only accept POSITIVE news here unlike the TV newscasts. There is so much that is wonderful going on in the world, it's a shame only the negative is emphasized in so many places.

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

pix_blueball (1K) From Paul, N8XMS #0675 - The item in the latest NAQCC newsletter about EA8BVP's visit to his brother in NY reminded me of an experience that I recently had while visiting my daughter in Columbus, OH. She is a grad student at OSU and has a very small 3rd floor apartment near campus. I had my KX1 "Shack-In-A-Box" with me and decided to try "the impossible." I laid out my counterpoise wires around the perimeter of her living room and looped a 42-ft wire through the apartment for an antenna. The antenna first went up from the rig to the top of a floor lamp, then over to the blade of a ceiling fan. From there it turned 90-degrees and ran down her short hallway. Another 90-degree turn sent it through her bedroom door, and after a few more feet the end of the wire was taped to a window curtain rod.

With old batteries and about 2 watts of power I didn't think that this had a chance of working out but boy was I ever surprised! The rig's ATU gave me 1.7:1 on 40-meters, 1.4:1 on 30-meters, and 1.3:1 on 20 meters. I couldn't hear any activity on 20 or 30. Conditions were poor on 40 but I was still able to enjoy QSOs with GA, MD, NY, and ONT. Conditions were so poor that some of the guys were actually running amps and told me that they never would have guessed that I was QRP! I've attached some pictures of my setup.

pix_054_n8xms_04 (16K) pix_054_n8xms_01 (21K)
pix_054_n8xms_03 (4K) pix_054_n8xms_02 (6K)

pix_blueball (1K) From Oleg, RV3GM #0675 - Thank you very much for nice NAQCC Newsletter! True, nice work and nice art also.

I be very much happy to invite you to take a part in International QRP Holiday "Seaside Rendez-Vous 2008" (with XYL of course!). See http://rendez-vous2008.narod.ru for details. The warmest wishes for you and for all NAQCC Members,

72! from Oleg V. Borodin
RV3GM President of RU-QRP Club
=== In QRP We Trust! ===

pix_blueball (1K) From Scott, AE5BH #1876 - Unfortunately I don't have great news this time around. I have two rigs, an ICOM 725 I bought used 6 years ago when I got my first license, and an FT817 when I recently got back into it 100% CW QRP. I've really enjoyed QRP CW. It is a great community with lots of activities. Those activities and commraderie are addicting, which makes this story sad. My QRP rig decided to quit on me. Fortunately it is under warranty and is now on it's way to California - hopefully it can be fixed or replaced soon. I'm left without a QRP rig. My 725 only cranks down to 10 watts. I'd rather not invest too much money modifying that rig, as it will go back on the shelf in the closet once I have a dedicated QRP rig back up and running - which hopefully is before October for what should be obvious reasons!

Alas, I guess you can't quite explain the fun of QRP until it is taken away. I could get on the air at 10 watts, but it just doesn't seem right. Sure, I don't mind talking to a few friends here and there, but as strange as it sounds, I'd hate to hear a KH6 or a KL7 (missing from WAS) come back to me while running 10 watts - that would just be MY LUCK. One thing this event has done that is positive, is kicked my desire to build a QRP kit like the Norcal40 or K1 into gear. It would be good to have a back up. 73.

pix_blueball (1K) From John, K3WWP - I love reading the news items from members in the newsletters. It is great to hear what they are doing with CW and QRP. Many of you know I constantly share my CW/QRP exploits on my web site, and in turn it is wonderful to be able to read of your exploits as well. So please keep this section of the newsletter filled up with your interesting material. Thanks.

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.

Unless otherwise credited, all items are written by K3WWP.

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