pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

Nov 30, 2007NAQCC Web Site Issue #059

In this issue:
1. December Challenge.
2. November Sprint Results
3. Featured Award of the Month
3a. Latest Award Winners
4. General Club News
5. Member News

1. CHALLENGE: Another repeat challenge this month. We want to try to awaken 80M from its slumber of late by challenging our members to make as many 15 minute or longer QSO's as possible on 80M in December. Last December we had 5 members participate in the challenge and submit their reports. I'd love to at least triple that number this year. Please report your results even if this busy month permits you to only make 1 such QSO. Let's show everyone, especially the ARRL and FCC that 80M is still very popular among CW operators. Our little contribution may help to keep us from losing even more CW territory to the SSB and digital aggressors. It's a chance for you to do something important in the fight to save CW. I personally believe with 80M and its decline of use by CW ops, it is sooner or later a case of 'use it or lose it'. So take up your keys and let's fight back.

After a discussion, Tom and I decided to amend the rules slightly since they were first posted. We discourage simply working the same station over and over again via a sked to run up totals for the award. So if you have not looked at the rules in the past few days, please check again now.

In addition to helping the cause, again this month everyone who completes the challenge AND reports their results according to the rules is entered into a drawing to win one of the 10 remaining sets of the bug or paddle handle pieces donated by Gregg WB8LZG. The winner gets to select which variety of pieces he or she needs for their particular bug or paddle.

If you have an idea for a challenge, please let us know and we'll consider it. Thanks to Mike KC2EGL and Don VE3HUR for suggesting ones that we'll be using soon. More info on that later.

Full Challenge info here.

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2. NOVEMBER SPRINT RESULTS: This was a strange one. 40M sounding like 80M with its short skip, a 'black hole' over the SE USA blocking incoming and outgoing signals, 80M sounding like (censored), and a large number of participants despite (or because of) it being Thanksgiving eve.

There weren't a lot of homebew key entrants, but those that did build or use a hmbw SK came up with some unique and/or beautiful results. Don't neglect to take a look in the November results soapbox section.

The autologger worked very well again and has speeded up the reporting of results. Again this month all but a couple participants got their results in via the autologger within 48 hours of the ending of the sprint, even though it was Thanksgiving. Two folks did experience a problem with the autologger. I believe it is a problem caused by someone connecting to the Internet behind a proxy server. If you do get an error message about not being authorized to use the form, submit your log directly via email instead till we see if we can get the bug fixed. Be sure to tell us you had a problem and quote the error message if you can. However, please do use the autologger to submit your results if you can. It is so much simpler for you and for me. There's a 99% chance it will work perfectly with no problem at all.

We had a lot of prizes and awards to distribute so without further ado, let's get to listing our winners and some stats.

First though, further thanks to Chuck K7QO who has agreed to send out duplicate prizes in case of a tie which we had this month.

STATS (previous month in parentheses for comparison):

Logs - 44 (43)
Stations in logs - 63 (77)
First hour QSO's - 212 (276)
Second hour QSO's - 121 (174)
Total QSO's - 333 (450)
20M QSO's - 1 (2)
40M QSO's - 280 (262)
80M QSO's - 52 (186)

WINNERS:

CD's - KD2JC,KB4QQJ (tie)
1st SWA - KD2MX
2nd SWA - K3WWP
1st Gain - n/a
Special Award (Highest score using a hmbw straight key) - K3WWP**
** Certificate goes to KI4GLH because K3WWP won a 2nd place certificate
Top Non-Winner - KD2JC,KB4QQJ (tie)

Congratulations to all including winners and non-winners. Actually everyone who participated and sent in a log is a winner because the listing of your results on our web site shows the ham radio world that you are interested in preserving CW on the ham bands. That's one of our main goals here at the NAQCC.

We had 4 stations who didn't submit a log show up from 5 to 12 times in the 44 logs we received and cross-checked. Hopefully those 4 and many others will be back next month AND submit a log.

We welcome 6 hams who submitted a sprint log for the first time. We hope these folks will continue to participate and report their results:
KB4QQJ,KU4GW,WB8ENE,W4ONC,N4NI,N8CX.

Finally a very special thanks to those folks who reported their results even though it didn't include making any QSO's. Those reports are important in several ways also.

Full sprint info here.

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3. FEATURED AWARD OF THE MONTH: Each month in our end-of-the-month newsletter we are going to talk a bit about one of our awards.

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This month it's the NAQCC DXCC Award. Basically this is similar to the ARRL DXCC award with a couple of differences. Contacts must be made from January 1, 2004 through the present. You must use QRP, CW, and simple wire antennas to make the QSO's. The station you work must also use CW, but he can run any power and use any antenna for the basic category. There are 3 categories. A - 100 countries. B - 100 countries 2X QRP. C - 25,50,75,100 countries QRPp. The ARRL DXCC entity list determines the definition of a 'country'. Endorsements for single band DXCC.
Full NAQCC Awards info here.

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3a. AWARD WINNERS FOR THE PAST TWO MONTHS:
KI4GLH - 1000 MPW #0033
WY7N (N3A/7) - 1000 MPW #0034
UA1CEX - 1000 MPW #0035
K4PBY - 2XQRP (250 pts) #0006
AK5D - WAS #0006 + 20M endorsement
K4PBY - WMA Advanced #0005
K4UK - 30-30 Magnum #0003

I'm delighted to see interest in our awards starting to pick up.

Full List of all award winners here.

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4. GENERAL CLUB NEWS:

pix_blueball (1K) Our influx of member pictures for our picture gallery increased quite a bit after my plea in the last newsletter. In case you missed that plea, you're invited to check out our picture gallery and see just how great it looks with the growing number of pictures there. Do you see yours there? If not, the only way you ever will is to send us your picture. The pictures are 120 x 120 pixels in size, but we can re-size any good quality facial picture except something that is too very small. A large picture that we shrink looks great, but anything where the face portion is below the 120 x 120 pixel size will not look too good after it is enlarged. Just email us a .jpg file and we'll fix it up and post it in the gallery.

Or if you'd like to be a featured member, send us a picture of you and your station including a biography emphasizing your ham 'career'. We're currently booked up through February 2008, but have no one scheduled beyond that.

pix_blueball (1K) I notice a surge in membership applications each month shortly after our publicity director Larry W2LJ does his monthly sprint 'plug' in his many sources. Thanks Larry. If any of you reading this regularly posts anything on a web site, reflector, email list, wiki, or anything similar, be sure to at least include your NAQCC membership number. If you can fit it in, also give a plug to the NAQCC mentioning our web site and the free membership. We continue to get applications from many who have been QRPers for a long time, but are just finding out about the club. So continue to promote the club so our membership will continue to increase and make our pro-CW voice louder and LOUDER!

pix_blueball (1K) Because of our sprint schedule and also November ending on a Friday, our newsletter schedule has been kind of squeezed close together for issues 58,59, and upcoming 60. That will happen from time to time because of our innovative sprint schedule featuring alternating 2nd Tuesday and 3rd Wednesday evenings. We think that schedule is working out very well. Lately our participation has been just great. We are outdoing several other sprints, even those of clubs who have more members than we do. I think another factor is the relaxed atmosphere of our sprints. We've said that a lot lately, but it bears repeating as it gives us yet another opportunity to say thanks to our wonderful members for their dedication to the club which is now also showing up in an increase in challenge participation as well. And we mentioned above an increase in picture submissions also.

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5. MEMBER NEWS: This is my personal favorite section of the newsletter. I love reading about what our members are doing. Also seeing pictures of you and your activities is wonderful. So keep sending in your stories and pictures, please.

We've received the following news items for this issue. Is yours among them? Send your news to our news editor Paul KD2MX at pix_email_kd2mx (1K).

pix_blueball (1K) From Karl, N3IJR #1770 - I belong to a local amateur radio club, Tri-County CW Amateur Radio Club, in the Pittsburgh Area. The club has had a 10m Phone net for years now and a number of years ago had a 10m CW net. I never really messed around with the 10m ground wave stuff too much, but I did check into the phone net a couple of weeks ago. I hope you will all forgive me, hi hi.

I wanted to see what this ground wave stuff was all about. To my surprise it is really pretty neat. So at the last club meeting I asked if I could rekindle the CW net, and I would even be net control. They said go for it, and I did on Sunday November the 25th at 8:00 pm. What a great time we had. I only had four check-ins, five counting me, but we had a blast.

I was able to reach out over a 20-mile radius from my QTH and there were 599s all around. I must say though that I was cheating as I was running 50w, but I could have run QRP with the way it was going. I encourage others to try this as it is a great way to promote CW.

We meet on 28.450, 8pm, Sunday nights. So if you hear us give a shout. If you have any questions about what I am doing email me at n3ijr@yahoo.com I will be glad to share with you. Build an antenna for 10m and go for it. It really is a lot of fun. 73 es 72 Karl/N3IJR

pix_blueball (1K) From Larry, W9CC, NAQCC #183 - I had completely forgotten about it so I was surprised to see my call published in CQ Magazine as the Indiana QRP winner of the 2007 CQ WW 160 Meter contest. There were only two of us who entered the QRP class, but that is better than the many sections that had none.

I had 122 QSOs and 33 S/P/Cs. Not bad for a 35-foot-high Inverted Vee antenna and five watts. It always surprises me to work stations QRP on 160, but it is a pure delight!

A couple of years ago I had similar results in an ARCI sprint. I thought it was just luck as my Inverted Vee is nothing special. So the next Top Band contest I ran with about 80 watts. A short time after that I decided to run a comparison contest using QRP to see if it was luck or what. The only difference I could detect was that I made about 10 more QSO's and got 3 more states by using QRP!

More folks should try 160 meters. You can use a shorter than expected Vee or Dipole by feeding it with open wire or ladder line. The band is a bit noisy but with the acquired patience gained from running NAQCC sprints it is not really a problem, and it is certainly a lot of fun and good practice.

pix_blueball (1K) From Paul, KD2MX, NAQCC #1091- I want to echo W9CC's words encouraging us to give 160M QRP a try. Sure it would be nice to have a shunt-fed tower with a field full of radials instead of a tiny wire strung through the trees, but that hasn't prevented me from having a lot of 160M QRP fun. I had 210 QRP QSOs in last year's CQ 160M contest but entered as LP since I couldn't resist turning up the power to work a few new states and countries.

The Stu Perry contest which is in late December is also a great 160M event. Here stations get credit for working QRPers so their efforts to dig your signal out of the noise really pays off.

I even entered this year's CQ 160M SSB test as QRP. Made 53 contacts and learned who has the really great antennas out there. Surprisingly many of these 53Qs were quick and easy.

My biggest 160M QRP thrill was calling CQ at around 3AM and having a North Dakota station come back to me. You just never know.

It truly is the season for 160M QRP. Lots of contest activity and there's usually somebody around to rag chew with too. You do not need a great antenna, just a tuner that will accomodate whatever you connect up to it.

If you haven't worked much 160M QRP CW, give it a try. You will be pleasantly surprised.

pix_blueball (1K) From John K3WWP #0002 - I've been communicating with one of our newest members Lor F8BBL. He tells me of an interesting activity that our members may be interested in. It's something similar to the concept on which the ARS is based, i.e. portable outdoor operation. There is no club involved though. Rather than me trying to fully describe it here, just go to http://qrpfr.free.fr/challenge/index_gb.php and check it out for yourself. Those of you who operate a lot of outdoor portable QRP should be very interested. If you sign up, be sure to tell Lor you found out about it through the NAQCC.

I had a ball in the CQWW DX contest. I made nowhere near the 500+ QSO's I was making at the sunspot cycle peak, but nevertheless I did make some interesting and quality QSO's. I was disappointed in not getting 3X5A, but delighted in getting ZM3A on 40M and CN2FB on 80M among others. I won't say more here since there is a full report of my contest on my K3WWP web site. If you're interested, check it out in the Contesting section at http://home.windstream.net/johnshan/

As editor of the newsletter, I get a chance to provide instant feedback on other members' submissions as does Paul as member news editor, and I'd like to echo Larry's and Paul's statements about 160M. However I don't think Paul's statement about his 'tiny wire strung through the trees' is accurate if he's referring to the ~600 foot loop he uses in our NAQCC sprints. HI HI.

YES, the band does work for QRP and simple antennas and it is a lot of fun. For me it is also a thrill that takes my mind back to the early days of ham radio when all communication was done on 160M and lower frequencies. My first few QSO's on that band, starting with K3KLC and KZ1R on February 15, 1995 gave me the feeling somehow of being one of the early radio pioneers especially since those QSO's were made with the homebrew xmtr I used then and not my current TS-570.

Getting back to how the band works for QRP though, using 5 watts into my attic random wire has gotten me 2,793 160M QSO's (including two just recently on Nov 29/30) from 42 states (I need AK, HI, ID, LA, MS, NV, NM, WA for 160M WAS), and 3 countries (W, VE, VP9). Admittedly my DX performance is very poor, and probably will not improve all that much in the future with my current setup as the competition for those DX QSO's on 160M is fierce just about constantly. I've won certificates in both the ARRL and CQ 160M contests, making as many as 251 QSO's in the ARRL tests and 208 in the CQ tests. So I heartily agree with Larry and Paul about giving 160M a try with your QRP no matter how simple your setup may be. Ironically as this issue 'goes to press' and is being distributed, it is just shortly after the start of the ARRL 160M contest, so why not give it a try right now. I guarantee you'll have fun and succeed.

We will be having our annual NAQCC 160M Sprint in January shortly before the CQ 160M contest. Rules will be posted as soon as time permits, so keep checking the web site.

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.

Past on-line newsletters beginning with issue #042 are now archived on the site. So if you missed seeing any past issues, you can check them out in the archives.

Unless otherwise credited, all items are written by K3WWP.

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