pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

Apr 5, 2008NAQCC Web Site Issue #068

In this issue:
1. April Sprint.
2. March Challenge Results
3. General Club News
4. CW Cartoon of the Month
5. Member News

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

This month our special award may be a bit difficult and probably favors our west coast members. It's for the highest score among those who make at least 5 QSO's on each band - 80, 40, and 20. Of course 80 and 40 will be easy, but 20 may be somewhat harder, especially here in the east where the band closes early usually. However with the rapidly lengthening daylight hours now, it may still be open past the sprint starting time. It definitely should be open at that time for those out west.

Speaking of those out west, in case you haven't heard, beginning in May or June we are going to be awarding a certificate and associated bragging rights to the high scorer from each time zone in our SWA category. We think that should 'level the playing field' for those out west who now will only have to compete against others in their own time zone. Hopefully that will encourage participation from our Pacific and Mountain time zone members. With a two hour time frame spread across 4 time zones it definitely means vastly different conditions for each time zone. Also it turns out to be either too late for those in the east or too early for those in the west, and we feel that splitting up competition into 4 mini-sprints within a sprint is the best solution to be fair to all. If we get any DX entrants, they will enter in whatever is the closest of the 4 time zones - EU stations in the Eastern zone, Hawaii in the Pacific, and so on. Our GAIN category will continue to have just one winner since we get so few entrants in that category. We may also eliminate the current Top Non-Winner certificate, and change the Special Award setup as well. The winner of any prize giveaways will be determined by a draw among the 4 (or 5 if there are entrants in the GAIN category) different winners.

I am so proud of you all for wiping out most of our records in last month's sprint for logs, participants, and QSO's. Let's keep it up, and hey you who participated and didn't send in a log, how about joining in again this month AND sending a log. It's very simple now with our autologger, as over 50 participants can attest to from last month's sprint. The more hams who show up in our results listing, the stronger the pro-CW statement we make to that part of the ham world who claim CW is archaic and shouldn't even be used on the ham bands any longer.

There are the usual prizes and certificates topped off by our monthly giveaway of the CW books on CD donated by Chuck K7QO. Chuck is currently giving away one CD to the high scorer who hasn't won a CD before. Club officers are not eligible.

Our autologger has speeded up reporting of results so much we are considering changing our log submission deadline by shortening it by a couple days or so. Last month all logs (except 2 late entries) were here 3 or 4 days before the deadline.

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 welcomed AF2Z,AG4IP,K3OXG,KC9AQD,N3COR,NP4FW,WA1AR,WA3ZBJ as first time participants and/or log submitters.

Remember this is only a brief overview of the coming sprint. Be sure to read and understand the full general sprint rules and any specific rules for this month's sprint here.

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2. MARCH CHALLENGE RESULTS: The QSO Points challenge submission deadline has not arrived yet as this is one of those early newsletters because of the way our sprint date falls. So we'll have to wait till next issue for complete results and the winner of Gregg WB8LZG's bug/paddle handles to be announced. So far we have 9 entries with K4PBY, VE3HUR, and K3WWP having the most points in contention for the 3 certificates. Incidentally it seems to be the same folks every month reporting their challenge results. That should say something to those of you who haven't tried our challenges. Those folks reporting over and over again are having a lot of fun with these challenges. Why not try them yourself? You just might find them as much fun and as addicting as our regular reporters.

You can see examples of the handles on Gregg's web site.

Full challenge info including my tutorial/work sheet for our alphabet style challenges here.

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3. GENERAL CLUB NEWS: - We are very pleased with the way the NAQCC is progressing. We are just overwhelmed by the positive response to not only this newsletter, but the club overall. As John KA5QYR says in this random sample of responses, "Hi John, Thank you for the newsletter, it is always appreciated. Many thanks for your efforts. CU later John and 73 Dah Dit Dah." Of course, as I keep saying, those comments that mention me also refer to all our officers and members. It's not a one man club.

About the only 'down' thing about the club is the lack of participation in our club awards. I asked why a couple newsletters ago, and got one response that said something like since we don't have a calling frequency or exchange numbers on the air actively as other clubs do, it is hard to earn the awards. Actually we have only one award that involves working other club members, our (obviously) Worked Members Award. All the others can be earned by working anyone as long as the QSO's are 2 way CW, and you are running QRP. Unless the award specifically states otherwise, the stations you work can even be running QRO power levels. Hopefully that will clear up that misconception and encourage more of you to earn our very reasonably priced awards. Actually if we charged membership dues, which we don't, we would provide our awards free of charge. We depend on income from the awards, along with voluntary donations as well, to keep the club running. If those sources of income dry up, we may have to cut back on some things, and we don't want to do that. Club membership will always be free of any kind of dues, so we hope to have more award applications coming in soon. None of the awards are all that hard to earn, although neither are any so easy as to be meaningless.

pix_blueball (1K) - Speaking of awards, we haven't said much about it, but our annual spring ragchew award is now in effect through June 20th. See the Awards section of the web site for details - and participate. This award appeals especially to those whose main pleasure in ham radio is simply chewing the rag with their fellow hams. For many, that is virtually the only ham activity they participate in. Here's a chance for some recognition for the important work you do in helping to preserve CW on the ham bands by those lengthy QSO's you make.

pix_blueball (1K) - The article that was here has been removed since it contained apparently incorrect information. We apologize to anyone who was upset or offended by it.

pix_blueball (1K) - We are altering our newsletter publishing schedule slightly to avoid having the newsletters come out with only one week spacing as this one did. The basic schedule of a newsletter the Saturday before a sprint and the last Saturday of a month will remain. However where that would lead to just one week spacing, we will have a 'combo' issue the Saturday before a sprint including info that would normally be in the last Saturday issue that month, and there will be no last Saturday issue that month. The sprint results for that month will be announced in the following month's issue. That happens twice the remainder of this year - in May and November. More details when the time comes.

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pix_sm_w9cbt (13K)4. CW CARTOON OF THE MONTH: Let's take a comedy break now courtesy of Dick Sylvan W9CBT. Dick has been a long-time QRP/CW operator. One of his many talents is being a cartoon artist, and he is supplying a cartoon each month for the newsletter. The NAQCC is very honored to become the third organization to feature Dick's cartoons in their publications. Dick's cartoons appear monthly in The K9YA Telegraph, an on-line only Ham Radio E-zine and also in RadCom Magazine, the British Ham Radio publication. Dick has also authored a book entitled "Hi Hi - A Collection of Ham Radio Cartoons" available via his web site at http://www.k9ya.org/w9cbt/. A new cartoon will be appearing in each of our even-numbered newsletters.
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5. MEMBER NEWS: Send your news items to our news editor Paul KD2MX at pix_email_kd2mx (1K). Remember just about anything involving CW and QRP is welcome in this section, as long as it is positive news. This is not the place to criticize anything or to put anyone or anything down. We'll leave that to the television newscasters who make a living from doing nothing but that, it seems. We love seeing your pictures here as well.

pix_blueball (1K) In the last newsletter I inadvertantly (as in no idea how) assigned member number 1809 to KB4QQJ. My apologies to Randy. Let it be known that Randy is most definitely NAQCC member #2086. - KD2MX

pix_blueball (1K) From Jim KS4DU #2066 - In an effort to induce participation in the upcoming 7th Call Area QSO Party (7QP), and recognize the QRP community, I have sponsored a plaque for the following entry category:

Outside 7th Area Single-Op QRP CW

The 7QP is May 3-4, 2008. Rules and information can be found at: 7QP Rules.

pix_blueball (1K) From Rich K8UV #2053 - I was wondering if anyone belonging to NAQCC is going to Dayton this year? I plan on going for Saturday only and would like to meet any and all members who make the hamvention trip. Our club, W8TQE (http://www.w8tqe.com/ - K3WWP) will have a tent in the vendors lot and we could meet there around noon on Saturday - rain or shine. If there is any interest, I can supply particulars at a later date. Our club has a couple of big gun DXpedition members who will be there and I know one fellow who has DXCC QRP who will be there for sure. They are a great bunch of guys and gals. Best 73 and I hope to see you there. (Note: Contact Rich via his email address in QRZ.com - K3WWP)

pix_blueball (1K) From Karl N3IJR #1770 - Hamfest season is upon us. It is time maybe to clean out the shack or maybe look for new items for the shack. It is a time of year I look forward to. One of the things I enjoy about hamfest season is the chance to have eyeball QSOs with hams you may only see once or twice a year, and to make new friends. That happened to me on March 30th in the McKeesport Area, near Pittsburgh. I reintroduced myself to a fellow who I knew is a key collector and CW guy. We talked keys and radios. I found out he has a few QRP rigs and asked if he belonged to any clubs. Well NAQCC was missing from his list so naturally I had to give a plug for our club.

Tim Soxman, W3ZVT is one of our newest members now (NAQCC #2318) and he is quite a neat guy. He collects, makes, and repairs all kinds of keys. He makes the SOX key for Morse Express and is the inventor of the Vari-Speed attachment for Vibroplex Bugs. He is a Ten-Tec collector and has over 300 keys in his collection. Tom is a most interesting guy and the neatest thing is that he is now a member of our club. So I encourage you to do just what I did, make new friends and promote our club, CW, and QRP at your local hamfest. 73 es 72 for now and good recruiting.

pix_blueball (1K) From John K3WWP #0002 - As this issue 'goes to press', I've got 7 days to go to reach 5,000 consecutive days with at least one QSO with QRP, CW, and simple wire antennas, or as it is more simply known, 'The Streak'. I am thinking of something special to commemorate the day (Apr 12). Keep an eye on the diary on my personal web site (http://home.windstream.net/johnshan/) for details as the day approaches.

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

Unless otherwise credited, all items are written by K3WWP.

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