pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

June 7, 2008NAQCC Web Site Issue #072

In this issue:
1. June Sprint
a. May Sprint Results
2. May Challenge Results
a. Club Awards
3. General Club News
4. CW Cartoon of the Month
5. Member News

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

This month since it is Field Day month, our special award is for operating portable away from your regular QTH. As we did last month and will be doing from now on, the SA is awarded by drawing among the top qualifiers from each of our sprint divisions.

There is also a second sprint this month, our annual milliwatt sprint which takes place on Tuesday evening, Jun. 17th at 9:30-10:30 PM EDT (Wednesday 0130-0230Z). Note that's only a one hour time period starting one hour later than our usual sprint starting time. Only one overall winner certificate will be awarded in our mW sprint.

In our regular sprint, 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. As with the special award, the CD is awarded in a drawing among the top qualifiers from each of our sprint divisions. Club officers are not eligible.

Our autologger has speeded up reporting of results so much we are still considering changing our log submission deadline by shortening it by a couple days or so. However no final decision has been made yet.

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.

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 sprints here.

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1a. MAY SPRINT RESULTS: We dropped off slightly in all categories but one in May, but our sprint still remains very strong. We set a record for the number of stations participating with 110, thanks largely to the attraction of 6Y5/K4BAI being in the sprint. After looking at the logs, I believe conditions were for the most part not that good across the USA. However here in Western PA, it seemed almost like I was in a 'white hole' and could work virtually everyone I heard, and I was hearing a lot of stations. I was the only QSO in two logs, and 1 of only a few QSO's in several other logs. Had I started on 20M instead of 40M, I might have broken the 50 QSO mark, but I shot out of the starting gate on 40M, getting 33 answers to my CQ's just above 7.039 MHz in 68 minutes, and just didn't want to abandon a run like that for another band. As it is, my 44 QSO's were a personal best. Unfortunately this was the only area in a 'white hole' with the possible exception of Jamaica where John K4BAI made 56 QSO's. Comments from the rest of the country almost all said conditions were very poor and it got worse out to the West. Amateur Radio propagation can be a very strange thing.

This month we initiated our new SWA Division format, separating SWA entrants by Time Zone. Because of the horrid conditons out west (two of our top-notch regular participants from the Mountain Time Zone, Bruce WY7N & Steve NU7T made a total of 1 QSO between them, and said they just weren't hearing anyone. It looks like they had a 'black hole' out there.), we didn't get a true indication of how it worked out. Our Special Award and Books on CD winners were (and will continue to be) decided by a drawing among the top qualifier in each category/division. We'll have a better analysis of the system after our June sprint when conditions will hopefully be better uniformly across the country.

STATS - current month, previous month, all time record, mo/yr (blue indicates a record set this month):

Logs -             56+   62    62   4/08
Stns in logs -    110   104   110   5/08
Hour 1 QSO's -    414   500   500   4/08
Hour 2 QSO's -    256   398   449   3/08
Total QSO's -     670   898   898   4/08
20M QSO's -       135    83   163   8/07
40M QSO's -       456   602   602   4/08
80M QSO's -        79   213   481  12/07
Autologger logs -  49    54    54   4/08

+ - including two check logs that arrived late


1st SWA East - K3WWP
1st SWA Central - W5TM
1st SWA Mountain - W0JFR
1st SWA Pacific - No entries
1st Gain - K5GQ and 6Y5/K4BAI

Special Award Drawing Entrants (most call areas worked):
Drawing Winner: NF9D
* - Ineligble as the one who did the drawing

CW Books on CD Drawing Entrants (donated by Chuck Adams K7QO):
Drawing Winner: W0JFR

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 12 stations who didn't submit a log show up 5 or more times in the 53 logs we received and cross-checked. Hopefully those 12 and many others will be back next month AND submit a log.

We welcome 5 hams who submitted a sprint log for the first time. We hope they will continue to participate and report their results:

Complete sprint results as always can be found here.

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2. MAY CHALLENGE RESULTS: As often happens when we have a sprint early in the month, our previous month's challenge entry deadline is still a couple days in the future when the sprint newsletter comes out. That's true this month, but so far our May challenge of making mW QSO's seems to have been very popular and a rousing success. K3WWP made 158 mW QSO's during the month for the top total so far. Eight members topped the 10 mW QSO mark to earn a certificate. Complete results in the next newsletter or on the web site shortly after the May 10th entry deadline. We'll also have to wait till next issue to see who is the winner of Gregg WB8LZG's bug/paddle handles.

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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2a. CLUB AWARDS: We usually present info on awards in our end of the month newsletter, but since we didn't have one of those in May because of the timing of our sprints, here comes the info now.

Awards earned during the past couple months:
1000 MPW #0037 - N1LU/4 for a QSO with VK2KM - 4/11/08
1000 MPW #0038 - KC0ZLR for a QSO with KG4TUY - 5/5/08
QSO a Day for 30 days - #0001 - VE3HUR 3/3 through 4/1 - 4/17/08
2X QRP 50pts - #0008 - VE3HUR - 4/17/08
2X QRP 100pts - #0007 - VE3HUR - 4/17/08
2X QRP 250pts - #0007 - VE3HUR - 4/17/08
Alphabet Prefix Honor Roll USA - 73 prefixes - VE3HUR - 4/16/08
WAS #0008 - N2AUR - 5/27/08
Worked Members Award Advanced - 1000 pts - #0001 - K3WWP - 4/10/08

Whew, that's quite a bunch. I'm delighted to see the increasing interest in our awards program. I think everyone should be proud of their QRP CW accomplishments and let the world know about it so the world knows CW is still a very viable and popular amateur radio mode of operation. Yes, QRP does work, especially with CW. That's the overriding message we try to get across to everyone from the NAQCC. Our awards program is just one of the many ways we do it.

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3. GENERAL CLUB NEWS: - From President Tom WY3H - A hamfest is always a good way to start out a month and on June first, John, K3WWP; Mike, KC2EGL; my sons Ethan, KB3QGW and Ariel (no call yet) and myself (WY3H) started June by setting up a membership table at the annual Breezeshooters Ham Fest at Butler, Pa.

In all we signed up 15 new members, 14 of whom are licensed, and one SWL member who is studying for his license. (Actually, we signed up 17 people but we later found that two had already signed up and FORGOT!

We also got to see some old friends and several folks who had signed up for membership at previous Butler events.

I must say that I am impressed by Mike's (KC2EGL) progress and prowess with CW. Mike has become quite a key collector, quite an operator and an enthusiastic spokesman for QRP CW and the NAQCC.

On a more personal note I am elated with Ethan's progress with CW. I believe once he passes his General Class exam he will become a top-notch CW op, certainly better than the old man.

Thank you all for your support and dedication to the club and its events, especially the monthly sprints. I haven't been able to make all the events due to on-going health problems and appointments at the V.A. Hospitals in Butler and Pittsburgh, but I hope to make the June sprint. Best 72 to all.

PS: The upper HF bands are opening -- trouble is, everyone seems to be listening and few calling. Don't wait for a call -- make one.

pix_blueball (1K) - Just to add to what Tom said about the hamfest. Our member # 1000 whom we signed up at our first Butler hamfest, Mike KD0AR was in attendance. It was nice to see Mike again as well as many other members. We should have taken a list so we could mention them here also.

One thing that impressed me at the hamfest was the desire in some hams to learn CW or re-learn it. We gave away one code practice CD to one future ham. I wish we'd had more with us to give away. Mike (KC2EGL) did point out to many who signed up or visited, the wonderful Morse Code learning program that is available as a free download on the Internet. It's called appropriately "Just Learn Morse Code". If that sounds like something you'd like, just do a Windows Live Internet search for it.

I enjoyed a short code practice session with Ethan while the hamfest was going on around us. Ethan seems very intent on learning the code, and I think Tom is probably right in saying he will become a fine CW op.

It was a bit hectic at the hamfest, and the 5 of us who manned the table were busy running around the flea markets from time to time. As a result we never did get all the pictures taken that we wanted to. I'm sorry we missed getting Mike, Ethan, and Ariel in a picture, but here's one of K3WWP and WY3H at the table. Tom was also manning a MARS table in addition to the NAQCC table.

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pix_blueball (1K) - Our member Bruce WY7N did quite well last October operating as N3A/7 in the California QSO Party. Look for a write-up about his accomplishments in our next newsletter. Congrats Bruce. Also perhaps we'll have the final results from the PA QSO Party to see how N3A/3 (K3WWP) and WY3H made out in their efforts.

pix_blueball (1K) - There's not much time left for our annual spring ragchew award. The time frame for it ends on June 21st. See the Awards section of the web site for details - and get in some good rag chews in the remaining days if you can. This award should appeal 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.

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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). Tell us what you are doing with your CW/QRP setup, and fill out your story with some photos. That's what we want to see in this section. Your fellow members love to know what you have been up to.

pix_blueball (1K) From Dennis N7HRO #2181 - Back in 2007, to my surprise, the commander of the CAP squadron in which I am active nominated me for the Jefferson Award, which is given out in Wyoming and awarded for volunteerism. During the first three months of the year, I spend my weekends driving four hours from Torrington, WY to Eldora Ske Resort in Eldora, CO to teach adaptive skiing to the handicapped. In my spare time, I am the Deputy Commander and the Drug Demand Reduction Officer in the Civil Air Patrol. I am the communications officer in our squadron and man the Comm Van at the Search and Rescue exercises usually put on in Casper or Cheyenne, WY. I also spend the last week in October and the first week in November presenting the Red Ribbon Week program where we go to the middle schools and talk about drugs and alcohol abuse.

On April 15th, Al Roker and his Today Show team came to Eldora Mountain to present the Eldora Special Recreation Program with a whole lot of donated items. I got a chance to meet Al and tell him about my other interests, including the CAP and the DDR programs. He is a very interesting person and is very easy to talk to.

I started in ham radio in 1967 as WN9VRR and WA9VRR in the suburbs of Chicago. I was active while in the Navy and could usually be found running WB0IGF/MM on board the USS Saratoga, or while in Western Australia, at VK6US. I was also VK6ZDC while in Australia. After getting out of the Navy, I was active in Army Mars and then Air Force Mars. I passed many messages from overseas and ran many phone patches including one for KC4AAA. We don't get called on to do many of these any more. I once ran them for five hours helping with the Mexico City disaster. I love ham radio and being able to help people.

Like several other members, I too have a large key collection. As soon as I can build a set of shelves in the ham room to display them, I will send more pictures in for the newsletter.

I don't have much time to operate in between working full time again and my time spent with CAP. I worked the 7QP a little on Saturday and gave out about 40 or so contacts when I could get into the shack and take a break.

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pix_blueball (1K) From John W6HHT #1911 - I have recently acquired three Meissner Signal Shifters, one of which dates from 1938, and am starting their overhaul for QRP/CW service. I am most interested in communicating (w6hht@arrl.net), for the purpose of exchanging technical details, with any NAQCC members owning or operating one of these old hot-cathode exciters. In particular, I am looking for coil specifications for use with my World War II militarized Shifter bearing a 1943 nameplate marked "EXCITER UNIT TYPE O2433 - A UNIT OF 150B RADIO TRANSMITTING UNIT". This old boat-anchor covers 3.2 to 12.5 mHz in 6 bands.

pix_blueball (1K) From Eric KB3BFQ #2345 - Hello everyone. The first month or so after returning to radio has been spotty as I have had limited time to get on the air. The WPX contest was an opportunity for myself to take a barometer of my skills at this point in time. I stunned myself copying the high speed signals with my QRP Plus and "Zig-Zag" random wire setup. I managed to complete 30 QSO's on 40m, 15m, and 10m for 17 states. I was a little bummed out last week about not getting a single QSO during the NAQCC sprint but I'll take the 30 from this weekend and build on it.

For those of you who don't know me, I'm 30 years old and was the young lad who got K3WWP back on the air because of my boredom during the "Blizzard of 1993". I am still a licensed Novice and honestly, I'm not real eager to upgrade as I'm happy with the available frequencies to operate. My new goals are to re-work the 50 states, increase my DX QSOs and enter contests. The joy of working someone with just a simple wire and 5 watts to me is what ham radio is all about and is true to the Marconi way.

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.