pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

October 11, 2008NAQCC Web Site Issue #080

In this issue:
1. October Sprint
2. September Challenge Results
3. Operating Tips
4. General Club News
4a. N3A Update
5. CW Cartoon of the Month
6. Member News

1. SPRINT: Our sprint is this Tuesday evening, October 14th at 8:30-10:30 PM EDT (Wednesday 0030-0230Z).

This month's special award: The one making the highest score in each of our 5 divisions and working the most different N3A/# calls qualifies for the drawing to select our winner. There will be N3A/# calls active from all 10 call areas. We wonder if anyone will be able to work all 10.

Our autologger has speeded up reporting of results so much, please remember the deadline is now 2400Z on the Sunday following the sprint. The log must be RECEIVED by that time. We may make allowances for regular mail entries if they have been postmarked early enough but may have been delayed in the mail system.

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 our sprints are NOT the normal fast paced hectic events that come to mind when sprints are mentioned. Ours are designed for the newcomers to contesting with a relaxed slower pace style - ideal for learning the fun art of ham radio contesting.

We often tell you how wonderful our sprints are, and perhaps you say something like, "Oh, it's their job to promo the sprints. They can't be that great." OK, let me show you what two of our members think about the sprints.

Here's what Pete W4SEC has to say, "Tom and John, I have participated in many of the NAQCC sprints as both WD4LST, and my current call. and have had a blast every time. I just received a reply qsl from one of my contacts on the last sprint, and thought I would send a scanned image to you. The note on the back speaks for itself. See you on the air, and thanks for all of the fun. 72." Here's the image:

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

Complete sprint results and rules always can be found here.

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2. SEPTEMBER CHALLENGE RESULTS: Not to brag because I thought of it, but our September State-number challenge drew as many favorable comments as I have seen in any of our soapboxes in the past. We definitely will be repeating this one. You can count on it.

We had 11 entries for the challenge. Of those, NU7T with 61 and K4PBY with 45 had the most state-number combos worked, but NU7T relinquished his certificate, so it will go to W2JEK in fourth place since K3WWP in 3rd also relinquished the certificate. We want as many different members as possible to receive some of our beautiful certificates.

This was the last of our bug/paddle handles giveaway in conjunction with our challenges. We certainly thank Gregg WB8LZG for all the excitement we've had giving away his handles the past year plus. And Gregg is continuing to supply excitement with a new giveaway in conjunction with our awards program as we announced in a previous newsletter.

Our handles winner has yet to be decided since this newsletter is being posted slightly before the challenge entry deadline and although unlikely we could get a last minute (second?) entry from someone.

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

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3. OPERATING TIPS: A lot of members joined the club because they wanted to improve their CW skills and increase their speed. Ron K5DUZ and Karl N3IJR have some very good ideas along those lines and I'm looking forward to what they have to say when they get the Elmer project for the club going. Ron and Karl are starting now to handle any emails that come in with questions regarding learning CW, choosing QRP equipment, and just about anything the newcomer to CW and/or ham radio may ask.

Because of that, this will be the last installment of Operating Tips here in the newsletter. If you have questions, email them to pix_email_naqcc (1K) and they will be forwarded on to Ron and Karl.

More tips can be found on the web site here.

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4. GENERAL CLUB NEWS: - Of course we're in the middle of our anniversary month and our special N3A operation. It has been going well so far, although hampered a bit by the current poor propagation conditions on the higher bands. However 160, 80, and 40 are quite good most days. Perhaps if we allowed our N3A ops to run a KW and a beam, we could rack up a lot of QSO's, but that is not what the NAQCC is all about. We are a QRP club, and our club events are done with QRP. Since the N3A operation is one of our events, our N3A stations run QRP. "QRO N3A station" is an oxymoron. After all that is the only thing that distinguishes us from being just "another CW club". We are not that but a QRP club whose activities are solely done with CW or you could say we are a CW club whose activities are solely done with QRP, but we are definitely not just a clone of FISTS or other CW clubs as the phrase "another CW club" might indicate to those who don't know us better. That is why we have such a great working relationship with FISTS and have had so from day one of the club. The next couple items address that last sentence. Read on.

pix_blueball (1K) - Speaking of day one, the next newsletter will be somewhat of a special issue devoted to the history of the NAQCC - how it was formed, landmark moments, future plans, and more.

pix_blueball (1K) - And speaking of the great relationship with FISTS, we have 10 N3A ops lined up to take part in their sprint tomorrow (11th). This agreement was not unilateral on the part of either club, but came out of close work between the leaders of FISTS and the NAQCC to iron out and agree to all the details. We wanted to make perfectly sure we were welcome before committing to anything since we were going to play in their house, so to speak, and play by their rules. Also the NAQCC is awarding certificates to FISTS members in conjunction with working our N3A stations, again by mutual agreement between the clubs. That's the way two clubs should work together, and we're proud of doing so. See here (main sprint page) and here (sprint bonus page).

pix_blueball (1K) - As mentioned in a previous newsletter, to celebrate the start of our fifth year at the NAQCC, KC2EGL and K3WWP are going to construct an Elecraft KX-1 4-band version. It won't be long now before that project gets underway and you can follow along right here exclusively in the NAQCC newsletter. In fact, Mike should be receiving the kit today (10th). Then we have to work out a schedule as to when we can get together to work on it. The construction will be described and illustrated as a serial here over the next few issues starting with an introduction written by club president Tom WY3H.

pix_blueball (1K) - We have several new features and events here at the NAQCC that either recently started or are upcoming. Let's see if I can remember them all and mention them briefly in this item. There's a new award dealing with call sign suffixes that make words such as K3DOG, W4HAM and the like. There's Gregg's new giveaway of knob inserts for K1 and K2 rigs that will go the hams who earn and apply for two (per ham) club awards from a list on the awards page. There's our giveaway of a Rockmite 40M kit in conjunction with our January challenge. We'll also include a kit of all cables, connectors, etc. to make the basic kit into a full-fledged little rig. AND Rich N4ESS of Expanded Spectrum Systems is donating a complete set of 11 40M crystals to go with the Rockmite so you won't be stuck on one particular frequency. AND (again) Rich N4ESS is donating two sets of around two dozen crystals (I haven't counted exactly yet) to be given away in conjunction with our November and December sprints. We also have a couple more new awards to announce, but we'll hold off on those a bit to keep from being overworked here. HI. I'm sure there's more also that I just can't think of right now. Also a really big one that I can't announce just yet till the deal is worked out (tease). Hopefully it can be worked out. Our club is really growing by leaps and bounds because of you, our wonderful members. Thanks.

pix_blueball (1K) - I'm delighted when I get an email from one of our members and they are using our NAQCC email stationery. If you haven't gotten yours yet, let us know by email pix_email_naqcc (1K) and request we send it to you. Be sure to tell us what email program you use to send your emails (Windows Live Mail, Outlook, Outlook Express, etc.) It will work with those three email programs, and possibly others as well. It will not work as is with Incredimail. That program uses a proprietary format that we can't recreate (yet). We'll email you the stationery and instructions on how to install and use it. See the past couple newsletters in the archive to see what it looks like if you haven't seen it yet.

pix_blueball (1K) - Another thing that delights me is when I process a membership application and see in the 'Referred by' field, the callsign of a member. I'm delighted that you think enough of our club to recruit more members to swell our ranks. Thanks very much, and keep up the good work.

pix_blueball (1K) - With the way our membership is multiplying these days as we finally see the exponential growth stage that most clubs go throuh, we will soon hit 3,000 members. That means it will be time to find a new newsletter emailer. It's a very simple job as our present collection of emailers (K5DUZ, AA4W, W2LJ, VA3RJ, KC0RJ, N9GOD) can attest to. Once someone gets set up, it only takes a very few hours (<4 probably) of time each month to do the job. Sound like something you'd be interested in doing? If so contact us at pix_email_naqcc (1K) and let us know. We'll fill you in on what the job entails. It's something anyone can do.

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4a. N3A UPDATE: - We'll be having all 10 N3A stations active in both the FISTS sprint and our NAQCC sprint. It took a bit of work to get that to happen as our members, including our N3A ops, all seem to be very busy folks with many different committments. Thanks to all our ops, but especially KD2MX W4ONC and K8KFJ for stepping in to fill up the missing slots for the two sprints since our regular N3A ops couldn't be available at the appropriate times.

I've gotten reports from a few of our ops indicating things are going well so far. As of the 6th I count around 200 or so QSO's in the reports received. It is not necessary to send a report till the end of the month so that figure is just derived from a few op comments.

The N3A page on the web site has a lot of additional information I'm not going to repeat here.

I've also created a calendar of operations that makes it clear at a glance who will be on where and when. It's available via a link from the above page.

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pix_sm_w9cbt (13K)5. 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 be one of just two organizations to feature Dick's cartoons. In addition to our newsletter, Dick's cartoons appear monthly in The K9YA Telegraph, an on-line only Ham Radio E-zine where he is the staff cartoonist. Dick has also authored a book entitled "Hi Hi - A Collection of Ham Radio Cartoons" available via his web site. A new cartoon will be appearing in each of our even-numbered newsletters.
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6. 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. The only qualification is that it should deal with CW/QRP and not other modes. Your fellow members love to know what you have been up to using this wonderful mode.

pix_blueball (1K) From John K3WWP #0002 - I've been having a lot of fun with N3A so far. Although this year seems a bit tougher to make QSO's than last because of the poor conditions on the higher bands, I've done well on the lower bands - 80, 40, and 30 with my QRP. It's tempting to run up the power to tell more people about the N3A operation and the NAQCC, but that would be unfaithful to the principles of the NAQCC, and anyway I'm 100% QRP/CW no matter what call sign or station I use, so it's a moot point. I have had a couple of the folks I worked sign on as new members because they were impressed with QRP/CW operations and wanted to help our cause. That makes the N3A operation worthwhile for me. I only wish I had more time to commit to it, but running the NAQCC takes up a lot of my time that I would otherwise devote to being on the air. I will make time this weekend to do the FISTS sprint exclusively 1700-2100Z on Saturday, and the PA QSO Party exclusively the rest of the weekend. So look for me there. Remember as an incentive, I will be one of the very few stations active from Armstrong County. For information on the PA QSO Party, click here.

pix_blueball (1K) From Paul N8XMS #675 - Recently my wife and I went down to Columbus, OH to visit our daughter who is a graduate student at OSU. The ladies wanted to do some mall shopping so I had them drop me off at a little park in Dublin, OH where I tossed a wire up into a tree and enjoyed about an hour and a half of operating with my Elecraft KX1.

I made four 40-meter QSOs and worked NC, TN, AL, and NJ. It was a beautiful day and I had a lot of fun. The best word to describe the park is "quirky." It contains about 100 concrete statues of ears of corn that are each about 6.5 feet tall and that are lined up in a dozen or so rows! I guess that it is supposed to commemorate the importance of agriculture in the early days of the community.

When my wife and daughter returned to pick me up they snapped a few pictures and I used one of them to make a special QSL card with my computer to send out to the guys that I worked. It got me thinking that there are probably a lot of communities around the country with quirky sites like this that would be fun to activate. Perhaps we could have a QSOTA special event = Quirky Sites On The Air!

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pix_blueball (1K) From Randy KB4QQJ N3A/4 #2086 - The SKCC is helping us in the NAQCC celebrate our club's four year anniversary of offering QRP fun. The monthly SKCC Weekend Sprint event is being held October 12 from 0000z to 2359z and there is a chunky bonus provided for contacts with N3A stations. This should make for lots of contacts for the N3A ops. Here is how it works: Regardless of the power level that you claim on the sprint entry form, if you work the NAQCC club call N3A while you are QRP, you get 50 points. If you work them QRO (over 5 watts) then you get 25 points bonus. Only one or the other and only 1 time, not per band. To claim your bonus, you enter either 25 or 50 in the bonus box on the entry form. For more info go to: SKCC Sprint

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.