pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

Nov 1, 2008NAQCC Web Site Issue #081

In this issue:
1. November Challenge.
2. October Sprint Results
3. Latest Award Winners
4. General Club News
4a. N3A Operation
5. Member News

1. CHALLENGE: If it's November, then it must be time for the annual NAQCC Thanksgiving challenge. Yep, that's right. A standard alphabet type challenge with the target words dealing with Thanksgiving. This will be the 5th running of this always popular event as we enter our 5th year of the NAQCC. If you've never tried a challenge before, we invite you to give them a try. We're sure you'll like them.

Full Challenge info here including a link to a worksheet example that makes our alphabet challenges a snap.

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2. OCTOBER SPRINT RESULTS: With 20 and 40 meters shut down for a good part of the country, this sprint harkened back to the early days of the NAQCC when we had 80M-only sprints.

As a result of basically just having one band to work with, our stats were down a bit this month, but all things considered, it was still a great turnout. Actually my 35 QSO's was one of my better sprints of late. 34 of the QSO's came from just sitting on 3559.5 and calling CQ. The other one came on a brief QSY to 3559.0 to answer a CQ from KA8MPT.

Three of our N3A ops had some last minute misfortune and made a total of 1 QSO among the three. However otherwise even with the poor conditions, our N3A ops totalled 113 QSO's or about 1/5 of the total QSO's in our logs. Nice work!

STATS - current month, previous month, all time record, mo/yr (blue indicates a record set this month):
                  Oct   Sep   Rec   Month
Logs -             54    64    64   9/08
Stns in logs -     92   108   110   5/08
Hour 1 QSO's -    320   564   564   9/08
Hour 2 QSO's -    262   476   476   9/08
Total QSO's -     582  1040  1040   9/08
20M QSO's -         3    77   185   6/08
40M QSO's -       131   709   709   9/08
80M QSO's -       448   254   481  12/07
Autologger logs -  42    57    57   9/08

1st SWA East - K3WWP
1st SWA Central - W7JI
1st SWA Mountain - WB0OEW
1st SWA Pacific - W7IEX
1st N3A - N3A/2 (KD2MX)
1st Gain - W8FV

Special Award (working most different N3A stns.) Drawing Entrants:
K3WWP, W8FV, N3A/2
Drawing Winner: K3WWP

Congratulations to all including winners and non-winners. Actually everyone who participated and sent in a log is a winner because that shows the ham radio world that there are many folks still using and enjoying CW on the ham bands. That's one of our main goals here at the NAQCC.

Very special thanks to those who reported their results even though they made only a few QSO's. Your reports are important also.

We had 10 stations who didn't submit a log show up 5 or more times in the 54 logs we received and cross-checked. Hopefully those 10 and many others will be back next month AND submit a log. Remember submitting a log doubles the strength of your statement that you support CW operation.

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

Full sprint info here.

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NONE (very disappointing)

We now have a nice incentive to work towards and earn our NAQCC awards thanks to Gregg WB8LZG. I'm sure you all know by now of his beautiful hand-crafted bug/paddle handles, and how we gave away 13 sets of them to participants in our monthly challenges. Now Gregg has designed some beautiful hand-crafted knob insets for the K1 and K2 rigs. If you own one of those rigs or are planning on purchasing one in the future, read on after you look at this picture of them.

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We're giving away 5 of Gregg's K2 knobs and 2 of his K1 knobs. You can win one by earning and applying for any TWO of the following NAQCC awards. It's first come, first served, so make haste.

Alphabet Prefix
Worked Members - Advanced
Suffix Words

See the 'Current' page in the 'Awards' section of the web site for rules for these awards.

Only new applicants on or after October 1, 2008 are eligible.

Full List of all award winners here.

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pix_blueball (1K) - We had planned to publish a complete history of the NAQCC in this issue. However with all the N3A activities and a lot of other matters to take care of, Tom and I did not quite finish writing the history. Rather than rush and publish an incomplete and rough copy, we decided last night to just postpone it until the next issue. That will be an issue you will really want to keep. Even though I participated in the entire history of the club, and wrote part of it myself, I still find it fascinating to read about all that we have accomplished with the club over the years thanks in very large part to you, our dedicated members.

pix_blueball (1K) - Here is an update from Ron, K5DUZ on the NAQCC 'Elmer Project':

Progress on the "Elmer Project" has been far slower than I had anticipated, due mainly to unanticipated personal business, work projects and finally Hurricane Ike. My apologies to everyone that has been looking forward to receiving some guidance from the NAQCC in learning Morse Code or improving their proficiency with it.

Members may want to refer back to N/L 067 http://naqcc.info/newsletter_067.html for a brief description of where we are headed with the "Elmer Project".

Currently we are begining to test and perfect some of the minor "tweaks" to the Koch method of learning Morse Code that we will be recommending. We are now asking for a few volunteers to help with the testing. We need two small groups of volunteers, those with little or no training and those that are "stuck" at ten wpm or less. Volunteers must be able to spend thirty minutes per day practicing and willing to provide us with weekly feedback on their progress.

To volunteer, please e-mail "The Elmer Project" at pix_email_k5duz (1K) and give us a brief description of where you are in the Morse Code learning process.

In the meantime, the on-line book "The Art and Skill of Radio-Telegraphy" at http://www.raes.ab.ca/TASRT/index.html is highly recommended reading.

pix_blueball (1K) - Don't forget, in conjunction with our N3A operation that is just wrapping up now, the NAQCC is offering three beautiful certificates to FISTS club members. One to the member who makes the most band-QSO's with our N3A stations in the FISTS sprint, one to the member who makes the most band-QSO's in our NAQCC sprint, and one to the member who makes the most band-QSO's with our N3A stations during the entire rest of October including those made in both sprints. A band QSO means working N3A on a specific band, i.e. working N3A/3 on 80, then 40, and also N3A/4 on 40 and 30 counts as 4 band QSO's towards the certificate. Only one specific band QSO may be counted, i.e working N3A/3 twice on 80 only counts as one band QSO. In case of ties, duplicate certificates will be awarded. I'm sure you get the idea. We're doing this to show our appreciation to FISTS for the wonderful co-operation they've given us ever since the NAQCC was founded. I've always had free rein to write anything I wanted about the NAQCC in my FISTS Keynote QRP column. Also our two clubs have NEVER had any conflicts with each other in any way.

So if you're a FISTS member, count up those N3A/# band QSO's and check the N3A Special Event page for how to send in your report.

pix_blueball (1K) - As we've been mentioning, club members have been generously donating items to be given away in conjunction with our club events. It's been a problem deciding how to co-ordinate all the giveaways, but a delightful problem. We thank you for your generosity. We pretty much have things figured out now, at least for the next few months. Check the giveaways page in the main section of the web site, as well as specific sprint, challenge, and awards pages for more information. All of the items are things that everyone should want to win and use proudly.

pix_blueball (1K) - We also thank you for the generous monetary donations made to the club recently. As we've said before, that is the only way we can keep the club running, since there are no dues associated with membership, nor never will be. If the donations and income from our awards should dwindle to nothing, we'd have some serious thinking to do about the future of the club. See the lower part of the main page of the club web site for details on you can join your fellow members in making a donation, BUT only if you can afford it. Any amount, small or large is gratefully appreciated. As it states there, we cannot process Credit Cards, PayPal, or any other electronic cash transfers at the present time - only personal checks, money orders, or cash.

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pix_blueball (1K) - As this issue is posted, our N3A operation is about to come to an end. It's been a very successful month, and I believe we broke our record of some 1150 QSO's from October 2007. We'll hopefully have all the final stats in the next newsletter if we receive wrapups from all our 25 ops in time.

Not much more to say about the operation for now except thanks to all our ops including those who because of circumstances beyond their control weren't able to make any QSO's. All 25 of you deserve equal credit for being willing to help out your club in this endeavor. THANK YOU!

Also thanks go to FISTS who helped out our operation by a co-operative agreement to include our N3A stations in their Fall Sprint as special bonus point stations.

And finally thanks to all of you who worked our N3A stations. Don't forget to send in your info telling us how many you worked for the October challenge. Details in the Challenge section of the web site.

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5. MEMBER NEWS: We all want to hear about your exploits using CW and QRP, and this is the place to post that info. So send the info to our news editor Paul KD2MX at pix_email_kd2mx (1K) so he can convert it into a news item like those here.

pix_blueball (1K) From Roy KC0RJ #212 - I received this message from our friends in India who asked for some help spreading the word about an upcoming expedition. "The Government of India has given permission for us to operate from Kadmat Island in Lakshadweep with the callsign VU7NRO from October 24th to November 3rd of 2008. I am basically a CW operator with callsign VU2NIS and I am accompanied by my husband VU2UWZ.( Phone & digital mode). Kindly inform your club members to make contacts with VU7NRO. 73, Nisha"

pix_blueball (1K) From Geoff W1OH #39 - After a number of years living in a condo with an indoor antenna, I moved a couple of months ago into a nice 6-year old Cape in Waquoit, MA (a section of Falmouth, MA on Cape Cod). Not only is it closer to work, but it's also right next door to my grandkids, on the end of a cul-de-sac, with about a 3/4 acre lot backing on conservation land, lots of (too many, actually) trees, and the opportunity finally for real antennas! And it's got a ready-made, mostly finished 12 x 13 room (a dedicated shack!!!) in the walkout basement with a window facing east towards the bulk of the lot and the conservation land!

Currently, I have my portable 40M doublet up on an MFJ mast at 30 feet and I'm having a great time making contacts about half the time during October as N3A/1 (I share the month with K1YAN, alternating every few days). My rig of choice is an Elecraft K2 which I built last Christmas. While the FISTS Sprint on October 11 was a dud due to terrible propagation, later that evening, and especially Sunday, October 12, conditions on 40M and 80M were fine for the PA QSO Party, with lots of stations to hunt down as I did S&P on Sunday afternoon. On Tuesday evening, October 14 here (October 15 UTC), conditions were quite good on 80M for the short time I had for the NAQCC Sprint, under my own call as it was K1YAN's turn to run N3A/1. I even got answers to a few CQs on 80M - unheard of the past few years on the indoor antenna! Wow!

So, even with my temporary portable antenna outside, I'm looking forward to more N3A/1 operation for the rest of October, plus the coming season with ARRL SS CW and all the other great CW events coming up! I've been gathering stuff to get my benchwork completed in the new shack so I can unpack and setup all my gear, plus have a good sized area to build more gear (gotta start working on the backlog of little QRP kits and gizmos that have piled up)! And I hope to have a more permanent antenna, an 80M doublet that should be up at least 50 feet with any luck, in place by early November. I'll report back on my new launching system for getting lines over tree branches if it all works out well!

pix_blueball (1K) From John K3WWP #0002 - I had a great time operating N3A/3 during October. Last year I made 388 QSO's and this year I wanted to top that. With a couple days left in the month, I hit #400 and added 3 more. I still may add a couple more to that total as there are a few hours left as I write. The three big contests during the month provided a lot of fun. I operated N3A/3 in two of them, the Pennsylvania QSO Party and the FISTS Fall Sprint. In our NAQCC Sprint I operated as K3WWP, but had fun working 5 of our other N3A/# stations. I'd like to add my own personal thanks here to FISTS and the PA QSO Party organizers for two great events despite not having the best of band conditions that weekend, especially Saturday.

pix_blueball (1K) From Paul N8XMS #675 - In early October I had the chance to spend a couple of hours at a nearby state park with my Elecraft KX1. It was a beautiful day with the fall colors just starting to come in. I tossed my 40-ft wire up into a big oak tree, laid out three 16-ft radials, and had a blast on 20 and 40 meters. I worked the Madeira Islands, Sweden, Luxembourg, and Honduras, along with a couple of domestic contacts. There won't be many more days like this for this year, snow flurries are already in the forecast!

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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.

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