pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

Nov 15, 2008NAQCC Web Site Issue #082/083

In this issue:
1. November Sprint.
2. October Challenge Results
2a. December Challenge
3. General Club News
4. CW Cartoon of the Month
5. Member News

1. SPRINT: Our sprint is this Wednesday evening, November 19th 8:30-10:30 PM EST (Thursday 0130-0330Z).

In the summer of 2007, Stan K4UK sent us a picture of a homebrew straight key which immediately triggered the thought, "That would make a great idea for a sprint special award." So in November of 2007 we held our first homebrew straight key special award sprint. It turned out to be very popular, and gave the proud builder and owner of a homebrew straight key a chance to show off their skills by sending in a picture of their key which was included in their soapbox comments. Obviously I'm leading up to this month's sprint being the second annual sprint with a homebrew straight key special award. This year there is an additional incentive besides the pride in being able to build and use a straight key. A $25.00 gift certificate from "Uncle Cy, the LED guy" K1TES #0911 who sells LED's and QRP parts will be given to the winner of a drawing among EVERYONE who uses a homebrew key as described in the sprint rules and also on the Giveaways page in the main section of the web site. This year, you must have designed and built the key yourself, not use one built by someone else.

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 W7JI, W0EJ, AF1E, W5AG, W7IEX, KA8HFN, W8FV 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. OCTOBER CHALLENGE RESULTS: Probably the easiest of all our challenges is our annual N3A October challenge. All you needed to do was to either volunteer to operate N3A and make at least one QSO, or make at least one contact with an N3A station. However, the challenge was not automatic. In addition to doing what I described, you must have SEPARATELY notified us that you mastered the challenge. It wasn't enough to send in a log as an N3A operator or show up in one of the N3A logs.

We had a total of 17 claims received from those who mastered the challenge - 6 from N3A ops, and 11 from those who worked an N3A station.

Each of the six ops (KD2MX, K3WWP, KC2EGL, WY3H, K1YAN, W1OH) and the member who worked the most different N3A/# stations (K3WWP with 7) will be getting a certificate.

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2a. DECEMBER CHALLENGE: - Because this is a combined issue (see General Club News below), we are also including a 'promo' for our December challenge here. Ever since the club was founded in 2004, one of the most popular type of activity seems to have been something dealing with rag chewing. So as we've done every December, again we have a rag chew type challenge. We'll give a certificate to the three members who make the most 20 minute or longer rag chews during the month. I know, I know, rag chews are more or less standardized as being 30 minutes or longer, but remember, the NAQCC is the club with a difference, so for this challenge, a rag chew is 20+ minutes. We're taking a brief break in our prize giveaways in a challenge, but that will resume in January with the giveaway of a RockMite kit, enclosure, knobs, and a set of crystals for the 40 meter band.

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

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3. GENERAL CLUB NEWS: - This is the second of two combined issues of our newsletter this year. Because of the innovative scheduling of our sprints, it sometimes happens that the sprint newsletter and the end of the month newsletter come just one week apart. That just involves too much work in too short a time for everyone involved in putting out the newsletter. So whenever the two issues would come just a week apart, we are eliminating the end of month issue and combining the material that would go into that issue with that of the sprint issue.

HOWEVER, there will be a special edition of the newsletter on November 29th. This 'EXTRA' edition will contain a complete history of the NAQCC written by club president Tom WY3H, and club vice-president John K3WWP. We originally intended to publish this in our anniversary month of October, but the article just kept growing and growing as we thought of more details to be added. So we decided to make it a special issue unto itself. It's amazing how this little club of maybe 50 members at the most as first conceived has grown into the largest QRP/CW club in the world with just a few short of 3,000 members at this time. Maybe we'll hit 3,000 by the time of the special issue. Wouldn't that be nice! So go recruit us some new members in the next couple weeks, and we'll make it.

pix_blueball (1K) - Not only will that special issue contain the club history, but Mike KC2EGL and John K3WWP started the construction of the KX-1 on November 11, and the first report on that project will be in the issue as well with comments and pictures.

pix_blueball (1K) - It was a very successful N3A operation again this October. We offer a multitude of thanks to our 26 fine operators for the magnificent job they did. Although some had other circumstances limit their operating time, it was a team effort and we feel equal credit should be given to each of the 26 no matter how many or how few QSO's they were able to make. Here is a list of those ops followed by statistics for the month.

N3A/1 - W1OH (MA), K1YAN (MA)
N3A/2 - N2JNZ (NY), W9VES (NJ), KD2MX (NJ)
N3A/3 - WY3H (PA), K3WWP (PA), AF3Z (PA), AE3J (DE), KC2EGL (PA)
N3A/4 - K4UK (VA), KB4QQJ (NC), AA4W (FL), W4ONC (VA)
N3A/5 - W5TM (OK), AE5BH (TX), WA5TCZ (LA)
N3A/6 - K6BBQ (CA)
N3A/7 - KH6OZ (MT), WY7N (UT)
N3A/8 - WB8LZG (MI), K8KFJ (WV), KB2FEL (WV)
N3A/9 - K9JWI (IN), AI4AW (WI)
N3A/0 - AB0TX (KS)
Total QSO's - 1,598
160M - 1
80M - 550
40M - 702
30M - 71
20M - 205
15M - 2
CA QSO Party - 182+
FISTS Sprint - 167
PA QSO Party - 328
NAQCC Sprint - 113
QRP ARCI - 126
States worked by our ops - 49 (all but Montana)
Provinces worked - BC, NL, NS, ON, QC
DX worked - EI, F, G, HP, I, S5, XE, YN

Considering the propagation conditions and the fact all our QSO's were made with QRP power, we think this operation stacks up very favorably with other special event stations and is a credit to our wonderful members. Although we only listed contests and sprints in which over 100 QSO's were made, there were also other contests and sprints during the month that had fewer QSO's. Making over 100 QSO's in five sprints and contests during the month was great.

pix_blueball (1K) - ATTENTION all members who are also FISTS members. There is still time to send in your report of how many band-QSO's you had with N3A stations. There are three unique handsome certificates available for the FISTS member(s) who had the most N3A band-QSO's in the FISTS sprint, the NAQCC sprint, and the entire month of October. See the N3A Operation page in the main section of the NAQCC web site for details on how to submit your report.

pix_blueball (1K) - Congrats to Chuck K4PBY who emailed an application for our USA Alphabet prefix award just before this issue 'goes to press.' His certificate will go in the mail as soon as we receive his $3.00 fee in a couple days. Chuck has worked 104 of the 120 possible USA combinations and is now listed on the honor roll.

Other than that though, our award applications continue to come few and far between for whatever reason. Perhaps our members believe the propaganda that the bands are really horrible and it's impossible to work anyone but your next door neighbor. That's just not true. The lower frequency bands (160,80) are as good now as they ever get. 40 and 30 have good and bad days, mostly good. 20, as one of the more popular bands is fairly good as is 17 from time to time. 15, 12, and 10 can be very good at times but not on an every day basis at this point in the sunspot cycle. Why the bands sound worse than they are is because everyone listens, and no one transmits. Naturally in that situation, the bands are going to sound dead. We keep hammering this into people's heads and I'll do it again here - IF YOU HEAR NOTHING ON A BAND, CALL CQ - NOT JUST ONCE, BUT MANY TIMES. In most situations unless the band is really dead, you'll be surprised at how easily you'll get a QSO that you can apply toward one of our beautiful award certificates.

pix_blueball (1K) - We now have pictures of 99 of our members in our picture gallery, and I must say it looks very nice, and really adds a personal touch to our fine club. Is your picture there? No? Why not? You don't know how to submit one to us? Want to be #100? Hey, it's simple. Just email a digital photo of yourself where your face is a decent size, i.e. about 120 x 120 pixels for the face part of the picture. The whole picture can be as big as you want. In fact to a certain extent, the bigger the better, since a large picture will resize downward nicely, while a small picture will become blurry if it is resized upward too far. Where do you email it? To pix_email_naqcc (1K). Just type that email address into an email, attach the photo and send it.

We've also been getting a regular supply of photos and bios of those members desiring to be honored as NAQCC member of the month. We currently have 2 members per month scheduled through the end of January, but that time will be here quickly, so keep the pix and bios coming, please.

pix_blueball (1K) - Do you have a favorite challenge or sprint special award from the first 4+ years of the NAQCC? We're planning our challenges and special awards for 2009 right now and invite you to take place in the process. Just review the challenge and contests/sprints section of the web site to see what we've done so far, and if one particularly strikes your fancy, let us know about it, and we'll re-run it in 2009. Or if you have a completely original idea for a challenge or special award, let us know about that as well. If you pick a past one, please tell us what month and year it is from. Contact our club email address pix_email_naqcc (1K) with the subject "Challenge Suggestion" or "Special Award Suggestion". Thank you.

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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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5. MEMBER NEWS: Send your news items to our news editor Paul KD2MX at pix_email_kd2mx (1K).

pix_blueball (1K) From John K3WWP #0002 - I'm doing something a little different for our homebrew key special award this year. I now have 3 different keys that I've made, and I think I'll use all three in the sprint - perhaps 40 minutes for each one or divided up some other way.

pix_082_iz1gjk_001 (19K) pix_blueball (1K) From Maurizio IZ1GJK #1938 - On November 15 thru 16, the Naval Contest and the INORC contest will take place. Giuliano, I1SAF, will be on the air for the contest with the special call II1ADV from aboard the Italian Navy frigate "CARABINIERE". Operations from aboard the ship will last up to 19 November. The ship is moored in the Italian Navy Shipyard of La Spezia and this last operation is to celebrate the completion of duty for this ship. On November 19, at 17:00 local time, after about 40 years of duty, there will be a ceremony marking the last haul down of the ship's combat flag. I was a boy the first time that I went onboard the ship. I hope to meet many of you during the contest. Until 19 November, best 73. Giuliano I1SAF

pix_blueball (1K) From Joe W4ONC #2102 - I just had my first QRP DX QSO. I was home from work sick and I knew that staying in bed was not the best thing to do if I wanted to get well. So I sat down in the shack and turned on the radio; thank goodness for Ham Radio. After listening for a while and adjusting my power to 5 watts I heard a strong 599 signal. As I tuned in on the CW signal I copied the call sign F5VV. He was in a QSO with a W5 in Texas which was just ending. When they finished I called the French station but he went to a VE. When their QSO ended I called again and he came back to me with a 559 report. Our QSO lasted five minutes. His name was Joel and he congratulated me on using only 5 watts of power for our QSO. In addition both of us were using simple wire antennas.

It still truly amazes me what can be accomplished by using only 5 watts or less of transmitting power.

pix_blueball (1K) From Francis (Cal) KF7ET #2973 - I received my novice ticket in Dec 1978 as KA1BWE in Mount Holly Vermont and upgraded shortly to general and then to advanced. I have worked WAS once from Vermont and twice from Idaho, once on QRP. I have owned several QRP rigs and now operate the FT817 with the MFJ 902 tuner and the MFJ 860 swr/power meter. I operate both mobile and base. My mobile antennas consist of wire and ham sticks. On base I have several wire and hamsticks above a metal roof. I am still using the same J38 key that I got in a box of junk for $1.00 when a novice. I am a member of ARCI, QRP-L, SKCC, SMIRK and several other QRP clubs. I picked up the 7 call when moving to Idaho in 1987. I can't wait for 10 meters to open again.

pix_blueball (1K) From Randy KB4QQJ #2086 - N3A stations placed 2nd and 3rd in the QRP category in last month's SKCC Weekend Craftsman Key/NAQCC Sprint! George, N2JNZ, #287 operated as N3A/2 and finished second QRP and #16 overall amongst the QRO stations. I operated as N3A/4 and finished #3 QRP and #23 overall. It was a great showing for N3A. George was booming and everybody was looking for the N3A stations. We made a total of 86 QSOs while promoting the NAQCC. I know three if not six new members joined NAQCC.

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.