pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

Apr 11, 2009NAQCC Web Site Issue #092

In this issue:
1. April Sprint.
2. March Challenge Results
3. General Club News
4. The NAQCC Elmer Project
5. CW Cartoon of the Month
6. News Items and Articles by Our Members

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

Our special award certificate for this sprint goes to the winner of a drawing among those having the highest score in their division and making the most QSO's with Canadian stations.

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 NR9B, N5EEI, WA2JSG, W7YSB, AI4GF, AI3G as first time participants and/or log submitters.

Remember this is only a very 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: Our challenges continue to grow in popularity as more and more members continue to find out how much enjoyment these month long activities can provide. We're glad to see the increased participation because that means more CW activity on the ham bands to help preserve this wonderful mode of operation. That's one of the bottom line goals of the NAQCC. If you want to learn more about the challenges, I refer you to the Soapbox comments included with the results each month. You'll see how enthusiastic our members are about our challenges in a way that is much better than anything I can say here.

Our March challenge had a prize connected with it. A set of 24 crystals donated by Rich N4ESS of Expanded Spectrum Systems which went to the member making the most QSO points as defined in the challenge rules. Don VE3HUR made a Herculian effort to win the prize by more than doubling the second place score.

In all, we had 12 members report their results including a couple of first-time reporters.

As always, full challenge info and results can be found here.

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3. GENERAL CLUB NEWS: - HELP FOUND: After our plea in the Newsletter Notification email for the last newsletter, we received about a couple dozen offers to help with the emailing of the newsletter. This both pleased and perplexed us. The pleasure is obvious, but I should explain the perplexed part.

Before that I want to thank all of those who did respond. We now have a rather long queue waiting to join us as mailers as the club continues to grow. Actually we probably have enough volunteers to fill the jobs until we reach 10,000 or more members.

Welcome to Jerry 2U0BGE from Guernsey who will take over the group previously handled by Roy W5RJ - #2001 through #2500. Welcome also to Len K4IWL who is handling our latest group of members from #3501-4000. When we reach 4,000 (hopefully later this year), we'll choose a new mailer from our list of volunteers.

Our thanks go to Roy W5RJ in appreciation of the wonderful job he did as an emailer. Roy had to resign from the job because of health reasons. We hope that Roy will find relief from those problems as time goes by.

OK, why are we perplexed? We wonder why after so many pleas here in the on-line newsletters we got virtually no response for help with mailing the newsletter notifications. Yet a simple mention in the newsletter notification itself drew a couple dozen responses in a few days. Is it that members don't bother reading this on-line newsletter? Or they think the notification email is the newsletter and never come to read the actual newsletter itself? Or is it some other reason? We'd like to know. If you have any possible explanation, please tell us. These newsletters are the primary source of distributing news about the club, and we would like our members to read each issue thoroughly so they are up to date on what is happening with our club.

pix_blueball (1K) - Geo N1EAV #1679 recently sent us a scan of a write-up about the NAQCC that appeared in the "Monitoring Times" along with write-ups of other clubs including FISTS and the QRP ARCI. Here is an (edited for space considerations) image of the article. Thanks to Skip N2EI #3317 for such a wonderful write-up on our club.
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pix_blueball (1K) - Here's a sample from WB0T of what you may be missing by not reading the entire newsletter each time.

"I just read the latest newsletter from NAQCC and thoroughly enjoyed it.
The article re: saltwater operating was great!
Also enjoyed the operating in parks article. We used to do much camping, and operated my first radio, a Ten Tec 509 with an end fed random wire up about 20 - 25 feet with modest success. DX in Iowa is a little tougher qrp, as we have to get over all of those coastal amplifiers - HI.
I still do qrp field day cw - a great way to fill in those states one might need.
Thanks to all who had a hand in this newsletter.
72 Jerry WB0T NAQCC #2489 dit dit"

Thank you Jerry for reading the entire newsletters and making our efforts in producing it twice a month worthwhile.

pix_blueball (1K) - We also have another member helping with a different chore. Thanks to Joan Stewart SWL-25 #3100 who will be checking all the links on our member's web sites page. Meanwhile you can help her out by always notifying us if you change the URL for your web site. Just email pix_email_naqcc (1K) with the subject "Link Update" and include your call, NAQCC number, and the new URL.

pix_blueball (1K) - We continue to await word of the first NAQCC member winning the FISTS Area Code award. That member will receive a plaque from the NAQCC in addition to what they win from FISTS. The only condition is that the NAQCC member must also be a FISTS member and have worked all the required Area Codes using QRP power. If you satisfy all the above conditions, be sure to let us know.

pix_blueball (1K) - We're getting more an more members who are interested in helping us celebrate the NAQCC's 5th anniversary in October. We're still working on details of the celebration and can't say more about it right now, but hopefully soon. Meanwhile you can still express your interest in helping out simply by stating so in an email to pix_email_naqcc (1K). You're not committing to anything right now by expressing interest, but I'm sure you'll want to participate when all details are finalized and released.

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4. THE NAQCC ELMER PROJECT - FROM K5DUZ and N3IJR: - (From K3WWP) Karl ran his first slow speed net last Sunday evening amongst QRN and QSB on 80M. He had only one check-in, but at least the net is underway. The next net will be Sunday evening, April 12 at 8:30 PM EDT which is Monday at 0030Z in UTC time on 3.575 MHz +/- QRM.

In conjunction with the net and our Elmer project in general, President Tom WY3H and I discussed the following matter. We felt that since before anyone can be really successful at operating QRP/CW, they must first be proficient at copying and sending CW in actual on-air situations. That may be obvious, but I say it as a prelude to explaining our decision. While all of our sprints, challenges, awards, and other on-air activities will continue to be strictly at QRP power levels, we are going to make one exception to that. We will now allow those club activities that involve learning and improving CW skills to use QRO power levels. That includes our slow speed net run by Karl and any future Elmering activities that exist only to help members learn and improve CW skills. With summer QRN coming and the current poor conditions on the bands from our currently soundly sleeping Sun, copying CW signals at QRP levels is possibly just too difficult for newcomers to the mode. Once they become more proficient at copying CW at QRO levels, then they will be ready to take on the bulk of our club's QRP activities.

We felt we could be unique in our Elmer activities by having them at QRP levels, since we do not want to knowingly do exactly what other clubs may be doing, but after much soul-searching and discussion, we felt this is the only way to help and be fair to our members who are not all that experienced in using CW.

We'd like your comments on this matter, pro or con.

If you are interested in helping out or need help with any CW and/or QRP matters contact:
K5DUZ - pix_email_k5duz (1K)
N3IJR - pix_email_n3ijr (1K)
Also see Elmer Project on the web site.

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pix_sm_w9cbt (13K)5. CW CARTOON OF THE MONTH: Let's take a comedy and/or nostalgia 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. NEWS ITEMS AND ARTICLES BY OUR MEMBERS: This section is a forum for you to tell other members what you've been up to on the ham bands or to submit an article dealing with some aspect of CW and QRP operation or equipment. Send your news items and articles to our news editor Paul KD2MX at pix_email_kd2mx (1K). For your convenience any links in this section will open in a new browser window so you can come immediately back here to the newsletter just by closing that extra window.

(disclaimer) Any views expressed here are those of the member submitting them, and may not be in agreement with those of the NAQCC.

pix_blueball (1K) From Geoff W1OH #0039 - On April 25, in celebration of International Marconi Day (IMD), the Marconi Cape Cod Radio Club, KM1CC, will operate from the Coast Guard Station, Eastham, MA from 9 AM to 4 PM EDT (1300-2000Z). This is a global event in which ham radio operators from around the world will make contact with KM1CC and other special event stations to honor the birthday of the "Wizard of Wireless," Guglielmo Marconi - April 25, 1874.

More info on IMD is available at http://www.gb4imd.org.uk/. CW (and phone) will be used from the main operating positions at the Coast Guard Station. The Coast Guard Station may have Internet access for spotting via http://www.dxsummit.fi/

KM1CC CW operating frequencies for IMD, April 25, 2009 UTC:

80M 3.535     40M 7.035     20M 14.035     17M 18.080

In addition, also on Saturday, April 25, a separate QRP portable station will operate from 9 AM EDT until at least 3 PM EDT (1300-2000Z+) from the Marconi Station site. This will be setup and operated by W1OH with help from W1CRK, located at the display shelter on the site overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Operation will be CW only on approximately 7.045, 10.116, and 14.060, and possibly 3.560 Mhz. The call for the QRP operation at the Marconi Station site will be KM1CC/CC, since the original call of Marconi's station here was CC. Marconi Station site info can be found at http://www.gb4imd.org.uk/wellfleet.htm

And more info on amateur radio operation from this site can be found at http://frodo.whoi.edu/hamradio/qrpttf2006.html

Some operation may take place on Friday evening, April 24, using the KM1CC call from the Coast Guard Station in Eastham, and possibly a mobile operation using KM1CC/IMD at the Marconi Station site in Wellfleet. KM1CC/IMD may also operate early Saturday morning near the Marconi Station site. Only operation during April 25 UTC will count for IMD award certificates, but KM1CC QSLs will be available for all contacts.

This should be a fun event, and will include many other operations from old Marconi Station sites. If you look up the IMD website http://www.gb4imd.org.uk/ website, look for info on the "award stations" to see a list of participating special event stations, including all three calls from Cape Cod. All QSL requests for the Cape Cod operations should go to KM1CC at the QRZ.COM address. KM1CC/CC will be one of the few QRP stations in this event, I suspect. I hope to work you on April 25 from KM1CC/CC.

pix_blueball (1K) From John K3WWP #0002 - I visited the Marconi site on Cape Cod back in the 1970's on a cold windy day in September with drizzle falling. The weather didn't diminish the awe and reverence I felt to be standing on the spot where CW was used to 'cross the pond' for the first time via the radio waves. Everyone who loves CW as I do should visit this spot if they are in the area.

When I gave Geoff the opportunity to preview the newsletter to check the accuracy of the above item, he read my paragraph above and emailed me back some interesting info about the Marconi site. It saddened me to learn that the fury of the Atlantic Ocean is slowly reclaiming the land upon which the site stood and in the process destroying a very significant part of radio history. Unfortunately there is virtually nothing that can be done to stop the process, even considering the vast sums of money being tossed around by the Federal Government. The Atlantic is just too powerful a force. So if you want to visit this historic site, best do it before too many more years pass.

I know a lot of you have web sites and a link there to my personal ham radio web site, "K3WWP's Ham Radio Activities". My URL was recently changed against my will by my web site host Windstream. The change is a simple one, but must be made or your link will not work. Also if you have my site in your favorites or bookmarks (thanks!), the change must be made. In the majority of cases, just changing the word "alltel" to "windstream" in the URL will do the trick. However if you have a very old link with "www.alltel" (instead of "home.alltel") or "~johnshan" (a tilde ~ in front of johnshan) in it, the main part of the URL will need to be changed to http://k3wwp.com/...... Any clarification or questions, just email pix_email_k3wwp2 (1K) and ask. Thank you.

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.