pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

Apr 25, 2009NAQCC Web Site Issue #093

In this issue:
1. May Challenge.
2. April Sprint Results
3. General Club News
4. Elmer Project
5. Latest Award Winners
6. News Items and Articles by Our Members

1. MAY CHALLENGE: This is the second running of our 2-4-10-20 challenge. As the rules state - Make 30 QRP QSO's during the month using at least 4 separate bands. 10 QSO's must be regular QSO's (i.e. non-contest, non-net, non-sked), and 20 must be contest QSO's made in at least 2 different contests. Everyone who does that gets a certificate so here's a chance to easily earn a piece of wallpaper for the shack to show off to visitors.

As you should do for every challenge, sprint, and award, read and understand the rules completely before you do anything. Here in the newsletters we just give a brief synopsis of what's going on.

Full Challenge info here.

pix_newsletterline_new (2K)

2. APRIL SPRINT RESULTS: IMPORTANT - Before we get to the results, we have some bad news to report. Windstream Communications who provides our sprint autologger has told us they are no longer offering that service after June 30, 2009. That means we lose a very effective and efficient means of submitting sprint results - UNLESS one of you can help. This is a bit technical, but it won't be for anyone who may be in a position to help out. We need someone who has a web site with a host that allows access to their cgi scripts. Specifically the mailform.cgi script. If those qualifications fit you, and you are willing, I believe you could upload our autologger page to your web site and we could link to that for our autologger. Or if you have any other way of coming up with a nearly 100% successful way of submitting logs, let us know.

Now on to the results from April. Yet another white hole phenomenon this month in my area, but this time I shared it with a fairly large portion of the country, it seems. There were a lot of good scores with many folks putting 20+ and even 30+ QSO's in their logs. Our 64 logs submitted tied our record. Hopefully in May we will break the record. We could have done it this month, but a few folks who usually send in logs didn't do it for whatever reason despite their call showing up in many of the logs we did receive and cross-check.

We have been receiving more and more comments about the thorough way we handle log checking - all of them positive and similar to this from Richard KG1W: "I'm sure I speak for most members when I thank you for the time and care you devote to checking the logs." We do believe in accuracy in contesting, especially in logging. That's why we take the considerable time and effort to cross-check all logs each sprint, and report score-changing errors to the participant. We also give anyone with a 'not in log' error a chance to check with the other fellow (gal) to find out if the QSO should really be there.

Here now are the full statistics clearly showing the great turnout we had. I was surprised and a little disappointed in 20M, but 40M was fantastic and 80M quite good also except in certain areas where there was a lot of QRN. 40 and 20 should be quite good for the next few months with the lengthening of the daylight hours:

STATS - current month, previous month, all time record, mo/yr (blue indicates a record set this month):
                  Apr   Mar   Rec   Month
Logs -             64    57    64   9/08 &4/09
Autologger logs -  59    51    59   4/09
Stns in logs -     96    88   110   5/08
Hour 1 QSO's -    542   356   564   9/08
Hour 2 QSO's -    424   322   476   9/08
Total QSO's -     967   678  1040   9/08
20M QSO's -        11    24   185   6/08
40M QSO's -       617   285   709   9/08
80M QSO's -       339   369   481  12/07

1st SWA East - K3WWP
1st SWA Central - AA9L
1st SWA Mountain - N0TA
1st SWA Pacific - NU7T
1st Gain - W9CTB

Special Award (most canadian QSO's)
Drawing Entrants: K3WWP, W9ILF, AA9L, N0TA, NU7T
Drawing Winner: AA9L

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 5-25 times in the 63 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.

pix_newsletterline_new (2K)


pix_blueball (1K) - If you skipped over reading the April Sprint Results section above, please read the first paragraph there, then come back here.

What I said there about our Autologger applies equally to our Membership Application form. We lose that also after June 30, 2009, and need a replacement exactly as we do for the Autologger.

Can you help? Let us know.

pix_blueball (1K) - Bill KB3XS came up with a great idea that we are going to implement. To encourage our members to read these newsletters in their entirety, starting with the next issue (#094), we are going to hide a member's call somewhere at random in the text of the newsletter. If that member finds his call and notifies us via email within 7 days, he or she will win some kind of a prize. Bill is going to kick off the prizes by offering 100 free NAQCC QSL cards (about an $11.00 value) to the first winner. If you would like to donate some small prize for the giveaway, let us know. Oh and we've figured out a way to disguise the call so you can't just use your browser's search feature to find it. You've got to read everything in the newsletter, at least until you find it, and we hope you'll continue reading beyond that as well.

The member can be anyone including officers with the exception of K3WWP who will be selecting and inserting the call. Selection of the member will be made in an Excel spreadsheet cell that contains the formula "=RAND()*(3677)" where 3677 will be the number of the latest member to join. The spreadsheet will be loaded into Excel and re-calculated 7 times. The call of the member with the selected number will then be inserted into the newsletter somewhere in the k3wwp middle of a sentence just like my call in this sentence. Since there are many calls mentioned in a newsletter we will make it obvious from the context (as in the example) which one is the potential winner. Every member gets one, and only one chance to win. A member's call will only be used in one newsletter, then they are removed from any further consideration, whether they find their call and win or don't find it and miss out.

pix_blueball (1K) - It's very short notice, but Tom WY3H and John K3WWP will be attending the Two Rivers Hamfest near McKeesport on Sunday, April 26. The aforementioned Bill KB3XS will also be there as well as one of our club Elmers - Karl N3IXR and Tom's twin sons Ethan W3IRS and Ariel who hopes to pass his test at the hamfest. If anyone would like to attend and get together with us, search for Two Rivers Hamfest in Windows Live search or any other Internet search engine for information. We'd like to meet you.

pix_newsletterline_new (2K)

4. ELMER PROJECT: From Karl N3IJR - Well we had our run at the QRS net on 80 meters. I must report it was not well attended. But we are not giving up yet! The first Sunday night we had 4 check-In's and I just want to thank all who checked in. Our second Sunday we had 1 check-in. Needless to say I was disappointed. We still want to give it a good try. Maybe 80 meters was not the best band, I'm not sure. We are going to switch over to 40 meters. The frequency that we would like to try is 7122.5 kHz. We will be far enough away from other club and net activity on that frequency and I would really like that to be a place where NAQCC members can meet. Not just for the Sunday net but if you just want to get on an rag chew for a while. I think it would be great to have a safe place no matter what your skill level, to find another friendly NAQCC member to chat with. We will make the move from 80 to 40 this coming Sunday, April 26th at 8:30 pm EDT (0030Z Monday). Maybe by moving to 40 meters we can get some of you who do not have the capabilities to get on 80 meters to join in. So lets give it a try on 7122.5 kHz. Just another side note, we do have a list of Elmer's who are willing to help on a individual basis, all you have to do is drop me an e-mail to pix_email_n3ijr (1K) and I would be glad to hook you up with a Elmer. Lots more to come on the Elmering program so keep listening for more details. Thanks again to all who responded. Listen for NAQCC QRS NET when I do the call up. 73 fer nw Karl

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.

pix_newsletterline_new (2K)


K3WWP - 1000MPW #'s 0052, 0053
WA9KPI - 1000MPW # 0054
NU7T - 30-30 # 0007 (one month: April 2009)
K2QPN - DXCC # 0004
K2QPN - 1000MPW # 0055

Interest in our awards took a slight step backward since we last reported our winners here in the newsletter. Hopefully with improving conditions on the higher bands, interest will perk up again. Remember, awards are yet another way to show the continuing popularity of CW on the ham bands, and earning them with QRP shows the very high efficiency of CW.

Remember also our wonderful incentive to work towards and earn our NAQCC awards thanks to Gregg WB8LZG. Gregg has donated a set of beautiful knob inserts for the K1 and K2 rigs. The Giveaways page in the main section of the web site has more info and a picture. 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

Check 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.

Our very first winner was Steve NU7T who is one of most active members participating in most all of our sprints and challenges as well as having earned many of our club awards including the AlphaPrefix and Suffix Words awards which earned him a knob insert.

Full List of all award winners here.

pix_newsletterline_new (2K)

6. 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). Deadline for submitting news items for the next newsletter is May 14. 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.

pix_blueball (1K) From Paul N8XMS #0675 - I've sent out QSL cards to the non-members that I worked (in the sprint) and told them about NAQCC. I bet that if everyone working the sprint did the same it would end up recruiting a few new members each month. 73 Paul

pix_blueball (1K) From Joseph KF6VVQ #2288 - I am writing in regards to this month's (April 11) newsletter. Namely the article titled, "THE NAQCC ELMER PROJECT".

I think this is a great idea. I will tell you why I think so. My very first QRP rig was a Rockmite for 40M. In fact that was my very first CW rig. Once I built it I decided to get on the air with it. So I fired it up and tried calling CQ. My CW was around 5WPM and I really had no clue what I was doing. Needless to say that I was never able to make a contact with that rig. Sure a Rockmite is not the best choice for a newbie CW operator. My lack of experience just made it impossible to make any successful contacts. My slow CW speed, lack of experience and low powered setup were all factors.

So I wanted to tell you guys that I think your idea concerning using QRO power levels (for club teaching/learning activities only - K3WWP) is a great idea.

I will tell you that my next rig was a Ten Tec 1340 CW Transceiver for 40M. I made my very first CW contact on that rig. So QRP levels for a first contact is very possible. Some may argue that it may not be the best way to go for a newbie. The difference in wattage between the Rockmite and the 1340 is significant enough where it made a difference for me. I am still doing my best to increase my CW speed. I am trying to break some bad CW habits. There is always a higher level to strive for and I am just doing my best.

So keep up the good work and I hope all is well!! 72 Joseph

pix_blueball (1K) From Paul N8XMS #675 - My wife and I recently enjoyed a "warm weather" spring break in Murphy, NC and I took my Elecraft KX1 along. I tossed an antenna wire up into a pine tree that was located just off the back deck of the condo where we stayed, and laid out some counterpoise wires. I put "warm weather" in quotes because at first it was just as cold and wintery in North Carolina as it was back home in Michigan. It was so cold and windy that I only made a couple of contacts before shutting it all down. I then used some painters tape to string up my antenna inside the condo from the living room, up the stairwell, and across the ceiling of the second floor. It was a lot more comfortable with this setup but signal reports were not too good. After a couple of days the weather improved and I was able to go back out onto the deck for some beautiful spring weather and enjoyable QSOs. In between our vacation activities I made 12 contacts on 30 and 40 meters. I worked MI, NC, OH, ME, MN, IN, NJ, ONT, Cuba, Cayman Islands, and Slovenia. It was a lot of fun!

pix_093_n8xms_001 (31K)
pix_093_n8xms_002 (46K)

pix_blueball (1K) From John KQ1P #3113 - I became aware of NAQCC in the fall of 2008, mostly after working N3A last fall and then having a QSO with John, K3WWP. As if by magic QRP CW has now become much more fun thanks to the sprints and challenges and I am well ahead of my goal of an average of one QRP QSO per day in 2009. My children like to find out who I have talked to, how many miles per watt, and like getting new QSL cards as much as I do. I am writing to the NAQCC newsletter to say thank you to all of the club members who volunteer their time and to the many hams who are willing to copy code just above the noise level.

pix_blueball (1K) From John K3WWP #0002 - I must say it's nice to find 30M starting to stay open later in the evenings now as the Sun sets later. I've been working quite a bit of DX there of late. Nothing spectacular by any means, but it's still fun working even the 'common' DX that is showing up there. I'm looking forward to the time when I hopefully will get more time to explore the band and the time when it becomes more and more open to anywhere in the world. Hopefully those two times will coincide and happen before too long now.

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.