pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

July 11, 2009NAQCC Web Site Issue #098

In this issue:
1. July Sprint.
2. June Challenges Results
3. General Club News
4. Featured Award of the Month
5. The NAQCC Elmer Project
6. CW Cartoon of the Month
7. News Items and Articles by Our Members

1. SPRINT: Our sprint is this Wednesday evening, July 15 8:30-10:30 PM EDT (Thursday 0030-0230Z).

Our special award certificate for this sprint goes to the one making the highest score in each division and working stations from the most different USA call areas (max 12 incl. KL7 and KH6). Location determines the call area, not the number in a call.

If you're are 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 W5YDM, W9WE, W8SH, K5ENA, W0EA, VE5DX, KH6OZ, W7GVE, KB8FE 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. JUNE CHALLENGES RESULTS: The deadline for challenge submissions is just ending about the time of the posting of this newsletter. Barring a last minute entry, the winners of our regular call sign construction challenge were K3WWP with 671 points and N8XMS with 338 points. We had only 6 entries for this fascinating challenge which took a little bit more effort than most of our challenges, especially in the 'figuring out' stage.

The winners of the FD challenge were, in the portable division, WY7N with a great total of 43 states worked, and in the home division, KD2MX with 14 states worked. We had 8 entrants in our FD challenge.

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

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3. GENERAL CLUB NEWS: - We continue to get kudos about our NAQCC newsletter, and since this is a newsletter produced for the entire club by the entire club, I feel these kudos apply to all of you. That is why I like to publish them here.

Don WA3ZBJ emails briefly, "Just got my NAQCC Newsletter #97 and it is another great edition! Our newsletters are not only very interesting, but reflect the level of professionalism that we appreciate in the CW end of the bands. Well done!.......congrats on another excellent newsletter."

pix_blueball (1K) - Don W2JEK emails, "hi john, i just read a great article about qrp and cw in the July 2009 issue of cq magazine on page 102. the author, nw7us, also gives the naqcc a mention on page 105. it really shows how much better cw is compared to ssb. hope you can get hold of a copy." NW7US has been very helpful and kind in helping to promote our great club, and we owe him a great many thanks for his efforts.

pix_blueball (1K) - Have you been trying to work W1AW and get one of their QSL's for your shack wall, but not having any luck in doing so? Well, your chance is coming. The NAQCC is working out a deal to have W1AW devote a certain time to working NAQCC members who are running QRP. Times and frequencies should be decided upon in time for posting here in the newsletter of July 25th. So if the above situation describes you, be sure to read the next newsletter to learn how you can get that W1AW QSO and QSL.

pix_blueball (1K) - Club President Tom WY3H has arranged for the club to operate from the submarine Requin stationed in Pittsburgh. Operation will be on August 13th. Tom will have a complete writeup in the next newsletter.

pix_blueball (1K) - Don't forget our hidden call sign in the newsletter. So far, no one has found their own call sign, and the prize of 100 NAQCC QSL's donated by KB3XS remains available. So examine and read this newsletter carefully to see if you can find your OWN call sign, and let us know via pix_email_naqcc (1K) before the publication date (July 25) of the next newsletter. It will be obvious it is the hidden call sign from its out of context position and a mix of upper and lower case letters. The latest potential winner was K7WRB, but he did not find his call, so he is removed from any future consideration as a possible winner, as everyone gets one, and only one chance at the prize.

pix_blueball (1K) - Plans for our special 5th anniversary celebration the week of October 12-18 are coming along nicely. We now have volunteers from each call area to operate our N1A through N0A special event calls. Thanks to all who have volunteered. There is still time to add your name to the list if you'd like to try your hand at a special event call sign operation. There's really not much to it. Basically you just operate in your normal way, but use a N#A call instead of your own. We'll get down to more specific details as the time draws near.

pix_blueball (1K) - The prize of an ARRL Wire Antenna Book donated by John K3WWP awarded to the member who recruited the most new members to the club the first half of 2009 has been won by WB9PZB with 3 new recruits. To receive a vote as a recruiter, your call sign had to be listed in the 'Source' field of a membership application. Unfortunately some members listed things like 'another ham', 'a friend', etc. and we had no way of counting those. Others with 2 recruits were KC2EGL, KJ4IC, W0EJ. We heard from WB9PZB and he is delighted to have won the book. It went in the mail to him on Monday July 6. Maybe we'll do this again the first half of next year.

pix_blueball (1K) - It seems we just can't get much advance notice of hamfests for one reason or other, but tomorrow (July 12) Tom WY3H and John K3WWP will be attending the North Hills hamfest north of Pittsburgh, PA. See http://nharc.org/nharcnews.html for details. We hope some of you from the local area will show up. We are not setting up a table for the NAQCC, but just visiting. Perhaps we can run into each other. If you do decide to come, send off an email and maybe we can arrange a meeting there.

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4. FEATURED AWARD OF THE MONTH: - Our most popular award by far is our 1000MPW award in which you get a certificate for making a QRP QSO where the distance in miles divided by the power in watts gives a figure of 1000 or greater miles per watt. To date we've issued nearly 60 of these awards. Now in conjunction with that award, we have a new one which was suggested by Russ N9IV for making 100 or more such 1000MPW QSO's. It's not as hard as it seems if you are active using QRP power. I (K3WWP) in a rough check of my log show almost 400 such QSO's. That only includes QSO's I've made with countries that are entirely outside 5,000 miles distance hc004 (1K) from my QTH and thus are obviously more than 1,000 miles per watt since I never operate more than 5 watts. So get to work looking for those 1000MPW QSO's in your log, and either apply for our 1000MPW award or if you have 100 or more, apply for our KMPW 100 award. I look forward to processing your application and having Fred KC8FS send you a beautiful certificate for your accomplishment.

As always, read and be familiar with the complete rules before embarking on earning this or any award.

Full NAQCC Awards info here.

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5. THE NAQCC ELMER PROJECT - FROM K5DUZ and N3IJR: - From K3WWP - I didn't receive any material from Ron or Karl for this newsletter, but I checked into the net last Sunday evening, and it was well attended with Karl as NCS. Check-ins while I listened numbered about 5. I can't remember all off-hand, but I remember N8ZYA, KB3SZZ, and a WA8 station. Karl will be including a monthly report listing all check-ins to each net in each of our end-of-month newsletters beginning with the July 25th issue.

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)6. 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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7. 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 John KM6NN #2879 and Lewis KF4WK #700 - Lewis, KF4WK and I recently went off on another QRP adventure. After several weeks of off and on contacts between myself, Lewis, and Doc, NV4T, we decided to get on the radio and have a Beat the Heat QRP get-together. We chose a local spot in the older part of Clarksville, TN. The area has several outstanding places to set up and work QRP. Today we picked the RJ Corman Railway Station. This station is no longer active but the L & N train at one time ran through Clarksville to many places north and south via Nashville.

We chose to use Lewis' K3 radio and his Buddy Pole. We met at about 0710 hours our time and started setting up. The Buddy Pole was going to be attached to the back of the caboose that is on display next to the engine from the RJ Corman line. The Buddy Pole was a snap to put together and while Lewis located the parts and assembled them, I set up the table and chairs and made ready for the paperwork that was to be used for contact information.

The sun was still low on the horizon with a slight breeze as I climbed the back of the caboose and attached the Buddy Pole to the top of the ladder. While I was setting up the antenna, Lewis connected the K3 to the other end, attached the power, and away we went.

We had set up the Buddy Pole for 40 meters and the first thing I heard was a QSO between W9JK and another station. It was a rag chew so I rolled off and heard K4BKD calling CQ. The K3 did what it does so well and I was on K4BKD in a heartbeat. Pete was the op there and he had a good 559 signal. My signal was also a 559 until Pete changed antennas. Then my report went up to 579. Pete is located in Marietta GA and was taking the day off from work to get some things ready for Field Day.

As soon as I signed with Pete I heard W9JK, Jim. This time I called him and he came right back. Who said you need more than 5 watts? His signal was 599 from Lafayette, IN. Jim said I had a little QSB but he had solid copy on me.

I started to get things together to wrap up the station when I heard my call on the K3. It was AE4DT, Jim, calling from Cartersville GA. He gave me a 569 report and his report was the same. He was running 10 watts and was solid copy. As the QSO went on I realized it was time to break down the station and get somewhere that was a little cooler. So after signing with Jim, Lewis and I shut down and put away everything with great hopes for the upcoming Field Day 2009.

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pix_blueball (1K) From Jim WE8C #3696 - My Amateur Extra license has now been renewed. I'm purchasing a TEN-TECH 1320 kit and plan to be on the air shortly once I move to a more antenna-friendly apartment. Here's the antenna that I intend to construct. It is a pretty basic setup.

I originally was going to use RG-174 for the cable and still might as it is extra light for backpacking and at 25 feet in length, the line loss is negligible while operating on 20 meters. The 1320 will put out about 5 watts if you cut your antenna accurately and tune it right, so for QRP ops the little bit of extra line loss is acceptable. With a 2 watt or under rig, I probably wouldn't try it.

I'll be modifying the 1320 with a BNC antenna connector (instead of using an adapter) and a DC plug to replace the RCA power connector for the battery for field use. Why Ten-Tech uses an RCA jack for power I don't know.


                 20 Meter QRP Wire Antenna Calculations

Center Frequency:             14.060 Mhz      41.586 Mhz 3rd Harmonic
Quarter wave Vertical is:     16.64 feet      19.60 foot ground radials
Five eights wave Vertical is: 43.39 feet      16.64 foot ground plane
Three Quarter wave Vertical:  51.64 feet       8.32 foot eighth-wave
Halfwave wire dipole is:      33.29 feet      16.64 one side.
Low Mount Halfwave is:        32.57 feet      16.29 one side.
Halfwave folded dipole is:    32.86 feet      16.43 one side.
Halfwave inverted V is:       34.50 feet      17.25 one side.

    Parts List for Inverted "V" QRP Wire Dipole Antenna

TEN-TEC       Acro-Bat Antenna Hanger        3003       1    
HAMCITY       DogBone Antenna Insulator      Q-DBI 2      
HAMCITY       Dacron Lanyard, 3/32"          815       64      
HAMCITY       Wireman Antenna Wire 14AWG     SKU       36      
HAMCITY       Ground strap                   GS         3     
ALL ELEC      RG-58 25 ft BNC Cable          CBL-25     1     
WALMART       Coghlan 10" Nail Tent Pegs     N/A        4  

Total spent for all the components was $41.49.

pix_blueball (1K) From Marinus ZL2ML #3482 - In my quest for having a simple antenna that is suitable for multi band operation and which is easy to put up I came across a nice idea on a Polish website. ( Not that I can read Polish but the pictures speak for themselves. ) This is an end fed antenna, originally 84 ft long with a 17 feet counterpoise attached at a 90 degrees angle. On some bands it will work better with no counterpoise (have been told 80 & 10) and on others with a 6 1/2 ft counterpoise (20m). Others have used a set of full length radials, one for each band. Once again some others have turned it into a Zepp by having the 17 feet parallel to the 84 ft. In my case I feed happily the original design on all bands. Both designs will require an atu but are easy to put up and handy for QRP (portable) use.
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pix_blueball (1K) From John K3WWP #0002 - I had a nice visit with member Don WA3ZBJ a couple days ago. While Don was here, we got to talking about our NAQCC 1000MPW award and specifically our new KMPW 100 award. I showed him my modified globe on which I could quickly see approximately how far away a station that I worked was. More to the point, I could quickly tell if a QSO qualified as a 1000MPW QSO or not. Don thought that was a great idea and suggested I put the info in the newsletter, so... If you take a look at these pictures, you'll see I took the globe apart and remounted it in its ring with the axis going through Kittanning (red arrow) to the antipodal point. Then I marked on the ring for each 1000 mile distance from Kittanning. You can clearly see that all of Japan is clearly beyond 5,000 miles from Kittanning. That means that every one of my Japanese QSO's (about 175 or so) is clearly a 1000+MPW QSO since I never operate more than 5 watts output into my simple wire antennas.
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Just a couple of notes if you want to duplicate my efforts with a globe. If your ring is marked in degrees, you can easily find the 1000 mile points. One degree on Earth is very close to 69.2 miles, so 1000 miles would be 1000/69.2 or 14.45 degrees. Just mark off each increment of 14.45 degrees as I have done on my globe and you're all set with a quick check for 1000MPW QSO's. Of course if you run 2 watts, then any QSO with a country that is entirely more than 2,000 miles distant is such a QSO, and so forth for different powers. The trouble lies with those countries that are bisected by the 5,000 mile marker (if you run 5 watts) - for example Asiatic Russia as you can see on my globe. Then you have to either check the specific city in that country or if it is too close to the 5,000 mile mark or the city is not shown, then you have to use one of the Internet distance calculators to be sure.

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.