pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

September 12, 2009NAQCC Web Site Issue #102

In this issue:
1. September Sprint.
2. August Challenge 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, September 16 8:30-10:30 PM EDT (Thursday 0030-0230Z).

Our special award certificate for this sprint goes to the winner of a drawing among the following: The one making the highest score in each division and using a homebrew key or bug they made themselves. Note that you must have made it all by yourself from scratch. It can't have been made by someone else.

If you 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 VE4AEO(nm), K8CN(nm), WA9ZES, AA7EE, KC0GIO, WB3DSJ as first time participants and/or log submitters. (nm=non member)

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. AUGUST CHALLENGE RESULTS: The 5X5 challenge designed by Tom WY3H seemed a bit difficult for some, but very easy for others. At this point in the sunspot cycle, using 5 different bands and making at least 5 QSO's on each one can be difficult unless you are into contesting. A couple members finished the challenge in the North American QSO Party on August 1st/2nd. Others had more of a struggle as you can read in the soapbox comments. Six members mastered the challenge, five using simple wire antennas and one using a combination of SWA and GAIN antennas. They were: SWA - K3WWP, W2JEK, N8XMS, K3OXG, KE7LKW, SWA/GAIN - KU4A. All will get a certificate for their accomplishments.

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

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3. GENERAL CLUB NEWS: - For those who may have missed out, and especially those of you out of range of a 40 meters signal from CT in the daytime, Dennis N1IMW is going to put W1AW on the air again on Thursday September 17 at 1:30 PM (1730Z) on 20 meters around 14060 kHz.

All of us at the NAQCC thank Dennis for his consideration and efforts to make a QSO with W1AW a little easier for our members. It was entirely his idea to do so.

pix_blueball (1K) - Our donations of items for prizes continue to grow, and we have finally gotten some spare time to get the prizes organized. Check the Prizes page in the main section of the web site for info on how you can compete for these wonderful items.

pix_blueball (1K) - Our plans for our 5th Anniversary celebration October 12-18 are now into full swing. The N3A page and operating schedule have been posted in the main section of the web site, and the schedule will soon start to fill up with operating dates and time for our 10 SE stations N1A....N0A. We have started informational emailings to those of you who volunteered to help us out as operators. Thanks to all of you and a reminder that it's still not to late to add your name to the list. I'm sure there will be many holes in the schedule still to be filled as no one can operate 24/7 for the entire celebration. Just email pix_email_naqcc (1K) and express your interest along with any questions you may have. In a nutshell, all that is required of you as an op is to operate as you normally do, but use the special event call assigned to your call area instead of your own. You DO NOT have to be a hotshot CW operator. Any skill level from rank beginner to seasoned expert can do the job.

pix_blueball (1K) - Don't forget our hidden call sign in the newsletter. We finally had our first winner as Ralph KD1R found his call in issue #101. Congrats to Ralph, and thanks for doing what we urge all members to do - read the newsletters thoroughly. If you work Ralph in the next few months, you may be the recipient of one of the 100 NAQCC QSL's we are awarding to Ralph courtesy of Bill KB3XS. We are continuing the hidden call sign prize, but we now need to decide on a new prize. If you are interested in donating something as a prize, we certainly would appreciate it. One way or other we will give something to our winner(s) to show our gratitude for reading the newsletter thoroughly. Even if there were no prizes, the newsletter is our only way of disseminating club news and should be read from 'cover to cover' so you know what is happening in your club. Now 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 (September 26) 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. Use that same email address to let us know if you can donate a prize.

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4. FEATURED AWARD OF THE MONTH: - Our 30-30 award grew out of a monthly challenge we had some time ago. We challenged our members to make 30 QSO's on 30 meters during that month. The award is issued for making 30 QSO's on 30 meters during any month of your choosing. For those who consider that too easy, the 30-30 Magnum award is issued for making 30 QSO's on 30 meters during 3 different months of your choosing. If you work toward this award, you are doing something very important for ham radio besides earning an attractive certificate. You are contributing to the currently sparse activity on a fascinating little band. We need that activity to help preserve this as a phone-free band. It is an excellent band that has some of the characteristics of 40 and 20 meters. It can be open for good solid short distance rag chew QSO's, and also provide some very easy to work DX, often at the same time or within a small time frame.

So far we've issued 30-30's to KD2MX, K3WWP, K4PBY, and NU7T. 30-30 Magnums have gone to KD2MX, K3WWP, K4UK, GW0VSW, and NU7T. We'd love to add your call to that list soon.

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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The Elmer project is completely co-ordinated by Ron and 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)

The NAQCC QRS Net convenes each Monday at 0030Z (Sunday evening here in the USA) on 7122.5 kHz. Everyone is invited to check in for some hands-on CW teaching and learning. QRO is permitted for this one NAQCC activity since learning CW is so important.

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 hc008 (1K) 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 K3WWP #0002 - I see from these member news items that operating portable is a really popular activity. I recently found out why when I went on a portable 'parkpedition' with Don WA3ZBJ to the hilltop Community Park here in Kittanning. You could not possibly have ordered a better day weatherwise as this view looking out from our operating position shows. It looked even better 'live'.

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We headed to the park around noon and took about 20 minutes or so getting set up which included getting an inverted vee antenna for 40 and 20 up into a nearby tree. I managed to get Don's golf ball on a string over a good branch on the first throw. While I was doing that, Don set up his K-1, then helped me with the antenna. The final step was hooking up my Bencher paddle to the K-1 and then we were ready to go at 1630Z as we planned. Here are me (left) and Don 'hard at work' making contacts.

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We started out quickly on 40 meters and made several QSO's during the first hour, then switched to 20 meters for our second and last hour. We didn't do quite as well on 20 as there was a lot of activity around 14060 and it seemed even when we found a clear spot, someone would show up and jump right on top of or right next to us. So we wound up instead trying to chase some DX, but despite excellent signals mainly from Europe, they just weren't hearing us, mainly due to everyone seemingly being very popular with the attendant big pile-ups of QRO stations.

You can read a bit more about the portable operation on my web site (http://k3wwp.com/) in my diary there.

We have sent a picture QSL designed and printed by Don to each person we worked.

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.