pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

DEC 26, 2009NAQCC Web Site Issue #109


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

1. JANUARY CHALLENGE: Tom WY3H is now in charge of all details relating to our challenges. If you can't find an answer to your question in the challenge rules or elsewhere on the club web site, contact him.

Tom's choice of a challenge for January is an intriguing one. An item that always seems to be exchanged in a QSO is the weather including the current temperature. Tom challenges you to collect as many different temperatures as you can during the month. Submit your results at the end of the month listing the number of different temperatures you collected and the highest and lowest among your collection. All temps must be in Fahrenheit. A certificate goes to the one collecting the most temperatures, the highest temperature, and the lowest temperature.

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 the event.

Full Challenge info here.

pix_newsletterline_new (2K)

2. DECEMBER SPRINT RESULTS: Before getting to the results, remember there is a second sprint this month - our annual mW sprint, this time being held in December. It's this coming Thursday at 0130Z. We hope to see you there. Details as usual in the Contests/Sprints section of the web site.

Now on to the results of our regular sprint. In looking back over our 60 plus sprints' results, for some reason December's seem to regularly have the poorest conditions of the year. This year was no exception. Except for the very Southeastern and Southern USA, conditions could be kindly described as horrible. As just one example (and there are many similar ones), K3WWP made 46 QSO's easily in November, but struggled mightily to get 13 QSO's in December.

Still even with the horrid conditions our wonderful dedicated NAQCC members turned out in great numbers with 59 logs being submitted. Many of those took the time to submit a log even though they made only a few QSO's. A couple even reported making no QSO's at all, but wanted to say they were in there trying. I bet not many other clubs, if any at all, have the kind of great members that we do. And we appreciate it very much.

Our stats show the conditions better than anything else we could say here so let's get to them.

STATS - current month, previous month, all time record, mo/yr (blue indicates a record set this month):
Logs -             59    71    71   11/09
Autologger logs -  53    66    66   11/09
Stns in logs -     91   110   110   5/08&11/09
Hour 1 QSO's -    225   486   564   9/08
Hour 2 QSO's -    174   533   533  11/09
Total QSO's -     399  1019  1040   9/08
20M QSO's -         1     2   209   6/09
40M QSO's -       151   424   720   5/09
80M QSO's -       247   593   593  11/09

1st SWA East - K4BAI
1st SWA Central - W5AG
1st SWA Mountain - WB0OEW
1st SWA Pacific - NU7T
1st Gain - n/a
Special Award (homebrew from scratch rig)
Drawing Entrants: KE9DR, W3TS
Drawing Winner: KE9DR

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 a total of 6 stations who didn't submit a log show up 5-29 times in the 59 logs we received and cross-checked. Hopefully those 6 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) - It's almost that time of year again - time to make those New Year's Resolutions. Here are some suggestions for our members that will be helpful in preserving CW on the ham bands, be beneficial to the club, and be a lot of fun for the member.

1. I will try to recruit at least one new member for the club each month.

2. I will try to participate in as many sprints and challenges as I can.

3. I will try to check into the NAQCC QRS net as often as conditions permit.

4. I will be sure that my NAQCC membership number is always mentioned in any ham radio related email that I send.

5. (for those with an Internet presence) I will talk up the NAQCC as much as possible on my web site, blog, etc. and include a link to the NAQCC web site somewhere on my site.

6. I will share my CW/QRP accomplishments with other club members by regularly submitting news items for the newsletter.

7. When I enter non-NAQCC events, I will mention the NAQCC prominently in my soapbox comments for those events.

8. If I write any kind of article about CW/QRP for any publication, I will mention the NAQCC prominently.

9. I will try to earn at least 3 different NAQCC awards, more if possible.

10. I will try to help out the club's Elmer Program by volunteering my services.

11. If I need help with any ham radio matters, I will contact the Elmer Program.

12. I will proudly display my NAQCC membership certificate on my shack wall.

13. I will show my gratitude to FISTS for their wonderful cooperation with the NAQCC by entering as many FISTS events as possible.

14. I will make a small donation to the club - either monetary or as a prize to be given away.

That's a pretty wide selection to choose from, and we hope each member will adopt at least one or two choices to add to their resolution list. It will certainly help our club to become even greater than it is now, and you'll have fun and receive satisfaction from doing it. Thanks.

pix_blueball (1K) - We've received many Christmas and New Year's greetings from our members here at HQ. Also our officers have received many greetings as well. If we don't have time to respond to all of them personally, let this be our way of saying thanks for your consideration. We appreciate it very much. Again I say our members are the greatest in the world!

pix_blueball (1K) - A couple of our officers have had personal problems recently, and as a result our certificate, award, and prize distributions have been delayed. By the time you get this newsletter most of the backlog should be caught up. If you are due a certificate, award, or prize, and don't receive it by the middle of January, please notify us and we will rectify the situation.

pix_blueball (1K) - As I (K3WWP) did last year, I'm donating a Simple Wire Antenna book as a prize to the member who recruits the most new members for the club between January 1 and June 30. Be sure to tell your recruit to list you as the Source when they fill out the application form. That is the only way we count votes to determine the winner. Last year's winner WB9PZB really enjoyed the book.

pix_blueball (1K) - A change is in effect for 2010 in our sprints. We are replacing the special award certificate with a highest scoring first time entrant certificate. It will go to the ham who is entering one of our sprints for the very hc014 (1K) first time and who makes the highest score among all other first time entrants.

pix_blueball (1K) - Speaking of changes, as of December 20, 2009, of our current 4,016 members, 274 have changed call signs since joining. That's 7 percent. We check the FCC database every 5 days to come up not only with call sign changes, but changes of address as well. For each call sign change we send the member a new membership certificate if we have a current working email address for that member. We also include an updated sprint schedule. If you've changed calls and not received a new certificate, please let us know, and we'll email you one.

We often receive kudos for our work in keeping things updated as we do. Here's a quote from Charles KW6G (ex-WB6IYM): "John: You guys are impressive!!! The change just got posted yesterday around 8AM PST.....I haven't got around to changing over all the sites, just ARRL (they take 3 business days, can you believe it) and QRZ.com. Thanks for the updated certificate and sprint schedule....Participating in some of your sprints for 2010 is definitely on my New Years resolution list...Keep up the good work! Thanks again and Merry Christmas and Happy 2010!!"

pix_blueball (1K) - We're continuing with the hidden call sign idea suggested by Bill KB3XS. Somewhere in this newsletter is a call sign of a member in a place that is definitely out of context and containing a mix of upper and lower case letters. If it is YOUR call sign and YOU find it, email us BEFORE the publication date of the next newsletter (January 16) and win 100 NAQCC QSL cards donated by the NAQCC. A call sign is only used once whether the ham finds it or not. Good luck. No use using your browser's search feature to find it. That won't work.

pix_blueball (1K) - Here's an update on the standings in the competition for the prize of an anonymously donated Vibroplex bug. To win the bug, you earn points for participating in club events. Details are on the prize page in the home section of the web site. As of December 20, the points are as follows:

N8XMS - 9
K3WWP (ineligible) - 8
W2JEK - 7

pix_blueball (1K) - Don't forget the ARRL straight key night coming up on New Year's eve and day. Although the ARRL doesn't do all that much to promote CW any more, this is one event they do have for the CW operator. I hope many of our members will participate to show our gratitude to them for this event. Be sure to mention the NAQCC in your soapbox for the event.

pix_blueball (1K) - Beginning with the next newsletter, Paul N8XMS is starting a new feature called the "Member Spotlight". As we mentioned previously, this will be similar to our "Featured Member" page on the web site, except it will be a one time shot in the newsletter rather than appearing for a full month on the web site. Paul selects members at random and asks them if they are willing to participate. So far he has two Spotlights ready to go, one for each of the January newsletters.

pix_blueball (1K) - Thanks to K9PL and the folks at the K9YA Telegraph for the nice write-up on the NAQCC. We certainly appreciate it.

pix_newsletterline_new (2K)

4. ELMER PROJECT: Report from N3IJR:

The NAQCC QRS Net meets Sunday evening at 8:30 Eastern time which is Monday at 0130Z on 3595 kHz. Please check in and help out. Everyone is welcome from the rank beginner to the seasoned veteran CW op.

We need YOU to make our Elmer project work. If you need help with any ham radio matter or are willing to help others with your expertise, please contact our Elmer directors:
K5DUZ - pix_email_k5duz (1K)
N3IJR - pix_email_n3ijr (1K)

Also see Elmer Project on the web site.

pix_newsletterline_new (2K)



Alphabet Prefix Honor Roll:
N8XMS - 224 - WORLD - 11/12

Suffix Words Honor Roll:
N8XMX - 75 - SWA - 11/11

Worked Members:
K3WWP - 600 - 11/1

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 Jan 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.

DISCLAIMER: Any views expressed in this section are those of the member submitting them, and may or may not be those of the NAQCC or its officers.

pix_blueball (1K) From John K3WWP #0002 - No real news here, but I want to personally wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thanks for making the NAQCC such a great organization.

pix_blueball (1K) From Steve NU7T #434 - Recently, my wife, Mimi, and I flew to Los Angeles to visit children and grandchild. Their apartment is across the street from a park. In the beautiful weather and having lost a basketball game to my 4 year old grandson, the Elecraft KX1 was fired up and 44 feet of wire deployed.

In Nevada, a fiberglass pole travels with the radio due to Mother Nature's gracing us with beautiful landscapes rather than obscuring views with trees. But, California has trees. Lacking a suitable launching device, a green pine cone lifted one leg of the doublet. The 4 year old refused to climb the tree.

The KX1 output of one and a half watts did limit the number of contacts. The final QSO brought more fun. I was 599 to KF6FIX, DG, to whom I immediately delivered an "Eye Ball QSL". He lives in the apartment next to our children. We had an interesting hour long chat, off the air.

pix_blueball (1K) From John KQ1P #3113 - I wanted to use a homebrew QRP transmitter for our recent December sprint. My rigs on hand were either built from kits or commercial rigs. Fortunately, there are numerous QRP designs available and I had quite a bit of fun looking at many different schematics and evaluating all the design options. Eventually I ended up deciding that a VXO design would meet my needs for reliability and speed of construction. I chose the W7ZOI ugly transmitter partly because it can be adapted to different bands and more importantly, a bag of parts was available from Kanga USA for a modest price.

I didn't have a box for the finished rig so I laid it out on a single board with the plan of moving parts to fit the space of a future container. Using ugly construction techniques is fun because it is free form and very flexible for layout. First I wound all of the toroids to get that hard step out of the way. There are a variety of toroid winding techniques, my approach is simply to sew the wire through the hole and use a dab of rubber cement to hold the ends in place. Once the toroids were ready, I did a rough layout on a copper board and then built the RF chain followed by the keyer and T-R switch circuits.

To my joy there were no sparks or smoke when I first powered it up. The drive is adjustable and the rig can easily put out 4 watts on 40M. I ran the rig at about 1 watt during the December sprint. Conditions that night were very poor and I did not make any QSOs with the rig that night; N8XMS and W5YDM were both on the air near 7.040 MHz, but none of us could hear each other. Next time I hope to have better luck.

Figure 1. The ugly 40M board prior to adding the T-R circuit. Oscillator section is to the upper right and RF amplifier is to the lower right. Keying circuit is to the upper left. Coax is terminated with a 51 ohm dummy load.

Figure 2. Measuring output power with my vintage VOM. Variable capacitor (near the top of photo) for the VXO was salvaged from an old tube AM radio. Output being measured during testing is about 50 mW.

pix_blueball (1K) From Geoff AE4RV #3695 - Here is some good news for Vibroplex fans. The current owner has been looking for someone to purchase the Vibroplex company for a little while now and it seems like he found someone good. Long live Vibroplex! Vibroplex News Story.

pix_blueball (1K) From Terry KC4TM #1190 - I recently found a pretty neat mapper program powered by google maps which calculates the miles per watt and shows the transmitting and receiving stations location. You can get the code at the link below (click on the "installer from google" link in the center of the page):

I put a working sample on my web server if you would like to test it:

pix_blueball (1K) From John N8ZYA #2279 - I'm just ecstatic about working my first DX on 40 meters tonight. To make it even better I0QM is a NAQCC member! Bob (NAQCC #3196) is in Rome Italy and gave me a 449 with my Icom 703 at 10 watts and my indoor Isotron antenna. It was after working him I noticed the NAQCC number. I worked him on 7062....all out there by himself. I've worked Italy several times on 20 meters but this is my first on 40. I wrote it up on my blog at:N8ZYA radio blog

pix_blueball (1K) From Stuie VK8NSB #122 - Hello to all from Member 122 Stuart (Stuie) Birkin VK8NSB from Darwin Northern Territory (Outback) Australia. I am still very active on CW (love the mode) and wish to announce to all members that I will be visiting the U.S.A in May/June 2010. I will be attending the 2010 Dayton Amateur Radio Convention and look forward to meeting other members who attend the convention. Have a safe and happy holiday and I hope to see you at Dayton in 2010.

Club email address - pix_email_naqcc (1K)

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.