pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

Mar 27, 2010NAQCC Web Site Issue #115

In this issue:
1. April Challenge.
2. March Sprint Results
3. General Club News
3a. Web Site Tour
4. Elmer Project
5. Latest Award Winners
6. Member Spotlight
7. News Items and Articles by Our Members

1. APRIL CHALLENGE: Many members want more activities for the WARC bands, so here we go. We challenge you to make as many QSO's, work as many states, and work as many countries as possible during April on the WARC bands (30,17,12). Here's your chance to show off your prowess on the WARC bands. We hope to hear from everyone who has mentioned WARC band activities plus many other members as well this month.

Full Challenge info here.

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2. MARCH SPRINT RESULTS: This was a disappointing sprint as far as participation goes. Conditions were great in many parts of the country, yet we received only 42 logs, just over half what we got in February. I don't understand it. However there is a bizarre coincidence. I track our results with those of the ARS Spartan Sprints since I believe they set the standard for the short two-hour sprints, at least until they changed their format a couple years ago. This was our 65th sprint, and in the 65th Spartan Sprint there was also a sharp drop in participation. Their drop was even greater than ours. After averaging 49.1 logs in the previous 15 Spartan Sprints, they suddenly dropped to just 18 logs in #65. For us, after averaging 58.9 logs in the previous 15 NAQCC sprints, we dropped to 42 in #65.

After that drop the SS went on to bigger and better things. I hope the same happens to us. It should because 20M will become a bigger player over the next few months, and our expanded frequency range on 40M should help participants find a place among the digital kids and lids encroaching on the CW/QRP portion of the band. That plus members remembering that 80M is still useable during the summer months if they can work through the higher QRN levels.

I believe from now on I will send out a mail list annoucement the day of the sprint to remind members. We'll see if that brings our participation up to normal levels (and beyond). After all, participating in sprints, be they ours or those of other clubs like FISTS, QRP ARCI, FP, and ARS is very important in preserving CW (and QRP usage) on the ham bands.

STATS - current month, previous month, all time record, mo/yr (blue indicates a record set this month):
Logs -             42    76    76   2/10
Autologger logs -  40    73    73   2/10
Stns in logs -     73   127   127   2/10
Hour 1 QSO's -    296   570   570   2/10
Hour 2 QSO's -    249   590   590   2/10
Total QSO's -     544  1160  1160   2/10
20M QSO's -        14     2   209   6/09
40M QSO's -       261   393   720   5/09
80M QSO's -       270   765   765   2/10
Note: This was 100% for the autologger logs this month. Thanks. There will always be 1 or 2 less autologger logs than total logs as I obviously don't use it, and Tom WY3H usually phones his log to me right after the sprints. Thanks to all of you for using the autologger and making my job that much easier.


1st SWA East - N8BB
1st SWA Central - W5YDM
1st SWA Mountain - n/a
1st SWA Pacific - NU7T
1st Gain - n/a
First-Timer Certificate - n/a
Knob/handle drawing: KD2MX

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 8 stations who didn't submit a log show up 5-15 times in the 42 logs we received and cross-checked. Hopefully they 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:
Well, there were no first-timers this month probably for the first time ever.

A new feature of our sprints is starting this month - the GOLDEN LOG. Everyone who submits a log with exactly the correct format as defined hc020 (1K) in the rules plus has every bit of info (numbers, states, etc.) correct in the log gets a listing in a GOLDEN LOG section in the results. Many clubs penalize mistakes in logging, some to the point of disqualification if there are too many mistakes. We don't do anything like that other than fixing a score if a mistake changes it. Instead of penalizing errors, we will reward perfection.

There also is going to eventually be some sort of prize in conjunction with the GOLDEN LOG. We haven't decided the details yet.

We hope that is an incentive to run a fine tooth comb through your logs before submitting them.

GOLDEN LOG's this month were from:

Full sprint info here.

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pix_blueball (1K) - We continue to get kudos about the club, and we like to share them with you, since it is YOU who are the club.

Commenting on the newsletter, Trygve EI7CLB says, "Dear Sirs, Thanks a lot for the most recent newsletter. I appreciate it a great deal. I am in the middle of my studies at the moment but hope to participate in a Sprint when I get my new antennae sorted out. Thanks again for the email and keep up the good work."

And commenting on the Vibroplex bug prize he won (earned), Paul N8XMS says, "Hi John and Michael, I just read in the newsletter that I am the winner of the Vibroplex! To say that I am excited is an understatement! For the past year I have been working on learning how to use my paddle with my left hand, with the specific goal of eventually learning how to work a bug with my right hand. (Even though I have never owned a bug.) I am now pretty much up to speed with my left, and I'm ready to start working on the right, so the timing of this prize couldn't have been better. If the anonymous donor is willing to be revealed please let me know who it is and I will send them a thank you note. Otherwise please pass on my genuine gratitude to him/her."

It's a delight to award a prize to Paul who is one of our most active club members, participating in nearly every sprint and challenge as well as earning many of our club awards. Also of course he manages the Member Spotlight feature in every newsletter. And Paul, I'm sure the donor who is also an active member will read this and get your thanks and gratitude.

Commenting on our every-five-day check of the FCC database for member info changes, Guy AI1G (ex-KI4JQE) says, "John, Wow! you are quick. I just learned of this yesterday evening that this was approved! Thanks for the new certificate!"

I think comments like those show that we are a club that cares very much about our members. After all, you are the most important element of the club. Without you, there would be no club at all.

pix_blueball (1K) - Just a quick reminder 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 (April 10) and win 100 NAQCC QSL cards donated by the NAQCC. Bart N9AKF found his call in our last newsletter and will be receiving his cards when he and our prize manager Mike KC2EGL work out the details.

pix_blueball (1K) - Speaking of prizes (don't you love segues? HI), Mike tells me we have a new one. Dick N2UGB is donating a "Radio Boys" book from the 1920's as a prize. Mike will have a write-up on the Prize page on the web site with more details soon. Such a book would be invaluable to anyone with an interest in radio nostalgia. Or it would be great reading for a younger ham of today to see what radio was like way back then.

pix_blueball (1K) - Do you have your web site listed on our members's web sites page here on the NAQCC site? If so, please check and be sure the link is still accurate. Joan SWL-25 recently checked all the links and found a good many that weren't working. If you don't check and give us a new link, those bad links will all be removed at the end of April. I believe we mentioned this before in a newsletter and got no response at all. So we're giving you one more chance to correct things.

pix_blueball (1K) - Have you checked out the NAQCC Picture Gallery lately? We have a great collection of pictures there featuring 183 of our 4500+ members. That's a rather small percentage. Can we add yours if it is not there? All you need to do is send us a picture via email that follows these guidelines:
1. It should be a .jpg file.
2. It can be any size picture, but for the best quality, the face portion of the picture should be at least 120 x 120 pixels. Larger sizes will downsize nicely, but smaller than that do not upsize well.
3. Make the subject of the email "NAQCC Picture Gallery" without the quotes.
4. Email to pix_email_naqcc (1K)

We'll take care of the rest and have you added to the gallery pronto.

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3a. WEB SITE TOUR: We're continuing our tour this newsletter with a look at the Contests/Sprints section of the web site.

This is the section that describes what seems to be our flagship activity, our monthly weekday evening sprints. Of all our activities, the sprint seems to be the one that has really caught on and grown every month since the club was started back in October 2004.

On the main page of this section is a listing of our most recent sprint, our upcoming sprint, and the sprints for the next several months with a link to each one's specific rules not covered in our General Sprint rules described below.

Here you can find a link to our sprint autologger that makes submitting your sprint results a snap. As we mentioned above, this month all of our entrants used the autologger. It certainly is easier for both the log submitter and the log cross-checker when it is used.

You'll also find the results of all of our 65+ sprints here should you need to go back and check something. It's also interesting to just browse the soapbox entries in the archives.

Naturally you'll also find a complete set of General Rules that apply to each of our sprints. Anyone new to our sprints should read this page thoroughly before embarking on entering a sprint for the first time.

There's a page where you can print out a schedule of our sprints.

Finally a page of sprint tips from K3WWP who has entered well over 900 contests/sprints in his 47 years of being a ham. Read these tips as Mike KC2EGL (to mention just one) did and we guarantee you will improve your contesting efficiency. Mike went from making a mere handful of contacts in our sprints to now making 25-30 or more.

For more info visit the Contests/Sprints section of the web site.

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4. ELMER PROJECT: Report from N3IJR:

The NAQCC QRS Net meets Sunday evening at 8:30 Eastern time which is Monday at 0130Z on 3575 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)
WY3H - pix_email_wy3h (1K)

Also see Elmer Project on the web site.

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1000 MPW:
0071 - G5CL
0072 - N9AKF
0073 - W0EJ
0074 - K9OSC

2009 4 months:
0001 - G5CL

250 pts:
0010 - AA4W
1000 pts:
0005 - N8XMS

0006 - G5CL

0012 - AA4W
0013 - G5CL

Friendship Club:
1400 pts:
0001 - K3WWP

2XQRP Listing:
50 pts:
0013 - AA4W
100 pts:
0011 - AA4W

Alphabet Prefix Honor Roll:
G5CL - 200

Suffix Words Honor Roll:
K3WWP - 175
NU7T - 150

WAC Endorsements:
G5CL - 20M, 17M

Full List of all award winners here.

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pix_sm_n8xms (13K)7. MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: This section is managed by Paul N8XMS and any questions about it should go to pix_email_n8xms (1K). Paul selects members at random and asks them if they would like to be featured in the Member Spotlight in the newsletter.

Charles Bushell KC8VWM #3159

Picture of KC8VWM

My first experience discovering radio was in 1974 with a dusty Stromberg Carlson floor model radio stored in our garage. It was stored there because my parents felt it was too old to keep inside our house. As a 10 year old, I remember thinking to myself I could use and listen to this unwanted radio, but it needed a wire antenna. What if I could string this wire in the backyard as high as I could get it?

I found wire inside a broken transistor radio abandoned inside a box stored in the garage, and carefully unraveled wire from one of its transformers ending up with a wire about 35 feet long. After connecting it up, I remember the excitement of tuning the bakelite radio dials and hearing mysterious stations like WWV, and the loud thumping sounds of CW booming from the 10 inch speaker inside the wooden cabinet. It seemed magical spending many hours experiencing the musty tube smell while watching the green "magic eye" flickering wide and closing shut on every heterodyning thump.

I enjoy hiking the great outdoors and later decided to take my childhood radio adventure into the woods of Algonquin Provincial Park in northern Canada. This is a place where the nearest road is 35 miles away with no cell phone or local radio station reception. The only possible means of communication with the outside world is HF radio. It had taken a group of us two days to arrive at our destination. Exhausted from our trek, we arrived with a patched hole in one of our canoes after it was torn open when it struck a large rock. We setup our tents and later that evening, I removed wire from my backpack and strung it between the branches of two tall pine trees.

We spent the remainder of the evening relaxing around the campfire listening to the mysterious world of HF on my QRP radio equipment. While no one at our camp could really understand what it was I was communicating exactly, they started realizing I somehow had this unique ability to communicate with the outside world. The duct tape patch held the canoe for the remainder of our trip and everyone enjoyed themselves knowing we had this QRP equipment which operates using a simple wire. A wire very similar to the one salvaged from a broken transistor radio during my childhood.

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pix_sm_kd2mx (13K) 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). Deadline for submitting news items for the next newsletter is Mar 11. 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 - It looks like the increasing solar activity is having its effect on the higher bands as well as 40 and 30. With the QRN on the increase on 80M, the past couple evenings I've gone to 40M for my daily 'streak' QSO in the 0000Z hour. I find some very strong shorter skip signals there that weren't there during the winter months when the band would go long early in the evenings.

As far as the higher bands, 20 has been very good to EU the few times I've had time to try in the afternoons. I haven't worked much due to the lack of time, but I did catch TA1C/2 and IZ0AEZ easily. I've also been hearing EU on 17M as well, but again lack of time has kept me from working any of them.

So if you get the chance and the time, remember to check the higher bands. You might just work some good DX if that interests you. I know not everyone is excited like some of us about working folks in other countries.

pix_blueball (1K) From Phil W3TOS #2957 - I was the first to work W3TIM with his tuna tin on 40 meters. I think I was running 30 W with him. My equipment consists of an HW-8, a Ramsey kit and Yaesu 817 for QRP, all under 5 watts. I hope to join in the contests soon.

pix_blueball (1K) From Kevin VE3RCN #4004 - This year is the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Navy. I will be operating CF3NAVY from 4 June to 3 July 2010 using all modes (ssb, cw, psk, rtty, sstv) on 160m to 70cm (except 1.25m). I am even going to try and be operational on the satellites. Some of the operations might take place on the warship HMCS Haida and possibly another frigate in the Great Lakes.

I will make an effort to work the QRP stations. However, I will run 100w (unless the group wants me to go QRP for those two hours) and work only QRP stations during your sprint on Wednesday, June 9, 0030-0230Z. I hope this will help increase the submitted logs for you on this date. I have attached images of the two QSL cards that are proposed (yes, that is me in one of them). Canada Post is issuing two Navy postage stamps that will be used on the outgoing QSLs. These can be viewed at the Canada Post website. QSLs will be via bureau or direct with SASE. I will be applying Naval Postage for those including IRC or equivalent.

Check http://twitter.com/CF3NAVY for operational updates. Please contact me now if you have any questions.

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Club email address - pix_email_naqcc (1K)

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Unless otherwise credited, all items are written by K3WWP.

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