pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

Oct 30, 2010NAQCC Web Site Issue #129

In this issue:
1. November Challenge
2. October Sprint Results
3. General Club News
3a. European Chapter News
3b. Special Feature: Antenna Construction Project
4. Elmer Project
5. Latest Award Winners
6. Member Spotlight
7. News Items and Articles by Our Members

1. NOVEMBER CHALLENGE: If it's November, this must be the _______ challenge. That's right, the Thanksgiving Turkey challenge. Back in 2004 our first ever challenge, although we called them Events back then, was in November and was a Turkey challenge. It was simple back then because all you had to do was make the word TURKEY from letters in the stations you worked during November. To make it a little more interesting we gave certificates for different ways of making TURKEY. The 'Most Well Done Turkey' was for getting all the letters on a single band. 'Turkey With All The Trimmings' was for getting each letter from a different band. 'Fastest Turkey' as the name implies was for getting the six letters in the shortest span of time. Finally there was the 'Regular Turkey' for getting the six letters in no special way. We only had 3 participants in that first challenge - K3WWP, K2EKM, K4CHT. We haven't heard much from those last two lately, but that first guy has participated in every one of our challenges over the 6+ year history of the club. If you want to help us carry on a tradition and perhaps start one of your own, take a look at the rules for this year's Turkey challenge and jump in. It will be a lot of fun, as just about everyone says about all our challenges, and especially this type of alphabet challenge. Although he claims otherwise, I give credit to our president Tom WY3H for coming up with alphabet challenges. Or at least he certainly popularized them. If after reading this, you decide to make this your maiden challenge voyage, be sure to read the rules thoroughly first. There you'll also find a tutorial and example worksheet for these alphabet type challenges.

Full Challenge info here.

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2. OCTOBER SPRINT RESULTS: For the seventh straight month we received over 100 logs - 108 in fact including one late log. I think this month was the most impressive of all our 100+ log months though. 108 was not a record, nor were other things we keep track of. However, we are very proud of our members for such a solid showing despite the adversity we experienced during the week. For whatever reason, a high QRN level pervaded much of the country the whole week. On top of that was the PJpedition as I call it. The day before our anniversary celebration started, the Netherlands Antilles were politically re-organized and new DX entities created as a result. A massive effort using most all of the CW bandwidth on all bands was put on by several hams to give out the new entities to as many DXers as possible. Of course that continued for the whole anniversary week including our sprint. It forced us to re-align our sprint frequencies pretty much at the last minute. Still with your wonderful dedication to the NAQCC and our sprints, we hardly skipped a beat other than our stats being down a bit from the previous 6-month averages. Congratulations and many thanks.

That's enough of my comments. Let's look at the stats now:

Total QSO's1251156119298/10
Hour 1 QSO's69897910288/10
Hour 2 QSO's5535829216/10
20M QSO's1652610006/10
40M QSO's93889612778/10
80M QSO's2971397652/10
Avg QSO's per stn11.613.119.19/06

SWA Category
Other Categories
First time entrant
high scorer

Congratulations to all including winners and non-winners. Actually everyone who participated and sent in a log is a winner because you have helped show 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 10 stations who didn't submit a log show up 5-29 times in the 107 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:

GOLDEN LOGS. Everyone who submits a log with exactly the correct format as defined in the rules plus has every bit of info (numbers, states, etc.) correct in the log gets a listing in the GOLDEN LOGS 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 LOGS. 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 were submitted by 44 participants this month. To see if you were one of the 44, check the results page.

Most GOLDEN LOG's since we started keeping track in March 2010:
WB8ENE - 8 (all)
N8XMS - 7
KD5MMM - 6
K4JPN - 5
K0HJC - 5
KB1PBA - 5
N9KR - 5
W9CC - 5

Thanks to all GOLDEN LOGgers for making my cross-checking job that much easier.

Full sprint info here.

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pix_blueball (1K) - Despite a lot of adversity with the PJpedition and high QRN at the top of the list, we still had a very successful 6th anniversary celebration with our special event calls - N1A through N0A.

With 1 of our active operators (WA6L) yet to report his totals, here's what we have so far with 2009 totals in square brackets [not all totals were compiled in 2009]:

Total QSO's: 840 [830]
2way N#A QSO's: 49 [58]
Sprint QSO's: 254 [128]
QSO's by band
160 - 3
80 - 127
40 - 573
30 - 42
20 - 74
17 - 9
15 - 7
12 - 4
10 - 1
States worked: 48 (all but AK and HI) [45 (all but DE HI MS SD WY)]
VE Provinces: 3 ON QC SK [6 AB BC NB NS ON QC]
DX entities (excluding W/VE) 12 OK EA EA6 HB9 ON HA F OD PJ7 UR FG VK
States worked by most different N#A ops:
IN PA (15 ops)
MI NY (12)

Let's give all our ops listed here a big round of applause for a job well done. A couple of them had to drop out or were unable to make any QSO's due to circumstances beyond their control, but we are still including them as part of our great team.

N1A - W1OH, N1LU, KQ1P
N0A - KD0V
I believe that covers everyone. We had a couple volunteers who signed up, then had to cancel a short time later. I believe I included all of them. It was a team effort and those who could only 'sit on the bench' were a part of the team also. Except in the sprint, it wasn't a competition among our ops, so we're not listing individual totals, just the aggregate.

Remember if you would like a QSL or certificate for working one (or more) of our N#A stations, send your request to Rick AA4W at the address on the 'Contact Us' page on the web site.

pix_blueball (1K) - We now have a second NAQCC Chapter to go along with our EU Chapter. Bob K9OSC volunteered to help start a Minnesota Chapter. It looks like it's going to be a really active chapter. They've already had a get-together of chapter members and have set up a web site for the chapter. The Chapter President is Rich WD0K. I hope that encourages those members in other areas of the country to start up a local chapter in their area. Oh, the URL for the MN Chapter is http://www.naqccmn.com/.

We are in the process of writing up some guidelines for our local chapters, as the whole idea is just now in its infancy. However it's great that the idea has been born now, and we hope there will be many siblings around the country (and world) as time goes by.

Some informal ideas that will be included as is or modified a bit when we release our formal guidelines are as follows:

1. The basic idea is to provide members with some local agendas that don't work well as world-wide agendas. Things like monthly meetings at the local McDonald's (Wendy's, Subway, etc.) or getting together for some hands-on construction projects, code practice, portable operations, and the like.

2. Have competitions among chapters in our sprints, challenges, and other overall club events.

3. To publicize and promote the NAQCC locally to attract more members to our growing organization.

4. To have local chapter CW nets which should work much better than our current one-national-net system.

There will be more items in our guidelines when they are drawn up, but that should give you an idea of what we see for our chapters.

pix_blueball (1K) - We haven't done an update on the 2010 Participation Award yet, so let's get to it. We have one 3-way tie, one decided, and one wide-open division.

The Eastern Division currently is tied at at a perfect 28 points among K3WWP, N8XMS, and W2JEK. In addition to those 3, K1IEE (26) and KQ1P (22) (both from ME) still have an outside chance of winning if the 3 tied members falter in November and/or December.

The Western Division has been clinched by NU7T with 24 points. The closest competitor KE5YUM at 11 points can only reach 19 points if he is perfect the rest of the year.

The VE/DX Division is wide-open. VE3FUJ leads with 9 points. 12 others can wind up with 10 points or more by being perfect the rest of the year. Much too close to call, but all VE3FUJ needs to do is to earn all 8 remaining points to be the winner, no matter what anyone else does.

As I was updating the scores with the October Sprint Participants, the thought occurred to me that perhaps we should divide the Participation Award starting next year the same way we divide our sprints. So far this year we have the following number of participants with at least 1 point:
Eastern - 231
Western - 107
VE/DX - 23
Total 361

That's way more than enough to justify splitting the award into W1,W2,W3,W4,W5,W6,W7,W8,W9,W0,VE,DX divisions. As with the sprints, that would encourage more competition among members for the prestigious Participation Award. Also as a side-effect it would help me the 24 times each year I updated the totals since I wouldn't have to search as much to find a member in the participation list. Stay tuned for further news.

pix_blueball (1K) - Frank KB3AAG is doing a survey to analyze the makeup of the NAQCC membership - age, license class, use of CW, use of QRP, and things like that - 7 simple questions in all. It will be sent to all members who have a currently good email address on our NAQCC mail-list on or about November 3. Watch for it in your email box and please fill it out and return it via the directions in the email. If you're reading this and you don't receive the survey, then we need to know your current working email address so we can correct the mail-list.

pix_blueball (1K) - Just a quick reminder we're continuing with the hidden call sign idea originally 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 hc034 (1K). If it is YOUR call sign and YOU find it, email pix_email_naqcc (1K) BEFORE the publication date of the next newsletter (November 13) and win a gift certificate for 100 NAQCC QSL cards produced by the CheapQSLs.com company run by Hal K6RF (#0171) and donated by the NAQCC thanks to your generous monetary donations to the club. So far we've had 33 hidden calls and only 6 'eagle-eyed' winners - KD1R, KM6NN, K4UK, K5RIX, N9AKF, W1ICU. We haven't had a winner now since issue 119_120 published June 5 of this year.

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Items in this section are from EU Chapter President Matt MW3YMY unless otherwise credited. Questions or comments should got to pix_email_mw3ymy (1K)

From the latest EU Chapter Newsletter: The second NAQCC European sprint saw 18 logs submitted - a significant increase since last time! EV6DX won with 352 points, followed by UU7JF with 171 points and OZ8A with 168 points. Many thanks to all participants and we hope to see you all back next month, with hopefully a lot more members as well!

Both to expand the chapter and make it easier for those members who do not have English as their first language, we are looking for translators to translate some of the chapter material (sprint rules, website, etc) into their own language. Baltasar, EA8BVP, has already done a great job of translating the rules into Spanish, and we are currently working on making some more chapter material available in Spanish. Volunteers could translate as much or as little as they would like to. Languages that would be especially useful would be Russian and French, as we have a lot of members in these countries, but any volunteers anywhere would be very much appreciated.

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The K3RLL Antenna Project

Mike (KC2EGL) and I (K3WWP) were impressed by Don's (K3RLL) portable multi-band dipole antenna that the three of us used on a NAQCC portable operation on August 29th at Kittanning Community Park and decided we'd like to duplicate it. The following is our attempt to describe the process including photos.

On one of Mike's many visits we got to work on the antenna to use for our portable N3A operation on Columbus Day and whenever the fancy strikes us to do further NAQCC portable operations. The first step was to gather parts. The parts included alligator clips, stereo speaker wire, some kind of center insulator, coax, PL-259 and BNC connectors, extension cord wrappers, 10 foot Black Widow crappie pole to use as a mast, tripod base to support the mast, guy wires, and tent pegs.

We began by cutting to length and splitting the stereo speaker wire.We wanted the antenna to work on 80 through 10 meters. We started with the 10 meter segment since it was the shortest. For the center connector we used a BNC male connector with dual binding posts. We cut two lengths of wire to 8 feet 4 inches in length and fastened them to the center conductor to make the 10 meter dipole. When we say 8 feet 4 inches, actually we added about 5 inches to the wire to allow enough extra to wrap and fasten the wire to the insulators and/or center connector. That is true of all the dimensions mentioned below.
pix_129_k3wwp_001 (26K)pix_129_k3wwp_002 (29K)

At each end of the dipole we put an insulator made from end pieces of the extension cord wrapper and connected an alligator clip to the end of the wire. The pupose being to have a point where we could connect another segment of wire for 20 meters.
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To extend the 10 meter dipole to 20 meters we needed two 8 feet 4 inches segments. We connected those to the insulators at the ends of the 10 meter dipole with the end of the wire bared so we could connect the alligator clip to it, thus making a 20 meter dipole.
pix_129_k3wwp_004 (36K)pix_129_k3wwp_006 (31K)

This process was repeated for 30, 40, and 80 meters. Here is a table of the frequencies and the length of ONE HALF of the dipole. The third column is the length of the EXTRA wire to be added for each band. Remember to add the approximately 5 inches to each as mentioned above.

28.0508' 4"-
14.05016' 8"8' 4"
10.11023' 2"6' 8"
7.04033' 10"10' 8"
3.56065' 9"31' 11"

At the very end we added another insulator without the alligator clip. This would be the point where we fasten fishing line to tie off the ends of the antenna to some kind of support such as a tree or tent pegs.

At a later visit we took a 100 foot length of coax and cut it into two 50 foot lengths. At one end of each we connected a BNC female connector and at the other end a PL-259 connector. While checking the continuity of the cables, we found it was very important to check the ends of the same cable, rather than the BNC on one cable and the PL-259 on the other. With wires and cables spread haphazardly in a small space, it took a little while to figure out that was the reason we weren't showing continuity one time. HI

The extension cord wrapper is used to neatly wrap up the antenna for portability and storage. At the bottom is the one described here. The top one is an extra 80 meters-only one we made for future use with my Tut 80 rig. You may notice it has a different center connector for no particular reason other than that was what was available in my junk box.
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On the day of the operation, we bought a couple of subs at Subway and took two antennas (the one we built and another one given to Mike by Don) up to Community Park here in Kittanning. We connected coax to the center of each dipole and fastened the center insulator to the tip of a fishing rod with a bit of fishing line and one of the snap swivels, mounted one rod in the tripod with the open end on a peg in the ground for more stability, and raised it to its full height. Only one had a tripod for mounting. For the other one we used 3 clothesline guy wires about half way up the rod, taping them to the rod with black electrical tape and fastening the other ends to tent pegs in the ground. We then stretched out the antennas and fastened the fishing line at the ends to more tent pegs in the ground.

All that was left now was to connect the antennas to the rigs. The one we built was used with Mike's KX-1, and the one that Don gave Mike was used with Mike's K2. Within a half hour or so of arriving at the park we were on the air.

Fortunately it was a much nicer day weatherwise than last year. In fact it was downright beautiful with warm temperatures and partly cloudy skies. I say fortunately because we had a great deal of difficulty getting anyone to work us for whatever reason, and in a couple hours of endless unanswered CQ's on 40, 30, and 20 meters, only one QSO showed up in our logs thanks to Joe KD2JC. At least we enjoyed the nice weather and of course, the food from Subway.
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That would turn out to be an omen of the week to come with our N#A anniversary operation. It seemed that both the PJpedition and high QRN contributed to keeping our overall QSO's for the week lower than last year. However thanks to the dedication and persistence of our N#A operators, the totals were not all that much lower and I would say we had a good week despite all the adversity.

The bottom line on the antennas is that they worked well despite the lack of QSO's, and were very easy to set up. There is only one thing we may modify. The tip of the fishing rod bent somewhat under the weight of the antenna. We may try using lighter wire in a future version or using some kind of a stiffer mast such as PVC pipe.

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The Elmer project is co-ordinated by Karl N3IJR (L) and Ron K5DUZ. 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)
Elmer's tip: Awards. Anyone who lives their life without accepting and mastering challenges or setting and achieving a goal leads a pretty dull life indeed. We should always strive to be the best we can in whatever we do. In sports there are many goals and challenges. For baseball there is pitching a no-hitter, hitting .300, making the World Series.... In bowling, it's rolling a 300 game. In golf, breaking par or getting a hole-in-one. Without making an over long list of examples, let's move right to ham radio where awards serve as one of the goals and challenges. Making a contact with someone in each of the 50 USA states, contacting someone in 100 or more countries (entities), working someone at a great enough distance where the distance in miles divided by watts of power is greater than 1000, and a whole flock of other such awards. Besides the satisfaction of earning these awards, pursuing them can make you a much better operator which can be a big help if it ever becomes necessary to use your ham station for emergency communications. That, after all, is the real reason ham radio still exists.

Every award that exists in ham radio can be earned by someone using QRP/CW. Well, except those designed for other modes, but that's beside the point. The point being that YOU can earn any of our NAQCC awards which are specifically tailored to QRP/CW - some going further to include the use of a simple wire antenna to add a bit to the challenge.

If your goal as a ham is to be a better operator, and that should include everyone who has a license, take a look at our NAQCC awards and make it a goal to be listed on the awards winners page and in the Latest Award Winners section of the newsletter. We have a wide enough selection of awards that every member should find at least one that appeals to them.

Besides the awards section, many examples of good operating practices can be found on the Elmer Project page of the web site and on K3WWP's Web Site

NAQCC QRS Net Report
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
10/18/10     WY3H       1 - WY3H
10/25/10     WY3H       3 - WY3H, K3WWP, WA4ONV
Beginning tomorrow (Sunday October 31), our net shifts to it's winter frequency. The time remains the same at Sunday 8:30 PM ELT (Monday 0030Z), but the frequency becomes 3575.0. This should allow for better conditions as 40 meters is now in very long skip at net time.

We are also altering our net procedure slightly. From now on the call up will be:
NQN standing for Naqcc Qrs Net. QNI being the net QN signal for check In now. When the NCS (Net Control Station) sends QNI, just send your call letters once, and then follow the instructions from the NCS. Be sure not to leave the net because after everyone is checked in, all will get a chance to make comments in turn.

From Tom WY3H - The net is quite informal and everyone is invited to check in. If anyone is not familiar with net QN-signals that's OK too (we really don't use them much). The NAQCC would also like members to step up to volunteer as Net Control ops. You don't have to commit to every week. What we are asking members is to try being an NCS just once. We have received several inquiries from our West Coast members regarding a net in that region. We are pleased with the response. May I suggest that when a West Coast net is started, and I hope that is soon, that we have enough NCS volunteers to take turns running the net. If anyone wishes to formulate concrete plans for a weekly net, please contact Tom, WY3H at: pix_email_wy3h (1K)

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:
0092 - KE5YUM 9/2/10
0093 - KQ1P 9/30/10
0094 - KQ1P 9/30/10
0095 - KQ1P 9/30/10
0096 - KC2VBU 10/10/10
0097 - KC2VBU 10/10/10



Full List of all award winners here.

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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.
Jeremy Norman G0AZR #4435

Picture of G0AZR

I am 59 years old. I started my interest in radio when I joined the Royal Naval Reserve in 1974 and after that the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service in 1980, working as a Radio Operator in both services.

I obtained my amateur licence in the early 1980s. I had to take a break from radio in the early 1990s but have returned within the last twelve months and am enjoying it even more.

Ninety nine per cent of my operating is using CW. Nothing beats it. I have an interest in QRP and have recently puchased a Yeasu 817.......total enjoyment. Working Europe and the U.S. on 2 watts. My construction skills are very limited (eyesight with old age HI). For QRO I run a Trio 830S.

Besides the NAQCC, I am also a member of The Royal Naval Amateur Radio Club (2540), FISTS (14553), G-Qrp (12864), Flying Pigs and SKCC (6319). I am a member of the North Norfolk Amateur Radio Group, which assist in running a Radio Museum at The Muckleburgh Collection, here in Norfolk (www.muckleburgh.co.uk).

Married, with a 30 year old son and a 27 year old stepdaughter.

To pay for my hobby I work as a Community Mental Health Nurse (sorry guys...no free advice over the air HI)

Thank you
Jeremy Norman
NAQCC 4435

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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 November 12. 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 - Not a lot to report as the portable operation by Mike and me on Columbus Day is covered in the special section above. I didn't really get all that much time to operate N3A during the rest of the week as I was busy taking care of NAQCC business like the N#A operation and processing our sprint logs. I did have fun in the QRP ARCI contest with N3A though. Strictly from CQ's, I made 88 QSO's there in a few hours of operating time. I had three good DX QSO's during the month, all on 30 meters. PJ6A for a new overall entity (#209), EG8FPT with my 930 mW for a new mW entity (#35), and H74LEON for a new prefix. I wish I could have had more time to chase the new PJ entities, but NAQCC business takes priority over personal interests, and that business is becoming more and more time-consuming as our membership grows. Fortunately the satisfaction and reward of doing it also grows along with the workload.

pix_blueball (1K) From Ron K5DUZ #5 and Rich KI4GQP #2842 - Richard, KI4GQP and I have been corresponding for several months about his portable operation and a "Dan's Small Parts" antenna tuner kit that he built. Rich's notes and pictures of his tuner creation follow.

I finally completed my T-tuner and tested it in the field. Tuning the dipole is quick and easy. The SWR bridge LED goes almost totally off. Good signal reports were received, had good reception and it is very stable. What is really odd is hanging the antenna; typically one hour or more struggling with finding a place to stay, tree selection, branch selection, leaves and branches on ground, twisted wires and cable, etc and this is possible only when weather permits. However, the fun and good results I have gotten have worth the effort.

Here are some pictures of the gadget. The butterfly nut and rubber grommet are hiding a couple of mistakes (wrong holes).




Club email address - pix_email_naqcc (1K)

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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.

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