pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

Jan 29, 2011NAQCC Web Site Issue #135

In this issue:
1. February Challenge
2. January Sprint Results
2a. January Special 160M Sprint
3. General Club News
3a. Chapter News
4a. Elmer Project
5. Latest Award and Prize Winners
6. Member Spotlight
7. News Items and Articles by Our Members

1. FEBRUARY CHALLENGE: Our first alphabet challenge this year is a repeat running of previous February challenges. This is the month we either hate groundhogs if they predict six more weeks of winter or love them when they predict spring is just around the corner. Right or wrong, we pay tribute to a few of them by asking you to challenge yourself to make their names in the standard alphabet challenge way. Well, almost standard. There are a couple new wrinkles starting this year. Previously using my call K3WWP as an example, you could only get 2 K's, 2 W's, and 2 P's from it because of the double letter in a call rule. That rule has been repealed now and you can get 2 K's, 4 W's, and 2 P's from my call. In other words two letters from each letter in a call. W3WWW could give you enough W's to last a lifetime. HI. Actually 8 of them.

Check the rules to see the names of the little critters we want you to make. Anyone who makes all of them gets a certificate. That's another change to our alphabet challenges. No more 'make the most words', 'do it the fastest', etc. Just make all the words in the list - period. Finally no more contest/sprint QSO's allowed in the challenges. That made them less of a challenge. Have fun.

I think that sums it up, but always check the complete challenge rules pages here before embarking on a challenge.

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2. JANUARY SPRINT RESULTS: Our string of 100+ logs sprints continued in January as we got 107 logs representing 182 participants. Once again I must say you NAQCC members are the greatest. I really admire your dedication and faithfulness to our 'little' club of 5,370 members.

I hope you read the soapbox entries thoroughly each month. I think the answers to why our sprints are perhaps the most popular of all such 2-hour sprints can be found there.

I continue to be amazed by the popularity of our GOLDEN LOG feature. Frankly I started it to try to make my job of cross-checking logs easier by having folks strive to send in perfect logs that I could simply copy and paste into the checker. Now I get many comments from folks asking how to get a GOLDEN LOG or get asked why their log wasn't GOLDEN this time around.

I'll take a bit of space here to talk about GOLDEN LOGS. The very best way to get one is to use GenLog version 6.57 or higher for the sprint, either real time or entering your QSO's from your paper log after the sprint. Two additional things. First you must have the very latest data file for GenLog. If you don't know about that, read the General Sprint Rules page thoroughly. Secondly even with GenLog, you MUST copy what is sent to you. Don't rely on GenLog to always spit out the correct info. Folks often operate portable in another state for the sprint or have two residences from which they can operate. The data file has no way of knowing this. Just a couple examples from this month. Of the 12 times K3RLL was listed in the cross checker, 2 folks had him in PA, not FL. Don summers up here in PA and spends the rest of his time in FL. Had those two folks copied what Don sent, they might have had a GOLDEN LOG. I also try to have Don's current state in the very latest GenLog data file, but still you must copy what is sent. I almost fell victim to Gene N5GW's situation this month myself. He faded briefly when giving his state, still it didn't sound like MS as GenLog showed, so I asked him for a repeat. He was portable in TN. Two logs received did show him as MS. One final example is N1LU. He recently moved from NH to TN, but one person still listed him as NH. Two folks had N3LL in PA instead of FL. I believe LL winters in FL.

Oh and of course you must use the right log. GenLog produces two logs, a working one using the file name you gave to it when you started the program. DO NOT use that one for your submission. It contains a bunch of extraneous info I just must delete here. The CORRECT file to use is the one you create after all the data has been entered. Use GenLog's Log menu to create a file named [YourCall].log, that is in my case it would be K3WWP.log. That is the file you copy and paste into the log section of the autologger.

See the illustrated GenLog tutorial on the web site if you have any questions about the program.

More about GOLDEN LOG pitfalls in upcoming newsletters, but let's get to the stats.

We shattered our 80M QSOs record in January with 927 replacing 792 from last month as the previous record. Every stat except total logs and 20M QSOs was up from December.

Total QSO's1610142119298/10
Hour 1 QSO's81976910288/10
Hour 2 QSO's7916529216/10
20M QSO's2310006/10
40M QSO's68162612778/10
80M QSO's9277929271/11
Avg QSO's per stn15.011.819.19/06

SWA Category
Other Categories
First time entrant
high scorer

Congratulations to all including winners and non-winners. 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 13 stations who didn't submit a log show up 5-23 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 hc040 (1K) other than fixing a score if a mistake changes it. Instead of penalizing errors, we will reward perfection.

There also is going to be a prize awarded to the one who has the most GOLDEN LOGS each year. We have yet to decide on the prize but the winner for 2010 is definitely Art WB8ENE who has been perfect each month since we started the GOLDEN LOG feature back in March 2010.

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

GOLDEN LOG's were submitted by 50 participants this month. To see if you're one of them, check the results page.

205 different hams have submitted at least one GOLDEN LOG since we started keeping track in March 2010. Here's a Top 5 (+ ties) list of most GOLDEN LOG's:
WB8ENE - 11 (all)
N8XMS - 9
K0HJC - 7
N9KR - 7
KB1PBA - 7
KC2EGL - 7
KD5MMM - 7
KU4A - 7

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

Full sprint info here.

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The deadline for log submissions is still in the future so we'll report results next newsletter.

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pix_blueball (1K) - A couple of years ago Gary K1YAN suggested a couple new awards for the club. For various reasons they never got implemented at that time. One reason being the lack of interest in the awards we had already established.

Well, lack of interest in our awards (save for the 1000 MPW award) is still woefully lacking. However Gary thinks that adding more awards will perk up interest. So we are going to find out if he is right or not.

First of all, at his suggestion we modified our WAS award slightly. Category C - WAS QRPp will now be issued for the "Lower 48" states with an endorsement if KH6 and KL7 are included. That has been taken care of already.

In the new K1YAN Awards section in the awards index page, you will find over the next couple months the following new awards or modifications thereof depending on Gary's final versions.

1. A WAVE (Worked all Canada award) similar to the standard RAC WAVE award, but geared to QRP/CW.

2. Some kind of state capital award involving working grid squares in which state capitols are located.

3. Another kind of grid square award involving working GS's that contain national parks and the like.

Gary will decide what constitutes the political divisions for the WAVE award since there are some ambiguities like should it be Maritimes or NB, NS, and PEI.

Grid squares is for the most part a VHF/UHF thing, so Gary will explain them for those of us who are more HF oriented.

The new awards in Gary's section will be handled pretty much entirely by him, so any questions about them will go directly to him.

We're shooting for a March 1st date to debut the awards.

pix_blueball (1K) - The beta test of our new poll feature on the web site came through with good marks so we're going to keep it. For our first meaningful poll, we want to see what an age profile of our club members looks like. For it TO BE meaningful, we need as many members as possible to vote. We still have to implement a means to prevent someone from voting more than once, so be sure to remember you voted. It's easy to forget. I go upstairs for something and when I get there, I forget what it was I was after. HI

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. If it is YOUR call sign and YOU find it, email pix_email_naqcc (1K) BEFORE the publication date of the next newsletter (February 5) 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. Cheap refers only to the price of the cards, NOT the quality which is superb. So far we've had 39 hidden calls and only 7 'eagle-eyed' winners - KD1R, KM6NN, K4UK, K5RIX, N9AKF, W1ICU, N4OLN.

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Here is where our club chapters present news about their chapter activities. We currently have three chapters - European, Minnesota, and Texas. We're looking forward to expanding that roster. Chapters are more or less independent local gatherings organized by members in a geographical area and subject to a list of guidelines under the auspices of the NAQCC. If you would be interested in starting a chapter in your area, let us know and we'll send a copy of the guidelines.

pix_sm_mw3ymy (13K)
Items in this section are from EU Chapter President Matt MW3YMY unless otherwise credited.
Questions or comments should go to pix_email_mw3ymy (1K)
The EU Chapter web site is at http://www.naqcc-eu.org/

A reminder that the next European Chapter Sprint will be held on 9th February at 1800Z. The latest version of the rules can be found at: http://naqcc-eu.org/sprints/rules

Please join us to make the February EU Sprint the most successful yet and see more than 30 logs submitted!

pix_sm_wd0k (9K)pix_sm_k0hjc (11K)
The chapter was founded by Bob K9OSC (L).
Questions or comments should go to Chapter President Rich WD0K at pix_email_wd0k (1K).
The MN Chapter web site is at http://www.naqccmn.com/
Items in this section are from Keith K0HJC (R) unless otherwise credited.

pix_sm_k5duz (2K)
Items in this section are from TX Chapter Director Ron K5DUZ unless otherwise credited.
Questions or comments should go to pix_email_txchapter (1K)
The TX Chapter web site is at http://www.naqcctx.com/

Hello to all!

The NAQCC Texas Chapter has been formed. Our reason for being is to support the NAQCC in all of its endeavors and to addtionally sponsor related activities at the Texas state level. Our website is now online at http://www.naqcctx.com/ All NAQCC members residing in Texas are automatically members of the Texas Chapter.

Our first Chapter activity is the East Texas QRS CW Net, with Allen, KA5TJS as NCS. Please see the net details on our website. We need an alternate NCS for those occasions when Allen is unavailable. If you would like to volunteer for that prestigious job, please e-mail Allen at his e-mail address listed on the "contacts" page.

A number of other activities have been proposed for the Chapter and are listed in the "Proposed Activities" section of the "Activities" page. Please review them and give us feedback on which ones you have an interest in. If you have an additional suggestion, please let us know. Our goal is to make the Texas Chapter a useful and active part of the NAQCC.

Texas is a big state, so if you would like to establish a QRS CW Net in your "neck of the woods" please let us know and we will help you to set it up. We want to encourage members to make contact with other nearby members. We will post notices on our website to facilitate local area activities such as "eyeball QSOs/chuckwagon outings", "QRP to the field/Field Day portable activities", "CW Elmering", "technical assistance", etc. Those of you willing to "Elmer" local hams and prospective hams, please send us your interests and contact information.

Until next time, support your Texas Chapter of the NAQCC by being active with QRP CW! 73, Ron, K5DUZ

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The NAQCC QRS Net Manager is Brian WB9TPA who will handle all Net related material at this email address: pix_email_wb9tpa (1K)

Now our NAQCC QRS Nets schedule and recent activity report:

NAQCC QRS Net (Main)
Schedule: Sunday evenings local time which is Monday 0000Z on 3562.5 kHz.
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
1/17/11     WB9TPA     7 - WB9TPA, NV4T, K3WWP, N8IUP, AC8AP, KA8HFN, KE9DR
1/24/11     WY3H      12 - WY3H K3WWP N1LU K1IEE N8IUP AC8AP KA2CAQ AD6JV
                           N2BHA W8BI VE3FUJ W5IQS
NAQCC ET Net (East Texas)
Monday evenings local time which is Tuesday 0100Z on 3562.5 kHz.
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
1/25/11     KA5TJS     ? - ??
NAQCC PNW QRS Net (Pacific NorthWest
Schedule: Thursday evenings local time which is Friday 0200Z on 3575 kHz.
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
1/14/11     KE7LKW     4 - KE7LKW NU7T NO7V K7ALG
1/21/11     KE7LKW     4 - KE7LKW K7ZNP K7ALG VE7RG
1/28/11     KE7LKW     4 - KE7LKW K7ALG WU7F KA6AIL

For more net info, see the Elmer Project / QRS Nets on the web site.

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pix_sm_k5duz (13K)
The Elmer project is coordinated by 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)

K3WWP - As I said last newsletter, publicizing our Elmer Project is a necessary step in its success. This report from Ron backs that up.

K5DUZ - The last newletter's "Elmer Report" resulted in a sudden and quite welcome increase in "Elmer traffic". One request for help by a VE ham wanting to get started with QRP/CW, homebrewing and portable operation, resulted in a week long exchange of e-mails. We discussed how to begin with a simple D.C. receiver kit to learn the basics of kit building and to get some "on the air" receiving experience. Then we discussed the benefits of building a Small Wonders Lab SW-40+ QRP CW kit while working through the "Elmer 101" course, which is still available online. We also discussed the necessary hand tools, telegraph key selection, various antennas, antenna tuners, etc. It was a week to "warme an olde Elmer's heart".

I enjoyed discussing the Morse Code learning process with another newcomer to CW and received several e-mails from hams wanting to relate their learning experiences. I learn something useful from almost every such exchange. We are "all created equal" in humanitarian terms, but in terms of learning Morse Code/CW, each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses. Young students tend to learn quickly, but may not have the discipline that older students have and vice versa. Some of us are born with the genes to run fast, while some of us are slower. So it should be no surprise to anyone, that we each tend to be a little different from other people in how quickly we learn a new skill such as copying and sending Morse Code/CW and how proficient we ultimately become with it.

All that said, I think motivation is the most critical element of learning. The process of learning Morse is similar to learning a new spoken language. It requires time, effort and discipline. Without proper motivation, learning Morse "just won't happen".

In the next newsletter, I will discuss other key factors in learning Morse Code/CW in the most efficient and least painful way. Hint... it involves using the "subconscious" mind. HPE CU SN ON CW! Ron, K5DUZ

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 director:
K5DUZ - pix_email_k5duz (1K)

Also see Elmer Project on the web site.

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1000 MPW
#0098 - KH6OZ - 1/3/11
#0099 - KH6OZ - 1/3/11
#0100 - KC2VBU - 1/3/11
#0101 - N8XMS - 1/26/11

Participation 2010
East - K3WWP, W2JEK, N8XMS (tie) - 1/1/11
West - NU7T - 1/1/11
VE/DX - VE3FUJ - 1/1/11
Free FISTS membership - N8XMS - 1/1/11

Full year 2010 - K3WWP - 1/1/11

#0014 - 50 points - KH6OZ - 12/27/10


Friendship Club
1600 points - K3WWP - 1/8/11

Full List of all award winners here.

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pix_sm_n8xms (13K)
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.
Chuck Lewis N4NM #4686

Picture of N4NM

I was hooked on radio at birth: my Dad was a radio announcer and my Mom was a radio singer, so the genes were there! However, my interest was more in the magic of radio transmission. I can remember my schoolboy chum being irritated that I would spend all my time at his house listening to his folks' big Zenith console imagining what those strange noises really were. In the mid '50s, the Boy Scout magazine, "Boy's Life", announced an SWL contest, and I was determined to participate. I needed a receiver, though, and was lucky to get a Heathkit AR-2 kit for Christmas. From there it was all just a matter of sliding down the slippery slope. Eventually, I was awarded WN8REG (in Detroit, with a homebrewed a 6F6 on a cigar box with parts from another trashed Zenith), then W8REG, and after a change in location and two kids, plied the airwaves as WA4FMX, AD4Y, and my current call, N4NM. When my Brother recently passed his Tech. exam we were able to re-acquire W8REG within the family!

In the process, I managed to acquire a BSEE and spent 30 years at NASA in Huntsville, AL, where my wife and I currently reside.

My station currently consists of an FT1000MP MKV Field, a Force 12 C4 at 57 feet, Inverted L for 80 & 160, and a sweet Drake L-7 Amp. There are a few VHF/UHF widgets in there, too. I like old 1920s era radios, so my shack has a few of them sprinkled around, along with the requisite old-timers' boat anchors from the '50s.

I operate mostly CW, but don't really discriminate (pun intended). I like DX & casual contesting, and serve as a county AEC (FM is required there!). I'm active, too in the North AL DX Club and Alabama Contest Group. For Field Day I share 20/80 CW station manager duties at K4BFT (4A); and for a few months each Summer my life is captured by the Huntsville Hamfest, for which I serve as a forum coordinator. Aside from Ham Radio, I manage to play a little ice hockey every Sunday, and work at rebuilding our house in the time that's left over (I have a VERY understanding XYL).

In the meantime, I have plenty to do!

Chuck, N4NM

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pix_sm_kd2mx (13K)
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 February 3. 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 - I was once again made aware of the deficiencies of my attic random wire as a 160M antenna. Only 12 QSO's in our NAQCC 160M sprint. The thing seems to work well on 80M as testified to by my results in our previous two main sprints with 57 and 50 QSO's, most of which came on 80. Anyway it's something I'll just have to live with as there is no room to put up anything else for 160. I don't even know how much time I'll put in for this weekend's CQ 160M Contest now. I would like to try to get some of the 8 states I still need for my 160M WAS.

pix_blueball (1K) From Paul N8XMS #675 - I was fortunate enough to end 2010 in a 3-way tie for first place in our NAQCC Participation Award. The other two were Don W2JEK and John K3WWP. My schedule in the fall was very hectic and it wasn't always easy to earn the monthly participation points but somehow I managed to do it. The prize for this award is a paid-up membership in FISTS. As an NAQCC officer and a writer for the FISTS newsletter, John exempted himself from the prize. Don is a two-time past winner and graciously exempted himself from the prize as well. So that left me and I am now FISTS member #15385! FISTS is a fine organization that perfectly dovetails with the NAQCC in promoting the use of CW on the ham bands. I am very happy to now be a member of both organizations. By the way, I will follow Don's fine example and will exempt myself from the prize next year if I am fortunate enough to be eligible. So 2011 is a wide open field. A FISTS membership is a worthwhile goal, so get out there and participate!

pix_blueball (1K) From William WD0BC #5366 - I was licensed as WD0BCX in 1977. I worked hard to gain General status and like many coulden't wait to get onto the SSB scene. When I upgraded to General, I promptly got on with my old HT-37 and SX-101 Mk3A, running a blazing 150 watts. But I learned quickly that the much maligned CW was where it is at and I never looked back. Now 99.9% of my contacts are CW.

About a year and a half ago a friend and fellow member, NI0R, and I were discussing a retirement trip I was planning. I mentioned that I was going to go through California and he said "Oh, you should visit KPH, that is where Night of Nights originates". I told him that I did not know anything about Night of Nights. So he sent me to the Maritime Radio Historical Society internet site (MRHS) . Here I read about Night of Nights, watched the videos, and learned about the group's work preserving this history. I was hooked.

My wife retired on May 1, 2010 and a few days later we pulled out of St.Joseph, Missouri in a 26' Travel Trailer, with our Jack Russell terrier and three-legged, 14-year-old cat. We were off visiting relatives with stops in Sedelia Missouri, Dallas Texas, El Cajhon California, Vancouver Washington. Finally we arrived at Radio KPH in Bolinas and Point Reyes California.

I spent a Friday at the transmit site in Bolinis. I went there just to find the place, as the tours began at 9:00AM Saturday and I didn't want to be late. None of the "KPH" gang were there but I ended up under the guidence of a maintainance man who gave me an unofficial tour of the whole property. Not only did I get to see all the "radio stuff", but I was taken into Building #1 which is the original transmitter building. I was told that "not even some of the members get in here". I was also shown the hotel on the grounds and the two employee housing units. My unofficial guide was full of stories and history about the whole complex. It was very interesting and informative and I was fortunate to have made my pre-visit.

That afternoon I went to the Point Reyes Receive site. I met a US Park Service ranger there and proceded to talk my way into the control room. This was really thrilling, having watched the videos KPH in operation during the Night of Nights. I was in Hog Heaven. I thanked my tour guide and returned to my campsite happy as a clam.

Saturday morning, I returned to the Transmitter site and was welcomed by Steve Hawes, the site engineer. Steve ran the CW bulletin on five maritime frequencies. It was a hoot to watch him hook up the multiple Collins 1500 watt transmitters to the antenna field. The CW was flawless. He then showed me around other the various equipment. This was really a thrill as I had seen much of it in operation on the YouTube videos. I even got to see the "junk" rooms.

Later Saturday afternoon I went back to the Receive site and was given the grand tour by Bill Ruck. I sat at the famous KPH operators desk. I looked at the messages in the rotary file from the last day of operation there. I was even allowed to sit at the K6KPH operating position.

To top off this whole experience, on July 14, the "Night of Nights", I worked K6KPH from my campsite in Omaha, Nebraska with my blazing 100 watts on CW and a Buddistick antenna. Folks in the campground thought I was a little strange dancing around a silly piece of aluminum pipe sticking out of a tripod.

Given the history that oozes from the walls of these historic buildings, this was one of the most exciting things that I have ever done. If you are a CW nut, then the story of RCA and maritime radio is for you. This era has passed but every time we fire up on CW, we link to it. It should be remembered that RCA made more profit from message handling than from any other venture of the time. In closing I wish to thank the members of the Maritime Radio Historical Society. Keep up the good work!

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(L) That is me at the Receiver site at Point Reyes. Keying is done here and goes by hardline to the thansmitters some five miles away. The maritime service had full duplex capability on its frequencies.

(R) KPH's Steve Hawes examines the operational 20KW transmitter.

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(L) This is part of the still in use Maritime Transmit Antenna field at Bolinas. These are used by KPH on maritime frequencies for weekly CW news and WX bulletins. There were some 10 to 15 different antennas, each directed to a specific location such as the Phillipines, Tokyo, London, etc.

(R) Bolinas control for Transmit sight KPH.

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(L) This key was like putty in my hand. Steve Hawes used it to check tuning prior to sending the CW run.

(R) The six Collins transmitters sending CW WX and News while we listened and watched.

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(L) Transmitter feed lines to the antenna field at KPH in Bolinas.

(R) Large coil units from the old RCA Boomer in Building 1 at Bolinas.

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(l) Hard line feeds from the Receive sight at Point Reyes are patched to the Transmitters at Bolinas. This patch panel shows the CW bulletin set up going to the Collins transmitters.

(r) The entire Transmitter building is RF shielded. Note the copper door.

Shell of the famous RCA Brute in Building 1 in Bolinas.

All comments on specific sections of the newsletter should go to the email address given in that section. Any other general comments go to:

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.

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