|Jul 30, 2011||NAQCC Web Site||Issue #147|
In this issue:|
1. August Challenge
2. July Sprint Results
3. General Club News
3a. Chapter News
4. NAQCC Nets
4a. CW Assistance (Elmer) Project
5. Latest Award and Prize Winners
6. Member Spotlight
7. News Items and Articles by Our Members
|1. AUGUST CHALLENGE: This is the second running of our Chess Challenge, the challenge with a little twist as described in this quote from the rules page:|
"There's a twist in this challenge. Since there are more than one of some pieces in one side of a chess set, you must make the word that number of times as shown here in parentheses in the word list:
There are a couple prizes that involve this month's challenge.
Now finish reading the newsletter, then head to the challenge rules pages here to see any other details and to make final plans for the challenge. Also check the prizes page here to see what prizes are involved this month.
2. JULY SPRINT RESULTS: Our 16th straight 100+ logs sprint with 106 this month. Conditions were about average. The usual summer QRN limited 80 meter QSO's to just 14. 20 meters was down from last month. 40 meters was the big star coming very close to a record number of QSO's for that band. Details in the chart below. We had about the usual number of first-time entrants including youngster KD8HES who had the highest score among the first timers. I think Zeke is 17 or 18 years old.
I think that one reason our sprints are so popular is the fact we require complete logs to be submitted AND all logs are cross-checked. This ensures the results are as accurate as possible. The process takes care of the obvious like logging the wrong state or province for a member. If that changes the number of SPC's or multipliers, then the score is adjusted to reflect the change. Similarly with determining if a station worked is a member or not. Occasionally a member will forget and send power instead of number, or a non-member will send some other club number. That is also sorted out and corrected. Counting number of QSO's or multipliers, etc. is also covered.
Of course, cross-checking means just that as well. If station A works B, the QSO must be in both A's log and B's log. If it is not in B's log then it is removed from A's log. Ah, but now here is where we take the extra step that perhaps the other contests/sprints who do require logs do not take. We give A the chance to check with B about the QSO. Here is the email we would send to station A in that case:
In cross-checking of NAQCC sprint logs, I found that your QSO with:
Is not in his log as shown below.
You are being notified of this to give you a chance to check with him. His email address is in his log below.
The QSO has been removed from your log, but will be re-instated if the other station confirms it really should be there. Let us know what he says if you contact him.
The cause of such omissions is usually due to one of the following three reasons:
1. The other station made an error in transcribing his log and omitted your QSO unintentionally.
2. The other station was actually working someone else at the same time and on the same or a very close frequency, and the timing of the exchange seemed to indicate he was working you.
3. The other station faded out, and you thought he QSLed your info, but actually didn't, so he didn't log the QSO.
There is never any suggestion or inference of any wrongdoing in notifying you of this. We just want all scoring to be as accurate as possible and for your station log to be as accurate as possible as well. That's what we are all about at the NAQCC.
* John K3WWP - Proudly promoting Morse Code:
* As NAQCC VP - # 0002 FC # 1 - http://naqcc.info/
* As FISTS Keynote QRP Columnist - # 2002 - http://www.fists.org/
* With my CW-QRP site - http://home.windstream.net/johnshan/
I'm including the above info here because only those of you who questioned why a score was changed and it was because of a not-in-log situation may know about the procedure. We generally have about 15-20 'not-in-log' situations each sprint, and all those who question the change (generally only a few) in their score are sent the above email allowing them to check it out with the other station. Of one we sent out this month, the 'other' station (B) had the QSO in his written notes, but did not copy it into the log he submitted. So the QSO was restored to A, and added to B.
Well enough of that, but I did want to explain it in detail. Let's look at the figures now.
Congratulations to all including winners and non-winners. Actually there are no 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 10 stations who didn't submit a log show up 5-27 times in the 106 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:
W5EHM(nm who joined just after the sprint) KD8HES N2WG KB9ILT KE3HL W4NA KQ4VY K5UNY KC9TNH K9EYT AJ4MJ N6JLJ
GOLDEN LOGS. This feature of our sprints continues to be immensely popular among members. I get the impression that some folks look forward more to seeing if they had a GOLDEN LOG than to seeing the sprint scores. A GOLDEN LOG is a log with exactly the correct format as defined in the rules and has every bit of info (numbers, states, point value, SPC's numbered correctly, etc.) correct. 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 with a listing in the GOLDEN LOGS section of the results.
There is a prize awarded to the one who has the most GOLDEN LOGS each year. In case of a tie, the one having the most total QSO's for the year will be the winner. The winner for 2010 was Art WB8ENE who was the only one to have a GOLDEN LOG in each of the 10 sprints in which we kept track. Art won an ARRL wire antenna book.
We hope the GOLDEN LOG feature is an incentive to run a fine-tooth comb through your logs before submitting them. Remember a GenLog log is not necessarily automatically a GOLDEN LOG because of a couple reasons including someone operating in a different state from the one in the GenLog data file or using an outdated GenLog data file which won't have call sign changes nor the latest members in it. You must actually copy the info sent and double check that the info GenLog shows agrees and if not, change it.
GOLDEN LOG's were submitted by 37 of 106 participants this month. To see if you're one of them, check the results page.
Here's a Top 5 (+ ties) list of most GOLDEN LOG's so far in 2011:
7 - N8XMS NQ2W WB8ENE
6 - K4NP/N1LU KA8HDE
Thanks to all GOLDEN LOGgers for making my cross-checking job that much easier.
Full sprint info here.
3. GENERAL CLUB NEWS:
- Our cast of characters..., er operators for our October NAQCC 7th Anniversary week in mid-October is growing. There's still room for more though. Here's the updated list which can always be found on the N3A page in the main section of the web site.
N1A - N1DN KB1PBA N2A - WB2VEN NW2K N3A - K3WWP WY3H KC2EGL N3ES AF3Z N4A - K2UFT KI4EBD N5A - W5YDM K5JYD N6A N7A - WD8KRV N8A - N8XMS N8IUP N9A - AB9JT N0A - KC0PMH N0TU K0HJC KD0V WD0K
Only 2 new sign-ups in the past couple weeks. Where are the W6 area folks. There is now a lot of sprint activity from those areas and there are many members from there so I would think at least a couple of you, if not more, would be interested in helping out. Remember your volunteering to help is not chiseled in stone right now, and should circumstances change by October, you can always back out, but we need to know NOW if you are interested so we can do some active recruiting in any areas that may need it. We want all call areas to be active, especially in our sprint that week.
If you're not sure just what operating a special event call is all about, quite simply and accurately you just operate as you normally do, but use the N#A call in place of your own. Once an hour you are required to sign N#A/your_call as in N3A/K3WWP in my case. Further instructions will be emailed to all ops as the time draws nearer and also will be on the N#A Operation page in the main section of the club web site.
I'm looking forward to it. I hope you are also. Come on and join in the celebration!
- Mike KC2EGL, Don K3RLL, and John K3WWP are planning another one of their NAQCCpeditions to Kittanning's Community Park. The operation is planned for Sunday, August 14 from 1700-2000Z. The next newsletter will have the final details. We hope to top our 28 QSO's from the last time.
- We occasionally like to share feedback from our members about the club. Since we don't have a chat room or email reflector because they take time away from operating CW and also can lead to 'flaming', the newsletter (and guestbook) are the only way we can share these comments, so here goes.
"I'm glad we received over 100 logs. Speaks very highly of your leadership and the value our members place on the Sprints. Keep up the great work, John, and thank you for all of your effort. We all appreciate it. Sincerely, Will NQ2W"
Thanks Will, but the word "John" needs to be replaced by something like, "NAQCC Officers and Members" to be more accurate.
"John, that sounds like a plan! I will write up something for the newsletter. I totally understand the flame war on a reflector. There is an article up on eHam right now called "Field Day Disgrace", and it is a total flame war right now. Currently, it is centered on the VE7KFM crew on 20 meters SSB. 73, David KC9EHQ"
A little explanation. David was having trouble with a rig and wrote a member news article for the last newsletter asking for help. That is another way of sharing info, help requests, etc. I think more members should take advantage of the member news section in that way. I told David about our reasons for not having a reflector and he gave a good example of what I mean.
"Hi Mike (KC2EGL, Prize Manager), Just a quick note to say thank you for the Elecraft knob insert that arrived today - the rig looks great now! I have just had a four band board fitted to my K1 so your timing could not have been better. 73 and thanks again, Ryan G5CL"
Here's one about the 'not-in-log' situation mentioned above with pertinent calls omitted to not embarass anyone: "My face is red! I was logging with pen and ink and then making my log a word document which I pasted into the NAQCC Autologger. I've just looked at my notebook and there is "(CALL)" with RSTs, both sent and received, of "559"; however the time I show for both my immediately preceding QSO with (CALL) and yourself is "0157", but that is surely an error because I called CQ after the (CALL) QSO. Your QTH and NAQCC # are clearly written as the last entry on that notebook page with no scratch-outs. I can only guess that my eyes must have skipped over that line entry when I turned the page. Also I'm still on some pain medication after surgery last month so not too sharp these days! My apologies for this, but please understand that I really DO appreciate your wake-up call. I'm also sending this to K3WWP so he'll understand where the blame properly lies. 72 and I look forward to greeting you by your name in forthcoming QSOs."
Speaking of names, I think it is nice to greet each other by name in our sprints. It's easy with GenLog if you work someone new or someone whose name slips your mind in the excitement of the sprint. If the station you work is a member and in the GenLog data file, his name will appear near the top of the GenLog program. I guess that lets the cat out of the bag, and destroys my reputation of having every member's name memorized. HI.
"John, Thanks so much for getting back to me. Your reply was very informative, and helped me determine what happened. My log stands as shown in the final results. 73, Dave W4DUK #0617"
The reply referred to was my response to his question of why his sprint score was changed.
And another email about a score change which I will make anonymous, "You are correct (as usual) John. I completely forgot about that (another senior moment). I looked at my notes that I took during the Sprint and I did copy him correctly but made the correction when the call didn't match the membership number. My mistake completely. Thanks for helping me remember."
As said earlier in the newsletter, GenLog cannot be always trusted, especially if the data file is out of date. You MUST copy what is sent and if it is different from what GenLog says, report what you copied. It will all be sorted out in cross-checking.
- We also get occasional questions asking about club frequencies. To answer simply, we don't have any because we want to spread the word about CW and QRP to everyone, and not congregate on one frequency and work only other club members. With such a large membership, you will run into other members everywhere if you're working towards your Friendship Club award (I hope you are). I've worked around 900 different members without the club having their own frequencies. I would suggest that you perhaps operate around the general QRP frequencies on the bands as the best place to find other members, although I've worked them everywhere on all bands from time to time.
- Just our usual 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 BEFORE the publication date of the next newsletter (Aug 6) 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.
3a. CHAPTER NEWS:
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.
NAQCC EUROPEAN CHAPTER:
Items in this section are from EU Chapter President Matt MW3YMY unless otherwise credited.
Questions or comments should go to
The EU Chapter web site is at http://www.naqcc-eu.org/
NAQCC MINNESOTA CHAPTER:
Items in this section are from Chapter President Rich WD0K (L) and/or Keith K0HJC (R) unless otherwise credited.
Questions or comments should go to or .
The MN Chapter web site is at http://www.naqccmn.com/
Greetings from the Minnesota Chapter! We had five Minnesota Chapter logs for the July 21st Sprint, in spite of the poor conditions. Three Chapter members, WD0K, KD0V and K0HJC have signed up for The Flight of the Bumblebees for the 31st of July. Locations will be weather dependent and close to home.
Minnesota NAQCC'ers, we are still looking for responses to our request for input regarding interests and possible activities. If you have an activity that intrigues or interests you, please let us know. Please feel welcome to join us for Brunch and/or rag-chew, or send me an E-mail at email@example.com.
Our next brunch is Friday, August 12th and our sideband rag-chew is still at 1400 GMT on 3.707 Mhz, Monday through Friday. Visit our Minnesota Chapter Website at http://www.naqccmn.com/ for more details.
NAQCC TEXAS CHAPTER:
Items in this section are from TX Chapter Director Ron K5DUZ unless otherwise credited.
Questions or comments should go to
The TX Chapter web site is at http://www.naqcctx.com/
The East Texas QRS Net (ETN) is meeting each Monday evening at 1900 CDST (2400 UTC) on 7121 KHz. Note the move to 40m. The net will move up as much as three KHz in the event of QRM on 7121 KHz. Conditions vary from week to week so please try again next week if you weren't able to check-in this week.
Watch for the next NAQCC Net e-mail for the latest information.
The ETN is open to all hams regardless of QTH, so check in for a little CW practice or to show your support for the net. The Net Control Station (NCS) is Allen, KA5TJS. He will reply to you at the speed you call him, so don't be put off by stations sending faster than you can comfortably receive. You will be among friends, so give it a try!
4a. NAQCC QRS NETS:
News and net reports in this section are from QRS Net Manager Dan AF4LB unless otherwise credited.
Dan will handle all Net related material at this email address:
Attention all QRS NET lovers! The NQN NET on August 14th, and the ECN NET on August 18th will be held from different location. I am going portable at an elevation of about 800 feet in the mountains of western Virginia. I will still be using my K2 but my antenna will be a random verticle wire in the trees and not my g5rv. I look forward to hearing my regulars as well as making some new friends. See you there! 73 Dan af4lb
NAQCC NETS schedule and recent activity report:
NAQCC QRS Net (NQN - Main net)Sunday evenings 2000 EDST local time which is Monday 0000Z on 7041 kHz.
Main NCS - Dan AF4LB
Date(UTC) NCS Participants 07-17-11 AF4LB -8- AF4LB K1IEE KE3HL W4NA VE3FUJ N9RLO KD8HES WX4RM 07-25-11 AF4LB -7- AF4LB WA1IIE VE3FUJ AC8AP K1IEE W4ISI N2YHQ
NAQCC East Texas QRS Net (ETN)Monday evenings local time, which is Tuesday 0000Z on 7121 kHz. Main NCS - Allen KA5TJS
Date(UTC) NCS Participants 07-19-11 KA5TJS -4- KA5TJS W5IQS KE5YGA KE5YUM 07-26-11 KA5TJS -4- KAYTJS KE5YGA KE5YUM W5IQS
NAQCC East Coast QRS Net (ECN)Thursday evenings at 2130 EDST local time, which is Friday 0130Z on 7041 kHz.
Main NCS - Dan AF4LB
Date(UTC) NCS Participants 07-15-11 AF4LB -6- AF4LB N4JD AB3KF K9EYT WX4RM KM3D 07-22-11 AF4LB -7- AF4LB WX4RM KD8HES W4NA KM3D K2WK K1GU 07-29-11 AF4LB -3- AF4LB W4NA KD8HES
NAQCC Pacific NorthWest QRS Net (PNW)Thursday evenings 1900 PDST local time which is Friday 0200Z on 3574 kHz.
Main NCS - Stewart KE7LKW
Date(UTC) NCS Participants 07-22-11 KE7LKW -4- K7ALG KE7LKW K7ZNP W7KXBIf the nets are not heard on the exact listed frequencies, tune around a bit, generally higher in frequency. Be sure to check the Net Info email sent each Sunday to all active mail list subscribers for up-to-the-minute info on the nets.
For more net info, see the CW Assistance / QRS Nets section of the web site.
4a. THE NAQCC CW ASSISTANCE PROJECT:
The CW Assistance project is coordinated by Ron K5DUZ. Items in this section are from Ron unless otherwise credited. If you are interested in helping out or need help with any CW and/or QRP matters contact Ron at
Remember Ron is busy with a work project, and he asks that other members send in their thoughts on learning CW, improving CW speed, CW procedures, etc. to fill in here until he returns full-time to this column. So far we've had nil response, so come on, I'm sure you have ideas you'd like to share.
K3WWP - Since no one else is stepping forward, I'll offer some brief tips here and perhaps in upcoming newsletters when I have time.
CALLING CQ: From my experience of making well over 50,000 QRP CW QSO's, a sizeable percentage of them coming via my CQ's, I find the following is the absolute best way to call CQ.
CQ CQ CQ DE K3WWP K3WWP K
Use your rig's RIT to tune up and down about 500 Hz looking for any answer. If none after 4-5 seconds, then
CQ CQ CQ DE K3WWP K3WWP K
and so on until you give up or get an answer.
The two key things are keeping your CQ short and keeping a short interval between those short CQ's.
Endless CQ's with no break to listen turn people away. They do not attract more people.
Long breaks between CQ's offer less of a chance for people to hear your CQ as they tune by your frequency.
That covers everyday CQing. Now here's a bit about CQing in sprints or contests.
It's similar except the CQ itself is just:
CQ NA K3WWP
CQ NA K3WWP
Even shorter CQ's and perhaps shorter pauses to listen. Of course the NA is for our sprints. Other contests/sprints would be different.
CQ TEST K3WWP is a good generic CQ.
CQ SS K3WWP for the ARRL Sweepstakes.
CQ FD K3WWP for Field Day.
You get the idea.
Next issue if no one else offers any material, answering CQ's.
5. RECENT AWARD AND PRIZE WINNERS:
#0008 - NW2K 6/1/11
#0108 - W7FB 6/25/11
#0109 - AF3Z 7/4/11
#0006 - NW2K 7/24/11
#0012 - K1YAN 6/13/11
#0013 - W7FB 6/15/11
#0005 - NW2K 6/19/11
#0012 - NW2K 6/13/11
#0013 - W7FB 6/23/11
ENDORSEMENTS and/or WEB SITE LISTINGS:
1800 POINTS - K3WWP 6/2/11
300 POINTS - NW2K 6/2/11
400 POINTS - NW2K 6/1/11
500 POINTS - NW2K 6/17/11
600 POINTS - NW2K 7/25/11
KMPW Honor Roll
NU7T - 231
#0013 - W7FB (160 meters) 6/23/11
WOW! Dean NW2K has sure been keeping our awards manager Rick AA4W busy of late. I hope other members will follow his lead and get to work on and/or apply for our awards as he is doing. Remember there is no cost if you want the certificate emailed to you. Also there is a very easy way to create award applications using GenLog if that has been the reason you haven't applied for any awards. There is a tutorial available via a link in the Friendship Club award rules that describes and shows with screen captures exactly how to use GenLog to apply for the FC award with a very minimal effort on your part. With a little tweaking of the procedure described there, GenLog can also be used to crank out applications for other awards. When time permits, we'll list those tweaks in the rules.
Full List of all award rules and winners here.
Mike KC2EGL and I believe we are now caught up on distributing prizes to our winners. There was a delay in getting some out due to various reasons beyond our control. Check the prizes page here to see a list of all prize winners. If you're listed and have not received the prize, email and let him know. We'll sort it out.
6. MEMBER SPOTLIGHT:
This section is managed by Paul N8XMS and any questions about it should go to . Paul selects members at random and asks them if they would like to be featured in the Member Spotlight in the newsletter.
Dan Grizzard AF4LB #1922
I first became interested in amateur radio in the Boy Scouts when I was about 16 years old. Back then in order to earn the Communications merit badge one had to be able to copy 5 wpm SOLID out of a 10 minute sending session. The rhythm intrigued me and I treated it like learning a foreign language. The great thing was that a patrol member was a ham operator and his dad was also. Fortunately they lived just a block away and I could walk over without my parents going nuts like they would today. Things were so much different back in those days. His dad agreed to help me study for the novice exam and also with bettering my code skills. His shack was in the basement of their home and even today, I still can smell the hot dusty smell of boat anchors firing up.
Well, life got in the way, I graduated, got married and had 3 boys and ham radio had to go to the rear burner for decades. Eventually the boys grew up and moved away and I had the opportunity to get back to studying for my license.
I discovered cw was my favorite mode of operation, especially qrp. Something about the challenge of busting pileups with 5 watts or less gives me a really good feeling inside. I have even had some contacts ask for my power level several times as if they could not believe what I was sending.
Anyway, I had a great elmer that has become my best friend and that I have infected with the qrp bug. Not a bad infection to pass around by the way. His helpfulness in this hobby infected me to the point that I wanted to return something to the hobby. That is the reason I have become the NCS of the ECN, and taken the job of the QRS net coordinator.
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 . Deadline for submitting news items for the next newsletter is Aug 4
. 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.
From John K3WWP #0002 - I guess my big news is of the negative sort. Two of my four 'streaks' I've been maintaining have come to an end in July - NOT because of the failure of QRP or CW, but for other reasons as I'll describe. The mW streak ended after 447 days (5/1/10 - 7/21/11) because of a lack of time on the 22nd to get on the air as described further in my web site diary. The DX streak ended after 122 days (3/27/11 - 7/25/11) due mainly to an extremely high local noise level that persisted for most of the 26th. Although I'm not going to try another DX streak right now, I did work DX again on both the 27th and 28th.
Still going is my regular daily QRP/CW QSO streak which on 7/28 is at 6,202 days and my multi-QRP/CW QSO streak at 172 days as of the 28th.
Other than that, I'm looking forward to our next operating session from Kittanning's Community Park on the 14th of August. I've changed my portable antenna from an 80-meters-only one to a 20/30/40 meters antenna and added some modifications to make it quicker to set up and use. I'm anxious to try it out. I don't have the room here at home to set it up properly as my in-town lot is very small as many of you know via my web site.
Now here's the address of my web site so you can get more info on the above if you are interested: http://home.windstream.net/johnshan/. Then navigate to the appropriate info via the navigation panel in the left column.
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Unless otherwise credited, all items are written by K3WWP.
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