|Aug 27, 2011||NAQCC Web Site||Issue #149|
In this issue:|
1. September Challenge
2. August 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. SEPTEMBER CHALLENGE: This is a new alphabet challenge from Tom WY3H. September is the traditional month for going back to school here in the USA and other Northern Hemisphere countries, so why not have a 'back to school' challenge? The words deal with things associated with that topic.|
Paul N8XMS and I had a little back and forth email discussion about the difficulty of our challenges. He thinks there should be difficulty in our challenges or else they wouldn't be... well 'challenging'. That makes sense, yet I feel that if we make them too difficult they may only appeal to a few of our members, and we want more participation in our challenges.
We've come up with this idea. Keep the number of words and letters around the same as they have been, but permit QSOs from our NAQCC Sprints to be used as somewhat of a wildcard source of letters. It works as follows:
You may get a maximum of 1/5 or 20% of the letters in an alphabet challenge from QSOs you make in our NAQCC Sprints. If there are 90 letters in a challenge, then 18 can come from NAQCC Sprint QSOs. We'll list in the rules the number that can be NAQCC Sprint letters.
We'll start that this month and fine tune it for our alphabet (and other type) challenges by the time 2012 begins. So watch the rules closely for the next few challenges as they may be adjusted on this point.
That only applies to our NAQCC Sprints. You still can't use QSOs from any other contests or sprints.
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. AUGUST SPRINT RESULTS: Here's a note from our JULY sprint drawing winner, "Hello Michael [KC2EGL Prize Manager], Wow! This is just another example of why NAQCC is the best club around. I would be pleased to select item R from the prize page. Tnx es 73, Joe [KA8VZB}."
Well, we're prejudiced, but we think the same as Joe about our NAQCC. We had another drawing this month among all sprint participants, and the winner is listed below in the results.
Our turnout was the lowest since back in March 2010 and the first time we failed to reach 100 logs since that same month. There were "only" 87 logs turned in this month from some 130 participants. That's still better than a lot of other club's sprints, and we're proud of our members for their dedication to the NAQCC and its activities.
We're also proud of you for the way you handled the severe RTTY QRM from the ST0R DXpedition which virtually ruined 40 meters from about 7035 on up. You took the initiative without being told to simply QSY below 7035 and the sprint went on as usual in the lower frequency range. Barring another DXpedition for our September sprint, things should be back to normal then.
Except for the QRM, conditions were about normal to perhaps a little above normal, and we are at a loss as to why we didn't make the 100 logs mark this month. Hopefully we'll get back on track next month and get our pro-CW voice back up to normal volume with well over 100 logs. That's next month. Let's backtrack now and look at this month's statistics.
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.
Of those who didn't submit a log there were 11 stations who showed up 5 to 23 times in the 87 logs we did receive and cross-check. 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:
WD4E KU8S WR1B
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 in exactly the correct format as defined in the rules with every bit of info correct. Instead of penalizing mistakes, we reward perfection with a GOLDEN LOG listing.
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.
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 mainly because of one or more of the following reasons:
1. Using an outdated GenLog data file which doesn't include the latest members. An updated file is available from the NAQCC web site just before each sprint. See the rules for instructions on updating your file.
2. Sometimes a member operates portable in a state different from that in the data file.
3. You submit the wrong log file. If you are in doubt, see the GenLog tutorial which explains how to submit the correct one.
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 87 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:
8 - N8XMS NQ2W WB8ENE
7 - KA8HDE
6 - K4NP KC0PMH KU4A N8LA VE3FUJ
Thanks to all GOLDEN LOGgers for making my cross-checking job that much easier.
Full sprint info here.
3. GENERAL CLUB NEWS:
- We now have one more chapter in the NAQCC. Joining Europe, Minnesota, and Texas is the newly formed Western PA chapter. It was formed just after the N3AQC portable operation at Kittanning Community Park on August 18. Mike KC2EGL, Don K3RLL, and John K3WWP decided that since we have been and are doing the things we want our chapters to be doing, we should make it official and form the chapter. We're talking about portable operations, getting together to build equipment, or just to talk about ham radio and other topics. Anyone in the ARRL Western PA section is welcome to join. All you need do is email and we'll welcome you. There will be no formal organization, no officers, no requirements other than to mention the chapter whenever you publicize any ham radio activities you may engage in. We also may challenge other chapters to friendly competition in our sprints and challenges. All chapter news will be in the (obviously) Chapter News section of each newsletter. We hope this will encourage other areas to start up their own chapters and do what we (and the EU, MN, TX chapters) are doing.
See the member news item by N9IY at the end of this newsletter to see the kind of activities we envision our NAQCC Chapters participating in.
- Our cast of 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 WA3HIC N4A - K2UFT KI4EBD N4EWT N5A - W5YDM K5JYD N6A - KA6TVX N7A - WD8KRV N8A - N8XMS N8IUP KD8HES N9A - AB9JT N0A - KC0PMH N0TU K0HJC KD0V WD0K WB0QQT
We had 4 new sign-ups in the past couple weeks. As you see though, we only have one op in the 6, 7, and 9 areas. Also only 2 in the 1, 2, and 5 areas. We would like to have at least 3 or 4 from each area so the load of operating can be spread out and not be too much of a burden to just one operator. 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!
- An NAQCC Western PA Chapter future operation alert from Mike KC2EGL - John and I will be working on a schedule to operate from the USS Requin (SS 481/SSR 481) moored on the southernmost point of the Allegheny River at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh. Details to follow.
- 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.
Warren WQ1C emails, "Thank you so very much for welcoming me into NAQCC! I am looking forward to meeting everyone on the air and participating in the group's events as often as I can. I'll send a face picture for the web site gallery as soon as I can. I will mention NAQCC on my personal Amateur Radio website. The URL is http://amateurradio.wq1c.net/ and I would like for all NAQCC members to visit the site and offer suggestions, ideas and more! I'm always looking for articles about contest participation, homebrew projects, equipment reviews and more!
Again, thank you for welcoming me into NAQCC. I sincerely appreciate it.
Best regards, Warren Rowe, WQ1C NAQCC #5656"
We're also looking for such articles for the NAQCC newsletter (hint).
Bill WB0CLD emails, "John and the NAQCC group, Thanks for the membership number, and NAQCC information. I haven't been very active in ham radio lately, but hope to get more active soon. I received my membership certificate today, also. Thanks again. 73, Bill WB0CLD"
Very nice to hear from our new members after we assign them their number. Thanks Warren and Bill. We prefer being called a club, not a group, but that's a minor thing.
- 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 (Sep 17) 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 four chapters - European, Minnesota, Texas, and Western Pennsylvania. 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 .
Greetings from the Minnesota Chapter! The Flight of the BumbleBees is over. KD0V, #77, (in green shirt) and K0HJC, #111, set up a screen house to manage the mosquitoes and deerflies, and enjoyed decent conditions on 40 and 20. WD0K, #664, worked mobile from his pickup after spraying. Even one's back yard isn't safe this year.
July brunch was moved to the 29th. The main topic of conversation was our website, which after a full year is due for renewal and documentation. Our web site has been a source of pride for our core group. Bob, K9OSC 3894, has been an expert webmaster and administrator, and he created a first-class site. We feel we have had a definite presence on the web. However, we have not gotten any feedback regarding the website, or the activities of the Minnesota Chapter.
Renewing the website would cost dollars and take considerable time. It was the considered opinion of those present, that email or a newsletter would be a more efficient use of resources. Regretably, it was decided to take down the website. Our thanks to Bob, K9OSC, for a fantastic job with the site.
Minnesota NAQCC'ers, we are still looking 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 email at email@example.com.
Our Sideband rag-chew is still at 1400 GMT on 3.707 Mhz, Monday through Friday.
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/
NAQCC WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA CHAPTER:
Items in this section are from John K3WWP unless otherwise credited.
Questions or comments should go to
All chapter news can be found ONLY here in this section of the newsletter.
The NAQCC WPA Chapter is a very loose organization that exists only to encourage members residing in the ARRL WPA section to have fellowship with each other and to engage in portable operations, equipment building, attending local hamfests, and any other ham activity that can be done when a group of hams get together. Just be sure that those activities are being publicized as activities of the NAQCC WPA Chapter and written up here in the newsletter.
Our first official activity of the WPA Chapter will be attending the Skyview Hamfest near New Kensington, PA on August 28th. It's late notice, but if you want to join John K3WWP, Mike KC2EGL, Don K3RLL, and club president Tom WY3H, you are more than welcome to come by and say hello. Just do a Bing search on the Internet for Skyview Hamfest for directions.
Don will be returning to Florida for the fall and winter shortly, but Tom, Mike, and I will be doing at least one main chapter activity each month. As mentioned in the General Club news above, future plans include a possible operation from the submarine Requin moored in Pittsburgh. Also a portable operation during our anniversary week in October using the special event call of N3A.
We hope the formation of this chapter will encourage members in other areas to form their own chapters. The fun of ham radio can be increased when you get together with other hams in your area to engage in ham radio activities. With over 5,660 NAQCC members now, you'll find that unless you live in the very most remote isolated spot, there will be other members in your area with whom you can get together. NAQCC Chapters offer a way of doing that.
Although the chapter wasn't officialy born till just after our portable operation at Kittanning Community Park on August 18, we'll chronicle it here as a chapter activity.
It's always a pleasure getting together with Don and Mike for any reason, but especially for our portable operations. Doubly so when we have beautiful weather for the operation as you'll see in the 4th picture here after Mike posing for the camera, Don diligently working someone, and John being caught at a break doing another of his favorite things - eating a Subway sub.
Here's a look at one of our antennas with the pavillion in the background and a closer look at the antenna showing the PVC mast, inverted V antenna, and the guy wires with what looks like a tent caterpillar 'nest' in one of the trees.
We didn't do quite as well as our July 3rd operation when we had 28 QSOs. This time it was 24 with the following stations:
40 meters - KA2CAQ K1YAN K4ORD K8ASA K9GA K1IEE WA3OTC W4DUK
30 meters - K1IEE WB4MNK N4SXJ AE4DT KD0V WN9U K9GA W9UX
20 meters - K9OSC W5YDM K1IEE K7ZI WD0K W0LI/M K4ADI K9GA
I just noticed that we divided the QSOs equally among the three bands. Congrats to K1IEE and K9GA who worked us on all three bands. I guess our most distant QSO was K7ZI out in Utah. It was also neat to work W0LI/M driving on I-70 near Colby, KS. I think that was my most solid QSO as far as someone copying my QRP signals. We'll be sending a picture QSL card to each of the stations we worked. Some have already gone out and have been received. The rest should be out early next week. Here's what Dick K1IEE said about the card he already received, "Hi Don. Just want to thank you for the really nice QSL card for your NAQCC outing. I enjoyed the QSO's on each band which was a pleasant surprise to do that. Getting the wicked nice QSL card was very very special thank you again. 73/72 Dick K1IEE."
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:
I have some good news! We now have Dale WC7S in Wyoming who will run a QRS net for us. This should fill in a large hole of the country that is usually hard to get. Maybe some of us can now work on the WAS award knowing when and where to listen!
From K3WWP - The East Coast is about to be ravaged by Hurricane Irene which could affect our Sunday evening net. Check the Sunday nets announcement email for further info.
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 8-1-11 AF4LB -12- AF4LB W4NA N8IUP WX4RM K4UFT K3WWP N9RLO N4JD K1IEE KD8HES KR9Z KF4IBU 8-8-11 AF4LB -13- AF4LB KF4IBU K3WWP K3RLL KE3HL K9EYT W4HH AF4PD W8VFM W4ISI W8CNJ KD8HES W9UX 8-15-11 AF4LB - 8- AF4LB N9RLO WB4UHC K9EYT W8TAF WX4RM K1IEE KE3HL
NAQCC East Texas QRS Net (ETN)Monday evenings 1900 CDST local time which is Tuesday 0000Z on 7121 kHz. Main NCS - Allen KA5TJS
Date(UTC) NCS Participants 8-2-11 KA5TJS -5- KA5TJS KE5YUM KE5YGA W5IQS KF4IBU 8-9-11 ka5tjs -3- ka5tjs kf4ibu ke5yga 8-15-11 KA5TJS -6- KA5TJS K4EAY KF4IBU W5IQS KE5YUM KE5YGA
NAQCC Rocky Mtn Regional/Continental QRS net (RMR)Thursday afternoons 1400 MDST local time which is Thursday 2000Z on 14062.5 kHz.
Main NCS - Dale Putnam WC7S
Date(UTC) NCS Participants
NAQCC East Coast QRS Net (ECN)Thursday evenings 2130 EDST local time which is Friday 0130Z on 7041 kHz.
Main NCS - Dan AF4LB
Date(UTC) NCS Participants 8-5-11 AF4LB -4- AF4LB KD8HES W4NA KE3HL 8-12-11 AF4LB -4- AF4LB N4JD W4NA/P KB3LGO 8-19-11 AF4LB -5- AF4LB W4NA W4ISI W5IQS WX4RM
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 8-5-11 KE7LKW -4- K7ALG KE7LKW K7ZNP N6KIX 8-12-11 KE7LKW -5- K7ALG KE7LKW K7ZNP N6KIX N6GND 8-19-11 KE7LKW -3- K7ALG KE7LKW K7ZNP 8-26-11 KE7LKW -4- K7ALG KE7LKW K7ZNP N6KIXIf 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 until someone comes forward to help out.
When we get on CW, a top priority should be making it as easy as possible for the ham we are working to copy us and understand what we are saying. That can be done by paying attention to the following things among others we won't delve into this time.
1. Be sure you are sending as close to perfect CW as physically possible. As we get older and hands get shaky, it may not be possible to be absolutely perfect, but strive to be as good as you can. It is much easier to copy good CW than sloppy CW. That is especially true for newcomers to CW to whom our CW Assistance program is mainly addressed.
2. Be sure your signal is as clean and crisp and drift-free as possible. I'm sure you know from trying to copy a chirpy drifting signal that it is much harder than copying a rock-steady perfectly keyed signal. This is especially true for QRP signals, and unfortunately some dedicated QRP rigs, especially when run from battery power, do have problems with chirp and drift that increase as the batteries drain.
3. Send your info in a logical sequence, especially the first round. Again it is easier to copy something if you have a clue what is coming next. Get in the habit of making that first round something like these two examples of K3WWP working X2XXX. The first when K3WWP gets an answer to his CQ, and the second when K3WWP answers someone else's CQ, and that person has sent his info.
X2XXX DE K3WWP GM TNX CALL UR 579 579 IN KITTANNING PA KITTANNING PA NAME JOHN JOHN HW? AR X2XXX DE K3WWP
X2XXX DE K3WWP GM TOM UR 579 579 IN KITTANNING PA KITTANNING PA NAME JOHN JOHN HW? AR X2XXX DE K3WWP
DE means FROM
GM is Good Morning. Use GM, GA (afternoon), GE (evening) as appropriate.
UR is short for yoU aRe.
HW? short for HoW do you copy?.
AR is A and R run together and means the end of my transmission, now it's your turn.
Many beginning CW ops make up 'cue cards' with the exchanges printed on them which they use until the sequency becomes second nature.
4. Avoid the use of unusual abbreviations and stick to the common ones like WX for Weather, GM for Good Morning, PSE for PleaSE, AGN for AGaiN, etc. See here for a list of many of the common ones. It's nice to be brief, but unusual abbreviations can confuse the person you are working and possibly cause him to lose words following the abbreviation while trying to figure out what you are trying to say.
There's a lot more you can do to help the other fellow. I hope you'll add your two cents worth to the mix of things.
5. RECENT AWARD AND PRIZE WINNERS:
#0009 - KB3AAG 8/12/11
#0109 - AF3Z 7/4/11
#0110 - NW2K 7/29/11
#0111 - VE3EBN 8/18/11
#0112 - VE3EBN 8/18/11
#0113 - K4KRW 8/18/11
#0006 - NW2K 7/24/11
0014 - VE3EBN Jun 2011 8/16/11
0015 - VE3EBN Aug 2011 8/16/11
0016 - W9UX Aug 2011 8/24/11
0006 - VE3EBN May, Jun, Aug 2011 8/16/11
ENDORSEMENTS and/or WEB SITE LISTINGS:
600 POINTS - NW2K 7/25/11
300 POINTS - KB3AAG 8/12/11
400 POINTS - KB3AAG 8/12/11
KMPW Honor Roll SWA Category
849 1000MPW QSOs 7/30/11
Alphabet Prefix Honor Roll USA
76 PREFIXES - WB0QQT 8/8/11
It's so wonderful to see all the new awards and endorsements issued recently. Awards are an excellent way to show off to the ham radio world just how well CW works and how popular it still is. Every time you earn an award, it adds to our collective voice shouting out that message. Doing it with QRP makes it even all that louder a statement. It would be much too easy to earn all the above awards using a KW or even 100 watts. Your earning them with QRP shows just how great an operator you are, and we congratulate each and every one of you listed above as well as all those who've earned our awards since the club's inception back in 2004.
Special congratulations to Frank KB3AAG who became only the 9th member of our Friendship Club and now has his award endorsed for the 400 points level as well. One of the main purposes of ham radio is to provide fellowship among folks who are interested in radio communications. Every time you contact someone it is important to help that person in some way and/or share your time in fellowship with him. Our FC Award recognizes that by providing different point levels for QSOs. When you really have true fellowship on the air with someone by going beyond the trite RST-QTH-NAME-RIG-WX type QSO, we give you 4 points for that QSO. If you work someone in a contest or sprint you are helping them develop their CW skills so we give 2 points for those kind of QSOs. Any other type of QSO is worth one point. Even if you work someone who was not a member at the time of the QSO, but joined since, we give you one point for that. Oh, and for no particular reason we give you 5 points for working our NAQCC club stations, be it KB3MQT (no longer active), N3AQC, or any of our N#A special event stations.
I was doing some log study to see if I could win the HBR CD prize by having worked 50 members since May 1st 2011. It's easy to do such things with my Microsoft Access log, and I found that I had actually worked 141 different members in that time frame. So I get the prize which I will re-donate to be given again when I am finished with it.
Afterwards it occured to me that since over half of those 141 member QSOs were sprint ones worth 2 points, I could have easily gotten the Friendship Club Award in just under 4 months, had I not already earned the award before. So it is not at all that hard to earn, and I don't understand why more members don't apply for it. Really all you need to do if you're active in our sprints is to combine all your sprint logs, eliminate all the duplicate member QSOs, count how many unique members you've worked, and if it is 100 or more, you send the list to Rick AA4W and presto, you are now eligible to add FC## after your membership number in your ham radio communications. With that long sentence, I close this section for this month.
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.
Dick Thompson K2HT #3727
When I was a teenager a neighbor gave me an old Philco radio which had short wave bands. I started listening to SW and heard 2 local hams W5ISP and K0ACK. I contacted these 2 hams and immediately they became my elmers. Both gentlemen are now silent keys but they made a permanent mark on my life by instilling in me a love for ham radio.
I received my novice ticket May 12, 1960 callsign KN0AHL, General 1961, Advanced 1969, Extra 1990, and picked up a 3rd Class Commerical Radio telgraph 1969. Other callsigns have been K0AHL, N8BQF, KI4KR, and now K2HT.
My first station was a BC-348R receiver, Ameco AC-1 transmitter, J-38 key, and wire antennas. In 10 months as a novice I worked 40 states, VE3, XE1, and KH6 running about 8-10 watts input.
Current QRP rigs are TenTec Argonaut 515, Century 21, 4020, MFJ 9030, 9040, rare MFJ 40T and matching VFO, 4 State QRP NS40, and Kenwood TS-570.
I enjoy building and experimenting with wire antennas. Currently using an 80M Loop, 40-10 OCF Dipole, 10M Half Square, wire verticals, various dipoles and more on the drawing board.
My wire antennas have helped me work DXCC, WAC, and WAS. Hardest award obtained was DXCC on 80 meters.
My wife, Elsie and I have been married 46 years. I still use the vibroplex bug she gave me the first Christmas we were married. We have one daughter.
I graduated from Hannibal LaGrange College and Central Methodist University. I have worked in the refractories industry for almost 40 years.
My elmers encouraged me to help others obtain their amateur radio license. I have elmered nine young men who have made me very proud. It has been my honor to be associated with this great fraternity for more than 50 years.
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. Examples might include, but not limited to, antenna projects, QRP and/or SDR equipment, tuners, battery technology, keyers, logging, or other related topic of interest to the QRP community.
Send your news items and articles to our news editor Paul KD2MX at . Deadline for submitting news items for the next newsletter is Sep 15. 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 the highlight of my ham radio activities since last time I had an item here was calling CQ on 40 meters and being answered by ZS1JX in South Africa which is a somewhat hard country for me to work normally. However this time Peter and I had a solid QSO lasting almost 10 minutes. It could have gone even longer, but honestly I was so shocked and awed that I couldn't think of much to say. HI. Now I just hope it was a legit QSO and not someone bootlegging the call. Several other stations reported working Peter on 40 meters so that's encouraging. Bootleggers don't usually hang around for long. Peter was using a Beverage antenna for receiving so it's very possible he could copy my QRP signals virtually solidly as he did.
Of course there was another highlight also. Our portable operation at Community Park with Mike and Don as described and pictured in the Western Pennsylvania Chapter section above. Actually the operation is what led to the formation of the WPA Chapter as told elsewhere.
From Keith KB8FE #1542 - I recently made another morse key that I use with my keyer in the 'bug mode'. Maybe others would have an interest in this single arm 'style'. I refer to it as my 'Japanese Letter Opener Key' simply because that is a good description of it. But of most interest is that it is a very simple yet very (in my opinion) beautiful key ... almost like a piece of furniture. The 'look' definitely makes it stand out among my other keys, especially my home made keys.
I was inspired to try something with this 'style' after seeing some very beautiful Japanese furniture on the internet. I tried to incorporate into the key some of the attributes that I liked. I have looked many times on the internet and have not seen anything like the morse key I made. So I am assuming this might be a 'first' in terms of morse key design. I have plans for making additional keys based on this same 'style' and incorporating some attractive variations.
The photo below is also shown on my web page http://www.qrz.com/db/kb8fe along with more discussion but I have included it here so that you can see what I am writing about. This key is so attractive that I tend to stare at it while I am using it. I am amazed it turned out so nice on the very first attempt. Construction is rather straight forward and maybe the simplicity of the 'style', the resulting look and the ease of construction will appeal to some of our members and inspire them to construct similar keys and bring them to our attention.
From Don K3RLL #1905 - YAK? - Yet Another Keyer?
Some hams collect beautiful, fine crafted straight keys and/or paddles, and most of us have seen some of them that inspire lust and admiration. Some of us, however, tend to ..., well not really collect, but rather, let's say "accumulate", small keyers. There is something about a twenty dollar project that works well, is useful and can consume an inordinate amount of time per dollar spent.
I plan to review a sampling of simple keyers in upcoming newsletters and will start off with the AA0ZZ EZKeyer. I will also attempt to provide a somewhat reasonable rationale for adding at least one of these keyers to your station.
Essentially all modern, commercial transceivers have built-in keyers these days. All Elecraft transceivers offer built-in memory keyers at no additional cost. However, a lot of the more modest QRP transceivers, or older units, lack an internal keyer. With the goal of avoiding unnecessary bulk and weight for your portable station in particular, any of the following small units offer not only a highly portable external keyer that can be used with multiple rigs, but offer the memory, and often the very helpful "beacon" mode for calling CW. This 'beacon' feature is one learned from my initial visit with John, K3WWP, #002, and it didnt take me long to follow his example. I have grown to appreciate such features in using these simple memory keyers with my Small Wonders Lab 20 and SWL 30 meter transceivers, the NorCal 2N2240, and my old HW-7. Such a project is a great asset for radios such as the newer FT-817, which, although equipped with an internal keyer, does not have a memory keyer. Our NAQCC Sprints and similar events are a lot more enjoyable with a memory keyer, particularly one with beacon mode capability.
As a fund-raising project of the Four States QRP Club, the AA0ZZ EZKeyer($17) is an easy kit that provides three memories and a paddle input command structure. All documentation is provided on the Four States website including templates and instructions for mounting in the obligatory Altoids tin.
The PCB for this easy project, ideal for first-time builders, assembles in about an hour. Everything is provided in this kit except the tin, the downloadable documentation and the Radio Shack push buttons shown in the photo above. Someone, and we won't mention any names, wasn't sufficiently careful gluing in the provided micro pushbuttons and therefore needed to replace them with the units shown. You won't be so careless, I'm sure. Packaging, as with many of these small projects, can consume a good bit more time then the actual kit, depending upon your creativity and expertise. Besides the enjoyment of building a helpful ham accessory, many of us enjoy the opportunity to help fund other QRP clubs as well.
From Terry KE5YUM #3102 - Let me say how much I enjoy our Monday night East Texas Net with Allen KA5TJS #4512 as net control. On August 15, Allen had 5 checkins, mostly all at one time. It sounds like we were all poised and waiting for QNI! Nor were these all from Texas. I heard Arkansas, Texas, Florida, and I believe Kentucky. If you are not a part of a net, please check in to one as you have the time.
On another note, propagation has been good on 30 meters. I recently worked IK2SND for my third 1000 MPW award.
From Brian WB9TPA #0616 - Starting in September 2011, I will be looking for contacts on every NAQCC Activity Day.
09/10/11, 28.060 MHz
09/12/11, 24.906 MHz
09/17/11, 18.080 MHz
09/23/11, 1.810 MHz
09/30/11, 10.116 MHz
I plan to check the band for openings throughout the day, and this isn't intended to be a 24 hour marathon. Just a fun day of QRP contacts, I hope some one else from the club can join me. 73, Brian
From Dan NI9Y #1060 - During International Lighthouse Weekend August 20-21, 2011, the Indiana QRP Adventure Radio Group pictured below L-R, Dan NI9Y (NAQCC #1060), Barry WD4MSM (NAQCC #0621), Charles KC9PRJ (NAQCC #5512), Keith WA9S (nm), and (not shown - taking the picture?) Bob KB9IVA (NAQCC #1487), was able to "give" two lighthouse numbers to contacts (US0121 and US0122) because we were on the grounds of the two lighthouses - both the Inner and Outer North Pier Lights in St. Joseph, Michigan!
The weather was rainy driving up but cleared up for several hours giving us plenty of operating time. Then the sky darkened and big lightning strikes thundered overhead. We packed up in the nick of time before the heavy downpour. We all had a great time using batteries and portable antennas. The NI9Y antenna was a Par-Electronics EFT-20 meter end-fed half-wave dipole. The rig was a Kenwood TS-50 and AT-50 auto tuner. Keith WA9S and Barry WD4MSM used their Buddy dipoles. WA9S used a Hendricks PFR-3A, and WD4MSM had a ICOM-703 plus. Charles KC9PRJ used an Alinco DX-70 and LDG AT-100 Pro auto-tuner into a homebrew ham stick 40 meter dipole. Bob, KB9IVA, was on standby with his ICOM-703 Plus and CF Zepp Antenna. Many contacts were made despite the several non-lighthouse contests underway. 20 meters was the most popular band due to high atmospheric noise from the rolling thunderstorms hovering over the lighthouses.
Despite the severe thundershower the skies opened up for a two hours to give us a fun Saturday. Afterward we had lunch together and left for our QTH's in South Bend, Mishawaka, and Plymouth, Indiana.
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