pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

Oct 8, 2011NAQCC Web Site Issue #152

In this issue:
1. October Sprint
2. September Challenge Results
3. General Club News
3a. Chapter News
4. CW Assistance Project
4a. NAQCC QRS Nets
5. CW Cartoon of the Month
6. Member Spotlight
7. News Items and Articles by Our Members

A calendar listing operating times and frequencies for all ten N#A special event stations during our anniversary week of October 10-16 can be found at http://naqcc.info/main_n3a_calendar.html

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1. OCTOBER SPRINT: Now that the NAQCC Sprint Train is back on track with 107 logs for our September sprint, let's keep it running and even speed it up a bit. Let's shoot for 110-120 or more logs this month.

This is a special sprint occuring during our NAQCC 7th Anniversary Week, and we hope to have all 10 of our special event calls N1A, N2A....N9A, N0A active in the sprint with a special certificate to those who work all 10 calls in the sprint or if no one gets them all, then to the one(s) who works the most different ones. It's really going to be hc152 (1K) an extra special fun sprint this month. A good time for you to enter if you've never tried a sprint before. And if you do, don't forget to send in a log. It's a snap if you use the GenLog program for the sprint, either during the sprint or afterwards to transfer your paper log into what is needed to submit your report.

If you need the GenLog program, it's available at http://www.qsl.net/w3km/. It's totally freeware.

So come on join in the fun and the celebration this coming Tuesday evening, October 11 at 8:30P EDT, 7:30P CDT, 6:30P MDT, 5:30P PDT which in all cases convert to Wednesday from 0030Z to 0230Z. Then send in your logs and keep me busy processing them the next few days.

With the popularity of our sprints it is becoming necessary to spread out our activity a bit more than the frequencies listed in the rules. That's perfectly OK, but don't stray overly far or you may not be found. Also avoid other scheduled activities when you do so - other contests/sprints, nets, code practice, etc.

Remember to be sure to read and understand the full general sprint rules and any specific rules for this month's sprint here.

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2. SEPTEMBER CHALLENGE RESULTS: Our Back to School alphabet challenge continued the popularity of our alphabet challenges. The deadline is still a couple days off for submitting results, but we already have 10 reports in. There are some impressive DX contacts listed in several of those reports indicating the bands are becoming better and better as sunspot cycle 24 finally gets better organized.

Full Challenge results can always be found here.

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pix_blueball (1K) - It is our sad duty to report the passing of NAQCC member #2915 Phillip Rand W7BW of Klamath Falls, OR. Our sympathies go to his family and friends.

pix_blueball (1K) - Here's the latest updated list of those who've signed up to help us out with our October anniversary celebration by using one of our 10 N#A special event calls the week of Monday October 10 through Sunday October 16. Complete guidelines have been sent to all 33 operators listed below. A call in red indicates that person will operate N#A in our sprint that week. None of the ops listed in the W3, W4, and W6 area are able to operate the sprint so we are recruiting someone from those areas to do the job.

So far we've gotten Joe K4NVJ as the N4A operator for the sprint. He was the earliest dated email reply. Larry NU4B also was interested but his email came after Joe's. John K4BAI would have liked to do it, but he has another engagement that evening.

Still waiting to hear from the W3 and W6 areas. I'd do N3A myself, but I'd sooner have someone else have all the fun.

More info on the celebration can be found at http://naqcc.info/main_n3a.html.

A calendar listing operating times and frequencies for all the N#A stations can be found at http://naqcc.info/main_n3a_calendar.html

Remember conditions should be the best they have been for any of our previous anniversary celebrations with the Sun finally coming alive this year. It should be a real bang-up celebration. Don't you want to be a part of it?

pix_blueball (1K) - Since this is one of our closely spaced newsletters due to the timing of our sprint, this is a smaller than usual newsletter. We'll have more club news next issue including a history of the NAQCC for the first 7 years of our existence.

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 (Oct 29) 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.

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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 self-governing 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.

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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://naqcc-eu.org/

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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 pix_email_wd0k (1K).

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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/

The East Texas QRS Net (ETN) is meeting each Monday evening at 1900 CDST (2400 UTC) on 7121 KHz. Since the move to 40m, Allen, KA5TJS #4512 (NCS) has had check-ins from as far away as Florida. The ETN net is open to all comers, not just stations in the Texas area, so if you hear the net in session please check-in. Watch for the next NAQCC Net e-mail for the latest information.

The net sometimes encounters QRM on the primary frequency of 7121 KHz, so when necessary the NCS will QSY to the nearest clear frequency. The QSY range has been changed from 7121 - 7124 KHz to 7120 - 7124 KHz. Please be sure to tune around if you don't hear KA5TJS on 7121 KHz.

The October NAQCC Sprint is next Tuesday evening, October 11th. We would like to see a strong turnout from Texas members. This event is becoming very popular so why not join the fun? See http://naqcc.info/contests.html for the complete details.

Remember that all NAQCC members located in Texas are automatically members of the Texas Chapter. We would love to hear from you about any of your recent ham activities, new QRP rig or antenna.

You can find the NAQCC Texas Chapter website at http://www.naqcctx.com/.

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Items in this section are from John K3WWP unless otherwise credited.
Questions or comments should go to pix_email_naqcc (1K)
All chapter news can be found ONLY here in this section of the newsletter.

Mike KC2EGL, John K3WWP, and perhaps Tom WY3H will be conducting an 'anniversarypedition' in the Kittanning PA community park on Monday October 10 to put N3A on the air. Times and frequencies will be listed on the N#A calendar page mentioned elsewhere in this newsletter. We hope to work you on Monday!

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Items in this section are from CW Assistance Project Coordinator Ron K5DUZ (L) unless otherwise credited.
If you are interested in helping out or need help with any CW and/or QRP matters contact:
K5DUZ - pix_email_k5duz (1K)

Ron has become involved in another work project and will be unavailable to write info for this section for a while. If you would like to write something that you feel will be helpful to our members in learning CW or improving CW skills, please feel free to do so.

Gary K1YAN sent in some great info about operating QRPp for this issue of the newsletter. What he says is virtually identical to the way I (K3WWP) do my QRPp operating very successfully. Thanks Gary.

QRPp is a different level of operating challenge. You can ragchew, work DX and even break the occasional pileup but it takes a bit more skill, effort and good timing to reap results.

Lets do the math. Our 5 watt, QRP signal is 13 dB, or about 2 S units, below a 100 watt signal. Going from 5 watts, to a 1000 mW, "QRPp gallon", we are down another 7 dB, leaving us a little more than 3 S units below the 100 watt signal. Put another way, our QRPp reply to a 599 signal from a 100 watt station will be a little less than S6 ; our reply to a S6 signal will be around S3. With this in mind, trying to dig 'em out of the noise is likely to be a pretty unproductive effort unless you are chasing another QRP or QRPp station.

Given my choice of answering a CQ or calling one at QRPp power, I would pick answering one. It seems to be, that a station will more often answer a weak call directed to them, rather than initiate contact with a weak CQ. Picking your time and place is also a rather obvious way to stack the deck in your favor. A kHz or two above the standard QRP calling frequencies is often a good spot to be and 40m during the daytime hours offers a lot of wide open space for local QRPp contacts.

If you are the kind of operator who likes to set goals, QRPp can be a lot of fun. Five band WAS or DXCC may be a bit grand, but things like the NAQCC October challenge or the Lower 48 Worked All States award might be just the thing. I worked one station in New York who was running a 20 mW rig and had the goal of working all states east of the Mississippi River. At the time, he was within 3 or 4 states of realizing that goal.

If you don't have a rig that will run QRPp, give an RF attenuator a try. A simple T or pi resistor network will fill the bill nicely. You do not need to switch it in and out of the line as you go from transmit to receive. The attenuation can be offset in receive with the preamplifiers that are usually found in a full size transceiver. For five watts input to an attenuator the table below relates dB attenuation and mW power output.

     dB    Power	
      7     990	
      8     790	
      9     630	
     10     500	
The attenuator shown below is built using all 100 ohm, 1 watt resistors, available from Radio Shack. It provides about 550 mW of output when driven with 5 watts. I built mine by wrapping the resistor leads and soldering them, then mounting the assembly on a sheet of PC board. Two coax connectors support the network and the grounds are just soldered to the board. It is open on a single sheet of board since it was built as an experiment to see how it would play. To date it has not been boxed up but really should be. Credit for this circuit should go to N5ESE ( www.n5ese.com/atten.htm ).
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A search of the internet will provide references for other values, to provide different levels of attenuation. For those not wanting to scratch build, there is a step attenuator kit available at www.midnightscience that attenuates 5 watts to various QRPp levels. I have not tried this kit, just saw it in QST. There is a review on youTube for this unit that you should see before you buy ( KIT REVIEW: Xtal Set Society QRP Step Attenuator & Dummy Load Kit ).

I hope to see you one of these days for a QRPp to QRPp contact.

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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: pix_email_af4lb (1K)

Now our NAQCC QRS Nets schedule and activity report:

Sunday evenings local time which is Monday 0000Z on 7041 kHz.
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
NAQCC ET QRS Net (East Texas)
Monday evenings local time, which is Tuesday 0000Z on 7121 kHz.
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
NAQCC Rocky Mtn Regional/Continental QRS net (RMR)
Thursday afternoons 1400 MDST local time which is Thursday 2000Z on 14062.5 kHz.
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
NAQCC EC QRS Net (East Coast)
Thursday evenings local time which is Friday 0130Z on 7041 kHz.
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
NAQCC PNW QRS Net (Pacific NorthWest)
Thursday evenings local time which is Friday 0200Z on 3574 kHz.
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
All frequencies are +/- QRM.

For more net info, see CW Assistance/QRS Nets on the web site.

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Let's take a comedy and/or nostalgia break now courtesy of Dick Sylvan W9CBT NAQCC #2062. Dick has been a long-time QRP/CW operator. One of his many talents is being a cartoon artist. Dick's cartoons appear monthly in the K9YA Telegraph, a free ham radio eZine, where he is staff cartoonist. The NAQCC is very honored to reprint Dick's cartoons originally published in the K9YA Telegraph. Dick has also authored a book entitled "Hi Hi - A Collection of Ham Radio Cartoons" available via his web site. A new cartoon has appeared in each of our even-numbered newsletters ever since their debut in Issue #058, November 17, 2007.
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This section is managed by Paul N8XMS and any questions about it should go to pix_email_n8xms (1K). Paul selects members at random and asks them if they would like to be featured in the Member Spotlight in the newsletter.
Giles Henderson W9JVW #1885

Picture of W9JVW

I started hamming as W7INI at age 13 in Montana. I have always preferred CW and now operate QRP with a HW-8 from a yurt located in remote woods on the Embarras River in east central Illinois. As of now I have confirmed QSOs with 86 countries with 2 watts to a vertical antenna

I am a retired professor with research interests in pulsed molecular beam microwave spectroscopy. My hobbies have included spelunking and scuba diving. I have been a pilot for more than 50 years. I have enjoyed many years of flying competition and airshow aerobatics and have recently started skydiving.

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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 October 27. 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've been busy doing the groundwork for our anniversary celebration so not much news from me. Our WPA Chapter will be putting N3A on the air on Columbus Day Monday the 10th as told in the WPA Chapter news above. I'm looking forward to that and the weather looks to be beautiful with abundant sunshine warming the temperature to the mid-70s. I hope to work you then.

pix_blueball (1K) From Don KE7OJV #2927 - Well, I did some moving around with my QRP rig, a TenTec R-2040. First I was in Alaska in the spring for a couple months, but was not able to put up a good antenna and made no contacts at all. Then I moved to Rabat, Morocco, where I will be for two years. After getting my Moroccan call, (CN2JV), I clamped my portable vertical to the rail of my deck and with four watts I have made contacts with Romania, England, and Italy. I could have made more but the noise level is very high in the city and my CW speed is not very fast. I got a mag mount for the car and drove to the beach where the QRN was much less but spent my time making some higher power SSB contacts, all on 20 meters. I will be spending more time at the beach, as it is nice to be able to hear the weaker stations.

pix_blueball (1K) From Jerry VE6CPP #5697 - Earl, VA6RF #1547, was involved in a head-on collision with a pickup truck while traveling on the highway on his motorcycle. He also collided with a fellow rider(a 73yr old non-ham, I believe). Both survived the collision. I do not know the particulars of the entire accident. A fellow ham, who was telling me, was a few hundred yards ahead of Earl and the other rider, and said all he saw in his rearview mirror was metal and plastic parts in the air.

Earl and the other rider were flown by STARS Rescue helicopter to Calgary where they both remained in ICU for a few weeks but have since been moved into the Trauma Unit. Earl lost a leg but is progressing every day! I imagine the rehab after he is better will be quite lengthy but to survive a head-on collision on a motorcycle at highway speeds is amazing! Reports are that Earl seems to be doing very well considering.

Club email address - pix_email_naqcc (1K)

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Past on-line newsletters beginning with issue #042 are now archived on the site. So if you missed seeing any past issues, you can check them out in the archives.

Unless otherwise credited, all items are written by K3WWP.

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