pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

Oct 29, 2011NAQCC Web Site Issue #153

In this issue:
1. November Challenge
2. October Sprint Results
3. General Club News
4. Chapter News
5. NAQCC Nets
6. CW Assistance (Elmer) Project
7. Latest Award and Prize Winners
8. Member Spotlight
9. News Items and Articles by Our Members

1. NOVEMBER CHALLENGE: Way back in November 2004 shortly after the NAQCC was formed by WY3H and K3WWP in mid-October, club President Tom WY3H came up with the idea of having some sort of monthly challenge to help increase CW activity on the bands. The very first challenge was the Thanksgiving Challenge in which the club challenged its members (just a few hundred at that time) to make the word TURKEY from letters in the calls of stations they worked during the month. There were only 3 hams who took part in that first challenge. Actually we called them 'Events' at that time. They didn't evolve into 'Challenges' until some time later. Those participants were K3WWP, K2EKM, and K4CHT. The Thanksgiving challenge became a tradition repeated each November with a bigger and slightly different word list each year. This is the 8th running of the challenge this year. The record for number of 'challenge masters' for a Thanksgiving challenge is 17 in 2007. Let's break that this year. With the best propagation conditions since the NAQCC was formed, it should be easy to master the challenge this year. If you've never tried a challenge, we invite you to do so this month. There is a tutorial that applies to any of our alphabet challenges if you need it.

Now finish reading the newsletter, then head to the challenge rules pages here to see any other details, perhaps check out the alphabet challenge tutorial, and to make final plans for the challenge. Also check the prizes page here to see what prizes may be involved this month.

pix_newsletterline_new (2K)

2. OCTOBER SPRINT RESULTS: With the incentive of having our 10 special event calls active in the October sprint, we had hoped to make this a record-setting sprint. That didn't happen, but our numbers continue to be impressive. Now it is 18 of the last 19 sprints we've gone over the 100 log mark with 107 this month.

Our 10 N#A operators did break one record as they made a total of 302 QSOs breaking last year's record of 254. We thank N1DN, NW2K, AF3Z, K4NVJ, W5YDM, WA6ES, WD8KRV, AC8AP, W9UX, and KC0PMH for their great work in the sprint.

And now let's get to the stats. They are impressive if not record setting.

Total QSO's1854206920699/11
Hour 1 QSO's985108510859/11
Hour 2 QSO's8699849849/11
20M QSO's53570810006/10
40M QSO's1185134813489/11
80M QSO's134139271/11
Avg QSO's per stn17.319.319.39/11

SWA Category
Other Categories
GainK6JSS/4 (N4BP)
First time entrant
high scorer
Paddle/bug handle
K1/K2 knob insert

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 add to our voice shouting the praises of CW and QRP to 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 equally important.

This month 18 stations who didn't submit a log showed up 5 to 29 times in the 107 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:

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.

GOLDEN LOG's were submitted by 41 of 107 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:


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

Full sprint info here.

pix_newsletterline_new (2K)


pix_blueball (1K) - Sadly, our 7th anniversary operation is over now, but we can start looking forward to the 8th anniversary in October 2012. We thank each and every one of our 35 members who signed up to help out as N#A operators. A couple had to drop out because of health or other reasons. A couple others due to circumstances beyond their control were able to operate only briefly and only made a couple QSOs. However, this was a team effort and we consider all 35 to be an equal part of the success hc153 (1K) of the operation. We are only listing team totals, and not individual totals in these stats we present now. We've listed stats from 2010 and 2009 for comparison. The totals are not complete this year as we are still waiting for a report from a few operators.

Stat:           2011    2010    2009
Total QSOs:      849     840     830
States:          All      48      45
Provinces:         6       3       6
DX Entities:      45      13      15
2XN#A QSOs:       24      49      58
Sprint QSOs:     302     254     128
QSOs by band (not tabulated in 2009)
160                0       3       
80                21     127
40               301     573
30               105      42
20               268      74
17                 5       9
15                33       7
12                11       4
10                40       1
State logged by most different ops:
2011 - GA by 13 of 35 ops
2010 - IN, PA by 15 of 30 ops
2009 - PA by 20 of 27 ops
pix_blueball (1K) - We had hoped to update our club history and present it here in this issue, but time did not allow that. So we invite you to take a look at our previous newsletter special edition from 2008 that featured the club history to that point. In a later newsletter, we'll update the history since then. Click here for the history issue.

pix_blueball (1K) - We don't like to mention finances and haven't done so in a newsletter for a very long time now. However it is a fact that there are expenses involved in the club's operation. To mention a couple, our web site hosting and domain name, and buying prizes to give away and postage to mail those prizes. Since we dropped our award fees, that left only one source of income for the club - donations from our members. Those donations have slowed to a crawl lately, probably due to the sad state of the USA economy the past 3 years. If you can spare a couple bucks, check the main page of the club web site near the bottom to see how you can make a donation. Thanks very much.

pix_blueball (1K) - Just our usual quick reminder we're continuing with the hidden call sign idea originally suggested by Bill KB3XS. It amazes (and disappoints) me that apparently a lot of members have no interest in reading the newsletter. Of 59 different members who've been a hidden call, only 7 have found their call. It's been almost a year now since our last winner. Let's explain the concept again. 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 (Nov 12) 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.

pix_newsletterline_new (2K)


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.

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/

pix_sm_wd0k (9K)pix_sm_k0hjc (11K)
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) or pix_email_k0hjc (1K).

Greetings from Rich, WD0K #664 here in the "Land of Sky Blue Waters" and one large Black Hole!

Well, the hole shrank a little bit this month as the MN ops of the NAQCC put N0A on the air. Speaking for my station only; the total number of QSOs broke down as follows: sixteen on 30 meters and seven on 40 meters for a total of 23.

T32C been all the rage here for part of this month as QRPers strived to get in the log book. Bob, K9OSC #3894 worked T32C on five bands QRP. Keith, K0HJC #3976 got them on ten meters on his first try at 7:10 in the evening. The Saturday night was a zoo working split and it was not to be for my station. The next evening I found them calling CQ, and I was in, first try.

Speaking of T32C, I take my hat off in appreciation for a well done and successful adventure. The OPs were first class in setting up their sked, web site, and QSL information.

On Sept 21st we had our monthly gathering with five NAQCC members along with three spouses in attendance. We had a good time recalling events and catching up with each other's list of fall chores. The gals enjoyed discussing the latest additions to the NY Times Best Seller list. We had a fun time.

Our SSB rag chew is at 1400 GMT on 3.707. All are welcome.

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/

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.

Conditions for the net have been very good of late with strong signals and minimal QRM, so give Allen a call if you hear him. Remember to tune around a bit if there is QRM on 7121 KHz.

The October NAQCC Sprint, held Tuesday evening, October 11th, saw Texas Chapter members Evan W5IQS #3924, Curt KB5JO #1998 and Rondel N5NK #5484 scoring points. The November Sprint will be on Wednesday evening, Nov. 16th (USA time). If you haven't worked the Sprint before, give it a try.

Remember that all NAQCC members located in Texas (337 at last count) 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.

pix_arrl_wpa_section (4K)
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.

Remember any NAQCC member residing in any of the blue counties on the map above is a member of the WPA chapter and welcome to report their QRP/CW activities as a NAQCC WPA Chapter activity. Encourage your NAQCC friends in the area to join in those activities, and perhaps get together in person for a portable operation, a kit building session, or anything else as Mike KC2EGL, Don K3RLL (when he's up north for the late spring through early fall), Tom WY3H, and John K3WWP do many times each year. In person fellowship is a great way to get to know your fellow members much better, and is vastly superior to all of this crappy Internet "socializing" going on these days.

Mike KC2EGL and John K3WWP put N3A on the air on Monday of NAQCC anniversary week from the Kittanning Community Park as they do each year in October. We had hoped to also have Tom WY3H with us, but something came up at the last minute and he was unable to join us. For a change, the weather was absolutely perfect just as if we had made it to order. Mike started off like Gangbusters on 30 meters while John had a slow start on 20 meters, but came on strong near the end. We wound up with 25 QSOs and will be sending a picture QSL to each of the stations we worked. It may take a little time to get the cards prepared and sent so please be patient.

Now some pictures of the guilty parties with captions by Mike.

pix_153_n3a_001 (96K)
Me KC2EGL operating what was at the time my Elecraft K-2. It now belongs to John.
I will be replacing both radios with the new Elecraft KX-3.

pix_153_n3a_002 (96K)
John K3WWP operating what was at the time my Elecraft KX-1. It now belongs to John.

pix_153_n3a_003 (83K)
John K3WWP and myself Mike KC2EGL during the NAQCC anniversary event N3A at the Kittanning Community Park.

pix_newsletterline_new (2K)

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)

Have you ever had so much fun that you could not stand it? Well, that's what is happening to me and I want to share the fun! I'm looking for someone to take over the NQN net, the NAQCC flagship of our QRS nets. The requirements are simple: 1) be a NAQCC member. 2) have the desire to give back to the hobby in a way that someone helped you and 3) have an hour or so a week to ear mark for the net. Once the net is done just send me the list of checkins and I will take care of the rest. Our nets are growing and are covering a pretty good area of the country now. We now have the Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountain Region, East Texas and the central east coast covered. My goal is to expand into the Northeast and Southeast areas and this would be a grand opportunity for the expansion. If anyone is interested just email me at pix_email_af4lb (1K) and let's talk!

NAQCC NETS schedule and recent activity report:

Sunday evenings 2000 EDST local time which is Monday 0000Z on 7041 kHz.
Main NCS - Dan AF4LB

Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
10-10-11 AF4LB  -8-   AF4LB NI9Y N8IUP KE3HL KE4I K1IEE W4ISI W4HH
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
10-4-11  KA5TJS -4-   KA5TJS KE5YUM K8QI KE5YGA
10-18-11 KA5TJS -4-   KA5TJS KE5YGA W5IQS KB0ETU
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 WC7S

Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
10-13-11 WC7S   -3-   WC7S AE7CG HB9DAX
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
10-7-11  AF4LB  -2-   AF4LB K9EYT
10-14-11  NO CHECK-INS
10-20-11 AF4LB  -4-   AF4LB KB4CMF KB3ENU WX4RM
10-28-11 AF4LB  -NO CHECKINS-
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
10-7-11  KE7LKW -5-   K7ALG KE7LKW K7ZNP N6VOH N6KIX
10-14-11 KE7LKW -5-   KE7LKW K7ZNP N6KIX K7ZI K7EK
If 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.

pix_newsletterline_new (2K)

pix_sm_k5duz (13K)
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 pix_email_k5duz (1K)

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 has stepped forward for this issue, I'll offer some brief tips here. Hopefully someone will send some info for the next issue. I'm sure many of you have great tips out there that will be helpful to newcomers to CW. Don't be shy and send them in.

Let's talk briefly this issue about QRPp (less than 1 watt) operating since the high bands are now good enough to work the world with a few mW and a wet noodle for an antenna. Well, maybe not quite, but it's close.

Operating with QRPp is not all that much different than operation with 5 watts. Using a half watt is 10 DB lower than 5 watts so at 6 DB per S unit, that's less than 2 S units lower. If you were S9 (599) at 5 watts, you would be S7 (579) at the half watt level. That's the same as 50 watts vs. 5 watts. If you operate just under 1 watt (950 mW or so), that's roughly 7 DB which means only a reduction of 1 S unit.

Since you don't know what power the station you're trying to work is using, it's a good idea to call mainly the strongest stations you are hearing. If they happen to be running a KW or even 100 watts and are only S3 or S4, it's likely you will be well below their noise level with your QRPp power. That's not to say you won't be able to work a station if he is only S5 or less. They could have a superb receiving setup in a very quiet location with an excellent op at the key. Just for one example, I recently worked the T32C Dxpedition twice, once with 800 mW and once with 900 mW and they were only S5 or S6 at best here. However for the most part you probably will only be working those who have a strong signal at your QTH.

All the other advice about QRP operation such as keeping your calls short, your keying as close to perfect as possible, your antenna matched to your rig as close to 1:1 SWR as possible, etc. apply equally to QRPp.

So get on the bands and make those QRPp QSOs while the propagation is as great as it is currently. It won't always be as good and propagation is one of the main keys that unlocks QRPp QSOs.

pix_newsletterline_new (2K)



0010 - VE3FUJ 10/18/11

1000 MPW
0115 - VE3FUJ 10/18/11
0116 - VE3FUJ 10/24/11
0117 - AF4LB 10/25/11
0118 - W9UX 10/27/11

0017 - VE3EBN Sep 2011 9/25/11

30-30 MAGNUM
0007 - K1YAN 10/9/11

QSO-a-Day (One month)
2011 0003 - W9UX 10/4/11

0006 - K1YAN 10/9/11

WAC Category A (QRP)
0018 - W9UX 10/27/11

WAC Category C (QRPp)
0002 NU4B 9/30/11

WAS Category A
0014 W9UX 9/11/11
0015 N5LYJ 10/27/11


Friendship Club
700 POINTS - NW2K 9/24/11

KMPW Honor Roll SWA/Gain Category
257 - NU7T 9/2/11

10 Meters - K1YAN 10/20/11
10 Meters - K3WWP 10/27/11

From Awards Manager Rick AA4W - Bert Kruyswijk, PA1B (NAQCC # 2038), claimed our most popular award in August. The 1000 Mile Per Watt award. But Bert didn't stop at 1000 miles/watt or even 3000 miles/watt, he worked RT6A , from his home in the Netherlands, at a distance of 1584 miles while transmitting .000085 watts. This calculates to 1,863,803 miles/watt! And he has the QSL card to confirm the contact. Bert has been experimenting and operating at the Milliwatt level for quite a few years. His motto is: "As the S-meter goes up, my power goes down". He uses step attenuators on the output of his Yaesu FT-817 transceiver to give him accurate stepped outputs from 5 watts down to 5 mW. His web page http://a29.veron.nl/pa1b-07.htm tells a wonderful story of his exploits at the Milliwatt power level and he has loads of information about his homebrew attenuators at http://a29.veron.nl/pa1b.htm. Bert has set the bar for any of us to try some Milliwatt operating.

It's so wonderful to see all the new awards and endorsements issued recently. While they've now scrolled off the newsletter 2 month listing, we had a tremendous surge of new awards in August which slowed a bit in September then picked up again in October. With 'indoor' weather coming the next few months now for much of the country, that's a great time to pass the time working on earning and then applying for our club awards. 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 well CW/QRP (simple wire antennas) works as well as 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.

pix_newsletterline_new (2K)

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.
Ed Jerome N8WXL #2537

Picture of N8WXL

I served in the army signal corps as a teletype repair man in the 1960's. There was a MARS station at Ft Greely, Alaska and it was interesting as they had Collins gear and could do phone patches state side. So that was the seed that was planted for ham radio.

I married Sally and we raised 4 kids so no time for ham radio. But I did take the Tech+ test and was now N8WXL.

The kids are more or less gone. I am now 73 years old and have up graded to general class and am working on extra, but I'm not sure if I am smart enough for that test! I am using G4FON's code tutor and am at about 11 wpm good solid copy. I am working on code even though it is not a requirement any more.

I found a Kenwood TS520 that was dead and got it cheap. It's not QRP but has a great receiver, all solid state, so that is my main rig. I do not have a lot of money for ham radio so most of my station is homebrew or old boat anchors. I have a balanced tuner; homebrewed, and use folded dipoles for my antennas

I am also working on a home brew "Kent" type key, plus Jim's 2N2222 rig built large. I wanted more range and so I made a solid state VFO for the rig which dug a deep hole for me to work out of as levels did not match. The idea seemed good at the time but has cost a lot of time experimenting which for me is fun and a learning experience as well!

I am having some health problems that have required a few stays in the hospital so my QRP building has been slowed a bit.

So that is a nut shell view of N8WXL. 73 and hope to meet you on 40 meters.

Take care,
Ed Jerome

pix_newsletterline_new (2K)

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. 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 pix_email_kd2mx (1K). Deadline for submitting news items for the next newsletter is Nov 10. 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 - Some really big news here. I now have an Elecraft K2 and an Elecraft KX-1 rig (see the WPA chapter news above if you haven't already). The difference in reception with the K2 is like night and day from any other rig I have used. My local noise level has been supressed to the point where it is not much of a factor at all. The noise from my furnace is still a little annoying, but all other noise is not. I've made QSOs with the K2 on all bands so far except 160 and 6 meters. The power level ranged from 800 mW to 5 watts. It's so nice to be able to set the power in increments from 100 mW to 5 watts and not be limited to 930 mW and 5 watts as I was with my TS-480 and RF attenuator. Operation of the rig is very straightforward with everything you use frequently right there on the front panel and those things you only adjust now and then available via a menu system. At first I didn't think I'd like the RIT setup with no quick way to reset to 0 offset, but I quickly got used to it now. Split operation is simpler than the 570 or 480 in my opinion. It's hard to find anything negative about it except for a couple picky things. It would be nice to have the SWR available at a glance so I could tell if I forgot to switch antennas going from band to band in contests, etc. Actually sitting here thinking now, that's really the only minor negative I can think of. There is one more negative, but it doesn't refer to the rig itself. I really wish I had built it myself. Not that there is anything wrong with getting a second hand already built one, but I am sure I would have enjoyed the building experience, although with the limited time I could have devoted to it, it would have taken a long time to complete it.

As far as the KX-1, it's the one that Mike KC2EGL and I built as a NAQCC project a couple years ago, so I did have a hand in putting it together. So I know its inner workings better than the K2. Although I've used the KX-1 several times now in our portable operations, I haven't tried it out yet here at my home station. It will make a nice backup rig should we have a power failure or have a problem with the K2 and my TS-570D. I'll probably use the K2 as my portable rig for our Community Park operations from now on.

I would like to join Rich WD0K in commending the T32C operators for an A-1 top of the class operation. I got them very easily with no more than 1 or 2 calls on 4 bands (10,12,15,17) with two of the QSOs being with 800 mW (12) and 900 mW (10) here. Only a lack of time prevented me from getting them on 20, 30, and 40 also, as I work that part of the world easily on those bands.

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 and INDEXED 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.

If you came directly to this newsletter, we invite you now to browse the NAQCC Web Site.