pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

Nov 12, 2011NAQCC Web Site Issue #154

In this issue:
1. November Sprint
2. October Challenge Results
3. General Club News
4. Chapter News
6. CW Assistance Project
7. CW Cartoon of the Month
8. Member Spotlight
9. News Items and Articles by Our Members

1. NOVEMBER SPRINT: Because of our alternating 2nd Tuesday - 3rd Wednesday sprint schedule to accomodate those who have other activities every Tuesday or Wednesday, there is sometimes a greater separation between sprints than at other times. From October to November was such a large gap, and everyone should be chomping at the bit to get back to the action. Well, it's just a few days now. Our November sprint is this coming Wednesday evening the 16th at 8:30 PM EST, 7:30 PM CST, 6:30 PM MST, and 5:30 PM PST. Yes, we are now back on (S)tandard time now till March. That means the UTC or Z time for our sprints is now 0130-0330Z. If you run your life by local time, there is no change, but for those who may run their lives by UTC, note the change.

If that was a bit confusing for anyone, just remember Wednesday evening the 16th local time which is Thursday the 17th at 0130-0330Z. I hope to see all of you there, or if we don't cross paths in the sprint itself, I sure hope to see your log when I process hopefully at least our usual 100 of them. With the earlier onset of darkness now, outdoor activities will dwindle and there's no excuse not to join in the fun of our sprints. Don't think they are fun? Well, don't believe me, just read the soapbox comments in the past few months' results pages.

Most all who enter our sprints use the wonderful GenLog program which makes the sprints not only fun, but extremely easy to log your contacts either during or after the sprint and then submit the GenLog text log with our autologger. If you need the GenLog program, it's available at http://www.qsl.net/w3km/. It's totally freeware.

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. OCTOBER CHALLENGE RESULTS: Our mW challenges are always very popular, and this one was no exception. With the best propagation conditions since the NAQCC was founded back in 2004, it was easy to make QSOs all around the world with less than 1 watt and simple antennas. A large proportion of the QSOs you made were with DX stations on all continents. However only 9 of you reported your results for whatever reason. Those 9 are K1YAN W9UX AF4LB N8XMS K3WWP W2JEK VE3FUJ VE3HNE K1IEE. Congratulations to all of the 9 for mastering the challenge.

Full Challenge results can always be found here.

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pix_blueball (1K) - Larry NU4B thought it would be a good idea to have a special high band sprint once a year or so now that the high bands have opened up again with the true onset of sunspot cycle 24. I agreed under one condition - that he handle all the work involved - with me having to do nothing except upload the web site pages involved. He was amenable to that, and he is working on the details even as I type this. So we'll have more details soon. It will be sometime early next year, perhaps in February, and will involve at least 15 and 10 meters.

pix_blueball (1K) - We last wrote about the history of the NAQCC in October 2008, and would like to update that a bit now.

Back then we had just recently signed up member # 3,000. Now we are coming close to doubling that number with around 5,750 members. That is a trememdous number of members for any club, but even more so when you consider that to be a member, you must have an interest in both CW AND QRP. There are bigger CW clubs, but a lot of their members have no interest in QRP at all, and only operate QRO power. Also there are bigger QRP clubs, but many of their members only operate digital or voice modes. We think the NAQCC is the biggest QRP/CW club in the world now.

Our flagship activity continues to be our sprints. We think they are the most popular of any 2-hour sprints around. In April of 2010 we cracked the 100 logs barrier and have continued to have 100+ logs every month since but for one. We've had as many as 135 logs for one sprint. Even the extremely popular ARS Spartan Sprints have never achieved that level of popularity to my knowledge. Keep this in mind - for our sprints, full logs must be submitted and each log is carefully cross-checked for errors. That requires more effort than those sprints who merely ask for a QSO total with no supporting log to go with it. We don't penalize errors in the cross-check except to change a score if the error warrants that. For example if someone logs the state wrong and that reduces (or increases) the number of multipliers. Since we teach contesting with our sprints, and all big contests do require logs, we feel our method is the only way to go.

Our challenges continue to increase in popularity, although nowhere near the level of our sprints. It took 3 years before we regularly cracked the 10 reports barrier. Now there seems to be a seasonal cycle to the number of reports. During the cold weather months we average near the mid-teens, while in the warm weather months it's perhaps an average of 8-10 or so. There is also a slight dip in our December challenges as that is a busy month for just about everyone.

Our alphabet challenges seem to be among the most popular, and we have more of them than any other kind. Another very popular type are our mW challenges, especially now that propagation is the best since the club was founded in 2004.

While there are our regular participants who take part in just about every challenge, there are also many new calls showing up in the results lately. It would be nice to 'kick it up a notch' (for you Emeril Lagasse fans) and see our average participation move into the 20s.

One club activity that has really taken off under the leadership of Brian WB9TPA and now Dan AF4LB is our NAQCC QRS Nets. From one poorly attended net on Sunday evenings, we have now gone to 5 well-attended nets (with a 6th to start soon) covering a large portion of the country. We hope to continue to improve on that as the nets are excellent sources of actual on-the-air code practice at speeds comfortable to those who are just learning and getting comfortable with CW.

There's nothing to running such a net. If you would like to consider starting one in your area, contact Dan AF4LB, and he'll give you all the info.

Our awards program has also taken off during the past couple years. I would make a rough estimate that we have at least a dozen new awards, endorsements, or honor roll listings each month now. All capably handled by our Awards Manager Rick AA4W. Perhaps one reason is our dropping fees for the awards and sending out certificates by email instead. That leads to the next item though.

With the dropping of fees, now our only source of income for the club is donations from members. They have dropped off lately while our expenses have increased with the moving of our web site to a larger server and getting our own domain name just about a year ago. We would like to purchase some more prizes to give away in conjunction with our club activities, but that may have to be put on hold.

However we still do have a very fine prize program with the prizes being handled by our Prize Manager Mike KC2EGL. A few of our members have donated prizes to be given away and we appreciate that. You can check the prize page on the web site to see what we do have in the prize queue currently and see who our donors are.

One thing that has never really gotten off the ground despite our members saying they would be interested in it is our activity days. That's where we encourage activity on certain lesser used bands on certain days of a month. We are still sitting on the runway awaiting take-off, but we have someone who is going to try to pilot this activity and increase participation. It's our former net manager Brian WB9TPA. See his member news item for more info.

Another thing that has been started since our last history report is updating our membership database from the FCC database. Of the hundreds of changes in member info since the club started, only a very few members have notified us of their changes. So we (K3WWP) started checking the FCC database updates every 5 days for changes. The FCC updates are posted daily on the Internet. We download the appropriate files from those updates, and compare the info to our database through an Excel program written by K3WWP. As a result we think our club database may be among the most accurate of any club's. However we still only depend on you to notify us of any changes in your email address as there is no accurate Internet source of email addresses.

Oh, we've also added some items that you may purchase to help show off your club membership at hamfests, to visitors to your shack, on your web site, etc. You can check the main page of the web site for the items. There are QSL cards, plaques, hats, and more there. All are available from the companies who produce them, and the NAQCC does not get any financial input from the sales.

And that pretty much brings the history of the club up to date as of November 2011. Thank you for being an integral important part of the history. We hope you will continue to support the club by participating in our activities, volunteering to help out with some aspect of the club such as being a NCS for one of our nets, always mentioning and promoting the club in anyway you can thus recruiting new members so we can continue our growth, and making a small financial donation or donating a prize for our giveaways.

pix_blueball (1K) - With two of our 34 operators left who haven't reported their complete stats, here is the latest report on our N#A anniversary week operation.

Stat:           2011    2010    2009
Total QSOs:      883     840     830
States:          All      48      45
Provinces:         6       3       6
DX Entities:      45      13      15
2XN#A QSOs:       34      49      58
Sprint QSOs:     302     254     128
QSOs by band (not tabulated in 2009)
160                0       3       
80                22     127
40               334     573
30               106      42
20               278      74
17                 5       9
15                33       7
12                11       4
10                40       1
State logged by most different ops:
2011 - GA by 16 of 34 ops
2010 - IN, PA by 15 of 30 ops
2009 - PA by 20 of 27 ops

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 (Nov 26) 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, not the quality of the cards. They are beautiful and a great way to show your pride in being a NAQCC member. See the main page of the web site to find out how to purchase your own cards.

I received this email from Dave W3KM, author of GenLog about the hidden call feature:
"Yes, I guess members do not read the Newsletter!
I noticed the callsigns before I read about the hidden callsigns.
Oct 8th: wB2b
Oct 29th: k4mF
I like how a pix is used, so searching on one`s call doesn`t work, Hi.
Dave, W3KM"

K4MF did find his own call, by the way.

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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.

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://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).

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/

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.

Mike KC2EGL and John K3WWP will have their monthly WPA Chapter get-together later this month, perhaps around Thanksgiving. We'll work on NAQCC prize information, and 'fool around' with my (formerly his) K2 and KX-1 rigs. We'll also enjoy a dinner somewhere. I don't think we'll do any portable operation this time nor for the next few cold months. I do guarantee we won't have a bored moment during the visit as we always find things to do since we have so many common interests.

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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)

We've just been informed by Dan that he will be going in for surgery sometime before the end of the year. That means we need a NCS for our Main Sunday evening net as well as for the ECN on Thursday evenings. If you can help out for a few weeks after Dan's surgery, email him at the address above as soon as possible and let him know. Thanks.

Now our NAQCC QRS Nets schedule and activity report:

Sunday evenings local time which is Monday 0100Z on 7041 kHz.
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
10-31-11    AF4LB      NO NET==EQUIPMENT FAILURE==
11-7-11     AF4LB      NO CHECK-INS
NAQCC East Texas QRS Net (ETN)
Monday evenings local time, which is Tuesday 0100Z on 7121 kHz.
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
11-8-11     KA5TJS     -4- KA5TJS KB0IQS KE5YGA
NAQCC Rocky Mtn Regional/Continental QRS net (RMR)
Tuesday afternoons local time which is Tuesday 2100Z on 14062.5 kHz.
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
Thursday afternoons local time which is Thursday 2100Z on 14062.5 kHz.
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
11-3-11     WC7S       -3- WC7S K1IEE AE7CG
11-10-11    WC7S       -3- WC7S AE7CG KF4IBU
NAQCC East Coast QRS Net (ECN)
Thursday evenings local time which is Friday 0230Z on 7041 kHz.
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
11-4-11     AF4LB      NO NET==EQUIPMENT FAILURE==
11-11-11    AF4LB      --NO CHECKINS--
NAQCC Pacific NorthWest QRS Net (PNW)
Thursday evenings local time which is Friday 0300Z on 3574 kHz.
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
10-28-11    KE7LKW     -2- KE7LKW K7ALG
All frequencies are +/- QRM.

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

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pix_sm_k5duz (13K)
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.

No one has come forward with any info this week and I (K3WWP) do not have time to write something for this issue. We apologize for that and hope someone will come forward hc154 (1K) with something for the next issue.

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pix_sm_w9cbt (13K)
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.
pix_cartoon154_HamFables_Humpty (65K)

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pix_sm_n8xms (13K)
This section is managed by Paul N8XMS and any questions about it should go to pix_email_n8xms (1K). Paul selects members at random and asks them if they would like to be featured in the Member Spotlight in the newsletter.
Bob Zolecki KR9Z #2330

Picture of KR9Z

I got my first license in 1964 while in the Army stationed at Treynor, Iowa on a Nike Hercules missile base protecting Offutt Air Force base. I was an electronics tech for the radar system. My call was WN9KPI then WA9KPI untill I got the vanity call KR9Z. I've held every class license on the way up except Conditional.

After my active duty I returned to Caterpillar Tractor as a electrician which I soon left to work at a Particle Accelerator for a National Laboratory untill I retired 34 years later. In the mean time, I got married to my wife of 45 years Sharon. We have 2 sons, 2 wonderful daughter in laws and 5 super grandkids. I have one brother Don who is also a ham, AB0MO.

My quest now is to earn WAS with a Rockmite @ 1/2W with a simple wire antenna and then EME using 2 meters. I have 38 states so far with the Mite. Since I'm in a no antenna subdivision I only have a low wire 40m dipole from my house to a Martin birdhouse. The neighbors think the wire is for the birds to sit on. HiHi. Favorite band is 40 meters.

I'm not a contest person so most of my operation has been QRP with less than one watt or QRO at 50 watts with the Straight Key Century Club using a Kenwood TS850 and a straight key only. I'm 100% cw and a member of ARRL, NAQCC 2330, Flying Pigs 2041, SKCC 719T, 10-10 and MARAC. Building and operating with homebrew rigs is most enjoyable for me.

Hope to meet everyone on the cw bands....73 Bob

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pix_sm_kd2mx (13K)
This section is a forum for you to tell other members what you've been up to on the ham bands or to submit an article dealing with some aspect of CW and QRP operation or equipment. 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 26. 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 - A spell of beautiful late October and early November weather has pretty much kept me off the bands except during the 0000Z hour when I get my streak QSOs. I did get in some daytime activity on the 10th and completed the NAQCC November challenge by getting the last 4 letters I needed. I'm still enjoying the K2 like a new toy. I must say that after using it for just about a month now, that all the raves I've been hearing about it over the years are definitely true. I'm especially finding the more I use it, just how easy it is to use. The folks at Elecraft put a lot of thought into making it as easy to operate as possible. I'll give it a real battle test in the CQWW DX contest coming up in a couple weeks. I could have done so in the SS, but the nice weather kept me away from that one and I only used it to get my streak QSOs.

pix_blueball (1K) From Brian WB9TPA #0616 - In November, I will try to contact a few of our members on the Activity Days again. When weather permits, I will operate from some of the local parks and will be using my TenTec Century-21 exclusively. When I am not portable, I plan to use K3UK's website "http://www.obriensweb.com/sked/index.php?board=qrp" as a spotter. I will QRS as needed, and will try to call no faster than 10wpm. I'd love to ragchew, but a quick exchange of numbers is okay as well. So if you can, please meet me on the air. 73, Brian

pix_blueball (1K) From Nisha VU2NIS #2132 - Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) was conducted by the Ham Radio Club, VU2VLF, Kendriya Vidyalaya Hebbal , Bangalore, India on 15th October 2011. Madhu Mohan, VU2UWZ erected a dipole antenna one day before the JOTA began. The club station also has a VHF antenna. Principal Miss Grace C D inaugurated the JOTA station established in the Physics laboratory . G Varadarajan, VU3ITI #3367 and Madhu Mohan S, VU2UWZ were the Guests of honour. Nisha M Mohan, VU2NIS, Physics teacher and secretary of the Ham Radio club and Master Manu M Pillai, VU3MIV of class XA contacted other JOTA station from Bharath Scout and Guides Headquarters, Bangalore.

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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