pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

Dec 10, 2011NAQCC Web Site Issue #156

In this issue:
1. December Sprint
2. November 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. DECEMBER SPRINT: We hope that everyone can set aside a couple of hours this holiday season to participate in our December sprint. It's this coming Tuesday evening local time (Dec 13, EST - 8:30-10:30PM, CST - 7:30-9:30PM, MST - 6:30-8:30PM, PST - 5:30-7:30PM) which translates as Wednesday Dec 14, 0130-0330Z in all cases. Then another half hour at most to submit your log, and you can get back to holiday preparations, parties, etc.

Two and a half hours shouldn't take away very much time at all from those activities. If you think it is a lot, think of me taking care of all the scores postings and log checking which takes several hours all told. You can help cut down on that time by making sure your log is in the correct GOLDEN LOG format and submitting it as soon as possible after the sprint. Most of my time is spent changing log formats so my cross-checking program will accept them. Computers are very fussy about the data they eat. They'll eat a GOLDEN LOG immediately with no complaints.

If you're new to the sprints, please read the complete sprint rules carefully so you'll know exactly what we need in the form of logs. If you use GenLog correctly, then submit via the autologger, it will take you much less than the half hour mentioned above to get your log to me. If you have any doubts about using GenLog, check out our illustrated tutorial on using the program.

Time hasn't permitted us to update our plain text files (one for each continental USA time zone) of upcoming sprint dates, but we've done that now so you can download one, print it out, and hang it in a prominent place so you won't miss any of our upcoming sprints. See the 'Print a Schedule' page in the 'Contests/Sprints' section of the web site.

Oh yes, be sure to remember our special mW sprint this month on December 29 0130-0330Z. You, our members, always seem to enjoy these mW sprints just as much as our regular sprints. We haven't hit the 100 logs mark for a mW sprint yet, but we get a little closer each time. Perhaps we'll go over the top this time. All rules are the same except for the power used.

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. NOVEMBER CHALLENGE RESULTS: Our traditional Thanksgiving challenge was again a popular one. With a little time before the deadline for submitting a report, we have heard from K3WWP W9UX KD6SX N8XMS PA7PYR K1IEE who made all the words, and KF7EST VE3FUJ who came up a couple letters short. Those who made all the words get a Participation Point and a certificate. The others receive a Participation Point only. Hopefully we'll hear from a few more members before the deadline.

Full Challenge results can always be found here.

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pix_blueball (1K) - We mentioned Participation Points in the previous section of the newsletter. Perhaps some of you who don't completely read the newsletter all the time nor explore the web site thoroughly are not familiar with the term. Let's explain it here then check on the competition this year.

Each member who participates and sends in a report in a sprint or challenge gets 1 point each per month. If in a month they take part in both, they get three points. Thus a member can earn 0, 1, or 3 points each month for a maximum of 36 points in a year.

Whoever earns the most points in a division gets a handsome certificate to show our gratitude for their help in promoting CW use on the ham bands. In case of ties, a certificate is awarded to each tied member. Non-members may earn points, but must become a member before the end of the year to earn any awards.

The member with the overall most points earns a FREE 1 year membership or 1 year renewal in the FISTS club. We thank Nancy WZ8C of FISTS for this courtesy. We also thank FISTS for their close co-operation with the NAQCC in promoting CW use.

It's obvious that overall there will be ties for that top spot and the prize from FISTS. We've gone the NFL route and set up a somewhat complicated tie-breaking procedure in that case. I won't describe it here, but you can see it on the 'Participation' page via the 'Current' page in the 'Awards' section of the web site.

Here's the standings for this year so far with a maximum of 5 points yet to be awarded.

These members have clinched their division. Those with an asterisk have a current maximum of 31 points earned:
W1 - K1IEE*
W2 - W2JEK*
W3 - K3WWP*
W7 - NU7T
W8 - N8XMS*

The other divisions have yet to be decided. We won't list calls here, but here are the number of members still 'alive' in each division and the points range. Some races are very close as you see:

W4 - 9 - 9 to 13 pts
W5 - 4 - 8 to 11 pts
W6 - 2 - 8 to 11 pts
W9 - 3 - 11 to 13 pts
W0 - 10 - 7 to 1 pts
DX - 5 - 1 to 5 pts

pix_blueball (1K) - It is always a sad duty to report a member becoming a Silent Key. It's triply sad now as we report the following three Silent Keys:

Joseph Reppert WY3T #0006 - reported by his good friend, club president Tom WY3H who learned of the passing from Joe's wife.

Dan Schobert W9MFG #2896 - reported by Paul N8XMS via a communication from Dan's wife.

Fred Muehlen N5WLA #5302 - reported by Dave VA3RJ.

We offer our condolences to the family and friends of these Silent Keys.

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 (Dec 31) 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.

pix_blueball (1K) - Since club President Tom WY3H and Vice President John K3WWP recently have had dogs die that were very good friends to them, we decided to do a Dog Tribute challenge in February. We will have members who have had dogs who are now deceased add their dog's name to the list of words for the challenge. There are a few more wrinkles to the challenge to work out, so don't submit any names yet, but be thinking about it along with how your dog got his/her name.

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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/

The East Texas QRS Net (ETN) is meeting each Monday evening at 1900 CST (0100 UTC) on 3562 KHz. 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.

After two weeks of splitting the ETN net between 40m and 80m, Allen (NCS) has decided to make a permanent move to 80m for the winter. Remember to tune around a bit if there is QRM on 3562 KHz. Be sure to check the weekly NAQCC net e-mail for the latest ETN info.

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.

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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 been informed by Dan that he will be going in for surgery in mid-February. 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.

NOTE: ED/ST, etc. means Eastern Daylight or Standard Time, whichever is in effect at the time.

NAQCC QRS Nets schedule:
Sunday evenings 8 PM local time (ED/ST) which is Monday 0100Z on 3560 kHz.
Main NCS - Dan  AF4LB (in VA)

NAQCC East Texas QRS Net (ETN)
Monday evenings 7 PM local time (CD/ST), which is Tuesday 0100Z 3562kc down in .5kc steps for QRM.
No more 40 meter till the conditions improve.
Main NCS - Allen KA5TJS (in TX)

NAQCC Rocky Mtn Regional/Continental QRS net (RMR)
Tuesday afternoons 2 PM local time (MD/ST), which is Tuesday 2100Z on 14062.5 kHz.
Thursday afternoons 2 PM local time (MD/ST), which is Thursday 2100Z on 14062.5 kHz.
Main NCS - Dale WC7S (in WY)

NAQCC East Coast QRS Net (ECN)
Thursday evenings at 8 PM PM local time (ED/ST), which is Friday 0100Z on 3560 kHz.
Main NCS - Dan AF4LB (in VA)

NAQCC Pacific NorthWest QRS Net (PNW)
Thursday evenings 7 PM local time (PD/ST) which is Friday 0300Z on 3574 kHz.
Main NCS - Stewart KE7LKW (in WA)
All frequencies are +/- QRM.

Recent Net Activity:
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
11-28-11  AF4LB  -8-  AF4LB  KR9Z  K9EYT  K1IEE  K9DTH  KE4I  N9RLO  KG0YR
12-05-11  WB4UHC -4-  WB4UHC  N8IUP  W4WOT  KD8IFS

NAQCC East Texas QRS Net (ETN)
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
          KA5TJS -2-  KA5TJS  KG0YR

NAQCC Rocky Mtn Regional/Continental QRS net (RMR) - Tuesday
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
11-16-11  WC7S   -4-  WC7S  AE7CG  N9RLO  KC3W

NAQCC Rocky Mtn Regional/Continental QRS net (RMR) - Thursday
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
12-1-11   WC7S   -2-  WC7S  AE7CG
12-6-11   WC7S   -4-  WCYS  AE7CG  K1IEE  K4YQQ

NAQCC East Coast QRS Net (ECN)
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
12-2-11   AF4LB  -2-  AF4LB  K9EYT/M
12-9-11   AF4LB  -2-  AF4LB  NT8P

NAQCC Pacific NorthWest QRS Net (PNW)
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
11-11-11  K7ZNP  -2 - K7ZNP  AL7KG
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 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_cartoon156_HamFables_Old_Shoe2 (75K)

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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.
Steve Pocock VE7GTU #4517

Picture of VE7GTU

As an SWL in the mid '70s, I was fascinated by the dits 'n dahs on the 'ham' bands and clearly recall my father driving one nervous teenager to North Foreland lighthouse in Broadstairs to take the 12 wpm Morse test. I passed, and a few weeks later in February 1978, G4GTU was on the air, just as sunspot cycle 21 was approaching its peak. My first QSO took place at the QTH of friend and mentor Alan, G4GVB, coincidentally a featured NAQCC member and the person who introduced me to the club. Nice synchronicity!

QRP CW quickly became 'the' mode of HF operation, and still is today. Starting out with a Heathkit HW-8 and studying languages at the time, I remember being on the receiving end of pileups while sending Russian CW, Cyrillic characters included. It was so much fun that I wrote a sort of 'Russian CW for Dummies' guide for a UK radio magazine which proved very popular.

Work intervened for the next twenty five years or so, which included some use of CW professionally, and in early 2008 my wife and I moved from the UK to Victoria on Vancouver Island in BC. Learning that we were now living right above the Cascadia subduction zone, I joined the Auxiliary Communications Service of the Victoria Emergency Management Agency (VEMA) as a volunteer, and where I am now deputy coordinator. The home shack doubles as a modest EMCOMM facility with HF/VHF/UHF packet capability, and full station battery backup.

I confess to being a kit building addict, which began with an HW-9 in '86, followed more recently by an Elecraft K1, K2, KX-1, and numerous ancillary projects. Preferred mode is naturally CW, but PSK-31 and other digital modes are great fun too. Operating QRP/P and taking part in Field Day are summer highlights, and last year I discovered contesting. My first log submission was for the 2010 RAC Canada Day Contest which snagged first place for BC in the all-bands QRP section, and I'm hoping to participate in NAQCC Sprints before long.

Most recently, I quit the day job to embark on a geology degree, a long-time ambition. When I'm out in the boonies with my geology hammer, there will definitely be a QRP rig with me as well! 72/3 de Steve.

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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 Dec 29. 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 continue to enjoy and learn about the new K2. Most recently during the CQWW DX contest, I had trouble working a station with my 10 meters dipole, and thought I'd try my vertical 15 meters dipole on 10 meters. I figured the SWR might not be all that good since it never was with my 570 or 480. Well, the built in ATU in the K2 tuned it just fine, and I pretty much used the 15 meters antenna on 10 the rest of the contest, which I will describe in a moment.

A couple days after the contest, being impressed by how broad the K2 ATU was, I decided to try my random wire without the external tuner I had been using. The 570 and 480 never even came close to a decent SWR without the help of the external tuner. Well, as hc156 (1K) with the 10/15 situation, the ATU tuned the random wire very well on 160, 80, 40, and 30. The highest SWR was 1.5:1 on 30 meters and less than that on the other bands. So now without the series tuners, things should be a little more efficient on 160-30 meters. Also that's a couple fewer dials and switches to contend with when changing bands.

As for the CQWW DX, I put in probably my biggest effort in a contest in several years. I wanted to give the K2 a good workout in a contest, as well as take advantage of the much better propagation conditions of late. I made 296 QSOs in 93 countries. The 93 countries was my highest total ever in a contest although the 296 QSOs was well short of my record of 633 in an ARRL DX contest several years ago. Should you by any chance be interested in a blow-by-blow story of the contest, check out the 'Contest Stories' page in the 'Contesting' section of my web site here.

Now as I write this, I'm looking forward to the upcoming 10 meters contest which will be just a few hours off as you read this.

pix_blueball (1K) From Gary N4OLN #1184 - The Longest Morse code Message -- An article was published in October, 2009 in the Southgate Amateur Radio News titled, 'The longest morse code message ever?'.

It provided a quite accurate recounting of the very long telegram/morse code message sent within the USA from Nevada to Washington, DC in 1864. The message contained the entire text of the Nevada Constitution. A reproduction of the first and last pages of the telegram can be found amongst the Nevada Territorial Papers in the National Archives. The last page contains a note with the total word count (16,543) and the cost of transmission ($4,303.27). The full article can be found at: Longest Morse Code Message?.

But, was the Nevada Constitution the longest telegram ever sent?

For more than twenty years, the Nevada Archives staff followed leads of longer telegrams. Finally, they discovered that an even longer (over seven times) telegram/morse code message was sent on May 22, 1881 from England to Chicago.

According to David McKittrick's, History of Cambridge University Press and Maurice Price's, An Ancestry of Our English Bible; the English Standard Version of the New Testament was published in England, transmitted across the Trans-Atlantic cable, telegraphed from New York to Chicago and published in the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Times. The text was 118,000 words, making it the longest telegram ever sent.

This was the biggest scoop of the year for a United States newspaper, according to the History of the Chicago Tribune. The publishers explained that 92 compositors typeset the work in twelve hours. The Chicago Times printed it because it did not want to be "scooped" by the Tribune, whose editors criticized the Times version as full of errors. They did not think that the telegram was the feat, but rather the typesetting.

Here is the link to the entire article published by the Nevada State Libray: Nevada State Library Article.

This makes Nevada's Constitution the second longest telegram in history and the longest up until 1881, unless someone finds one longer.

Club email address - 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 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.