pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

Dec 31, 2011NAQCC Web Site Issue #157

In this issue:
1. January Challenge
2. December Sprint(s) 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

HAPPY NEW YEAR
1. JANUARY CHALLENGE: Our Challenge Director Tom WY3H has come up with somewhat of a strange alphabet challenge dealing with the supposed end of the world in December 2012, in which month we will have our End of the World challenge. Rather than explain it here, just check the challenge rules in the usual place here to see the details. Also check the prizes page here to see what prizes may be involved this month.

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2. DECEMBER SPRINT RESULTS: 122 logs received ties our second highest total to date behind 135 in August 2010. That despite conditions that were not as good as in previous months. 20 meters was virtually dead, 40 worked mostly only for those with big antennas, 80 was the best it has been in months, but not all that many folks came down to that band. We're proud of you, our members for your dedication to the sprints and the club in general. We also appreciate all the wonderful comments received about our sprints. We can't acknowledge each one individually due to time constraints, but we do want to say a big THANK YOU right here.

We had a second sprint in December, one of our mW sprints. As of Thursday evening with a Sunday evening deadline for log submissions, we broke our record for logs in a mW sprint with 76. A complete wrapup of the mW sprint will be in the next newsletter.

We like to explain from time to time why we are so fussy about submitting detailed logs and cross-checking them with a fine-tooth comb. One reason is that if you move on to other sprints and contests, you'll find them to be even more stringent. THEY take away points and QSOs for such things as these excerpted from a longer list taken from the 2011 CQ WPX contest report on my log.

Not In Log - These contacts were not found in the other station's log. QSO 
removed with 1 QSO additional penalty.

Incorrect Call - The call logged for these contacts was determined to be 
incorrect. QSO removed with additional 1 QSO penalty.

Incorrect Exchange Information - The information you copied does not match 
what was in the other station's log. The QSO was removed.
The list goes on, but those are the ones that are comparable to our sprints. However we do not do any of those penalties. WE only correct the info in your log so proper cross-checking can be done. We will change a score if a correction involves a wrong multiplier count, wrong QSO point value, duplicate QSO, etc. We will take away claimed QSOs that are not in the other persons log (a not-in-log QSO). Unlike other contests though, WE give you a chance to check with the other station to see why you are not in their log. If it was an honest error on their part such as forgetting to copy the QSO from a paper log or notes into the submitted log, the QSO will be restored, and added to their log. We give one full week after final cross checking for you to question any changes in your claimed score.

Instead of the strict penalties given by the CQ WPX and other contests, we reward perfection with a GOLDEN LOG listing of those folks whose log was 'perfect'. We think it is better to reward good behaviour than to punish bad. Also the best way to teach proper contest logging procedures.

Now here are excerpts from my specific results from the CQ WPX Contest where my final score was reduced by 4.1 percent (ouch!):
************************** Summary ***************************

     105 Claimed QSO before checking (does not include duplicates)
     102 Final   QSO after  checking reductions

     217 Claimed QSO points
     213 Final   QSO points

      86 Claimed mults
      84 Final   mults

   18662 Claimed score
   17892 Final   score
   -4.1% Score reduction

       0 (0.0%) duplicates (without penalty)
       0 (0.0%) calls copied incorrectly
       2 (1.9%) exchanges copied incorrectly
       1 (1.0%) not in log
       0 (0.0%) calls unique to this log only (not removed)

  Claimed    All   105    217    86  Score    18662
  Final      All   102    213    84  Score    17892

************************* Not In Log *************************

14000 CW 2011-05-28 2028 K3WWP           15 WU3A          1040

*************** Incorrect Exchange Information ***************

 7000 CW 2011-05-29 2344 K3WWP           95 KW2O          0808 correct  898
14000 CW 2011-05-29 2358 K3WWP          104 WO4O          0174 correct 1744

********************** Lost Multipliers **********************

 7000 CW 2011-05-29 2344 K3WWP           95 KW2O          0808 correct 898           
14000 CW 2011-05-29 2358 K3WWP          104 WO4O          0174 correct 1744          

Oh, and if a score is reduced more than a certain percentage, the entrant is totally disqualified. Beyoud that, a really messed up log with a huge score deduction may be ineligible for a number of future runnings of that contest as well.

With that interesting explanation of how other contests handle things, we move on to stats from our December 14th sprint.

StatsCurrent
Month
Previous
Month
All-Time
Record
Mo/Yr
Logs1221131358/10
Participants1861652118/10
Total QSOs1659183120699/11
Hour 1 QSOs88896210859/11
Hour 2 QSOs7718699849/11
20M QSOs1319910006/10
40M QSOs10591511151111/11
80M QSOs5881219271/11
Avg QSOs per stn13.516.319.39/11


AWARDS
SWA Category
DivisionWinner
W1NM1I
W2NW2K
W3K3WWP
W4KB4QQJ
W5W5YDM
W6AA7EE
W7N7YY
W8N8QY
W9KB9ILT
W0KD0V
CanadaVE3FUJ
DXCO8CML
Other Categories
GainK4BAI
First time entrant
high scorer
N0BS
Paddle/bug handle
K1/K2 knob insert
drawing
KE5YUM

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 still many folks 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 13 stations who didn't submit a log showed up 5 to 21 times in the 122 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:
N0BS W5YA(OP-KT5X) NM1I K0EUN W5BM N9SKN W5CUB K0BXB K3PXC NG2E K7BX WD8RYC V31JP AB8SA N7EDK WS1V

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 QSOs for the year will be the winner.

GOLDEN LOGS were submitted by 56 of 122 participants this month. That's a new record for the number of GOLDEN LOGS in a sprint. To see if you're one of them, check the results page.

Here's a Top 5 (+ ties) list of most GOLDEN LOG's in 2011:

12 - N8XMS NQ2W WB8ENE
10 - KU4A
9 - KA8HDE W4DUK

Since it is now the end of the year, we can announce a winner of the GOLDEN LOG (yet to be determined) prize. We have a 3 way tie with 12 GOLDEN LOGS, so let's apply the tiebreaker which is total number of QSOs

N8XMS - 148
NQ2W - 221
WB8ENE - 100

So the winner is (FANFARE!) NQ2W. Congratulations. We'll be selecting a prize and getting it to you sometime in January.

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

Full sprint info here.

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3. GENERAL CLUB NEWS:

pix_blueball (1K) - The sad duty of announcing one of our members has become a silent key seems to be happening all too frequently of late. Now we must regretfully announce the loss of Keith Graham K0HJC #3976. Keith was very active in many CW clubs, but his favorite was our NAQCC. Keith was one of the charter members of the NAQCC Minnesota Chapter. There is much more info by MN Chapter President Rich WD0K in the Member News section below. Our sympathies go out to his family and friends.

pix_blueball (1K) - It looks like we'll wind up 2011 with just over 500 new members signed up this year. That is without a major membership drive that we've done in previous years. Our growth continues to amaze especially compared to other clubs. Our base of potential members is nowhere near as big as other clubs because to join us, one must be interested in BOTH CW and QRP. QRP only clubs may have members who only are interested in SSB or digital modes, not CW. CW only clubs may have members who wouldn't operate QRP if you paid them. So it's to be expected they have larger memberships. However we think, although we don't have solid evidence to prove it, that we are the largest CW/QRP club in the world today.

pix_blueball (1K) - Speaking of signing up members, I just processed an application from Jenson KC9UMP (#5834) who is the 8 year old son of Dave KB9MLE with whom I had a QSO the evening of December 29. Dave said Jenson now knows about 1/3 of the letters, and is anxious to learn the rest and make some CW QSOs. We think it is wonderful to have such a young member in our club.

pix_blueball (1K) - Our 2011 Participation Awards are just about all decided now. Let's review.

These divisions have been decided:

W1 - K1IEE
W2 - W2JEK
W3 - K3WWP
W6 - KA6AIL
W7 - NU7T
W8 - N8XMS
W9 - W9UX
VE - VE3FUJ
DX - CO8CML

The remaining divisions are still too close to call:

W4
KU4A - 12 pts - wins if K4ORD does nothing.
K4ORD - 10 pts - must submit a challenge report while KU4A does nothing for a 2-way tie.

W5
KE5YUM - 12 pts - must submit a challenge report while W5IQS does nothing to win.
W5IQS - 12 pts - must submit a challenge report while KE5YUM does nothing to win.
KE9DR - 11 pts - must submit a challenge report while KE5YUM/W5IQS do nothing for a 3-way tie.

W0
WD0K - 12 pts - wins if KD0V does nothing.
KD0V - 11 pts - must submit a challenge report while WD0K does nothing to win.

For the free one-year FISTS membership or one-year renewal of an existing membership, we have the following scenario:

Let's assume (and that's dangerous) that the following all with 34 points submit a December challenge report and wind up with 36 points.
K1IEE
W2JEK
K3WWP
N8XMS
VE3FUJ

First of all, W2JEK and N8XMS have requested to not be eligible as previous winners. K3WWP as both a NAQCC officer and columnist for the FISTS Keynote also withdraws from competition each year. That leaves K1IEE and VE3FUJ to duke it out.

If both wind up with 36 (or 34) points, we go down the list of tiebreakers.
1. Both have 12 (11) 3 point months.
2. Both have 12 (11) sprint entries.
3. Both had 2 #1 sprint finishes in their divisions.
4. K1IEE had 6 #2 sprint finishes in his division, VE3FUJ had 3

So K1IEE would be the winner based on tie-breaker #4. Again both must wind up with 34 or 36 points for that to be true. If one has 36 and the other 34, obviously the 36 points will be the winner.

Whew, this is just like the NFL playoff scenarios - and just about as confusing. HI.

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. The call in this newsletter will be the 63rd different one, and so far of the 62 previous ones, only 8 have found their call. Only 1 in the last 24 newsletters. As we remind you every issue, 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 (Jan 14) 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.

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4. 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:
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/



NAQCC MINNESOTA CHAPTER:
pix_sm_wd0k (9K)
Items in this section are from Chapter President Rich WD0K (L) unless otherwise credited.
Questions or comments should go to pix_email_wd0k (1K).






NAQCC TEXAS CHAPTER:
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 3561 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.

The ETN net has moved down to 3561 KHz from the previous frequency of 3562 KHz due to QRM. Remember to tune down a bit if there is QRM on 3561 KHz. Be sure to check the weekly NAQCC net e-mail for the latest ETN info.

Congratulations to Robert, member 3295, for the highest Texas Chapter score and the third highest score overall in the December Sprint. Second place in the Chapter goes to Evan, W5IQS, member 3924 (fifth overall). In third place was Calvin, member 4832 (sixth overall). Eight Texas stations submitted logs for the Sprint. This was a great turnout and effort by all entries!

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.

NAQCC WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA CHAPTER:
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.

Tom WY3H and I (K3WWP) got together recently to work on one of Tom's Heathkit HW triplets. Tom suspected the final amp transistors were burned out, and I had a transistor checker with which we could determine that for sure before he purchased new ones. They did turn out to be bad, and he will be buying new ones shortly.

Mike KC2EGL and I missed a couple of our regular get-togethers recently. However we did get together on Christmas Day which has now been an annual tradition for the past 3 or 4 years. Mike arrived just in time to share in Christmas dinner with my neighbors who had me over for a really great feast. After that, we fooled around in the shack with my (formerly his) Elecraft K2 for a while and just talked for a while mostly about ham radio before he had to leave to visit another friend.

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5. NAQCC QRS NETS:
AF4LB
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)


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

NAQCC QRS Nets schedule:
NAQCC Main QRS Net (NQN)
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.
AND
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:
NAQCC Main QRS Net (NQN)
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
12-05-11  WB4UHC  -4-  WB4UHC  N8IUP  W4WOT  KD8IFS
12-12-11  AF4LB   -7-  AF4LB  KF4IBU  N4PLK  N8IUG  KB4TOX  K1IEE  WB4UHC
12-19-11  AF4LB   -10- AF4LB  N9RLO  W4HH  N4PLK  N8IUP  WB4UHC  
                       WA1KWA  AB8SA  N2YHQ  W8OEY

NAQCC East Texas QRS Net (ETN)
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
12-6-11   KA5TJS  -5-  KARTJS  WA4ZOF  KE5YGA  W5IQS  WA4ZOF
12-13-11  KA5TJS  -3-  KA5TJS  KE5YGA  KE5YUM
12-20-11  ka5tjs  -3-  ka5tjs  kg0yr  ke5yum
12-27-11  KA5TJS  -2-  KA5TJS  KE5YGA

NAQCC Rocky Mtn Regional/Continental QRS net (RMR) - Tuesday
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
12-6-11   WC7S    -4-  WCYS  AE7CG  K1IEE  K4YQQ
12-13-11  WC7S    -2-  WC7S  AE7CG  
12-27-11  WC7S    -4-  WC7S  WC7Q  K1IEE  K0ZK

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

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
12-16-11  AF4LB   -3-  AF4LB  W4NA  K1IEE
12-23-11  AF4LB   -2-  AF4LB  K9EYT
12-30-11  AF4LB   -4-  AF4LB  K1IEE  N4WDC  K9EYT

NAQCC Pacific NorthWest QRS Net (PNW)
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
12-16-11  N6KIX   -3-  K7ZNP  N6KIX  KE7LKW/6

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

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6. THE NAQCC CW ASSISTANCE (ELMER) PROJECT:
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 only a hc157 (1K) couple responses, so come on, I'm sure more of you have ideas you'd like to share.

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7. RECENT AWARD AND PRIZE WINNERS:

CERTIFICATES:

1000 MPW
0119 - NY4G 12/2/11

30-30
0018 - N9A (W9UX) 12/4/11 (October)

QSO-a-Day (One month)
0006 - W9UX 12/4/11 (November)

2XQRP 50 points
0016 - NY4G 12/7/11

2XQRP 100 points
0013 - NY4G 12/7/11

WAC Category A (QRP)
0019 - NW2K 11/3/11
0020 - NY4G 12/2/11

WAS Category A
0016 - NY4G 12/2/11

WAVE Category A
0001 K3WWP 11/18/11
0002 W9UX 11/23/11

ENDORSEMENTS and HONOR ROLL LISTINGS:

Friendship Club
1900 pts - K3WWP 11/19/11
800 pts - NW2K 11/23/11

Alphabet Prefix World
300 - NU7T 12/3/11

KMPW 100 SWA Category
904 - K3WWP 12/27/11

KMPW 100 SWA/GAIN Category
307 - NU7T 12/3/11

Suffix Words SWA/GAIN Category
217 - NU7T 12/3/11

WAC
12 Meters - K3WWP 11/12/11
17 Meters - K3WWP 11/13/11

WAS
40 meters - K3WWP 12/2/11

WAVE
Yukon - W9UX 11/23/11

It's so wonderful to see all the new awards and endorsements issued recently. Perhaps the vastly improved conditions are a big factor. Or perhaps it's just that members are learning the fun of earning our awards. None of them are over-challenging and can be earned by any member with just a little effort. Also remember there are NO fees for our award certificate if you can accept an email certificate that you print out yourself. Finally working toward awards serves the main purpose of the NAQCC - providing more CW activity on the bands to show those who think CW is a thing of the past that CW is far from dead. Your earning them with QRP shows just how well CW/QRP (simple wire antennas) works as well as how great an operator you are. 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.

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8. MEMBER SPOTLIGHT:
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.
Frank Castronovo K8FAC #1509

Picture of K8FAC

I've been a licensed ham for nearly 40 years, and currently hold an Extra class ticket. In my professional life I am the chairperson of the Theater Department and a professor at Youngstown State University. My adventures in amateur radio began way back in the 1950s, when I was in middle school, and my best chum, Jerry, got a brand new Hallicrafters SX-62 SWL receiver for Christmas. We'd spend hours listening to signals from all over the world, but it was the ham bands that most captured my imagination. The idea that you could actually set up a radio station in your own home, and send a signal into the ether that could be heard by anyone on the planet, was nothing short of magic in that time before personal computers, the Internet and cell phones. So I acquired a second-hand short wave receiver from the local appliance store, and began learning International Morse. By that time, I had entered high school and two major distractions entered my life - grades, and girls (not necessarily in that order). Getting that ham license was put on hiatus during my tumultuous adolescence, and also for 4 intense years of college and a stint in the United States Navy during the Viet Nam era. When my military service ended I entered graduate school, and while there I saw an item in the newspaper announcing that a local amateur radio club was holding classes in amateur radio. I enrolled, and within a few weeks acquired my first amateur license. I went on the air as WN8VOZ, quickly improved my code speed to 20 wpm, and before the first year of my Novice license was over, I upgraded to an Advanced class license with the call WB8VOZ. When vanity licensing arrived, I thought it would be fun to have my initials in my callsign, so I applied for and received the call K8FAC. I also upgraded to Extra. CW has always been my favorite mode, and after a brief flirtation with RF amplifiers and beam antennas, I found the most enjoyment was to be had with simple wire antennas and QRP, and that's what I've used ever since. My favorite key is an old Vibroplex bug, and lately I've been having fun playing around with a homemade cootie key. BCNU. 72 , Frank

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9. NEWS ITEMS AND ARTICLES BY OUR MEMBERS:
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 Jan 12. 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 Rich WD0K #664 - Keith Graham, K0HJC #3976 (SK)

It is with profound sadness and loss that we record the passing of Keith Graham, K0HJC #3976. At the young age of 70 years, Keith succumbed to cancer on December 20th after a valiant and extremely brave battle the past two years.

Keith was a real QRP'er. He and his FT-817 let him challenge many aspects of amateur radio in a way that only other QRP operators could appreciate. Active on-the-air daily for most of his ham career he pursued many different aspects of this fabulous hobby. An active participant in HandiHams, SKYWARN, NAQCC, SKCC and other groups, Keith gave of himself and enriched the lives of those who knew him.

NAQCC was his particular favorite. He participated in 22 regular Sprints and five milliwatt sprints. He had countless Golden Logs and always sought to represent amateur radio in it's best light. He was not a "paper chaser." He felt that "doing" was more important than "getting."

He enjoyed building kits, experimenting with antennas and making contacts with less, not more. His shack was in constant change. His station was powered by batteries kept on constant charge. He was ready for any emergency and prepared to help support emergency amateur services where he lived. When a particular subject caught his attention he would do diligent research, learning as much as he could about it and then applying what he had learned. He freely shared his knowledge with others and helped where he could.

Keith was one of the original four that began and worked hard to sustain the NAQCC MN Chapter. He was the contact person for the newsletter and took it upon himself to chronicle what was news and to give credit to others for their contributions. He also began and then maintained the monthly NAQCC breakfast meetings and was a regular in the morning SSB group on 75 meters. He preferred to stay in the background where he could make things happen and lead in the role of an Elmer. No sir, he was not a glory hound nor did he seek recognition. He just gave of himself so others would benefit.

A consummate radio amateur, his on-the-air demeanor mirrored his own persona. He listened, was thoughtful of others, called when it was appropriate and gave way to avoid disagreement that might put amateur radio in an adverse light. You never heard a cross word from Keith as he regarded good manners and thoughtful behavior as the cornerstone of how people should conduct themselves.

All those who were touched by Keith in their lives are better for it. His friends in the amateur community will long miss their friend "K 0 Holy Jump'n Catfish." Keith is survived by his loving wife Judy, and many close relatives. May our departed friend rest in peace.

pix_blueball (1K) From Larry W9CC #183 - A few days ago I received a QRP award from the ARRL. It was for First Place, Single Operator, QRP Indiana Section for the 2010 ARRL 160 Meter Contest. I thought this might offer some hope to any NAQCC operators who would like to try Top Band. I used an inverted Vee with an apex of about 30 feet. One leg has a right angle bend in it because my yard is not long enough. So far Iíve managed to work 48 states with it. My rig is a K3. It is always lots of fun to see how far you can get on this band.

Then, just today, December 27th, I received an award from CQ Magazine for 1st Place, Single Operator QRP CW Indiana, 9th Area. So it was a good year for me on Top Band!

pix_blueball (1K) From Howard KC3D #3738 - I am a member of NAQCC and have only gotten into QRP in the last few months. I was hoping to get some recommendations on a logging software program for us non-contesters? The ones I find using Google seemed to me oriented to the contester and more for fast runs on one particular band at a time. I am a casual CW QRP user and enjoy the QSOs and am not into slam/bang/thank you 599.

Please contact me at: hrensin@gmail.com

pix_blueball (1K) From James WG1L #4809 - Wartime Radio: The Secret Listeners -- This is a TV programme from 1979 that can now be watched on the web. It is very interesting for ham radio operators as it traces the evolution of civilian involvement in radio-based intelligence during both world wars. Don't start watching until you can spare close to a half hour. I hope you enjoy it, it is very much worth watching.

BBC Wartime Radio Programme

pix_blueball (1K) From Paul N8XMS #675 - I shared this story in my soapbox for the December challenge but thought that others would enjoy it as well. One of the ragchew QSOs that I had in December was a very nice chat with Joe, K8MP/m. He is an outstanding CW operator and carried on a long conversation with me while he was commuting home from his work. That was in big-city Columbus, OH traffic and he didn't miss a single dit at about 23 wpm! Driving and working CW would undoubtedly be fatal for me but Joe said that it was easy. He told me that he drives 25,000 miles a year around the area for his work and spends a lot of that drive time on HF CW. His exact words were, "Mobile CW is easy. It's like when you were a teenager and drove with one hand on the wheel and the other around your girlfriend." Come to think of it, I've tried that a few times as well and found it to be just about as dangerous!

pix_blueball (1K) From John K3WWP #0002 - As I write this, there are only a couple days left in 2011. It was a good year in many ways and a bad year in a couple ways. The worst thing was losing my neighbors' dog Joe to whom I had become very attached over the past almost 3 years. He was not just a pet, but a friend. He often got mentions in my web site diary, and when he died, I received condolences from many diary readers.

This is supposed to be a forum for ham radio news, but I had to add that info about Joe. As far as ham radio in 2011, it was the best year in many now as the sun finally awoke from its long slumber and as a result, propagation on the higher HF bands was the best it's been in several years.

To back up that statement, here are some of my 2011 stats at random.

I worked 93 countries (entities) in the CQWW DX contest, the most I've ever worked in a single contest of any kind. Those 93 plus 13 others gave me 106 worked with the K2 since I got it on October 10.

2,534 QSOs with the year not quite over is the most since I made 3,962 back in 2002. 264 on 10 meters the most since 294 in 2003. 35 on 12 meters the most since 71 in 2000. I won't bother listing numbers, but it's the same on 40 through 15 meters as well. The most QSOs since the early 2000s.

I haven't figured how many DX countries I've worked for the whole year yet, but I've worked some DX on 198 days in 2011. 936 DX QSOs are the most since 1,981 back in 2002.

I finally worked KL7 with mW power to complete a mW Worked All States.

To almost close out the year, I had by far my best showing ever in one of our NAQCC mW sprints with 35 QSOs in an 80 meters only effort at 900mW to my attic random wire. So far only one station (with a much bigger antenna farm) made more QSOs than that. Yes, mW and simple wire antennas DO work and work WELL.

There are many more things, but that's enough to make my point that the higher HF bands are back in business again. 2012 should be even better as the latest predictions for the peak of sunspot cycle 24 are centered on the first third of 2013.

As always, I invite you to come visit my web site here for much more CW/QRP info.

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