pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

Jan 28, 2012NAQCC Web Site Issue #159

In this issue:
1. February Challenge
2. January 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

1. FEBRUARY CHALLENGE: As stated in the PREMISE in the rules for the February challenge, "Into most everyone's life come pets who become very dear to us. They love us and we love them for the all too brief time they are with us, and then suddenly they are gone and we grieve. This month we want to give our members a chance to pay tribute to the dogs they have owned who are now gone. So we are making an alphabet challenge with the names of those dogs."

This was brought on by both VP K3WWP and Pres. WY3H recently having lost dogs that were very dear to them, more like friends than pets.

We got a fair response from our members and now have a list of 9 dogs for the challenge. We could even add to that if you email us BEFORE 2400Z on Sunday the 29th at pix_email_naqcc (1K). That's not a lot of time, so hurry if you wish to add your dog to the list of words. Send the deceased dog's name, your call, and a brief story how the dog got its name.

As always, 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. JANUARY SPRINT RESULTS: For the January sprint, we had some strange conditions. 80 meters was superb in some places. I made 42 QSOs just on 80 and just from calling CQ. In other places, members said 80 was too noisy to do anything there. Others praised 40 meters while others said it was virtually dead. About the only agreement was that 20 meters was pretty bad everywhere except maybe for a couple folks with the big high antennas that can catch 20 meters RF that we folks with little low antennas can't.

With that brief intro, we move on to stats from our January 19th sprint after mentioning we also had a second sprint in January - our 160 meters sprint which took place too late to be included in this newsletter. We'll have results in the next newsletter.

Total QSOs1844165920699/11
Hour 1 QSOs96488810859/11
Hour 2 QSOs8807719849/11
20M QSOs411310006/10
40M QSOs8731059151111/11
80M QSOs9305889301/12
Avg QSOs per stn15.113.519.39/11

SWA Category
Other Categories
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 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 19 stations who didn't submit a log showed up 5 to 30 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:

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 52 of 122 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 in 2012:


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

Full sprint info here.

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pix_blueball (1K) - Every so often we like to share feedback from our members, and this is one of those times, so here goes.

pix_blueball (1K) - From Edgardo XE1XUS, "Dear John, Good morning. Thank you for accepting me into your respected QRP CW group. It is certainly a pleasure and honor being part of it. I will work towards improving my CW skills so to represent the group in the best possible way. Take care. 73, Edgardo. XE1XUS"

pix_blueball (1K) - From Dick K1IEE regarding the free FISTS membership donated by Nancy WZ8C of FISTS, "Hi John, Received it today Friday. Thank you. 73 Dick K1IEE Also thank Mike for the nice QSL from the NAQCC WPA Chapter. That was a fun time for me as well."

pix_blueball (1K) - From Mark NA4O regarding the prize of an amplifier kit donated by Gregg WB8LZG, "Gregg, I was very surprised today to receive an LM386 amplifier kit. I had to check the NAQCC website to see what it was that I had done to deserve this. This is to say thanks to you, Gregg, and to those other club members who make this such an outstanding group! I know groups like this do not just happen, but are the result of much dedication, love and down-right effort!

It is a pleasure, and a prize in itself, to participate in the Sprints and other club activities. Additional prizes like this are really the icing and are appreciated. It is funny the way things happen sometimes and this is one of those times. First, I have taken inspiration from John and have begun a streak of daily qrp cw contacts. I have make contacts every day this year so far. Not all that impressive, but a start for sure. So encouragement from NAQCC was appropriate. Next, I am just over the last few days getting back into some homebrew project building. The amplifier kit fit right in there. And, finally, this weekend is my birthday, so this was a very nice surprise! (My main birthday gift is a new straight key-- after 44 years as a ham, I figured it was time!)

Thanks again, Gregg and all. Your efforts are recognized and much appreciated. I hope to see you in my log soon. 73, Mark Hopkins NAQCC # 368 NA4O"

pix_blueball (1K) - Perhaps you're not aware of the many prizes the NAQCC offers because you haven't explored the NAQCC web site thoroughly. If so, just check them out on the prizes page in the main section of the web site.

pix_blueball (1K) - HELP WANTED - Out of our 5870+ members we got just 3 responses to our help wanted ad in the previous newsletter. VA3PEN is going to do a good job working with our special mW and 160M sprints. His first dealings with the 160M sprint on Thursday eve Jan 26th turned out excellent so far. Also we are just now working out details with W7GAH about the membership updates job. We have a couple more jobs we are going to try to farm out. See the next item and also watch future newsletters. Also we'll have a better introduction to our two newest helpers in a future newsletter. Thanks also to K7HAP who volunteered for the updating job.

pix_blueball (1K) - HELP WANTED II - We'd like to have a regular monthly poll on the web site instead of the poll now that we never get time to change regularly. If you're interested in managing such a poll, let us know at pix_email_naqcc (1K) and we'll supply the details to see if you think you can handle it. The hardest part is thinking up new polls after a while. I know that for a fact from the 150 polls I've had on my (K3WWP) web site over the years at a rate of one a month. Actually doing the poll is a matter of a couple of text files each month you supply to us for uploading to the web site, and compiling the results into another text file for posting when a poll expires.

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 65th different one, and so far of the 64 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 (Feb 11) 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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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)
Items in this section are from Chapter President Rich WD0K (L) 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 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. Since the move to 80m in December, stations from TX, AR, OK, KS, MO, CO, AL and IN have successfully checked into the net.

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 once again to Robert, W5YDM #3295, for the highest Texas Chapter score and the third highest score overall in the January Sprint. Second and third places in the Chapter go to Rondel, N5NK #5484 and Evan, W5IQS, #3924. Seven Texas stations submitted logs for the Sprint. This was a another 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.

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.

After missing a couple of months, Mike KC2EGL and John K3WWP got together on January 16. We got all caught up on the NAQCC prizes. So if you earned a prize you should either have received it by now or have received an email asking which prize you wanted if it was a multiple choice prize. If you did get such an email, please respond with your choice immediately.

Mike also sent out our special N3A picture QSLs to those he worked during our anniversary special event celebration back in October.

Of course we had our obligatory food stop. This time at Vocelli's Pizza for a pepperoni pizza and a tomato/spinach pizza. I think eventually we'll sample every variety of pizza they have. So far we haven't found one that we didn't like.

We also worked on installing a solar filter on Mike's astronomy binoculars, but couldn't try it out as the Sun never showed its face except for a brief glance at us just short enough we couldn't take advantage of it.

I also settled up with Mike on the K2 and KX-1 so they are now truly mine.

We did a few other things including a trip to Radio Shack for a couple of parts Mike and I both needed for a couple of our own projects. Also we did a 'dress rehearsal' of sorts for our March Messier Marathon with his Starry Night program and my Voyager program. From the looks of that, the first couple, M77 and M74, as well as the last couple M2 and especially M30 may be very difficult unless we can find a better place than the community park with a less obstructed view of the horizon. It's not bad there, but there is a line of trees to the east which will make M30 almost impossible.

Our next get-together will probably be on President's day, another postman holiday.

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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)

Dan has found a "Pinch NCS" for the NQN on Sunday evenings while he recuperates from surgery. Craig N4PLK (#5775) is the man. Thanks Craig. He will be taking over about mid-February, so keep an ear out for a different call at the helm then.

Now having said that, Dan still needs a "Pinch NCS" for the Thursday evening ECN. Won't someone step forward as Craig did and take the position. If you can do so, email Dan and let him know.

The very latest NAQCC QRS Nets schedule can always be found on the NAQCC web site here.

Recent Net Activity:
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
                      K1IEE N6TLU K9EYT N8IUP KG0YR W9ZSJ W4AMW N4PLK

NAQCC East Texas QRS Net (ETN)
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
1-11-12  KA5TJS  -4-  KE5TJS KE5YGA W5IQS KF4IBU

NAQCC Rocky Mtn Regional/Continental QRS net (RMR) - Tuesday
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
01-3-12  WC7S    -2-  WC7S AE7CG
1-10-12  WC7S    -2-  WC7S K1IEE

NAQCC Rocky Mtn Regional/Continental QRS net (RMR) - Thursday
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
1-5-12   WC7S    -4-  WC7S K1IEE AE7CG N4NQ

NAQCC East Coast QRS Net (ECN)
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
1-6-12   AF4LB   -6-  AF4LB K1IEE K3WWP K9EYT WA2JSG
1-13-12  AF4LB   -3-  AF4LB K1IEE K3WWP

NAQCC Pacific NorthWest QRS Net (PNW)
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
1-06-12  KE7LKW  -2-  KE7LKW VE7DSN 
1-13-12  KE7LKW  -3-  KE7LKW K7ZI K7ZNP
1-27-12  KE7LKW  -4-  KE7LKW KE7LKW N6KIX K7ZNP NX1P
For more net info, see CW Assistance/QRS Nets on the web site.

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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 couple responses, so come on, I'm sure more of you have ideas you'd like to share.

From K3WWP - A few issues ago in #155, Dean NW2K reviewed a contest simulation program called Morse Runner. When I renewed my ARRL membership, the gift I got was a CD with a lot of ham software on it. One of the programs was Morse Runner, so I installed it and have been playing with it. I'd like to add my comments to those of Dean after using it for a few days now. You may want to review his comments. There is some additional info there I didn't repeat here.

First of all, for basically starting out learning the code, we at the NAQCC still recommend the program called "Just Learn Morse Code". Use that to get the code learned and to get your speed up to a comfortable level.

Once you are there, I would strongly recommend using Morse Runner. With JLMC, you had no QRM, QSB, etc. to contend with. That is not going to be the case when you start using the code on the air. With MR, you can add in any or all of the following: QRN, QRM, QSB, Flutter, and even LIDs. It really does sound just exactly like what you hear in an average location on the air.

Although it is a contest simulator and not really a code practice program, if you set it to a comfortable speed, you will get used to copying under actual on-air conditions. It only sends call signs, RST (most of the time 599), and QSO serial numbers at random. That does turn out to be good practice since you do eventually get all the letters of the alphabet and all the digits from 0-9 plus the question mark at times.

When you get really good at it, you can set it to pile-up mode and pretend you are a big KW/beam contest station and see what they have to contend with in contests. It can be awesome trying to dig out one call from big pileups like they do.

At first though, stick with the Single Call mode. It's much easier. It looks like the speed bottoms out at 10 WPM though, so you may need to be able to copy at that speed before you can easily use MR.

It is tricky at first since you have to send the other station's call correctly, or he will just keep calling until you do. I had a little trouble at first in correcting and re-sending info, but you'll get used to it quickly. If you have any specific questions, I'll try to answer them or maybe refer you to Dean. Have fun.

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Friendship Club
0011 - NY4G 12/31/11
0012 - W9UX 1/23/12

1000 MPW
0119 - NY4G 12/2/11
0120 - MW0RSS 1/14/12
0121 - N2JNZ 1/18/12
0122 - N2JNZ 1/23/12

Participation Award 2011
W1 - K1IEE
W2 - W2JEK
W3 - K3WWP
W4 - KU4A
W5 - KE5YUM W5IQS (tie)
W7 - NU7T
W8 - N8XMS
W9 - W9UX
W0 - WD0K
FREE FISTS Membership to K1IEE in a tie-breaker over VE3FUJ with K3WWP, W2JEK, and N8XMS withdrawing

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

QSO-a-Day (Full year of 2011)
0001 - K3WWP 1/1/12

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

2XQRP 250 points
0012 - NY4G 12/30/11

Alphabet Prefix USA
0011 - K9OSC 1/16/12

DXCC Category A (QRP)
0008 - W9UX 1/10/12

DXCC Category C (QRPp 50 countries)
0001 - K3WWP 12/31/11

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

WAS Category A
0016 - NY4G 12/2/11
0017 - K1IEE 1/6/12
0018 - K9OSC 1/16/12

WAS Category B (2X QRP)
0001 - NW2K 12/26/11

WAVE Category A
0003 - W2JEK 1/7/12


Friendship Club

Alphabet Prefix World
300 - NU7T 12/3/11
569 - K3WWP 12/31/11

Alphabet Prefix USA
100 - K9OSC 1/16/12

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


40 meters - K3WWP 12/2/11


WOW, we'll have get a lot more electrons for the newsletter if our award winners continue to proliferate! 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 hc159 (1K) 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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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.
Ariel Jacala NY4G #5308

Picture of NY4G

I first got interested in amateur radio as a teenager in New York City - about 1975 and I was about 15. Fast forward to February 2009, and this time I was over the age of 50 - Technician Exam passed, February 2010 - General Exam passed, then April 2010, Extra Class passed July 2010. I applied for the call I have now - NY4G

Interest in CW started while helping to get Boy Scouts on the Air during their annual Get On The Air (GOTA) Event in October 2010. The scouts, another fellow ham K4MLW (Marty) and I had a sort of a summit activation as I tried to demonstrate to scouts all aspects of amateur radio - phone, CW, PSK, HF and FM operation while at the top of Caesars Head mountain. In preparation I tried to learn code and found that CW was really cool. As it turns out, CW and QRP go together like peanut butter and jelly. I was drawn to QRP for many reasons - for one, it was a challenge (requires more skill). Also, it does not require a huge investment in equipment. For example, you can work the world with a single band kit radio and an efficient wire antenna. After having read Rich Arland's book (Low Power Communication), and John Shannon's column in FISTS Keynote, my interest in CW grew. My QSO count in October 2010 was about 300. Fast forward to December 2011 and my QSO count is 1500 and counting with only 3 phone QSO's on HF, so I am about 99.6% CW.

Since being licensed in March 2009, I have been able to achieve ARRL WAS (Worked All States), NAQCC WAS CW and QRP, NAQCC WAC (Worked All Continents) QRP, NAQCC and QRP ARCI 1000 mile per watt awards, QRP ARCI - Worked All States, SKCC Centurion, I have 74 credits towards DXCC on LOTW and have worked over 110 unique DX entities. Favorite activities - hiking and portable radio, NAQCC and SKCC Sprints.

In my modest shack:
Rigs: 30 year old Kenwood TS830S, Yaesu FT897D and K2/100 (self-built)
Keys: Begali SimplePaddle, WW2 US Navy Flameproof straight key
Antenna: G5RV at about 30-40 ft, inverted Vee.

If there is a message I have, especially for young operators, is that, it is possible to learn and accomplish a lot in Amateur Radio in a small span of time (in my case - about 2 years). It does require persistence and practice, and most of all interest and a desire to learn.

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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 Feb 9. 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'm delighted to now have some additional help in running the NAQCC as mentioned in the club news above. Those two new helpers added to the fine staff we already have should free up some time to do other things I've been neglecting more and more as the NAQCC grows and grows. I might even be able to take advantage of our now active sun and get in some more DXing. Also when the weather permits, more fishing and walking. It's great.

Not really much news to report. I tried to beat my 160M NAQCC sprint record of 23 QSOs last night, but came up short with only 19. Conditions were pretty bad here with my attic wire antenna. You really needed something bigger and better than that to do well. Just look at the results when they are final to see what the big scorers used as an antenna. At least with the K2 and its wonderful DSP filtering, I could pull some (but not all - sorry K4BAI) VERY weak signals through that I might not even have heard with the 570 or 480.

I'm having a lot of fun working on both the FISTS PPA and the Elecraft awards. I need Nebraska to complete the Elecraft WAS award.

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

pix_blueball (1K) From Steve NU7T #434 - Thank you for the newsletter column. I read each issue. I have created a list of possible masts useful for portable operations. It can be found on my web site: http://web1.greatbasin.net/~nu7t

pix_blueball (1K) From Terry KE5YUM #3102 - I've been working on my winter goals which include building the power supply for my 1929 Hartley transmitter, finishing the transmitter project, and getting it on the air. I've made two contacts with the rig, and both contacts have been with Allen KA5TJS during the East Texas QRS net. Thanks to Allen for letting me play with the rig during the net. Yes, it whoops a little but the frequency is stable. The transmitter puts out two watts to a 80 meter dipole.


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.