pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

Feb 25, 2012NAQCC Web Site Issue #161

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

1. MARCH CHALLENGE: Our March challenge is an alphabet challenge dealing with the end of the use of CW in the Maritime services. As this is written, there are a couple details remaining to be worked out, but the complete rules will be posted before March 1. The word list is finished and is there in the rules now. There are a couple of interesting twists to this challenge that should make it as interesting as the dog challenge in February. We hope you will participate and help to continue the growth in popularity of our challenges. Thanks.

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. FEBRUARY SPRINT RESULTS: For the 22nd of the last 23 sprints we exceeded the 100 logs mark, thanks to the dedication of our wonderful members to their club's activities. Thank you for making our NAQCC sprints THE greatest.

With that brief intro, we move on to stats from our February 15th sprint. As you see, we came close to a few records, but fell just short.

Total QSOs1928184420699/11
Hour 1 QSOs102196410859/11
Hour 2 QSOs9078809849/11
20M QSOs974110006/10
40M QSOs1208873151111/11
80M QSOs6239309301/12
Avg QSOs per stn17.415.119.39/11

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 17 stations who didn't submit a log showed up 5 to 27 times in the 111 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 46 of 111 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:

2 - 19 members

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) - Once again it is our sad duty to announce the passing of two of our members. The following became SK's recently.

From Dave VA3RJ - "Yet another piece of sad news - Per March 2012 QST - NAQCC # 1383 Bobby Canup, W4OHA, became Silent Key November 2, 2011 at the age of 80. (December 4, 1930 - November 2, 2011). Bobby was also an "active" member of the FISTS CW Club (# 8771). http://www.mayeswarddobbins.com/obituaries/Bobby-Canup/#/Obituary"

From Steve NU7T - "On February 4, 2012, the key of our dear friend and NAQCC member #1703 went silent. During his 71 years as a Ham, Swede, K7UAL, was a supporter and advocate of NAQCC, FISTS, and Morse Code. He was an energetic member of MARS, ARES, RACES, Search and Rescue, and very active in local clubs such as the Reno QRP Group and the Sierra Nevada Amateur Radio Society. His attitude enthused us all. Thank you, Swede. We will "keep smilin'", my friend."

Our sympathies go out to the family and friends of W4OHA and K7UAL.

pix_blueball (1K) - The FISTS club is having problems with their web site server, and the site has been unavailable for the past several days. Hopefully that will have been fixed by the time you read this. But if you go there and the site is still down, Nancy WZ8C would like some help from someone who is knowledgeable about web site servers. Check her address/email in QRZ if you could help them out.

pix_blueball (1K) - HELP WANTED - Just a wrap-up of our recent 'help wanted' efforts. Ki VA3PEN is doing an excellent job of posting scores and soapboxes for our NAQCC special mW and 160M sprints. Jerry W7GAH likewise with his chore of checking the FCC database every five days for membership update info - call changes and address changes. Jerry VE6CPP has started his job of producing a new poll for the web site each month.

Thanks to these three fine folks for helping out and giving old John K3WWP a little more relaxation time. Of course thanks also to all our other officers and helpers for the fine job they are doing.

Now one more:

HELP WANTED - It was such a great relief to have Ki doing the posting of logs and soapboxes for our 160M sprint in January that I thought it would be nice for someone to take over the job of doing the same for our regular sprints each month. Ki is still a member of the working class and says he doesn't have time now to do more than the special sprints. Will NQ2W offered to help out, but after getting the details, decided it wouldn't fit into his work schedule either. Both have said that when they retire they would be glad to do the job.

However just a couple days ago, I had another volunteer for the job - Dean NW2K, regular winner of the SWA W2 division in our sprints. We are now in the process of working out the details and it hc161 (1K) looks very good that there will now be one less job for tired worn out K3WWP to do. I'll still do the cross-checking of logs, but Dean will post the scores and soapboxes on the web site. Or actually update the page as the scores come in to him, and send it to me for posting.

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 67th different one, and so far of the 66 previous ones, only 10 have found their call. However, and this may be a good sign that more members are reading the newsletter thoroughly, we have had a winner in each of the last two newsletters, and 3 in the last 8. As we remind you every issue, somewhere in this newsletter is a call sign of a member in graphic form (so Ctrl-F won't find it) 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 (Mar 17) 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, IL, IN and FL have successfully checked into the net. Check the weekly NAQCC net e-mail for the latest ETN info.

Allen, KA5TJS, #4512, the NCS of the East Texas QRS Net, pointed out that I have been 'asleep at the key' as I didn't notice that the ETN has passed its one year anniversary mark. The ETN met for the first time on January 24th, 2011. Allen has done a great job with the net. I'm sure that the 'regulars' that check in to the net each Monday night will testify to that. I encourage everyone to listen for the ETN and to check in to say HI to Allen.

Congratulations yet again to Robert, W5YDM, #3295, for the highest Texas Chapter score and the fifth highest score overall in the February Sprint. Evan, W5IQS, #3924 was in the thick of the pack with a nice tenth place finish overall and second place in the Chapter. Welcome to the Texas Sprint posse to Ken, K5KGK, #5615. Another good turnout by Texas hams!

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.

Tom WY3H and John K3WWP have been working on getting our NAQCC challenges set up for the rest of the year, and hope to have them all set sometime in March. Tom is also going to get our special event calls set up for our October anniversary celebration.

Mike KC2EGL and John had a couple of impromptu visits recently. Mostly non-ham radio stuff, but Mike did sit in on the last 90 minutes of my ARRL DX Contest time. I enjoyed having him there, and I think he enjoyed it as well seeing how his (previously) K2 performed. Most of the stations heard then were ones I had heard and worked before, but I did add several to the log while Mike was here.

Mike and I also got together on Wednesday to get caught up on the NAQCC prizes as we do each month. We also had a trip to the Pittsburgh Mills Mall for a visit to Best Buy and a meal at Appleby's. Some work on his telescope when we got home was also included.

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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 soon now, 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
2-21-12  AF4LB   -5-  AF4LB N4PLK KF4IBU K1IEE AC8AP

NAQCC East Texas QRS Net (ETN)
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
2-14-12  KA5TJS  -4-  KA5TJS KE5YUM W5IQS KF4IBU

NAQCC Rocky Mtn Regional/Continental QRS net (RMR) - Tuesday
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
1-3-12   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
2-09-12  WC7S    -2-  WC7S AE7CG

NAQCC East Coast QRS Net (ECN)
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
2-3-12   AF4LB   -4-  AF4LB KF4IBU K1IEE N4PLK
2-10-12  AF4LB   -2-  AF4LB KF4IBU
2-24-12  AF4LB   -2-  AF4LB KF4IBU

NAQCC Pacific NorthWest QRS Net (PNW)
Date(UTC)   NCS        Participants
2-3-12   KE7LKW  -3-  KE7LKW K7ZNP KC7USS
2-10-12  KE7LKW  -2-  KE7LKW K7ZNP
2-16-12  ke7lkw  -3-  ke7lkw k7znp n6kix
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 - I always thought that so called 'code reading' programs that decoded CW and displayed it on a screen served only one useful purpose. They help totally deaf hams to still be able to use this wonderful mode. I thought they should only be used by the hearing-impaired, and otherwise were an insult and demeaning to hams who had no hearing problem.

However Joe W3TTT pointed out another reason to use one, and it's a good one. A code reader is an excellent way to hone your skills using a straight key or bug, maybe even a keyer. Just set up the reader to copy your sending practice sessions. Since code readers are nowhere as good at copying sloppy code as is the human ear and brain, you will quickly learn if what you are sending is good or sloppy code. If the reader copies exactly what you are sending, you're on the way to having a good fist. If it displays garbage on its screen, then you know you have work to do on your sending.

I've never used or even tried a code reader here, so I can't give you any more info on them than that. I suppose a Bing search on the Internet would turn up more info. Or perhaps if enough of you are interested, I could get more info from Joe and post it in this section in an upcoming newsletter.

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Friendship Club
0012 - W9UX 1/23/12

1000 MPW
0120 - MW0RSS 1/14/12
0121 - N2JNZ 1/18/12
0122 - N2JNZ 1/23/12
0123 - K9OSC 1/31/12
0124 - AK9A 2/4/12


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

QSO-a-Day (One month)

2XQRP 50 points
0017 - K9OSC 2/21/12

2XQRP 100 points
0014 - K9OSC 2/21/12

2XQRP 250 points
0013 - K9OSC 2/21/12

Alphabet Prefix USA
0011 - K9OSC 1/16/12

DXCC Category A (QRP)
0008 - W9UX 1/10/12
0009 - W5RID 1/31/12

DXCC Category C (QRPp 50 countries)

WAC Category A (QRP)

WAS Category A
0017 - K1IEE 1/6/12
0018 - K9OSC 1/16/12

WAS Category B (2X QRP)

WAVE Category A
0003 - W2JEK 1/7/12


Friendship Club

Alphabet Prefix World

Alphabet Prefix USA
100 - K9OSC 1/16/12

KMPW 100 SWA Category

KMPW 100 SWA/GAIN Category

Suffix Words SWA/GAIN Category




A bit of a slowdown in awards in February after a bang-up December and January. Maybe because it's a shorter month even with the leap day? Also band conditions have slipped a bit from the great conditions we had in late fall, and this newsletter is out a few days before the end of the month.

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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.
Phil Bowers KB0ETU #3833

Picture of KB0ETU

Back in 1950 while by myself one evening, I decided to play with Dad's radio - a Stewart-Warner console that he would listen to every day. So I turned it on, turned some knobs, and discovered "shortwave". The first station I heard was broadcasting from Rio de Janeiro and it was in English! I was "hooked" on shortwave listening. Through the years, and I bought and built numerous shortwave radios. After retiring from the Army I heard about classes for ham radio. This was early spring in 1989. I passed the Novice class in May, and June I passed the Technician. Two years later, I had the General under my belt. Then in October of '09, I finally acquired the Extra.

My first HF rig was a used Ten-Tec Corsair II. I bought it several months after getting my General. I was strictly SSB for several years and then I bought a Bencher paddle. July '93 I made my first cw contact (AA8HE). It was 7 years later I made my first QRP contact (K5MMH). And eight years later I made my first straight key contact (CM3GW). My first overseas contact QRP was with I0QM (Nov '09). I finally got brave enough to try QRPp in December '11 (KJ4OBI). In December of '09 I retired the Corsair II and replaced it with a Ten-Tec Jupiter which I use for CW and also digital (e.g., PSK-31, RTTY, etc.). Most of my QRP ( and QRPp) cw is made using my Elecraft K-2 (one sweet machine!).

I enjoy a challenge and I discovered that using a microphone wasn't much of a one. As much as I "hated" cw, it was more of a challenge. Straight key was "something else". It took me awhile to get used to, but once I did, I put the paddles on the shelf. I find the straight key slower, but that's fine with me. When I'm using the radio I'm not in a hurry. I want to savor and enjoy the experience. I also find that using QRO makes for easy contacts, whereas QRP is another challenge and as I've just recently discovered QRPp is even a better challenge. I enjoy "ragchewing" and doing sprints with FISTS, SKCC, and of course, NAQCC. I'm considering doing the sprints this year QRPp at maybe 500 milliwatts with a dipole up 40 feet. But that's still "up in the air" (pun intended).

When not playing "radio", I enjoy motorcycling, reading and I've been known to "tickle the ivories" on the piano. And I still enjoy listening to shortwave broadcast.

Well,"that's my story and I'm stickin' to it".


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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 Mar 15. 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 - Actually to confess a little white lie in the CW Assistance section above, I did use a code reader briefly at one time. As a challenge, I programmed my old Color Computer (remember them?) in machine language (remember programming like that?) to read CW. I did it basically from scratch with nothing but logic to go by. It worked somewhat decently. Then as soon as I felt satisfied I mastered the challenge, I never used it any longer. It probably still resides on my old CC hard drive up in my attic. End of confession.

I had a great time in the ARRL DX Contest. Putting in only 9 hours, I made 184 QSOs in 61 countries which was not as good as in the CQWW DX test last November when I got 296 QSOs in 93 countries. Still it was fun especially when Mike was here as described in the WPA Chapter news above.

It's also been fun this month working on the NAQCC Dog Challenge. As of 2/22 I need just 4 S's and 1 L to complete the challenge. I'm also working on the FISTS Perpetual Prefix award, and have just over 1/3 of the required prefixes. If there wasn't a requirement to get the ham's name and QTH in the QSO, I'd be much closer with all my contest QSOs so far this year. I could count the NAQP QSOs in January since name and QTH (state) are part of the exchange, but not the ARRL DX or other contests.

With very kind members like Ki, Jerry, Jerry, and now Dean taking over some of my NAQCC work and helping to restore my sanity, hopefully I'll be able to get some more on-air time now to work on the FISTS PPA. I really enjoy the FISTS activities, but haven't been able to devote as much time to them as I would like, since most of my on-air time is devoted to our NAQCC activities or getting my daily 'streak' QSO.

pix_blueball (1K) From Jerry VE6CPP #5697 - I have sent in a couple reports regarding Earl, VA6RF #1547 who was involved in a horrific motorcycle accident almost a year ago. I have learned that Earl has been moved from the hospital to a rehab facility, undergoing what sounds to be a lengthy rehabilitative program. They are also going to be fitting him with a prosthetic limb for his missing leg but he is apparently in 'great spirits'. He is enjoying his new QTH better as he now can use his wheel chair to attend meals and such with other people, rather than being stuck in a hospital room. There are computers for the patients to check e-mail so it is a little closer to home, but not quite.

I have not seen or spoken with Earl since his accident but am looking forward to our next meeting when I tell him I joined the NAQCC and have since taken over the roll of 'The Polls'. I will have a new one every month. There was a bit of trial and error on my first one but John, K3WWP has been more than accommodating to this newbie! If anyone has any suggestions for future polls, feel free to e-mail me at ve6cpp@rac.ca. I am always open to mew ideas.

pix_blueball (1K) From Merlin KD0V #2002 - Well, there is nothing like a little wind chill, 18F. It is not bad if you are moving around but sending CW is a different story. It was great though. I got cold in spite of a down parka, heavy wool pants, four hats, and two pairs of gloves. It was hard sending CW and writing with two pair of gloves on. The equipment all worked well. The solar panel was even putting out some power. I charged the batteries ahead of time. The 1949 Vibroplex Deluxe worked very well and my pen didn't freeze.

I was using the short 20M folded dipole @ 20' as an inverted Vee. It worked very well. The results were not too bad. It took an hour to set up and about 20 minutes to tear down. I started at 1800Z and was finished by 2200Z. I had 18 QSO's with 15 sections. In the photo I am doing my last QSO with N5JKY in OK.


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.