|Mar 31, 2012||NAQCC Web Site||Issue #163|
In this issue:|
1. April Challenge
2. March 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. APRIL CHALLENGE: Our Challenge Manager Tom WY3H has come up with a bird challenge for April since April is a month when some migrating birds return up north or come from the woods back into towns. Although with the mild winter and early spring up north this year, that event has already taken place. Also not all the birds in the list do migrate. Any question about this or any of our challenges go to Tom at .|
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.
2. MARCH SPRINT RESULTS: Before we talk about this record-breaking sprint, I want to discuss something very important. Because of many errors in submitted logs that waste a lot of my time to correct them before they are ready for cross-checking, I've devised what I call a GOLDEN LOG check list. If you will look at this list, and apply it to your log before submitting it, I guarantee you will have a GOLDEN LOG (at least as far as formatting) and earn my eternal thanks for easing my headaches here. It is available here in plain text form. I suggest you download it, print it out and use it if you have any doubts whatsoever about how your log must look to be a GOLDEN LOG. From now on, I will email a copy of it to anyone who submits what at first glance looks to have obvious formatting errors.
Now let's talk about our March sprint. First of all, thanks to Dean NW2K for doing an excellent job of compiling scores and posting those scores and soapboxes on the sprint results page. That at least saved me a lot of time, for sure.
We had our second highest number of logs ever - 129 - behind only our best showing of 135 logs in August 2010. We had the highest number of QSOs to ever go into the cross-checker - 2,324. See the stats below for other records. The good showing came mostly because of the excellent band conditions on 20 and 40. Also of course because of our wonderful NAQCC members and their dedication to making our sprints the best. Thanks to PJ4/K4BAI and PJ2/AC8AP for adding some DXcitement to this month's sprint.
Something needs to be said about our frequencies. Many folks seem to think when we say something like 7035-7045 or whatever that 7035 and 7045 are iron clad boundaries beyond which they dare not venture. Apparently they are not familiar with contest suggested frequencies. Given frequencies are only a starting point from which to spread out lower and higher in frequency if necessary. Many contests simply state their frequencies as 30 kHz up from the band edge or they say 7030 kHz. Now obviously it doesn't mean everyone must operate on 7030 kHz, but merely center operations around that frequency, 7020-7040, 7010-7050 or whatever is necessary to avoid overcrowding. Exactly the same with our sprints and our suggested frequencies. As I seem to remember Moe saying to Curly and Larry in those wonderful Three Stooges films - SPREAD OUT!
Let's move on to stats from our March 22nd sprint.
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 26 stations who didn't submit a log showed up 5 to 20 times in the 129 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:
K1AY K1UQE K6EEE K7NEW KA9VHG KC3QU KG9HM KK4BOB N5VWN NX8Z W4CJV W5NZ WA4TNM
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 55 of 129 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 LOGs in 2012:
3 - KB9ILT KU4A N1RU N8XMS NQ2W W4DUK W9CC W9UX
Wow, we are paring the list down fast. Thanks to all GOLDEN LOGgers for making my cross-checking job that much easier. Incidentally 317 of you have submitted at least one GOLDEN LOG since we started that feature in March 2010. I think that shows that anyone can submit a GOLDEN LOG with just a bit of effort and checking on their part before submitting.
Here's a summary of the number of GOLDEN LOGS:
Year #GLs #Logs %GOLDEN 2010 402 1076 37.4 2011 544 1317 41.3 2012 154 362 42.5 Total 1100 2755 39.9So you see we are above average this year so far and the percentage has increased each year. That's rewarding to see as it means our members are getting better at log keeping and log submitting. Congratulations!
Full sprint info here.
3. GENERAL CLUB NEWS:
- Since announcing our 8th Anniversay celebration coming up this October, we've already gotten some volunteers to operate our N#A special event stations during the celebration week. Here's who we have lined up so far:
N1A - N2A - N3A - K3WWP WY3H KC2EGL WA3HIC N4A - N5A - N6A - K6MGO N7A - N8A - N9A - N0A -Calls in red have volunteered to operate the sprint that week.
Here are excerpts from our N#A page which you can always check for more and later information. Our 8th anniversary celebration will take place from Sunday October 7, 2012 at 0000Z through Saturday October 13, 2012 at 2400Z. Once again as we've done the past few celebrations, we'll be using one special event call sign for each of the 10 USA call areas, i.e. N1A N2A N3A N4A N5A N6A N7A N8A N9A N0A. Club president Tom WY3H has secured use of those calls for that 7 day period.
With the calls secured, it is now time to start signing up operators to use those calls. We'll update this page every time some one signs up. If you sign up now, there is no solid commitment to operate and you are free to back out should something unforseen happen to prevent you from operating that week. It is best to sign up early as choice of operating times is given on a first come, first served basis....
We need to have ONE operator from each area to operate the sprint which happens that week on Tuesday evening. That can be settled later on as time draws closer. However you can volunteer now for the sprint, and as with the rest of the operation, you are free to back out if you can't operate the sprint.
Operating times and dates are decided on strictly by communication among the members in a call area. As mentioned, any conflicts in schedule will go in favor of the order of signing up. When a schedule is decided on it will be posted on our schedule page here on the web site.
Operating a N#A station is (to use an old proverb) as easy as falling off a log. Just operate as one normally does, but use a N#A call instead of their own.
- It was disappointing when we heard from the manufacturer of our NAQCC club hats and the new NAQCC shirts that sales of those items are going very slowly. The prices are very competitive with all other hats and shirts, and we feel that if you are proud of being a NAQCC member you should get a shirt and/or hat to show your pride. Perhaps you are not aware of these items. If so, all you need to do is look at the main page of the club web site to see pictures of the shirts and hats, as well as other club merchandise. Click on a picture for more details or to place your order. The NAQCC does not get one cent from the sale of any of the items, but we urge you to support those who put in the effort to create this merchandise for us by making a purchase. On their behalf, we say thank you.
- Just our usual quick reminder we're continuing with the hidden call sign idea originally suggested by Bill KB3XS. 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 BEFORE the publication date of the next newsletter (Apr 7) 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.
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:
Items in this section are from EU Chapter President Matt MW3YMY unless otherwise credited.
Questions or comments should go to
The EU Chapter web site is at http://www.naqcc-eu.org/
NAQCC MINNESOTA CHAPTER:
Items in this section are from Chapter President Rich WD0K (L) unless otherwise credited.
Questions or comments should go to .
NAQCC TEXAS CHAPTER:
Items in this section are from TX Chapter Director Ron K5DUZ unless otherwise credited.
Questions or comments should go to
The TX Chapter web site is at http://www.naqcctx.com/
The East Texas QRS Net (ETN) meets each Monday evening at 1900 CDST (0000 UTC). The net has moved to 7060 KHz until next fall. The ETN net is open to all comers, not just stations in Texas, so if you hear the net in session please check-in with Allen, KA5TJS, #4512, the NCS . Check the weekly NAQCC net e-mail for the latest ETN info.
Allen has completed the assembly of his Oak Hills Research model OHR 100A, 40m transceiver. He used it during the ETN net last Monday evening and it worked well. Allen has promised to provide more details about the assembly and operation of the OHR 100A in the next few weeks
The March NAQCC Sprint was held Wednesday evening, March 21st and as usual, Robert, W5YDM, #3295 placed first in the Texas Chapter and was seventh overall. Evan, W5IQS, #3924 placed second in the chapter and was tied for 22nd place overall. The competition was quite stiff this month so the conditions must have been good for most contestants. Ed, N5EM, #5750 was a first time participant and we welcome him to the 'posse'. Make plans now for trying your hand in the Tuesday, April 10th (Texas time) Sprint!
Remember that all NAQCC members located in Texas (353 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:
Items in this section are from John K3WWP unless otherwise credited.
Questions or comments should go to
All chapter news can be found ONLY here in this section of the newsletter.
5. NAQCC QRS NETS:
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:
The very latest NAQCC QRS Nets schedule can always be found on the NAQCC web site here.
Recent Net Activity:
NAQCC Main QRS Net (NQN) Date(UTC) NCS Participants 3-6-12 AF4LB -5- AF4LB K1IEE N8IUP N9RLO N4PLK 3-11-12 AF4LB -3- AF4LB K1IEE W4HH 3-20-12 AF4LB -5- AF4LB N8IUP N6TLU KG0YR K1IEE 3-26-12 AF4LB -6- AF4LB N4JD K1IEE N6TLU N4PLK N9RLO NAQCC East Texas QRS Net (ETN) Date(UTC) NCS Participants 3-7-12 KA5TJS -2- KA5TJS KE5YGA 3-27-12 KA5TJS -3- KA5TJS KE5YGA KE5YUM NAQCC Rocky Mtn Regional/Continental QRS net (RMR) - Tuesday Date(UTC) NCS Participants 3-20-12 WC7S -2- WC7S K1IEE NAQCC Rocky Mtn Regional/Continental QRS net (RMR) - Thursday Date(UTC) NCS Participants 3-1-12 WC7S -5- WC7S N9RLO KG0YR K1IEE AE7CG 3-8-12 WC7S -4- WC7S AE7CG K1IEE N0ZH 3-15-12 WC7S -3- WC7S KG0YR KE7FZZ NAQCC East Coast QRS Net (ECN) Date(UTC) NCS Participants 3-9-12 AF4LB -2- AF4LB K1IEE 3-17-12 AF4LB -2- AF4LB K1IEE 3-30-12 AF4LB -3- AF4LB K1IEE K3WWP NAQCC Pacific NorthWest QRS Net (PNW) Date(UTC) NCS Participants 3-9-12 KE7LKW -4- KE7LKW N6KIX WB4SPB K7ZNP 3-16-12 KE7LKW -4- KE4LKW K7ZNP N6KIX WB4SPB 3-23-12 KE4LKW -5- KE4LKW K7ZNP N6KIX WB4SPB KR7WFor more net info, see CW Assistance/QRS Nets on the web site.
6. THE NAQCC CW ASSISTANCE (ELMER) PROJECT:
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
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.
7. RECENT AWARD AND PRIZE WINNERS:
0124 - AK9A 2/4/12
QSO-a-Day (Full year of 2011)
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
DXCC Category A (QRP)
DXCC Category C (QRPp 50 countries)
WAC Category A (QRP)
WAS Category A
WAS Category B (2X QRP)
WAVE Category A
ENDORSEMENTS and HONOR ROLL LISTINGS:
0001 - K3WWP - 2000 points (944 members)
Alphabet Prefix World
Alphabet Prefix USA
KMPW 100 SWA Category
KMPW 100 SWA/GAIN Category
Suffix Words SWA/GAIN Category
SHOCKING - Not a single new award, endorsement, or honor roll update received during March. What's wrong? It can't be the price. Our awards are FREE for an emailed certificate. None of our awards are beyond the ability of any of our members with a little effort spent and time used. Come on and give our Awards Manager Rick AA4W a VERY BUSY April processing awards and distributing certificates and endorsements or updating honor rolls. Keep me busy posting your achievements here in our newsletter. With almost 6,000 members now, we should be issuing many award certificates.
8. MEMBER SPOTLIGHT:
This section is managed by Paul N8XMS and any questions about it should go to . Paul selects members at random and asks them if they would like to be featured in the Member Spotlight in the newsletter.
KD Sarchet WY5R #5783
I have enjoyed radio since my teen years in the late 1960's and early 1970's. I started as a SWL collecting QSL cards from broadcast stations around the world. I was a registered SWL with Popular Electronics and given the call sign of WPE5FFH. Anyone remember those days? (I do - K3WWP/WPE3FMD) I soon found that just plain listening wasn't quite good enough. I earned my novice license, WN5DEA, in 1970, and enjoyed many hundreds of CW contacts over the next year. I believe that the early CW experience left an indelible mark. My code speed improved, and just a bit over a year later, I earned my advanced class license as WB5DEA. I upgraded to extra class in the mid 1980's, keeping my old call. A couple of years later, I exercised my right to have a 2X1 call sign and changed to the current WY5R.
In the late 1970's, I enjoyed ham radio and my new hobby of personal computers. That combination has flourished since that time, going from RTTY to packet radio early on. Since that time, just about any digital mode has intrigued me.
About 5 years ago, I read online about a new mode called terrestrial JT65, and it quickly became the love of my ham radio life. Through this mode, I found out that contacts could be made between my home in Amarillo, Texas and anywhere in the world on less than 1 watt. And that was even at the lowest level of sunspot activity, with a 40M dipole at 16 feet for all HF bands. Wow, QRP!
About 6 months ago, the CW bug bit once again. I combined CW with QRP, and found this great organization that promotes both, the NAQCC. I am now getting back into home brewing and building kits, recently building a SoftRock RXTX ensemble. Experimenting with the software defined radio's has proven to be a lot of fun as well.
My current job requires constant travel, and I would like to hear from folks who have experience combining that with CW and QRP. I need something to keep me off the streets and out of the bars!
I have now been a licensed ham for 42 years, and the experience keeps getting better. I hope to meet more of the NAQCC members on the air soon.
73 de WY5R - KD
9. NEWS ITEMS AND ARTICLES BY OUR MEMBERS:
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 . Deadline for submitting news items for the next newsletter is Apr 5. 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.
From Dale KK9D #5580 - Your Club with the limited antennas and such as a philosophy is my favorite, I am using end fed wires and have had QRP success with them. Thanks and CUL Cheers
From John K3WWP #0002 - I enjoyed WY5R mentioning the old Popular Electronics SWL calls. Here's my WPE3FMD certificate.
Although I never collected SWBC QSLs to any extent as WY5R did, nor earned any of the WPE awards, I did enjoy SWLing and it did bring me into ham radio. It's a long story, and I'm not going to tell it all here, except to say that I 'accidentally' converted an old AM radio into a SW radio. The first SWBC station I heard was from Switzerland. I forget what they called themselves - Swiss Radio International? That was in the late 1950s or so. Then I heard local ham W3CYG, and that led to a high school friend and I working toward our ham licenses. He became KN3WWW and I of course was KN3WWP after we passed our Novice tests given by the aforementioned W3CYG. I never was seduced into changing my call sign over the years like so many hams have been. The only thing I did was to drop the N from my call a few months later when I upgraded to General. Then about 5 years later when incentive licensing came into being, I upgraded to Extra so I could continue to use the lower end of the CW bands. Likewise I was never (and won't be) seduced into phone or digital modes either. Of my 75,000 plus QSOs, all are CW except for 6 or so AM/SSB QSOs when I helped ham friends to check out their phone rigs to let them know what they sounded like on the air.
It's somewhat appropriate that I mention my ham radio beginnings in this issue since April 3, 2012 will be the 49th anniversary of receiving my Novice license. Some of you will note that my WPE certificate is dated about 8 months after I got my Novice license, so although my SWLing started well before ham radio, it continued after I got the Novice license also.
If you would like to learn more about my ham radio history, it's there at my site. Stop by and visit when you have time.
From Don K3RLL #1905 - You (K3WWP) wrote about your positive experiences with BatteryBob and I just wanted to thank you for that lead. Friday, after reading our club newsletter with your comments, I ordered the replacement battery for my cordless phone that I was unable to locate elsewhere for any reasonable cost. When the replacement battery costs more than the phone, it's time to look elsewhere; isn't it? Anyhow, by Monday, the new replacement rechargeable battery was sitting in my mailbox. That is, as you wrote, really superb service. It's now installed and working well. Thanks again for that lead.
From Mark WU7F #257 - A year ago last October I was traveling in the back country of the Uinta mountain range, part of the Rocky Mountains, in northeastern Utah. It was a cold 10F (-12C) at almost 10,000 feet elevation. I was heading down a trail when the sidewall of my tire on my Jeep Grand Cherokee was punctured by a rock. There is no cellular phone coverage in that area. Night was fast approaching. After unloading the back of the Jeep so I could lift the seats and get to the tire jack, I was alarmed to discover that the lug wrench was missing! I could not change the wheel and mount the spare. I was stranded and nobody knew where I was.
I setup an old canvas tent I had with me. I then proceeded to string up a dipole antenna between pine trees in the dark the best I could. I had one of those portable automobile battery charger/air compressor units with me, so I used its battery to power to my Elecraft QRP CW-only radio I had with me. I thought about immediately calling SOS, but thought I'd start with just a CQ.
Bill, KA2MLH, in Prairie Grove, IL answered my call. After exchanging signal reports, I told him of my situation and asked if he could make a phone call for me. He called my son (Mike, KD7UUB) and relayed the information while I waited for confirmation from Bill that the message had been delivered.
The next day my son found me. I was rescued thanks to Bill and his proficient use of CW and his ability to handle emergency communications.
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Unless otherwise credited, all items are written by K3WWP.
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