|May 26, 2012||NAQCC Web Site||Issue #167|
In this issue:|
1. June Challenge
2. May 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. JUNE CHALLENGE(s): Let's see what Tom has come up with for the June challenge. It's our popular Poker Challenge. Members seem to derive a lot of fun looking for the poker hands that come up as they add QSOs to their logs. If that sounds strange to you, then you've never participated in one of our poker challenges. I'm not going to take the time or space to explain it all here since everything you need to know is on the rules page. Have fun!|
Of course, being June, we also have the annual Field Day challenge, the only one of our challenges that do not last for the entire month. You're challenged to work a certain number of different states in FD to master that challenge.
All the challenges have now been set for the rest of the year. Check them out. A couple are brand new mixed in with some repeats of favorites from the past.
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. MAY SPRINT RESULTS: What is a multiplier? Multipliers are one of the major things that immediately eliminate a log from being GOLDEN. So let's have a little Multiplier 101 course here.
When you figure how many apples you need if you give 5 apples to each of 3 students, you multiply 5 times 3 = 15 (5 x 3 = 15). In mathematics each of those numbers has a name. The 5 is called the multiplicand, the 3 is called the multiplier, and 15 is the result or answer. OK, now let's relate that to our sprints.
Since we determine our initial score by multiplying the number of QSO points by the number of states, provinces, and countries (SPCs) we have the following for someone with 50 QSO points and 10 SPCs:
50 (QSO points) is the multiplicand (forget that, it doesn't apply any longer)
10 (SPCs) is the multiplier (lock that into your mind forever)
500 is the result or answer (forget that)
OK, now you know what a multiplier is, and it is not to be confused with the key bonus multiplier which is also a multiplier, but not the one we are interested in.
So each new state, province, and country you work increases your multiplier by one. Thus each individual SPC can be referred to as a multiplier as well as the total number of SPCs.
The next to last column in each QSO entry in your log is the place to keep track of these multipliers.
If you work K3WWP in PA as your first QSO, you put (or GenLog automatically puts) a 1 in that column.
If your second QSO is with N2ESE in NJ, that increases your multiplier count to 2 and you put a 2 in that column.
Now watch this particularly carefully. If your third QSO is with KG3W in PA, you've already worked PA so that DOES NOT increase your multiplier count. What do you do in this case? Simple, you need to put something in that column since computers are very fussy and when they run my cross-checking program, they will cough and sputter if the column is left blank, and will make ME fill in something before they will proceed.
So if a SPC MULTIPLIER is NOT NEW and DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR MULTIPLIER TOTAL, you put a hyphen (-) in that column. Now theoretically it could be anything you put in that column that is not a number. However that is what GenLog uses for non-new multipliers, so I have chosen a hyphen just so there is absolute uniformity in that column in EVERY log be it from GenLog or done manually, and the cross-checking program recognizes that as not being a new SPC multiplier.
I apologize to those for whom that seems too basic and wordy an explanation, and I hope that those who were confused by multipliers now understand them and will no longer lose a GOLDEN LOG status because of the multiplier column. Whew!
It looks like this month, everyone with the exception of two folks used the autlogger to submit their logs. That is a big help to Dean and me in processing things.
Also this month I noted that everyone used the correct GenLog file as their log, and even those who manually created a log used the correct format with the exception of a few who messed up the multiplier column we discussed above. That was a great help to me in the cross-checking process and I appreciate it.
As you know, the Dayton Hamvention kept us from reaching 100 logs this month as many of those who normally participate and send in logs left for Dayton or were preparing to leave on Wednesday. So next May we will switch days or weeks for our sprint to avoid a repeat of that. We're still pleased with 97 logs (98 counting a log that was submitted two days past the deadline, even with the extension), but although it's close, it's not 100 which is our minimum goal each month.
That's a pretty long preamble, so let's move on to stats from our May 17th sprint.
Just a note about the Paddle/bug handle drawing. When Mike KC2EGL contacts you about being a winner, please acknowledge as soon as possible with your choice. We are currently backed up a couple sprints because we are waiting to hear from a past winner. We want it to be first won, first served, but as soon as we are caught up, we will give winners only until the following sprint to respond with their choice of items. If they don't respond by then, we'll eliminate them and make another drawing for that 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 that shows 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 11 stations who didn't submit a log showed up 5 to 16 times in the 97 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:
AE7TG K5TRI K9IA N2CN N2EMD W9VNE WD5EAE
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 50 of 97 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:
5 - KB9ILT KU4A N8XMS NQ2W W4DUK
Thanks to all GOLDEN LOGgers for making my cross-checking job that much easier. Remember 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 276 596 46.3 Total 1172 2892 40.5So you see we are above average this year so far and the percentage has increased each year and has grown each month this year so far. 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:
- I recently turned 67 years of age, two years past the normal retirement age when people should no longer be tied to a regular job and enjoying doing many varied things in the years of life remaining to them.
When Tom WY3H and I started the NAQCC back in October 2004, I had no idea it would turn into practically a new full-time job for me that continues to grow and grow along with the growth in our membership.
Fortunately we have had some good people come along and help out with the many varied chores of running the NAQCC, but I am still overloaded with club work.
I've made it a goal to cut down on my work over the coming months while still maintaining the high standards we've set for the NAQCC. To do that, I need your help with various tasks and also need to simplify the tasks that are not easily 'farmed out' to other members.
It was suggested to me that one way to cut down on my work would be to make our newsletter a once-a-month newsletter instead of twice a month. I'm seriously considering that unless someone could come along and volunteer to help put the newsletters together. Perhaps someone to do the odd or even numbered newsletters. With the past record of folks volunteering to help out, I don't really see that happening.
Since we don't have all that many contributions from our members for the newsletter, I don't think cutting back to once a month would hurt the club all that much.
Some of the 'little' things with the club could also be changed to save some time, stress, and effort. One example is the tie-breaker for our Participation Award Free FISTS Membership. A very complicated system is in effect now, as you may know. As of now that is being changed to a simple drawing among all tied for the top spot eliminating those who have won before. That one little change doesn't amount to much, but when you add up a lot of little changes, it makes a big difference.
One thing that will never be changed or 'farmed out' is the cross-checking of our sprint logs. That is very time-consuming, aggravating at times, and stressful, but it is the only way to properly run a sprint or contest that is worthy of the name.
Dean NW2K has cut down on a lot of the work involved with the sprint by preparing the sprint results pages. I'd like to have someone volunteer to do the same with our challenge results pages. That qualifies as a little task because our challenge participants are many times fewer than the sprint participants. All that is needed is a basic knowledge of HTML. The volunteer would fix up the page, and email it to me for uploading similar to what Dean does with the sprint results page.
In future newsletters, I'll present more opportunities for members to volunteer to help out with other club tasks as well as note any other minor changes in the club.
- I guess I'm going to have to scold myself for not applying what I say above. I just decided to add a new feature to the web site which won't take all that much work, but is one of those little things that add up. Anyway, I've added a Sprint Honor Roll to the Sprint Results page which lists all those who've participated and reported their results in at least 50 of our sprints. I feel there should be some way of thanking them for their dedication to the NAQCC and our sprints. It will be updated after each sprint.
- In the last newsletter we proposed a new Activity Award and asked for your response. Of 6,050 members, we got one response. I think that sends a clear signal that the proposed award be put on the back burner for a couple of years and see if there is any more interest then.
- Since announcing our 8th Anniversay celebration coming up this October, we've gotten the following volunteers to operate our N#A special event stations during the celebration week.
N1A - W1OH N2A - NW2K KQ2RP N3A - K3WWP WY3H KC2EGL WA3HIC AF3Z N4A - AI4SV K3RLL KI4EBD N5A - WD5EAE KK5NA N6A - K6MGO N7A - WC7S N8A - N9A - KR9Z N0A - KD0VCalls 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.... If you sign up now to operate a N#A call, 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.
- 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 (Jun 9) 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 three chapters - European, 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 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 is on 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.
Conditions for the ETN continue to be up and down from one week to another, but that isn't unusual for 40m this time of the year. The 'regulars' checking into the net seem to make it almost every week so that may indicate that a bit of persistence is required. Allen, the NCS, has good ears and a good rig so please give him a shout next Monday evening. Check the weekly NAQCC net e-mail for the latest ETN info.
I think it was a record turnout for the May NAQCC Sprint as nine Texas ops competed in the SWA category and one in the Gain Antenna category. Evan, W5IQS, #3924 broke through this month to take the top W5 Division honors and fourth place overall, while Mark, K5GQ, #0878 claimed the top spot in the Gain Antenna category. Robert, W5YDM, #3295 snagged eleventh place overall in the SWA to go along with his second place finish in the W5 Division. Four of the Texas ops didn't take advantage of the straight key/bug multiplier. The Sprint is a great opportunity to polish your manual keying skills, so spend a little time practicing before the June 12th (Texas time) Sprint and multiply your score by 2X or 1.5X by using a manual key. Thanks to all ops that participated in the Sprint!
Remember that all NAQCC members located in Texas (362 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.
John K3WWP and Mike KC2EGL got together recently and got caught up on the NAQCC prizes. They also took advantage of a very clear night to do about 3 hours of stargazing with Mike's scope. It was also a lot of fun working DX together from John's shack. DX has been really good in the 00 and 01Z hours, especially on 20 and 17 meters. They are also still deciding on some kind of project involving an Altoids can that will be written up here in the newsletter.
After writing the above, Mike showed up for a surprise visit on my birthday. Again we worked DX with Mike getting 7 DX QSOs and me getting 3. Of course we also had a pizza (the pizza shop balked at the idea of putting 67 candles on the pizza though). Talked about sports including the history of the old NASL and our favorite team, the Cosmos. Also discussed the music trivia question I have on the diary in my personal web site at http://k3wwp.com/.
It will be nice having Don K3RLL back up here from FL for the summer so he can join in our chapter activities also. He'll be here in a couple days now in time for he, Mike, me, and Tom WY3H to set up our NAQCC table at the Butler Hamfest on June 3.
5. NAQCC QRS NETS:
News and net reports in this section are from QRS Net Manager Gary KS4JI unless otherwise credited. Gary will handle all Net related material at this email address:
On more than one occasion stations have been struggling with conditions they find themselves confronted with on the air. Do not be dismayed this has been going on since the first days of radio. One thing that distinguishes a good operator from one not so good is their ability to persevere. We can all hold on to this one certainty, "it will get better." I want to thank all those who lead and participate in our nets. We have a lot of "good" operators. Thank you, Gary KS4JI
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) - Sunday Date(ET) NCS Participants 5-13-12 N4PLK (NCS) -13- N4PLK K3NLT K1IEE KD8GZ N4JD W4HH N8IUP KG3W N6TLU (ANCS) NI9Y N9RLO AC8AP KG0YR 5-20-12 N4PLK (NCS) -9- N4PLK N4JD N6TLU (ANCS) K3NLT N9RLO K1IEE ACAP VA3PEN K9EYT NAQCC East Texas QRS Net (ETN) - Monday Date(CT) NCS Participants 5-14-12 KA5TJS (NCS) -6- KA5TJS KG0YR KB0ETU KE5YGA KE5BUS WY5R 5-21-12 KA5TJS (NCS) -3- KA5TJS KE5YGA KA0NES NAQCC Rocky Mtn Regional/Continental QRS net (RMR) - Tuesday Date(MT) NCS Participants 5-15-12 WC7S (NCS) -1- WC7S (poor conditions / no check ins but NCS was there trying) NAQCC Rocky Mtn Regional/Continental QRS net (RMR) - Thursday Date(MT) NCS Participants 5-17-12 WC7S (NCS) -3- WC7S KB7DYP KG0YR NAQCC East Coast QRS Net (ECN) - Thursday Date(ET) NCS Participants NAQCC Pacific NorthWest QRS Net (PNW) - Thursday Date(PT) NCS Participants 5-17-12 KE7LKW (NCS) -3- KE7LKW KR7W K7ZNPFor 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
I think it would be good to get an assistant or two for our CW ASSISTANCE PROJECT to help out Ron who is still active in the work force and frequently too busy to write up something for this section of the newsletter. It's a bad reflection on the club to always have this section of the newsletter largely a blank, as well as several of the pages in the CW Assistance section of the web site. If you are interested, please contact Ron at his email address above. You would need to be available to help Ron answer member's questions, and to help Ron write something for this section of each newsletter. Also anything else that Ron would have you help him with.
7. RECENT AWARD AND PRIZE WINNERS:
0125 - MW0RSS - 4/2/12
0126 - G0BWG - 4/16/12
Alphabet Prefix USA
0012 - W9UX - 4/9/12
DXCC Category A (QRP)
DXCC Category C (QRPp 50 countries)
Suffix Words - SWA Category
0007 - W9UX - 4/9/12
WAC Category A (QRP)
WAS Category A
WAS Category B (2X QRP)
WAVE Category A
ENDORSEMENTS and HONOR ROLL LISTINGS:
0008 - NW2K - 900 points (460 members) - 4/9/12
0008 - NW2K - 1000 points (512 members) - 4/9/12
Alphabet Prefix World
Alphabet Prefix USA
W9UX - 101 - 4/9/12
KMPW 100 SWA Category
KMPW 100 SWA/GAIN Category
Suffix Words SWA
W9UX - 105 - 4/9/12
Very discouraging and disheartening. Not one single award issued in the month of May. Why? Can anyone tell us? All of the awards are fairly easy to earn for each and every one of our members, even the SWLs, especially with the better conditions of late on the bands. They are as cheap in price as possible - FREE. We've worked hard to come up with what we believe is a very varied awards program consisting of some standard awards with a twist, and some awards that are unique to the NAQCC. Also disappointing to those of us who work hard to issue the certificates and maintain the listing of awards on the web site and in the newsletter.
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.
Steve Carpenter K4DXV #2189
One cold and long ago November morning, one of my fourth-grade classmates pulled a magic wand out of his lunch box. It was in the form of a telescoping antenna attached to a small black box labeled "SpacePhone." The effect on me was hypnotic and the spell has never worn off.
At that time, knowing no one who understood anything electronic beyond an on/off switch or channel selector on the TV put my chances of becoming a young ham in the neighborhood of never. Even though the desire never left me, the path to hamdom was long and torturous. I made my way through SWLing, CB, and a long detour through life until eleven years ago - 35 years after that magical morning - when I was finally licensed as KG4LDD, no-code tech, with a quick step up to 5 wpm general.
Once a general, I labored to make DX phone contacts with my poor station. And then it happened. Home sick with a throat so sore I could barely swallow, I literally ached to be on the radio. "Hey, I passed a CW test," I thought, and began eyeing the practice oscillator with mechanical murder in my heart. Less than 10 minutes later, the corpse of the oscillator lay on the floor of the shack, the key was wired and plugged in, and I was nervously sending CQ at probably 30 wpm.
After I slowed down and made a contact, I was hooked, especially after I discovered that working DX with CW was easier than with SSB. DX on the low ends of bands also motivated my step to extra class in 2007. My introduction to QRP came seven years ago with an inherited Heathkit HW-8, the novice rig of my unrealized teenage dreams.
These days I dial down the power on my Icom IC-718 or hook up a Ten-Tec R4020 TFR, which I occasionally take out to the nearby Smoky Mountains. I am not averse to QRO with an HB-200 to help work DXpeditions.
I am an active member of the Tennessee Contest Group, but contest only casually. My favorite contests are the NAQCC monthly sprints. Besides ham radio, I like to fish, hike, play guitar, and write. As a high school English teacher, I occasionally find ways to work radio into a lesson and I also sponsor our school's ham club.
When I look at all my equipment, sometimes I remember that November morning when it all started, and I hope that maybe now I am the one waving the wand of radio magic over my students.
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 June 7. 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 John K3WWP #0002 - It continues to be fun working DX on the bands. Conditions have been very good for DX in the 00 and 01Z hours at this point in the sunspot cycle and the time of year. Sunset occurs in those hours and as we all know DX propagation is great at sunrise and sunset largely due to grey path propagation which means propagation along the sunrise/sunset line. With my work with the NAQCC and other chores, those hours are about the only time I get a chance to get on the air and I am taking advantage of conditions while they last. It's easy to work 5 continents in an evening now with Oceania being the exception for an evening WAC. I've only heard one Oceania station in the past few weeks, a KH6 on 17 meters who QRT before I had a chance to get him.
Some nice prefixes have shown up in my log with OM90ZSE and LZ2012KM being a couple examples. No new band-countries which is not surprising since I have over 1,000 logged. I've heard a couple new overall countries like E4 and 6O that I could dearly use, but it is just too time-consuming to figure out and break the 5+ kHz wide pileups they are attracting. Perhaps in this weekend's CQ WPX contest I can get some new countries along with the certain new prefixes I'll add to my total of 2,380 I've already worked.
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