pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

October 6, 2012NAQCC Web Site Issue #172

In this issue:
1. October Sprint
1a. September Sprint Results
2. September Challenge Results
2a. November Challenge
2b. Current Challenge
3. General Club News
4. Chapter News
6. CW Assistance Project
7. CW Cartoon of the Month
8. Recent Awards Issued
9. Member Spotlight
10. News Items and Articles by Our Members

1. OCTOBER SPRINT: - Our October sprint is this coming Tuesday evening, October 9 at 8:30 EDT or converting to the more common date and time used around the World in ham radio, that's Wednesday, October 10 at 0030Z. As always it's two hours long ending at 0230Z. As we're proud to say in honor of our great NAQCC members, we've had over 100 logs submitted in every sprint except two since April 2010. That's a mark achieved by few, if any, other ham radio clubs. There are many reasons for our success. Of course first of all it's the dedication of our members to our club. We think it is also due to the friendly nature of our sprints. They're not a slam bang fight to make more QSOs than anyone else like so many contests and sprints. That's not our objective. We want our members to get in the sprints to have fun, improve their CW skills, and put scoring way down on the list of priorities.

Here are some very good thoughts about our sprints from Bob K9OSC. After that, we'll have some more info about our very special October sprint and some additions to our sprint that will begin in November.

We Are All Winners
Bob Brock, K9OSC #3894

"In recent newsletters John, K3WWP has advised that he has received complaints from some members that the same people win in various divisions as the result of Sprint activity. Their dismay while not outlined with a lot of specifics seems to be a feeling of personal exclusion. Statistical data has been developed and analyzed plus various strategies have been offered in rebuttal. Finally, John has repeated over and over that no one is the winner yet everyone is a winner and it is their participation that counts.

We all need to listen to John. He knows what he is talking about and his analysis of the matter, while seemingly simplistic, is right on the money.

The Sprints are contests, pure and simple. It is just one of many, many club on-the-air activities. There will always be someone who places first only because of a higher earned score under the rules of the contest. Competition for the most part drives the Spints. But wait, there's more! Those who participate in Spints do so for more than obtaining the highest score.

1. They enjoy the on-the-air contact with other club members.
2. They use Sprints to evaluate their equipment and their scores provide a measure of their performance.
3. They compete only against themselves. The more sprints they participate in the more they learn plus their requisite CW skills improve. Each higher score is a huge win for them.
4. They try different things without the pressure of a win being the only measure of their performance.

They are mature enough to know that posting the highest score in their division may be out of their grasp, at least for the moment, but they are satisfied with participating and having a good time in the process.

Reviewing the many Sprints that have played out over many years the high scores have changed from individual-to-individual. Those with high scores didn't just start that way. They learned through trial and error how to participate effectively. Some have changed equipment and others have changed their station setups to make them more efficient. These amateur learned through their experiences how to compete and how to earn high scores. Their CW skills improved to the point where they were more than just competitive and it was through hard work that they earned that recognition. For others, they now prefer the more demanding contests and have moved on having gotten their initial skills through the NAQCC Sprints.

Reading the soapbox comments after each Sprint is quite revealing. Some simply don't have the time to put in two hours each time. Family and jobs take them away from this wonderful pastime. That is a shame but a reality of today's living. Others, have propagation issues during Sprint hours which limit their participation, yet they keep coming back which is fortunate for both them and us. Others try different rigs and setups which hones their stations so they become more competitive. While some are still on the upward slope of developing a higher level of CW skill and mastering competitive strategy.

There are those who can't or won't operate for two hours at a time. They can't operate a straight key for more than a short time because of wrist or hand trauma. Some just don't like straight keys. I know, because I don't either and use one only during Sprints, but I am getting used to it and my skill level is improving. That doesn't stop me from trying thanks to the patience and higher skill levels of others.

Some don't have the requisite CW skill to compete effectively. Only more training will overcome that limit. For some, they have hit a plateau and feel stuck there. The only way to move on is to practice and work harder. It can be done as thousands of CW operators demonstrate daily.

A few have operating habits that limit their effectiveness in working multiple stations one after another to achieve a credible string of contacts that yield a high score. They don't realize that multipliers help tremendously and the need to move from band-to-band is important. Learning which bands to use is all part of the game. We can't do much about these issues. You have to work hard to post a top score. No down time, no distractions, continuous listening and good logging are all minimal requirements. Contests are for everyone and to post a top score requires hard work and focus.

One thing that is most notable about NAQCC sprints is the outwardly demonstrated cooperation that is exhibited contest after contest. Stations with slow CW speeds are matched by those who have higher skill levels. Patience is exhibited repeatedly by just about everyone. They want the contact to count just as much as you do. Camaraderie is demonstrated by those greeting others using their name when it is known at the start of the exchange. Some go above the required info and thank the other guy for the contact or call. You don't find these characteristics in 99% of the major contests that run year round on our amateur bands.

If a certificate is that important there are dozens of other ways to earn one without making the Sprint your excuse. NAQCC has a terrific award program that puts neither time nor pressure on your participation. You are the only restricting factor. Try the monthly Challenges when you can. They are great and offer a wide variety of operating that at some point should strike a chord with just about everyone.

John is correct, there are no non-winners. We are all winners even when we don't post the highest score. The reasons vary but we only compete with ourselves. We enjoy the event and make the most of it according to what we are willing to give of ourselves. No one loses as their efforts are championed through CW while running QRP power levels. The final courtesy in a contest is to report your efforts, no matter what they may be. There is no excuse for not turning in a log. The Sprint logs are easy and even hand written copies are offered to be converted over for entry into the computer system. Try that with a major contest!

Take pride in what you do, not how high you can reach. No one stays up there that long as there is always some else who comes along who has worked harder to get that top score. But, remember John's sage words. Everyone is a winner in NAQCC, no one is a loser. The score is of little consequence, and that is the truth!"

Thank you Bob, for that very interesting insight into our sprints from one of our very regular participants. I think it is an excellent description and an additional explanation of why our sprints are so popular.

October's sprint will be something special with all 10 of our special event anniversary calls (N1A through N0A) active. They will do their best to work as many of you as possible to give you a chance to earn an Anniversary Certificate or QSL if you can't do so during the rest of our week long celebration. The updated GenLog file uploaded to the NAQCC web site the afternoon before the sprint will contain the necessary info for our 10 special event stations, so be sure (as always) to download it and use it for the sprint.

As part of our 8th Anniversary, we're listening to your input and making some additions to our sprints. You've suggested we offer Second Place certificates, and beginning with the November sprint, we'll do just that according to the following formula:

When a division (W1-W0,VE,DX,GAIN) has 10 or more entrants, an additional certificate will be awarded to the second place finisher in that division.

When a division has 20 or more entrants, a third certificate will be awarded to the third place finisher.

So, if you are one of those interested in earning certificates, here's an extra chance to do so. But you may have to encourage other members from your division to enter the sprints so you'll have the participation required for us to issue those additional certificates.

One other thing you've suggested is that we do something for those who love our sprints but are unable for some physical reason to use a straight key, and must use a keyer or computer for keying. Starting in November we are adding an extra division for those folks. If that description fits you, you will be able to select that division and compete against others in the same situation. That will be taken care of via our autologger. As with the other divisions, we'll also award a 2nd and 3rd place certificate according to the same criteria. As with the GAIN category, if you compete in this new division, you can't compete in any additional division.

If you are new to the sprints, please read the complete sprint rules carefully so you'll know exactly what we need in the form of logs. While it is not necessary to use a computer program for your sprint logging, if you do use our recommended GenLog program correctly, then submit via the autologger, it will take you the least amount of time to compile and submit your log and report. Just a few minutes in most cases. If you have any doubts about using GenLog, check out our illustrated tutorial on using the program and/or look at this check list to go over your log before submitting.

There is a plain text file (one for each continental USA time zone) of upcoming sprint dates for the rest of 2012 and all of 2013. See the 'Print a Schedule' page in the 'Contests/Sprints' section of the web site. Print it out and post it somwhere prominently so you won't miss a single one of our sprints.

As always, the full general sprint rules and any specific rules for this month's sprint are found here.

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1a. SEPTEMBER SPRINT RESULTS: - We slipped a bit from August in the number of logs, but still easily passed the 100 mark with 112 logs. Conditions seemed very good in many parts of the country, although a few areas seemed to not fare as well. For once I (K3WWP) was in a white hole instead of a black one and had my best sprint in a few months now. With that brief intro, let's now examine the September sprint stats.

Total QSOs1,9572,3612,4844/12
Hour 1 QSOs9421,2471,2544/12
Hour 2 QSOs1,0151,1141,2304/12
20M QSOs7211,0561,0568/12
40M QSOs1,1791,2991,5344/12
80M QSOs5769301/12
Avg QSOs per stn17.518.719.39/11

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 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 17 stations who didn't submit a log showed up 5 to 39 times in the 112 logs we cross-checked. 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 10 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. And now N3PDT confirms my suspicions as he says, "...I get as much pleasure from turning in a Golden Log as I do my score...". 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 60 of 112 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:

9 - NQ2W W4DUK
8 - KU4A N8XMS

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 (through the latest sprint) of the number of GOLDEN LOGS:

Year   #GLs   #Logs   %GOLDEN
2010    402    1076      37.4    
2011    544    1317      41.3
2012    507    1069      47.4
Total  1453    3462      42.0
So 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.

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2. SEPTEMBER CHALLENGE RESULTS: - Since this is an early newsletter this month, complete results are not in yet, but so far these folks have mastered the rag chew challenge: KD0V K3WWP K9OSC VE3FUJ KU4A NU7T.

Notice how the same calls show up each month for our challenges. We'd like to see some new calls there each month. If you've never tried a challenge, you should. You might find you've been missing some very enjoyable activities as well as yet another NAQCC chance to improve your CW skills. There's no pressure involved with our challenges. You can do them at your own pace during a month. See the next items for info on the upcoming and current challenges and make a choice to join in one or both.

Full Challenge results can always be found here.

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2a. NOVEMBER CHALLENGE: - One of the very first activities of a newborn NAQCC back in 2004 was the Thanksgiving challenge in which you had to make words relating to Thanksgiving from the letters in call signs of stations you worked during November 2004. Actually that very first challenge involved just making the word TURKEY in different ways, and it wasn't even called a challenge back then, but an 'event'. If you want to know more, check the past challenge results on the web site.

Anyway, since then, the Thanksgiving challenge has become a November NAQCC tradition, and it continues this year. Only the words change somewhat from year to year. Take a look at this year's list and perhaps you have something completely different that could be added to the list. We will consider adding a few words, but we don't want to make the list too long and scare off those of you who may just be getting into CW.

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2b. CURRENT CHALLENGE: - Many of you enjoy running mW power levels, so this month is for you. We challenge you to make twenty QSOs using mW power (999 mW or less) during the month. As usual with all our challenges, NO contest or sprint QSOs are allowed to be used. This should be fun with a lot of folks mastering the challenge as the fall seems to provide good propagation for making QSOs with just a tiny bit of power.

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pix_blueball (1K) - We're all ready for our anniversary week to get started tonight (October 7 0000Z). We've got our largest team of operators ever with 41 of you signed up to operate the N#A special event call for your area. Once again we've got all 10 calls lined up for our sprint. We really appreciate the fantastic response of our members to help out with club events. Check our N#A page for complete anniversary week action.

We think we have a much more efficient scheduling system this year in which the individual ops can post their own schedules right up to the moment of their operating time. That page is here

Here is a list of our ops with the sprint operator in red:


All of the folks above will be eagerly looking to work YOU during the week, so check the schedule and give as many as you can a QSO or two (or more).

pix_blueball (1K) - We did extensive work setting up our scheduling system for the anniversary week celebration, and so all that work won't go to waste, we are going to modify it a bit and fine-tune it so it can be used as a general scheduler for our members. You will be able to announce when and where you will be operating so other members can work you to earn points toward our Friendship Club award. When it is implemented fully later this month, we'll notify you via our email list.

pix_blueball (1K) - We were delighted when during this past week or so we got two requests for information on setting up a club chapter. We hope the two individuals will follow up now and actually form those chapters.

As an extra incentive to form chapters, we will give members of a chapter a chance to publicize their portable operations via our email list similarly to what Mike (KC2EGL), Don (K3RLL), and I (K3WWP) do for our parkpeditions. This only applies to members of a chapter though.

pix_blueball (1K) - Have you purchased your NAQCC hat or tee shirt yet? If so, we appreciate your help in promoting the club, and the vendors who produce the hats and shirts thank you for your business to help them continue hc172 (1K) producing these beautiful items not only for the NAQCC, but for other organizations as well. If you haven't done so yet, we hope you will soon so you can show your pride in being a NAQCC member when you attend all kinds of ham gatherings. I wear mine proudly to any ham radio event I attend. Just check the main page of the web site for links to ordering information.

pix_blueball (1K) - Just a quick reminder we're continuing with the hidden call sign idea originally suggested by Bill KB3XS. 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 (Nov 10) 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, not the quality of the cards. They are beautiful and a great way to show your pride in being a NAQCC member. See the main page of the web site to find out how to purchase your own cards.

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Here is where our club chapters present news about their chapter activities. We currently have four chapters - European, Texas, Western Pennsylvania, and a new Florida chapter just now being formed. We're looking forward to expanding that roster further, and we do have one more possible new chapter that hasn't been confirmed yet. 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.

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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/

From K3WWP - We didn't receive a report from Matt for this newsletter, so I'd like to present the following EU news.

The EU Chapter Aug/Sep challenge showed an increase in participation as the EU challenges are building up momemtum following their startup in June. Four folks mastered the challenge, two from the USA - K3WWP and W9UX, and two from EU - PA5LR and PA7PYR.

We hope even more will participate in the Oct/Nov challenge which involves making the phrase "Aleksander Popov 16-03-1859" from the calls of EU stations worked at the rate of one letter or number per call.

The EU sprints after an intermittent start a couple years ago are now back in full swing again starting this past summer. The October EU sprint is on the 10th from "1:00 PM to 3:00 PM" as stated on the EU Chapter web site.

We hope many will participate in the EU Chapter activities.

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Items in this section are from the FL Chapter unless otherwise credited. Questions or comments should go to TO BE ANNOUNCED LATER

WB4MNK, #5274, K3RLL #1905 and others in North to Central Florida are working to establish a Florida chapter of NAQCC. We hope to incorporate the regular Wednesday picnic-table radio operations in the Port Orange area, the periodic outdoor activities in the Lake Helen area as well as the monthly activities of members associated with the Central Florida QRP Group as well as those of others who have expressed interest.

From K3WWP - The FL Chapter is being organized virtually as this newsletter "goes to press" so we need to wait till the next newsletter to give you more information than that above just received from Don K3RLL.

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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) meets each Monday evening at 1900 CDST (0000 UTC). The net is on 7060 KHz until later this fall, when it will move to 80m. 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.

September Sprint Results

Evan, W5IQS, #3924 was in 10th place overall. Robert, N5RDN, #3835 placed 24th overall. Conditions were good and the scores were high, so these are notable achievements. Congratulations guys! Alex, K5UNY, #0193 is back after a long absence. Welcome back Alex! Mark, K5GQ, #878 was 3rd overall in the Gain category. Crank up that beam, Mark! Our thanks to all that participated!

With 381 NAQCC members in Texas we should have many more participants in the monthly Sprints. Even though we announce individual scores and places in the Sprints, they are mainly a CW participation event. Please show your support for CW by making at least one contact in the Sprint and submitting a log. Please mark your calendar for Tuesday, October 9th (Texas time). Full details are on the NAQCC website. See you in the Sprint?

Remember that all NAQCC members located in Texas (381 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.

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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.

As you probably know by now, Mike KC2EGL purchased a KX-3, and I helped him assemble it. Here is Mike's account of that adventure:

The KX-3 Project

On Saturday September 16 John K3WWP and I began our adventure in taking on our second Elecraft project. As most of you know John and I built a KX-1 almost 4 years ago. This time we worked at assembling a KX-3 which is an all mode, 10W, 10 HF bands and 1 VHF band radio. During our first project we learned that following the instructions to the letter is essential. During our first project we would often wonder why we were doing things in the order that the manual directed. Some of the procedures seemed to be out of order. We did not deviate from the manual. We found that you do not question the manual. This became our catch-phrase when we found something that did not make sense. We applied that theory to the KX-3.

The first order of business was an inventory of all the parts. Remember this is technically a kit. No solder involved, but a kit none the less. It took us roughly a hour to inventory everything and we found that we were missing 2 screws. Elecraft even provided a spare parts pouch. And we were still short. But never fear, John has nice supply of spare screws, bolts, washers, etc. John came up with a very good idea. As you inventory your kit put all the same items in a small envelope and mark the contents on the envelope. This way you have a quick "go to file" for your parts. After we completed the inventory we stopped for a break to participate in one of our favorite pastimes. Yes you guessed it. We decided to try the local Pizza Hut.

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After dinner we arrived back at John's QTH around 8PM and began the assembly. As we learned with the KX-1, Elecraft kits are very straight forward in their instruction manual. It is self-explanatory and very easy to follow. Having a 6" ruler is essential. You will need it to double check the size of each item, especially the length of screws/bolts, before you install it. The assembly went very smoothly until we had to install the tuning knob. Elecraft forgot to include a set screw in the knob. But like I said back in the inventory section, John has spare parts that will save your project from being shut down until what is needed arrives in the mail. He found the proper size set screw in the first knob he looked at.

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It took us approximately 5 hours to complete the assembly. We would have completed it quicker if it were not for searching for the 3 missing screws. As some of you know John and I brought the KX-3 to life that night with its first RF (a term borrowed from astronomers using a new telescope for the first time. A telescope comes to life with its first light). We made an in house dummy load to dummy load QSO. After that it was time to hit the sack.

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On Sunday morning we jumped right to testing the KX-3. We calibrated the roofing filters. After looking at the instructions we thought it would be a long drawn out process. Well we were wrong. We finished the calibration in around 40 minutes. Shortly after, Don K3RLL stopped by on his way to Pittsburgh to have a look at the finished product. Don was equally impressed. After Don took off for the 'burg John and I went up to Ponderosa for breakfast. Like we were going to pass up on something to eat. Hi-Hi!!! After breakfast we stopped at Radio Shack for a few banana plugs to attach to my wire antennas. We then proceeded to the Kittanning Community Park. Our favorite portable operation location. Unfortunately our favorite pavilion was in use for a family gathering. So we had to use our back up pavilion. The main difference between the two is that our primary spot has a better arrangement of tree's to string up a few different wire antennas at one time. We started out testing the KX-3 with John's 110' random wire antenna. The radio tuned up 1.0/1.1:1 on each band. We followed that with testing my 100' random wire antenna. It did not tune up as efficient with 100' as it does with 110'. We added 10' to my antenna and bingo! The same as John's antenna. During the antenna testing we found that a Pomona connector can go bad without any warning. We were a bit stumped for a few minutes wondering why we could not hear anything with the 'new' 110' antenna connected. I swapped out connectors and we were back in business.

After our antenna testing we decided to tune around to see who we could find. My first QSO (not counting the in house at John's QTH) was with Tom OH5JJL in Finland. Not that shabby for a first DX QSO. I followed that up with Bill KD4GPV in Florida and Bill N4LRA in Va who was also QRP 5W. That concluded our portable testing. We took a dinner break at Subway (we sure do get around when it comes to eating). The next testing we did was at John's QTH with his indoor 'antenna farm'. Once again the KX-3 tuned up very efficiently on all bands. I made one QSO with Woody WZ4L in TN. He was running 2W. Then it was John's turn to play with the new radio. John called CQ a few times with no answer, then called Charles K2GTC who resides on the West side of Manhattan just West of Central Park ( I know this because I am a native New Yorker, no special powers on my part).

This concluded our assembly, testing, and initial operating of my KX-3. In the less than two weeks that I have had my new rig I have had very nice results. There are too many bells and whistles to list here. But I will mention my favorite feature. The CW auto zero beat feature. There is a bar meter that lets you know if the CW signal you are listening to is higher or lower than the frequency you are tuned into. You can manually tune to the proper frequency or just press the CWT (CW Tune) and the radio will zero beat on its own. I know this feature is not new to the radio world. But this is the first time that I have operated a radio with the bar meter telling you which way to tune for zero beat. This is a very nice feature for someone who has been told he had a 'tin' ear. Yes I do have minor trouble trying to tune in signals by ear. Must be all that Classic Rock I listened to when I was a kid. I know back then it was not Classic. It was current. Hi-Hi!!

If you are in the market for a compact full featured radio that is just as easy to use out in the field as it is at home, I would highly recommend purchasing a KX-3. No this is not a paid advertisement for Elecraft. I hope to CU on the radio (thanks to Charles Osgood from CBS' Sunday TV Show).

NAQCC 1236 FC 14

And as Mike and I did with the KX-1 project account, we want to give thanks to those Elecraft employees who do what is perhaps a thankless job of packing up kits. Thank you Amanda, Austin, Jacob, and Susan.

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As we've done for the past couple years now, Mike and John will again be operating N3A from the Kittanning Community Park for our NAQCC Anniversary celebration. That will be this Monday October 8. See the N#A schedule for times and approximate frequencies. Mike will be using the KX-3 and I'll use either my KX-1 or K2, probably the latter. Hope to work you then.

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News and net reports in this section are from QRS Net Manager Craig N4PLK unless otherwise credited. Craig will handle all Net related material at this email address: pix_email_n4plk (1K)

Thanks to all newcomers and to all of the "regulars" who are making the NAQCC QRS Nets a success. A special thanks goes out to those that check into multiple nets. 73, Craig N4PLK QRS Nets Manager NAQCC # 5775 n4plk@verizon.net
NAQCC Main QRS Net (NQN) - Sunday 8:00 PM ET, 7.060 Mhz

NAQCC East Texas QRS Net (ETN) - Monday 7:00 PM CT, 7.060 Mhz
8-27-12 KA5TJS (NCS) -3- KA5TJS K5LY KE5YUM

NAQCC Pacific NorthWest QRS Net (PNW) Thursday 
9-13-12 KE7LKW (NCS) -2- KE7LKW W7SWB
9-20-12 KE7LKW (NCS) -3- KE7LKW WB4SPB W7MWF
9-27-12 KE7LKW (NCS) -2- KE7LKW WB4SPB

NAQCC Rocky Mtn Regional/Continental QRS Net (RMR) Tuesday
9-25-12 WC7S (NCS) -5- WC7S AE7CG K1IEE KA4RUR AD7BP
10-2-12 WC7S (NCS) -4- WC7S AE7CO AD7BP KA9DVX

NAQCC Rocky Mtn Regional/Continental QRS Net (RMR) Thursday
9-13-12 WC7S (NCS) -3- WC7S KN8B WA1HEW
9-14-12 (Special) WC7S (NCS) -2- WC7S W9UX
9-27-12 K1IEE (NCS) -5- K1IEE AD7BP W1FMR KA4RU WC7S

NAQCC East Coast QRS Net (ECN) - Thursday
9-20-12 N4PLK (NCS) -3- N4PLK K1IEE KG0YR

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

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Items in this section are from CW Assistance Project Coordinator Ron K5DUZ unless otherwise credited.
If you are interested in helping out or need help with any CW and/or QRP matters contact:
K5DUZ - pix_email_k5duz (1K)

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Let's take a comedy and/or nostalgia break now courtesy of Dick Sylvan W9CBT NAQCC #2062. Dick has been a long-time QRP/CW operator. One of his many talents is being a cartoon artist. Dick's cartoons appear monthly in the K9YA Telegraph, a free ham radio eZine, where he is staff cartoonist. The NAQCC is very honored to reprint Dick's cartoons originally published in the K9YA Telegraph. Dick has also authored a book entitled "Hi Hi - A Collection of Ham Radio Cartoons" available via his web site. A new cartoon has appeared in each of our even-numbered newsletters ever since their debut in Issue #058, November 17, 2007. Now with the change to a once-a-month publication, his cartoon will appear in every issue.
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Friendship Club

1000 MPW
0144 W5CYF - 9/4/12
0145 PA7PYR - 9/15/12
0146 AE7US - 9/22/12
0147 OK1LV - 9/23/12

KMPW 100


500 PTS

One month
0020 PA7PYR (Jul 2012) - 9/15/12
Alphabet Prefix USA

DXCC Category A (QRP)

DXCC Category C (QRPp 50 countries)

Suffix Words - SWA Category

WAC Category A (QRP)

WAS Category A

WAS Category B (2X QRP)

WAS Category C (QRPp)

WAVE Category A


Friendship Club

Alphabet Prefix World

Alphabet Prefix USA

KMPW 100 SWA Category

KMPW 100 SWA/GAIN Category

Suffix Words SWA




I hope with winter coming, you'll have more time to work on our awards, and we'll see the above list expand by leaps and bounds. As with all our other club activities, earning our awards helps to promote the use of CW and QRP on the ham bands. When folks see how easy it is to earn awards with CW/QRP, it should peak their interest in trying it for themselves which will lead to an increased use of CW on the ham bands.

Heartiest congratulations to John N8ZYA and Mike KC2EGL who recently became only the 13th and 14th members of our prestigious Friendship Club Award. When we conceived the idea of the FC Award with the purpose of making it different from other club's worked members award, we had no idea that it would become so prestigious. We figured, although with different requirements, it would still garner as many holders as those other clubs. That didn't turn out to be the case, and any one who earns the FC Award truly has a right to be proud of themselves. We certainly are proud of you.

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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.
Harry Williams W0LS #6005

Picture of W0LS

Hello fellow NAQCC enthusiasts. My name is Harry and the call is W0LS, a vanity call that I picked up about 5 years ago. I have been licensed since 1960 when I received my first call, KN9WRD in Green Bay, WI and later became K9WRD. My first station consisted of a Heathkit DX-40 transmitter and a Heathkit AR-3 receiver. I built both of these from kits.

In 1966 I joined the Navy and spent 8 years in the service after which my wife, Dee Dee, and I moved to Minnesota where we settled. She eventually got her license and her call was WB0WVK. She passed away six years ago at the age of 58 and is certainly missed by our family. I have 3 children and 4 grand kids and they all live fairly close so we see each other often and we have a great time together. I live in the country near Cambridge MN which is about 45 miles north of the Twin Cities. I have 27 acres of land so plenty of room for antennas!

I enjoy many facets of ham radio and am on the air practically everyday. I retired in 2007 so I have plenty of time to play radio. Most mornings I am on 75M AM talking with a group of fellow AM'ers on 3730. I also enjoy CW and SSB. I enjoy DX'ing, have worked over 300 countries but not nearly that many confirmed since I do not keep up with my book work very well. In fact I do not have a DXCC or for that matter WAS certificate yet. Maybe someday I will get organized enough to take care of this.

Just recently I became more interested in QRP operation and that's when I joined the NAQCC. I have not been very active with it yet but did participate in my first sprint earlier this year. It was a "mw" sprint so I was running about 800mw on 20M and made about 15 contacts. And keeping with my tradition of not taking care of the paper work, I did not submit the log because it was a mess as it was my first time using GenLog so it was a learning experience. Next time I will submit the log! Anyway it was lots of fun and I certainly will be doing more of it.

I use an FT-817 for QRP qso's. My station is made up of the old and the new. Currently I have 5 boat anchor stations. The transmitters include Viking Ranger, Valiant, and 500. The receivers include NC303, SP-600, HQ110. Also I have some old SSB equipment including Swan, Drake, and Yaesu. Modern equipment is made up of FT-1000MP MKV with Quadra amp and my favorite rig, a Flex 5000 SDR, hooked to an Alpha 9500 amp. Antenna system consists of a 160M horizontal loop up 70 feet, a 4element Steppir on a 72 ft crankup and an 80M 1/4 wave vertical.

Well this is turning into an "old buzzard" transmission so I had better say 73 and hope to meet a lot of you in the Sprints or maybe the nets.


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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 Nov 8. 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 know from my on-air experience that many of you use an Elecraft K2 rig as I do. I will be upgrading to a KX-3 in about a month (placed my order on October 2) after helping Mike KC2EGL build his, and then using it for a little while and seeing how great a rig it is with some added really great and useful bells and whistles the K2 doesn't have. You can read about the adventures Mike and I had in building his KX3 in the WPA Chapter news above if you haven't done so already.

Now I want to talk about the K2. I had been wanting to use the K2 built-in keyer for some time now, but it was always too much trouble switching things around like plugging my paddle directly into the K2 after removing my multiple-key switching box, and then perhaps setting a menu entry. As many of you know I operate a straight key, bug, and two paddle/keyers, and can switch among them by simply moving my hand from one to the other.

Again for some time now, I had been looking at a little circuit in the K2 manual that uses a couple diodes and allows switching between an external key and the built-in keyer. I just never got around to building it though. However in my building 'frenzy' of late, I decided it was a good time to do it while the mood lasted.

You can see the schematic diagram in your K2 manual (p. 99 in my version) so I won't repeat it here. However here is a picture of how I implemented it in an Altoids tin.

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At left connected to the terminal strip is the output to the key jack in the K2. At right is the input from my Begali paddle which as you can see goes straight through to the K2 input. At the top are 4 mono jacks for inputs from my straight key, bug, one of my keyers, and an extra unused (for now) jack. They are connected through two diodes to the dot and dash lines of the paddle to K2 input line. The circuitry in the K2 automatically detects which is being used. So now I can just move my hand to use a straight key, bug, external keyer, or internal keyer. If I had room for another paddle on the desk I could use my other external keyer as well.

pix_blueball (1K) From Greg WB8LZG #1444 - The return of an old friend - This is the story of a special bond between a man and a radio. Some of you may have experienced this yourself. Others may draw comparison to owning an old car that is still in "showroom" condition. That "feeling" of total satisfaction with a radio is something that few operators will ever realize. In my fourty-plus years of hamming, only one rig has captivated me in this way. This is the tale of my addiction.

I was fortunate to be exposed to the world of QRP early on in my ham radio career. I was in the Navy in San Diego in the early 70s when a fellow ham wanted to sell his Ten-Tec Argonaut. The rig had just been introduced in the late 60s and it was taking the QRP world by storm. After a bit of haggling I went back to my ship with a new QRP rig and I was off and running in the wonderful world of low power hamming. That little Argo went everywhere with me, and brought me many hours of happy QRPing while sailing to many a DX location. The little rig followed me where ever I went, and we quickly became close friends. In the late 70s when my "hitch" was up, I foolishly sold the Argo to get needed cash to move to a new job in the Detroit area. I had an old Hallicrafters FPM-300 that kept me on the air, but all the while memories of the Argonaut still haunted me. In the 80's I packed up the family and moved to the Lansing, MI area, where I had the good fortune to attend a swap and found an Argo just waiting for a new home. Ahhh JOY! After a dial PTO rebuild the new Argo played like a champ. Many a QRP contest, and many a good DX QSO made it into the log with Argo #2.

Somewhere in the 90s Elecraft came on the market with their K1 and K2 transceivers. After using a buddy's K2 on Field Day, I just had to have one. I built both a K1 and a K2 and they soon became the "rigs of choice" for all of my QRP operating. Year after year the Ol' Argo was gathering dust. When a buddy approached me at Dayton wanting to buy an Argonaut, I reluctantly sold it. From the very first Sweepstakes contest without it, I knew I had again made a terrible mistake. Now don't get me wrong. The K2 was and is a superior rig, but it was just not the same as the Argo. There was just not the same feeling after a sprint. I was going into what ham docters call "rig depression" or "radio withdrawal". For a period of several years I lamented about it, trying desperately to forget the loss. Yet never quite getting it out of my mind.

Then it happened, when all hope seemed lost. This summer I attended a local swap, and there it was, Argonaut #3. It was calling me, beaconing me to take 'er home with me. I walked around the fest a few times thinking that "I really didn't need it", but every time I passed by the voice kept saying "buy me, buy me". And so Argo #3 came home with me.

What a feeling of exhilaration when I hooked up the motorcycle battery power supply and turned on the power switch! As I answered the first CQ with Argo #3, all was again right with the world. All the DX memories and the "ease of operation" of the little Argo came flooding back. Happy days are here again! I was in Ham Heaven, pounding the brass with a new found vitality. My old friend had finally come home.


pix_blueball (1K) From Brion VE3FUJ #3011- Winners - Here's an answer to those who may be a bit peeved about the same people winning the sprint "all the time". If you feel you have to win, you have to put an effort into it. You just can't sit back on Your behind and let it happen, It won't. You have to AIM for what you want. If you should happen to win due to circumstance, if you haven't put in any effort, then it just doesn't feel right. However I think it is human nature to want to excel at least some time. So, put in an effort.

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Unless otherwise credited, all items are written by K3WWP.

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