|November 10, 2012||NAQCC Web Site||Issue #173|
In this issue:|
1. November Sprint
1a. October Sprint Results
2. October Challenge Results
2a. December Challenge
2b. Current Challenge
3. General Club News
4. Chapter News
5. NAQCC QRS Nets
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. NOVEMBER SPRINT: - Our November sprint is this coming Wednesday evening, November 14 from 8:30 to 10:30 PM EST or converting to the more common date and time used around the World in ham radio, that's Thursday, November 15 from 0130Z to 0330Z. That's one week earlier than normally expected for a November sprint to avoid a conflict with Thanksgiving which comes as early as possible this year.|
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 even though we still honor with certificates those who do achieve a high score.
Be sure to check the stats from the October sprint below. Especially note the distribution of QSOs among 20, 40, and 80 meters compared to the September sprint. Yes, the seasons are changing, so it's time to check 80 meters now. It should have a goodly portion of the action over the next few months.
We're making a change in our prize drawing for the sprints. Here's a quote from the prizes page on the web site:
"Beginning with the November 2012 sprint, a winner will be notified as soon as one is chosen. Then the first to reply gets the first choice of a prize. Before that we went by order of sprints. In other words, the June winner had to wait for the May winner to make his choice, etc. Now it's first response, first choice no matter what month. That way those who take forever to answer won't hold up those who are eager to get their prize. If someone doesn't reply at all by the end of the following month, there will be a re-drawing to choose a replacement winner for that sprint, and the one who didn't reply becomes ineligible for any future drawings. For example, the June winner has until the end of July to respond."
Hopefully that will eliminate any delays in getting a prize to the member who really wants one.
There are other changes to be noted as well. We're listening to your input. 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 category called SPECIAL 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 categories and 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 the SPECIAL category, you can't compete in any additional category or division. We will also give a 2X bonus since you will only be competing in that category and not against others who are using a straight key or bug.
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.
1a. OCTOBER SPRINT RESULTS: - We came close but fell just a very few logs short of a record in the October sprint with 132 logs being submitted. In fact, we came close to a record in most of the stats below. That's great, but we can do even better, especially if everyone who enters a sprint would take the couple minutes to submit their log. It is very easy if you use GenLog and our Autologger. Remember though, you don't need to use GenLog to use the Autologger. They are separate entities, but using both makes reporting a snap. With that brief intro, let's now examine the October sprint stats.
We also had a N#A category, where despite scores, we consider all 10 ops of those N#A calls as winners and list them here to say thanks for helping out in distributing 261 N#A QSOs in the sprint, our second best total next to last year's 302.
W1OH WB2LQF KG3W WB4MNK W5IQS K6MGO WC7S N8IUP KG9HM KD0V
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 14 stations who didn't submit a log showed up 5 to 13 times in the 132 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 15 hams who submitted a sprint log for the first time. We hope they will continue to participate and report their results:
AC8LJ W4MPS W9LHG AC0BQ VA2FDT N2EI KK4GSQ W5OXM WB2PEF N2NLY K4EIT KK8J KA8EFA AA3OI(nm) AC0AF(nm)
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 64 of 132 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:
ALL 10 - NQ2W W4DUK
9 - KU4A N8XMS
8 - K2GLS K4KRW N2ESE W9UX WA2JSG
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 571 1201 47.5 Total 1517 3594 42.2So 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.
2. OCTOBER CHALLENGE RESULTS: - As of the posting of this newsletter, the following have reported mastering the October mW challenge of making 20 QSOs using mW power.
K9OSC KD0V N8XMS KB1PBA K3WWP WK6L VE3FUJ W9UX NU7T PA5LR K1IEE W2JEK
Congratulations to those 12 members. There is still a bit of time left to report your results. The deadline is November 10 at 2400Z.
Full Challenge results can always be found here.
2a. DECEMBER CHALLENGE: - A lot has been made by doomsayers about the world coming to an end this month because the Mayan calender doesn't go beyond December 21, 2012. We thought we'd have a little fun with that and challenge you as follows:
"Make an AVERAGE of one QSO per day THROUGH the day the World comes to an end - December 21. If the Mayans were wrong and it doesn't end, then celebrate by making an AVERAGE of two QSOs per day from the 22nd through the 31st. That's 41 total QSOs if the World doesn't end, 21 if it does end - but then it doesn't really matter, does it?"
2b. CURRENT CHALLENGE: - Little needs be said except this month it is our annual Thanksgiving challenge. If you're new to the club, that means making words relating to Thanksgiving in an alphabet type challenge.
I think this unsolicited comment contained in Paul N8XMS's Member News item near the end of this newsletter bears repeating here, "I don't understand why more of our members don't participate in the monthly challenges. They are fun activities and usually do not require any significant extra operating time above and beyond what you would normally be doing during the month. "Try it, you'll like it!"
Full challenge info here.
3. GENERAL CLUB NEWS:
- It's time to present a wrap-up of our October anniversary celebration - our 8th anniversary. It's hard to believe we've been around that long now. Since we went to a one week format for our celebrations, this was a record setting performance in number of QSOs logged by our N#A operators. Thanks and congratulations go out to those listed here. Those listed in red were the sprint operators that week:
N1A - W1OH W1SVU KB1UOH N2A - NW2K KQ2RP WB2LQF N3A - K3WWP WY3H KC2EGL WA3HIC AF3Z KG3W N4A - AI4SV K3RLL KI4EBD WB4MNK NY4G K2UFT AB9CA N5A - WD5EAE KK5NA W5IQS W5WIL N6A - K6MGO W6NIA WK6L N7A - WC7S WY7N NU7T WA7ITZ WU7F N8A - N8XMS N8IUP AC8AP N9A - KR9Z NN9S K9EYT KA9VHG W9UX KG9HM N0A - KD0V AC0BQ KC0PMHWe're not going to take up more space here in the newsletter by duplicating what is already on the web site.
Check our N#A page for a complete anniversary week update including instructions on getting a certificate and/or QSL card. Oh, and congratulations to W0CH and KB9ILT who contacted each of our ten special event calls. They will be getting a very special certificate as soon as we get some special certificate paper.
- 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 have modified it a bit to be used as a general scheduler for our members. You can now announce when and where you will be operating so other members can work you to earn points toward our Friendship Club award. We sent out a notification of its debut via our email list. Just remember that such a system will take a bit of time to kick into top gear. Don't be discouraged if it doesn't bring results immediately, and keep on posting your schedules so we can get up to that top gear. Just go to the main page of the web site where you'll find prominent links to the scheduler noted by little 'NEW' icons.
- In addition to the scheduler, those who are members of one of our chapters can further publicize any portable operations done as a Chapter function. That is similar to what WPA Chapter members Mike (KC2EGL), Don (K3RLL), and I (K3WWP) do for our parkpeditions via our NAQCC email list. Remember this only applies to members of a chapter though. If there isn't a chapter in your area, then you will have to form one to take advantage of this. Just send an announcement exactly as you want posted to and we will post it for you. Make the subject of the email "NAQCC portable operation" for quickest action. Be sure to mention the Chapter somewhere in the announcement, and be sure to submit a write-up on your operation for posting in the Chapter News section of the newsletter. That goes only to
- Providers of our NAQCC items such as hats, tee shirts, etc. have been wondering why they are not getting more business from NAQCC members. We don't have an answer for them. Remember they've gone to a lot of work to make those items available at very reasonable prices. 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 producing these beautiful items not only for the NAQCC, but for other organizations such as FISTS 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.
- Just a quick reminder we're continuing with the hidden call sign idea originally suggested by Bill KB3XS even though it's been a while now since anyone has claimed their prize. 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 BEFORE the publication date of the next newsletter (Dec 8) 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.
4. CHAPTER NEWS:
Here is where our club chapters present news about their chapter activities. We currently have four chapters - European, Texas, Western Pennsylvania, and Florida. We're looking forward to expanding that roster further, and we do have two more info packages out to folks wanting to form a chapter in their area, but we have yet to hear anything further from them. 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. Remember our latest perk for Chapter members is the chance to publicize any portable operation such as the WPA Chapter 'parkpeditions' by an announcement sent on our NAQCC email list.
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/
There were four participants in the latest European Chapter challenge, which finished at the end of September. In order of callsign, sorted alphabetically, the participants were John K3WWP, Ton PA5LR, Rien PA7PYR and Terry W9UX. From the soapbox comments, it looks as though all participants thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and look forward to the next one, which will again be run over a two month period. Entries are welcome from all NAQCC members, indeed as the above list of participants shows, half of the entries for the last challenge were from members outside of Europe.
The results from the last sprint are currently being processed and will be available on the website soon. The next European Chapter sprint will be held on Monday, 12 November.
As always, any comments and suggestions are very welcome. Please email email@example.com for any information.
NAQCC FLORIDA CHAPTER:
Items in this section are from the FL Chapter unless otherwise credited. Questions or comments should go to
The Florida Chapter of NAQCC had our first organized activity on October 11th with our first three official members: Art WB4MNK #5274, Wally KG4LAL #6278 and Don K3RLL #1905. Our august assembly landed by boat on Hontoon Island and from that beautiful and somewhat isolated location fielded three separate QRP stations with battery power and simple wire antennas. Besides keeping a watchful eye out for nearby alligators, numerous contacts were made, packed lunches were consumed and an enjoyable time was had by all.
Since then, Steve WB4OMM #5913, Neil KJ4CIA #6122 and Kelly K4UPG #3042 have joined our growing chapter. With 270 NAQCC members in the State of Florida, we envision great things for the budding Florida Chapter.
In the meantime, we meet weekly at one of various public parks in the Daytona Beach area and once a month join forces with the Central Florida QRP Group for breakfast and a field op.
We welcome interested members to join us both in membership and activities. Please watch the portable schedule at dbara.org and cflqrp.wordpress.com for upcoming events.
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 CST (0100 UTC). The net has now moved to 3560 +/- 3 KHz until next spring. 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.
October Sprint Results
Evan, W5IQS, #3924, operating as N5A, placed 1st overall! Congrats, Evan! That multiplier of 30 really made a difference. Stephen, WD5EAE, #2466 placed 3rd overall, only two QSOs and four multipliers behind Evan. Conditions were very good for the W5 area and the scores reflect it. Allen, KA5TJS, #4512; Phil, KD5MMM, #3022 and Guy, WB5UAA #4582 passed out seventeen contacts to do their part in keeping QRP CW alive on the bands. Our thanks to all that participated!
Perhaps with the ending of DST we will have greater participation in the November sprint, which will be on Wednesday, the 14th (Texas time). Please show your support for QRP CW by making at least one contact in the Sprint and submitting a log. 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.
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.
USS Requin Operation
The WPA Chapter in the persons of Mike KC2EGL and John K3WWP will be activating the NAQCC club station from the radio room of the USS Requin submarine moored in Pittsburgh. The operation is tentatively scheduled for November 21, and according to Art WA3BKD who manages the radio room, we should have the whole day from 10:00AM to 4:30PM in which to carry out our operation. When final details are made, we will post them on our NAQCC email list. As the chapter does with our 'parkpeditions', we will have a picture QSL card for anyone who contacts us.
KX-3 Project - The Sequel
As you read in the last newsletter, I helped fellow WPA Chapter member Mike KC2EGL assemble his new KX3. Well, after using it with Mike that evening and the next day, I pretty much then and there decided I had to have one of my own. Although I did debate with myself for a while about spending the money for a new rig when I just got a K2 about a year ago, I yielded and sent in my order on October 2. The price of around $1,200 dollars including the extra roofing filters and automatic antenna tuner seemed quite reasonable, and that was what finally convinced me.
A lot of the following is taken from Mike's write-up he did for me in my web site (http://home.windstream.net/johnshan/) diary entry for October 21.
As soon as Mike knew I made my decision he said he wanted to be in on the building of mine just as I was on his. I had planned to ask him anyway. He just beat me to the punch by a little bit. I figured there would be about a month wait for it to arrive based on the info on the Elecraft web site. However I was wrong and I got the emailed shipping notice on the 18th and it arrived on the 20th. Just out of curiosity I weighed the box before opening it.
Amazing that such a powerful rig comes in a box that weighs just 5 pounds, AND over 3 pounds of that is really just packing material. The rig itself, even with the ATU and roofing filters comes in at under 2 pounds.
I told Mike that to save time when he came, I'd get the inventory done as soon as the rig came since a careful inventory to get all the tiny nuts, bolts, washers, etc. sorted out takes about an hour. Mine took about 50-55 minutes. I put all the same size parts into regular envelopes and labelled them. Then I took one extra step that I thought would speed up assembly.
As shown in the second picture in the above group, I put all the parts on the table in the order we would need them during the assembly. We'd work up the left column, then down the middle column, and finally down the right column. That did save some time although as you see in the next picture, the envelopes had to be juggled along the way since certain sized parts were used again in later steps.
When Mike arrived after getting off work, we ate our dinner of subs from Subway. Priorities, you know. Then got down to work. The actual assembly went pretty much the same as it did with Mike's KX3 (described in the previous newsletter), so I won't re-invent the wheel by describing it in much detail here except for a few notes we took as we went along.
The very first step gave us a little problem. There didn't seem to be any threads in the speaker for the bolts that held it to the chassis. We had to force the bolts into the holes in the hard rubber to make the threads.
I got the nylon and regular bolts mixed up in one instance, and we suggest if you embark on a project that has nylon bolts, to have a magnet handy to be sure which are which. Of course, those that don't stick to the magnet are the nylon ones.
When we came to mounting the battery holder even with the longer bolts now supplied, they didn't quite grip because we felt the holes in the battery holder should be recessed for the flat head bolts which they weren't. A slight bit of careful work with a drill bit took care of that. We recessed the holes and the bolts now fit very well.
Of course those are nit-picking problems, but they can be annoying and can slow things down in the assembly as well. Overall, the assembly is very straightforward and very simple. Anyone, even a first time kit builder should have no problem whatsoever assembling a KX3 and come up with this.
It took us just under 3 hours to assemble, compared to a little over 5 hours for Mike's. Why? Well, the second of anything is easier than the first, and all the parts were there for mine while we had to improvise a couple parts for Mike's which took additional time.
As with Mike's, first RF came with an in house QSO between our KX3s. Then we went to my shack and worked some Germans on 40M in the WAG contest. After we were assured it was working well, we turned in for the night after some computer work.
Up early next morning for some breakfast (can't skip the food when we get together). Then we did some "tag team" DXing with my KX3. I'd work some DX station, then jump out of my chair so Mike could sit down and work the same station. We worked quite a few stations that way.
All in all, I am totally pleased with the KX3 which is by far the best rig I have ever operated. I think my decision, spurred by Mike getting one, to get one of my own was a very wise one. Now I have a state of the art rig that should last me a long time.
It did take a bit of practice to get used to all of the fine features it has, but now as I write this just a couple weeks after getting it, much of the operation is now second nature to me. There are still a lot of things to explore on it, but as of now, I have all the main line features mastered for operating QRP CW. I still have to check out the audio equalizer which perhaps will tailor the audio receive passband and make the rig even more selective than it actually is now. Although the current setup would be tough to better. There are also a couple other bells and whistles involved with CW I haven't tried. Of course the rig also can operate other modes, but I have no interest whatsoever in that.
One nice feature that may come in handy when a non-ham visits my shack is the built-in code reader. The non-ham can then look at the display to see what I am sending and receiving. Of course I have no need to use it myself.
In the first week of using the rig, I made exactly 100 QSOs in 38 countries and some 20 states. I missed Asia and Oceania for a KX3 WAC. It also helped out with my mastering our NAQCC October mW Challenge.
I'd highly recommend a KX3 if you are serious about QRP/CW operating and it fits in your budget. No, I am not affiliated in any way with Elecraft other than as a happy customer.
It will add a lot to our Parkpeditions next year also, and I'm looking forward to that.
See my member news item below for a bit more info about the KX3 and how I integrated it into the shack.
5. NAQCC QRS NETS:
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:
Please note changes to net times and frequencies.
73, Craig N4PLK QRS Nets Manager NAQCC # 5775 firstname.lastname@example.org NAQCC Main QRS Net (NQN) - Sunday, 8:00 PM Eastern Time, 7.060 Mhz (3.560 Mhz starting December 2) 10-7-12 N4PLK (NCS) -9- N4PLK KG3W N6TLU N9RLO N8IUP K1IEE N2NLY AC8AP KG0YR 10-14-12 N4PLK (NCS) -8- N4PLK W3UEC W4HH KB3CXQ N6TLU K1IEE N9RLO N8IUP 10-21-12 N4PLK (NCS) -10- N4PLK N6TLU K3VIG W4HH W3UEC WA4VCT KB3CXQ N9RLO NZ8Y K1QED 10-28-12 N6TLU (NCS) -9- N6TLU WA4VCT VA3PEN N9RLO W4HH W3UEC WA4VCM WI1B N8IUP 11-4-12 N4PLK (NCS) -1- N4PLK (Contest QRM) NAQCC East Texas QRS Net (ETN) - Monday, 7:00 PM Central Time, 3.560 Mhz 10-8-12 KA5TJS (NCS) -5- KA5TJS N9RLO KB0ETU KE5YUM KC0CCR 10-15-12 KA5TJS (NCS) -5- KA5TJS KE5YGA KB0ETU KE5YUM KC0CCR N5DRZ 10-22-12 KA5TJS (NCS) -4- KA5TJS KE5YGA KB0ETU N4PLK 10-29-12 KA5TJS (NCS) -5- KA5TJS N9RLO KE5YUM KE5YGA KB0ETU 11-5-12 KA5TJS (NCS) -3- KA5TJS N9RLO KB0ETU NAQCC Pacific NorthWest QRS Net (PNW) Thursday, 7:00 PM, Pacific Time, 3.574 mHZ 10-11-12 KE7LKW (NCS -1- KE7LKW 10-18-12 KE7LKW (NCS) -3- KE7LKW K7ZNP N6KIX 10-25-12 KE7LKW (NCS) -3- KE7LKW N6KIX K7ZNP 11-1-12 KE7LKW (NCS) -4- KE7LKW N6KIX K7ZNP WB4SPB NAQCC Rocky Mtn Regional/Continental QRS Net (RMR) Tuesday, 3:00 PM Mountain Time, 14.0625 Mhz 10-2-12 WC7S (NCS) -6- WC7S AE7CG AD7BP KA9DVX N8IUP K2HT 10-9-12 WC7S/N7A (NCS) -10- WC7S/N7A N8A KH2TJ W0CH W5WIL KK4BOB NO0N KB3ENU W7FFF 10-16-12 WC7S (NCS) -4- WC7S AE7CG W9JDH W8WL/0 10-23-12 WC7S (NCS) -5- WC7S K2HT W4RK AE7CG AD7BP 10-30-12 WC7S (NCS) -11- WC7S W7FFF K6MGO K2HT N8IUP AF9W N9RLO AD7BP N3SW KA4RUR NO0N NAQCC Rocky Mtn Regional/Continental QRS Net (RMR) Thursday, 3:00 PM Mountain Time, 14.0625 Mhz 10-4-12 WC7S (NCS) -7- WC7S VE1BA W1AZ W0EA W7FFF K4EAY NO0N 10-11-12 WC7S (NCS) -5- WC7S AE7CG K9EYT KR9Z W9UX 10-18-12 WC7S (NCS) -2- WC7S VE3MPQQ 10-25-12 WC7S (NCS) -8- WC7S K2HT W0XI NO0N K4EAY AE7CG K6MGO AB5RE 11-1-12 WC7S (NCS) -12- WC7S W7FFF K6MGO K2HT N4OI N8IUP W9JDH AF9CW AE7CG N9RLO AD7BP N3SW 11-8-12 WC7S (NCS) -11- WC7S NS7S AF9W K6MGO AE7CG AD7BP KG0YR K1IEE NO0N WA6RND W0EA NAQCC East Coast QRS Net (ECN) - Thursday, 8:00 PM Eastern Time, 7.060 Mhz (3.560 Mhz starting December 2) 10-11-12 N4PLK (NCS) -2- N4PLK K1IEE 11-8-12 N4PLK (NCS) -2- N4PLK KG0YRFor more net info, see CW Assistance/QRS Nets on the web site.
6. NAQCC CW ASSISTANCE PROJECT:
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:
For much helpful CW info, see the CW Assistance/QRS Nets section of the web site.
7. CW CARTOON OF THE MONTH:
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. Dick's cartoons made their debut in our NAQCC Newsletter Issue #058, November 17, 2007, and a new cartoon currently appears in every issue.
8. RECENT AWARD WINNERS:
0015 KU4A - 11/1/12
0144 W5CYF - 9/4/12
0145 PA7PYR - 9/15/12
0146 AE7US - 9/22/12
0147 OK1LV - 9/23/12
0148 DL6YYM - 10/09/12
0149 K9OSC - 10/12/12
0150 K3WWP - 10/25/12
0020 PA7PYR (Jul 2012) - 9/15/12
0021 K3WWP (Oct 2012) - 10/31/12
0022 WY3H (Oct 2012) - 11/5/12
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
ENDORSEMENTS and HONOR ROLL LISTINGS:
0015 KU4A - 11/1/12
0008 NW2K - 10/15/12
Alphabet Prefix World
Alphabet Prefix USA
KMPW 100 SWA Category
KMPW 100 SWA/GAIN Category
NU7T 371 - 10/15/12
Suffix Words SWA
K3WWP - 387 - 10/16/12
Suffix Words SWA/GAIN
NU7T - 245 - 10/15/12
NW2K - 40 METERS
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 Chris KU4A who recently became only the 15th member 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.
For a complete listing of our award winners and more details, see Awards on the web site.
9. 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.
Craig Young AC6NN #2480
I got my start in amateur radio while studying engineering in college. Our university had an active club but for some reason I didn't see the tower until very late in my studies. But once I did enter the shack, and after being shown around by club members, I was hooked. I was particularly drawn to HF and DXing. There's just something about hearing someone from a faraway country coming through the headset that still fascinates me, even in this Internet age.
After college, I started my career and began a family, leaving little time for radio. But I always kept the hobby in the back of my mind. While on an extended assignment overseas, I promised myself I'd buy an HF rig and get back on the air once we returned to the States. After resettling home, I bought an Elecraft K2 and began soldering.
Since the problem of how to get on the air had been resolved, I decided to learn CW in earnest. I had passed the 20 wpm segment to get my Extra but never got on the air using CW. To provide some motivation this time around, I joined several CW clubs including the NAQCC. I fell into QRPing simply by having a base K2 and limited power. I quickly found that I didn't need a big amp to make contacts. I began to participate in the club sprints, hunting and pouncing at first and then called my first ever CW CQ one evening. What a thrill!
I currently have an Elecraft K3 in the shack connected to an 80-meter horizontal loop. I've kept the K2 as my portable rig and have also added a Ten-Tec 1320 to the collection. My favorite activities are DXing and contests - both casually and nearly exclusively CW.
My wife and I have 3 children (high school, middle school, and elementary school). Needless to say I have plenty of distractions and my radio time often has to take a back-burner to school activities, sports, and concerts. However, don't be surprised to hear me on one of the sprints!
For past member spotlights and past featured members, see the Featured pages on the web site.
10. 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 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.
From John K3WWP #0002 - As written up in the WPA Chapter News above, I now have a new KX3, which has been providing me with a great deal of pleasure for 3 weeks now as this newsletter 'goes to press'. It has also led me to putting in more on-air time than usual which is a great thing, as the more CW activity on the bands, the better. So far I've managed to work 45 countries and 29 states with it. The display on it is much better than on the K2 as it shows so many different things at a glance. I like the way it handles RIT and Split operating better than any previous rig I've used. Although I am quite good at zero-beating by ear, the visual zero-beat indicator on the rig makes it all that much easier. All in all, those features plus many other bells and whistles along with its great performance make it the best rig I've ever owned or used.
However, I did have a problem to solve - how to mount it in my shack so it was easy to access and easy to read the display. Just sitting it on my desk would work, but space there is at a premium with my 4 keys/paddles, log, keyboard for use with GenLog in contests, arm room, etc. I wanted to mount it on the shelf just above desk level where I have/had all my rigs mounted before. Mike KC2EGL suggested perhaps the mobile mount from Elecraft would work. A good idea, but in this economy which doesn't look to be improving at all any time soon, and having just purchased the KX3, I figured with my love of tinkering, I could come up with something from my junk box that wouldn't cost me anything. I was right, I did as shown and described here:
I figured some sort of cradle for the rig to sit in at a correct angle for viewing would work great. The angle brackets shown above with small foam rubber pads to protect the base of the KX3 served to provide the correct angle for the rig.
So far so good, but I needed something to support the back of the rig and hold it in place when buttons are pushed. I found that putting a book there would work, but I needed something that I could secure in place, and obviously I didn't want to cement the book in place nor drill holes in it. I found a similarly sized block of wood in my stock of wood in the basement. Great, but still not quite totally stable. The rig still slipped a bit when pushing some of the buttons. I looked at the situation and determined the legs had to be supported also to keep them from sliding. Another small piece of wood did the trick. Both the big piece of wood and two smaller leg stops are held in place by bolts and wing nuts through a slot in them so they are adjustable. Now it's perfect, and as shown below, very easy to lift out and go portable (after disconnecting the key, phones, pwr, and antenna of course which I didn't do for the picture. HI)
Building the support added some extra enjoyment to the whole KX3 project as I always love tinkering with this or that.
From Marc W4MPS #6259 - Here is a photo from last night's [October] sprint. It was my first, and I had a great time. In order to obtain the bonus multiplier, I broke out my 1909 British GPO telegraph key and used that with my new KX3. Talk about old and new, the key is larger than the radio! I'm sure it has been over 40 years since I've made more than one consecutive QSO with a straight key. As a result, I was a little sloppy in the beginning, but I think my fist improved as I went along. All great fun. Thanks to all. I'll be back.
From Paul N8XMS #675 - October was a very busy QRP month here at N8XMS. First there was my N8A operating for our NAQCC anniversary celebration. I enjoyed making 37 QSOs on 20, 30, and 40 meters. My sprint this month was not exactly a stellar performance but, as always, it was a lot of fun. Next year I think that I will combine the two and volunteer to operate N8A during the sprint. If conditions are right I expect that a little mini-pileup could be possible.
This month's challenge was to make at least 20 QRPp QSOs. I set my K2 at 900 mW and had a blast. The 20 contacts were relatively easy to get and I was thrilled to have 10 of those QSOs be with 10 different DX countries! It was especially fun to hear the surprise from a KW station in the Czech Republic when I told him that I was only running 900 mW. As an editorial comment, I don't understand why more of our members don't participate in the monthly challenges. They are fun activities and usually do not require any significant extra operating time above and beyond what you would normally be doing during the month. "Try it, you'll like it!"
Finally, I did a presentation on QRP at my local ham radio club. I put together a PowerPoint slide show and also brought in several different rigs for a "show-and-tell" display. Some of the members are VHF only operators and there are several others who operate HF but have never tried QRP. Some good questions were asked and there were several statements of surprise when I described what can be done with low power and simple antennas. (One person had me repeat the fact that I was not using a tribander on a tower to do what I was talking about!) The presentation was well received and I think that I might have inspired a few to give QRP a try. Of course the NAQCC was prominently featured on my informational handout.
From Dean NW2K #5407 - Pneumatic Line Thrower for Raising Wire Antennas at NW2K - Most of my trees are 60-100 feet tall and I wanted to be able to easily throw lines over limbs and treetops. My line thrower (LT) is a simple pneumatic device. It consists of an air storage tank, a ball valve, a delivery tube and a tethered weight. To charge and ready the LT, the tank is filled with air at a suitable pressure and the weight (with line attached) is placed down the delivery tube. To launch the weight with its lightweight line over a limb, the tube is aimed and the valve is opened quickly. The weight travels up and over in a mostly predictable manner. The lightweight throw line is untied from the weight and is then used to haul a heavier line up and over the tree.
I decided on a volume of 100 cubic inches for the air storage tank and 40 cubic inches of delivery tube volume. At pressures below 40 PSI, I figured I should be able to launch a five-ounce weight, with a light rope, over my trees. A portable handpowered bicycle tire pump with pressure gauge can provide the air.
My LT was constructed using a handful of PVC fittings, a PVC ball valve, three lengths of PVC pipe, a tire valve and a metal screw eye. Although the components I used were rated for use under pressure in excess of 40 PSI, the manufacturer states that these components are not approved for use with compressed gases. I used a length of 2" pipe for the tank and a length of 1.5" pipe for the delivery tube. My weight is constructed from a short piece of 1" pipe and two 1" end caps, with a metal screw eye secured in one end to receive the lightweight line. I used a lathe to machine the weight so that it fit into the delivery tube with some clearance. I guess I could have used sandpaper or a Dremel tool instead, but the lathe was faster.
The tank is terminated on one end with a 2" slip cap. The tank has a 2" slip-to- 1.5" threaded (male) reducer on the end that receives the 1.5" PVC ball valve (female threads, on both sides). A hole for the tire valve stem is drilled and the valve stem is installed into the tank. The delivery tube has a 1.5" slip-to-1.5" threaded coupler to mate with the ball valve. I used teflon tape on the threads on the tank side to help keep it air tight. The slip fittings and pipe were assembled with fresh PVC primer and cement.
After letting the LT sit for a day to cure, I put on safety gear and tested it at 10 PSI for leaks and none were found. It was time to collect a few data points. For the lightweight rope, I chose nylon mason's line, although heavy monofilament fishing line might also be a good choice. For the tests, I aimed the tube at about ten degrees from vertical. Charging to 20 PSI, the weight reached a height of about 50 feet. At 25 PSI, 75 feet was achieved and at 30 PSI, a height of 100 feet was obtained. The mason's line was spread out on the ground on a tarp to help minimize the chance for a tangle with the antenna launcher.
The LT ended up costing $30. While potentially dangerous and not approved by the PVC manufacturers, I find my LT to have many uses here around the farm.
(WOW - after reading that, now we all know why Dean has that big signal and those big scores in our sprints - K3WWP)
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