pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

February 9, 2013NAQCC Web Site Issue #176

In this issue:
1. February Sprint
1a. January Sprint Results
1b. January 160M Sprint Results
2. January Challenge Results
2a. March 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. FEBRUARY SPRINT: - Our February sprint is a very special one - it's the 100th NAQCC regular monthly sprint. To celebrate and more importantly to thank our members for their devotion to our sprints and our club in general, we're going to be giving away 13 (for 2013) very special prizes. Although we are keeping the prizes a secret until the sprint is over, we can tell you the following now. First prize will be something with a value well over $100.00. Second prize something in the $50.00 to $100.00 range. There will also be two (as of now) third prizes and nine (as of now) fourth place prizes.

How can you have a chance to win one of the prizes? Simply be a NAQCC member, enter the sprint, make at least one QSO WITH ANOTHER MEMBER, report your results in the usual way, and have at least one member QSO pass cross-checking. Then within a few days after the following Monday when cross-checking is complete, there will be a computer drawing supervised by Tom WY3H, John K3WWP, and Mike KC2EGL to determine the winners. The drawing will be presented on the web site in as close to real time as possible. We'll explain how the drawing is made, list and picture the prize and then the winner of the prize. We will notify all members via our NAQCC email list exactly when the drawing will be made so you can watch to see who wins. Then we'll email the winners to notify them. So BE SURE you have a good email address on file with us both to be notified when the drawing will take place and to be notified if you are a winner.

Why are we doing this? Simply to show our appreciation of your support of and devotion to the NAQCC by giving back to you in the form of the prizes, a large portion of the many generous monetary donations you've made which have gone beyond what we need to keep the club running smoothly. Thank you. This will deplete our club treasury quite a bit, but we're sure there will be more donations coming to build it back up again so we can continue to keep the club running smoothly and provide still more prizes for other events. See the bottom of the main web site page for donation info.

Now some details of the sprint itself. It's this coming Tuesday evening February 12 local time (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 Wednesday, February 13 from 0130Z to 0330Z. Our sprints have grown to be extremely popular and every month we approach or exceed 200 participants. So come join in the fun in this special sprint, be you a veteran contester or a rank newcomer to sprints and contests. Our sprints suit both as well as everyone in between those extremes. They are slow paced so as not to scare off the newcomers and they emphasize participation, not making high scores. We want our members to get in the sprints to have fun, improve their CW skills, and move scoring down on the list of priorities. You'll have a great time even if you are not one of the 13 prize drawing winners.

Be prepared for a lot of activity on 80 meters again this month, but you might want to check 40 before heading down to 80. It is picking up now from its winter doldrums. There's not too much hope for activity on 20 except for the western part of the country, but it wouldn't hurt to check, especially if you are one of the ones with a big and/or high antenna for that band.

Our 2nd and 3rd place certificate scheme seems to be working well, although some divisions have not had the required participation to take advantage of this. Remember a division needs 10 participants to warrant a 2nd place certificate and 20 participants for both 2nd and 3rd place certificates.

As we always add, please read all the info in the Contests/Sprints section of the NAQCC web site so you will know everything you need to know about our sprints.

Here's the link you need to get started.

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1a. JANUARY SPRINT RESULTS: - Conditions were very poor for our January sprint. Still we had a great turnout with 112 logs submitted from 161 participants - a tribute to the loyalty and dedication of our members. Let's get straight to the results which show how things were, much quicker and more concisely than added words here.

Total QSOs1,3652,2342,4844/12
Hour 1 QSOs7451,1521,2544/12
Hour 2 QSOs6201,0821,2304/12
20M QSOs3481,0568/12
40M QSOs3498531,5344/12
80M QSOs9821,3731,37312/12
Avg QSOs per stn12.215.119.39/11

SWA Category
Other Categories
First time entrant high scorerWA2NYY
Paddle/bug handle - K1/K2 knob insert drawingWA2WUH

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 10 stations who didn't submit a log showed up 5 to 46 times in the 111 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 5 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. As N3PDT said, "...I get as much pleasure from turning in a Golden Log as I do my score...". Many others seem more concerned with being a GOLDEN LOG than getting a big score. I get many comments along those lines. If there is still anyone who doesn't know, 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 111 participants (one was a late log and not cross-checked) this month. To see if you're one of them, check the results page. It's the fifth month in a row we've had 60 or more GOLDEN LOGs.

Here's a Top 5 (+ ties) list of most GOLDEN LOGs in 2013:

1 - tie among 60 members

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    707    1471      48.1
2013     60     111      54.1
Total  1713    3975      43.1
So you see we're above average this year and the percentage has increased each year. That's rewarding to see as it means our members are getting better at log keeping and log submitting. Congratulations!

Full sprint info here.

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1b. JANUARY 160M SPRINT RESULTS: - We had a second sprint in January and it proved to be quite successful with some pretty good conditions unless you were plagued by local QRN as I was. We don't keep extensive stats for our 160M and mW sprints, but there were 46 logs submitted, the third best for a 160M sprint behind 54 in Jan 2011, and 49 in Jan 2012. That may show something I've noted over the years - 160M conditions seem to deteriorate with increasing sunspots. For some reason a couple members combined our special sprints and thought this was a 160M mW sprint. No, we're not that cruel. It's tough enough with 5 watts on 160M.... however here's what NI8N emailed to our awards manager KK1X, "Thanks John, I have to tell you a funny story about this. My friend, Mike, N8IUP, told me it was a Milliwatt sprint, so I ran 900 milliwatts. I wonder what I could have done with 5 watts?? Hihi, 73 Jack, NI8N".

Other details of the sprint can be found on the results page on the web site.

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2. JANUARY CHALLENGE RESULTS: - The combination rag chew / key manufacturer alphabet challenge proved very popular. We don't have complete results as the deadline for submitting results hasn't passed yet, but as of now there have been 11 reports submitted. According to comments, the idea of adding bonus rag chew letters to an alphabet challenge seemed to be a good thing. Perhaps we'll consider that again for some future alphabet challenges. Encouraging rag chewing is a good thing since rag chewing provides more on-air CW than simply exchanging club numbers for example. That's why our Friendship Club also encourages rag chewing.

Full Challenge results can always be found here.

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2a. MARCH CHALLENGE: - This is a tribute to the couple of times the WPA Chapter of the NAQCC has operated from the submarine Requin in Pittsburgh. It's an alphabet challenge involving submarine names starting with the Requin. In fact in checking the rules page just now, I see that's the only name we have listed this far, so we need more. If you would like to add a sub to the list email us at pix_email_naqcc (1K) with the subject "Submarine Challenge". I guess Bob K9OSC is psychic because as I was proofreading the newsletter before publishing it, I received an email from him suggesting a sub name. Thanks Bob.

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2b. CURRENT CHALLENGE: - I guess it has become somewhat of a tradition for our February challenge to be a Groundhog challenge. Just like the Thanksgiving challenge in November. So once again in 2013 we are challenging you to make the names of groundhogs from letters in the calls of stations worked during February. Have fun and good luck getting the 80 required letters to complete all the names! It's not hard and as of typing this on Feb 5th, I have over 60 of the letters already and finished on the 8th with two Ls from K1MLP. So get on the air and collect those letters.

Full challenge info here.

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pix_blueball (1K) - A lot of QRPers enjoy building gear even to the point of building something, testing it briefly, then moving on to another building project. With that in mind, we're curious as to why no one has claimed a very interesting prize involving gear building. Those of you interested in building probably know that one of the very best construction projects when construction involved more than combining a couple of 'chips', a capacitor, and resistor was the HBR series of receivers built by Ted Crosby W6TC (sk) in the 50's and 60's. We are offering a set of CDs describing in detail the history of the HBR receivers. How can you win it? Check the Prizes page in the main section of the NAQCC web site. You may find that you qualify for something else when you check. The paddle handles and Elecraft knob inserts handcrafted hc176 (1K) by expert woodworker Gregg WB8LZG shown and described there have been very popular prizes over the past few years. Take a look, and if you haven't ever done so, explore the rest of the web site as well. Note especially the NAQCC items such as hats, tee shirts, plaques, QSL cards on the main page that are available to members to show their pride in being members.

pix_blueball (1K) - There will be an article about the NAQCC in the upcoming March issue of CQ magazine which according to Rich W2VU will be hitting the newsstands and being mailed to subscribers sometime later this month. The article was written by Tom WY3H and me (K3WWP) after we received this from Cam N6GA - QRP Editor for the magazine who said, "CQ Magazine will be running its annual QRP Special Edition in the March issue this coming year, and I was wondering if you'd like to have some coverage for the NAQCC in this special issue. You guys have really become active with your nets, sprints, awards and other activities. Do you think you or one of your officers might be interested in writing something about the club?"

After submission, we received this prompt reply from W2VU, "...I just finished reading the article. It is excellent and will definitely go in the queue for the QRP Special..."

So if you are a CQ subscriber, keep an eye on your mailbox (or Internet) for the March issue. Or if you'r not a subscriber, I'm sure your local newsstand probably stocks CQ, or at least it should. Then be sure to share it with your non-NAQCC friends so they can see what they are missing.

Our thanks to CQ for the opportunity to get more publicity for the club so we can extend our mission of preserving CW on the ham bands.

pix_blueball (1K) - Are you not interested in contesting? Well that's fine as we all have different interests in ham radio. Perhaps you always gloss over the first item or two in these newsletters about our sprints? Well, this month you may want to go back and read the first item as the February sprint coming up is a very special one - it's our 100th regular sprint. Because of that we are offering some very nice prizes as described in that item above.

pix_blueball (1K) - We've gotten all our special event calls (N1A, N2A.....N9A, N0A) authorized and ready to go for our 9th anniversary week coming up in October running from the 6th through the 12th. If the VE system doesn't mess up as it has done in the past there should be no conflict with others wanting to use those calls that week. We should have exclusive use of them for the full week. It's not too early to sign up if you want to be one of the operators of the call for your particular area. If something happens and you can't operate then, you can always cancel. We'll be updating our special N#A Operation page in the main section of the NAQCC web site soon with info about this years event. As usual we already have three ops for the N3A call - WY3H, K3WWP, and KC2EGL. However we can use more for N3A. All other calls have no volunteers as yet since this is the first time we've mentioned this year's activity. So come on. Everyone who has been an op in the past has gotten nothing but enjoyment from the experience and we get many returning ops each year. I'm sure it would be a real thrill for someone who has never operated a special event call to be able to operate one of our calls, even for just a couple hours if that's all that time would permit.

To sign up, just send an email to pix_email_naqcc (1K) with the subject "NAQCC Anniversary" stating your intention to be an operator.

We'll again be using our special scheduler where you can post your operating times in real time. That proved very successful last year. So successful that we are also providing that service the rest of the year as well. See the main page of the NAQCC web site for details.

pix_blueball (1K) - All of our regular prizes such as the sprint drawing prize each month are now up to date. Mike KC2EGL had to drop a couple of winners from last year since they never replied to repeated emails asking which prize they wanted. Re-drawings were made for those months, and the results were better with two of the three new winners responding almost immediately.

This points up how important it is to you and to us that we have a good email address on file for you and that you have all our club addresses in your approved sender or white lists there.

You can tell if your address is good quite easily. If you are receiving our regular mailings on our email list (Sunday net reminders, newsletter promo, sprint promos plus other ones) then your address is good. If you have any doubt, just send us your good address to pix_email_naqcc (1K) with the subject "Email address". Include your call sign AND membership number along with the good email address in the body of the email.

pix_blueball (1K) - We're very pleased with the way members are encouraging their QRP CW friends to join the NAQCC. Many new applications are listing another member's call as how they found out about the club. We appreciate such help in the growth of the club.

pix_blueball (1K) - Just a quick reminder we're continuing with the hidden call sign idea originally suggested by Bill KB3XS even though it's been a year (2/11/2012) now since anyone has claimed their prize. Only 10 out of 81 hidden calls have been found by their owner. 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 (Mar 16) 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 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: Those who are members of one of our chapters can publicize any portable operations done as a Chapter function similar to what WPA Chapter members Mike (KC2EGL), Don (K3RLL), and I (K3WWP) have been doing for our parkpeditions via our NAQCC email list. If there isn't yet a chapter in your area, you will have to form one to take advantage of this. Just send an announcement exactly as you want posted to pix_email_naqcc (1K) 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. Such a write-up goes to pix_email_kd2mx (1K)

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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/

Our next chapter sprint will be held on 18th February. Please support your local chapter and promote CW usage in Europe by taking part!

Also, the February challenge is now well under way. Check out the NAQCC-EU website for more information, the rules and how to submit your entry. NAQCC-EU Challenge Info.

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Items in this section are from the FL Chapter unless otherwise credited. Questions or comments should go to pix_email_flchapter (1K)

The Florida Chapter of NAQCC held its January field event at Lake Diaz Park, a fairly remote but great radio location about 1.5 hours north of Orlando.

Thanks to helpful publicity through NAQCC, all members present were able to make multiple contacts including those with NAQCC members W0CML, KA8P, KB3ENU, W7GB. Listening to us from work was K4UPG.

Equipment used included a KX-1, HB-1B, FT-817 and a K-1 to a variety of antennas including a Buddipole, ground mounted fishing poles supporting inverted jumper Vees and a unique former trolling motor transom mount holding a 20' fishing pole at just the right angle for a 17 meter "L". Although used heavily, no layers of the ionosphere were damaged in this event.



From L-R: K3RLL #1905, KG4LAL #6278, WB4OMM #5913, AB8GU & WB4MNK #5274 with our host lake in the background. Wondering about the "No Swimming" sign behind our illustrious group? This lake is home to many large alligators!

Many thanks to those who listened for us and helped make this yet another successful NAQCC event.

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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 CST (0100 UTC). The net has now moved to 3560 +/- 3 KHz until next spring. Conditions have been reasonably good the past few weeks with only moderate QSB/QRN reported. Remember that QRO power is acceptable on the ETN net, so crank up the power if necessary to make yourself heard. 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.

January Sprint Results

A successful January Sprint, again in spite of an almost dead 20m band and marginal 40m band. 80m was where the action was. Robert, W5YDM, #3295, placed 3rd overall. Congrats, Robert! Seven Texas stations sent in their logs, so that is an above average turnout. Every log and QSO counts, so my thanks to all those that participated! 80m may be the best band for the next month or two, so a little effort to improve an existing 80m antenna or to put up one for 80m probably would pay big dividends.

The February Sprint will be on Tuesday, the 12th (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 (389 at last count) are automatically members of the Texas Chapter. We would love to hear from you about any of your recent ham activities, new QRP rig or antenna.

pix_arrl_wpa_section (4K)
Items in this section are from John K3WWP unless otherwise credited. Questions or comments should go to pix_email_naqcc (1K) All chapter news can be found ONLY here in this section of the newsletter.

Mike KC2EGL and I have been getting together regularly for our always enjoyable sessions eating (top priority - HI), ham radio projects, and too long a list of other things to mention here. That's the great benefit of our NAQCC chapters - a means of personal fellowship with other members. It's hard to understand why more areas don't form chapters of their own.

One of our latest projects is figuring out the use of an SDR program with our KX3 rigs so we can quickly scan a band for activity with the panadapter feature of the program. Neither of us has had any experience interfacing rigs and computers. We both use GenLog for contesting, but that is just for logging and a quick way of dupe checking. We have no actual connection between the rig and GenLog. So figuring out the SDR program was pretty much like a kid learning to tie his shoelaces, having never tied them himself before.

The program suggested by Elecraft in the KX3 manual was HDSDR, so that was installed and tried out with mixed results. We got a panadapter display but it didn't behave in any way like we thought it would. After some more research, we found that a .dll was needed to work with the program. That was Omni-Rig which provided the final handshake between rig and HDSDR. Now things were working better, but still not completely as it should.

Further Internet research - the HDSDR has no real manual - turned up some settings for HDSDR and Omni-Rig to make them work with a KX3. That did it. After applying the settings, everything worked much better although at the point of writing this, there still has to be a little fine-tuning to make it totally satisfactory. Right now, the panadapter works just like it should. It shows a wide spread spectrum display with blips for each signal in that frequency segment. Clicking on a blip immediately brings that signal into the passband of the KX3.

Mike's computer is currently in the shop, but as soon as he gets it back, he'll make another visit and we'll hook up HDSDR to his system. He has a laptop, and as far as I know, having never used a laptop, they don't have a stereo line input to their sound cards in most cases. So Mike will probably have to purchase an external USB sound card for HDSDR to work in his case.

Otherwise on our visits we've been enjoying our other common interests. We've watched a lot of good videos on YouTube like episodes from the British comedy series "Doctor in the House" and the British ITC secret agent adventure series "The Champions". We also did a lot of sports trivia and research into different league sports. One thing we wondered while out eating at Ponderosa was which is the largest city in the USA without any team in the major sports leagues of MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA, MLS. We're not giving the answer here. We'll let you figure it out if you wish.

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News and net reports in this section are from QRS Net Manager Craig N4PLK unless otherwise credited. Questions or comments should go to pix_email_n4plk (1K)

Please welcome Robert KG4KGL, new NCS for the East Coast Net (ECN).  Please support this net
by checking in on Thursdays at 8:00 PM Eastern Time on 3.560 MHz. 

73, Craig N4PLK
NAQCC # 5775
QRS Nets Manager

NAQCC Main QRS Net (NQN) - Sunday, 8:00 PM Eastern Time, 3.560 Mhz 

NAQCC East Texas QRS Net (ETN) - Monday, 7:00 PM Central Time, 3.560 Mhz 

NAQCC Pacific NorthWest QRS Net (PNW) Thursday, 7:00 PM, Pacific Time, 3.574 mHZ
1-24-13 WB4SPB/7 (NCS) -3- WB4SPB/7 NX1P VE7DWG 

NAQCC Rocky Mtn Regional/Continental QRS Net (RMR) Tuesday, 3:00 PM Mountain Time, 14.0625 Mhz
1-15-13 WC7S (NCS) -3- WC7S KE6IOI KG0YR

NAQCC Rocky Mtn Regional/Continental QRS Net (RMR) Thursday, 3:00 PM Mountain Time, 14.0625 Mhz

NAQCC East Coast QRS Net (ECN) - Thursday, 8:00 PM Eastern Time, 3.560 Mhz 
1-24-13 KG4KGL (NCS) -2- KG4KGL N4PLK
1-31-13 KG4KGL (NCS) -1- KG4KGL
2-7-13 KG4KGL (NCS) -2 KG4KGL NI2F

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pix_sm_k5duz (13K)
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)

For much more helpful CW info, see the CW Assistance/QRS Nets section of the web site. As Ron stated, a full overhaul and update to this section will be coming soon. Hopefully that will be before our NAQCC article in CQ Magazine hits the stands near the end of February.

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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. Dick's cartoons made their debut in our NAQCC Newsletter Issue #058, November 17, 2007, and a new cartoon currently appears in every issue.
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Friendship Club Awards:
0016 N8XMS - 12/10/12
0017 K1YAN - 1/9/13
0018 W4DUK - 1/14/13

300 Points: 0016 N8XMS - 12/10/12
300 Points: 0018 W4DUK - 1/17/13
400 Points: 0016 N8XMS - 12/22/12
500 Points: 0016 N8XMS - 12/22/12
600 Points: 0016 N8XMS - 12/22/12
700 Points: 0016 N8XMS - 12/22/12
1300 Points: 0008 NW2K - 1/22/13
2100 Points: 0001 K3WWP - 11/16/12
2200 Points: 0001 K3WWP - 12/25/12

1000 MPW Awards:
0155 WH6LE - 12/02/12
0156 WH6LE - 12/10/12
0157 WK3N - 12/23/12
0158 ND9M - 1/9/13

KMPW 100 Awards SWA:

KMPW 100 Awards SWA/GAIN:

Honor Roll SWA Update:
K3WWP 1,039 - 12/1/12

Honor Roll SWA/GAIN Update:

Participation Awards:
Year 2012
W1: K1IEE - 1/1/13
W2: W2JEK - 1/1/13
W3: K3WWP - 1/1/13
W4: KU4A - 1/1/13
W5: TBD (KE5YUM and/or W5IQS)
W6: TBD (K6CSL, KA6AIL, WK6L, K6MGO still mathematically alive)
W7: NU7T - 1/1/13
W8: N8XMS - 1/1/13
W9: W9UX - 1/1/13
W0: K9OSC/KD0V (tie) - 1/1/13
VE: VE3FUJ - 1/1/13
DX: PA5LR - 1/1/13
FREE FISTS Membership/Renewal - W9UX

QSO-a-Day Awards:
Full Year 2012:
0001 W9UX - 12/31/12
0002 K3WWP - 1/6/13

One Month 2013:
0001 WY3H - 2/7/13 (Month of January)

0001 W9UX Full Year 2012 - Simple wire antennas for all QSOs - 12/31/12
0002 K3WWP Full Year 2012 - All 9 HF bands used - 1/6/13
0002 K3WWP Full Year 2012 - Simple wire antennas for all QSOs - 1/6/13
0001 WY3H One Month 2013 - Simple wire antennas for all QSOs - 2/7/13

2XQRP Awards:

30-30 Awards:
One month
0024 WY3H (Nov 2012) - 12/3/12
0025 WY3H (Dec 2012) - 12/10/12

0008 WY3H (Oct-Nov-Dec 2012) - 12/10/12

Alphabet Prefix USA Awards:

Alphabet Prefix World Awards:

Honor Roll USA Update:

Honor Roll World Update:

DXCC Category A (QRP) Awards:
0010 - N8XMS - 12/4/12

DXCC Category C (QRPp 50 countries) Awards:

Suffix Words - SWA Awards:

Suffix Words - SWA/GAIN Awards:

Honor Roll SWA Update:
N8XMS - 200 - 12/4/12

Honor Roll SWA/GAIN Update:

WAC Category A (QRP) Awards:
0022 - N8XMS - 12/4/12


WAS Category A Awards:
0019 - N8XMS - 12/4/12

WAS Category B (2X QRP) Awards:

WAS Category C (QRPp) Awards:

Endorsements Category A:

WAVE Category A Awards:


Heartiest congratulations to W4DUK on becoming the 18th member of our prestigious Friendship Club award. Many more of you are eligible for the award solely from your NAQCC sprint QSOs. In fact there are many ways to earn the FC award:

1. Simply work 200 different members since 1/1/2005 - either before or after they became a member - no need to exchange numbers on the air. Those are one point QSOs.

2. Simply work 100 different members in our NAQCC sprints - in this case, they have to have been members at the time of the QSO - easy to tell from your sprint logs because they will have sent you their member number. Those are two point QSOs, as are all contest/sprint QSOs.

3. The best way to honor the true meaning of the Friendship Club award - make 50 QSOs with members after they became members and get to know them better by finding out more than just their rig and weather. Perhaps they work on a newspaper, are also a member of FISTS, love fishing or hunting, are an active gardener... and a myriad of other things. Those are four point QSOs.

4. Any combination of the above three methods that takes you to the required 200 points for the basic FC award. It takes a little more effort than earning other club's 'worked members award', and we think that makes it more meaningful (and puts more CW on the air) than getting an award by just a quick number exchange QSO.

For a complete listing of our award winners and more details, see Awards on the web site.

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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.
Lee Hiers AA4GA #5415

Picture of AA4GA

I was first licensed in 1976, upgrading to Extra about eight months later in an attempt to never having to bother with the code again. A funny thing happens though when you actually gain a bit of proficiency with the code - you start to enjoy it! I have operated a lot of phone over the years, but now operate over 99% CW. My primary interests were operating in contests and chasing DX, and I upgraded my station to a tribander and 40m Yagi along with a kilowatt. But because my station wasn't quite competitive enough, nor my skills quite good enough to hang with the "big boys", I normally operated at the 100 watt level. I even owned an Argonaut 509 for a short while and dabbled in QRP, although it was never my main rig, nor preferred mode of operation.

My on-the-air activities had dwindled to only operating a handful of contests a year, with very little operation outside of contests. Eventually, that led to a few years where I was completely QRT. Then, a couple years ago, I was spending a lot of time at my fiance's apartment and was wanting to get back on the air. I decided that QRP would be more appropriate from the apartment as a TVI preventative. I had always read the QRP articles in QST and CQ, and enjoyed reading of the exploits of W1FB, W7ZOI, K8EEG, etc. and knew I should be able to make some QRP contacts with a simple portable setup. So, I purchased a Yaesu FT817ND and a little auto-tuner. I quickly discovered that I could take a small doublet or end-fed wire out to a park and spend a couple hours making QSOs with battery power running five watts. It was great!

We have since moved out from town, and I now have an 80m doublet up, occasionally augmented with another small wire antenna. I would like better performance and would eventually like to put up some larger antennas, but the convenience of an auto tuner and the doublet is hard to beat. And, it doesn't work too badly either! I'm still primarily a contester and a DXer, and so far, in 21 months of exclusive QRP operation, I've worked over 150 countries. I've recently upgraded to an Elecraft KX3, and have started building a bit of QRP equipment, most notable is one of KD1JV's ATS-3b transceivers. I've started participating in SOTA and have activated a few summits using a simple wire antenna of 30 feet hung as a sloper.

I was really happy to learn of the NAQCC early in my QRP career - the Sprints are my favorite aspect of the club, and I've taken inspiration from all the folks that operate them with small antennas. My favorite sprint was the milliWatt Sprint I entered in 2011. I was so surprised at the number of stations I could work with such low power! Unfortunately, I haven't operated the Sprints as often as I would prefer, but do get on for them when my schedule allows.

As far as the future goes, I just hope to continue working QRP, chasing DX and operating as much as I can. Hopefully I'll be able to eventually get some antenna improvements done, and I am trying to do more building, moving away from kits. Another project of mine is maintaining an unofficial QRP DXCC standings list since the ARRL doesn't endorse the QRP DXCC. There are a lot of QRP operators with inspirational QRP country totals out there - everyone is invited to submit their totals to me at www.aa4ga.com/p/qrp-dxcc.html.

For past member spotlights and past featured members, see the Featured pages on the web site.

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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 Feb 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.

pix_blueball (1K) From John K3WWP #0002 FC 1 - My latest ham radio project is fooling around with HDSDR, a Software Designed Radio program with a spread spectrum display to interface with my KX3. Now I'm a traditionalist and don't really believe in interfacing computers and radios, but I thought the spread spectrum display would help me quickly check a band for activity since because of my NAQCC work and other activities I don't really have all that much time to get on the air. That would allow me to see at a glance in a few seconds if a band is active or not and save me a lot of time. I'm learning more and more about the setup as time goes by and I find time to experiment a bit. I've now gotten the KX3 and HDSDR to communicate with each other, and it is really neat to see how they work together. I've still got a lot to learn about fine-tuning the setup, and it's not easy without a manual for HDSDR. There are a lot of good third-party quasi-manuals on the Internet, but still nothing that explains everything as an official manual would.

January was a fun month here with our NAQCC combination challenge and our two sprints. Other than those activities though, there was not much else happening to talk about as far as on-air activities. There was very little DX to be worked - at least when I was on the air. I probably missed some good openings now and then. It was nice to spend a couple visits with Mike KC2EGL which was explained in detail in the WPA Chapter News above.

Speaking of Chapter news, I was delighted to read that because of our policy of allowing members who are also members of one of our chapters to use our mail list to publicize their portable operations that the FL Chapter had one of their most active ever portable operations. Oh, and sounds very nice to be able to operate portable during the winter months, something that is not at all even remotely practical in cold snowy Pennsylvania. We have to wait for spring, summer, and fall here to avoid frostbite, hypothermia, etc. HI.

pix_blueball (1K) From Bob W5YDM #3295 - The NAQCC soapbox always contains member comments about how their "poor" antenna limited their contacts. I have overheard many QSOs on local repeaters as well as seen many posts made to Yahoo groups that echo the same frustrations. I've heard many repeater QSOs where the participants wail and gnash their teeth over antenna problems because they live in restricted subdivisions. They recite antenna theory back and forth, as though they are knowledgeable and always come to the conclusion that simple wire antennas at low heights don't work well, referring to them as NVIS systems. Two antennas that are frequently mentioned, but always rejected, are low dipoles and end-fed wires.

At my location, I have a seven-band fan dipole system which is only 18 feet high at the apex and is fed with 100 feet of RG8X that runs under the roof overhang to the window where it takes two sharp bends and is mashed between the window and the metal frame even though we have all read that you can't do that with foam coax. Fans with more than two or three dipoles are impractical, or so we've been told, but mine has six dipoles and has no more than a 2.5:1 SWR over any of the seven bands that the internal tuners of both my FT-950 and K1 match with ease. Using my external manual tuner, I can also use the fan on 30m, making it an eight-band system. I don't work 160m or 60m but I'll bet it would communicate on those bands as well.

My other antenna system is a 80-90 feet long, end-fed sloping length of #14 insulated electrical wire that runs from my front porch across several short trees to a branch about 30 feet high in a tree across the yard. I have aluminum soffit trim and the wire touches it snugly where it comes up under the roof overhang at the porch. It then wraps around a metal shower curtain pin before dropping down to the radio. The tuner in my 4-band K1 has no problem tuning 40-30-20-17 meters to a 1:1 SWR. I like to sit out on the porch on a cool, sunny day and work whomever I hear, which almost always includes two or three DX stations.

In the past year, using only my fan dipole and end-fed wire systems, I have completed DXCC, DXCC Diamond, DXCC QRP, Worked All States, and if you guys in North Dakota would stop shoveling snow long enough to get on the air and give me a LOTW for a QRP QSO, I could also get WAS QRP. All these certificates are CW only, which is the reason it was all possible. Those who think they have antenna problems would do well to put the microphone away in the closet and drag out the key.

I have even used a Hamstick clamped to my car trailer hitch to work several states and DX with the K1. There is no reason to blame your "poor" antenna for a lack of QSOs. If you can't make a CW contact with something that even resembles an antenna, then check the back of your radio because it is probably disconnected.

pix_blueball (1K) From Barry NF1O #1637- My Nine QSO Contest Operation -- Nine QSOs in a contest does not sound like a lot but I was very happy to get them. A while back I stumbled upon Steve's (VE7SL) web page about a 1929 TNT transmitter. It can found here: http://members.shaw.ca/ve7sl/tnt.html .

I was intrigued, and with a little more research I found out about the AWA Bruce Kelley QSO party. This is a contest scheduled over two weekends in December, the same weekends as the 160 and 10 meter contests. The contest is played on 160, 80 and 40 only, and points are given only for working other 1929 or older designed transmitters. Any receiver can be used but the transmitter has to be made from a 1929 or older design and with parts that were available in 1929. In the process of participating, I learned old time acronyms like TNT, (Tuned, not tuned); MOPA, (Master oscillator, power amp); TPTG, (Tuned plate, tuned grid); and gained a lot of respect for the hams of old.

After finding the components to build my own 1929 transmitter, (from Nearfest as well as some friends) I decided on the Hartley style due to it being a slightly easier design. I also decided to use a UY-227 vs. the Type 45 tube because the UY-227 has a separate cathode which would contriute to the easier design criteria. I also chose the UY-227 due to the present day value of the different tubes. The Type 45 is much more expensive so I figured I would do the experiments with the cheaper tube. Both were available in 1929 so either qualified.

I built my transmitter and power supply in the old Breadboard style as they would have done in the 1920s. For the contest, I hooked up a temporary dipole for 40m (I built my transmitter for 40 only) and set it up on the dining table for operating. Since any receiver could be used, I built a neophyte receiver from a kit I picked up a few years ago. I got on the first weekend and could hear several obvious 1929ers (they do not have the perfect tone that my K3 has) and called several . I got no replies and even changed to my IC706 for receive so I could tell that both were on the same frequency as the neophyte is a bit wide. After the first week I had no QSOs and was disappointed. I sent off an email to the folks on the AWA group and was told that the coupling coil would need series capacitance in order to match well to modern coax fed antennas. I grabbed a dual 365 from my junk box and kludged it in. I used a small lamp to check for actual RF going out (2-3 watts).


Before the contest, I set up a sked with a friend (K1KXN) a few miles away to see if it worked. He said I was hard to copy because he wasn't used to copying chirpy signals but he was hearing me. So the weekend came and I took some breaks from the 10 meter contest and got on with the 29er and the 706 and was very happy when my first QSO was NC (K4JYS). After that I worked eight more stations which was everyone that I heard.


I believe that the top finisher had about 70 QSOs and that was on three bands over two weekends. I really only had QSOs on one weekend and one band so I was very happy with my nine QSOs. For a QRP contest with very tight restrictions, I had a great time building, testing and contesting with a rig that was around the year that my father was born. I did it all the old way. I used a 1920s straight key and yes, I even used a paper log. (I did scan and email it to the contest sponsor )


Even though I did not break any records, I had a very enjoyable time with this one and would encourage all to give it a try. Info can be found here: http://www.antiquewireless.org/pdf/AWA_2012-2013_Event_Schedule.pdf.

pix_blueball (1K) From Paul N8XMS #675- NAQCC Member Bob Brock, K9OSC #3894, just had an article published in the latest issue of the QRPARCI's "QRP Quarterly". The article is about his homebrew wide-range antenna tuner and its picture even made the cover of the magazine.

pix_blueball (1K) From Ken AB8KT #6338 - I have casually played around with QRP for years, but never really tried chasing awards or contesting. I owned an FT-817 which I used portable. I built a few QRP kits and used them on the air now and then. Nothing serious.

This past year, I received a generous Christmas gift from my mother at our family Thanksgiving celebration. I knew she expected me to buy something and not just put it in the bank. I thought about it for a few days and decided the only thing I really wanted was an Elecraft KX3. So I ordered one and didn't tell my mother how much of my own money I chipped in. I also asked Elecraft to put a note in the box saying: From Mom, to Ken, Merry Christmas.

After ordering the KX3 I was now on a big QRP kick. I dug out my Yeasu FT-817 and got on the air. I started tuning around and heard a DX station operating split with a moderate pile-up. I called and he came back to me on the first call. Wow, that was easy. So I kept tuning around and I worked a couple more DX stations with no trouble, running 5 watts of CW. I started thinking, I wonder if I could actually work 100 countries running 5 watts or less? I am no great DXer. I do have DXCC (mostly at 100 watts, sometimes more power than that) but DX was never my primary interest in ham radio.

My only permenent antenna is a 130' wire, fed in the center with 450 ohm ladder line, suspended between two trees. The antenna center insulator is at 36'. I use the antenna on 160m-6m with a tuner. I do live in a nice location on a hill, at the end of a ridge, with the ground sloping away in three directions. But I don't own a tower, or any directional antennas. I sometimes use a temporarily installed Buddipole vertical (1/4 wave on 20m) with one radial. That antenna is clamped to the front porch railing.

In short order the KX3 was delivered. I got to open the box up in front of my mother. I told her, "This is what you bought me for Christmas", and I handed her the note from Elecraft. I opened the boxes and couldn't wait to try it out, so I hooked a 7 ah battery to it. I dug out an MFJ telescoping whip antenna and turned on the rig intending to just tune around and see how the receiver worked. The rig fired up on 40 meters in the CW band and right there was a W9 calling CQ. I hit the button for the internal auto tuner, waited on the tuner to quit making noise (I had no idea how to actually run the radio, I had just opened the box) and I called the guy while I was holding the KX3 like an HT with the paddle sticking out the side at 90 degrees from the way it usually is when the radio is sitting on a table. The guy came right back to me! Of course he gave me a bad signal report and I lost him by the second go-round, but I found the fact that he answered me amazing.

The next day I hooked the KX3 up in the shack and started chasing DX.

Fifty-seven days later, I worked my 100th DXCC entity using 5 watts, CW, and a simple wire antenna up 36' in the air.

Shortly after getting the KX3, my mother's health started to fail. I took her to the hospital where she stayed for over a month. This of course stressed me out to the max. In between visits to the hospital, I got my stress relief by operating ham radio. In fact, about all I did for a month was to sit at the hospital, operate ham radio at home, and sleep. Eventually we got the diagnosis: terminal cancer. I told the doctors that I was going to take her home and take care of her myself with the help of Hospice. . She slept most of the time and when she was comfortable and sleeping, I snuck down the basement and spent twenty or thirty minutes at a time on the air before going back upstairs and sitting with her. Finally when things got really bad, my sister came and we took turns taking care of my mother. On January 27, 2013 I worked my 100th DXCC entity running QRP CW. That same evening, a couple of hours later my mother passed away.

I can't thank Elecraft enough for taking the time to include that note with my KX3. It meant more to me than I can express.

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