|March 16, 2013||NAQCC Web Site||Issue #177|
In this issue:|
1. March Sprint
1a. February Sprint Results
2. February Challenge Results
2a. April 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. MARCH SPRINT: - Our March sprint starts us off on our second group of 100 sprints. Sprint #101 will be next Wednesday evening at 8:30PM EDT. Yes, we are back on Daylight Savings time at last with the nice bright evenings. While the local time remains the same, remember the UTC (Z) time is now different. So this month's sprint will be Thursday, March 21 from 0030 to 0230Z. Please remember that and check your log before submitting to be sure all times lie in the 0030-0230Z time frame. Otherwise when cross checking, it is annoying to have to adjust each time especially for a log with a lot of QSOs.|
Since the sprint is virtually right at the spring equinox, conditions should be good as they usually are at this time of year barring a coincidental Solar/Geomagnetic storm. And with the change to DST, 20 meters should become a more important player again, perhaps to the detriment of 80M as spring static MAY start building up on that band. Don't ignore 80 though. It still will be a major player as well, just like it was for the past few sprints. Bottom line - know what conditions are like, and plan your sprint accordingly.
Although I doubt we'll come close to our record 194 logs from our 100th sprint last month, I would love to be proved wrong. Actually I don't see any reason why 150+ logs shouldn't be our norm from now on as the sprints continue to grow in popularity.
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.
1a. FEBRUARY SPRINT RESULTS: - The February sprint was a very special one - 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 gave away 13 very special prizes to 13 lucky winners. We kept the suspense of just what the prizes were right up to the moment of the near real-time webcast of the drawings. In case you didn't follow along with the drawings and haven't even looked at the drawing page, here is what we gave away thanks to your generous monetary donations to the club over the past few years. Fifth prizes were two gift certificates for 100 NAQCC QSL cards. Fourth prizes were 8 MFJ books of construction projects since QRPers generally love to build gear. Third prize was a MFJ dual time zone clock showing local and UTC time (everyone should have one of those for correctly logging times.) Second prize was a MFJ Bencher style paddle. First prize a MFJ Cub 40 meter transceiver. To see who won what, check the drawing page. We received many nice compliments from the prize winners as well as from those who didn't win, but enjoyed watching the drawings.
Why did we do that? 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 has depleted our club treasury quite a bit, but we're sure there will be more donations coming in to build it back up again so we can continue to keep the club running smoothly and provide still more prizes for other events. Our treasury permitting, we are thinking of making the sprint held during our anniversary week each October one with some added prizes. See the bottom of the main web site page for donation info.
We'll have a bit more on this, including pictures of some of the winners with their prizes in the General Club News section below, but now on with the record-setting statistics. Incidentally we broke the record for number of logs by a whopping 31 percent.
Couldn't use the prize. Re-drawing made - N6MQL won.
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 which 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.
We welcome these 33 hams who submitted a sprint log for the first time. We hope they will continue to participate and report their results:
AB8KT W0JX ND9M N6CMF W0GN W1SFR NT8P N4SX K2ARM N5PHT KN2G W8WR W7TAO NA0L WA2FBN W6DIZ W6VFW W4ISI NU7Y N6MQL WB5GCX W3TTT N1HWI W2MDW K6ATT K6DAT KJ6MQM AI9IN VE3DTI K7EX K9VON WB5WLZ(nm) WD7Y(nm-joined since)
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 92 of 194 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 2013:
2 - tie among 28 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 152 305 49.8 Total 1805 4169 43.3So 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.
2. FEBRUARY CHALLENGE RESULTS: - The traditional February groundhog challenge again proved popular, and may have contributed to Punxsutawney Phil being kind to us in Pennsylvania in return for giving him publicity. For the first time in a while he predicted an early end to winter, and looking back on February, it wasn't as bad as many others we've had in the past. All kidding aside, there were 10 members who mastered the challenge plus 1 other who garnered a participation point by making at least one groundhog name.
Full Challenge results can always be found here.
2a. APRIL CHALLENGE: - In many areas, April is considered the start of fishing season for those saner folks who don't believe in getting frostbite, hypothermia, etc. from winter ice fishing. Trout season also starts in many states. It's really a great time of year. So... this month we challenge you to take some time out from actually fishing to make the names of different species of fish in a traditional alphabet type challenge. Good luck both with the fishing and the challenge. Maybe you can do some portable operating while fishing. Great way to pass the time if they are not biting.
2b. CURRENT 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. Our members suggested a lot more names which brought us up to 100 letters total, perhaps the most we've had for an alphabet challenge. Don't be discouraged by the large number though. I (K3WWP) got all but one letter after the first four days of the month, so it can be done with just a little time on the bands especially if DX is good. Those DX stations seem to provide a better mix of letters than do W/VE stations because of the many different prefixes to choose from and seemingly a greater percentage of XX#XXX type calls. Not to mention those LONG special event calls of DX stations and the XXX/XX#XXX type calls from portable operations.
Full challenge info here.
3. GENERAL CLUB NEWS:
- Our article featuring the NAQCC turned out just great in the March 2013 issue of CQ Magazine. We give our thanks to Chief Editor Rich W2VU and QRP Editor Cam N6GA for the opportunity to write the article and for the way it was put together in the magazine. If you're a CQ print or digital subscriber, I'm sure you know what we mean and join in offering thanks to the magazine.
The article has garnered many new NAQCC members from those who just found out about the club that way and who agreed with what the NAQCC stands for, and wanted to join us in our efforts to promote CW and QRP on the ham bands.
- In addition to the CQ article, the NAQCC had another big event in February as most of you know. Here's info from our club President Tom WY3H about that event.
Greetings fellow NAQCC members. First, thanks to all who participated in the NAQCC's 100th sprint on Feb. 13, 2013).
Second, congratulations to the club's 13 prize winners. (It was decided to award 13 prizes since the year is '13')
Third, many thanks to John, K3WWP, for his effort to come up with a computer generated random prize drawing and for the "live" posting of prize winners.
Fourth, much thanks is due to MFJ for allowing the club to have a substantial discount on the prizes (11 total) bought from the company.
It is worth mentioning that many MFJ products (including several radios and tuners) are made with the QRPer in mind and all products come with a no nonsense guarentee. So John, our prize manager Mike, KC2GEL, and myself, WY3H, are asking our members to keep MFJ in mind whenever you make your next mail-order purchase.
We're looking forward to the next special random prize drawing. Most likely to be held in conjunction with our annual anniversary special event and sprint this October,
Best 73/72 to all, and good DXing,
- Tom explained our special 100th sprint very well above. Now let's look at some pictures of, and words from, some of our 13 prize winners.
Here's Scotty KG3W and his First prize of a MFJ Cub 40M transceiver. Scotty said this about his prize, "Just wanted to say Hi and thanks again to NAQCC for having the random drawing for your 100th celebration. I received the MFJ cub 40 meter transceiver on March the 5th. It's a super little rig. Had to solder a phono plug to the coax for connection in back. Didn't come with a bnc, but I can put one on later. Hooked it up to my dipole at 24 feet. For power I bought a 9800 mah li-on battery from e-bay last month. Plugged in my 1972 lightning bug, and pushed the power button. The vfo knob is not marked so I had to make up a crude chart while listening for the signal on the K3. Running into a dummy load the output pwr is running about 1.8 watts. First qso was with Bill W1KX, in Monmouth , Maine. Second was Gary KA2KDJ, in Schuyler, NY. Tuning is very quick. From the 7 AM to 5PM position gives you about 60 khz. After supper tried some Dx. Answering my CQ was OK4RQ in the Czech Republic. I had worked Pavel before but on 17 meters. Frequency was 7.013. Conditions were fairly quiet for 40 and I know that Pavel has very good ears, but getting a 559 from him was super! That's 4,267 miles at 1.8 watts = 2,370 miles per watt. This little receiver is pretty HOT! Hey , This is Fun!!! So again, Thanks to all the club officers and for having a random drawing and lots of winners. Will say "72" for now and hope to work lots of new and old members in the next sprint. de Scotty KG3W # 3758"
This is Barry K8QI and his Third prize of a MFJ dual time zone clock. Barry had these things to say, (upon receiving his email telling him he was a winner) "Thank you for the email notification. Seems like the last time I won anything was at the BreezeShooters White Swan Park hamfest. But it probably hasn't been that long. I do enjoy being a member of NAQCC and participate in the sprints when possible. Thank you for all you do to make NAQCC a first class organization." & (after receiving his prize) "NAQCC has always been a great QRP Club and the latest Sprint and Prizes just emphasizes the point."
Other comments from our winners: Will NQ2W (Book), "No...the thanks goes to you, John, the other organizers, and all of the other great members of the NAQCC. I'm looking forward to perusing the book and building some projects. It's been a couple weeks since I heated up the soldering iron."
Wayne KC0PMH (Book), "Wow, Thank you - As I'm the person who never wins anything I doubly "Chuffed". Nice prize and I look forward to it."
- We're all set up for our anniversary week celebration this October with one big exception. We still need a lot more operators for our N#A calls. Of course it is still very early, but as we all get older, time moves along more quickly and October will be here before we know it. So you can never sign up too early, and can always back out if necessary due to other more important commitments that come up. With that said, we have the following signed up already and are awaiting for more volunteers.
N1A - W1OH N2A - N3A - K3WWP WY3H KC2EGL WA3HIC N4A - KI4EBD N5A - N6A - N7A - N8A - N8XMS N9A - N0A - KC0PMHCalls in red are those who volunteered to do that week's sprint with the N#A call.
We'll continue to update our special N#A Operation page in the main section of the NAQCC web site with info about this year's event. There you can see instantly who has signed up as an operator. As you see, we have eight ops signed up already, but that's just a start. We'd like to see at least 4 or 5 ops for each call. The more ops, the more air time for the calls as I'm sure no one op is going to operate the whole 168 hours we have use of the calls. 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 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.
- Just a quick reminder we're continuing with the hidden call sign idea originally suggested by Bill KB3XS even though it's been over a year (2/11/2012) now since anyone has claimed their prize. Only 10 out of 82 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 BEFORE the publication date of the next newsletter (Apr 6) 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: 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 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
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/
The results of the February European sprint have now been published on the website. RW3AI came in first place with 25 points, followed by MW3YMY, NQ2W and OK1DJS.
The results of the March sprint, which took place last Wednesday, will be processed and made available over the next week. We have only received one log so far, so if you took part but haven't yet sent in your log, please do so as soon as possible! We hope to hear everyone on the bands again in the next sprint, on Monday, 15th April.
The dates of remaining the 2013 sprints are given in the table below. This information is also available on the website in a printer-friendly format, should you wish to keep it for your records:
The European sprints are fun, informal, monthly contests designed to be enjoyable to radio amateurs with all degrees of contesting experience. Please take part to support your local chapter and increase activity and awareness of QRP/CW on this side of the Atlantic. All are welcome to participate, not just members in Europe, and we now regularly obtain reports of trans-Atlantic QSOs in our sprints.
The European chapter challenges are proving very popular indeed! We received five entries and some very positive feedback for the February challenge, the results of which can be viewed here. Many thanks to K3WWP, PA5LR, W9UX, PA7PYR and ON6NA for submitting entries.
The March challenge involves constructing the name and date of birth of one of the co-inventors of Morse code from the callsigns of stations that you work. It will remain open until the end of the month and all are invited to participate. It has already been completed by John, K3WWP! Full details are here.
2013 Worked All Europe (WAE) challengeAvid readers will remember January newsletter when we first advertised our WAE challenge, which is similar in style to the NAQCC WAS and WAC awards. The challenge will remain open until the end of December and is open to all NAQCC members. Once you have worked all our specified countries and submitted details of the required QSOs, we shall send you a certificate confirming your success. If you make all the required QSOs using less than 1W, we shall send you a special mW version of the certificate. The full version of the rules and details of log submission will be posted on the website soon; please watch this space for further details.
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 held their February portable operating event in remote Lake Ashby Park, which is, well basically in the middle of nowhere, about ten miles from the ocean in a sparsely populated area of NFL.
Operators included Art WB4MNK #5274, Rick AAW4 #1628, Jim K4AHO #1713 and Don K3RLL #1905 FC7. Also stopping by was Dick, AF4OY who heard about our outing from his brother Bill, KT4OM #5393.
Operating conditions were reasonably good with Finland, Germany, Italy, Latvia and Sweden as well as a number of stateside stations making an appearance in our radios. And speaking of gear, AA4W's KX3 was a big hit to all involved. Rick very generously let us all take it for a test drive. What a wonderful portable radio!
Our 'rogue gallery' for the month of members present include, from left to right, K3RLL, WB4MNK, K4AHO and AA4W.
Our thanks to the members who contributed to the success of this operation. They included Scotty, KG3W #3758 and the 'Goatman' Steve, WG0AT #1745.
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/
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.
I think the most fun the WPA Chapter had this month was when Tom WY3H, Mike KC2EGL, and John K3WWP got together at John's house for our near real-time Internet broadcast of our prize drawings in conjunction with our NAQCC 100th sprint in February. More about that elsewhere in the newsletter, but I just wanted to mention how much fun we had getting together for that. I think Chapters are one of the best feature of the NAQCC since they allow for personal fellowship with other club members for various activities. I still don't know why members from more areas don't form chapters, but if they want to miss out on all the fun, well.....
In addition to that, Mike KC2EGL and I continue our regular get-togethers. Our last major project was one of our 'tag team' contesting efforts in the ARRL DX contest. For those who don't know, a 'tag team' effort is one where we share the rig, but use our own calls to work stations. One of us finds the station, then works it and then 'tags' the other to work it. However now that we have a pretty much regular setup and one doesn't have to get up and give the operating position to the other, I pretty much am in control of the rig while Mike has his own key, headphones, and computer for logging at a position next to me. With time out for eating (of course), sleeping, and some other projects, we managed to make 599 DX QSOs between us in around 20 or so hours of actual operating. We both made a contest WAC although Asia proved tricky with just 2 QSOs - RC9O and C4A. 80 meters proved a thrill Friday night when we made many EU and AF contacts on that band. Some of them quite easily. Unfortunately it didn't repeat Saturday night. Of course the big bands were 20 and 15. 40 was pretty good in the late evening hours. 10 opened up now and then, but nowhere near what it provided the last sunspot peak.
Other than that, we've both learned pretty much the intricacies of HDSDR and its panadapter. I told Mike I feel like I've been operating blind all these years after being able to now see the whole band (or at least 50 kHz or so) at a glance. Sure is a great time saver, especially on the lesser occupied bands to be able to see where there is a station and jump right there to see just who it is.
We also do our other usual things like taking walks, watching Internet TV (latest show - cult favorite from the 60s/70s - The Prisoner), working DX outside of contests, eating (or did I already mention that - HI), and so forth. It's really amazing how many common interests we have - kind of like twin brothers separated at birth. HI.
The WPA Chapter is in the early stages of planning for a club Field Day effort in June from club president Tom WY3H's hilltop location. More about that in upcoming issues. So far it looks like chapter members K3WWP, KC2EGL, WY3H, K3RLL, and WA3PRR will be participating. Should be a lot of fun.
No one even bothered to mention our trivia question from last issue. The answer is San Antonio.
5. NAQCC QRS NETS:
News and net reports in this section are from QRS Net Manager Craig N4PLK unless otherwise credited. Questions or comments should go to
Spring is almost here. Conditions are improving. Our move back to 40 meters for NQN and ETN is doing wonders for net participation. Thanks everyone for your continued support of our QRS Nets.
73, Craig N4PLK NAQCC # 5775 QRS Nets Manager firstname.lastname@example.org NAQCC Main QRS Net (NQN) - Sunday, 8:00 PM Eastern Time, 7.060 Mhz 2-10-13 N4PLK (NCS) -6- N4PLK W4HH K3NLT W3UEC NI2F N8IUP 2-17-13 N4PLK (NCS) -6- N4PLK K3NLT W3UEC WB0QQT KG0YR NI2F 2-24-13 N4PLK (NCS) -9- N4PLK K3NLT W3UEC W4HH NI2F W4YAS N9RLO K4UFT N3BNQ 3-3-13 N4PLK (NCS) -8- N4PLK N8IUP K3NLT W3UEC W4HH KA1KU W4PGM WM4X 3-10-13 N4PLK (NCS) -8- N4PLK W3UEC WH6LE WM9I K3NLT KG0YR N6TLU N8IUP NAQCC East Texas QRS Net (ETN) - Monday, 7:00 PM Central Time, 3.560 Mhz 2-11-13 KA5TJS (NCS) -4- KA5TJS KE5YUM N5DRG KE5YGA 2-18-13 KA5TJS (NCS) -4- KA5TJS N5DRG KE5YUM KG0YR 2-25-13 KA5TJS (NCS) -5- KA5TJS KE5YGA WB0QQT W0CC KG0YR 3-4-13 KA5TJS (NCS) -4- KA5TJS KE5YGA AE5ZZ W4JBB 3-11-13 KA5TJS (NCS) -4- KA5TJS KE5YUM KE5YGA KF5OEF NAQCC Pacific NorthWest QRS Net (PNW) - Thursday, 7:00 PM, Pacific Time, 3.574 mHZ 2-7-13 KE7LKW (NCS) -8- KE7LKW K6DMT N6KIX K7ZNP KA6AIL WB4SPB W7MWF VE7DWG 2-14-13 KE7LKW (NCS) -10- KE7LKW WB0QQT K6DMT N6KIX K7ZNP KR5RR WB4SPB KD7HXN VE7DWG WN0WWY 2-21-13 KE7LKW (NCS) -9- KE7LKW N6KIX K7ZNP W7MWF WB4SPB KD7HXN K6DMT KA6AIL K7JUV 2-28-13 KE7LKW (NCS) -8- KE7LKW N6KIX K7ZNP WB4SPB KD7HXN K6DMT KG0YR KR5RR 3-7-13 KE7LKW (NCS) -6- KE7LKW K7ZNP WB4SPB KD7HXN KR5RR WN0WWY NAQCC Rocky Mtn Regional/Continental QRS Net (RMR) - Tuesday, 3:00 PM Mountain Time, 14.0625 Mhz 2-12-13 WC7S (NCS) -5- WC7S W5HNS/M K2HT K0DTJ K4KS 2-19-13 WC7S (NCS) -6- WC7S W2SH KG0YR KE6OIO AD7BP N0ON 2-26-13 WC7S (NCS) -8- WC7S K2HT KE6OIO KX5C AI4VE K0DTJ WG0AT W5ZZ 3-5-13 WC7S (NCS) -4- WC7S KE6OIO AE7BP K7WMA NAQCC Rocky Mtn Regional/Continental QRS Net (RMR) - Thursday, 3:00 PM Mountain Time, 14.0625 Mhz 2-14-13 WC7S (NCS) -8- WC7S WD9F/7 AE7CG K0DTJ WA7SSA KC7NBJ NE5DL/P W3HZZ 2-21-13 WC7S (NCS) -7- WC7S W3HZZ NE5DL W2SH WB5UDA N8IUP AD7BP 2-28-13 WC7S (NCS) -8- WC7S AF9W KA2QPG KA4RUR KG0YR W3HZZ KE6OIO AD7BP 3-14-13 WC7S (NCS) -8- WC7S K9JWV K6IOI K0DTJ W5HNS AD7BP VE5CUL AF9W NAQCC East Coast QRS Net (ECN) - Thursday, 8:00 PM Eastern Time, 7.060 Mhz 2-14-13 KG4KGL (NCS) -2- KG4KGL KI4IO 3-7-13 NI2F (NCS) -2- NI2F N4PLK 3-14-13 KG4KGL (NCS) -4- KG4KGL W1RMO W3UEC N4PLK
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:
Since Ron apparently is still involved with his work projects and family matters, Brion VE3FUJ has graciously volunteered to step in and help to provide content to those pages in our CW Assistance/QRS Nets section of the web site that have stood blank for quite a while now. He has taken care of about half the pages as of now, and is working on others.
We still hope that Ron can add his input to those pages as well. It's always best to have a couple different plans of attack when learning CW since the process seems to be different for different people.
Meanwhile, see the CW Assistance/QRS Nets section of the web site and the new content that is there.
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:
Friendship Club Awards:I kidded John KK1X about the number of 1000 MPW awards of late - asking him if he had a special offer going for those awards. He replied something to the effect that he had a BOGO offer for them now. HI
That is definitely our flagship award. I guess because it is so easy and quick to achieve by just making one easy QSO whereas other awards take more time to achieve because they involve making more QSOs. Or perhaps there is some other reason that a 1000 MPW QSO seems to fascinate.
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.
Richard Hall NS3C #6322
As a kid I listened to shortwave quite a lot but never took the next step until recently when I met WB6SEN at an earthquake drill. We fell to talking about ham radio and something he said stuck in my brain: "...a thousand miles a watt." Thanks to K6HTN's excellent CW class I can copy about 15 WPM, improving slowly.
In the shack is an FT-950, FT-60, SDR-IQ, YT-450 and a J-38 key. The FT-950 throttles down to five watts but I want to build a QRP kit. Any suggestions? Antennas are a challenge. My city lot is just about twenty meters wide and the only tree, an unfriendly cedar. I have a 102" whip from Radio Shack with wires for a ground plane. It can reach Patagonia when ten meters is open. I also have a DX-EE fan dipole for 40, 20, 15 and 10.
I don't really compete in contests, but they make good hunting for DX. I'm a member of the Pasadena Radio Club, NAQCC and SKCC. My other hobbies are flying (Commercial, Instrument Rated), beekeeping, hiking and travel.
I am NS3C, formerly KJ6PYX, a computer programmer living in Los Angeles. I hold an Extra class license. Don't let that fool you: I was ignorant when I passed the test, and still am. It's a license to learn.
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 Apr 4. 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 FC 1 - After being stuck at 99 countries with my new KX3 for a while, I finally got #100 in the form of the Clipperton Island DXpedition. I worked TX5K on 20, 15, and 12 meters. I had worked FO0AAA a few years ago on 30, 17, and 10 so I didn't really try on those bands for TX5K. The KX3 made the QSO on 20 meters possible and the ones on 15 and 12 a little easier.
The feature of the KX3 allowing you to operate two separate VFOs and to hear one in the left ear of headphones and the other in the right ear is great. That way I could listen constantly to TX5K and at the same time figure out who he was working in the HUGE pileup. When I did find who he was working and figured his pattern of mining the pileup, I had it made. I simply sent my call a tiny bit higher in frequency in the pile as soon as he finished the last QSO. After about a dozen or so tries, TX5K sent K3WWP 599, and I had my QSO thanks to the KX3. Without being able to hear both him and the pileup simultaneously, it would have been a lot harder just switching back and forth between the two VFOs or otherwise just guessing where in the 4 to 5 kHz wide pileup to make my call.
That KX3 is really a mean little rig. Anyone who is serious about QRP operating should consider investing in one. You'll never regret it. No, I don't have any connection with Elecraft except as a VERY satisfied customer.
We have a lot of member news items this issue, so I'll cut this short now and have more to say next issue. Just a closing note. I managed to complete both 'our' challenge and the 'EU' challenge for the month of March by March 5th. I thought ours with 100 letters and the EU with all those numbers (16 I believe it was) would be hard, but it wasn't.
From Tom W4FAS #6494 - I am new to the club and wanted to thank John, K3WWP #0002 for a nice welcome and all the information that he provided. I look forward to trying to get comfortable with CW. I have had several false starts in the past. I successfully built a K2 about ten years ago. As many of you know, it is a great radio and I really enjoy it. However, I upgraded my K2 to a K2/100 about eight years ago and that was the end of any serious attempt at CW or QRP. John related a little story about if you are going to do something before you die, you better start today because you could die tomorrow, really hit home with me. I am currently blessed with good health, but I will turn 76 in April. So, if I really want to try something now is the time. Yesterday I converted my K2/100 back to a K2.
From Marc W4MPS #6259 - I had a lot of fun in the last sprint. There are some excellent ops in this group! I have only participated in a couple of sprints but will certainly be doing more in the future. It really is a lot of fun. Using a straight key makes it even more enjoyable, although I do admit that I need a lot more practice. I recently constructed a straight key made of wood, primarily red oak, with brass fittings. I was motivated to do that as a result of the NJQRP group's Skeeter Hunt, which offered a bonus for a hand made key. So I went ahead and built one and the sprint was the first time I used it. It actually worked very well and had a good "feel" to it. I was proud of myself as I am a retired banker, not a woodworker by any means. Thanks for a great event.
From Bill WB9NYI #6455 - I recently joined the club and have just completed assembly of the Rockless QRP rig. It is the VFO version of the Rockmite 40 that was featured in QST in 2009. I have posted two videos on my YouTube channel describing some construction and alignment tips. The links for the two videos are: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V546WHbgi68 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liqPUBXy4C0.
From Greg WB8LZG #1444 - A "way out west" Ham Holiday -- For many years now I've been taking a radio along on vacations. A QRP rig and a dipole or vertical wire don't take up much space, and have provided hours of fun and relaxation while operating /portable from unique locations across the country.
My eldest son Kevin (KC8QZE) and family moved out to Ridgecrest, California last year, so my XYL, Vicki, and I decided it was time to "GO WEST" for a visit. The only problem was we were not driving, but flying. When all the suitcases were packed, there just wasn't any room left for the rig, antenna, key, and battery. Being a daily radio op here at home I was wondering how I was going to manage without some some CW for over a week!
Only a few weeks left. Time for PLAN "B". Why not investigate some alternative radio fun. I spend my weekday mornings waking up to the soothing melody of CW at W8SH, Michigan State University ARC. One of my "on air" friends is Norm, K6OLE in Barstow, CA. He's a mainstay of early morning CW operation on 40 meters. I suggested the possibility of an "eyeball" with him, as we would be going right through there. Phone numbers were exchanged and we would try and "hook up" for lunch.
Norm, K6OLE, XYL Betty Gregg WB8LZG/6, XYL Vicki
The flight to Las Vegas was smooth and we soon had our rental van. We were getting close to Barstow when I gave Norm a "buzz" on the XYL's cell phone. We met at a local restaurant and shook hands and introduced our wives. Norm and his XYL, Betty were a pleasure to be with. We all ordered a bite to eat and then proceeded to "chew the rag" for over an hour. Getting to know each other and filling in the pieces of info that somehow doesn't get passed otherwise in our many CW QSOs. They were wonderful hosts, and the XYL and I enjoyed every minute. All too soon it was time for "Good Byes", but I went away with a newly renewed friendship. Once again proving that old saying that if you're a Ham, you have friends worldwide.
We spent several lovely warm sunny days with our son Kevin and family. They took us to some very beautiful and awe inspiring places. The Torona Pinnacles was my favorite. Fossil Falls was very pretty as well. We spent several days touring and dining, enjoying our time together.
The Torona Pinnacles and Fossil Falls. Near Death Valley,CA
On to PLAN "C". Not knowing at the time whether or not PLAN "B" would actually work out, I arranged a contingent plan. I had also had several QSOs with ops on board the "Queen Mary" W6RO in Long Beach, CA. When I suggested a "side trip" to the "Queen Mary" to my wife, I was pleasantly surprised when she agreed. I then contacted the gang there in Long Beach, The Associated Amateurs of Long Beach, and they informed me that there would indeed be operators present in the "wireless room" while we were there ! We arrived at "THE QUEEN" in the afternoon , and spent the next several hours touring and exploring the ship. I found the "wireless room", but it was late in the day and no ops were on duty. We settled in for the evening with a delicious dinner aboard. The next morning I got up early, grabbed a cup 'o Joe and headed up to see if there was anyone in the shack. I was met by the smile of John KA6SED who gave me a little primer on W6RO operations, and then turned me loose to operate. I must say, the Long Beach hams have done a fantastic job restoring and maintaining the Queen Mary's "wireless room". There is lots of beautiful old vintage equipment from the era, but some of the finest modern gear as well. My XYL came up, and as I sat down to one of the CW operating positions, John gave Vicki a nice verbal guided tour and history lesson of the "Queen" throughout her many travels. As I slowly tuned across 20 meters a familiar callsign echoed through my ears. K1IQI, Chet was calling CQ. I have had several QSOs with Chet before from the MSU club station W8SH. I called him and we had a nice QSO. My first QSO from "The Queen"! I was "rollin in clover".
The Antenna farm on the "Queen"
Yours truly operating from the "wireless room" W6RO Queen Mary
I went to 15 meters and found AC8M, Dave in my hometown of Dimondale, MI calling CQ. Talk about a small world. I answered his CQ and found out he was only running half a watt! QRP to the "Queen"! It just doesn't get any better than this! Then back to 20 meters, where I found Mike KE5AKL doing a SOTA operation in New Mexico. An hour flew by. All too soon it was time for me to go QRT. If given the choice, I could have stayed and operated all day. But although the XYL is supportive of my hobby, I didn't want the push my luck. So I pulled the plug after three contacts, before she got bored. We packed up and I thanked John for his hospitality to us while we were on board. I took one last look at the "Queen Mary" and at the antenna farm growing between her stacks.
John, KA6SED my host on board the "Queen Mary", and me.
I left feeling very satisfied at having finally being able to operate from W6RO. It is a memory I will always cherish!
We went back to Las Vegas for a couple of nights of fun and feasting with some of Vicki's old college friends, and then back to the Frozen North of Michigan. There you have it. Just because you can't take a rig along with you on your next vacation, doesn't mean you still can't have some radio fun. With a bit of pre-planning, even an ordinary vacation can become a Ham holiday! Special thanks to the Associated Amateurs of Long Beach.
From Randy KB4QQJ #2086- Just a note to relay the winners of the recent QRP Challenge http://www.qrpchallenge.com . The top QRPp score (N8BB) and Top QRP score (WB0PYF) are both NAQCC members as were the Challenge manager and myself. We exempted ourselves from prizes but still submitted scores. Below the line are the posted winners.
These are "total" powers for contacting all ten US areas.
Exp. 100mW per area would equal total score of 1 watt.
AND THE WINNERS ARE:
Werner Haschke, N8BB (NAQCC #1692)
Prize - Choice of Antenna PAR EndFez from LnR Precision
Ric Nelson, KA3LOC
Prize - Flying Pigs QRP W8DIZ's Flying PigRig Kit
Ray Myers, WB0PYF (NAQCC #3092)
Prize - SOTA Tuner Hendricks QRP Kits
Mark Hogan, N5OBC
Prize - Hi-Per-Mite CW filter Kit 4sQRP Club
Congratulations to all.
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