pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

April 6, 2013NAQCC Web Site Issue #178

In this issue:
1. April Sprint
1a. March Sprint Results
2. March Challenge Results
2a. Current Challenge
2b. May 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. APRIL SPRINT: - Our April sprint (#102) is next Tuesday evening at 8:30PM EDT. Yes, Daylight Savings time with its wonderful bright evenings. While the local time remains the same, remember the UTC (Z) time is now different. That 8:30P converts to Wednesday, April 10 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 time consuming to have to adjust each time especially for a log with a lot of QSOs. Several logs had to be adjusted in the March sprint.

Hopefully conditions will be as good in April as they were in March. We'll just have to wait and see. 20 meters should become even a more important player than it was in March. Although the static season is starting to get underway, don't ignore 80 meters. It was very good in March although not too many folks took advantage of it to add those extra QSOs to their logs in the last half hour or so. Remember to always be aware of what conditions are like, and plan your sprint accordingly.

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. MARCH SPRINT RESULTS: - Our 101st sprint in March turned out very successful. We had 144 logs (our 3rd highest total to date), and in those logs 222 different calls showed up from 42 states, BC, MB, ON, SK, and J3. The total QSOs checked were 2,246.

Conditions were excellent on all three bands with 20 and 40 being the main QSO suppliers. Those who went to 80 later in the sprint found it in good shape also, although those who did go there were few in number.

Let's take a look at the statistics now.

Total QSOs2,2462,8042,8042/13
Hour 1 QSOs1,1611,4681,4682/13
Hour 2 QSOs1,0851,3341,3342/13
20M QSOs879961,0568/12
40M QSOs1,1391,2891,5344/12
80M QSOs2281,4171,4172/13
Avg QSOs per stn15.614.419.39/11

SWA Category
Other Categories
First time entrant high scorerKI8R
Paddle/bug handle - K1/K2 knob insert drawingN8LA

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 19 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. When I get questions about changes after cross-checking, 90 percent are asking about GOLDEN LOG status, NOT changes in scores. 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 69 of 144 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:

3 - tie among 14 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    706    1471      48.0
2013    221     449      49.2
Total  1873    4313      43.4
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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2. MARCH CHALLENGE RESULTS: - This was a tribute to the couple of times the WPA Chapter of the NAQCC has operated from the submarine Requin in Pittsburgh. It was an alphabet challenge involving submarine names starting with the Requin. It wound up with 13 names and 100 letters total, perhaps the most we've had for an alphabet challenge. Our members weren't discouraged by the large number though. I (K3WWP) got all but one letter after the first four days of the month to show it could be done easily anyway. Using DX calls helped since they 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. There are still a few days left in the submission period, but as of now, we have 10 folks who reported their results.

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2a. CURRENT 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. The list comprises some of the 20 or so different species I have caught in the Allegheny River that runs through Kittanning. 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. I completed the challenge on April 2 due to great DX conditions and the info mentioned above about DX calls. So if I can do it in 2 days, anyone can very easily do it by April 30 especially if the great DX conditions hang in there, as I'm not any better than anyone else nor do I have a better station than anyone else (actually worse than a lot of folks). So come on, let's set a new record for number of challenge masters this month as we have been doing with our sprints lately.

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2b. MAY CHALLENGE: - Since May contains Memorial Day, this challenge will have something to do with veterans or the military. So far Tom hasn't come up with any details, but they will be on the May Challenge page as soon as he does.

Full challenge info here.

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pix_blueball (1K) - We're all set up for our anniversary week celebration this October (6th through the 12th) 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 - 
N5A -  
N6A -  
N7A - 
Calls 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 10 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 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) - 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 84 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 (MAY 4) 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, but so far no one else seems interested in enjoying the fun of being in a chapter. Chapters are more or less independent local gatherings organized by NAQCC members in a geographical area and subject to a list of guidelines under the auspices of the NAQCC. They provide great opportunities to fellowship with other hams in an area who are interested in the same type of ham radio activities, namely QRP and CW. 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 the WPA Chapter and Florida Chapter members have been doing doing for their portable operations. Such publicity helps a lot in providing activity for the operations. If there isn't yet a chapter in your area, you will have to form one to take advantage of this. If you are already a chapter member, 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 prominently somewhere in the announcement, and be sure to submit a write-up on your operation for posting in your 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/


The results of the March European sprint have now been published on the website. GW0VSW came in first place with 24 points, followed by MW3YMY and WH6LE.

We very much hope to hear everyone on the bands again in the next sprint, on Monday, 15th April.

The dates of the remaining 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:

MonthSprint date
AprilMonday, 15th
MayWednesday, 8th
JuneMonday, 17th
JulyWednesday, 10th
AugustMonday, 19th
SeptemberWednesday, 11th
OctoberMonday, 21st
NovemberWednesday, 13th
DecemberMonday, 16th

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.

Monthly challenges

We have so far received three entries for the March challenge, which involved constructing the phrase "Alfred Lewis Vail 25-09-1807 18-01-1859" from letters in the callsigns of stations you worked over the month of March. Entries will continue to be accepted until the 10th of April. Many thanks to K3WWP, W9UX and PA7PYR for their submissions so far.

The April challenge is now underway. Further details can be found on the website.

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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)

On March 22nd, The Florida Chapter of NAQCC held its latest field event on Hontoon Island in beautiful Hontoon State Park, just west of DeLand, FL with five members and one guest present. The chilly March morning started with a ferry ride across to the island, a fairly quick setup and most stations on the air shortly after 9 AM. Rick AA4W, took the DX honors with his KX3 and vertically configured Buddipole, working Switzerland, Lithuania, Spain and Croatia as well as four club members including K3WWP.

WB4MNK had 20 meters which was our money band for the day, but he generously shared with AA4W and K3RLL. KG4LAL and K3RLL found little excitement on 17 meters but WB4OMM found four members and a 'future member' on 40 meters.

As the temperature rose into the low 70s, our group of five members and one guest was chaperoned from the water by the Stetson University Girl's Sculling Team. Also on the surrounding waterway was a large alligator circling our operating location. For those in colder climes, please note that 'gators can outrun even a very frightened ham operator for short distances. What is a short distance? It is just the space it takes to catch the fleeing ham, of course!

The Florida Chapter sincerely appreciates the helpful email advisory by K3WWP, the participation of our 22 NAQCC members worked as well as the unknown others who listened for us. If not for the assistance of our membership, our field event would not have been such a success. Thank you.

Our "crew" from left to right: Darryl AB8GU, Steve WB4OMM #5913, Don K3RLL #1905, Art WB4MNK #5274, Wally KG4LAL #6278 and Rick AA4W #1628.

Watching us menacingly from the nearby water was this particularly large 'gator

View across the channel to the 'mainland'

pix_sm_k5duz (2K)
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/

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 had so much fun in the ARRL DX contest in February with our 'tag team' effort we looked for some other big DX contest in which to participate in March. The Russian DX contest is usually quite big so we decided to get together that weekend and participate 'tag team' fashion. It was quite successful, but being only 24 hours long, it left us hungry for more. So we decided to enter the VA QSO party for a few hours. That was successful as well. We made a total of 284 QSOs, 208 in the Russian DX Contest and 76 in the VA QSO Party.

On another get together, we worked on getting HDSDR set up on Mike's laptop. That was quite an ordeal, and too long to detail here. Suffice it to say that apparently an external sound card that Mike bought since his laptop didn't have a stereo input, installed a driver that converted the mono input hc178 (1K) in the laptop to a stereo input and the HDSDR, laptop, and KX3 lived happily ever after.

Next up when Mike and I get together this weekend (Apr 5-7) is hopefully a construction project. Mike ordered two Tuna Tin 40M Xmtr kits, and we'll put them together and try them out if the kits arrive in time. Also we are going to try out a new panadapter program and an auxiliary that allows two or more programs to be connected to the KX3 simultaneously. Another tag team contest effort in the Polish DX Contest is also on tap along with chasing DX elsewhere and of course eating some great meals.

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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)

Thanks for participating in our QRS nets.

73, Craig N4PLK
NAQCC # 5775
QRS Nets Manager

NAQCC Main QRS Net (NQN) - Sunday, 8:00 PM Eastern Time, 7.060 Mhz 

NAQCC East Texas QRS Net (ETN) - Monday, 7:00 PM Central Time, 3.560 Mhz 
3-25-13 KA5TJS (NCS) -2- KA5TJS KE5YUM

NAQCC Pacific NorthWest QRS Net (PNW) - Thursday, 7:00 PM, Pacific Time, 3.574 mHZ
NAQCC Rocky Mtn Regional/Continental QRS Net (RMR) - Tuesday, 3:00 PM Mountain Time, 14.0625 Mhz

NAQCC Rocky Mtn Regional/Continental QRS Net (RMR) - Thursday, 3:00 PM Mountain Time, 14.0625 Mhz
3-28-13 WC7S (NCS) -4- WC7S NE5DL K0DTJ AF9W
4-4-13 WC7S (NCS) -6- AF9W AC5EH K0DTJ K7WMA W3HZZ

NAQCC East Coast QRS Net (ECN) - Thursday, 8:00 PM Eastern Time, 7.060 Mhz 
3-21-13 KG4KGL (NCS) -3- KG4KGL K1IEE W0CC
4-4-13 KG4KGL (NCS) -2- KG4KGL W3UEC

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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) OR VE3FUJ - pix_email_ve3fuj (1K)

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.

(From K3WWP) Today let's talk just a little bit about working DX. This topic is covered in many places on the Internet, and is even in the Ham Radio Exam study books, but after my 'marathon' month of chasing and working DX, I'd just like to mention a couple of bad practices, and tell how those can be turned into good practices.

First of all, when you find a DX station, listen to him before you blindly call him. Many folks will just jump right in and call right on his frequency without considering whether or not they are interfering with the DX station's operating methods. Find out his pattern to know just when he is completely finished with a QSO before calling him. There are many different patterns. Sometimes the DX will call a brief CQ or QRZ? after each QSO. Sometimes it will be just his call or dit dit just to name a few. Don't call until you hear that 'invitation' to transmit.

When the DX calls a directional CQ, for example CQ AS or CQ ASIA, NEVER answer UNLESS you are in Asia. Always respect the DX station's wishes. In that same vein if he answers with only an RST report, you do EXACTLY the same. Let him dictate the style of QSO. It's annoying to be waiting to work a DX (rare or not) station, because someone is giving his entire life history to the DX station. If the DX station DOES give RST, QTH, and NAME, then it is OK if you do the same. He may even be interested in rag chewing a bit more. Again just follow his lead in the style of QSO he wishes to make.

If the DX station ends a QSO with "UP", NEVER call on his frequency. UP means he is listening for answers higher in frequency, so you must set up your rig for split frequency operation. For example he may be transmitting on 14020, but listening on 14021. Generally it's UP 1 kHz, but a very rare station may develop a pile up a few kHz wide, that is be transmitting on 14020, but listening on 14021-14025 for example. That's where the chess game comes into play. You try to figure out the frequency of the last station he worked, and when the time comes, make your call there or very slightly higher in frequency . Rigs like the KX3 that can listen on both frequencies at once are a great help in that regard.

Now for the DX station himself. He should at least periodically (every few QSOs) identify himself. I've heard some DX stations go for as many as a dozen or even more contacts without saying who they are. In the same vein, if they are operating split as described above, state that fact at least every couple QSOs. It only takes a second or less to identify and/or send "UP". The DX station is not going to lose any QSOs in doing so.

Meanwhile, see the CW Assistance/QRS Nets section of the web site and the new content that is there.

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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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1000 MPW Awards:
0159 W4TZM - 02/11/13
0160 WB2JNA - 02/12/13
0161 W1SFR - 02/13/13
0162 W1SFR - 02/13/13
0163 W1SFR - 02/13/13
0164 W1SFR - 02/13/13
0165 W1SFR - 02/13/13
0166 W1SFR - 02/13/13
0167 N3CU - 02/16/13
0168 N3CU - 02/16/13
0169 N3CU - 02/16/13
0170 N3CU - 02/16/13
0171 N3CU - 02/16/13
0172 N3CU - 02/16/13
0173 N3CU - 02/16/13
0174 N3CU - 02/16/13
0175 N3CU - 02/16/13
0176 N3CU - 02/16/13
0177 N3CU - 02/16/13
0178 N3CU - 02/16/13
0179 N3CU - 02/16/13
0180 W1SFR - 02/17/13
0181 KC2EGL - 02/19/13
0182 KC2EGL - 02/19/13
0183 KC2EGL - 02/19/13
0184 KC2EGL - 02/19/13
0185 KC2EGL - 02/19/13
0186 KC2EGL - 02/19/13
0187 KC2EGL - 02/19/13
0188 KC2EGL - 02/19/13
0189 KC2EGL - 02/19/13
0190 WH6LE - 02/22/13
0191 WH6LE - 02/22/13
0192 WH6LE - 02/22/13
0193 N3CU - 02/23/13
0194 N3CU - 02/23/13
0195 W5OXM - 02/24/13
0196 W5OXM - 02/24/13
0197 W5OXM - 02/24/13
0198 W5OXM - 02/24/13
0199 W5OXM - 02/24/13
0200 W5OXM - 02/24/13
0201 W5OXM - 02/24/13
0202 W5OXM - 02/24/13
0203 W5OXM - 02/24/13
0204 W5OXM - 02/24/13
0205 W5OXM - 02/24/13
0206 W5OXM - 02/24/13
0207 KB1UOH - 03/07/13
0208 WU1V   - 03/09/13
0209 WU1V   - 03/16/13
0210 K3WWP  - 03/18/13
0211 KC2EGL - 03/24/13
0212 KC2EGL - 03/24/13
0213 KC2EGL - 03/24/13
0214 KC2EGL - 03/24/13
0215 KC2EGL - 03/24/13
0216 KC2EGL - 03/24/13
0217 KC2EGL - 03/24/13

QSO-a-Day Awards:
One Month 2013:
0001 WY3H - 2/7/13 (Month of January)

30 Days2013:
0001 KC0ZLR - 3/25/13 (2/20-3/21)

0001 WY3H One Month 2013 - Simple wire antennas for all QSOs - 2/7/13
0001 KC0ZLR 30 Days 2013 - Simple wire antennas for all QSOs - 3/25/13

30-30 Awards:
One month
0026 W4TZM Mar 2013 - 3/25/13


WAC Category A (QRP) Awards:
0023 WB2JNA - 2/17/13
0024 KC2EGL - 2/17/13


WAS Category A Awards:
0020 W4TZN - 2/25/13

WAS Category B (2X QRP) Awards:

WAS Category C (QRPp) Awards:

Endorsements Category A:

Nice to see some new calls in our awards listing. Congratulations to them, and to our 'regulars' who've earned some additional awards as well.

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.
Larry Makoski W2LJ #35

Picture of W2LJ

Ever since I was licensed back in 1978, QRP always held a fascination for me. The fact that a signal, having less power than an average nightlight could travel the globe, constantly amazed me. It soon became apparent to me that the 100 Watts or so that I had been accustomed to using weren't really all that necessary. Shortly after upgrading to General in 1979, I joined a newly formed organization - the QRP Amateur Radio Club International. The Club's mission statement mirrored my own discovery, that high power wasn't always the answer. In the early days, QRP was considered 100 Watts or less. Quickly soon thereafter, the membership decided to relocate that power level to the ones we recognize today, five Watts for CW and ten Watts for SSB.

I took to operating at QRP power levels for 100% of my operating time in 2003. The satisfaction and enjoyment I received returned me back to my Novice days. While not every QSO is a challenge, every QSO is a joy. Plus there are other obvious side benefits - no neighbors complaining about RFI getting into their TVs, baby monitors, stereos. And even better - no complaints from my own family about RFI getting into the TV, telephones, etc!

I quickly discovered that there is a little "niche' within a niche'" in the QRP community. That is QRPers who enjoy taking their stations out into the fresh air and operating from outside the confines of the home shack. I got a taste of this by participating in such outdoor events as "QRP To The Field" and "The Flight of the Bumblebees" among others. I was instantaneously hooked. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing as much fun as taking a radio, a battery, a key and an antenna outdoors and making contacts all over the world with the sun on your back and the breeze in your face.

It wasn't long before I found excuses to head out to a local park for a chance to operate for a few hours. I also began taking my radios with me when our family heads up to Lake George, NY on vacation, as we do every summer. It's gotten to the point where the owners of the place we stay, as well as other returning vacationers always ask me, "Did you bring your radios?" when they see me each summer. They especially get a kick out of watching me have QSOs or asking me which states and countries I had managed to get in contact with.

My appreciation of this kind of operating inspired me to come up with a new Summer outdoor QRP event. With the support and sponsorship of the New Jersey QRP Club, the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt was born in 2012. The inaugural event was a huge success, with over 125 Amateurs participating and over 60 logs submitted. The second Sunday of August will be the date for this fun outdoor contest in years to come.

Someday, when the kids are grown and I'm done with the 9-5 rat race, I'll be able to emulate folks like WG0AT, N7UN, W0RW, and others who operate on a regular basis from exotic and beautiful locations. Until then, I'll have to satisfy my craving for the "Great Outdoors" by operating from local town, county and state parks - or even my own backyard!

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pix_sm_kd2mx (13K)
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 May 2. 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 - March was a month of DX for me. I worked some DX each day of the month. Except for our NAQCC sprint and the VA & OK QSO parties (85 total contacts), I only logged 29 W/VE contacts. All the rest of the 334 total March contacts (220) were DX. With the HDSDR Panadapter to help scan the bands quickly, that made finding DX to work easy. Then once found, the conditions were superb for working it. I picked up a few new band-countries along the way - PJ7-10M, GD-30, ZL-12, PJ7-17, HR-12, TX(Clipperton)-12,15,20, and PJ2-30. Also numerous new prefixes as well. The icing on the DX cake came the last day of the month when I worked T2YY (Tuvalu) for an overall new country (entity), #215 with my QRP, CW, and simple wire antennas. With the KX3 and its dual channel audio helping me figure out where to call, I got T2YY on my very first attempt with no repeats needed. Unfortunately that DXpedition had a tragedy along the way. See here.

It's a shame that QRP and simple wire antennas don't work well together, isn't it? HI. That's what Mike (KC2EGL) and I say to each other after we've easily worked some choice DX with my station. It is amazing (incredulous, depressing, etc.) when even well known hams who've been active many years (including one ARRL employee) simply do not believe in QRP, especially with simple wire antennas.

In working all the DX during March, I came up with some candidates for the Wouff Hong treatment and wrote about it in my web site diary. Briefly here, it's those who have no concept of what "UP" means when working DX. Also those DX stations who segue between QSOs without ever identifying themselves. For more info, check out my diary.

Also I'm now featuring in the diary "50 Years of Ham Radio" since April 3 was the 50th anniversary of my becoming a ham as KN3WWP. My how things have changed in this great hobby in those 50 years.

pix_blueball (1K) From John VE7NI #6123 - I have a couple of old HM-102 HF wattmeters and looked into modifying one of them to work on QRP. The original design provided for two RF power levels of200 watts and 2000 watts . Here's what I did to mine and it works OK from my initial tests.
S3: exchange the brown and red wires on the wafer switch.
Remove resistor R8 (22K) and replace it with a jumper wire.
Remove resistor R9 (82K) and replace it with the 22K resistor that had been R8.
Add a germanium diode to the RF power sense circuit. With the new germanium diode, solder the anode to ground. Solder the cathode to the anode of diode D3. This makes a voltage doubler circuit.
On the front panel of the wattmeter, the 200 watt position remains the same. Position 2, formerly the 2000 watt position, now becomes the 20 watt position. (Remove the last two "zeros" from the 2000 on the front panel to read '20')
Using R6, calibrate the wattmeter using the switch in the 20 watt position. I used my K2 and checked the reading at 4 watts, 5 watts, 7 watts and 10 watts RF output power. The actual meter reading is fairly close.
By making a voltage doubler circuit with the addition of an additional germanium diode, the VSWR sensitivity is much better when using QRP.

If some of the members have a nice old HM-102 meter around the shack and want to put it to good use on their QRP gear, give this a try. There might be some further mods that will give better accuracy and performance.

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