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March 22, 2005 80M Straight Key/Bug Sprint

Final Official Results:
Call   QSOs Mbrs Pts  Mul  Sco  Bonus  Final Awd Antenna
W2SH    24   14   38   13   494   x2     988  1  80m horiz bisquare
W2LJ    22   14   36   13   468   x2     936  2  G5RV
N2WN    18   13   31   13   403   x2     806  #  full 1/4 wave vert.
K3WWP   19   14   33   12   396   x2     792     attic 110' random wire
AE5X    14   11   25   10   250   x1.5   375     dipole @ 65'
K2EKM   14    9   23    8   184   x2     368     88' doublet @ 20'
N4FI    11    8   19    8   152   x2     304     120' rndm wire
K8KFJ   11    9   20    7   140   x2     280     dipole
AG4ZZ   11    6   19    7   133   x2     266     140' Doublet @ 45'
K4JPN    9    8   17    5    85   x2     170     cf zepp @ 32'
K4CNW    3    2    5    3    15   x2      30     160m inv L
KD5UDB   4    2    6    4    24           24     80m horiz loop @ 8'
W1PID    3    3    6    2    12   x2      24     ??
K1HJ     3    3    6    3    18           18     ??
KB3LFC   2    2    4    2     8   x2      16     ~225' rndm wire @ 16'
W1OH     2    2    4    2     8            8     indoor dipole
W5ESE    1    1    2    1     2   x2       2     80m horiz loop

Check Log:
(1)N9NE 14    9   23    9   207          207     176' dblt @ 65'
(2)K4NVJ 5    3    8    5    40           40     ??
(1) at N9NE's request
(2) log email dated after entry deadline

# - Top score from a previous non-winner

Special Award (YL) entrants:

K3WWP - Why is participation going downhill in our sprints? My number of total QSO's in the last four sprints is: 34-28-26-19. Member QSO's decreased also: 26-22-20-14. Logs received went as follows: 27-38-20-18. With membership increasing and now just over 800 members, activity should be increasing, not decreasing. Even taking into account the fact that many members don't care for contesting, there should be more participants in the sprints. If we're doing something wrong, tell us about it. We'll try to change things if that will help make these sprints more popular.

K3WWP (Addendum) - It seems from comments that the answer to my question above is a single word - QRN. It looks like the summer noise arrived early on 80M this year despite the obvious fact that it is still winter type weather across a large part of the country. Next month we will nevertheless be making a few changes - changes that were planned some time ago before the March sprint rules were posted.

W2LJ - Another fun evening; however, I did notice two things: I worked more non-members this month more than any previous month. I think that shows that the word is getting out about NAQCC to a variety of places. I didn't hear or work any YL stations; but then I didn't invite any to participate because I don't know of any! I did manage to finish the "Winter/Spring" event this evening also - but that's another e-mail altogether! This is a fun event and a good organization. There's bound to be a little fall off in participation after the initial "rush". Keep on doing these monthly Sprints; but maybe confine them to a single two hour period, and I think you will see participation grow as time marches.

KB3LFC - Well, I made only two contacts but despite my low score I was a real "king" for the evening and frequently left the radio to sit on my "porcelain throne." Now that's a real good excuse, original and truthful too! 72s to all.

W1OH - Only had about 15-20 minutes to play last night. And couldn't quite make it with N9NE; I think he heard me, as he came back W1? a couple times, but no good. Rig here is FT-897 @ 5W to an indoor dipole in the condo. Keep these sprints coming - this and the monthly ARS sprints are among my favorite activities!

N2WN - Lotsa QRN and QSB! My apologies to those I missed and thanks for all the patient ops.. Listened up in the 3.705-15 area, nothing heard except a couple digital signals. Rig here was a Elecraft K2 (#3311) running 5 watts to a full 1/4 wave vertical using a HiMound HK-707 straight key. I had fun and look forward to more tests in the future. 160M anyone? ;o)

AE5X - Thanks again to those who tolerated my bug fist. I was using a big old chrome Vibroplex bug, AT Sprint3, 9v battery and dipole at 65 feet. Lots and lots of QRN at my location with at least 1 other station reporting the same. Could this be the way 80m is to become now that winter is ending? (Yes :( - K3WWP) Although I missed getting the first 2 stations I worked, I managed to get sound files of the rest (I think) and posted them at: (Wow, that's great, John. It is interesting to hear how we sound at the other end of our QSO's. I've gotten some interesting sound files of my signal from DX stations. - K3WWP)

K8KFJ - Quite a bit of QRN on the band tonight which limited my operating time. Guess these old ears just can't handle it all that well anymore. Didn't hear or work any 5 point stns (XY/XYL). I believe AE5X may have been one of the "bug" stations (they're fairly distinctive sounding). Anyway, my thanks to those ops who pulled me through the noise and gave me points (and to NAQCC for their sponsorship of another 80m sprint).

KD5UDB - Thanks all, had a great time even though storms in the area and very noisy. Was not much there that I could hear this evening. Maybe better next time ......... Rig: 80 meter DSWII at 5 watts Ant: 80 meter Horz loop at 8 feet high around house eves. Used Paddle :-(

W1PID - What a great sprint! Ways to get more participation: 1) publicize it more on the qrp-l list. (If we mention it too often, the NAQCC will be accused of Spamming. However each member could post something themselves saying how much they enjoyed the Sprint and are looking forward to the next one - hint, hint - K3WWP) 2) make the logs and scoring simpler. (We'll try since we do want to attract newcomers to contesting - K3WWP) I couldn't find a simple formula for calculating the score... I had to derive it from your examples. It's all too complicated! should be simple and fun like the event itself. many thanks for this, I'll certainly do it again.

W5ESE - I used my Ten-Tec TKIT 1380 at about 4 Watts, and used a J-38 WWII era training key. My antenna is an 80M Horizontal Loop. The QRN here was very heavy, and propagation not as good. Thanks to you all for sponsoring the nice sprint.

K4JPN - Conditions were rough a lot of QRN with a thunder storm moving in, on top of Murphy causing the keyer in my K2 to want to send dits, with the straight key hooked up. Found the problem was a bad connection in my isolation diodes Ugh. Rig Elecraft K2 at 4W, antenna 80 meter center fed Zepp at 32 feet; straight keys were a old Navy big knob key and a Lafayette Radio Brass Key from my Novice days, 43 years ago.

N9NE - Greetings! I am sending this Cabrillo log as a checklog, NOT as an entry. The QRN was so bad here that I could not endure more than about 45 minutes of trying to dig otherwise-copyable signals out of the static. There must have been T-storms nearby. Others were copying me, but I was just a little alligator :) It was painful. Thanks to the NAQCC for these opportunities to get on the air and have fun (yes, even this!). My warmest regards.

K4CNW - I just became a member (number 797) this past week and although I didn't make many contacts I really enjoyed the challenge. Due to family obligations I chose to operate the 0330-0530 time slot which turned out to be a mistake. I had a chance to listen for a few minutes at the beginning of the Sprint and heard more stations in 10 minutes than I heard in the 2 hours that I chose to operate! Oh well, live and learn. QRN was bad and using a 160-meter Inverted-L didn't help. First time I've used a straight key since 1955 when I was a Novice Class operator - my fist was terrible!

K2EKM - Conditions were very noisy here. Signals were down at least 1 S-unit from the other sprints. A lot less activity than in the past. I did have one long ragchew (40m) during the Sprint with a newly-discovered neighbor who also likes cw qrp! I told him about the club, and hopefully he will be a new member soon. One suggestion - I went up again to the Novice portion, listened, and also called CQ NA several times. What about if part of the Sprint we operated on the 3.705 - 3.715 portion, using slow cw? We might be able to get some additional interest there. Seems like the Novices are a neglected group, and I know that some are interested in CW. Just a thought. 72 until next time.

W2SH - I must express my gratitude to the Club for its vigorous promotion of 80-meter activity. I only wish that this wide-open, QRM-free band saw more activity at times other than contest evenings. I did not monitor 3.579 mHz, nor did I tune 3.705-3.715 mHz. I wonder if contest QSOs took place on those frequencies. It seemed to me that contestants gave the 3.580 mHz a wide berth and FISTS members were not crowded out. Congratulations on the xcellent idea of staggered participation times. I hope this encouraged entries from stations in the middle and far west. Wisconsin was as far west as I managed to get. I didn't listen after 0330Z to see if western stations could be heard. Rig used was a TenTec Scout at 5 Watts. Antenna was an 80-meter bisquare hung horizontally. Straight key was a Junker (not what it sounds like; it's really a very nice old German key). Logging was strictly pen and paper.

AG4ZZ - Ran Index Lab QRP++ cranked down to about 500 milliwatts. Antenna was 140-foot doublet at 45 feet. Most action the first hour, then slim pickings. Called three stations who could not hear me above the noise, but those who responded gave good signal reports - THANKS! Fun from start to finish!!!!! K4NVJ - QRN was horrendous. Too much for most of the few signals I could hear. I hope adding 40m will give some relief. Still it is fun having a little contest during the week.