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January 19, 2006 80M Straight Key/Bug Sprint

Final Official Results:
Call   QSOs Mbrs Pts  Mul  Sco  Bonus  Final Awd Antenna
N2WN    42   36   77   16  1232   x2    2464  1  1/4 wave vertical
K4BAI   26   23   49   12   588   x2    1176  2  in v@45', 88' cf zepp@40'
K3WWP   25   23   48   12   576   x2    1152     ~110' attic random wire
K4UK    24   23   47   12   564   x2    1128     160m inv vee - all bnd dpl
*K9VKY  23   23   46   11   506   x2    1012     cf zepp @ 30'
K2EKM   18   17   35   11   385   x2     770     88ft doublet @ 20'
*KW4JS  18   16   34   11   374   x2     748  #  135' dblt @ 50'
W5TVW   21   19   40   12   480   x1.5   720     135' cf zepp @ 50'
W2LJ    17   16   33   10   330   x2     660     G5RV @ 25'
NU4B    16   15   31    9   279   x2     558     Carolina Windom @ 35'
K9JWI   24   21   45   11   495          495     110' inverted vee @ 35'
*N4FI   13   12   25    9   225   x2     450     110' rndm wire @ 20'
K4JPN   13   11   24    8   192   x2     384     80 Mtr CF Zepp @ 28'
W9CC    12   11   23    7   161   x2     322     80m inv vee @ 35'
*K4CZ   17   15   32   10   320          320     130' doublet @ 35'
*W9FNB  11   10   21    7   147   x2     294     double ext ZEPP @ 30'
K4NVJ   10   10   20    7   140   x2     280     88' dipole @ 35'
W2SH     9    8   17    8   136   x2     272     80m horiz bisquare @ 72'
*N2CQ   13   13   26    9   234          234     ?' random wire @ 35'
W2JEK    8    7   15    7   105   x2     210     end fed hz inv U @ 20'
*W5ESE   8    7   15    7   105   x2     210     300' Horiz Loop @ 25'
KA2KGP   8    7   15    6    90   x2     180     80 M. Dipole @ 30'
*KN1H    8    7   15    6    90   x2     180     380' inv U at 100'
KB3LFC   8    8   16    5    80   x2     160     ~250' random wire
*W6KY   10    6   16    8   128          128     Gap vert gnd mtd
*W5WRL   7    5   12    5    60           60     80m inverted V at 47'
KI4CKT   4    4    8    3    24   x2      48     multi-bnd dipole @ 25'
W3ZMN    4    4    8    3    24           24     130' cf wire @ 30'
*KI4DEF  2    2    4    2     8   x2      16     150' rndm wire @ 40'

# - Top score from a previous non-winner

* - Special Award (best score) entrants:

Special Award (best score) winner:

K3WWP - Ouch, my ears hurt. I battled a solid 1 hour and 45 minutes of 10DB over S9 local QRN tonight. The first time since the very first NAQCC sprint I couldn't make the full 2 hours. My deepest apologies to W2SH, possibly K8WDN, someone whose call ended in SB, and several others who called me. I honestly tried my best to complete the QSO's, but just couldn't. On to the positive now. It was great to see a better turnout this month and welcome to the several newcomers I heard or worked tonight. Hope you'll be regulars in our sprints from now on. I think these sprints are really catching on. Propagation seemed very good the first half hour tonight, and fairly good the next half hour, but did go downhill from there with rapid QSB on signals. It's an honor to almost beat K4BAI in one of these sprints. John has been a contesting hero for me since the 1960's. I hope a lot of you got your best sprint score this month and will be eligible for the Special Award. I started out like I was going to break my record with 13 QSO's the first half hour, but then as sigs got weaker, they disappered into my noise.

KB3LFC - Conditions weren't bad and I had fun even though I didn't make that many contacts. It was nice to hear some new members in the sprint.

W2LJ - Conditions were decent on 80 Meters here in NJ. The QSB was strange though, sometimes it was fast and others slow. I made the classic contesting mistake though, I spent the last half hour chasing a station down for a new multiplier. I ended up not working him and wasted a lot of valuable time. Good thing that there's another one of these next month!

N2CQ - First operation on the NAQCC sprint. Very poor condx here. Most weak signals. Thanks for the QSOs!

KI4CKT - Enjoyed the contest.

W6KY - 1st NAQCC Contest, but not too much activity here. K6SA wanted to RagChew :), K9FO QSB took him out at NAQCC # I use N1MM for contesting, but the GenLog program is a little gem! Sent CW using the program using a 2Gig XP Laptop. Worked FB... CU next contest QRP with my K1-4 and Brown Bros CTL-B key...

KI4DEF - This was my first NAQCC Sprint, and two of my three first ever 80m QSOs (thanks to Barry K4CZ and Larry NU4B for QSOs). Just yesterday I managed to get an antenna I could use on 80m up in the backyard trees. Rig was a Norcal Sierra kit running 4W to a 150 foot random wire matched with a little L-network tuner and a straight key (custom made by AR gunsmith Al AB5RT). The band seemed noisy to me, but this is my first experience with 80m. This also adds a sixth band for me to this month's multiband challenge. That's now every band I have a rig/band module to operate (three new bands for me this month: 80, 17 and 15m--thanks for the challenge, guys!). Looking forward to next month's Sprint.

W5WRL - My partticipation tonight was by accident. WY3X mentioned it so I fired up the 817 and went to it. Conditions were not that good here but I managed a few contacts. I am looking forward to next month. Best Regards all, Bill Lawless - W5WRL ARRL WTX Section Manager. (Great to have an ARRL Official in our sprint - K3WWP)

W3ZMN - I hope by next month I can adapt my bug to my Elecraft K2. Don't worry I will practice with it off air first. It has been years since I used it.

KA2KGP - Plenty of QRN on the band, I guess I could really use a noise filter on my TenTec Argosy II. Seemed like there were fewer members working this sprint than last month, still lots of fun.

N2WN - Thought I had the wrong night again, very quiet for the first few minutes, then hot and heavy, then someone threw the switch and it sounded like the band died! Some new folks for me to work, missed more than I wanted to "0II" (had power supply problems from the sounds of it) and "2MX" at the end of the test, sorry. Less multipliers than in November, but a good turnout. Thanks!

W5TVW - Got into the sprint a bit late. Seemed to be a fair amount of activity. Operating with crystals leaves one somewhat limited as to QSO's per hour! Neverheless, it was fun and looking forward to another one soon.

K9JWI - Bad QSB. Worked some high member numbers. Hope they come back next month. (Agreed! - K3WWP) See you then.

VA3RKM - You'll have to put me into the SWL category this time. I heard many stations making QSOs but only for 20 seconds or so at a time with deep QSB. Our northern latitudes are sometimes wiped out this way by magnetic storms and that may account for the difficulties. Heard K3WWP well the first few minutes of the sprint and never again. After that, W5TVW and N2WN were strong. Noise level was high at S6 (High???? Wish my noise would be only S6. That would be heaven for me. - K3WWP) as well, which was tiring. Glad to hear so many ops on the air, even if I couldn't work them.

K4CZ - Conditions were good here in NC. I was hoping to achieve a personal best score this sprint so I needed at least 15 qsos and 9 mults. I missed the first 30 minutes due to other obligations but managed to work 9 stations (all S&P) from 0205 to 0252, which is a better than usual rate for me. However, my pace was slowing and it took another 9 minutes to find and work qso #10 at 0301. I didn't hear any new stations during the next few minutes so I decided to finally get some experience "running" in a qrp sprint. I was definitely nervous but managed to work 7 stations from 0309 to 0325...finishing with 17 qsos, 10 mults and a personal best score. Thanks for the qsos and a special thanks to all the ops who patiently copied my "nervous fist" and a few mangled exchanges when I was running.

AG8A - Too embarassed to submit log only 3 contacts, well really 4 but same station twice, once before and once after he entered contest. Two station from NH and one from VA. Gave up at 10:pm. It was noisy but we had an ice storm a day before and my ant could best be discribed as a horz. icecycle. Tried to shake ice off at noon but not a whole lot of luck. Good news was that it loaded up on 160 the best it ever has. Sun out today and was able to get ice off. Hope to hear you next month.

KW4JS - Thanks to everyone I worked as well as the few I could not pull out of the noise. I indeed need some more pratice on the straight key. What fun, thanks again.

N4FI - Noise level was a steady S8 which is nornal for me. I did not hear any middle states this time, only eastern states. I did hear a few new stns but cud not get thru the pile-ups, hi.

K4UK - Missed the first 30 minutes again. Finally worked Sandy, W5TVW right at the end. Band in pretty good shape again this time. FISTS are quite active in these NAQCC Sprints, 16 of my 24 QSO's were with FISTS members. (Not surprising, since NAQCC and FISTS goals are the same - to help preseve this wonderful mode of communication called CW or Morse - K3WWP)

W9CC - Band conditions much better. I never realized until this sprint that the rest of the world is downhill from PA. (??? - K3WWP)

KD2MX - Hi....I didn't manage any QSOs last night but I do offer my comments.... Unfortunately, I join VA3RKM in the SWL category despite giving my straight key a short workout. Wednesdays nights are busy for me as I usually have a rehearsal of my community symphony, so I was only able to catch the last 15 minutes of the sprint. Looks like I missed the best condx during the first hour. It seemed to me like NNJ had fallen into a black hole by the time I got on. Like VA3RKM, I mostly just heard some snippets of QSOs. I did copy K9FO but he was very weak and he didn't hear me. The noise level was pretty high (or was it just that the signals were very low?) but not up to K3WWP levels. I almost got on the scoreboard in the last two minutes with N2WM but he was unable to copy my whole call and exchange.

K4JPN - A lot of good signals. Band conditions fairly good. I am not into the big contests, but I really enjoy these layed back contests. Look forward to seeing everyone next month.

NU4B - Not much noise here for a change, Somehow dinner got scheduled right in the middle of the Sprint. (??????) That caused some noise, but only S1 since I was starved. Some very nice signals received here. Thanks to all for the QSO's . Rig: HW-9 @ 4watts.

W9FNB - My first NAsp only had about 1 hour to operate that evening. Band was not very good here, heard many stations I could not seem to work. Thanks to all that worked me. Finally worked John K3WWP after viewing his web site for many years and he was my first NAsp QSO! COOL! The BIG SIG award from me goes to W6KY for the monster 599+ on my double Zepp. I hope to be able to work more NAsp's down the log 72/73 All the Best

K2EKM - Conditions were better here than last month, but still not that great. Best conditions were early, during first hour, then deteriorated badly. High noise level here also, and heavy QSB made copy difficult. Oddly, again, best signals were consistently from the upper midwest, and then others would pop up, disappear completely, and pop up again. Used a new straight key for this one - the new PPK portable key from Palm Radio. This is definitely a portable key, and snaps into it's case for transport. It has a very smooth feel, totally unlike any small key I've tried. Like the palm paddle/keyer so I thought I'd give this one a try.

W5ESE - Had fun in the Sprint. I used my Ten-Tec TKIT 1380 QRP transceiver, and a Radio Shack Japanese ball bearing straight key. I enjoy using a simple analog QRP kit transceiver to go with my simple wire antenna, HIHI.

W2SH - This sprint confirmed the poor performance of my antenna. Originally erected as an 80-meter bisquare at 72 feet, its 540 feet of wire performed very well. I then added a quarter wave vertical at each of the two corners adjacent to the corner where the feedpoint attaches, thinking that with these vertical elements operating in phase the antenna would work even better. Instead, the transmit performance became mediocre, and the receive noise level is now a constant S8. Lesson learned: Trying to improve overall performance by combining horizontally and vertically polarized elements in a single antenna has produced very disappointing results.

Date and time:
Thursday, January 19, 0130-0330 UTC
(Newcomers - remember that's Wednesday evening here in the USA)

Bands Used This Month:
80 meters only

Special Award:
It's a bit complicated, so put on your thinking caps and read carefully. To be eligible for the award you must make your personal best score among all the NAQCC sprints you've entered. Just as an example, if the best you ever did previously in one of our sprints was 1,850 points, and you score 2,150 points in this January sprint, you are eligible. The winner of the award will then be the highest January score among all those who are eligible. Whew! All past sprint scores are here on the web site if you don't remember your personal best score. Now go out there and do your best. This is something I personally do in all contests. I try to beat my previous best score. That way I'm only competing against myself and not against someone with vastly superior equipment.

Entry Deadline:
All entries must be postmarked or email dated before 2400Z on Jan 25, 2006.

Other Rules:
For rules that are common to all of our sprints, check General Sprint Rules