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Nov 22, 2007 Straight Key/Bug Sprint (#37)

Final Official Results:
SWA Category
Call   QSOs Mbrs Pts  Mul  Sco Bon Final  80-40-20 Antenna
KD2MX   35   33   68   13  884  x2  1768  ~600' loop @25'
*K3WWP  29   28   57   12  684  x2  1368  ~110' attic random wire
*KI4GLH 16   16   32    9  288  x2   576  G5RV @45'
KD2JC   15   15   30    8  240  x2   480  G5RV @??'
KB4QQJ  15   15   30    8  240  x2   480  dipole @15', Vert gnd mtd
*W2JEK  12   12   24    8  192  x2   384  40m dpl @25' 80m ef hz @25'
AB8FJ   12   11   23    8  184  x2   368  ef rnd wire @15'
KU4GW   12   10   22    8  176  x2   352  260' modified Zepp @50'
K8BTD   12   12   24    7  168  x2   336  160 M Windom @60'
KA2KGP  12   11   23    7  161  x2   322  5 band gnd. mtd. vert. 
AF4LQ   11   11   22    5  110  x2   220  77ft endfed @30'
WB8ENE   9    9   18    6  108  x2   216  40M double zepp @15'
KA8MPT   9    9   18    6  108  x2   216  a Attach Slinky
*N8XMS   8    7   15    6   90  x2   180  Cushcraft R7 Vertical @7'
$K6BFA   8    7   15    6   90  x2   180  G5RV @50'
NF8M     8    8   16    5   80  x2   160  80m dipole @35'
W4ONC    8    7   15    5   75  x2   150  Dipole @29'
NJ1W     7    7   14    5   70  x2   140  G5RV @35'
KU2US    7    7   14    5   70  x2   140  G5RV @40'
WB8LZG   6    6   12    5   60  x2   120  40m dipole @30'
W3EQ     5    5   10    5   50  x2   100  80M dipole @50'
W9CC     5    5   10    4   40  x2    80  80 meter loop @15'
AA9L     5    5   10    4   40  x2    80  Trap dipole @50'
WA2DTW   6    6   12    3   36  x2    72  160M inv vee @35'
WY3H     6    6   12    3   36  x2    72  ~90' random wire @25'
VE3HUR   4    4    8    4   32  x2    64  40M dipole @??'
N9KR     7    7   14    4   56        56  ef zepp @25'
K8AZT    6    6   12    4   48        48  Hustler 6BTV
N4NI     5    4    9    5   45        45  Hustler 4BTV ground mount
KB3FJJ   5    5   10    4   40        40  Dblt @17'
*N9AKF   3    3    6    3   18  x2    36  rnd wire @20'
*KC2EGL  3    3    6    2   12  x2    24  Folded Dipole @35'
KD2MU    3    3    6    3   18        18  dipole @13'
N8CX     3    3    6    3   18        18  sloping dipole @25'
*WY7N    2    2    4    2    8  x2    16  100' rnd wire @~23'
NO2D     2    2    4    2    8  x2    16  80m dblt @33'
NU7T     3    1    4    2    8  x2    16  220' vert delta loop @50'
*AB4QL   2    2    4    1    8  x2    16  80m loop @25'
W1OH     2    2    4    2    8         8  40m attic doublet
KD0V     1    1    2    1    2  x2     4  mod G5RV @50'
K5GQ     0    0    0    0    0         0  dipole @24'; vertical 33' tall
N3ZL     0    0    0    0    0  x2     0  inv-L @40', G5RV @30'
W0JFR    0    0    0    0    0  x2     0  Vertical
*NT9K    0    0    0    0    0  x2     0  Inv vee @50'

$-QRO 100W

Call   QSOs Mbrs Pts  Mul  Sco Bon Final  80-40-20 Antenna

* - Special Award (using a homebrew straight key) entrant

1st SWA: KD2MX
2nd SWA: K3WWP
1st Gain: n/a
Top score from a previous non-winner: KD2JC & KB4QQJ (tie) 
Special Award (high score using a homebrew straight key): K3WWP**
CW Books on CD (donated by Chuck K7QO): KD2JC,KB4QQJ (tie)

** Certificate goes to KI4GLH because of the rule stating a 1st or 2nd
place certificate winner cannot also win the Special Award certificate

The following appeared 5 or more times in submitted logs, but
did not submit a log themselves for whatever reason:
KB3AAG - 12
K9JWI - 10
W1GUE - 9
N1VWD - 5

We hope these folks will continue to participate AND
submit their logs in the future.

If anyone wishes a list of errors found in cross-checking their
log, email K3WWP. If any errors cause a scoring change, you
will be notified automatically.
K3WWP - Wow, was 40M hot tonight. My best start ever in a sprint as far as I can recall without checking. 19 QSO's after just 36 minutes. Visions of a 50 QSO sprint danced in my head. NOT! Only 10 more QSO's in the next 84 minutes. 80M was horrible plus I had a louder than usual noise level there. I know a few (several) stations tried calling me on 80 (W9CC for one and KC2EGL on 40), and I apologize for not hearing you through my local noise. I only made 6 QSO's on 80. The other 23 were all on 40M. Here's my homebrew key. It has a couple of features I really like. It's mounted on a 'triangle' with two screws at the front corners and a rubber 'foot' in the middle of the back. That adds to the stability. Also the downward force from closing the contacts is at a point inside the triangle so it's impossible to upset it by closing the contacts too hard. I'm pretty heavy on a key, especially in the midst of a contest and this one is still stable without being fastened to the desk as I've had to do with my J-38 style key.

pix_key_k3wwp (26K)

KC2EGL - Got back into the game after taking the summer and most of the fall off from radio. Had a blast as usual. I heard John K3WWP on 40M but he could not hear me. Looks like I will only be albe to talk to him via landline or a eyeball QSO until the sunspot cycle gets back on track. Thanks to the 3 who put up with my rusty fist. Key used - Magnetic Camelback, homebrew by Dewey KG4AAU. Next to my US Navy Flameproof it is my favorite key. 73 Mike

pix_key_kc2egl (30K)

KI4GLH - Didn't hear as many folks as usual and signal levels were down on this end. My home made key held up.

pix_key_ki4glh (14K)

AB4QL - I waited until contest time to actually read the instructions. I dug through the desk and came up with a paper clip, a penny and two jumpers. I quickly taped them to the desk and had my "homebrew" key. I thanks to their persistance I managed Q's with WB8LZG & N8XMS. I tried to get KA8MPT, KD0V & NF8M but couldn't make or complete qso's. Poor band condx here. It has been a loooong time since I used a straight key, I'm sure the mentioned Ops can attest to. Fun!!!

pix_key_ab4ql (35K)

N8XMS - I got a late start but it didn't really matter because conditions were so poor here that I still had time to work just about everyone that I could hear - which wasn't many! My key was a momentary pushbutton with a button glued to the top. It was mounted on an Altoids tin filled with pennies for added weight. The beast was difficult to control! I think that next time I'll try and do something with a hacksaw blade.

pix_key_n8xms (42K)

NT9K - I worked the first hour, but only heard 1 CQ NA. It was W1GUE and he couldn't hear me. No answers to my CQ's. I was sick, so I gave up. I was using a TS-870 and my key was a home brew Amplidan. I hope to be back next month with a new wire for 160/80. Bill

pix_key_nt9k (17K)

W2JEK - agree with all who say 80m not as good as usual- really had to dig to pull sigs out of the noise. built a homebrew straight key using a 5 in. length of old hacksaw blade. hardest part was making a hole for the knob using a grinder similar to a dremel tool. left the teeth on the blade to help cut thru qrn-hi. a wood screw with a wide head was used to adjust contact spacing. 72 and 73 don younger w2jek #1135

pix_key_w2jek (36K)

WY3H - Excuses, excuses, excuses! Yes, I know I'm full of excuses, however, condx were really bad on 80 as most of you will attest to. Moreover due to some sort of weird glitch that I haven't figured out yet I could not use 40 which turned out to be the best band of all. Nevertheless I did manage to make 6 QSO's on a very noisy 80. For the first three QSO's I used my "finger key." The idea stemmed from an incident that happened about 25 years ago. At that time I was working a DX station and the key I was using just fell apart literally. So to finish the QSO I sent CW simply by touching the two wires together. My finger key as you can see in the photo is simply two rubber finger tip whatchamacallits with two small pieces of copper plate super glued on to them. Before gluing the copper plates I soldered a wire to each. One problem I found was that sending CW this way takes some practice and is not as easy as it looks. After a while my forearm muscle began to cramp so I switched to my straight key, but I did work the first three QSO's with my finger key. Overall I had fun and I think we are all pleased with the number of logs received for this sprint. I think the NAQCC should send a special thanks to the good folks who sent in logs even though they did not have any QSO's. I understand there was sort of a "black hole" so to speak over much of the SE USA. Several months ago we had the same situation here in the northeast. I hope no one is discouraged by the poor present band condx. Look at it this way, things can't get much worse, they can only get better. Again thanks to everyone who submitted logs. 73/72 to all - Tom WY3H. P.S. Just FYI, yes, my membership number really is "1", that's O-N-E. Really it is "0001" but to save time I abbreviate it as "1." I received 3 or 4 requests to repeat my number and had to confirm it several times to each person who asked.

pix_key_wy3h (35K)

N9AKF - Though my home brew key looks like a paddle (a paint stir paddle that is) it's just a simple straight key. It only took about 20 minutes to round up the materials and construct the key. I used it for about a week before the sprint and have continued using it to the exclusion of my "real" key. It actually has a nice feel. True to my casual style of operating, I only made three contacts, but had a good time doing so. Bart

pix_key_n9akf (29K)

WY7N - My hopes were high for this month's sprint.
I'm not mechanically inclined, but my eleven year old son Aaron is. I started bugging him in October about building a straight key. I was surprised that he didn't seem very interested. Finally I showed him one of the early pictures of John's (K3WWP) homebrew key and explained how it worked. I guess he hadn't visualized what I was asking. He told me he could whip something up using Lego's, but was unsure how to install a spring or the electrical contacts. I told him we could use a rubber band for the spring and would figure out the electrical contacts later.
That was all he needed. It couldn't have been more than 60 seconds later that he handed me a working straight key mechanism constructed entirely from Legos. I was astonished at how quickly he put it together. With the addition of a wood screw and thumbtack for contacts the key was up and running a few days before the sprint.
The first station I worked with the key was in the Turks/Caicos Islands warming up for CQWWDX. The operator was running a sizeable pile-up. To my surprize I broke the pile-up with a single call. Perhaps it was due to the distinctive fist from the Lego straight key!
Unfortunately band conditions were extremely poor out west during the sprint. I didn't hear any sprint stations on 40 even though the band seemed to be open. Finally Steve-NU7T answered my CQ on 80. (Steve's soap box entry made me laugh out load!) Near the end of the contest I heard Pete-NO2D calling CQ and snagged him too. At least I didn't get skunked! Thanks Peter and Steve!

(Bruce's son and the Lego key)

pix_key_wy7n (37K)

KB4QQJ - WOW!! This was my first NAQCC Sprint. I got a late start but still had a grand ole time. It took me a few times to get the NAQCC protocal down but came easy after 5 minutes listening. Thanks to all in my log and I look forward to next event! TU

AF4LQ - Worked about an hour tonight and ran an OHR-500 at 5w's and a straight key. Better conditions on 40m tonight than last month but 80 wasn't as good as I'd hoped, coupled with with loud storm crashes from a cold front going thru. Good signal strengths on 40 with weaker than usual strengths on 80. Still, great fun as always and thanks to all for the Q's. Best wishes to all of you for a good holiday season.

WB8LZG - Well the band condx wre vy poor tonite to say the least. 40m was extreamly noisy here in Mich. es 80 wasn't much better. Top it off with thunderstorms es it made for a tough time trying to copy any stations. I heard several stations just above the noise , but couldn't get whole calls. Even though I only nabbed 6 QSOs i still had lots of fun trying. It's condx like these that really test ur ability to dig em out of the mud. I think this was the worst iv'e seen the bands all year, and my score also the lowest of any yet. Still, KI4GLH had a great signal here into Mich. from Tenn. es KB4QQJ also nice copy from N.C. Hope we get a bit better condx fer the year end sprint. See u all in December. 73 Gregg

KU4GW - I had a great time tonight. This is the first Sprint I have participated in in a long time.I have battled multiple myeloma (bone marrow) cancer since January,lost 82 lbs because of all the sickness and chemotherapy. I had a stem cell transplant at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC on August 24th and went for my first check-up after that on October 25th. On October 30 my doctor called me and told me my tests showed no signs of multiple myeloma! I give credit where credit is due and I thank God for giving me a second chance at life. Glory be to my Lord! My hair is growing back now and I am feeling great. I couldn't hardly stand to tap a CW key for several months due to peripheral neuropathy in my fingers due to the chemo drugs, but that is better also. Now I can pound the brass again and I did tonight. 73 to all my fellow NAQCC friends and I look forward to working you QRP de Cliff

WB8ENE - This was my first sprint. I hope to try again when I get a CW filter for my new FT-897D.

W9CC - 40 meters was the best bet. 80 was impossible. I did hear K3WWP on 80 but he didn't hear me. QRN was bad.

NU7T - Were the bands dead ? I played 53 hands of solitaire while my keyer called CQ NA before I realized my 80m 3 element yagi was pointed into the Southern Pacific Ocean. There are few Club members down there. Just kidding. Actually, the battery on my antenna died. Steve

KD2JC - I had a nice time. Boy, do I need practice on the straight key. 80 meters could have been better (QRN). Happy Thanksgiving.

N8CX - What noise! I'll bet the sunspot number is below zero!

KB3FJJ - Only my second sprint, but I enjoyed it! QRN and QRM was a problem for the second hour, but stuck with it to enjoy the fun!

NO2D - Had "work" to do for tomorrow's T-Day. Started late. 40 meters nothing but static. 80 meters same until I started to call cq na about 8:20 PM MST. Got two responses, both difficult, but much appreciate that they hung in there. We really do need the Sun to get the measles or chicken pox or something to make some spots! As before, an interesting challenge, even without many contacts. Thanks. Pete.

N4NI - First NAQCC Sprint and first CW contest. It was fun, but it showed that I need some more practice. 40m was very busy and 80 was too noisy for me.

KU2US - Had fun while it lasted. 40m & 80m had static crashes for me, 20m was dead. Had to quit early, my 6146's in my TS-520 did not like being lowered to 5 watts. I guess I will be looking for a dedicated QRP rig. Heard many new calls though-thats great!!. 40m was actually crowded with "CQ-NA"..The problem was that many stations were on top of each other, because they could not hear each other-hihi..Still had Fun...Ken

K5GQ - Cold front moved through Houston this evening bring rain, cold and lighting. Not good conditions to operate. Tried after the front passed but static was still LOUD! Looking forward to the next one. Mark

K8BTD - Late start, tractor trailer wrecked in front of house. Started operating at 00:30z. 40M only. Very noisy tonight. Lots of ops. Had lots of fun. Morse Runner simulator helped with using the Gen32 logging prgm. Thanks to all who made this possible. Happy Thanksgiving. See you next month. Gil

KD2MX - I ran a record-setting pace during the first 45 minutes. 40M was in fine shape. The band was short but signals were good and there were plenty of them. Suddenly, all was quiet and I went to 80M as the first hour elapsed. Here I found the lousy conditions we've become accustomed to lately. The QRN was high and signals were poor. I managed just six contacts in about 45 minutes and most were a struggle. I kept checking back on 40M but not much was happening there either. Finally I was going to call it a night about 15 minutes early but decided to give 40M one more shot. Turned out to be a good decision as I picked up a few more Qs and another multiplier. All in all an excellent sprint. Lots of new calls. 80M could've been better...can't blame that on the lack of sunspots but the activity level made up for it. Thanks to everybody for participating and Happy Thanksgiving


N9KR - Another fun Sprint. OK conditions on 40. Could only participate for an hour this time. Using a homebrew transmitter @ 5 Watts & Homebrew Rcvr.

N3ZL - I didn't have any school the day of this sprint, so I got the radio and my straight key all set up with plenty of time to warm up my SK fist and everything... then I called CQ for about 15 mins. on 40M, then 10 mins. on 80M and never heard anyone else, so I scanned around occasionally for the next hour, but gave up after a while. I was also hoping to finish off my November challenge with the QSOs from the sprint - so much for that! There must have been a giant RF black hole over SC last night because I just got up and worked a couple of DX this morning with no problem. Maybe I'll have better luck next time around. 73 de Greg

W0JFR - Didn't hear a single station and no response to CQ's in Colorado -- tried 20, 40, and 80m.

KA2KGP - 80 & 20 were both dead here in WNY, so 40 was my only hope. Thankfully, 40 was in good shape here with low noise & good propagation. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

AB8FJ - Ran my Argonaut V at 5W and used my Bencher RJ-2 Straight Key. All contacts made on 40 meters. 80 meter conditions were not good at all here in Ohio for trying to work the Sprint.

KA8MPT - Antenna a Attach Slinky You could tell the sunspot cycle was down . All bands extremely noisy . 40m had the most folks but static made it hard to make a contact and condx by 9:30 at my qth ended that. Sorry to all I could not hookup with. 73 John

AA9L - Bands were very noisy here. My worse score yet but still enjoyed it and looking forward to the next sprint.

W1OH - Just spent a few minutes on 40M this time - busy getting stuff together for upcoming Thanksgiving dinner. Seemed to be some bad QRN here near 7042, unfortunately. Noise would come an go over about a 10 second period, so could only hear K3WWP during the lulls! Glad to get on even for a few minutes. Thanks, NAQCC!!

KD2MU - I've turned it around and I doubled my Q's from last time; look out fellas (and gals) here I come!

See General Sprint Rules for rules common to every NAQCC sprint.

RULES specific to this month's sprint:

Date and time:
Thursday Nov. 22, 0130-0330 UTC
(Remember that's Wednesday evening here in the USA)

Special Award:
Our special award this month goes to the one who has the highest score and uses a homebrew straight key. If a 1st or 2nd place certificate winner also qualifies for winning the SA, the SA goes to the next highest scorer. That is because we want as many members as possible to receive one of our certificates. You must indicate in your report if you are applying for the SA, and include a picture of your straight key.

Autologger SA info: To be eligible for the SA, you must select Yes in the 'Eligible for the Special Award.......' box. Nothing need be put in the 'Special Award info.......' box. You will have to submit your key picture in a separate email.

Continuing this month we are giving away a set of CD's to one participant according to the following rules:

1. The participant meeting the requirements below and posting the highest score will be the winner of a set of CD's in the following months: July, August, September, October, November, January, February, March, April, and May.
A. Requirements: The participant must be a NAQCC member and can not have won a CD set previously. Previous winners are:
K4BAI (Jul 07)
K1EV (Aug 07)
KI4GLH (Sep 07)
N1LU (N3A/1) (Oct 07)
B. If the highest scorer does not meet the requirements, then the CD set winner will be the next highest scorer who does meet the requirements.

2. Twice a year - in the December and June sprints, the winner will be a participant drawn at random who meets the requirements in 1A and who makes at least 5 QSO's in the sprint.

3. Club Officers (WY3H (ex-KB3LFC), K3WWP, W2LJ, K5DUZ, KD2MX) are not eligible.

The set of CD's features K7QO, Chuck Adams' code course designed to increase code speed - to paraphrase Chuck's own description:

At the present time I have a set of CDs that I call Books in Morse on CD. Each CD (there are 12 at the present time) is a classic book in Morse that gives an individual a complete book to listen to for practice receiving plain text. This gives one much more practice receiving plain text for times from 24 hours to over 3 days depending upon the text and speeds chosen. Titles include Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz at 10-17WPM, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland at 17WPM, The Time Machine at 20-25WPM, The War of the Worlds at 20-26WPM and 30-36WPM for the two different CDs, Desert Gold at 20-25WPM, and others that you can find at Value of the set is over $100. The books were created to replace the old practice of copying plain text from news sources at HF frequencies in the 50s and 60s before such transmissions were replaced by modern digital means for ships at sea.

I'm sure you all know of Chuck and his work in promoting CW/QRP. Chuck has generously donated the CD's for this prize. We hope that all our CD winners and non-winners as well will thank Chuck for his generosity.

In case of a tie, duplicate prizes will be awarded thanks to Chuck's generosity.

Entry Deadline:
All entries must be RECEIVED before 2400Z on Nov 28, 2007. So submit as soon as possible, especially regular mail entries.

Preferred method of submitting your log and report is now our new on-line autologger.