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A Triband Beam for 40/80 and 160 Build the Rappack Controller A Study of Elevated Radial


January/ February 2005

Volume 33 Number 1

Ground Systems
2004 September
Visit our Web Site:

CW and Phone Sprint Results

Luring More

People into Contesting

A British team journeyed to the Isles of Scilly to operate M8C during the 2004 IOTA contest. Read about their unique operation in this issue!

NCJ: The National Contest Journal

American Radio Relay League 225 Main Street Newington, CT 06111-1494

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The National Contest Journal

Volume 33 Number 1 January/February 2005
National Contest Journal (ISSN 0899-0131) is published bimonthly in January, March, May, July, September and November by the American Radio Relay League, 225 Main Street, Newington, CT 06111-1494, USA. Periodicals postage paid at Hartford, CT and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: National Contest Journal, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111-1494, USA.

3 Editorial
Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA

Publisher American Radio Relay League 225 Main Street, Newington, CT 06111 tel: 860-594-0200 fax: 860-594-0259 (24-hour direct line) Electronic Mail: World Wide Web: Editor Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA 1227 Pion Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46845 Managing Editor Joel R. Hallas, W1ZR NCJ WWW Page Bruce Horn, WA7BNM, Webmaster ARRL Officers President: Jim Haynie, W5JBP Executive Vice President: David Sumner, K1ZZ Contributing Editors Gary Sutcliffe, W9XTContest Tips, Tricks & Techniques Paul Schaffenberger, K5AFContesting on a Budget Paul Gentry, K9PGNCJ Profiles Jon Jones, NJKVHF-UHF Contesting! Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LAPropagation Joe Pontek, K8JPThe Contest Traveler John Fleming, WA9ALSRTTY Contesting Mark Beckwith, N5OTStation Profile Bill Feidt, NG3KDX Contest Activity Announcements Bruce Horn, WA7BNMContest Calendar Pete Smith, N4ZRSoftware for Contesters
ARRL CAC Representative Ned Stearns, AA7A 7038 E Aster Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85254 North American QSO Party, CW Bob Selbrede, K6ZZ 6200 Natoma Ave, Mojave, CA 93501 North American QSO Party, Phone Bruce Horn, WA7BNM 4225 Farmdale Ave, Studio City, CA 91604 North American QSO Party, RTTY Shelby Summerville, K4WW 6500 Lantana Ct, Louisville, KY 40229-1544 North American Sprint, CW Boring Amateur Radio Club 15125 Bartell Rd, Boring, OR 97009 North American Sprint, Phone Jim Stevens, K4MA 6609 Vardon Ct, Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526 North American Sprint, RTTY Doug McDuff, W4OX 10380 SW 112th St, Miami, FL 33176 Advertising Information Contact: Joe Bottiglieri, AA1GW, tel 860-594-0207; fax 860-594-4285; NCJ subscription orders, changes of address, and reports of missing or damaged copies should be addressed to ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111 and be marked NCJ Circulation. ARRL members are asked to include their membership control number or their QST mailing label. Letters, articles, club newsletters and other editorial material should be submitted to NCJ, 1227 Pion Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46845. The NA Sprint and NA QSO Parties are not sponsored by ARRL. Yearly Subscription rates: In the US $20 US by First Class Mail $28 Elsewhere by Surface Mail $32 (4-8 week delivery) Canada by Airmail $31; Elsewhere by Airmail $40 All original material not attributed to another source is copyright 2004 by The American Radio Relay League, Inc. Materials may be excerpted from the NCJ without prior permission provided that the original contributor is credited, and the NCJ is identified as the source. In order to insure prompt delivery, we ask that you periodically check the address information on your mailing label. If you any inaccuracies, please contact 2 find January/February 2005 the Circulation NCJ Department immediately. Thank you for your assistance.

4 A Triband Beam for 40/80 and 160 Meters
Floyd Koontz, WA2WVL Jim George, N3BB

9 Snippets from the 2004 IARU HF Championship DX Prowess of HF Receivers

11 Reader Feedback to Use of Comparative Analysis to Estimate the

Peter E. Chadwick, G3RZP

12 M8C IOTA Contest 2004

15 My Linear Problem

Dave Lawley, G4BUO

John W. Thompson, MD, K3MD Mike Dorman, W7DRA

16 Stealth Operation in the CQ WPX CW 2004 17 Rappack Controller Design

Al Christman, K3LC Mike Sims, K4GMH

19 A Study of Elevated Radial Ground Systems for Vertical AntennasPart 1 23 A DXpedition to KL7 for the CW Sprint
25 Confessions of a Middle Man
Tree, N6TR

Ken Adams, K5KA Howard Huntington, K9KM

26 The 52nd W9DXCC ConventionNot Just for DXers 28 Luring More People into Contesting

Jim Smith, VE7FO

30 DX Contest Activity Announcements 31 Software for Contesters 32 VHF-UHF Contesting! 33 Contest Calendar
Bill Feidt, NG3K Pete Smith, N4ZR Jon K. Jones, NJK

Bruce Horn, WA7BNM Gary Sutcliffe, W9XT

34 Contest Tips, Tricks and Techniques 35 Contesting on a Budget 36 RTTY Contesting

Paul Schaffenberger, K5AF

John Fleming, WA9ALS

37 North American Sprint CW/SSB/RTTY Rules 38 North American QSO Parties (NAQP) CW/SSB/RTTY Rules 40 September 2004 Phone Sprint Results 43 September 2004 CW Sprint Results
Jim Stevens, K4MA

Boring Amateur Radio Club

Alaska DX Vacation Rental: 36 Alfa Radio: 14 Array Solutions: Cov II ARRL: 47, 48 Atomic Time: 16 BetterRF Co, The: 30 C.A.T.S./Rotor Doctor: 15 Clark Electronics: 27 ComTek Systems: 11 DX Engineering: 22 Elecraft: 27 ICOM America Inc: Cov IV Idiom Press: 30 IIX Equipment Ltd: 18 KXG Systems: 3 microHAM: 32 N4XM, XMatch Ant Tuners: 42 Radioware & Radio Bookstore: 39, 42 RF Parts: 47 Ten-Tec: 1 Tennadyne: 8 Teri Software: 10 Texas Towers: Cov III Top Ten Devices: 24 Unified Microsystems: 47 W2IHY Technologies: 47 Watts Unlimited: 47 Writelog for Windows: 10, 39

Introducing Newcomers to Contesting Jim, VE7FO, pens an interesting article for us in this issue. Normally when we hear about others being introduced to contesting, others means those who already have an Amateur Radio license. Jims twist on this is that he introduced non-licensed individuals into the fun of contesting. He admits that he found this to be tougher than introducing licensed amateurs to contesting, but once he got some experience under his belt, it became obvious what needed to be done to make this work. There are two morals to this story. First, if you cant find any licensed amateurs that want to get into contesting, then think about introducing unlicensed individuals into Amateur Radio through contesting. Second, the guy whos writing this and the guy or gal whos reading this are the people who are going to continue the contesting aspect of our hobby. So, dont rely on someone else to get more people into contestinglets take it as a task for each of us personally to do. Contesting Etiquette After Sweepstakes and the CQWW contests, there were some very interesting threads on the cq-contest reflector. They had to do with operating technique, and I figured this was too good a situation to pass up without doing something. So, I dug out my Point-Counterpoint article from the July/August 2003 NCJ, and added several bullets to the list titled Contesting Etiquette. I passed this on to Ward, NAX, and he used it in the 1 December 2004 issue of the Contesters Rate Sheet. So not only do we have to introduce newcomers into contesting, we need to mentor them in the proper techniques. This will take care of the newcomers, but it doesnt take care of existing contesters. All I can say here is that I hope my Contesting Etiquette list or something similar makes the rounds of the contest clubs to collectively improve our operating techniques. And if youre not already subscribed to cq-contest, I encourage you to do so. Go to Then click on the Contest List link on the left side of the home page, and then click on the CQ-Contest list. Subscribing is easy, and this will enable you to read about current issues in contesting. Stealth Contesting This issue contains an interesting story from Mike, W7DRA, about his stealth 40meter CQ WPX CW 2004 contesting effort from a condominium. This is a refreshing article for those contesters who cannot adorn their property with antennas. Mike gives us some insight into what he went through to do a single band effort from a somewhat unfriendly QTH with respect to Amateur Radio. Technology has certainly helped in this area, with low profile vertical antennas and antenna tuners allowing operation with almost any piece of wire we can get up (for example, check out W1ZRs Product Review of automatic antenna tuners in the May 2004 QST). Does anybody out there do their contesting with stealth antennas? I think this would make a good article to encourage others to jump in and have fun even though you dont have stacked monobanders. Mike also mentions the ARRL publication Stealth Amateur Radio by K. A. Kleinschmidt. Gary, K4UU, read this book, and commented that it gave him some ideas for use outside of the US when vacationing or contesting. Comments About Antenna Modeling Articles No doubt youve noticed many antenna articles in recent issues of NCJ. There are two reasons for thisI receive a lot of antenna articles and I like antenna articles. I like them because I believe they can give us ideas for our specific situation. In other words, you may not exactly duplicate what

By Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA

the author did, but it may lead you to a version that fits your goals. Youve probably also noticed that many of these antenna articles are based only on a model they havent been physically built. My philosophy on this aspect is if a practical implementation of a model is not likely, then I probably wont run it. But if a practical implementation is likely, then Ill run it as I said earlier, it may give you an idea or may push you to contact the author and ask. what would happen if I did this? Photo Credits With respect to the photos of the N5YA contest station on the cover of the November/December issue, Matt, N5KR, took the sunset picture and Bill, N5YA, took the snowman picture. RTTY Contesting Column This issue carries the last RTTY Contesting column by John, WA9ALS. John picked up this column with the January/ February 2003 issue. Johnthanks for all your great effort over the past two years in bringing the NCJ readership news about RTTY contesting.

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January/February 2005 3

A Triband Beam For 40/80 And 160 Meters

Wire beams for the low HF bands (40/ 80/160), are large and must be spaced well apart from other wire beams to operate correctly. This requires an area that may not be available. It occurred to me that the solution to this problem is to put up only one antenna that works well on all three bands. Using traps was not desirable since they can be lossy, heavy to lift and severely limit the useful bandwidth of the antenna. I have followed a different method to get the most out of this design. In the past, I have had excellent results with interlacing the parasitic elements on multi-band antennas. A 2-element design with parasitic directors on each band looked excellent on the computer and was chosen as the approach. Wires Over Trees I am fortunate here in Florida to have many large (100 foot +) pine trees in my yard (plan ahead when buying a house). I use a 30 lb bow to shoot arrows over the tops of these trees. A small spool (2500 feet) of 17 lb-test nylon line, mounted on the bow in a Tracker attachment, is tied to the back of the arrow and allows the line to deploy from the inside of the spool with very little drag on the arrow. The Tracker was designed to follow deer through the woods after wounding them. With the small line over the top of the tree, a larger line (rope) is tied on and pulled over the tree. I use 3/16 Dacron rope that is rated for 700 lbs. Often a stout pull on the line is required to free the rope from tangles on the branches. The rope is then tied on to the end of the antenna wire (through a loop) and the antenna can be pulled up. If the wire is a beam parasitic element, I also add an additional small rope in the center of the element so that it can be pulled back down as required for adjustment. This rope is also a visual aid in locating the center of the element. Driven Element It is desirable to have a single driven element so that only one feedline is required. By varying the spacing of the parasitic elements, the center feed impedance can be approximately the same on all three bands. Figure 1 is a schematic of a 3-band driven element using vacuum relays to connect wire sections as required. Recent wire beams that I have put up used 4 January/February 2005 #14 Vinyl coated speaker wire, obtained in 250-foot lengths from Home Depot. This wire is very strong and is insulated from direct contact with the tree limbs. It is two conductor and is an equivalent #11 when paralleled. For this triband beam, +24V or -24V is sent up the coax to operate vacuum relays in the driven element. The relays connect wire sections of the driven element so that the length is correct for half wave resonance on each band. The control voltage is sent along the 2-conductor antenna wire to the relays. A diode in series with the first set of relays prevents them from operating if the polarity is wrong while the second set of relays (farther out) operates if either polarity is applied. All of the relays in my junk box were Jennings RF5A type relays that are SPST Normally Closed. The default band (no control voltage) is 160 meters where all relays are closed and all of the wire is used. Center Feed Assembly Figure 2 is a pictorial layout of the center feed assembly of the driven element. A coax balun is wound on an Amidon FT240, Type 61 toroid using the last 48 inches of the feed coax (RG58A/U). Forty-thousand picofarad mica capacitors are used on each side to connect the two antenna wires in parallel at the RF frequencies. RF chokes (100 H from RadioShack) span the left and right sides of the antenna wires so that the control voltage reaches all relays. A pair of chokes in series is used to insure adequate voltage rating for the choke. The whole assembly is built on a 6 6 1/4-inch piece of UHMW (ultra high density polyethylene available from plastic suppliers for about $15 per square foot) plastic. This plastic is strong, UV resistant and will last many years outside in bright sunlight. The construction was much like a printed circuit board with 1 /8-inch brass eyelets pressed into holes in the board where 2 or more wires connect together. The balun toroid is mounted using tie-wraps through holes in the board. The vinyl coated antenna wires go through holes 3/4 inch from the edges and are tied in a knot to secure them. The wire end is then split and the individual wires are soldered in the appropriate eyelets. When the construction and soldering was finished, the full assembly was coated with silicone rubber (normally used to seal around windows)

Floyd Koontz, WA2WVL

on both sides. This covers the RF connections and components and secures the balun to the board. Relay Assembly The relay assemblies are built on a 3 6 1/4-inch piece of UHMW. Figure 3 is a pictorial layout. Two relays are used on the inside boards and only one relay on the outside boards. Only the inner pair of boards has the diode in series with the relay coils. Small slots were cut in the board to allow the relays to fit more closely. Again, as in the center feed assembly, 1 /8-inch eyelets are used to stabilize the connections and the entire board is coated with silicone rubber after the antenna wire connections are made. No decoupling chokes are required at the relay coils since everything at this point on the antenna is at the same RF potential. Feedline The feedline should be as lightweight as possible so that the center of the antenna is at maximum height. Two choices were considered for feeding. The computer design gave a feed impedance of about 25 for being optimum for gain and front to back (F/B). Two 50- feedlines in parallel could be run to ground level where the 25 would be transformed to 50 (transformer or L network). The second approach is to use a single 50- feedline of known length and match the 2:1 VSWR to 50 with a small L network on the ground. This option was selected to minimize feedline weight on the center of the dipole and to allow fine tuning the match in the shack. In my case, the feedline length was picked to be an electrical one half wavelength at 3.8MHz (86 feet). The dipole went over my house and 86 feet would reach the operating position. This coax is approximately 1/4 wave at 1.84 MHz and near 1 wavelength at 7.2 MHz. Using RG58A/U the calculated impedance in the shack was 106-j.6 at 1.84MHz, 26.2- j .7 at 3.80MHz, and 26.9-j12.2 at 7.20MHz. The added loss in the coax due to VSWR is less than .25db on 40 meters and much less on the lower bands. Since the coax was to be 1/2 wavelength long at 3.8 MHz, it was first cut at 88 feet and trimmed until the MFJ-259B bridge indicated a near short (about 5.5 ) at the transmitter end at 3.8MHz (with the antenna feedpoint shorted).


Figure 1A schematic of a 3band driven element using vacuum relays to connect wire sections as required.

L Network Design The L networks were designed using the TL software written by Dean Straw, N6BV, of the ARRL, and are shown in Figure 4. After the L networks were installed, each was tested using dummy loads built to measure the same as the calculated impedances. It is interesting to note that for resistive impedances of 1535 at 3.80 MHz the required inductance is a constant 1.1 H. The capacitance ranges from 1300-500 pf. Control Unit Figure 5 is a schematic of the control unit built for this antenna. A four-deck radio switch was available and was built into a small box. The back two decks of the switch were used to switch the 3 L networks designed to match the calculated impedances. The front two decks were wired to produce the control voltages that were then fed through RF chokes to the antenna port on the box. A small bridge rectifier allows monitoring, with a front panel LED, that control voltage is present on the coax (regardless of polarity). This line was fused to save the power supply from a feedline short. Antenna Tune-Up One important bit of information the computer tells us is where the feed dipole should be resonant without the directors present. This is shown in Table 1. Since the dipole impedances are going to be near 50 without the directors, the control box was temporarily rewired to bypass the L networks. The control voltages are still needed on the antenna coax. The dipole was erected and the control unit band switch was set to 40 meters. The hanging wires on the 40-meter section were adjusted to give the best VSWR at 7122 kHz (by letting down the antenna). Next, the band switch was set to 80 meters and the second set of hanging wires was adjusted for best VSWR at 3735 kHz. And finally, the bands witch was set to 160 meters and the lengths of the end wires were reduced to give the best VSWR at 1806 kHz. The surprise was that the total length of the 160-meter element had to be reduced by 8% to get it up to 1806 kHz due to the Table 1 Resonance Frequency of Driven Element Without Directors
Frequency Impedance 1806 kHz (for 80 foot spacing) 3735 kHz (for 30 foot spacing) 7122 kHz (for 16 foot spacing)

46.9-j. 1 70.5+j.2 47.8-j.3


January/February 2005

end loading of the pine trees. Nearly all of the end wires on 160 were in the trees, while the 40 and 80 parts of the dipole were in the clear. With this type of Yagi, adding the directors will bring the tuned frequency up. NEC-Wires shows a sensitivity to height of 4.3 KHz per foot at 7.2 MHz, 2.5 kHz per foot at 3.8 MHz and only 0.2 kHz per foot at 1.84 MHz. Thus it is important to get the dipole back up at the same height when doing the adjustments and drawing conclusions from the results. The next step is putting up the directors. Getting the spacing per the design can be difficult when the elements are at the top of tall trees. Fortunately, the design is somewhat forgiving; the spacing can be less than parallel and it will still work. The control box was rewired to include the L networks; after the directors were all up, the driven element tuned frequencies were again measured. The method that I call Offset Frequency Tuning was used to check each director by using the change in driven element resonance as the director was pulled up. When the director was too long, the upward shift was small and the director was let down and shortened. When the correct shift was reached, the length was correct. On 40 and 80 meters, only small changes were needed from the original design, but on 160, the pine trees required 4% reduction in the length of the director. The shift would have been downward if reflectors had been used. The driven element hanging wires were adjusted to get the frequencies close and then the L networks were reinstalled and tweaked to set the best match to the design frequencies. Figure 6 shows the final dimensions of this triband beam. The ends of the 160-meter

Table 2 Calculated Performance

Freq 1.84 3.80 7.20 Gain 8.4 dBi 9.l dBi 10.9 dBi F/B 21.5 dB 23 dB 10.4 dB Angle* 52 39 23 BW** 74 71 72 Impedance 23.9+ j 0 20.2+j 0 18.7+j 0 2:1 VSWR BW*** 1818-1849 kHz 3772-3821 kHz 7140-7239 kHz

* Takeoff angle in degrees ** Azimuth beam width in degrees *** Frequency range for less than 2:1 VSWR

Figure 2 A pictorial layout of the center feed assembly of the driven element. A coax balun is wound on an Amidon FT-240, Type 61 toroid using the last 48 inches of the feed coax (RG58A/U).

Figure 3A pictorial layout of the relay assemblies. Two relays are used on the inside boards and only one relay on the outside boards.

Figure 4The L networks.

January/February 2005


Table 3 Measured Performance

160 Meters Freq VSWR 1800 1.53 1810 1.40 1820 1.30 1830 1.20 1840 1.09 1846 1.05 1850 1.05 1860 1.14 1870 1.25 1880 1.36 1890 1.50 1900 1.64 1910 1.78 1920 1.91 1925 2.00 80 Meters Freq 3738 3768 3786 3800 3814 3831 3857 40 Meters Freq 7121 7162 7184 7200 7220 7241 7279 VSWR 2.00 1.50 1.22 1.06 1.22 1.50 2.00 VSWR 2.00 1.50 1.22 1.06 1.22 1.50 2.00

Figure 5A schematic of the control unit.

Figure 6The final dimensions of the triband beam.


January/February 2005

elements do droop somewhat, but this is no problem. By using a signal generator and a return loss bridge, the match on each band was adjusted to 1.05:1 VSWR (32 dB return loss) at the design center frequencies. Calculated And Measured Performance This antenna has a nice pattern on all three bands and the calculated performance (using NEC-Wires) is shown in Table 2. The measured VSWR band-

width is somewhat wider due to losses and is listed in Table 3. CW/Phone Operation On 80 Meters It would be possible to add a fourth position on the control box band switch to match the CW end of the 80-meter band (fourth L network). Gain would be reduced by about 3 dB (director too short by 7 feet) and F/B would drop to near zero, but a good 50- match could be had. If the director were lengthened by some means, then the performance

(gain and F/B) at 3.550 MHz would be about the same as at 3.8 MHz. Conclusion This antenna was erected on Europe and fulfills my need for a beam on the low bands where receiving directivity is very important. It would have been a 3element design if more space had been available. I would not expect many hams to duplicate it but maybe it will inspire some new antenna designs using wire beams.

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January/February 2005


Snippets from the 2004 IARU HF Championship

de K5ZD: I must be getting old, but I wish all DX contests were 24 hours. Love the intensity and pressure not to miss any openings. de K4JA: Wow! Nine hours of 100+ rate! Five hours of 90-99 rates! Who said this is summer propagation? de ZS4TX: Not a good year to be in ITU Zone 57. Good local EU propagation made it difficult to hold a frequency from here. Less than 10 USA stations heard/worked during the entire contest! Thirty percent of the total number of QSOs was made during one hour at the start plus another hour at the end of the contest. In between those hours, it was no pleasure operating! Thanks to all the JAs that called. de K7RL: Mother Nature gave us a nice gift at 1:00am Sunday morning with a rip-roaring JA opening on 15m. That little surprise added about 250 fivepointers to the log during what is typically a slow period. It sure pays to check those would-be dead bands. de WB9Z: Had to shut down totally a couple of times when the lightning got too close and I could hear the thunder with the headset on above the 50 over QRN. As usual 40, 80 and 160 were a struggle. de VE3XD: My personal best effort in this one. CW was the only way to play well in this one. It seems to be the favorite mode of IARU contesters. de WD4AHZ: Sur pr ise direct EU opening on 10 meters around 2200Z, but not many stations to work (11). I heard DAHQ CQing away for about 2 hours. de LZ4AX at K3CR: Initially planned as a serious effort, then as not that serious, then again serious. I kept changing my mind until the contest began and then I just got sucked in. Had many interesting momentssome really funny, some not that funny and some almost miserable. Spent a lot of time hunting HQ stations but besides P4HQ, W1AW/, NU1AW and K1ZZ, couldnt get anyone else on six bands. de W4PA: Lots of hours running only the top antenna on the high band stacks - 15 meters had EU signals that were audible on the top antenna, less so on the stack and not at all on the bottom antenna. de DL6FBL: A constant stream of callers produced 22 clock hours of 100+ QSOs. Only two hours with less than 100 QSOs (03z = 92 QSOs, 04z = 98 QSOs). Best clock hour was 19z with 190 QSOs
sitting on 14.175 open to all continents. I consequently forced myself to a SO2R strategy. I made 375 QSOs on the second radio, of which 125 were multipliers. If I appeared a little absent or not responsive when you called me on my running frequency, thats why: half of my brains were on the other band. de AC5AA: Daytime Saturday was frustrating with low power, a wire and a vertical. Evening brought better propagation, but it was still a fight to get eastern EU and UAs over the pole to copy. SA, which usually has good prop from here was dismal both in numbers heard and ability to be heard. de N9RV: Very interesting contest. Never a dull moment. This contest has great rules, and great all band activity. Hard to complain about a contest that gives you 100/hrs all contest long! de KT1V: How come I can easily stay up the first 30 hours plus of CQ or ARRL, but have trouble doing 24 hours straight in IARU? de K5ER: Our first attempt at M/S ever. Lots to learn; strategy is the key! A good antenna-switching scheme is a must. de K OU: Didnt intend to put that much time into this one. Still reeling from Field Day operations, but cleaned the desk off and hooked everything up and had just too much fun. I took an hour at a time off for meals and slept 3 hours. CW much more fun than SSB. de IO4T: Very funny contest as always. Good conditions on the bands. For the first time we pushed on CW instead of phone and we had a good QSO number. We didnt expect almost 2000 QSOs since we planned 1500. We kept an almost constant run of 80+ QSOs/hr, peaking 110 and just a couple of hours at 60 QSOs/hr. de K3ZO: I had to scramble to get ready for this one as on June 17 a thunderstorm with constant lightning parked over my home for three hours and my tallest tower (140 feet of Rohn 80) took at least three direct hits. My shack computer was fried, my FT-1000MP transceiver damaged and telephone service was out for a week. de NX5M: Many band changes at night. It was hard to leave 20 to go grab Qs and mults on the low bands. There was a lot of laughter in the wee hours of the night; I think we all got so tired we were just getting silly. Heard one guy on 40 work someone and give his grid square! Thunderstorms the day before the contest. Thun-

Compiled by Jim George, N3BB

derstorms the afternoon of the contest, but they skirted past us. de W1WEF: Never expected 10 meters to open as well as it did. SFI was 78 or so at the start and I never felt so weak (signal wise). I also never had so many stations ask for repeats on my call before. de VA3NR: Fun, but hard work with QRP and simple antennas. I missed many multipliers I felt I could have worked with just a few more dB. But really most of the time I was amazed at the great ears out there. Sometimes fluttery S3 DX would come right back after one call, and there were lots of domestic contest regulars that heard me on several bands. Thanks! Main goal was 2-radio practice, and I did keep a different radio in each ear almost continuously. de KP4KE: early in the morning, I had one-way conditions and my 4 W cant make the trip. I needed to wait until the signals would get higher than 10db over S9 to make the calls. The 40-meter band was great, but 4 W is not enough. Eighty meters band was tough, but I made 14 stations and 11 mults. The worst was 160 meters. I called my neighbors and even they couldnt hear me. I think my 4 W never get out of the coaxial cable. de N4PN: Dont think I would be classified as SO2R as I only used the second rig to find band openings and mults. I listened on a long wire run up in a pine tree and over in a neighbors yard. Im too old for the 48-hour runs anymore and the 24-hour contests are much better. de K6VVA: Contesting is addictive. My original IARU plan was for 2 hours max. Amended for addiction it became 10+ hours. de KE5C at N5TW: This was my third SO2R effort, and the first where I actually felt comfortable. Six hundred and ninety-three QSOs (72 percent) were on the (100-W) CQ radio, and 274 (28 percent) were on the search and pounce radio. However, several hours were spent sending dueling CQs with each radio alternating a CQ, so merely looking at the QSOs by radio doesnt show how helpful a second radio is, especially at a low power station. de VE3DZ: Always fun to participate in this contest. I had a decent run on 20 meters in the afternoon (best hour was 112/hr). Although 15 meters was better than expected, I never managed to produce an EU run there besides few sporadic US pileups. Since Ive done this


January/February 2005

contest many times from both EU and NA, I can say that the European advantage of having the opportunity to work more multipliers on 80 and 160 meters is obvious. Just look at the huge number of HQ stations from Europe and compare it to NU1AW, VE7RAC and W1AW from NA. de W4EF at W6UE: Decided to try this one at the last minute despite feeling absolutely awful before the contest. Almost quit at the 12-hour mark thinking that there was no way in hell I could make it the full 24 hours and extract any enjoyment from it, but I wanted to get to the 1000 QSO mark before throwing in the towel. Mysteriously, I started to feel better after the 12-hour mark, so I just kept going and was actually in good shape when I reached the 24-hour point. I was too tired to drive home safely, however, so I had to nap on the linoleum with nothing but a pillow for a few hours (it got real chilly with no blanket). de KI5DR at K5NA: Funny story of the weekend: having to listen to me say the word Frequency (listening this frequency and). Apparently, the lips gave out around 20 hours after the start of the contest. I sounded like Porky Pig (Fweckency!). de VE3EY: Twenty meters was a real

workhorse and it was open all the time from here. I think I missed at least a dozen mults by not spending enough time on 15 and 10. de K7ZSD: While Mitch, K7RL, ran a few hundred JAs on 15 meters at 1AM local time, I was sitting way back in the chair calling CQ on the voice keyer, working 30 stations an hour on 40 meters. Why didnt someone tell me 15 meters can be open in the middle of the night! de ZL1V: Used our new ZL1V (at ZL6QH) contest call for the first time, and only a few stations asked for the second letter of the suffix! Enjoyable event, despite not very good propagation from down here. de N3BB: No JAs here on 15! Bummer. The 24-hour length is so nice and allows little room for error if one misses a band opening (like I did on 10 meters). de K4BAI: Surprisingly, 15 meters opened to Europe as early as 1130Z on Sunday giving a last chance at some mults there, including Scandinavians who were missing on Saturday. Ten and 15 meters had some good short E skip on Saturday, but there was very little activity on those bands. Twenty meters was often open to Japan, but there seemed to be very little activity from there. de KZ5D: After several frustrating ex-

periences with SO2R (cant teach an old dog new tricks), I went single radio and did better than last year. Hats off to the guys who can master that method. de OE2S: Nice contest again and good sporadic conditions. We prefer 24hour contests in summer. de B4HQ: This was our second effort as CRSA HQ. More ops and stations than last year joined us. What a contest! de N5LT: I was looking for a good contest to practice in and this fit the agenda nicely. It offers decent rates, the need to hunt for mults and having to stay alert since you only get a shot at things once. Plus the 24-hour format left time for me to get home, sleep and still get to church as well as play with the kids. de S53R at A61AJ: Very tough on 160 and 10 from this part of the world even with the big antennas at A61AJ. de NK7U: The highlight was probably that crazy middle-of-the-night opening to JA on 15 meters. We kept wondering what was going on when all we could muster was one JA for the mult and the HQ station at normal times. Then 15 meters stayed open all night to UA9, then to Europe for a bit, and then back to JA! It was crazy, but well take it! Fifteen meters was also great to Europe during the day, which was a huge surprise as well.

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January/February 2005


Reader Feedback to Use of Comparative Analysis to Estimate the DX Prowess of HF Receivers

I was very interested in SP7HTs article on HF receivers (in the September/ October 2004 NCJEd ), with its excellent analysis and tabulation of measured parameters, but I cannot say that I agree at all with his conclusions on the order of importance of receiver parameters. Close-in performance on SSB is rarely limited by the receiver performance, but by the intermodulation products of the interfering station, and at 5 kHz off-tune, a receiver has to be worse than awful if communication is not limited by the IMD of the interfererwhich, if good, is about -45 to 50 dB. In contests, as we all know, its often a good deal worse! But by looking at the figures for the 4kHz offset phase noise, another picture appears, at least for the CW and other narrow band mode operator. Assuming a 500 Hz-wide IF filter, the noise in it will be 27dB higher than in a 1 Hz bandwidth. So taking a receiver with phase noise at 4 kHz of 124 dBc/Hz, the effective noise in 500 Hz will be 97 dBc. In other words, a signal 97 dB above the receiver noise floor will cause an increase in that noise floor of 3 dB (this assumes a flat phase noise spectral density within the IF bandwidth, which is not unreasonable). From this, it is legitimate to ask what purpose is served by having a blocking dynamic range appreciably in excess of this figure. Again, the purity or otherwise of the interferer needs to be considered. A Kenwood TS-2000 transceiver 4kHz away is going to give a signal in a 500Hz bandwidth around 88dB downand there is nothing the receiver can do about it. The general effects of phase noise in the wideband case are much more insidious. This is because the phase noise produced by all the signals present in the front end of the receiver mixing with the receiver local oscillator sum to raise the overall noise floor. My ar ticle in QEX in Apr il 2002 showed that in fact, in a rural area in western Europe, phase noise was overall more of a problem than intermodulation, and that in any case, a most useful addition was an attenuator in the receiver antenna lead. A point that has been made by Doug Smith, KF6DX, in the pages of QEX is the difficulty of making accurate thirdorder intercept measurements. If there is a measurement uncertainty through the generators, combiners, cables and connectors and input SWR of the receiver summing to +/-1 dB, then the intercept measurement is +/-3 dB. Achieving the 1 dB is difficult even under Test House conditions. For a discussion of measurement uncertainty, see the ETSI report ETR 028 on measurement uncertaintiesavailable from My listing of the important parameters would therefore be: 1. Phase noiseclose in (4 kHz) and plotted far out (even up to 200 kHz) to pick up the effects of reference frequency sidebands. 2. IMD performance at 4 or 5 kHz off and further away. Again, though, very good IMD performance at 4 kHz is no help if the phase noise in the receiver lets the system down. 3. Blockingbut rarely will it be the limit, as phase noise effects happening first. The major problem is frequently the transmitter performance. For some reason, most modern transceivers (modern is probably post 1975 in this case!) are especially poor on key clicks. This may be because they are shaped for use at high speed50 or 60 WPM where suitable shaping to reduce clicks slows the character edges sufficiently to produce unwanted tails on the characters. Additionally, especially for high

Peter E. Chadwick, G3RZP

power applications, many operators prefer hard keying as being easier to copy. Or it may be that the designers never actually use CW, or even think about it! However, it is a fact that many transmitters are decidedly antisocial in this respect: once the envelope has been shaped for a sharp edge, the speed of Morse transmission makes no difference to the spread of the key clicks, of course. The result is frequently that a strong unwanted station 4 kHz away will either wipe out the wanted station by key clicks on CW, or intermodulation products on SSB, and receiver performance can do little to cure that. All of which is not to say that close-in performance is unimportant, but the actual performance parameter is. From the practical viewpoint, it matters little whether the performance is limited by gain compression or phase noise; the results are pretty much the samereception failure. In many cases, poorly designed transmitters compound the problem. It is now well over 30 years ago that an SSB station on 80 meters was heard to tell someone, I cant be splattering! The rig here is a Collins KWM2. A similar response these days (except for Collins, substitute whoever) can often be found when a report of 599K so bad its 599KKKis sent!

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January/February 2005


M8C IOTA Contest 2004

The Isles of Scilly lie 28 miles southwest of the tip of Cornwall in the Atlantic Ocean. There are over 30 islands, of which the largest five are inhabited. Total population of the islands is around 2000, though summer visitors considerably increase this number. The islands temperature is regulated by the Gulf Stream, and the world-renowned Abbey Garden on the second largest island, Tresco, grows many species of plants that cannot survive anywhere else in the British Isles. Although part of England and therefore using the G prefix, the islands are attractive from a radio viewpoint because they comprise the EU-011 group for the RSGB IOTA award. Of special interest to contesters is the IOTA contest which takes place each year on the last full weekend of July. In early 2003, Nobby Styles, G0VJG, conceived the idea of a DXpedition to the islands by the Cray Valley Radio Society for the 2004 IOTA contest, using the clubs contest call sign M8C. His initial inquiries revealed that there is a ferry service to the islands, but I had been on a holiday to the islands in 1990 and had to warn him that this was not a roll-on roll-off car ferry. Normally the ferry takes foot passengers only, and this would limit the amount of gear that could be taken. Cray Valley RS is located in southeast London and was responsible for organising the M2000A millennium station at Greenwich, and the GB50 Jubilee station at Windsor Castle. The club has participated in a number of contests but this DXpedition would be the clubs biggest contest effort to date. Plans for the trip started shortly after the 2003 contest, by which time the team comprised Nobby GVJG, Ralph 2EATY, Simon M3CVN, Richard G7GLW, Chris GFDZ and myself. With help from G3RPC, one of the islands two resident amateurs, we found a site on a farm on the eastern side of the main island, St Marys. Holiday accommodation on the islands is often booked from one year to the next and it was not possible to stay close to the site, but the only town on St Marys, Hugh Town, is just a mile and a half away on the other side of the island and we found bed and breakfast accommodation there. The farmer suggested we arrange to bring a car over on the ferry because of all the gear that had to be transported. Visitors cars are not normally carried to the islands, but the ferry company was able to accommodate our request. Nobbys car was the biggest so that was the one we chose to take, but even with the back seats taken out it was filled right to the roof with gear. The accompanying picture shows the car, fully loaded, being lifted into the hold of the ferry by crane. We planned to take everything with us apart from scaffold poles that we had arranged to hire from a builder on the island. Chris, GFDZ took charge of the inventory and we decided to use the WPX phone contest in March for a dummy run from the home of Cray Val-

Dave Lawley, G4BUO

ley member G3YJW. Operating WPX was secondary: the main objectives were (1) to test the radios and computers in the configuration planned for IOTA; (2) to test that the steel scaffold masts could be erected safely; (3) to find out if all the gear could be loaded into one car. The answer to this latter point was yes, but only just! We had some fun in WPX, too, making 1323 QSOs in a little over 24 hours operation. The dummy run proved extremely useful, especially the computer setup using three laptops running Writelog under W98SE and networked with wireless adapters in ad-hoc mode. This is something that definitely could not be left until we were on the islands. On Wednesday, July 21, three cars traveled the 300 miles from London to Penzance, and the team met at 5:30 in the morning outside the harbor to transfer three carloads of gear into one. Once this was done, there was no room in Nobbys car for a passenger. The threehour boat trip to the Isles of Scilly was very smooth and we arrived at the site around 1PM. A couple of hours later the first mast was up, supporting my muchtravelled TET three element tribander at about 34 feet. Above this was a 6-meter beam for operation outside the contest, and the mast also supported a 40-meter dipole. Although this was only about 32 feet high, it proved to be a killer antenna. We got a line into a tree to support the 80-meter broadband dipole at about 35 feet, and put up dipoles for 30 and 12 meters at about 25 feet.

G0VJGs car containing all the gear being lifted into the hold of the ferry.

In the foreground Simon, M3CVN, on the run station while G7GLW and GVJG search for mults.


January/February 2005


The second main mast, which would support the homebrew two-element 10/ 15-meter quad at about 35 feet, could not go up until the following day because of a problem with the rotator control line. We did a little operation on 40 meters on Wednesday evening, but concentrated on the WARC bands so as not to diminish the number of people wanting to work EU-011 in the contest. On Thursday, we put up the mast for the quad, which also supported a dipole for 17 meters. We set up the station in the configuration planned for the contest, including Dunestar filters on both rigs and stubs on all the main feed lines. Including feeds to the VHF and WARC band antennas, we used a total of 1200 feet of coax. The tribander and 15-meter quad were fitted with 22-foot open and shorted stubs, respectively, allowing the tribander to be used on 10 and 20 meters at the same time that the quad was used on 15 meters. The IOTA contest rules allow two transmitters, with the second one only used for multipliers, much like the CQWW multi-single rule (which is nothing of the sort). Our two stations could perform either role, but generally, the run station was Ralphs FT1000MP Mark V transceiver and Quadra amplifier, while the multiplier station was my FT1000MP and Dentron MLA2500 amplifier. With filters and stubs in place, we confirmed there was almost no inter-station QRM, but during the contest something changed and by the Sunday we were getting quite severe mutual interference. With everything ready to go, we concentrated on the WARC bands on Thursday but also worked a number of Cray Valley members back home on 80 and 40 meters. Throughout the trip, the weather was sunny and hot, and with no major hitches, we were able to take it easy on Friday; four of us went to Tresco and the others stayed to work the radio. But as conditions took a dive, they took some time off to go fishing. The worsening conditions were a portent of things to come. In total, there were five operators available for the contest. Chris, GFDZ is a superb technician and provided much technical support but he does not operate HF; instead he had brought 10GHz equipment along to give the very rare IN69 square to a number of microwavers who had their own contest scheduled for Sunday. So we had five operators for the contest, of which I was the only CW operator. I was happy about this on a personal level, as I like lots of time in the chair, but it was a weakness in the makeup of the team. Three of the other four are promising to work on their CW skills for next year. Given the poor

M8C QSO Breakdown

Band 80 40 20 15 10 CW QSOs 187 217 136 25 2 CW mults 38 39 36 18 2 Phone QSOs 230 613 519 338 115 Phone mults 34 57 75 54 9

conditions we thought we would start running on SSB on 20 or maybe 15 meters, but just before the start we found 10 meters had opened short-skip to Europe, so Ralph kicked off on 10 meter phone and put 112 QSOs into the log in the first 40 minutes, after which the band died completely. Meanwhile I picked off

as many multipliers as I could on 15meter phone and CW. We also had a receiving position available with a Butternut vertical antenna, so a third operator was occupied searching for mults and viewing mults coming in from a Telnet cluster connection using GPRS. Unfortunately, the GPRS connection wouldnt work with Writelog, which meant that we were unable to feed spots directly to the operators packet spot window, and this had a significant effect on our multiplier performance. The rules of the IOTA contest count 15 points per QSO with an island station (one giving an IOTA reference such as EU-011), and 3 points otherwise. Each IOTA reference worked per band per mode counts as a multiplier. So, al-

Antennas seen from the coastal path on the east of the island. 10/15-meter quad up 35 feet, TB33 tribander up 34 feet with a 6-meter Yagi above, and an 11element 2-meter Yagi on a 29 foot pole to the right.

Takeoff to JA from the coastal path, looking across the outer uninhabited islands. Antennas are about 200 feet inland from this point.


January/February 2005


Team photo before the start of the contest. Left to right: Chris, GFDZ, Dave, G4BUO, Richard, G7GLW, Nobby, GVJG, Simon, M3CVN and Ralph, 2EATY.

though M8C on EU-011 is attractive for QSOs and multipliers, its not as attractive as MD4K or GU8D, which are in more rare DXCC entities. Nevertheless,

we felt we should be able to run for the entire contest period and the plan was to run mainly on phone, but to run CW for part of the time overnight on 40 and

80 meters. As conditions deteriorated, it became harder to maintain a run on SSB and I spent much of the night on the key, alternating between increasingly slow runs on 40 and 80 meters. We had some good phone runs on 40 and 80 meters in the late afternoon and evening, and every QSO with G counted 15 points as they are located on EU-005, a separate IOTA reference. This was repeated on Sunday morning when we made maximum use of 40 meters to work Gs, again at 15 points per QSO. We had some brief runs to the States on 20 meters, but the last W worked was at 2130Z and the band closed shortly afterwards. To show how poor HF conditions were, we only made four Stateside QSOs on 15 meters and we worked just one solitary JA during the whole contest. This was especially disappointing as we had a superb sea path to the northeast, and Japanese stations, being located on islands, are all worth 15 points. We pushed hard in the last hour to try to reach the goal of 2400 QSOs, which would have been an average of 100 per hour for the contest, but finished fractionally short with 2382 QSOs and just 366 mults. Multipliers are the area that will need attention next year, but in dreadful conditions we were pleased with the score of 6M points, which would have been good enough to win the contest three years before. As it is, we hope we have done enough to finish in the Top Ten. The QSO breakdown is shown in the accompanying table, from which it can be seen that I didnt spend quite enough time in the chair as the low CW totals on HF contributed to the poor multiplier performance. Conditions turned truly auroral shortly after the end of the contest. Chris, GFDZ, was unable to use 2 meters for microwave talkback so I spent some time working the aurora on 2 meters, with the best DX being SP2EKO at 1731km. The keener members of the team went back to the site after a celebratory meal in town to work some more pileups until the early hours of Monday morning, while I got some sleep. The team assembled at 9AM on Monday morning at the site and, as is always the case with field day style operations, tear down took very little time. Everything was packed into the car before midday, in plenty of time for the daily ferry that departed at 4 PM. Our pre-planning, including the inventory maintained by Chris and the dummy run at G3YJW, contributed to a trouble free and very enjoyable IOTA DXpedition, and the team is planning a return trip to EU-011 for 2005. There is fur ther information and pictures at m8c.html and the QSL manager for M8C and G3RCV/P is G4DFI.


January/February 2005


My Linear Problem
The first roots of my linear problem were seeded in my early years of hamming. I ran a Ranger 1, which had a power output of 50 W on a good day. Even to a nice 2-element ZL special antenna, this did not break the pileups. After you have been completely stepped on 2000 times, some little wire snaps in the brain. Over the years, I finally saved enough money for a Swan 600T transceiver; now you were really piling on some power. Into a nice ground plane antenna, that rig could get out. At the Foundation for Amateur Radio hamfest in Maryland in 1978, I stumbled across a real HT-41 for $225. Yes, the rectifiers glowed blue, just like my Uncles (W2MS) Thunderbolt! This unit required a lot of modification in order to make it run in actual standby mode in standby, and had already been upgraded to two 572Bs. Now I could break the pile-ups most of the time. However, the linear problem is one that never goes away. I was soon off to an SB-220. Then to the Ten Tec Titan. This last rig was not so good. First, a capacitor blew up on 20 meters in midcontest, then the wattmeter bit the dust due to a transient open antenna (this happens), then the vacuum relay died. Out it goes. My first Alpha amp (a 76 three tube) arrived. This thing really puts out power from a compact package; I owned it for 20 years. I still wanted the best. What the heck does that mean, anyway? Got a Commander HF2500. This thing can cook any antenna made, unless it is equipped with a DX Engineering 5 kW balun. Unfortunately, the Commander can also cook itself. The blower shorted (admittedly a rare occurrence). This leads to the power transformer having an unbelievable hum, smoking literally to the point of filling the room with smoke, the computer monitor going haywire, finally blowing the line fuse. This was cheerfully repaired, but later I bought the Alpha 87Athe Cadillac (more like a Lamborghini). This unit tunes itself up! The only problem is there are two types of hams: the ones with all antennas offering 1:1 SWRs and the ones with mismatches all over the place from 1.8 to 3:1 SWR. If you are the latter type of ham (and the latter type of ham can get out the loss table to prove he or she is only losing an additional 0.3 db), that Alpha 87A is not going to like you at all. So I was forced to consult my contesting Guru, Steve, K2SB, who said, Yes, a lot of guys in the club sold their 87As. They were aggravated that their linears were constantly shutting themselves off. Since it is very well known that Steve cannot tell a lie, I sold my 87A. Meanwhile, I was willed a Harris amp. Two hundred for ty-six pounds, 2-30 MHz, 3-1000Z. Yes, this was fun, but not really a day-in day-out amp due to its age. It was fully capable of legal output. Now to Ameritron. I had seen a conver ted L4B with an outboard power transformer in action; I got the model with 3-500ZGs. This is a nice linear. Put that fan in the high position and the thing sounds like a 747 taking off; you really dont have to worry about the tubes. Four years later, I am bored with the orange plates. What to do? Back to the Alpha 76A. Now this is a fine linear. There is of course the problem of the inability of being able to buy a nice spare linear at a hamfest. This would include the Sideband Engineering SB2-LA sweep tube unit, which is extremely portable, and a used Collins 30L-1. Please remember that the Collins uses negative 150 Vdc for relay keying. I think the Ameritron AL-811 converted to a pair of 572Bs makes the ideal DXpedition linear. It costs $325 used, fits in a carry on, and is indestructible if you take the top off and stuff rags around the tubes. Take the rags out before running the linear. You can use a RadioShack SWR meter for an output indicator. Mine has had one of the knobs broken off for 5 years, which doesnt seem to affect operation in any way. I am still severely tempted by those nice AL-84s on eBay. These sweep-tube units can be easily converted to tubes with higher-voltage filaments that are much cheaper than replacing the originals. The nicest spare linear I have ever had is an Ameritron AL-572. This unit

By John W Thompson, MD, K3MD

runs from 117 Vac and will crank out 1250 W no problem at all. This is way less than a dB away from 1500 W. The plates even run a little red at full output, reminiscent of the favorite of all time 3500Z with tantalum plates. Please remember not to run Svetlana 572Bs, as per RF Powers recommendations. There is of course the side story of the SB-220 converted to 6 meters and the Henry 2002 (unbelievable unit; a 2meter moonbounce powerhouse), which I sold (stupid). I will admit that converting the SB-220 to 6 meters was not my idea, but that of Bobby, N3LL. This is a very easy conversion. Just rewind one of the input coils, jumper the plate coil and replace the parasitic suppressors with units with fewer turns. At this point I have single 3CX800A7 2 and 6 meter kilowatts. The moral of the side story is: if you have a good 6/2-meter linear, do not sell it! Especially if you have a K2RIW linear for 2 or 432! Just put a bigger blower on it, buy some spare tubes and load it up! These are now rare as proverbial hens teeth. One linear I have not had yet is an Alpha 78. These are exceptional units. Even a 374 (80-10 meters only) is not a bad amplifier. They show up from time to time. And of course, I would like a QRO HF-2500DX and an Emtron DX2 and a Ten Tec Titan III and an Alpha 99. I need to try a tetrode. There are many other hams out there with a similar problem. I am not sure if it was induced by trying to work DX with a rig with a single 6146 final or not, but the actual number of 77SXs out there in the woods would suggest that it might have been. For the protection of the innocent, I am not advocating illegal power!


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January/February 2005 15

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Stealth Operation in the CQ WPX CW 2004

The wife found a Whiskey Jack Time Share that was available for the 2004 CQ WPX CW weekend up in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. For me it is hard to pass up an adventure at a world-class condominium with good biking, hiking and stealth ham radio all rolled up into a neat package! I had contacted the Whiskey Jack organization about using my owner timeshare location for Single Operator, SingleBand effort on 160 meters. It sounded like a great idea at the time. Our time-share condo is at the top of a ridge overlooking just about everything in Whistler. Unfortunately, I did not get an overwhelmingly enthusiastic reply. As an alternative, I planned a somewhat less ambitious stealth operation for the condo we were able to secure in the middle of downtown Whistler Village. Stealth contest operation is well documented in the ARRL publication Stealth Amateur Radio by Kirk Kleinschmidt, NT0Z, who points out that antennas are everything. You should be at the condo a couple of days early, as your first antenna will be never be as good as your second (or third) attempt. The following elements of a successful Stealth operation are evident: 1. Include the already ubiquitous mother-in-law to give the aura of tourist authenticity and provide beatings with a rolled up newspaper to fend off rabid dogs, curious hotel managers, maids and security personnel. 2. The antenna environment: best is a second-story balcony, even when surrounded by mountains, busy city streets, other buildings, etc. 3. I have found after much experimentation that 40-meter CW is the perfect stealth contest mode. It allows operation from an hour after sunset to sunrise. The antenna goes up in the dark (thanks to wife Carol for humoring me and feeding the wire off the balcony) and down at sunrise, hopefully before anyone arises. 4. The fishing pole is used to get an additional 17 feet of height and doesnt give an illusion of being part of a ham antenna. Most of the natives say, Fishing from a condo? I always knew fisherman were nuts. 5. The stealth antenna, made of very thin magnet wire, runs across the street to a tree and is about 100 feet long. This length for a 40-meter end-fed antenna gives a low impedance feed for the transmitter. A counterpoise is essential for such unbalanced antennas; for the contest I used 16 January/February 2005

Mike Dorman, W7DRA

a quarter wavelength section running from the second story condo balcony into the flower garden below. The antenna and counterpoise are connected to the transmitter through a balanced antenna tuner and low pass TVI filter to avoid interference. Operating portable in a WPX type contest gives one great flexibility in terms of call sign prefixes. I asked on the CQ-contest reflector, What unique prefixes are available for British Columbia? One chap came back saying he once worked a VC7. That was good enough for me. Even surrounded by mountains and located on a busy street, I could work almost everything I could hear with my trusty Heathkit HW-16, ably assisted by an HG-10 VFO. So, if you are thinking you cant possibly work that important contest because it falls on your wifes birthday trip to Branson or Niagara Falls, think light magnet wire, a counterpoise and 40-meter CW. And have fun!


Rappack Controller Design

The following is a description of a controller for stack matches, band switches, array direction selection, etc, that avoids (eliminates?) hot switching from occurring when inadvertently making a switch position change during transmit. The design uses a single CD4042 IC. The controller is part of the stack matching and antenna switching that is being designed into Steves, NR4M, multi-multi station and the new tower/ antenna arrangement at K4GMH. We figured around 20 devices would be needed. So being on the frugal (aka cheap) side, we decided to make rather than buy. Hot switching a stack or an array (particularly at 1500 W RTTY) has been a fear in the back of my mind and I wanted to keep this from becoming a reality at either station. The first unit has been successfully used to control the 20meter stack in several contests at the RTTY multi-multi station of Mike, KA4RRU. The schematic shown in Figure 1 describes a controller for the type of stack match remote described by WXB in the

Mike Sims, K4GMH

The printed board corresponding to the design shown in Figure 1 is populated and ready for use.

Figure 1The Stack Match controller.


January/February 2005


Figure 2The generic Stack Match Controller.

latest ARRL Antenna Book. Figure 2 is for a generic version, one where you dont need the steering diode array, but you can use the hot switching avoidance feature. Printed circuit board artwork (a single-sided board) is available for Figure 1. Contact me at the e-mail address

shown above for more infor mation. Jumpers can be used to implement the functionality of the circuit in Figure 2 using the Figure 1 board. The resistors are 1/ 4 watt 2.2 k (I have a lot of them and that is the reason for the choice), the diodes are
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1N914s, the relays are P&B RTD14012Fs and the transistors are 2N2222s (also had a bunch of these). As you can tell, there arent any critical parts. By the way, the relays are the same type used in my remote stack match unit (an 80 meter array direction selection and antenna/band selector). At less than $1.50 each, it made sense (at least to me) to use this type of relay for as many applications as possible. The CD4042 is a quad, clocked, Dtype latch. In this application, it locks the selected relay(s) that were energized when the PTT went low. This cannot change until the PTT goes high. For example, in Figure 1, with the rotary switch selecting the top position (RLY1 and RLY4 energized), when you start to transmit (PTT goes low), you can turn to any other switch position without any of the other relays being energized. Once you stop transmitting (PTT goes high), the relay(s) will be energized corresponding to the switch position. And in case you were wondering, Rappack is a contraction of the Rappahannock Chapter of PVRC!


January/February 2005

A Study of Elevated Radial Ground Systems for Vertical Antennas Part 1

Part 1 of this article compares the gain developed by elevated 0.25 WL vertical monopole antennas when they are installed over a variety of elevated ground screens. All of these ground systems utilize symmetrically placed elevated horizontal radials whose length is also 0.25 WL. The number and elevation height of the radials is varied, along with the electrical characteristics of the soil beneath the antenna. Part 2 will compare these results for elevated antennas with those for ground-mounted antennas with large numbers of buried radials. Overview Many low-band operators use ground mounted verticals in combination with extensive buried-radial ground systems. An alternative to this practice is to install an elevated vertical monopole with an elevated ground screen comprised of just a few radials. The purpose of this study is to determine how many radials are needed, and how high they must be placed above the ground. All three of the low bands will be investigated, using three different types of soil on each band. The number of elevated radials will be varied from 3 to 6 (uniformly spaced around the base of the vertical element), and several different elevation heights will be examined. I have access to the new EZNEC Pro software, version 4.01, with a double precision NEC 4 calculating engine, which enables me to analyze ground systems using either buried or elevated radials. For simplicity, all computer simulations were performed using #12 AWG copper wire for both the vertical element and the elevated radials. The length of all wires was fixed at 0.25 WL, which is easy to calculate. In addition, an antenna with these dimensions generally yields a reasonable value for the input resistance, on the order of 30 to 40 . No attempt was made to prune either the vertical element or the radials to achieve resonance. The wire segment lengths for the vertical element and the radials are all tapered in accordance with the most conservative EZNEC guidelines. The shortest segments, such as the one containing the feed point at

Al Christman, K3LC Grove City College 100 Campus Drive Grove City, PA 16127-2104

the base of the vertical element, and the inner segment of each radial, have a length of about 0.0025 WL. Results on 40 meters A frequency of 7.15 MHz was selected for the analysis on 40 meters, leading to a length of about 34.39 feet for the vertical element and radials. The number of radials was varied in sequential order from 3 to 6, and elevation heights of 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, and 15 feet were utilized. Figure 1 shows a version of this antenna with four radials, at a height of 7.5 feet above the ground. Table 1 displays the results when the antenna is mounted over average soil with a conductivity of 0.005 Siemens/ meter and a relative permittivity (or dielectric constant) of 13. Notice that when the number of radials is fixed at some particular value, increasing their height yields both higher gain and a lower takeoff angle, as one would expect. As the base height of the antenna is raised from

5 to 15 feet, the gain goes up by about 0.2 dB or so, and the takeoff angle falls by around 4 degrees. If the base height of the antenna is held constant, adding

Figure 1Drawing of an elevated vertical monopole antenna with four elevated horizontal radials installed at H = 7.5 feet. The length of both the vertical element and the radials is 0.25 WL (34.39 feet at 7.15 MHz).

Table 1 Antenna gain versus number and height of elevated horizontal radials. The frequency is 7.15 MHz, and the radials are installed over average soil (conductivity = 0.005 Siemens/meter, and dielectric constant = 13). The vertical element, and all of the radials, have a length of 0.25 WL, or about 34.39 feet.

Number Of Radials

Height of Radials (feet)

5 7.5 10 12.5 15 5 7.5 10 12.5 15 5 7.5 10 12.5 15 5 7.5 10 12.5 15

Gain and Take-off Angle (dBi & degrees)

-0.08 0.02 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.01 0.08 0.14 0.18 0.22 0.03 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.24 0.04 0.11 0.16 0.20 0.24 24.0 22.5 21.5 20.5 19.8 24.0 22.8 21.5 20.8 20.0 23.8 22.8 21.8 20.8 20.0 23.5 23.0 22.0 20.5 20.0

Pattern NonCircularity (dB)

0.23 0.24 0.25 0.26 0.27 0.01 0.02 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.01 0.01 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Several versions of the EZNEC antenna modeling software are available from Roy Lewallen, W7EL, PO Box 6658, Beaverton, OR 97007.


January/February 2005


Table 2 Antenna gain versus number and height of elevated horizontal radials. The frequency is 7.15 MHz, and the radials are installed over very poor soil (conductivity = 0.001 Siemens/meter, and dielectric constant = 5). The vertical element, and all of the radials, have a length of 0.25 WL, or about 34.39 feet.
Number Of Radials 3 Height of Radials (feet) 5 7.5 10 12.5 15
5 7.5 10 12.5 15 5 7.5 10 12.5 15 5 7.5 10 12.5 15

Table 3 Antenna gain versus number and height of elevated horizontal radials. The frequency is 7.15 MHz, and the radials are installed over very good soil (conductivity = 0.0303 Siemens/meter, and dielectric constant = 20). The vertical element, and all of the radials, have a length of 0.25 WL, or about 34.39 feet.
Number Of Radials 3 Height of Radials (feet) 5 7.5 10 12.5 15
5 7.5 10 12.5 15 5 7.5 10 12.5 15 5 7.5 10 12.5 15

Gain and Take-off Angle (dBi & degrees) -0.98 27.0 -0.80 26.0 -0.64 25.2 -0.48 24.2 -0.34 23.2
-0.90 -0.74 -0.58 -0.44 -0.31 -0.88 -0.72 -0.58 -0.44 -0.30 -0.87 -0.71 -0.56 -0.42 -0.29 26.8 25.8 25.0 24.0 23.2 27.0 26.0 25.2 24.2 23.2 26.5 26.0 25.0 24.0 23.5

Pattern NonCircularity (dB) 0.37 0.38 0.37 0.37 0.38

0.01 0.0 0.01 0.01 0.02 0.01 0.0 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Gain and Take-off Angle (dBi & degrees) 1.72 19.5 1.81 18.5 1.89 18.0 1.95 17.0 2.00 16.2
1.77 1.85 1.91 1.97 2.02 1.79 1.86 1.92 1.98 2.02 1.80 1.87 1.93 1.98 2.03 19.5 18.5 17.5 17.0 16.2 19.5 18.5 17.5 17.0 16.2 19.5 18.5 17.5 17.0 16.0

Pattern NonCircularity (dB) 0.09 0.10 0.10 0.10 0.11

0.02 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.01 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Table 4 Antenna gain versus number and height of elevated horizontal radials. The frequency is 3.75 MHz, and the radials are installed over average soil (conductivity = 0.005 Siemens/meter, and dielectric constant = 13). The vertical element, and all of the radials, have a length of 0.25 WL, or about 65.57 feet.
Number Of Radials 3 Height of Radials (feet) 5 10 15 22.5 30
5 10 15 22.5 30 5 10 15 22.5 30 5 10 15 22.5 30

Table 5 Antenna gain versus number and height of elevated horizontal radials. The frequency is 3.75 MHz, and the radials are installed over very poor soil (conductivity = 0.001 Siemens/meter, and dielectric constant = 5). The vertical element, and all of the radials, have a length of 0.25 WL, or about 65.57 feet.
Number Of Radials 3 Height of Radials (feet) 5 10 15 22.5 30
5 10 15 22.5 30 5 10 15 22.5 30 5 10 15 22.5 30

Gain and Take-off Angle (dBi & degrees) 0.08 23.8 0.23 22.5 0.31 21.5 0.38 20.0 0.40 18.8
0.20 0.30 0.36 0.40 0.42 0.26 0.33 0.38 0.41 0.42 0.28 0.34 0.38 0.42 0.43 23.5 22.5 21.5 19.5 18.5 23.5 22.5 21.5 19.8 18.5 23.5 22.5 21.5 20.0 18.5

Pattern NonCircularity (dB) 0.17 0.18 0.20 0.21 0.23

0.01 0.01 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.0 0.0 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Gain and Take-off Angle (dBi & degrees) -1.62 27.5 -1.38 26.5 -1.22 25.2 -1.03 23.8 -0.86 22.2
-1.47 -1.29 -1.16 -0.99 -0.83 -1.42 -1.26 -1.14 -0.98 -0.82 -1.39 -1.24 -1.13 -0.97 -0.81 27.5 26.5 25.5 23.5 22.2 27.5 26.5 25.0 23.5 22.2 27.5 26.0 25.5 23.5 22.0

Pattern NonCircularity (dB) 0.36 0.37 0.38 0.40 0.41

0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.01 0.0 0.01 0.01 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0


January/February 2005


Table 6 Antenna gain versus number and height of elevated horizontal radials. The frequency is 3.75 MHz, and the radials are installed over very good soil (conductivity = 0.0303 Siemens/meter, and dielectric constant = 20). The vertical element, and all of the radials, have a length of 0.25 WL, or about 65.57 feet.
Number Of Radials 3 Height of Radials (feet) 5 10 15 22.5 30
5 10 15 22.5 30 5 10 15 22.5 30 5 10 15 22.5 30

Table 7 Antenna gain versus number and height of elevated horizontal radials. The frequency is 1.835 MHz, and the radials are installed over average soil (conductivity = 0.005 Siemens/meter, and dielectric constant = 13). The vertical element, and all of the radials, have a length of 0.25 WL, or about 134 feet.
Number Of Radials 3 Height of Radials (feet) 10 20 30 45 60
10 20 30 45 60 10 20 30 45 60 10 20 30 45 60

Gain and Take-off Angle (dBi & degrees) 2.23 18.5 2.42 17.5 2.54 16.5 2.68 15.5 2.80 14.5
2.32 2.46 2.56 2.70 2.82 2.36 2.48 2.58 2.70 2.82 2.39 2.49 2.58 2.71 2.83 18.2 17.5 16.5 15.5 14.8 18.5 17.5 17.0 15.8 14.5 18.0 17.5 16.5 15.5 14.5

Pattern NonCircularity (dB) 0.06 0.06 0.07 0.07 0.07

0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.01 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Gain and Take-off Angle (dBi & degrees) 0.86 21.5 1.01 20.5 1.08 19.5 1.15 18.2 1.18 17.0
0.98 1.08 1.13 1.18 1.21 1.02 1.10 1.14 1.19 1.22 1.05 1.11 1.15 1.20 1.22 21.5 20.5 19.5 18.0 17.0 21.5 20.5 19.8 18.2 17.0 21.5 20.5 19.5 18.0 17.0

Pattern NonCircularity (dB) 0.12 0.12 0.13 0.14 0.15

0.01 0.01 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.01 0.0 0.01 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Table 8 Antenna gain versus number and height of elevated horizontal radials. The frequency is 1.835 MHz, and the radials are installed over very poor soil (conductivity = 0.001 Siemens/meter, and dielectric constant = 20). The vertical element, and all of the radials, have a length of 0.25 WL, or about 134 feet.
Number Of Radials 3 Height of Radials (feet) 10 20 30 45 60
10 20 30 45 60 10 20 30 45 60 10 20 30 45 60

Table 9 Antenna gain versus number and height of elevated horizontal radials. The frequency is 1.835 MHz, and the radials are installed over very good soil (conductivity = 0.0303 Siemens/meter, and dielectric constant = 20). The vertical element, and all of the radials, have a length of 0.25 WL, or about 134 feet.
Number Of Radials 3 Height of Radials (feet) 10 20 30 45 60
10 20 30 45 60 10 20 30 45 60 10 20 30 45 60

Gain and Take-off Angle (dBi & degrees) -1.54 26.8 -1.38 24.8 -1.30 23.5 -1.24 22.2 -1.21 20.8
-1.39 -1.29 -1.24 -1.20 -1.17 -1.34 -1.26 -1.22 -1.18 -1.16 -1.31 -1.24 -1.21 -1.17 -1.15 26.2 24.8 23.8 22.2 21.0 26.2 25.0 23.8 22.5 21.0 26.5 25.0 23.5 22.0 21.0

Pattern NonCircularity (dB) 0.30 0.32 0.33 0.36 0.38

0.02 0.02 0.02 0.01 0.02 0.01 0.01 0.0 0.01 0.01 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Gain and Take-off Angle (dBi & degrees) 2.86 16.0 3.04 15.5 3.18 15.0 3.35 14.0 3.51 13.0
2.94 3.08 3.20 3.36 3.52 2.97 3.10 3.22 3.38 3.54 2.99 3.11 3.22 3.38 3.54 16.2 15.5 15.0 14.0 13.0 16.5 15.5 15.0 14.0 13.0 16.5 15.5 15.0 14.0 13.5

Pattern NonCircularity (dB) 0.04 0.04 0.05 0.04 0.04

0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.0 0.0 0.01 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.01 0.0


January/February 2005


more elevated radials yields only a slight increase in gain. Since the typical elevated ground screen contains only a few radials, the shape of the radiation pattern in the azimuthal plane may not be circular. That is, the gain measured directly off the tips of the radials may be different than the gain measured at a point located midway between two adjacent radials. The amount of this asymmetry is listed in the table column headed pattern non-circularity. If only three elevated radials are used, the non-circularity is about 0.25 dB, but when N = 4 or more, the patterns are almost perfectly circular, with N = 6 providing the best performance. Table 2 shows the outcome for the same quarter wave 40-meter vertical when the soil is very poor, with a conductivity of 0.001 Siemens/meter and a dielectric constant of 5. If the soil is very good, (conductivity = 0.0303 Siemens/ meter and dielectric constant = 20), then the results are as listed in Table 3. In both cases, the trends are the same as when the soil was average. Notice that when N = 3, the degree of non-circularity in the radiation pattern is higher for very poor soil than for average soil, while

the reverse is true for very good soil. Results for 80 meters On 80 meters a frequency of 3.75 MHz was utilized, so the length of the vertical element (and the radials) is about 65.57 feet. Again, the number of radials was varied from 3 to 6, but now the elevation heights are 5, 10, 15, 22.5, and 30 feet (because the wavelength is longer at this frequency). When the antenna is installed over average soil, the results are as shown in Table 4. Tables 5 and 6 list the outcomes for very poor soil and very good soil, respectively. Results on 160 meters A frequency of 1.835 MHz was selected for the computer simulation on top band, requiring a length of about 134 feet for the quarter-wave vertical element and the radials. As usual, the number of radials was varied from three to six, but on this band, the base heights are 10, 20, 30, 45 and 60 feet. Table 7 displays the results when the antenna is mounted over average soil, while Tables 8 and 9 give the results for topband verticals installed over very poor and very good soil, respectively.

Comparing All Three Bands If a circular radiation pattern is desired, then one should probably install at least four elevated radials, uniformly spaced around the base of the antenna. If N = 3, then there will be a fair amount of noncircularity in the pattern, especially if the soil is very poor. The base height of the antenna does not appear to be critical, although greater heights yield slightly more gain at lower takeoff angles. In any event, all wires need to be sufficiently high above the ground to preclude any accidental contact by humans or animals. Conclusions For an elevated vertical antenna with a sparse ground screen consisting of elevated horizontal radials, the gain and takeoff angle depend upon the soil type, the number of radials, and their height above the ground. Part 1 of this article supplies tables that allow the low-band operator to design an elevated system that will best meet his or her needs. Part 2 will compare the data presented here with the results from an analysis of conventional ground-mounted vertical antennas utilizing large numbers of buried radials.

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Beverage Feed System BFS-1

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January/February 2005


A DXpedition to KL7 for the CW Sprint

Five hours before the start of the Sprint, Tree, N6TR was on a train in Alaska. Normally, this is not a good place for someone who wants to be competitive in the Sprint to be, unless perhaps, you are about to jump onto an SST heading to Puerto Rico. Tree was on board for his third Alaskan Railroad trip in as many days. However, this was the first one with Conductor Mike on board. During his previous two trips, he heard people talking about their experiences with Mike, and now he knew why. Mike was the one who would not let anyone board the train until he got an enthusiastic Good morning! from everyone. Mike also gave us lessons on how to roll up the Alaskan railroad map so you could take it home without folds and mount it in a frame. Mike has worked at the railroad for a very long time, but still seems to enjoy it. Todays destination was Whittier. To get there, you have to go through the 3 miles tunnel. It really is not three miles long, but in Alaska things are always rounded up to make them sound bigger. The US military built this tunnel in the early 1940s. Before then, the only yearround port that could be used for supplies was in Seward. Whittier was more attractive than Seward because it was a shorter trip to Anchorage, had reduced exposure to Japanese submarines, and avoided the steep railroad grades required to traverse the Kenai Mountains. The tunnel only allows one-way traffic. Each hour is broken up into four segmentsone to allow cars to go one direction, followed by a 15 minute air out period, then the cars can go the other direction, and then the train gets its turn. Ten minutes after entering the tunnel, the train arrives in Whittier. The first thing you notice about Whittier is all the oil tanks that are at the exit from the tunnel. The next thing you see is the cruise ship docked at the west end of the town. It is about the same size as the town itself. The 250 inhabitants here do one of about two thingsfish or service cruise ships. During this morning, almost the entire town took part in their first glimpse inside a cruise ship as the Island Princess was giving a rare tour. It would be her last visit to this port until next spring. Passenger boarding for the cruise takes place in a large metal building, starting at 1930 UTC, plenty of time to get through the small line, through security and onboard the ship. After a skimpy breakfast, Tree and his wife Nancy were looking forward to a nice lunch from the buffet on the ship. It was interesting watching

Tree, N6TR

N6TR/KL7 ready for the CW Sprint (hat provided by K1DG).

the first 20 people check in. They were from either Taiwan or mainland China, and none of them spoke English. An interpreter was earning her pay by spreading herself amongst the 8 different lines helping them get through the process. Finally, after what felt like an hour, one of those lines opened up and N6TR was able to check in. Waiting for Luggage, Radios and Signals It was promised earlier in the morning that the checked luggage would arrive in their stateroom before they did, but there was nothing there when they arrived. Normally this wouldnt be an issue, but inside one of the bags was a complete ham radio station consisting of a battery powered K2 transceiver, a paddle and a 20-meter dipole. The equipment might be similar to what was used in WWII by spies who crossed enemy lines to transmit critical information. Tree and Nancy go have lunch and walk around the ship. An hour later and still no luggage. No luggage anywhere to be seen. Another hour passesno luggage. Kris, AL2G, lives in Whittier and has offered to help me find a place to string up the dipole. It was nice of Kris to rearrange his lunch hour, but since I dont have my radio yet, he has to juggle a few things around. The minute of silence at 0000Z comes and goes and still no luggage. Tree reminds himself that it is unlikely that he would be able to make any QSOs until

the second hour of the contest anyway since his QRP signal would be lost during the shootout that occurs on 20 meters during the first hour. At 0005 UTC, some luggage starts appearing in the hallways, but it isnt ours. How could that be? We were the first on board. 0020 UTC: Finally a knock on the door! The bags are herebut wait where is the third bag? Can you believe the one with the radio is the one missing? Can this really be happening? 0030 UTC: The third bag shows up. The radio equipment is quickly unpacked and put into a backpack. The third phone call in as many hours is made to Kris, and he will meet Tree downtown at the harbor control building. 0040 UTC: Kris drives up to a QTH he thinks will work well. It is up the hill and has a killer view to the southeast, only blocked by a mountain with a glacier on it about 50 miles away. Getting the dipole strung up turns out to be an interesting exercise with various strings getting caught in trees, but eventually there is a 20 meter dipole up about 15 feet, which a great drop-off to the southeast. Kris loans Tree a chair and drives off. 0103 UTC: N6TR/KL7 is on the air. The band is full of signals!! None of them are ver y strong, however. N2NT, W1WEF, K1KI, K5ZD, N5OT, K1ZZ and WB0O get called several times each, but 15 W to a dipole is just not making it. K5GNs signal has some flutter on itis there some aurora? N2IC, K5TR and N5TJ are not very strong. A few times the station called would send N6 and Trees hear t would leap up in excitementonly to be disappointed when the suffix matched that of some other N6 operating from California. Tree hears his good friends N5OT and N6AN QSO up around 14.059 kHz, but neither of them can hear him. After about 45 minutes of this, the goal becomes to work one station. Going to all of this trouble and not getting to submit a log entry would be total defeat. A couple of nights before the Sprint, Tree had dinner with Rich, KL7RA. Rich predicted that Trees score would be zero. This prediction only made Trees resolve to work someone, anyone, stronger. Tree adjust the jacket he put over his head to keep the black flies and nosee-ums away and keeps tuning around looking for a strong signal - one that lights up more than 3 bars on the K2. Doug Brandon is operating the CW Sprint from the station of Don Doughty, W6EEN, located in Bermuda Dunes, just


January/February 2005


east of Palm Springs. Dons station has several towers and multiple antennas. This allows Doug to beam his signal in more than one direction. As 20 meters starts winding down, he would often switch in an antenna pointing north. This allowed him to rustle up stations in the northwest that he might not have worked yet, and occasionally it would pay off with a multiplier or two. He switches in a 5-element monobander that is pointing north. Meanwhile, back in Alaska, the band seems to be changing and many of the signals are weaker than before. K7RC has a pretty good signal now, as does VA7RR, but neither can hear N6TR. K6NA is also pretty strong, but he just got on the band and has too many people calling him. K6VVA also has other stations calling him. 0150 UTC: Time is starting to run out. The cruise ship will be leaving in about an hour, and it is a good 20-minute walk.

Soon most of the stations will be focusing on the low bands. 0155 UTC: Tree finally finds the signal he has been looking for. W6EEN is lighting up 5 of the lights on the S-meter, but he is losing the frequency. Tree chases him up and down the band. Twice he gets beat out by other stations calling Doug. 0159 UTC: Tree gets a clear shot at W6EEN, who responds with a di-di-dumdum-di-dit. A few more weak calls are sent south and finally W6EEN comes back to N6TR/KL7. The exchange is sent, but Doug asks for the QSO number. Sending the number one over and over is a very tricky thing. Unless you send NR each time, it can easily turn into 11, or 111. Tree worries this QSO wont be completed. It does not take long for the QRM to take over a frequency in the Sprint. Tree sends NR1 NR1 NR1 over and over. The silence afterwards is painful. However, Doug sticks with it and fi-

nally logs the number and the QSO is completed. Tree tunes around a bit more, but quickly decides the marginal impact of getting a second QSO isnt worth the effort or extra bites on his wrists and packs up the station. He leaves a note for Kris on the chair that Kris was going to pick up later, along with the 20-meter dipole as a gift. After a brisk walk, he is back on board the ship in time for the cruise to VE7. He logs onto the web at the Internet caf and submits his one QSO using the log entry form on the NCJ Web site. W6EEN counted N6TR/KL7 as a new multiplier, but would soon work KL7WV, who also provided the Alaskan multiplier for many other stations. For more information about Conductor Mike, go to passenger/pdfs/ConductorMike.pdf.


January/February 2005


Confessions of a Middle Man

In the early 80s I entered my first Sprint at the request of my friend N5RZ. Gator asked me to get on the air and work some guys so they could get the Oklahoma multiplier. I had no idea what the Sprint was but the following definition from Websters is pretty accurate: Sprint - a shor t race, run at top speed I looked up the rules, determined the time and even ordered some log sheets. Yes, this was pre-computer logging, but then they all were. On Saturday night I warmed up the old Drake C-Line and got ready to make a few casual CW contacts. Since sprint had this funny rule about QSYing after each QSO I decided I would only answer CQs vs. calling CQ. So 0000Z ticks over on the clock and I tune in to 20 meters. Holy QRQ Batman! All these guys are sending at 50 wpm! After a few minutes I find someone I can copy, and dump in my call. We work, then a pile of guys call me. I am totally unprepared, intimidated, and humiliated so I freeze. I ended up making around 50 QSOs in 4 hours and actually got the swing of things toward the end (well, maybe). It was the most intense 4 hours of contesting I had ever experienced. Who are these guys anyway? Over the next 7-8 years I would get on occasionally and make sure Oklahoma was represented. I never threatened 200 QSOs. Then in 1989 N5RZ came to my QTH and operated and I got to listen in. Wow, what a learning experience! Prior to this I honestly wasnt very interested in the Sprint, but that would change. This was the middle of a 10 year period when I was focused on my career as a manager for a major oil company and frankly, radio just wasnt that high on the list. Then at sometime in the early 90s I was asked to be part of a team. Oh, ohthis means I will need to improve in order to be a worthy team member. This improvement effort still continues to this day, and this is a summary of how and what I did to move from the bottom of the pack to the middle, which is where Ive finished the last few times. Reality Sets In I did that first team effort about 10 years ago and I thought I was a pretty good op at the time. My claimed score was around 220 while the top ten was all above 330. I was humbled. The good news was that I was asked to be on the team again. This time I decided that I needed to send faster. I made around 250 QSOs but my error rate was horrendous, and I mean horrendous. Continuous Improvement I decided that I needed an improvement plan (yes, I am one of those corporate guys who believes in continuous improvement). I set out to determine where and how I was making so many copying errors. I discovered that I was busting numbers, especially 8. I also decided to ask some of the top finishers for their advice (this was a really good move). Their advice was slow down, and dont guess. The other major improvement was to get into the routine of working couplets, where you answer someone then get called immediately for another easy QSO. Once you get into this routine your rate moves up nicely. This brings up one of the reasons why I think Sprint is great: it rewards efficient S&P skills. Its still a thrill to tune across that mult when the QSO sequence is right, then have them answer your call. The First Hurdle I decided to listen to a recorded Sprint for an hour before the next running. This helped me get my mind in the correct tempo and it also helped me get rid of the butterflies. Finally, in February 2001 I broke 300 QSOs after log checking. I was in the middle of the pack, but my personal satisfaction level was equal to those who finished in the Top Ten. This is one of the reasons the Sprint is so much different than any other contest. You are mostly competing with yourself. How good can you become? How accurate can you become? Im still striving for my first Golden Log with 300+ Qs. After that I have other hurdles. Thats why I believe this is the Contesters Contest. My last 3 efforts have been over 300 and the error rate continues to improve. SO2R is something I will need to consider at some point, but for now I will continue to use 1 radio and make 2 band changes. I still have several items on my improvement list. I guess the most satisfying part of all this is the fact that I am having more fun than ever. This isnt rocket science but perhaps it can be of value to someone who is considering entering the Sprint for the first time. Improvement Tips Based on My Experience If this is your first sprint, call CQ NA at a speed you are comfortable. If you decide to answer a CQ then be prepared

Ken Adams, K5KA

to be called afterward. Focus on accuracy, not your score. If you need a repeat, just ask for it. I did this more than a dozen times this past Saturday. When you are sure you have the exchange correct send R. Score improvement will follow accuracy. Operate at your own speed. If someone blows their exchange back to you at 40 wpm, then send PSE QRS. All the good ops will send at your speed. Remember, your QSO is just as important to them as their last one. Set a personal goal and make sure it is realistic, yet challenging. Volunteer for a team. Better yet, form your own team and have internal team member prizes for the lowest 5 error rates. Use your UBN report for self-improvement. The contest manager makes them easy to retrieve, and they have good information. You, too, may see a trend. Make an effort to get on for every Sprint. Improvement will come gradually, not overnight, and with each Sprint you will feel more comfortable and confident. Ask one of the Top Ten finishers for a recording of their first hour. These guys are amazingly open to sharing their techniques, and you can learn a lot just by listening to one of the top guns operate. This step helped me get off to a better start. Learn to love working those couplets. The Sprint exchange format varies depending on who will inherit the frequency. Learn to recognize the call sign that will be inheriting so you wont waste time listening to a potential dupe. This takes a few outings to get used to, so dont get frustrated. Have fun. Promise yourself to give it at least 4 tries. Encourage more people to try it with you. The Bottom Line I have fun in every Sprint. After several years I have managed to become a middle man. The most satisfying part of the process was the improvement in my accuracy rates, and that skill has helped in other contests also. I think the Sprint is the best for the following 3 reasons: 1. It emphasizes and rewards the skill of S&P. 2. It is the most competitive domestic contest. 3. It is not a competition that involves pressing F1. Good luck, and I hope to work you on three bands in February and September.


January/February 2005


The 52nd W9DXCC Convention Not Just For DXers

W9DXCC is the place to be for DXers and contesters on a weekend in September near Chicago. The 52nd W9DXCC DX Convention assembled in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, hosted by the Northern Illinois DX Association on the weekend of September 17 to 19, 2004, with 220 enthusiastic DXers present. As many of us know, a DX convention also brings many contesters as well, since DXers and contesters are inseparable to a great extent. W9DXCC is probably the largest annual gathering of contesters in the Midwest, second only to the Dayton Hamvention. The first W9DXCC met in Chicago on December 5, 1953, organized by chairman Bob Baird, W9NN. All W9 DXCC holders were invited and 33 attended. Over the years, it has become an international event with visitors and speakers from throughout the world. The Northern Illinois DX Association has been the host since 1976. The 2004 event was the best yet. Along with all the DXers were well known contesters representing contest clubs, including Kentucky Contest Group, North Texas Contest Club, PVRC, Tennessee Contest Group, YCCC and, of course, Society of Midwest Contesters. Present from outside the usual domain of SMC were K1TN, K2PLF, K3NA, K4ZW, N4GN, W4PA, KY7M, N7NG, WB8RFB, W0NB, WXB and ON4UN (OTxT), along with about 35 SMCers, some traveling more than 200 miles. For contesters this is probably the best partan opportunity to get to know each other. Next year, hopefully, most will return and there will be new faces joining the event. The weekend started Friday evening with the SMC dinner at a local restaurant. SMCers and guests from outside the area enjoyed good food and a chance to meet each other and exchange strategies for upcoming contests. SMC President Paul Gentr y, K9PG, set up the arrangements and added significantly to the enjoyment. Carl Smith, N4AA, of DX Publications opened a Welcome Reception at 7:30 PM and later the Northern Illinois DX Association hospitality suite was the place to be late into the night. Emcee Jim OConnell, W9WU, opened the program Saturday at 9 AM. First up was Lee Finkel, KY7M, reporting on the Niger Republic African Adventure to 5U5Z. Next was the ARRL Forum led by Central Division Director Dick Isely, 26 January/February 2005

Howard Huntington, K9KM

Contester and DXer ON4UN giving his presentation

W9GIG, with Vice Director Howard Huntington, K9KM, DXAC Chairman W9WU, Membership Services Manager Wayne Mills, N7NG, and RF Safety Committee Chairman Greg Lapin, N9GL. The group discussed Logbook of the World, the threat of BPL and the proposal for regulation by bandwidth. A surprise then followed as Ed Garman, K9TX, brought to the stage a group of much admired DXers from the 30s and 40s for some well-deserved recognition. Next, Jim Cain, K1TN, author of YASME-The Danny Weil and Colvin Radio Expeditions, spoke of the fascinating lives of Danny and the Colvins and the many contributions they brought to amateur radio. Jim showed a large assortment of photographs spanning that time of history. The last morning program was IOTA Update by Mike McGirr, K9AJ, Gordon Bazsali, WB9EEE, and Jim Model, K9PPY. Starting the afternoon programs was a very special W9DXCC guest speaker, John Devoldere, ON4UN. John is a wellknown DXer and contester, author of Low-Band DXing, and a super person to meet in person. Along with John Battin, K9DX, and Jerr y Rosalius, WB9Z, the team fascinated the group with their experiences on 160 meters and with plenty of answers to questions about how to get started on top band and some good advice on choosing times to operate knowing the unusual propagation on the band. Jay Terleski, WXB, followed with a

presentation of his massive design and installation of antenna systems at the Fort Bragg North Carolina Special Services HF station, including phased log periodics and long wire antennas. Next, Ten-Tecs Scott Robbins, W4PA, spoke about receiver performance of their Orion transceiver, including the advantages of the roofing filter and third order intercept performance and customizable parameters like AGC so that signals can pop out of the noise. Scott believes receivers will just keep getting better with advances in more powerful DSPs that can ultimately implement spurious free receivers with 180 dB dynamic range. Next was NCJ editor Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, to speak about Cycle 23 and propagation for the 2004/ 2005 DX and contest season which he expects to be good for 160 to 40 meter operations and recommends sunrise and sunset as target operating times. Based on historical data, it looks like Cycle 24 will be an average or lower solar cycle. The final afternoon program was by Eric Scace, K3NA, about the 3B9C Rodrigues Island DXpedition. Eric did a great presentation on the DXpedition, but most fascinating was an animated display of 3B9C QSOs with the US on 160 meters. As sunrise progressed across the map of the US in fast forward, each QSO appeared as a bright spot on the map and slowly dimmed to a dark dot showing graphically a distribution of the QSOs as the gray line progressed across the US map. Immediately following the last program was the CW Pileup Contest arranged by K9AJ. The winners, announced at the banquet, were W4PA in first, N7NG in second, and W9XY in third. NIDXA President Don Backys, K9UQN, welcomed the banquet. Emcee W9WU kept things moving along with the All Time countries countdown, a donation to NCDXF accepted by Director Tim Totten, N4GN, with generous support from ICOM and a Special Award for Excellence presented to Glenn Johnson, WGJ. Following an enjoyable meal, John Devoldere, ON4UN, was again introduced and took the podium as the banquet speaker. John captivated the audience with his experiences in contesting and DXing as a young amateur to the present. John is a member of CQ Contest Hall of Fame and showed photos of his wall of many contest plaques and certificates. The 2004 W9DXCC Hog of the Year


was awarded to Don Backys, K9UQN. As the worthy recipient, Don was obligated to turn the piggy upside down and circulate through the crowd as green bills accumulated inside the inverted lid. Proceeds of more than $600 were presented to Director Isely in support of the ARRLs BPL Fund. Next was the hospitality suite hosted by the Greater Milwaukee DX Association, and it continued into the morning hours. Thanks to the Northern Illinois DX Association and the members who made this event possible, especially Chairman Bill Smith, W9VA, and Emcee Jim OConnell, W9WU, for their years of service. Thanks to the QSL checkers and to Rent Com for providing the AV equipment and to the many commercial suppliers for their support. The next W9DXCC is September 17, 2005. DXers and contesters worldwide are welcome to join NIDXA for another great weekend. Check for more details of the 2004 event and for developing details of the 2005 event. We hope to see you here next year. As the title of this article stated, the W9DXCC is not just for DXers.

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January/February 2005


Luring More People into Contesting

At first blush, a contest effort that ends with 225 Qs, 74 mults and 50 zones may not seem spectacularly impressive especially when you consider that it took 13 operators to achieve this multi-op, single-transmitter total. As you are about to discover, however, there is more to this story than meets the eye. Deception is the Better Part of Valor I harbor a simple desire to introduce more people to the contesting side of HF radio. I routinely invite members of my local emergency communications club to my home for a taste of contest excitement. For a while, a number of hams accepted my invitations, but then interest seemed to wane. One evening, while instructing the licensing class our club offers, I was trying to think of ways to make the dry subject matter come alive. Thats when it dawned on me that there were 15 or so potential contesters staring me in the face. So, I invited them all to visit my station and learn the rudiments of HF operating. What better way to highlight and illustrate the lessons? And if the operating sessions just happened to coincide with a contestwellso much the better! To my surprise, 11 students took the bait and signed up immediately. The Trap is Set I established two operating positions at my stationa spotting position with an IC-706 transceiver connected to an R5 vertical antenna mounted right above my tri-band beam, and a transmitting position with a Yaesu FT-1000 MkV connected to the tribander. Each position had networ ked computers r unning TRLog. I was worried that the transmitting position would cause considerable interference to the spotting position, but it turned out to be minimal. My station wasnt designed with multiop contesting in mind, so it took some work to get the spotting position shoehorned into the available space and get it operational. Cables had to be unplugged, plugged and rerouted. Software had to be reconfigured and tested. It was quite an effort. Finally, with everything in place, I had to tidy up and make the station look as though it had always been arranged in that fashion! With the station finished and presentable and the contest well underway, I settled down to do a little operating of my own. I had time on my hands since the students wouldnt be coming until 8AM the next morning. 28 January/February 2005

Jim Smith, VE7FO

The VE7FO M/S CQWW SSB team in the VECTOR Club classroom in Vancouver, BC. Only one ticket in the bunch. From left to right: (back row) Vince DenHertog, Robert Fleming, Rodney Cowen, Jalise Peters, Kerry Swinney, Arne Faremo, (front row) Nash Prbtani, Rasul Aly, Jim, VE7FO, Elsie Friesen, Barry Collins.

The Trap Malfunctions As soon as I powered up the FT-1000 MkV, I noticed something odd. At my station, I have both channels of FT-1000 MkV receive audio running via a patch panel and a 4-channel mixer to a headphone amplifier. This arrangement allows me to feed other audio sources into the phones as well as the receive audio from the MkV. Most of the time, this configuration works perfectly. But as I sat before the rig with a puzzled look on my face, I found myself listening to incredibly weak audio from the main receiver on the MkV. The audio level was fine on the speaker, but almost inaudible on the headphones. I switched the mixer to stereo from mono and the audio almost blasted my head off. So, it initially appeared that I had a problem in the audio mixer, although it was difficult for me to guess what it might be. Worse still, when I transmitted I had horrible feedback and distortion. The transmit problem occurred on all bands and at all power levels. Now I was frantic. I had a crisis on my hands that threatened to scuttle my devious plans. It appeared that switching from stereo to mono was putting a short across the main receive audio. A little troubleshooting, made very much easier by the fact that every audio line in the shack goes through the patch panel, revealed that the mixer was not the problem. More troubleshooting led to the sound card. It looked like one of the Line In jacks on the soundcard was shor ted to ground. How was I going to find a re-

placement sound card by 8AM? In desperation, I took another look at the back of the computer. I had carefully checked the cables when I reconfigured the station, but was it possible that I could have made a mistake in my haste? To my astonishment, I saw that there was a cable plugged into the Spkr Out jack on the sound card that had no business being there. Not only that, the microphone cable was plugged into the wrong hole. In fact, all the cables were in the wrong jacks! While congratulating myself for having the foresight to put labels not only on the cables but also on the soundcard connectors (and simultaneously berating myself for not having been more careful in the first place), I plugged everything into the proper places. With the receive audio problem solved, I held my breath and tried a transmit test. What a reliefno more feedback! Now that I was in a much-improved frame of mind, I got in a few hours of operating fun before bedtime. Show Time The first student arrived at 8AM and more students came, one at a time, at hourly intervals. Upon arrival, each student was given a tour of the antenna farm and shown what many of the antennas discussed in class actually look like. Given that Im on a 33 120-foot lot, this didnt take long. Next, the student went to the 706 (the spotting position) for what was left of the hour. Thats where my friend Anthony Rodgers, VA7IRL, ran him through the basics of tuning an SSB signal, decod-


ing the phonetics, keying the call into the computer and sending the spot to the transmitting position. During each students session, we passed along info on what the contest was about, the protocol for making contacts and we discussed techniques for maximizing the rate (and why that matters). We emphasized the importance of knowing when to call a running station. (Getting the rhythm of the contact process is quite difficult for beginners.) I provided a cheat sheet showing the QSO sequence from the point of view of a running station, and another sheet that described the sequence from the point of view of an S&P station. VA7IRL was a fabulous teacher. Because he wasnt able to be here full time, I also handled some of the instruction, but I didnt do nearly as well as he did. Thanks, Anthony. At the end of the hour-long spotting session, the student moved to the transmitting position where I sat lurking, rather like a spider in the center of his web. (Some wild Halloween organ music from the garret here, please. Organist must wear tie and tails and look appropriately insane. Failing that, maybe a little Pink Floyd. Careful with that axe, Eugene.) Some decisions had to be made about what the student should do at the transmitting position. I felt that the best experience would be provided by having the student make as many contacts as possible during his hour and do his own (highly coached) logging. So, while they learned to tune in SSB at the spotting position, I did any required tuning to speed things up. To the extent possible, we simply jumped from spot to spot as they appeared on the TRLog band map. So, when the student arrived at the transmitting position, the first thing I did was to make a Q to show him the routine (the same cheat sheets were available at the transmitting position as at the spotting position), and the speed with which it can be transacted. Having made a demo Q, we swapped chairs. This was not as easy as it may sound, given that the total floor area for seating 2 ops and 2 mentors was 8.75 6 feet. I referred to it as the Rubiks cube maneuver. Next comes Making The First Contact. Im sure you all remember the sweaty anxiety of your first contact when you didnt even have a clue what the guy on the other end said and didnt care as long as you sent your stuff OK and he said 73 at the end. Our students were every bit as anxious, if not more so. My technique was to find a strong signal, point to the part on the S&P cheat sheet that said VICTOR ECHO SEVEN FOX OSCAR in 14-point bold type and tell the student to speak those words

on Sunday, working 53 different countries. Our best DX was ZS4, which isnt easy from my station. Everybody appeared to enjoy the experience and I think that 3 or 4 students were really turned on. Lessons Learned Students seemed to like the antenna tour, so I would do that again. The hour spent at the spotting position was very helpful in acclimating the students to the contest environment. One hour at the transmitting position wasnt enough. While S&P was within their comfort zone, I dont think anybody felt sufficiently competent to call CQ and deal with whatever came their way. One hour of spotting and two hours transmitting would be much better. In our case, however, this arrangement would require three operating positions and three mentors. Dont expect students to do the tuning when at the transmitting position. It takes too much time away from the main event, which is making Qs. Fill the band map so that students can jump from spot to spot themselves. Most students are capable of doing their own logging in S&P with some prompting. Have the students say the station call sign aloud a few times order to correct any errors in how the call sign is spoken. The teacher should probably begin the transmitting session for each student by making 1 Q, getting the student to make 2 or 3 Qs, taking control again to make some running contacts and then turning the station back to the student for the remainder of their hour. Whats Next? Im going to try to get interested students to return for more contests, of course! In particular, Id like them to practice logging Qs. At first, theyll probably only get one out of five Qs but, with a little practice, they should get a lot better. The idea is to give them practice with the phonetic alphabet and with logging. This would, I think, be good preparation for running. Summary It was a lot of work, I was beat by the time the last person left and I missed some of the best contest conditions were likely to see for several years. Was it worth it? You bet it was. Are you getting a little tired of contesting? Try doing what we did. Its a completely new experience and youll help bring new blood into the game. Remember, you dont get to leave until youve replaced yourself with at least two newbies.

Anthony, VA7IRL, putting the spotting position through its paces.

when I gave the signal. More often than not, I would give the signal, there would be a pause before the student said anything, and suddenly we would hear another strong signal calling the same station. From the students point of view, it wasnt polite to interrupt, so the student remained silent. This would result in a brief discussion between student and teacher about the competitive nature of contesting and that, while there is a certain etiquette which should be observed, doing your best to beat out all other calling stations is the norm. Then we tried again. One thing I found was that it was best to have the student say VICTOR ECHO SEVEN FOX OSCAR aloud to me before actually calling anyone. This made it a lot easier to correct errors of enunciation and so on. Sometimes we got a response on the first call and sometimes not. If we didnt have success after a few calls, we found someone else. It wasnt too long before the first Q was made with high fives round. Then wed settled down to work as many stations as possible. Timing their calls remained a problem for many of the students, but that would only be cured with practice. One of the things I wanted the students to experience was making contacts off the continent. Conditions were great at the time and Europe was pounding in for hours on 20 meters. The students, of course, didnt have a clue about how to tell what country a ham was in from his call sign. I had good fun asking, Do you have any idea where that guy was? and then pointing to the country window in TR where it would say Germany, or Belgium or whatever. This generally got them excited and they would be watching that window whenever they typed in a call, often with expressions of amazement. In one case, I barely got the VOX turned off before one student, after making the first Q of his life exclaimed, Italy! Holy @#$%! After a while, they started to get blas when it was only Argentina. We repeated the Saturday sessions


January/February 2005


Serious Products for Serious Hams

SCAF-1 Audio Filter
Make your receiver listener friendly! Variable cut-off audio low-pass filter, 96 db rolloff per octave! Cut-off range frequency 450 Hertz to 3.5 kHz. Absolutely real time, NO delay perfect for QRQ CW and no monitor problems. Use for CW, Digital modes, and SSB, with headphones or speakers. Super-simple operation, yet wonderfully effective. Sample audio files on our web site. Available as a kit or preassembled.

DX Contest Activity Announcements

CQ World-Wide 160-Meter CW Contest (January 29-30, 2005) Call Sign Entity Class Operators PJ2T Netherlands Antilles SO K8ND Thanks to: K8ND CQ WPX Contest, RTTY (February 12-13, 2005) Call Sign Entity Class Operators ZK1WET South Cook Is SO SM6WET Thanks to: SM6WET See for further details ARRL DX CW Contest (February 19-20, 2005) Call Sign Entity Class PJ2T Netherlands Antilles M/2

Bill Feidt, NG3K

Keyers: Logikey K3, Super CMOS-3, CMOS-4

Our keyers simply are the best keyers available Period. More user friendly by far, more features. Extremely powerful memory functions, yet easy to learn. Extended paddle input timing reduces errors and increases your speed. Can emulate many earlier designs for timing feel, but with full feature set. Use with both positive and negative keyed rigs. Built-in monitor included. Full beacon capability.

PJ4R Netherlands Antilles M/2 VP9/W6PH Bermuda SOAB LP Thanks to: KU8E, W0CG, W6PH See for further details

Operators N1ZZ, K8ND, W8TK, WCG, WNB KU8E, W9RE, N4GG, N5OT W6PH

CQ World-Wide 160-Meter SSB Contest (February 26-27, 2005) Call Entity Class Operators PJ2T Netherlands Antilles SO K8ND Thanks to: K8ND

For full details see our web site. Forget that built-in keyer in your transceiver. You deserve far better. We have one waiting for you.

Antenna Rotor Enhancements: TailTwister & Ham-M

Do you own one of these fine rotors? Bring it into the 21st Century! Rotor-EZ adds a unique Auto-Point capability plus brake delay, endpoint protection, optional complete computercontrol capability for logging and contesting programs, and more!

See our web site for full details of this must have enhancement.

Use with:


Transmit Voice & CW messages in your IC-7800, IC-756PROIII or IC-756PROII while the SPECTRUM SCOPE stays alive. Ideal for chasing DX and contesting (746PRO CW only). Save the finals in your linear amp while tuning with the Tune button. Sends 30 wpm pulsed tone at 50% duty cycle for amp tuning. Saves stress on finals & power supply. Standard 8-pin plug and jack for Heil Pro-Set.

Yaesu DXA and SDX series rotors

add affordable plug-in computer-control capability for far less. See our web site for full details!

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The company that brought you the 706 TUNE Control
P.O. Box 1985 30 Grants January/February 2005 NCJ Pass, OR 97528

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Software for Contesters

It seems as if Windows XP is becoming more common on hamshack computers. I think this is mainly a good thing, particularly from the standpoint of stability. I didnt realize just how much better XP is until I booted up my Windows 98 machine the other day for the first time in a while, and had to deal with its occasional random crashes again. One of the downsides of XP , however, is that there is no longer a true DOS operating system underlying Windows. Instead, what you get when you open a DOS program is a DOS emulator, which may or may not work properly with some of the DOS programs were used to. I recently became aware of this when trying the venerable RUFZ and PED contest trainers on my XP machine. Nothing doing. So then, I went looking for XPfriendly trainer/simulators. Fortunately, there are a couple of good options available. which I find very helpful. G4FON uses the CT keystrokes as his basic configuration (Insert to call the other station and send his report, + to log the QSO), but also provides for specifying functions for various keyboard keys so that you can set it up to more nearly emulate whatever logging software you use. The lowest supported speed, for both incoming and outgoing CW, is 12 WPM, but the CW seems excellent at any speed. You can adjust the density of the pileups, the number of stations calling, and the range of speeds they will call at, as well as introducing random QRM and occasional buzzy and chirpy signals. One of the things I like best about this one is the ability to specify several different contest formats, including WPX (different serial numbers from each station), CQWW, ARRL Field Day and IOTA.

Pete Smith, N4ZR

test is limited to 20 QSOs per contest and uses a hard-coded call sign (WZXYZ). A licensed copy costs $54. Unfortunately, the developers didnt respond to my e-mail, so I didnt have the opportunity to wring it out as much as I would have liked.
Tips and Caveats Many of us would like to be able to use pure DOS programs that wont run under the DOS emulation in Windows XP. If youre like me, your machine came with XP already installed. Microsofts dual-boot arrangement requires re-installing Windows XP after first installing the other operating system, and destroying the existing installation. There are commercial partitioning software packages that will permit adding a DOS (or other Windows) partition to a drive that already has XP installed. However, they are expensive and reportedly have had some problems dealing recent releases of XP. Accidentally, I ran into an alternative. I had been looking for a cheap and simple way to transport data easily between my Windows 98 test machine and my main XP machine. The local office supply megastore had a sale on USB thumb drives, the miniature flash memory storage devices that connect to your machine via a USB port. I bought one, and just for fun, decided to see if DOS (and my BIOS) would recognize it. I booted my XP machine to DOS, and sure enough, DOS saw the thumb drive as the C drive. Next, I loaded TR Log onto the thumb drive, and was able to run it from there, just as if it was on an actual disk drive. Very neat!

Pilemania! Pilemania! is a freeware simulator wr itten by JA1YDB, available from www.g pilemania/index_e.html . Pilemania! uses its own set of keystrokes for logging practice QSOs, rather than emulating any of the common contest programs. Its slowest CW speed is 11 WPM; at that speed the sent CW ratio of dots to dashes seems a little off, and some characters are dropped at slow speeds. More often than not, I found that the speed of the received CW did not track the speed control. Currently, Pilemanias only option is a CQWW-type fixed exchange. On the plus side, its simulation of noise and pileup conditions is quite credible. It uses files of actual call signs, which the user can readily augment with a simple text editor, and it keeps track of any errors you make on the screen. It also has a graphic rate bar chart, which is a convenient way of tracking your progress, and a RUFZ-like game mode that increases the speed with each QSO. This one has only been out for a few months, so it is reasonable to suppose that it will be evolving rapidly.
G4FON Simulator A much more evolved simulator comes from G4FON, whose Web site is found at This trainer is now in version 2.3, with a license fee of US$40; a demo is available on the Web site. Its simple user interface provides instant feedback on copying errors (see the accompanying screen shot),

Cyber CW Contest I want to mention one other trainer, which is quite a different animal. While the others assume a simplified contest model where you CQ and others answer, Cyber CW Contest (by B&B Cyber Software, has both Run and S&P modes, and provides a virtual receiver that you can tune across the band to find stations to work or a CQ frequency. The developers say that the program factors in propagation, so that as time passes the selection of stations calling you (or available to be called) will change. It maintains a log and a score so that, hypothetically, you could test yourself across a broader range of contesting skills than simply copying CW in a pileup. The demo mode of Cyber CW Con-

Screen shot of G4FONs Contest Trainer.


January/February 2005


VHF-UHF Contesting!
Report on the Fall 2004 6 Meter SprintIt is Es again!
Sporadic E (E s) propagation rarely occurs during the month October. In fact, the only months slower for Es are February and March. But last year the Fall 6 Meter Sprint had an outstanding rare Es opening to the delight of many contestants. Many were wondering if it would happen again. It did! The Fall 2004 6 Meter sprint started at 2300 UTC October 23 and ended at 0300 UTC on the 24th. Es from W1, W2 and W3 to Florida began just before the start of the contest. There was the potential for some real DX as stations waited for the contest to start. Dave, N3DB, in FM18, worked LU7YS on SSB at 2140 UTC and logged LU8YD, FF54, on CW just 16 minutes before the start of the Sprint at 2244 UTC on 50.110 MHz! This kind of DX on 6 meters is amazing so far along in Solar Cycle 23s decline. I suspect it was an Es link to TEP to South America. Unfortunately, the LUs faded out at the start of the contest for Dave, and I am not aware of any being logged during the contest. During the contest Dave reported hearing CE Music at 49.2 MHz and working EM40, EM50, EM60, EM63, EM70, etc. Later the Es drifted west and W8 and W9 worked Florida while W1, W2, W3, and VE3 worked the Gulf States. A typical contest contact now was N8UUP in EN82 working WAMM EM90 at 0048 UTC. The primary Es center seemed to be over eastern Kentucky and Tennessee for much of the Sprint. KA2LIM in FM12 reported 42 QSOs in 26 grids. Ken noted most of his Es QSOs were to EM40, EM60, EM70, EM73, EL87 and EL96. Dave Erickson, W3DIO, FM19, operated the 6-Meter Sprint using just a Par Moxon antenna on a 12-foot pole by his patio deck. He logged 30 QSOs in 16 grids, including E s contacts to EL88, EM30, EM40 and EM51. The Par Maxon antenna has been discussed in prior columns, and it is a very effective antenna on 6 meters for its size. At the W3DOG multi-op, the score was 106 Qs in 39 grids. This was the first VHF contest for newly licensed 15-year-old Adam, KB3LEF, who helped his uncle K3TKJ. Adam was excited to work the Es band opening in the contest and may be an up and comer to the VHF contesting ranks. Bill, VE3CRU, operated rover in the Sprint from Canada and was delighted 32 January/February 2005

Jon K. Jones, NJK

with a surprise (E s ) opening to the southwith the following grids worked: EM70, EM73, EM90, EM93, EL88, and EL96. He logged 22 Qs and 12 grids from FN04, and 8 Qs and 6 grids from FN03, along with a friendly checkout by the police at the end of the contest. Here in the Midwest, we were out of the Es for most of the Sprint. It was only in the last hour of the contest some Es made it out to the Heartland. KHA EN10 Nebraska found KI4AOQ, FM03, at 0218 UTC along with several others in the southeast. In Kansas, I worked

NLL EM09 and KHA EN10 on ground wave but never heard stations via Es out of the east. However, a secondary E s center began developing over New Mexico and I heard K7AED, DM33, in Arizona at 0225 UTC, near the end of the Sprint. Stations in the Houston area worked Arizona and Southern California via this same Es center as the 6 Meter Sprint ended. So, another Fall 6 Meter Sprint gives us a decent Es opening with all US call areas, including even those suffering sixes, getting a piece of the action. The Florida stations were in the sweet spot for much of the evening, and likely had some of the highest scores in the contest. An interesting feature of the Fall Sprints is that use of telephone, packet or Internet methods to coordinate contacts is acceptable. A VHF contest, especially a slower one, is often more interesting if you can see what others work in various parts of the country and participate in discussions in one of the VHF chat rooms. I believe an assisted category would be one to consider adding to the ARRL VHF contests, so those who wish to use the Internet or packet in the contest may do so. The full rules and information about the Fall VHF/UHF Sprints are at:


Contest Calendar

Compiled by Bruce Horn, WA7BNM

Heres the list of major contests of possible interest to North American contesters to help you plan your contesting activity through April 2005. The Web version of this calendar is updated more frequently and lists contests for the next 12 months. It can be found at: . As usual, please notify me of any corrections or additions to this calendar. I can be contacted via e-mail at Good luck and have fun! January 2005 SARTG New Year RTTY Contest AGCW Happy New Year Contest Original QRP Contest

0800Z-1100Z, Jan 1 0900Z-1200Z, Jan 1 1500Z, Jan 1 to 1500Z, Jan 2 Kids Day Contest 1800Z-2400Z, Jan 2 ARS Spartan Sprint 0200Z-0400Z, Jan 4 WQF QRP Party 0000Z-2400Z, Jan 7 Midwinter Contest, CW 1400Z-2000Z, Jan 8 ARRL RTTY Roundup 1800Z, Jan 8 to 2400Z, Jan 9 North American QSO Party, CW 1800Z, Jan 8 to 0600Z, Jan 9 EUCW 160m Contest 2000Z-2300Z, Jan 8 and 0400Z-0700Z, Jan 9 NRAU-Baltic Contest, CW 0530Z-0730Z, Jan 9 Midwinter Contest, Phone 0800Z-1400Z, Jan 9 NRAU-Baltic Contest, SSB 0800Z-1000Z, Jan 9 DARC 10-Meter Contest 0900Z-1059Z, Jan 9 Hunting Lions in the Air Contest 0000Z, Jan 15 to 2400Z, Jan 16 070 Club PSKFest 0000Z-2400Z, Jan 15 LZ Open Contest 1200Z-2000Z, Jan 15 MI QRP January CW Contest 1200Z, Jan 15 to 2359Z, Jan Hungarian DX Contest 1200Z, Jan 15 to 1200Z, Jan North American QSO Party, SSB 1800Z, Jan 15 to 0600Z, Jan BARTG RTTY Sprint 1200Z, Jan 22 to 1200Z, Jan ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes 1900Z, Jan 22 to 0400Z, Jan CQ 160-Meter Contest, CW 0000Z, Jan 29 to 2359Z, Jan REF Contest, CW 0600Z, Jan 29 to 1800Z, Jan UK DX Contest, RTTY 1200Z, Jan 29 to 1200Z, Jan UBA DX Contest, SSB 1300Z, Jan 29 to 1300Z, Jan February 2005 Vermont QSO Party 10-10 Int. Winter Contest, SSB YL-ISSB QSO Party Minnesota QSO Party YLRL YL-OM Contest, CW AGCW Straight Key Party Delaware QSO Party Mexico RTTY International Contest North American Sprint, SSB ARCI Winter Fireside SSB Sprint ARS Spartan Sprint KCJ Topband Contest CQ WW RTTY WPX Contest Asia-Pacific Spring Sprint, CW Dutch PACC Contest YLRL YL-OM Contest, SSB Louisiana QSO Party OMISS QSO Party FISTS Winter Sprint British Columbia QSO Challenge RSGB 1st 1.8 MHz Contest, CW North American Sprint, CW ARRL School Club Roundup AGCW Semi-Automatic Key Evening ARRL Inter. DX Contest, CW CQC Winter QSO Party

Russian PSK WW Contest CQ 160-Meter Contest, SSB REF Contest, SSB UBA DX Contest, CW Mississippi QSO Party CZEBRIS Contest North American QSO Party, RTTY High Speed Club CW Contest North Carolina QSO Party March 2005 AGCW YL-CW Party ARRL Inter. DX Contest, SSB Wake-Up! QRP Sprint DARC 10-Meter Digital Contest ARS Spartan Sprint Pesky Texan Armadillo Chase RSGB Commonwealth Contest 16 16 16 23 24 30 30 30 30 AGCW QRP Contest Oklahoma QSO Party North American Sprint, RTTY UBA Spring Contest, CW NSARA Contest 10-10 Int. Mobile Contest BARTG HF RTTY Contest Russian DX Contest Virginia QSO Party 9K 15-Meter Contest CQ WW WPX Contest, SSB Spring QRP Homebrewer Sprint

2100Z, Feb 25 to 2100Z, Feb 0000Z, Feb 26 to 2359Z, Feb 0600Z, Feb 26 to 1800Z, Feb 1300Z, Feb 26 to 1300Z, Feb 1500Z, Feb 26 to 0300Z, Feb 1600Z, Feb 26 to 2400Z, Feb 1800Z, Feb 26 to 0600Z, Feb 0900Z-1100Z, Feb 27 and 1500Z-1700Z, Feb 27 1700Z, Feb 27 to 0300Z, Feb

26 27 27 27 27 27 27 28

0000Z, Feb 5 to 2400Z, Feb 6 0001Z, Feb 5 to 2359Z, Feb 6 1100Z, Feb 5 to 1700Z, Feb 6 1400Z-2400Z, Feb 5 1400Z, Feb 5 to 0200Z, Feb 7 1600Z-1900Z, Feb 5 1700Z, Feb 5 to 0500Z, Feb 6 and 1300Z, Feb 6 to 0100Z, Feb 7 1800Z, Feb 5 to 1759Z, Feb 6 0000Z-0400Z, Feb 6 2000Z-2400Z, Feb 6 0200Z-0400Z, Feb 8 1200Z, Feb 10 to 1200Z, Feb 11 0000Z, Feb 12 to 2359Z, Feb 13 1100Z-1300Z, Feb 12 1200Z, Feb 12 to 1200Z, Feb 13 1400Z, Feb 12 to 0200Z, Feb 14 1500Z, Feb 12 to 0300Z, Feb 13 1500Z, Feb 12 to 1500Z, Feb 13 1700Z-2100Z, Feb 12 1800Z, Feb 12 to 1800Z, Feb 13 2100Z, Feb 12 to 0100Z, Feb 13 0000Z-0400Z, Feb 13 1300Z, Feb 14 to 0100Z, Feb 19 1900Z-2030Z, Feb 16 0000Z, Feb 19 to 2400Z, Feb 20 2200Z, Feb 20 to 0359Z, Feb 21

1900Z-2100Z, Mar 1 0000Z, Mar 5 to 2400Z, Mar 6 0400Z-0600Z, Mar 5 1100Z-1700Z, Mar 6 0200Z-0400Z, Mar 8 0200Z-0400Z, Mar 10 1000Z, Mar 12 to 1000Z, Mar 13 1400Z-2000Z, Mar 12 1400Z, Mar 12 to 0200Z, Mar 13 and 1400Z-2000Z, Mar 13 0000Z-0400Z, Mar 13 0700Z-1100Z, Mar 13 1200Z-1600Z, Mar 13 and 1800Z-2200Z, Mar 13 0001Z-2359Z, Mar 19 0200Z, Mar 19 to 0200Z, Mar 21 1200Z, Mar 19 to 1200Z, Mar 20 1800Z, Mar 19 to 0200Z, Mar 21 1200Z-1600Z, Mar 20 0000Z, Mar 26 to 2359Z, Mar 27 0000Z-0400Z, Mar 28

April 2005 SP DX Contest 1500Z, Apr 2 to 1500Z, Apr 3 EA RTTY Contest 1600Z, Apr 2 to 1600Z, Apr 3 ARS Spartan Sprint 0200Z-0400Z, Apr 5 YLRL DX-YL to NA-YL Contest, CW 1400Z, Apr 6 to 0200Z, Apr 8 SARL 80-Meter QSO Party 1700Z-2000Z, Apr 7 JIDX CW Contest 0700Z, Apr 9 to 1300Z, Apr 10 ARCI Spring QSO Party 1200Z, Apr 9 to 2400Z, Apr 10 EU Spring Sprint, SSB 1500Z-1859Z, Apr 9 UBA Spring Contest, SSB 0600Z-1000Z, Apr 10 YLRL DX-YL to NA-YL Contest, SSB 1400Z, Apr 13 to 0200Z, Apr 15 Holyland DX Contest 0000Z-2359Z, Apr 16 TARA Skirmish Digital Prefix Contest 0000Z-2400Z, Apr 16 ES Open HF Championship 0500Z-0859Z, Apr 16 YU DX Contest 1200Z, Apr 16 to 1200Z, Apr 17 EU Spring Sprint, CW 1500Z-1859Z, Apr 16 Michigan QSO Party 1600Z, Apr 16 to 0400Z, Apr 17 SP DX RTTY Contest 1200Z, Apr 23 to 1200Z, Apr 24 Helvetia Contest 1300Z, Apr 23 to 1300Z, Apr 24 Florida QSO Party 1600Z, Apr 23 to 0159Z, Apr 24 and 1200Z-2159Z, Apr 24 DXColombia Contest 2300Z, Apr 23 to 2300Z, Apr 24 EUCW/FISTS QRS Party 0001Z, Apr 24 to 2359Z, Apr 30


January/February 2005


Contest Tips, Tricks & Techniques

Strange ProblemsPart I
The complexity of the average ham shack has greatly increased over the years. Years ago, the typical station had a tube transmitter and receiver, and maybe an amplifier. Now youd typically add a computer and monitor, a packet or Internet connection and a pile of accessories including keyers, voice keyers, SO2R boxes and computer-controlled rotors. While the receiver of the past had maybe a dozen knobs, todays transceiver has hundreds of controls and internal menu set up commands. With all the things that can break, be set up wrong or cause interaction, it is no surprise that that some pretty strange problems can pop up from time to time. This installment of CTT&T looks at some of the tougher problems seen by readers. Grounding Issues Improper grounding is always good for interesting problems. Paul, K5AF, uses open wire feeders. Long cables in the shack can act as antennas, picking up his transmissions and causing problems with the computer or the other radios. Paul solved the problem by putting a good ground strap along the operating table. Every piece of equipment is connected to it, and the problems have gone away. NAX started having noise problems on the low bands when he installed a rotor. It turned out that a strong AM broadcast signal was being rectified by the diodes in the rotor control box. When Ward was turning the rotor, the noise changed to a 120-Hz buzz because the ac power was turning the diodes all the way on or off, and the rectification only happened at the 60-Hz zero crossings. He fixed the problem by putting .001F caps on all the control lines to the case, and grounding the case. Line Noise Line noise is a common problem to hams. N6XI used his beams and a portable radio to track down the S9 +20dB source. Rick called the power company and wrote down the names of the people he talked to, and any promises they made. Eventually the problem disappeared, but Rick is unsure if they fixed it or just it went away by itself. Faulty Gear One of the toughest problems I had to solve involved my amplifier. One day I turned it on, heard a bang and saw a flash of light. I opened it up and saw no 34 January/February 2005 visible damage. The voltages all seemed okay. I cautiously applied power and everything seemed to work, but I could only get half its rated power output. Im not an expert on HF amplifiers, so I consulted a few people who know a lot more than I do. I tried their suggestions, but nothing helped. I finally concluded that the tube must have died. It was over 10 years old, and those years included a lot of contesting. I bit the bullet and bought a new tube for about $700. Unfortunately, the new tube also generated only half the rated output. I finally tracked the problem down to the grid metering circuit. The grid meter had two shunt resistors in parallel. One of those had a small crack and was open. This caused the grid meter to show twice the current that was actually present. As I increased the drive power the grid meter showed the maximum allowable current at half drive, and I had half power output. Another time I had bad line noise all day during the ARRL 10-Meter Contest. Sunday morning I was up early waiting for the band to open. Fortunately, the line noise was gone. I know I missed many QSOs the day before because of the noise and I hoped to make up lost ground. Finally, the band started to open, and I turned on the amplifier. Bzzzz! The noise was back. I turned off the amp and it was gone. I ended up running low power the rest of the day because losing a couple of S units on transmit was better than adding 6 S units of noise on receive. The problem turned out to be dust buildup in the high-voltage rectifier board, which resulted in low current arcing. I cleaned it up and sprayed some conformal coating over the area. The problem never came back. Troublesome Antennas Antenna systems are exposed to the elements, and therefore subject to weather-induced failures. Some are drastic such as storm or ice damage. Others are a bit subtle. AA4NU was having trouble with his old 2-element quad that he used for South America and the Caribbean. Billy was seeing unpredictable SWR. He took an SWR bridge up the tower and found that every thing looked good there. He finally traced the problem to water in his 9913 coax.

By Gary Sutcliffe, W9XT

Dave, K1TTT, repor ted an even stranger problem. When transmitting on 20 meters, signals would be generated on 40 meters and 15 meters. With a lot of detective work he found that this depended on the direction of the 20-meter beam, the power level and how wet everything was. When it was dry outside, 500 W could cause the problem. When it was very wet, the threshold was over 1500 W and the problem would not be observed. Dave figured the problem was a caused by a pumped sub-harmonic generator. That is to say, something was rectifying the 20-meter (14 MHz) signal, but was resonant on 40 meters. This generated the 7-MHz signal, but it would then mix with the 20-meter signal to generate the 21-MHz signal (15 meters). Now the problem was to track it down. Dave had some suspicions of what antennas might have been causing the problems. During summer maintenance, they were brought down one by one, but that didnt help. At that point, his main suspects were the old 20-meter beams, which were scheduled for replacement. New ones replaced these, but the problem got worse! Dave started disconnecting the VHF antennas. The problem disappeared when he disconnected the flexible coax jumper between the hard line and antenna. Reconnecting it caused the problem to return. Fur ther investigation showed that the plastic shielding had worn away from the hard line at one spot. The jumper was putting enough pressure for the worn spot to touch the tower. The different metals created a rectifier. It turned out that the coax length was resonant at 40 meters. Dave eliminated the problem by grounding the top of the hard line to the tower. You can see more information about sub-har monic generation at s u b h a r m o n i c _ f i l e s / subharmonic_frames.htm . While you are there, check out some of Daves other technical pages. They are a great resource. Please send in your ideas on these subjects or suggestions for future topics. You can use the following routes: Postal mail3310 Bonnie Lane, Slinger, WI 53086; e-mail Be sure to get them to me by the deadline.


Contesting on a Budget
Self-Investment - the Best Investment!
The comments Ive received about this column seem to constantly reinforce the importance of the operator in the success of any station. All the bargain hardware and software in the world cannot compensate for an operator who is not adequately prepared for the contest battlefield. I therefore posed the question of what types of investments you all made in yourselves to ensure winning results. As always, you provided some very interesting responses. Practice, Practice, Practice Chas, K3WW, fired back the first response to my question and his was the bellwether for the responses that followed. Chas noted the importance of practice and that small contests provide a great opportunity to practice running, S & P, SO2R and low band skills, even without a full level of commitment to the contest. Jim, KI7Y, enters as many contests as he can, big and small. Randy, K5ZD, likes to work many small contests. He likens it to conditioning training for athletes. He also finds that a side benefit is call sign recognition in both directions that later helps in larger contests. In addition to the benefits of regular contest operating, Jim, N3BB, keeps his CW skills sharp with conversational CW at 50+ WPM. He feels it makes him much more comfortable and less fatigued at contest speeds. Jim, KI7Y, uses the simulator feature of TR software to push his CW limits. Jim makes an excellent suggestion for improving SO2R skills by running the TR simulator in one ear while listening to received CW in the other ear. Mike, W7DRA, recommends that even a cheap second radio can help improve SO2R skills. He says even a $100 HW-16 can be modified for this purpose. Howie, N4AF, feels that traffic handling helps him, but he also likes operating the Sprints to keep operating skills at their peak. Paul, N4PN, finds the state and regional QSO parties to provide great practice. He also likes the various plaques and other benefits (like the lobster dinner for two for the New England QSO Party) offered for winning. Paul has been contesting for 52 years, so he relishes every opportunity to keep mind and body tuned up! Study, Study, Study The World-Wide Web provides an almost-infinite source of information on contesting, and those in the know have specific sites they prefer. Jim, N3BB and I have chatted about the value of the 3830 reflector. Besides the raw score data, several top contesters are pasting their rate sheets into their e-mail score submission and making extensive comments on the contest. That immediate feedback is great, especially when comparing your results against similar stations. It also helps explain particularly successful or particularly unsuccessful efforts. Id like to put in a plug for including comments with your score submission and sharing your unvarnished observations of the contest. The various contesting reflectors were mentioned by several as a good source of up-to-date information. Another great resource is the contest club Web sites, which often include a lot of information on antennas, operating, multi-op opportunities and general club activities. Al, KE1FO, cited the Yankee Clipper Contest Club Web site as being particularly informative. Share, Share, Share I teach Business Process Improvement (BPI) classes for Dell Computer Corporation. Dell has experienced an exponential increase in BPI savings over the last several years and they should exceed $1.5 billion in validated savings this year. An underlying philosophy in Dell is that BPI is like love; youve got to give it away to get it. This is a great metaphor for contesting. When we share information, experience and even our stations with others, we all win. Whether its mentoring, providing a multi-op station for others, guest oping, being involved in clubs or sending e-mail to a contesting reflector, we all gain by sharing. Being involved in a multi-op effort seems to be one of the best personal growth experiences for both the host and the guests. Chas, K3WW, notes that Multi-op participation is a common thread in most successful contesters. You can learn a lot when you help others. Jim, KI7Y, says he accepts almost all offers to multi-op, and it has afforded him an opportunity to expand his knowledge, and learn from observing other ops. KE1FO agrees. Al says its the best bang for the buck, because it combines learning with doing. Mike, YO3CTK, has enjoyed the building aspect of a superstation and letting his younger guests concentrate on operating.

Paul Schaffenberger, K5AF

Club activity is another way to share information and provide encouragement. Veteran contesters N4AF and N4PN both feel their club affiliation to be a real plus in their contesting careers. Howie has been a PVRC member for 45 years! Paul is a member of the Southeastern DX Club, the Southeast Contest Club and the Florida Contest Club. The Physical Factor Randy, K5ZD, considers physical exercise his number one self-investment. He wonders, Why do people think radio is different than any other sport? You can definitely stay awake longer and stay in the chair longer when you are in good shape. When not crushing the competition, Randy walks three miles daily. Peter, DL4FN, alternately jogs and practices CW on the days prior to a contest. Peter feels that regular jogging keeps him more fit to stay awake for 24 or 48 hours. Jim, N3BB, emphasizes the importance of physical and mental conditioning. Jim recommends against physically stressful antenna work just before a contest, and the importance of rest and managing the body clock for the location and the contest. In Summary The input from Jim, WUO/5, serves as an excellent summary. He recommends practicing, reading and observing all aspects of the contesting environment. He believes in planning and revising the plan as needed. Most importantly, he feels you can help yourself the most by learning to play your hand with the cards you are dealt. Each contesters situation is unique, offering pitfalls and opportunities. Knowing the difference is crucial to success. Thanks to DL4FN, KE1FO, N3BB, K3WW, N4AF, N4PN, K5ZD, KI7Y, W7DRA, W9XT, WUO/5 and YO3CTK for their contributions. Topic for the Mar/Apr NCJ: Information Management. Contesting is becoming an exercise in information management, including creating, transporting, analyzing and archiving information. What cost-effective means have you developed for dealing with the plethora of accumulated information that a typical contester maintains? How do you deal with the DOS to Windows divide? What convenient and economical storage media do you use? I look forward to your responses!


January/February 2005


RTTY Contesting
NAQP RTTY is a fun RTTY contest in which team spirit runs high. Tennessee Contest Group (TCG) team organizer Larry Lindblom, W ETC, wrote this months article. You will soon understand Larrys passion for RTTY contesting and the lengths he will go to support RTTY contesting!Ed
Twice each year during the weeks leading up to NAQP RTTY, you can count on seeing a flurry of e-mails from WETC asking, begging and pleading for players on TCG NAQP RTTY teams. A frequently asked question is, Why does he do this? It started in the mid 90s when WETC (Larry or Lar during NAQP RTTY) in Iowa was primarily a phone operator and wanted to join a team for NAQP SSB. Several message postings to CQ-Contest yielded one reply from K4RO who invited Larry to join with and play on a TCG team. Larry played with TCG, which was the start of his long distance involvement with the TCG. Many often ask what TCG stands for. With tongue in cheek Larry often responds with, Teletype Contest Group. Or the Top Contest Group. In truth, TCG is shor t for the Tennessee Contest Group. TCG is a medium sized ARRL affiliated club, which for ARRL contests is limited to participation by only Tennessee stations. However, for those events without limits on geographic areas, anyone is welcome to play with TCG. In the late 90s, Larry gravitated to RTTY and RTTY contesting in particular. He noticed there were regular TCG team organizers for NAQP CW and SSB, but no one in the TCG was attempting to organize NAQP RTTY Teams. He volunteered to do this and the offer was accepted. At that time, there were only three or four RTTY operators in TCG, which wasnt enough to make a full team of five. So, he did a blanket invite for anyone and everyone to play on a TCG team. The number of responses surprised him, and several teams were rapidly filled. Over the years, Larry has continued to organize TCG teams for NAQP RTTY and typically has 20 to 30 team players. The players often include stations from outside the USA. As you might notice in the NAQP results, the team names are always unique and different. He typically has a theme for the team names. For the 36 January/February 2005

John Fleming WA9ALS

Tennessee Contest Group (TCG) team organizer Larry Lindblom, WETC.

July NAQP RTTY, the theme was song titles, e.g., TCG Traveling Men, TCG 5 Oclock Somewheres. This July, in spite of spending a long period of time in the hospital due to health problems, WETC again took on the task of organizing TCG NAQP RTTY Teams. He could do this thanks to a modern hospital with an analog phone system plus a laptop computer. However, this year he had a back up plan. In case he became too sick to continue the team organizing effort, NY4N was carbon copied on all e-mails and could take

over at a moments notice. WETC is committed to organizing TCG NAQP RTTY Teams for two reasons. First, he believes participation is a factor in the popularity and survival of any contest. Second, recruiting team players encourages increased participation. He also believes a 12-hour event like NAQP RTTY is the perfect length contest in that it does not take away the entire weekend and leaves time for the important thing like family and friends. Second, he strongly believes in the TCG core philosophy: Contest participation by anyone and everyone, regardless of equipment or skill level, should always be encouraged. The TCG has a commitment to increasing contest participation at all levels from top guns down to beginners, a commitment to bring new people into contesting and help them improve their abilities. Now you know the rest of the story, and why WETC does his thing for TCG come NAQP RTTY time. He in turn invites you to do your thing by playing on a TCG team in NAQP RTTY. Watch for his e-mails coming to your inbox in a few months! Goodbye! This is my last column as your NCJ RTTY columnist. Its been a great two years and Ive learned a lot. I want to say a big thank you to those who have contributed material for the column. You have added support to the RTTY contesting community I hope youve enjoyed the time, and I hope to see you in many future RTTY contests! 73 DE WA9ALS

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North American Sprint CW/SSB/RTTY Rules

(Revised December 6, 2004) 1. Eligibility: Any licensed radio amateur may enter. 2. Object: For North American stations to contact as many licensed radio amateurs as possible. For non-North American stations to contact as many North American stations as possible. 3. Entry Classification: High power, low power (100W) and QRP (5W). Single operator only. Use of helpers, packet or spotting nets is not permitted. 4. Contest periods: February/March 2005 Contests: SSB: 0000Z-0400Z February 6, 2005 (Sunday of first full weekend in February) CW: 0000Z-0400Z February 13, 2005 (Sunday of second full weekend in February) RTTY: 0000Z-0400Z March 13, 2005 (Sunday of second full weekend in March) 10. Scoring: Multiply total valid contacts by the sum of the U.S. states, Canadian Provinces and other North American Countries to get final score (do not count USA and Canada as countries). KH6 is not counted as a State and is not a North American country (but counts for QSO credit). The eight Canadian multipliers are Maritime (VE1, VE9, VO1, VO2 and VY2), VE2 through VE7, and Yukon-NWT (VY, VY1 and VE8). Non-North American countries do not count as multipliers, but do count for QSO credit for North American stations. 11. Special QSY Rule: If any station solicits a call (by sending CQ, QRZ?, going up 5 kHz, or any other means of soliciting a response, including completion of a QSO where the frequency was inherited), they are permitted to work only one station in response to that solicitation. They must thereafter move at least 1 kHz before calling another station, or at least 5 kHz before soliciting other calls. Once a station is required to QSY, that station is not allowed to make another QSO on the vacated frequency until or unless at least one subsequent QSO is made on a new frequency. 12. Additional Rules: Simultaneous transmission on more than one frequency is prohibited. All contacts must be sent and received using means requiring real-time human intervention, detection and initiation. Each operator must use only one call sign during the contest. 13. Reporting: (At NCJ press time, the submission information was under review. Please view the rules on the NCJ Web site for the final version.) Entries must be received no later than 7 days after the Sprint. All competitive logs (more than 100 QSOs) must be submitted electronically (e-mail, 3.5-inch floppy disk, etc.). The file format for electronic logs for NCJ-sponsored contests is Cabrillo. Entrants who do not use computer logging are encouraged to use the log-entry Web form, available at the links above, to enter the QSO info from their paper logs. 14. Team Competition: Team competition is limited to a maximum of 10 operators as a single entry unit. Groups having more than ten team members may submit more than one team entry. To qualify as a team entry, the team registration form on the NCJ Web site must be completed before the contest starts. Use one of the following links: CW Team Registration: SSB Team Registration: RTTY Team Registration: 15. Penalties and Disqualification: Contacts with incorrect received information will be removed. Contacts not found in the other stations log will be removed with a one QSO penalty. Entries with score reductions in excess of 5 percent may be disqualified. Any entr y also may be disqualified for illegibility, illegal or unethical operation.

September/October 2005 Contests: CW: 0000Z-0400Z September 11, 2005 (first Sunday following first Monday in September) SSB: 0000Z-0400Z September 18, 2005 (second Sunday following first Monday in September) RTTY: 0000Z-0400Z October 9, 2005 (Sunday of second full weekend in October)
These are entirely separate four-hour Sprints. Note that the CW Sprint comes before the SSB Sprint in September, but not in February. 5. Mode: CW only in CW Sprints, SSB only in SSB Sprints, RTTY only in RTTY Sprints. 6. Bands: 80, 40 and 20 meters only. Suggested frequencies are around 3540, 7040 and 14040 kHz on CW; 3850, 7225 and 14275 kHz on Phone; and 3580, 7080 and 14080 kHz on RTTY. You may work the same station once per band. Note : For RTTY only, the same station can be worked multiple times provided three contacts separate the contact in both logs, regardless of band. 7. Exchange: To have a valid exchange, you must send all of the following information: the other stations call, your call, your serial number, your name and your location (state, province, or country). You may send this information in any order. For example: N6TR DE K7GM 154 RICK NC K K7GM NR 122 TREE OR DE N6TR K 8. Valid Contact: A valid contact consists of a complete, correctly copied and logged two-way exchange between a North American station and another station. Proper logging requires including the time of each contact. Serial numbers must begin with serial number one and be sequential thereafter. 9. North American Station: Defined by the rules of the CQ WW DX Contests. Note that KH6 is not in North America.

Revised 6-dec-2004


January/February 2005


North American QSO Parties (NAQP) CW/SSB/RTTY Rules

(Revised December 6, 2004) 1. Eligibility: Any licensed radio amateur may enter. 2. Objective: To work as many North American stations as possible during the contest period. 3. North American Station: Defined by the ARRLs DXCC list with the addition of KH6. 4. Contest periods: January/February 2005 Contests: CW: 1800Z January 8 to 0600Z January 9, 2005 (Second full weekend in January) SSB: 1800Z January 15 to 0600Z January 16, 2005 (Third full weekend in January) RTTY: 1800Z February 26 to 0600Z February 27, 2005 (Last full weekend in February) is changed during the contest, as sometimes happens with multi-operator stations, the name used for each QSO must be clearly identified in the log. 10. Multipliers: Are U.S. states (including KH6 and KL7), 13 Canadian provinces/territories (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland/Labrador, Yukon, NWT, and Nunavut) and other North American countries. District of Columbia counts as Mar yland. Non-Nor th Amer ican countries, maritime mobiles and aeronautical mobiles do not count as multipliers, but may be worked for QSO credit. 11. Valid Contact: A valid contact consists of a complete, correctly copied and legibly logged two-way exchange between a North American station and any other station. Proper logging requires including the time in UTC and band for each contact. Regardless of the number of licensed call signs issued to a given operator, that operator shall utilize one and only one call sign during the contest. 12. Scoring: Multiply total valid contacts by the sum of the number of multipliers worked on each band. 13. Team Competition: You may wish to form a team with fellow NAQP participants. If so, your team must consist of 2 to 5 single operator stations whose individual scores are combined to produce a team score. Although clubs or other groups having more than five members may form multiple teams, there is no distance or meeting requirements for a team entry. Teams must be registered prior to the start of the contest. Use one of the following on-line forms to register your team: CW Team Registration: SSB Team Registration: RTTY Team Registration: These team registration forms automatically provide confirmation of team registration by returned e-mail. 14. Log formatting: All logs containing more than 100 QSOs must be submitted as an ASCII text file, with one line per QSO. Cabrillo is the standard format for all NAQP logs. For those participants who use paper logging, please use either the Excel spreadsheet template (available at or the manual log entry Web-to-Cabrillo on-line forms available at the links given below to submit your logs. Paper log originals will be accepted from those par ticipants who have no other means of submitting their log. Paper log forms are available on the NCJ Web site ( for the convenience of those who log on paper during the contest. For a Cabrillo-formatted log, submit only the log file. Please confirm that your output power is properly stated in the header portion of the Cabrillo log before submission. LOW indicates the use of 100W or less, while QRP indicates 5W or less. Submissions that indicate the use of HIGH power will be used as check logs. For a non-Cabrillo log, a proper entry consists of: (1) a summary sheet showing the number of valid contacts and multipliers by band, total contacts and multipliers, total score, team name (if applicable), power output, name, call sign and address of the operator, station call sign and exchange

July/August 2005 Contests: RTTY: 1800Z July 16 to 0600Z July 17, 2005 (Third full weekend in July) CW: 1800Z August 6 to 0600Z August 7, 2005 (First full weekend in August) SSB: 1800Z August 20 to 0600Z August 21, 2005 (Third full weekend in August) 5. Entry Classification: a) Single Operator: i) One person performs all transmitting, receiving, spotting and logging functions as well as equipment and antenna adjustments. ii) Use of helpers or spotting nets, regardless of the mode of communication (e.g. PacketCluster), is not permitted. iii) Only one transmitted signal allowed at a time. iv) May operate 10 out of the 12 hours of the contest. Off times must be at least 30 minutes in length. b) Multi-Operator Two-Transmitter. i) More than one person performs transmitting, receiving and logging functions, etc. ii) A maximum of two transmitted signals at any given time, each on a different band. Both transmitters may work all stations. iii) Shall keep a separate log for each transmitter. iv) Each transmitter must have at least 10 minutes between band changes. v) May operate for the entire 12 hours of the contest. 6. Output power: Limited to no more than 100 watts for eligible entries. Use of external amplifiers capable of more than 100 watts output is not allowed. QRP (5W) entries will be recognized in the results. 7. Mode: CW only in CW parties. SSB only in phone parties. RTTY only in RTTY parties. 8. Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10 meters only, except no 160 meters for the RTTY contest. You may work a station once per band. Suggested frequencies are 1815, 3535, 7035, 14035, 21035 and 28035 kHz (35 kHz up from band edge for Novice/Tech) on CW; and 1865, 3850, 7225, 14250, 21300, and 28500 kHz (28450 for Novice/Tech) on SSB. When operating on 160-meters, please respect the DX window of 1830-1840 kHz and keep SSB operations above 1840 kHz. 9. Exchange: Operator name and station location (state, province, or country) for North American stations; operator name only for non-North American stations. If the name sent
38 January/February 2005


(name and location) sent during the contest; and (2) a complete log, including date and time (in UTC), frequency or band, and copied call and exchange for each QSO. Name your files with your call sign (i.e. yourcall.log). Please do not send binary files produced by a contest-logging program (e.g. yourcall.BIN, yourcall.QDF, etc.). 15. Log submission: Entries must be postmarked no later than 14 days after the contest to be eligible for awards. Methods of log submission in order of preference are as follows: a) Upload Cabrillo-formatted log via Web form (preferable): All modes: b) E-mail log (ASCII text file, or Excel file if template used): CW: SSB: RTTY: c) Mail 3.5-inch floppy disk, containing log file, to the appropriate address listed below. d) Manually convert paper log to Cabrillo log using one of the following tools: CW: SSB: RTTY: e) Mail original paper log to the appropriate address listed below. CW/SSB: Bruce Horn, WA7BNM 4225 Farmdale Ave Studio City, CA 91604 USA CW e-mail: SSB e-mail: RTTY: Shelby Summerville, K4WW 6506 Lantana Ct. Louisville, KY 40229-1544 USA e-mail: 16. Disqualifications: Entries with score reductions greater than 5 percent may be disqualified. Any entry may be disqualified for illegibility, illegal or unethical operation. Such disqualification is at the discretion of the contest manager. 17. Awards: Plaques will be awarded for the high score in each of the categories given below, provided there are a minimum of five entries in the category. If a plaque is not sponsored, the winner may purchase it. Certificates of merit will be awarded to the highest scoring entrant with at least 200 QSOs from each state, province or North American country. Certificates of merit will also be awarded to the overall second and third place finishers in the multi-operator category for each mode. Plaques will be awarded as follows: Mode Category Sponsor CW Single Op, North America Florida Contest Group CW Multi-Op, North America Texas DX Society SSB Single Op, North America South East Contest Club SSB Multi-Op, North America Tennessee Contest Group Combined CW/SSB Single Op, North America Southern California Contest Club RTTY Single Op, North America ICOM RTTY Single Op, DX ICOM RTTY Multi-Op, North America ICOM RTTY Multi-Op, DX ICOM

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September 2004 Phone Sprint Results

One hundred and twelve logs were received from last Septembers contest, which is slightly up from the prior September. Yet, scores were down compared to last year. The decline can be partially linked to less multipliers being available, but also it would seem a years further decline in the sunspot cycle took its toll. Post-contest reports indicated less than optimum conditions. There were two DX logs submitted this time. Thanks to PY2OMS and JAQWO for joining in and for sending in their logs. As a reminder, I am continuing the changes made in February 2004 to the HP and LP Top Ten listings by adding you and them error percentages, and adding QSOs Lost and hour-by-hour QSO totals for the LP Top Ten. High Power After several years absence from SSB Sprints, Gary, VA7RR, re-appeared in February and placed second. This time he moved up to notch the win. It was Garys seventh win, which now puts him in a tie with K6LL for most SSB Sprint wins. Apparently, the layoff has not produced much rust since Gary had the lowest error rate of any of the HP Top Ten. Good job, Gary! KW8N placed second this time and was the only operator besides VA7RR to exceed 300 QSOs. Coming in third Team Scores
NCCC #1 VA7RR 15040 W6YX 10780 K6IF 10212 NI6T 9430 WX5S 8200 KJ6RA 8118 K6LRN 8036 WK6I 7348 KE6ZSN 3255 80419 SMC W9RE 13005 K0OU 11051 KA9FOX 8471 N2BJ 7525 K9JS 7320 WI9WI 4454 51826

Jim Stevens, K4MA

with his first trip to the High Power Top Ten was K7RL. Rounding out the HP Top Ten was K7RI (K7SS), K6LA, W7GG, N6ED, W9RE, KE3Q and K4XS. It was also W7GGs and KE3Qs first time in the HP Top Ten. As is usual, the middle of the Top Ten pack was very tight with only 862 points separating third from eighth, so logging

PVRC #1 KE3Q 12374 NX9T 9560 K7SV 8595 W3YY 7752 N4CW 5145 K4AF 3003 W3DOS 520 46949

SCCC #1 K6LA 13536 N6ED 13112 W6TK 11270 K6EY 6400 44318

Top 10 Golden
W6YL WA4FIB W8TM N7ON WA2RY WA7BNM N9OE AA4LR JAQWO 134 88 81 57 38 29 20 10 5

Top 10 Mults
K7RL W6OAT VA7RR W7GG K6LA KW8N K7RI KE3Q W6TK K6IF K5XR 49 48 47 47 47 46 46 46 46 46 46

5. TCG #1 (N4ZZ, W4NZ, NA4K, K4BP, KE4OAR, N1WI) .......................................... 30101 6. NCCC #2 (W6OAT, K6XX, K6DGW, KE6QR, WA4FIB, W6EB, W6ZZZ, NU6T) ... 27071 7. MWA (KT0R, K0AD, N0AT, WG0M, N0IJ) ................................................................ 19859 8. FCG TEAM OJ (K4XS) ............................................................................................... 12188 9. Team CCO (VE3AGC, VA3NR, VA2UK) ................................................................... 11987 10. Mad River Radio Club (K9NW, K8MR) ..................................................................... 10844 11. SECC Team #1 (NA4BW, K4BAI, AA4LR) ................................................................. 9572

Top 10 Low Power

Call N5DO KUK K7SV KA9FOX KE5OG KHW K1HT K6EY K1KD NA4K Total 9758 9282 8595 8471 8385 6972 6942 6400 6360 6080 QSOs Lost 7 7 8 4 9 2 1 5 9 5 You 2.0% 2.9% 3.5% 1.0% 3.9% 1.2% 0.6% 3.0% 4.8% 3.0% Them 1.3% 1.7% 1.6% 3.5% 4.1% 2.4% 1.7% 1.9% 2.5% 0.0% Error Rates 00Z 01Z 76 60 73 64 61 45 65 54 56 57 42 48 37 52 47 44 45 47 47 32 02Z 52 45 51 74 52 33 53 42 40 36 03Z 52 56 35 6 31 43 36 27 28 45

Top 10 QSOS
VA7RR KW8N N6ED K7RI W9RE K6LA W7GG K7RL K4XS N5AN 320 308 298 295 289 288 284 283 277 275

Top 10 QRP
WA4PGM W3DOS W8LBO 3333 520 16

Top 10 Scores Top 10 Band Changes

W7GG KW8N W9RE K6LA VA7RR K4XS KTR WX5S K6IF KOU NA4BW 112 102 82 46 41 41 33 23 22 16 16
Call Total
15040 14168 13867 13570 13536 13348 13112 13005 12374 12188

Top 10 Reverse Golden

W6TK K5XR K6XX NA4K KE4OAR KAD WB6JJJ NAT N8NA W8TM 245 181 164 160 123 110 108 99 98 81


Band Changes 41 102 8 5 46 112 2 82 2 41

QSOs Lost 2 2 11 8 8 12 10 8 7 10

You 0.3% 0.6% 3.7% 2.6% 2.0% 4.1% 2.9% 2.4% 2.2% 3.1%

Them 1.2% 2.9% 4.2% 5.4% 1.0% 1.8% 2.0% 2.8% 5.2% 1.1%

Error Rates 00Z 01Z 93 72 90 67 74 69 unk unk 94 78 71 71 83 85 88 73 81 71 93 70

02Z 79 56 70 unk 56 73 68 68 38 60

03Z 77 95 70 unk 62 69 63 61 80 55

Note: unk signifies that the log was submitted in a format that made it impossible to determine hourly QSO totals


January/February 2005


accuracy can make the difference of several positions on how a given station places. Low Power Again, Low Power provided one of the closest races with N5DO besting K0UK for the LP title. Dave and Bill had identical QSO totals of 238, but Dave was able to find two additional multipliers. With his win N5DO becomes only the second operator besides K5NZ to notch more than one LP win. K7SV finished third, and dropping down to LP for a change Scores

was KA9FOX, who took fourth place. The remainder of the Top Ten was KE5OG, KHW, K1HT, K6EY, K1KD and NA4K. K7SV and K1HT now have 10 LP Top Ten finishes, which is just two behind VE5SFs record of 12. QRP WA4PGM, Kyle, took the QRP crown with W3DOS (K9GY) and W8LBO also submitting QRP logs. Golden Logs The Top Ten Golden Logs were W6YL,

WA4FIB, W8TM, N7ON, WA2RY, WA7BNM, N9OE, AA4LR and JAQWO. The Top Ten Reverse Golden Logs (meaning there were no busted exchanges in the receiving stations log) were W6TK, K5XR (W5ASP), K6XX, NA4K, KE4OAR, KAD, WB6JJJ, N0AT, N8NA and W8TM. Congratulations on the accuracy! If you want a copy of your log checking report, please send an email to Records As further indication of poorer condi-


56 59 60 48 45 33 28 7 32 16 101 64 50 11 37 0

40 80 QSO Mult Score Team

81 67 62 57 44 55 59 40 60 29 0 0 23 22 6 14 88 77 62 42 3 8 50 29 0 0 80 60 25 45 0 18 204 178 159 147 134 33 101 58 38 30 269 201 137 98 40 26 277 239 214 191 204 174 160 138 142 124 123 101 91 64 59 21 14 10 275 238 195 181 210 133 91 24 288 298 245 245 222 199 230 205 198 196 167 160 164 39 39 40 35 37 15 35 28 19 15 7956 6942 6360 5145 PVRC #1 4958 495 3535 1624 722 450

46 12374 PVRC #1 43 8643 37 5069 33 3234 13 19 520 PVRC #1 494




33 53 43 41 43 55 13 17 9 0 9 0 14 18

40 80 QSO Mult Score Team

61 34 45 42 34 5 37 10 15 29 4 0 8 3 40 21 29 22 22 28 0 14 18 0 25 37 0 0 134 108 117 105 99 88 50 41 42 29 38 37 22 21 32 37 33 31 31 30 22 20 15 21 16 12 15 15 4288 3996 3861 3255 3069 2640 1100 820 630 609 608 444 330 315


#2 #1 #2 #2 #2



99 105 73 77 89 73 69 69 76 68 67 56 68 66 70 54 63 57 50 47 63 42 47 49 67 57 18 51 44 29 53 51 19 29 30 42 30 22 2 7 4 1 24 20 28 11 4 9 37 22 29 3 6 0 61 60 27 0 41 19 37 0 47 62 46 57 60 36 53 45 42 39 35 25 43

44 12188 FCG TEAM OJ 40 9560 PVRC #1 41 8774 TCG #1 45 8595 PVRC #1 38 7752 PVRC #1 38 6612 TCG #1 38 6080 TCG #1 36 4968 SECC Team #1 32 4544 SECC Team #1 36 4464 TCG #1 33 4059 TCG #1 33 3333 33 29 28 12 8 6 3003 PVRC #1 1856 1652 252 112 TCG #1 60 SECC Team #1



WA 104 117 62

283 295 284 151 142 102 75 57 51 32 308 155 90 81 51 4 289 214 197 175 183 131 257 253 238 213 166 110 98 99 76 59 32 20 320 145 149 99 39 31 16 94 5

49 13867 46 13570 47 13348 37 5587 39 5538 31 3162 30 2250 19 1083 21 1071 15 480 46 14168 38 5890 32 2880 30 2430 28 1428 Mad River RC 4 16 45 13005 SMC 44 43 43 40 34 9416 8471 7525 7320 4454 Mad River RC SMC SMC SMC SMC

DAN WA 137 120 38 BOB OR 125 111 48 BRIAN WA 68 83 0 *KEVIN OR 45 71 26 *WARRENAZ 67 35 0 ANN AK 62 13 0 *JOHN NY 0 31 26 *AARON ID 51 0 0 *JACK NV 1 31 0 BOB IAN STEVE *PAUL JIM **TIM OH MI WV OH OH MI IN IN WI IL IL WI MO MN CO KS SD MN IA MN MN MN MN IA 96 129 83 44 54 57 12 30 48 6 54 21 0 17 34 0 4 0 88 120 81 71 56 36 43 30 64 65 73 81 62 79 76 66 59 39




107 107 87 91 93 75 104 85 58 41 17 77 84 56 13 7

44 12100 41 9758 43 8385 46 37 33 37 14 8326 7770 4389 3367 336

132 109 129 107 94 105 86 102 70 92 79 84 88 89 76 73 79 89 76 95 84 83 78 43 59 26

47 13536 SCCC #1 44 13112 SCCC #1 46 11270 SCCC #1 44 10780 NCCC #1 46 10212 NCCC #1 48 9552 NCCC #2 41 9430 NCCC #1 40 41 41 44 40 36 8200 8118 8036 7348 6400 5904 NCCC #1 NCCC #1 NCCC #1 NCCC #1 SCCC #1 NCCC #2

89 103 65 79 95 79 76 109 53 77 77 59 50 74 42 3 62 45 13 48 37 0 51 48 30 19 27 35 24 0 0 32 0 9 11 0 83 70 59 46 56 62 56 9 21 0 24 7 4 0 38 0 0 0

43 11051 SMC 42 10626 MWA 39 9282 43 9159 42 6972 36 3960 MWA 33 3234 32 3168 MWA 32 2432 27 1593 MWA 16 512 MWA 9 180 47 15040 NCCC #1 39 5655 Team CCO 37 5513 Team CCO 30 2970 21 819 Team CCO 18 558 9 144 31 4 2914 20


VE7 167 VE3 40 VE3 31 VE7 34 VE2 18 VE4 0 VE3 12 PY JA 56 5


January/February 2005


I shudda used NA


Contest Logging Software

NA is a contest program that is easy-to-use, has templates for most contests, will allow you to design your own templates and can be used as a general logging program. Operation is simple and most active contesters can sit down and use it right away. Runs on almost all computers from 8088 to stateof-the-art Pentiums. You get an illustrated manual and one year of free upgrades with your purchase. NA is fimly committed to the future of contesting and ensuring that the program is kept up-to-date and fun to use. NA Contest Logging Software v 10.x $60 US Shipping $5.95 Overseas $9.95 NA Website:

tions, there were no new high power area records and only one low power area record broken this time. The new low power area record is K1KD in Vermont. QRP records were broken or established for the first time by: W3DOS (K9GY) in Maryland, WA4PGM in Virginia, and W8LBO in Michigan. By the way, if someone wants to try SSB Sprint with low power in February 2005, it is important to note that there are no low power marks established in Louisiana, Utah and West Virginia. You can view the SSB Sprint records at ssbsprintrecords.php. Teams Northern California Contesting Club #1 took the team competition for their second time and in the process knocked off the SMC/Dead Lizards CAN Talk and SCCC dynasty in team competitions. Rounding out the Top Five teams were: SMC, PVRC #1, SCCC #1 and TCG #1. Notes The February 2005 Phone Sprint will be held at 0000Z on February 6 (February 5 local time). Get on and join us in the fun! Soapbox
It was so hard to make QSOs that I thought the antennas had all fallen down. After an hour of struggling, I took a flashlight and went out in the back yard. Darned if they werent all still there and pointed in the right direction, too. A plate of fresh cherry pie and ice cream helped keep the whining down until the end. It didnt hur t the rate one bit. N8NA......Sprint is chaos in a bottle that pops at 0000Z! Its the champagne of contesting! N6ED......My first contest (interesting choice for a first contestEd). Not a great score but, had a lot of fun.N5GDC......Fun contest, but difficult to get the rhythm going for a while. WB6JJJ......Got off to my usual slow start, but once I got a little rhythm had a lot of fun! Mainly wanted to check the station out in preparation for the fall contest season. Found and fixed a few gremlins along the way. W7GG......I thought things were bad on 20. But then I went to 40 and 75.W8TM......It was exciting working AK with QRP.W3DOS (K9GY)......Got home from eating out with the wife and realized that the contest was still running (35 minutes left), so I grabbed a piece of paper (no time for computer setup) and starting working people on 75 meters. Great fun!W4EF......My best score in Sprint yet. KJ6RA......This is a weird contest. K5ZD......No antennas up yet at my new home QTH. With 1.5 hours to go before the contest, I was still not sure if I was going to do this one from my truck, like I did for CW weekend, or try to string up some antennas at home, or try to guest op somewhere. Wound up with the latter. I contacted local ham and all-around great guy WV9S at 22:30Z and he said Come on over! Had high SWR on 40 meters that required use of tuner. Overall, I thought conditions were terriblecould not work any east coast stations on 20 meters. Certainly was a bad contest to go low power! But I had fun, as usual. Gotta love the SSB Sprint!KA9FOX......Great contest and operators.KTR.
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XMATCH Antenna Tuner

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January/February 2005


September 2004 CW Sprint Results

The double nickel (55th) CW Sprint was held on September 12 (UTC) from 0000:00 to 0400:00 UTC. However, the first 60 seconds were rather quiet, as many operators paid their respects to two entrants who were missing from this event. There were 23 QSOs logged with a time of 0000 UTC, with more than 125 in the second minute. Several stations were heard calling K4OJ and W4AN, but there was no response. A few Kleenex tissues were consumed in the process. Twenty meters was open for most everyone for the first couple of hours of the contest and 80 meters wasnt as bad as it can be in September. Activity was strong, and while the 400 QSO barrier was not broken this time around, there were still 36 stations who had at least 300 QSOs. A total of eight teams managed to accumulate scores over 100K pointsa very strong showing. Log submission was down slightly compared to last September, but still strong with 194 logs received. Once again, we used the seven-day deadline for log submission and produced the results for posting on the Internet during the second week after the contest. QRP Category Ten logs were submitted in the QRP category, and we are happy to announce all ten of them made the top ten. Congratulations to Danny Eskenazi, K7SS, on another QRP victory. However, instead of using K7RIs station, Danny operated from his home for a change. The second place score wasnt very far behind as Ken Adams piloted K5KA to 212 QSOs, just one fewer than Danny, but several multipliers short. NJ4X/ and N8VW produced very strong scores from the middle of the country to take third and fourth. Low Power Category Eighty-seven of the logs received were in the low power category. Dan Craig, N6MJ, who set the low power record last February, came out on top again. However, the competition is getting closer with east coast stations W4OC, K1HT and K7SV not far behind. NAT, K8NZ, NAN, NAX, W1RM and N8EA filled out the rest of the top ten. The entire low power top ten had over 11K points. Making the top ten in this category is not a gimme. Just ask Paul, K5AF, who finished with a very respectable 255 QSOs, but missed the box. High Power The remaining 97 logs received were in the high power category. Pat Barkey, N9RV, has been working his way up the top ten after his initial appearance five years ago. He seems to have some kind of magic that overcomes the black hole phenomenon that many W9s complain about - where signals just dont seem to get out very well. Pat finished with 384 QSOs to claim his first CW Sprint victory. Pat edged out five-time winner Randy Thompson, K5ZD/1, and had a comfortable margin over 16-time winner Jeff, N5TJ. Andy, N2NT, was a multiplier short and fell behind N5TJ, while Steve, N2IC/5, made an impressive showing from his not fully completed contest sta-

Boring Amateur Radio Club

tion in New Mexico. The rest of the top ten was rounded out with W4PA, K5GN, K3NM (piloted by N2NC), K1DG and N6TV, who really only used one radio. There was a very competitive race to make the box, as K1KI and N5RZ (operating at K5TR) missed out by only a contact or two. Club Competition The FRC and PVRC combined their efforts and came out of nowhere to take top honors in the club competition. They edged out the Southern Sprint Coalition who no doubt missed their K4AAA score. The NCCC edged out their long time rivals SCCC to take 3rd place. The team competition continues to be a great method to increase activity. Only 45 of the logs submitted were not signed up for a team. Golden Logs There were 19 golden logs as shown in the table (with corresponding QSO totals). Congratulations to Mike, K9NW, John, N2NC (at K3NM), Mark, N5OT, and Gary, VA7RR, who produced a log over 300 QSOs with no errors. It really takes a golden ear to pull that off. Golden Logs K9NW 346 K3NM 338 N5OT 334 VA7RR 304 W6EEN 283 N2GC 261 NA0N 255 N4CW 219 K8JM 205 VE3IAY 181 N8VW 179 K6NA 150 N6CW 114 N4OGW 63 VE3DZ 22 N6MZ 11 DJ1YFK 6 N6TR/KL7 1 WO4O 1

Top 10 QSOs
N9RV K5ZD N5TJ N2NT N2IC W4PA K5GN N6TV K1KI K5TR K9NW 384 376 371 371 369 362 361 355 347 346 346

Top 10 QRP
K7SS K5KA NJ4X N8VW NSXX WA8REI NQT K4AQ WT1L N6WG 9798 9116 8118 7518 4624 2079 1265 1012 798 480

Top 10 Multipliers
N9RV K5ZD K3NM K1DG N6ZZ N5TJ W1WEF K6LA W9WI W6EEN 49 49 49 49 49 48 48 48 48 48

Top 10 Band Changes

N9RV N5TJ W4PA K5GN K5TR N2NT N6ZZ N2IC K5GA AA3B 207 186 185 173 172 160 130 124 108 102

Top 10 Scores
Score N9RV K5ZD N5TJ N2NT N2IC W4PA K5GN K3NM K1DG N6TV Band Changes 18816 207 18424 62 17808 186 17437 160 17343 124 17014 185 16606 173 16562 12 16464 73 16330 6 QSOs Lost 7 1 6 1 1 7 2 0 1 4 00Z 111 103 107 108 105 102 103 101 95 100 01Z 94 100 94 89 89 95 91 89 93 88 02Z 85 84 83 86 77 78 78 69 71 83 03Z 95 89 87 88 98 87 89 79 77 85

Top 10 Low Power

N6MJ W4OC K1HT K7SV NAT K8NZ NAN NAX W1RM N8EA 14617 13662 13185 12972 11997 11968 11730 11546 11340 11088


January/February 2005


Records Tim Duffy, K3LR/, traveled to Kansas and setup in a campground to set a new Kansas recordpreviously held by K0VBU from 1982. Tim now holds records for two states: Oklahoma and Kansas. In Tims home state of Pennsylvania, K3NM with John, N2NC, at the key, eclipsed AA3Bs score from last year. Maybe if Tim had a bigger station in Pennsylvania, he could try for the hat trick and hold three state records. Bert, N4CW/1, set a new record from Maine, surpassing the K1KI expedition from 1988. DJ1YFK sent in the first log from Germany to add his call to the growing list of DX station record holders. There are a total of 33 DXCC countries on the record books now. The nineteen golden logs surpass the previous record of seventeen set last September. Next Time The next NCJ CW Sprint will be held on February 13 UTC (Saturday the 12th local time). For team registration, use the NCJ web page at . Logs are submitted via e-mail to and are due seven days after the contest. Check out the Web resources at and rules, records and previous results at the NCJ Web page at Soapbox
Only a part-time effort this time. Wanted to do full-time, but was committed to a cookout at the preachers house. Got home in time to hand out a few contacts.AA4LR This was my first Sprint, and, wow, was it humbling. Feeling under the weather at the start, so that contributed to errors.AC5AA This is the best four hours in radio, made better with the minute of silence.KOU Good turnout. I heard a number of new call signs, and several that I hadnt heard for a while. W3DOS sent DC as his QTH. The rules are silent on whether DC counts as MD. I just logged what I copied.K1HT Didnt realize when I signed up that I was on-call. Got 4 phone calls, missed 25 minutes. JohnK3MD Started on 40 meters until the Big Boys showed up; then went to 20 until it dried up. Then back to 40, with occasional checks on 80 meters (it was too early), then back and forth between 40 and 80 meters. Nice to have a quiet 40-meter band for a change. Practically no QRM from RTTY stations either! My Yaesu FT-897 transceiver operated at 5 W into a 5-MHz OCF 28-gauge insulated wire stealth antenna up 40 feet in heavy foliage trees next to I-75 in a downtown Atlanta industrial area. SGC SG-237 Smar tuner. WriteLog 10.48f.K4AQ Conditions were great. Part time effort, but fun. Missed Kentucky as usual.K4FXN Missed my old teammates W4AN and K4OJ.K4RO Bill and OJ were missed. Conditions were

great for most of the continent!K5GN Due to combination operator/computer glitch, my one-minute of silence turned into 9 minutes of silence. When the sprint ended, I realized my log was 6 QSOs short. I missed W4AN and K4OJ on 3 bands each. RIP my dear buddies.K5TR The quality of operating just keeps getting better. A new personal best QSO total. K5ZD Strep throat prevented a full effort, but good to see the guys.K6NA Had a hard time focusing on the contest. The phone call from my brother telling me about the thunderstorm and 60 MPH winds near me did not help either.K6NR Got back in time for last half hour of fun. Fresh meat for the masses!K6OWL This was my 2nd CW sprint and I beat my poor QTH goal by 1 QSO.K6VVA Whew! What a workout! After years of doing sprints at K7RI, decided to try it from home and it was great fun, too. What a humility sandwich! Learned to never call someone if I heard anyone else calling them. It was just a waste of time. And CQing was pretty much out of the question on 40 and 80. Had a Sweepstakes dream moment when WB0O and WD0T were worked back to back on 20! A Dakota Sweep! Once again a tribute to the hobby to hear the speed and agility at work in the best contest of them all. Congrats to all veterans and welcome aboard to all the newcomers! (I was trying to visualize what this would have been like with a 5W limit for all. I bet that would be cool to try once.) See you all on sideband next weekend (I know, I knowevery CW diehard is cringing now), and in February for the CWonly boys.K7SS CW Sprint = king of contests! Sure missed W4AN and K4OJK7SV

Lost 50 minutes due to two PC crashes and other PC problems.K9MMS Computer would not key the radios. Had to use paddles and old CMOS keyer with sticky buttonslots of number decrementing, concatenating messages, etc. Plus, logger was acting funnyESC wouldnt remove calls from the call sign field or the exchange field. Had to use backspace key and arrow buttons. I shoulda paper logged.KG5U The first couple of hours were tough, but the low bands really came through after 0200. Should be a lot of fun in February! N0AX Great band conditions this year.NQT Just moved to town from the mountains. Just got my antenna up today after a few months of down time. Going to operate QRP for a while to let the neighbors get used to antennas and RF! Had a good QRP time! NSXX First sprint.N2CU Thanks to N5QQ and W5WW for the use of their KC5FU radio ranch.N5TJ Bill and OJ: your presence was sorely missed. Thanks to all for another fine running of the best in radio contesting.N6AN Many thanks to AL2G for help with the QTH.N6TR/KL7 If I make the Top Ten box this time, its only because all the regulars bugged out.N6TV Only got to play for 90 minutes, but had a lot of fun. Id been using the TR Log simulator for practice, and it made a big difference. Last time out I made 60 Qs in 4 hours, while this time I made 35 in an hour and a half. If I could have done the full 4 hours, I might well have broken 100 Qs. At QRP power levels, CQing really didnt turn out to be the best use of my time. Did much better on S&P, once I finally caught the rhythm of the pack. I just hope I did better on accuracy this time. Will

Team Scores
FRC & PVRC #1 N2NT 17437 K3NM 16562 AA3B 15040 KE3Q 14444 N4AF 14260 K3WW 13320 K7SV 12972 W4AU 11132 N4ZR 10170 N4CW 9636 134973 SSC #1 W4PA W9WI K4BAI K4RO W4OC N4ZZ K9AY KU8E W4NZ W1ZM NCCC #1 N6TV K6XX N6XI W6EU K7NV AJ6V W6RGG N6PN K6LRN N6ZFO SCCC #1 K6LA N6MJ N6AN AC6T W6EEN W6JPL N6AA N6VR K6NR N6CW

17014 14448 14398 14288 13662 13478 12878 12364 10668 9450 132648

16330 14288 13959 12212 12188 12098 12015 10530 10387 9548 123555

14736 14617 14076 13892 13584 12780 12470 10736 8120 4446 119457

5. Big Beat (N5TJ,K5GN,K5TR,K5GA,K5NZ,WQ5L,KN5H,N5PO,NO5W,N6TR) ....................... 116762 6. YCCC#1 (K5ZD,K1DG,K1KI,W1WEF,K1HT,N2GC,W1EBI,KT1V) ............................................ 107501 7. Azenmokers (N2IC,N6ZZ,N5OT,K5YAA,KY7M,KC7V,K5KA,W6H,NQT) ............................... 102856 8. Austin #1 (W5KFT,N3BB,W5WMU,K5OT,K5AF,KG5U,N5DO,KZ5D,K5IID) ............................. 101548 9. SMC #1 (N9RV,K9NW,N9CK,K0OU,WI9WI,K9MMS) .................................................................. 80925 10. YCCC#2 (K1ZZ,K1EA,W1RM,K2KQ,K2LE,K1AR,W1TO) ......................................................... 64602 11. NCCC #2 (VA7RR,K6RB,W6OAT,K6VVA,W6YX,K2KW,K6DGW,N6WG,W6ZZZ) .................. 60686 12. FRC & PVRC #2 (N8NA,K3MD,N3AD,W3YY,W3DOS,W3EF,K3STX) .................................... 54336 13. MWA #1 (NAT,NAN,KAD,KTR,WYC,NIJ,NOA) .............................................................. 51736 14. NCC (K8AZ,K8NZ,K3LR,KL7WV,K3UA) ...................................................................................... 46674 15. CCO (VE3EJ,VE3IAY,VE3KP,VE3JM,VA3NR,W1AJT,VE3AGC,VE3DZ) ................................ 38640 16. MRRC (W1NN,N8EA,K8JM,N8VW) ............................................................................................ 38482 17. GMCC (KO7X,WETT,NSXX) ..................................................................................................... 25653 18. SCCC #2 (XE2MX,K6NA,NE6I,W6SJ,K6EY) ............................................................................. 21882 19. Austin #2 (N5XU,AC5AA,W5JAW) ............................................................................................... 14294 20. SSC #2 (WA4TT,K4FXN,AA4LR,K4AQ,NY4N) ........................................................................... 13728 21. QRP-L Team (K7SS) ........................................................................................................................ 9798 22. SMC #2 (KA9FOX,KM9M) ............................................................................................................... 7314


January/February 2005


have to see what kind of feedback I get from the official scorer. Thanks all, and see you in the next contest.N6WG With bandpass filters this time, I actually had SO2R capability without the fear of frying the front end of one of the radios. Although the station was SO2R-ready, the operator still has a lot to learn about this technique!N6ZZ This was my first sprint and I had a very good time despite my mistakes and peanut whistle signal. Changing bands for me involved swapping the top section.N7FF My first sprint!N7ZG Great conditions. Great operators. It doesnt get any better than CW Sprint. OJ and Bill Fisher were missed.N9RV First time using true computer logging (believe it or not). Went pretty well. Ive joined the 21st century. Rig on 2nd floor running 100W, antenna only 8 ft up. Rig is higher than the antenna! Is there a category for that?NE6I First time HP. Best contest there is!KL9A

at NK7U Good fun. Sure gets the grey cells working harder! Must do something for 80 meters.VE3RZ Thanks to John, AC8E, for use of his great station.W1NN Always fun.W1RM A big thanks Jerry and Ellie for their hospitality and in allowing me use of this venerable call sign. I did the Sprint during a break from WAE. I did better in WAE!W1ZM I actually missed my vertical in Illinois in this contest!W3DOS This contest is still my very favorite. There is no let-up for 4 straight hours, and there are lots of top-notch ops on the air. Missed hearing that famous AAA suffix going at 3540 WPM.W4AU First Spr int. Poor antennas make it tougher, but it was a great education.W6SJ Shoulda went to 80m sooner. It was hot and no noise! Not a QRPers contest, but good to hone CW skills. Thanks to all the stations

who took the time to complete an exchange. I know it was difficult, but even a few of the big boys took the time. Running an FT-817 at 5 W; 20/40/80m inverted vees at 30-34 feet on top of a manmade hill (Whiting Scenic Overlook) in Midland County, MI. County Sheriff showed up as I was tearing down wanted to know what the hell I was doing. When I told him a ham radio contest, his attitude softened. When I told him I contacted Mexico and British Columbia on 5 W of power, he was even more amazed! No ticket, even though apparently I violated curfew in a public park.WA8REI I logged W3DOS as MD because DC isnt a mult. Excellent conditions.WI9WI This is the most difficult contest for QRP! Had a great time though. There are some amazing CW operators out there. I have a long way to go.WT1L First full-time contest after 30+ years of non-op. I promise my accuracy will be better next year!K6MR

Records Updated for September 2004


Date Feb-2003 Sep-2000 Sep-2004 Feb-2003 Sep-1996 Feb-2002 Feb-1991 Feb-2003

Sep-2003 Feb-2003 Sep-2004 Feb-2003 Feb-2002 Feb-2004 Feb-2003 Feb-2002 Sep-1989 Sep-1989 Sept-2004 Feb-2004 Feb-2003 Sep-2003 Sep-1998 Sep-2003 Sep-2003 Sep-2003 Sep-1989 Feb-2000 Feb-1995 Feb-2000 Feb-2003 Sep-2003 Feb-2000 Feb-2003 Feb-2000 Feb-2000 Feb-2003 Feb-1998 Feb-2000 Feb-2003 Sep-1991 Feb-2003 Sep-1999 Feb-2003 Feb-2003 Feb-2002 Sep-2003 Sep-2003 Feb-2000

Call QSO N2IC 389 331 NNI (AG9A) 256 K3LR/ 308 KSR 332 K4VX/ (WX3N) 318 WBO 204 KVI 347 WDT
K1KI K5ZD N4CW/1 K1DG KI1G NT1Y (W4PA) N2NT K2UA KN5H/3 W3LPL K3NM (N2NC) K4NO N2NL K4AAA (W4AN) K4LT N4AF W4OC W4PA K7SV K5GO W5WMU (K5GA) WQ5L N6ZZ K3LR N5TJ W6EEN (N6RT) KL9A K6LL W7UQ (KL9A) K7BG K7BV N6TR K6XO K7RI (K7SS) K7KU (N2IC) N8EA K8MR N4ZR/8 AG9A N9RV K9AA (K9PG) 369 365 219 331 310 338 380 321 272 310 338 280 357 404 281 342 298 393 300 278 306 317 351 352 381 378 202 364 283 273 290 393 263 297 312 331 309 286 362 389 302

Mult 52 43 41 50 46 47 34 47
50 54 44 50 47 47 51 50 46 47 49 48 55 54 44 49 46 51 52 50 48 49 52 48 52 54 47 50 46 43 50 52 44 53 48 52 52 48 52 53 55

Score 20,228 15,093 10,496 15,400 15,272 14,946 6,936 16,309

18,450 19,710 9,636 16,550 14,570 15,886 19,380 16,050 12,512 14,570 16,562 13,440 19,635 21,816 12,364 16,758 13,708 20,043 15,600 13,900 14,688 15,533 18,252 16,896 19,812 20,412 9,494 18,200 13,018 11,739 14,500 20,436 11,572 15,741 14,976 17,212 16,068 13,728 18,980 20,617 16,610

QTH Date VE1 Sep-2000 VE2 Sep-1988 VE3 Feb-2000 VE4 Sep-2003 VE5 Feb-2003 VE6 Feb-2000 VE7 Feb-2000 VY1/VE8 Feb-2000
4U1 8P C6 HH HI HP KP4 TG V4 VP2E VP9 XE ZF 9A CT DL EA8 F G HC8 I JA KH6 LU LY OH PY UA9 UN VK ZD8 ZS Feb-1985 Sep-2002 Feb-1999 Sep-1996 Feb-1991 Feb-2000 Feb-2004 Sep-2001 Feb-1996 Feb-1996 Feb-1985 Sep-1990 Sep-1992 Sep-2000 Sep-1998 Sep-2004 Feb-1994 Sep-1990 Feb-2002 Feb-2000 Sep-1998 Feb-1991 Sep-1981 Feb-2003 Sep-2000 Sep-1998 Sep-1980 Feb-2000 Sep-2000 Sep-1994 Sep-1990 Feb-2000


QSO 183 214 270 266 237 228 316 36

Mult 40 41 50 45 49 43 48 22
23 42 14 33 19 30 48 42 23 30 31 47 49 19 40 6 21 38 40 52 35 9 30 35 38 22 14 13 10 22 43 18

Score 7,320 8,774 13,500 11,970 11,613 9,804 15,168 792

1,610 11,634 294 4,587 2,430 1,920 12,144 6,300 1,242 2,040 6,262 14,335 12,299 551 9,000 36 756 7,448 6,400 14,092 3,500 117 3,630 3,220 6,194 1,232 406 195 130 1,056 9,804 918

4U1UN (W2TO) 70 8P9JG (N5KO) 277 C6AKP 21 HH2AW 139 HI8DMX 40 HP1AC 64 NP4Z 253 TG9/N5KO 150 54 V4Z (AA7VB) VP2E/KJ4HN 68 W6OAT/VP9 202 XE2XA (WN4KKN) 305 ZF2KI (K1KI) 251 9A6XX CT1BOH DJ1YFK EA1AK/EA8 F/N6TR G4BUO HC8N (N5KO) IKHBN 7J1AAI KH6NO LU1FAM LY4AA OH1NOA PY8ZPJ RUSN UP6F VK5GN (N6AA) ZD8Z (N6TJ) ZS1ESC (N6AA) 29 225 6 36 196 160 271 100 13 121 92 163 56 29 15 13 48 228 51

Highest multiplierFeb-200055 K9AA (K9PG)Highest QSO totalFeb-2004405 N6TR/7Highest scoreFeb-200321,306 K4AAA (W4AN)Highest team scoreFeb-2002163,373 SCCC #1Highest Low PowerFeb-200417,050 N6MJ (at W6KP)Highest QRP PowerFeb-200210,800 K7RI (K7SS)Logs receivedFeb-2004225 Number golden logsSep-200419 Number logs >=300Feb-200352


January/February 2005





20 139 131 128 107 134 110 114 93 94 65 62 32 71 40 18

128 94 80 74 61 40 131 118 124 126 93 82 80 71 61 24 38 122 87 131 104 117 118 101 113 88 97 92 88 39 99 75 52 46 33 19 7 10 0 147 160 128 133 142 133 116 113 102 97 118 112 108 109 108 110 113 99 94 91 70 96 64 80 79 19 0 28 42 148 137 139 140 130 120 138 120 125 129 112 121 96 105

40 141 133 135 121 108 122 120 94 81 82 76 85 45 17 2

145 84 94 76 76 72 116 133 111 97 93 75 113 69 74 48 56

80 QSO 96 376 72 336 84 347 89 317 84 326 85 317 59 293 65 252 44 219 63 210 66 204 69 186 32 148 26 83 18 38
98 83 56 79 62 52 91 69 79 73 57 62 26 36 38 35 4 371 261 230 229 199 164 338 320 314 296 243 219 219 176 173 107 98 362 301 313 304 310 297 293 290 276 281 253 254 220 183 179 137 111 96 49 46 11 1 371 369 361 346 326 331 334 302 302 308 292 275 268 262 255 243 255 249 217 212 183 203 179 133 154 126 63 48 55 355 307 311 304 306 297 302 283 284 290 284 263 267 245

Mlt 49 49 47 48 45 42 45 45 44 45 42 38 37 38 21

Score 18424 16464 16309 15216 14670 13314 13185 11340 9636 9450 8568 7068 5476 3154 798





20 100 101 90 148 102 110 105 94 94 44

98 62 78 104 60 52 27 31 24 14 30 8 0 137 130 117 95 116 105 81 135 81 87 106 62 50 32 24 0 11 1 98 100 87 89 59 64 70 62 77 62 43 45 32 20 133 117 100 109 87 91 65 101 92 7 0 110 101 103 96 96 95 95 96 61 75 73 79 0 39 3

40 96 119 120 61 87 86 85 73 67 54
16 43 42 0 42 39 46 23 9 14 0 13 22 117 136 115 117 101 92 115 53 113 72 58 39 21 19 12 42 0 0 123 105 109 103 111 98 49 76 81 74 86 74 33 32

80 QSO 48 244 18 238 24 234 34 243 32 221 21 217 30 220 36 203 25 186 52 150
0 14 0 0 17 7 4 0 6 13 0 7 0 85 7 45 59 34 55 67 25 25 34 0 39 9 2 16 11 0 0 86 90 76 70 82 64 89 67 38 66 50 29 12 8 114 119 120 104 119 98 77 54 39 41 30 28 22 339 273 277 271 251 252 263 213 219 193 164 140 80 53 52 53 11 1 307 295 272 262 252 226 208 205 196 202 179 148 77 60 384 346 315 274 250 217 190 180 189 19 12 308 295 292 279 255 256 256 197 198 200 162 136 65 70 8 304 273 181 178 162 140 121 118 53 40 22 22 162 99 6

Mlt 44 45 45 43 47 44 42 40 42 43
39 34 33 37 32 29 30 24 20 19 16 12 15 47 46 44 44 46 44 41 46 44 41 40 39 29 25 24 22 8 1 46 46 44 43 44 45 44 42 43 39 42 35 27 26 49 45 44 47 42 43 43 41 38 16 11 43 44 44 43 46 45 41 43 41 39 40 34 33 24 8

Score 10736 10710 10530 10449 10387 9548 9240 8120 7812 6450
4446 4046 3960 3848 3808 2842 2310 1296 780 779 480 336 330 15933 12558 12188 11924 11546 11088 10783 9798 9636 7913 6560 5460 2320 1325 1248 1166 88 1 14122 13570 11968 11266 11088 10170 9152 8610 8428 7878 7518 5180 2079 1560 18816 15570 13860 12878 10500 9331 8170 7380 7182 304 132 13244 12980 12848 11997 11730 11520 10496 8471 8118 7800 6480 4624 2145 1680 64

Team SCCC #1 NCCC #2 NCCC #1 NCCC #2 NCCC #1 NCCC #1


47 17437 FRC & PVRC #1 47 12267 YCCC#1 46 10580 YCCC#2 43 9847 42 8358 37 6068 YCCC#2 49 47 46 45 43 44 43 41 37 33 36 47 48 46 47 46 46 46 45 47 44 44 42 42 42 42 37 35 34 25 22 8 1 48 47 46 47 49 47 45 46 45 44 46 46 45 43 43 45 42 42 45 43 43 38 39 41 34 34 34 28 23 46 48 47 47 46 47 46 48 45 43 43 46 45 45 16562 15040 14444 13320 10449 9636 9417 7216 6401 3531 3528 17014 14448 14398 14288 14260 13662 13478 13050 12972 12364 11132 10668 9240 7686 7518 5069 3885 3264 1225 1012 88 1 17808 17343 16606 16262 15974 15557 15030 13892 13590 13552 13432 12650 12060 11266 10965 10935 10710 10458 9765 9116 7869 7714 6981 5453 5236 4284 2142 1344 1265 16330 14736 14617 14288 14076 13959 13892 13584 12780 12470 12212 12098 12015 11025 FRC & FRC & FRC & FRC & FRC & FRC & FRC & FRC & FRC & FRC & NCC SSC SSC SSC SSC FRC SSC SSC FRC SSC FRC SSC PVRC PVRC PVRC PVRC PVRC PVRC PVRC PVRC PVRC PVRC #1 #1 #1 #1 #2 #2 #2 #2 #2 #2

GMCC NCCC #1 Azenmokers Big Beat Azenmokers QRP-L Team NCC

153 87 131 83 110 72 100 100 114 79 109 70 118 74 99 78 113 75 105 79 95 66 91 75 107 74 40 44 68 36 47 38 65 0 36 27 17 13 39 0 1 0 1 0 151 123 150 134 120 124 126 122 127 120 104 101 86 90 100 74 90 87 80 69 59 67 57 39 44 81 22 8 12 137 122 128 110 111 122 108 131 119 120 114 99 106 109 73 86 83 79 64 74 92 67 73 91 70 62 74 63 47 59 52 63 43 52 54 40 58 14 31 26 41 12 1 70 48 44 54 65 55 56 32 40 41 58 43 65 31

#1 #1 #1 #1 & PVRC #1 #1 #1 & PVRC #1 #1 & PVRC #1 #1


FRC & PVRC #2 SSC #2 SSC #2 SSC #2 SSC #2 SSC #2 Big Beat Azenmokers Big Beat Big Beat Azenmokers Big Beat Azenmokers Austin #1 Austin #1 Azenmokers Big Beat Austin #1 Austin #1 Big Beat Austin #1 Austin #1 Austin #1 Big Beat Austin #1 Azenmokers Azenmokers Austin #2 Austin #1 Austin #2 Big Beat Austin #2 Azenmokers NCCC #1 SCCC #1 SCCC #1 NCCC #1 SCCC #1 NCCC #1 SCCC #1 SCCC #1 SCCC #1 SCCC #1 NCCC #1 NCCC #1 NCCC #1 NCCC #2

163 88 126 103 129 86 96 69 88 75 78 48 108 17 79 0 67 30 12 0 11 1 115 109 118 97 110 93 94 98 99 89 84 57 65 17 5 121 87 73 51 53 88 54 47 12 11 13 22 55 99 6 83 85 71 86 49 68 67 3 38 36 5 0 0 14 0 49 80 53 54 51 12 28 32 10 0 0 0 22 0 0

SMC #1 SMC #1 SMC #1 SSC #1 SMC #1 SMC #1 SMC #2 SMC #2


VE7 134 VE3 106 VE3 55 VE3 73 VE3 58 VE3 40 VE1 39 VE3 39 VE3 31 VE7 29 VE3 9 VE3 0 XE LY DL 85 0 0

43 13072 NCCC #2 46 12558 CCO 39 7059 CCO 38 6764 CCO 37 5994 CCO 37 5180 36 4356 35 4130 CCO 27 1431 CCO 19 760 16 352 CCO 16 352 CCO 40 32 6 6480 SCCC #2 3168 36


January/February 2005


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NCJ 1/2005


January/February 2005


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5 FT x .12" / 5 FT x .18" ..................$35/59 10 FT x .18" / 11 FT x .12" ............. $129/80 16 FT x .18" / 14 FT x .12" .......... $179/109 19 FT x .12" / 21 FT x .18" .......... $129/235 22 FT x .25" / 24 FT x .25" .........$349/379

Challenger DX .................................... $289 Challenger Counterpoise ..................... $29 Challenger Guy Kit ............................... $19 Eagle DX ............................................ $299 Eagle Guy Kit ....................................... $29 Titan DX ............................................. $329 Titan Guy Kit ........................................ $29 Voyager DX ........................................ $409 Voyager Counterpoise ......................... $49 Voyager Guy Kit ................................... $45 PLEASE CALL FOR DELIVERY INFO.


M2 OR-2800P .................................. $1249 HAM IV / T2X Tailtwister............ $499/569 Yaesu G-450A ................................... $249 Yaesu G-800SA / G-800DXA .....$329/409 G-1000DXA ........................................ $499 Yaesu G-2800SDX........................... $1089 Yaesu G-550 / G-5500 .............. $299/599


HPTG1200I ......................................$.45/ft HPTG2100I ......................................$.59/ft PLP2738 Big Grip (2100)..................$6.00 HPTG4000I ......................................$.89/ft PLP2739 Big Grip (4000) .................$8.50 HPTG6700I ....................................$1.29/ft PLP2755 Big Grip (6700) ............... $12.00 HPTG11200 ....................................$1.89/ft PLP2758 Big Grip (11200) .............. $18.00 PLEASE CALL FOR HELP SELECTING THE PHILLYSTRAN SIZE FOR YOUR PROJECT.

All handle 600W, 7' approximate length, 2:1 typical VSWR .$24.95

4BTV/5BTV/6BTV ............... $129/169/199 G6-270R, 2m/70cm Vertical .............. $169 G6-144B/G7-144B....................... $109/179 HUSTLER RESONATORS IN STOCK.

R62 (#18) ........................................$.32/ft. R81/82/84 ................. $.25/ft./.39/ft./.85/ft.


A Division of Texas RF Distributors, Inc. 1108 Summit Avenue, Suite #4 Plano, TX 75074

(800) 272-3467