NORTH COAST CONTESTERS
Supporting Ham Radio Contesting Since 1989

Supporting Ham Radio Contesting Since 1989

NORTH COAST CONTESTERS

North Coast Contesters

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Summer Meeting at K3LR July 27

Mark your calendar for July 27, 2019 for the regular summer picnic and NCC business meeting at the K3LR superstation in West Middlesex, PA.  The festivities get underway at 11 AM with Flavia morning coffee and donuts and conversation with fellow members.  At 1230 Tim’s caterers will deliver a delicious smoked chicken and hamburger lunch.  (These lunches are always very good!)  At 1:30, Tim will conduct a guided tour of the antenna farm and shack, followed by a short NCC business meeting at around 2:30.  This meeting will be more important than usual because the January meeting at K8AZ had to be cancelled due to a bad snowstorm.  YLs and XYLs are welcome!  You don’t want to miss this fun summer gathering where you have one of the few chances during the year to actually meet and chat with your fellow members.  See you there!

It’s Official! K3LR Wins Both SSB and CW in the 2018 CQWWDX Contests

In a breathtakingly close match with W3LPL, the ops at K3LR managed to come out on top in the 2018 CQWWDX CW Contest, the results of which were announced in early May. 

Once again, the two rival stations turned in very similar scores.  After losing to LPL in 2017 by just 149,479 points, K3LR turned things around and managed an extra 292,978 points in 2018 to edge past their perennial Maryland rivals.  Their win was achieved by making a mere 54 more contacts and 6 more mults than the ‘LPL ops.  That’s 54 out of 8,305 contacts!  What a vivid demonstration of the importance of every Q and mult!

The official results for the SSB weekend announced a month earlier confirmed that the K3LR team also came out on top in North America and managed to come in second-place in the world.  This was K3LR’s 14th straight win in the SSB weekend.  We are tempted to state that K3LR is unbeatable in the CQWWDX SSB Contest!

Other NCC members turned in excellent performances in the 2018 CW weekend.  Western-NY based W2FU managed to come in second in the US in the Multi Single category with 8.5 million points.  Member VE3EJ, whose scores usually go to the Ontario Contest Club, came out on top in this category in North America with 11.9 million points.  In Multi-Two, the ops at K8AZ managed to keep Tom’s rebuilt station on the air for 48 hours and turn in a score of 9.1 million points, putting them in 4th place in this really competitive category.  W1NN, operating in the multi-single LP category with friend N2BA from VP9I, managed to come in first place NA and second place world with a score of 5.4 million (half went to NCC).

North Coast Contesters Club League Tables on Club Log

                    

Thanks to the efforts of Anthony, K8ZT, NCC is now a registered club with Club Log.  Here is some information provided by Anthony on what Club Log is and what you can do with it.  Anthony is now the official administrator of Club Log for NCC, so contact him with questions/assistance.  Thanks Anthony!

What is Club Log?

  • Club Log is a FREE online database with a suite of powerful tools supporting active DXers and Contesters.
  • Once you have registered on Club Log and uploaded your log, you will be able to:
    • Generate personal reports, showing which DXCC countries you have worked and/or confirmed, when you first worked them, which ones you still need, and which are the most likely to QSL (Club Log’s reports are both comprehensive and flexible);
    • Analyze your log for possible/likely errors in the DXCC allocations (Club Log’s painstakingly-researched DXCC database is a tremendously useful resource supporting the DX community);
    • Predict the bands and times on which you are most likely to work almost any DX station, based on actual QSOs in the logs uploaded to Club Log, and draw great circle maps;
    • Set up a personal DX Cluster feed that filters out the DXCCs you have already worked, leaving just the ones you still need …
    • … and much more. This is just a taste of things to come!

What are League Tables

  • See how you stand relative to your peers in various league tables and challenges (again, the reports are very flexible – for example with a few clicks you can generate a specific league table listing how many DXCC countries or CQ zones have been worked by various African hams on 20m CW in the past year almost as easily as a global league table covering all bands, all modes and all years since 1945);
  • See where you stand relative to your peers in clubs and organizations that you belong to. This is where the tie-in to North Coast Contesters comes in

 What Do I Need To Do?

  • If you are interested in Participating you must add yourself to this club. The opt-in principle is how Club Log is intended to work.
  • If you are not already a member you will need to join Clublog
  • If you are already a member
    • Sign in to your account

  • On top menu click “Settings”
  • From Settings top menu choose “Clubs”

           You will then see this screen

  • Use the slider to find NCC – North Coast Contesters and click on it
  • If you would like to join other clubs, hold down the Control key and click on addition clubs
  • Click “Join Club(s)” button
  • After you choose to join clubs you will see a “Pending” membership note.
  • Club log will send me an email and K8ZT or ND8L will approve you as a club member.

What Can I Do with Club Log

  • Use the DXCC charts menu option under Your Log to find out which DXCC countries you have worked on each band, and which of those have been confirmed with Logbook of the World confirmations or QSL cards.
    • There are options to filter the QSOs by mode, by current-only or current-plus-deleted DXCC countries, worked/confirmed/wanted, and by years if you wish to be more specific in your analysis. If you upload logs for different callsigns (e.g. your normal and contest calls), you can also choose which log or logs to analyze.
  • OQRS – Online QSL Requests- both incoming and outgoing
    • Search other users logs to make sure you are in their log
    • Request QSLs
    • Setup to receive OQRS for your log (you get to choose if you want Buro and/or Direct request and even collect costs through PayPal
  • Check your league position to see how well you are doing in relation to other DXers who use Club Log.
    • DXCC Leagues
    • Club Specific Leagues
  • Analyze your log
    • DXCC charts
    • Log inspector
    • Timelines
    • Zone charts
    • Log matching
  • Work with LOTW (Club Log provides two-way integration with Logbook of the World (LoTW))

 What Do I Need to Do on Club Log to Start Using It

  • After you have signed up you will want to upload your logs
    • From your favorite Logging software, export your log as an .ADIF/.ADI file
    • In Club Log click the Upload button (next to the login button) and complete the four steps that Club Log leads you through, one step at a time:
      1. Step 1 – Select the callsign for which you want to upload QSOs (you may manage logs for more than one call in Club Log, for example, your normal and contest calls)
      2. Step 2 – Click Choose file, navigate to the directory where you saved the ADIF file, click the ADIF file to select it, then click the Open button. Click Begin upload to start the file transfer process. Wait until you see “OK – got filename” which means the file is now waiting on the Club Log server to be checked and imported into the database
  • Step 3 – Choose whether to add the QSOs that you have just transferred into your existing Club Log records, or erase all the existing records for that callsign first before starting over with the uploaded QSOs
  1. Step 4 – Click the Submit upload button to put the transferred QSOs in the queue to be imported into Club Log’s database
  • Be prepared for the reports and league tables to be updated – some are updated almost straight away, others may take a day. Club Log’s personal reports will warn you if you have made a significant upload subsequent to the database snapshot used in the reports: that anomaly should resolve itself in due course.
  • Keep an eye on your inbox for an automated email from Club Log telling you if it detected any errors in your upload, such as this:

Most errors are due to Club Log disagreeing with your logging program about which DXCC countries you have actually worked.  This is the power of Club Log’s extensive database of DXCC information and a huge amount of research into DXCC.  Almost always, you will discover that you or your logging program has made a mistake with the claimed DXCC country.  Correct the country, re-export and re-upload your log to have Club Log check it again.

  • If you don’t want to receive the upload confirmations or errors, you can tell Club Log not to email you its summary after an upload using an option on the Settings page.
  • There are several options in the upload process:
    • You don’t need to upload your entire log every time – just export and upload the QSOs you have logged since previous Club Log upload.
    • If your logging program has the option to export just your latest QSOs to an ADIF file for signing and uploading to LoTW (Logbook of The World), you can upload that same ADIF file (not the signed .tq8 file!) to Club Log as well as LoTW.
    • Some logging programs have the facility to upload each QSO automatically to Club Log as you log it – check the logging program’s help for details.
    • Don’t worry if you accidentally upload QSOs more than once – Club Log simply identifies and skips the duplicates unless the QSO details have changed.
    • If you have made lots of changes to your log (e.g. you have received a batch of QSL cards from the bureau and updated the QSL details in your logging program), or if you think your log in Club Log might be incomplete or corrupted, it is a good idea to output your entire log to an ADIF file, upload it to Club Log, and then in Step 3, choose “Clear my existing log first, then upload”. This option deletes your previously uploaded QSOs for that callsign, then imports the newly uploaded ADIF file. It doesn’t hurt to do this every so often – maybe once a year – to be sure that Club Log is working with your complete and accurate log.
  • If you manage the logs for several callsigns (e.g. personal and club calls), you can export and upload the logs one call at a time, in the same way, selecting the relevant call in Step 1, assuming you have configured your Club Log profile for all your calls. You should be careful always to match your uploads to the right callsign, though.
NCC Hosts Contest Dinner @ Dayton May 18, 2019

Spring is coming and to North American contesters that means Dayton and the Contest Dinner!

Hosted by the North Coast Contesters, the contest dinner this year will take place on Saturday, May 18 at 6:30 PM with a cash bar opening an hour earlier. As always, the venue is the Crown Plaza Hotel, the official contester’s hotel at Dayton.

This year’s speaker will be N9NB, Ted Rappaport.  Read Ted’s bio, learn more about the dinner and buy your tickets at www.contestdinner.com

And don’t forget that the Contest University will be held on Thursday, May 16, also at the Crown Plaza.  This event takes up the whole day from 7 AM to 5 PM and is well worth the $85.00 price tag.  May 16 is the day before the Dayton Hamvention opens up on Friday, May 17.  See the entire course outline and register at www.contestuniversity.com

K3LR Captures Both CW & SSB N.A. Wins in 2018 CQWWDX Tests!

2018 was a great year in the CQWWDX contests for the K3LR multi-multi station.  Tim’s fantastic setup and first-rate ops managed to place first in North America in both the CW and the SSB weekends, a feat that they have not managed since 2014. 

Based on claimed scores, the West Middlesex, PA ops squeaked past rival W3LPL in the CW competition by a margin of just 341,056 points after being edged out by the same station by 149,479 points in 2017.  The claimed scores for the two stations were 19,486,811 for K3LR versus 19,145,755 for W3LPL.  In 2017, the scores were 17,248,623 for ‘LPL and 17,099,144 for ‘LR.  The margins of victory in both years were less than 2%!

In the SSB weekend, Tim’s ops delivered the 14th straight North American victory for K3LR.  What an incredible record.  The scores were not even close, with K3LR making over 1,000 more contacts than second-place KC1XX in New Hampshire and nearly 1,300 more QSO’s than their Maryland rival W3LPL.  It seems that K3LR really owns the CQWW DX SSB contest in North America and can only be beat by stations in Zone 33 and other geographically advantaged locations.  Congratulations, Tim!

K8AZ Station Renovation!

After extensive renovations, Tom Lee’s Chesterfield, Ohio station is finally back up and in the game.  Tom and his ops spent much of the summer rebuilding the inside shack to bring the wiring and operating positions up to standards.  Unfortunately, the work was not quite complete by the time of the CQWWDX phone weekend, so when Tom’s ops arrived to operate the contest, they were given screwdrivers and wire cutters instead of microphones and headphones.  But by the end of the weekend, all six positions were up and running and the station was ready for the CW weekend.  This gave Tom’s ops the chance to show what they can do, with the result being over 4,500 contacts in the competitive M/2 HP category for a fourth place finish with 9.1 million points.  We expect great things from the refurbished K8AZ station going forward as Tom has some of the best ops in the country!

Other NCC Scores in the 2018 CQWW DX Tests

K3LR and K8AZ were not the only NCC stations making noise in the 2018 CQWW DX contests.  Some of the other noteworthy scores from our members:

CW:

M/S HP  W2FU – Second Place USA with 9.1 million points

M/S LP  W1NN & N2BA at VP9I – Second place world with 5.7 million points

SO (A) AB HP K8CX (2.0 million points), N8TR (1.5 million points), N2WK (1.4 million points), and ND8L (570,000 points)

SO (A) AB LP K8LY (308,000 points)

SO (A) AB QRP (298,000 points)

SSB: 

SO (A) AB HP K8CX (735,000 points), N2WK (414,000 points), ND8L (342,000 points)

SO (A) AB LP K8LY (312,000 points)

SOAB HP  K8MR (178,000 points), NW2K @ W2FU (102,000 points), N2ZN (30,000 points)

SOAB QRP K8ZT (85,000 points)

 

 

Annual K8AZ Open House January 19, 2019

Important announcement:

The 31st Annual K8AZ Open House will be Saturday January 19, starting at 4 pm at Tom’s QTH. Due to the fact that the popular NAQP CW contest is scheduled for the previous weekend, Tom chose this date to accommodate as many members as possible. 

The K8AZ Open House is always one of the highlights of the year for NCC and you don’t want to miss it.  This one will be especially interesting to many because Tom will be showing off his upgraded shack, a project that Tom and friends have spent months working on this year. 

See you there!

MRRC/NCC Team Places 8th in September NA Sprint

Good participation from CW ops in our two clubs allowed the combined MRRC/ NCC to field four teams with 17 ops in the September 2018 NA Sprint.

None of our ops made it into the super-competitive top ten high power list this time, but KW8N, K8MR, K9NW, K3LR and N3RD came very close, and the last four stations did make the top ten 12 or fewer band change list.  Our ops did better in the low power standings with N8EA, W8WTS, K3UA and W1NN making it into the top ten.  Although his score was left out of the initial results article published in the NCJ, KW8N edged out K8MR to place at the top of the 8th region.

Challenging 20 Meter conditions was the main feature of this particular NA Sprint.  This was an especially big obstacle for our low power and poor antenna entrants.  Only N8EA managed to make over 30 contacts on 20, with W8WTS, W1NN, ND8L, K1LT and K3UA and the other LP entrants making 30 or less contacts there.  This was the main reason why the low power scores were lower than usual this time and is far below normal. 

28 teams participated this time.  Our best team (KW8N, K8MR, W8WTS and W1NN) managed an 8th place showing with only four scores.  One more decent score would have pushed this team up at least three or four places.  Our other teams placed 12th, 13th, and 19th

The full results of this and other Sprints can be found in the NCJ and on the NCJ website.

The next NA Sprint CW is scheduled for Saturday, February 2 at 2000 EST (February 3 at 0000Z). 

NCC/MRRC Team Makes Top Ten in August NAQP

Conditions were excellent for the August, 2018 North American QSO Party CW and the scores submitted by the participants clearly reflected this fact.  Winner AA3B managed over 1,300 contacts and 221 mults to produce a score of 287,742 points.  As this is just a 10 hour contest, AA3B averaged 130 Q’s an hour!  This high level of activity is the major reason why these twice-yearly contests have become so popular.

The North Coast Contesters and their friends from the neighboring Mad River Contest Club managed to collect 24 ops to put together six teams to compete with the other 90-some teams from around the country and Canada.  Our NCC/MRRC Team 1, consisting of NA8V, K1LT, W8CAR, K3UA and K8GT managed an 8th place finish against really fierce competition from teams from the Northern California Contest Club, the Contest Club Ontario and the Society of Midwest Contesters. 

Other NCC/MRRC teams placed 23rd, 31st, 49th, 66th and 82nd.  Nice job, guys.

Again leading the pack with the top score was Michigan-based NA8V, who managed 973 contacts and 195 mults.  W1NN produced the second highest score for the club with 845/186. 

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K8ZT Useful Links
NCC member K8ZT has a website full of useful links and resources. See the following: http://www.k8zt.com/contesting http://www.k8zt.com/dx http://www.k8zt.com/propagation http://www.k8zt.com/maps