NORTH COAST CONTESTERS
Supporting Ham Radio Contesting Since 1989

Supporting Ham Radio Contesting Since 1989

NORTH COAST CONTESTERS

NCC News

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2017 ARRL DX CW Results

Results are out for the 2017 ARRL International DX CW Contest and NCC again dominated or nearly dominated several important categories for W/VE stations.  Here is a summary of our members’ efforts.

W2FU crushed their rivals in the Multi Two category from WNY with a score more than 1.5 million points ahead of second place K9CT.  The ‘FU ops garnered 5,127 contacts and 547 mults versus 4,226 and 528 for ‘CT.  Great going, Jeff & Co.  The K8AZ crew in Cleveland came in fourth in this competitive category with 3,859 and 518.

In the MM category, K3LR’s operators found 7 more mults than their MDC rival W3LPL but Frank’s guys managed 214 more contacts to edge out K3LR 11,982,705 points to 11,766,090 points.  Talk about a close race! 

In the SOAB high power category, K3CR piloted by LZ4AX took first place in this most competitive category from WPA, beating out K1ZZ in Connecticut.  Whether high power or low power, Alex is almost always on top of the list!  Good job, Alex.

In another photo finish, VP2MVV, operated by NCC member N2ZN and WJ2O, barely missed a first in world DX ranking in the multi single low power category.  The crew at V3T were 6 multipliers behind but 114 contacts ahead to edge out the guys at VP2MVV by a mere 33,666 points (4,794,258 to 4,760,592).  That must have been a real heartbreaker.

Over in Asia, your webmaster, struggling with terrible conditions, managed to win the 40 meter single band category in Japan from 7J1AAI with 565 contacts and 52 mults. This would have been the top 40 meter score in Asia but for the fact that the continent of Asia extends all the way to Turkey and TA3D was able to make over 400 more contacts than anyone else in that “continent.”  Hal also found time to put W1NN on the air remotely to contribute a couple more points to the NCC club score.

Other noteworthy scores were produced by K8CX (nearly 2,000 contacts), N8TR and WW3S.  The latter’s LP assisted score was the top score in WPA and 6th in North America.

All together, NCC members submitted 16 scores for the club in the CW weekend totaling 41 million points, 30,559 contacts, and 4,426 multipliers!      

 

Dayton Photos Posted to K8CX Gallery

QSP by K3LR:  K8CX has posted his 21st Dayton photo gallery at:

http://hamgallery.com/dayton2017/

There are now a total of 5,285 Dayton photos up on Hamgallery.com.  All callsigns are searchable from the Hamgallery homepage.

Also check out the K8CX 2017 Dayton Review page at:

http://hamgallery.com/gallery/D/hamvention2017.htm

2016 Sweepstakes Results – NCC Members Win WPA, OH

Sweepstakes is not an event for which the club pulls out all the stops, but quite a few members do participate.  Here’s a wrap up of some of the noteworthy scores registered in the 2016 contests.

CW

W2FU placed third in the multi-single low power category with nearly 170,000 points.  Ops K0SM, N2ZN, NW2K, W2FU and W2GN kept the station on the air full time and made 1,022 contacts. 

In the WPA section, NO3M managed a first place finish in the HP category with just 16 hours in the chair.  K3UA won the LP certificate with 144,000 points. 

In the competitive Ohio section, W1NN managed to sneak into the top ten low power list with a 9th place finish.  Hal’s score of 155,874 was good enough to earn him first place in the Great Lakes Division and the Central District.  W8WTS and W8CAR were close behind. 

Florida snowbird K8MR managed an unusual feat from his winter home in the WCF section.  Jim won the QRP category from his usual operating position in a park on Sarasota Bay, and also came in second in the LP category while operating with the borrowed call sign W4FCG from his apartment.   

SSB

At the time of writing, full line scores for the SSB weekend were not yet available on the ARRL website, so when they are, we may add more information.  For now, congratulations are in order to K3UA for his second place overall in the LP category with over 190,000 points and 1146 contacts.  This score also earned Phil first place in the Atlantic Division and first place in the WPA section.  Great job!

 

 

 

K3LR Dominates USA Multi-Multi in 2016 CQWW SSB but is Edged Out Again in the CW Weekend

Battling what many considered to be the worst conditions ever for this contest, the team at K3LR managed a 7th-in-world multi-multi finish in the SSB weekend, decisively winning USA with a score of 12.6 million points compared with 9.6 million for WE3C and 8.7 million for W3LPL.  The ‘LR team’s score was some 19 million points below their 2015 score but with the solar flux at 70 for most of the weekend, this was more than enough for their top ten showing.  PJ2T managed to place first in the world in this category with a score less than the 2015 K3LR score!

In multi-single, K8AZ placed sixth in the US, compared to their usual presence at or near the top of this category.  In his 3830 posting, Tom explained as follows:

Two of my longest-held and dearest friends, K8NZ and N8AA, each of whom can claim a half-century of CQWW experience (and I am not too far behind them),emphatically agreed that these were the worst CQWW conditions they have ever experienced here in the Midwest.

 So, we decided to have fun instead. After all, we’re in Cleveland, and the Cleveland Indians were on TV Friday and Saturday nights, at Wrigley Field — as big underdogs — in games 3 and 4 of baseball’s World Series. What better excuses to divert one’s attention from radio? So we played radio, watched two intense games, used the contest to break in some of the less experienced local operators …. and overall had a blast.   

Other notable NCC scores in the SSB weekend were achieved by LZ4AX, who piloted the K3CR station to a second place finish in SOABLP, and K8ZT, who placed 9th in the world in the QRP category. 

In the CW weekend, the K3LR crew were edged out of first-place USA in the multi-multi category by W3LPL, the second year in a row that Frank’s crew bested the ‘LR gang following three consecutive K3LR wins in 2012, 2013 and 2014.  Although K3LR managed to find two more multipliers, the ‘LPL team made nearly 500 more QSOs, pushing their score to 14.2 million points, versus 13.0 million for K3LR.  It seems that as we head downward in the solar cycle, stations in the NCC territor are affected more than stations closer to Europe. 

The W2FU team registered a second place USA score in the multi-two category, but their score of 8.4 million points put them well behind the KC1XX superstation which made 11.9 million points.   Another case of QTH disadvantage, it seems.

I n multi-single, the K8AZ team put in a valiant effort to keep up with its competitors but came in fourth place.  However, their score was only 0.5 million points behind winner W3UA with 5.4 million points, so Tom’s ops did a tremendous job.   

In the SOABLP category, LZ4AX again managed to win the category operating from K3CR.  Well done, Alex!

 

  

K3LR Elected NCC President at January 14, 2017 Annual Meeting

At the 28th annual meeting of the North Coast Contesters held at the QTH of Tom Lee, K8AZ, Tim Duffy, K3LR, was elected president of the club again.  Tim has served as president several times in prior years. Outgoing president Tom Lee will serve as vice president. 

Here is the report of the meeting submitted by Secretary/Treasurer Ray Fallen, ND8L:

North Coast Contesters

Minutes of the 28th Annual Meeting

January 14, 2017

The meeting was called to order at 8:10PM EST by President Tom Lee and the sign in roster was circulated.

Treasurer’s report was presented by Ray Fallen.  The opening balance in the treasury on 1/1/2016 was $2753.56.  There was a dues holiday in 2016, but there were voluntary contributions of $290.00 received during 2016.  Total disbursements through 1/14/2017 were

$567.40.  These included the Super Suite reimbursement to K3LR, CQWW and ARRL Plaque sponsorships and NorthCoastContesters.COM web hosting expenses paid to KA9FOX.

As of 8PM on 1/14/2017, the balance in the treasury was $2475.86 and the financial health of the club is strong.

President Lee pointed out that annual dues are currently $20.00 with a $10.00 voluntary contribution.  Dues are waived for new members.

President Lee gave a brief report on the NCC web site.  There was a unanimous vote on a resolution commending WebMaster W1NN for his outstanding efforts to modernize the NCC site and keep it updated and relevant.

Old Business:

Vice President Tim Duffy reported on WRTC 2018.  Tim suggested that NCC consider sponsorship of one tent in memory of Val, W8KIC.  Cost of a single tent is $1,000 and while payment is not due immediately, NCC should pledge its support.  It was proposed and approved in a unanimous vote that we sponsor a tent and that NCC would match individual contributions dollar for dollar up to $500.00.

Treasurer Fallen will communicate the procedure for making contributions to NCC members in a separate e-mail.  President Lee discussed the appropriate procedure for making contributions, which again will be discussed in Fallen’s forthcoming e-mail.

Fallen also suggested sponsorship of a second tent for a total club contribution to WRTC2018 of up to $1,000.  It was verbally agreed that if there were excess contributions over the $500.00 mark, those would be matched up to $1,000.  President Lee suggested that if there were a second tent, it would be in the memory of K3TUP.

Lee and Duffy reported on NCC’s 2016 contest participation which continues to be strong and that NCC’s reputation as a force in the Medium Club Category continues to grow.

Vice President Duffy reported on plaque sponsorships (we currently sponsor two for CQ-WW and one for ARRL-DX).  Tim is reviewing the availability of additional sponsorships.

The 2016 ARRL club gavel was passed around and received appropriate oohs and ahs.  President Lee suggested that going forward, the club gavel be presented to a Warrior who has made significant personal contributions to NCC and contesting.  Tom suggested that Hal, W1NN be presented the gavel for his outstanding efforts on the NCC website.    The suggested was unanimously and enthusiastically approved.

New Business:

President Lee suggested a continuation of the dues holiday for 2017, but encouraged individual voluntary contributions be forwarded to Treasurer Fallen.  ($310.00 was collected after the meeting.)

There were no new candidates proposed for membership.

Vice President Duffy reported on the progress for the new venue for the 2017 Dayton Hamvention.  It is going well.  You can view YouTube video (including some incredible drone footage shot by Greg W8WWV) at DXEngineering.COM.  Tim encouraged us all to give the new venue a chance and that while nobody should expect perfection the first year, there are over 600 DARA volunteers working hard to make the Dayton experience much, much better than it’s been.  Parking at the Fairgrounds will be plentiful and free.

Contest University and the NCC Super Suite will continue at the Crowne Plaza.  No changes there.

Tim reported that seats at the 25th Annual Contest Banquet on Saturday night were going fast, so if your Dayton plans include that event, get your reservations in soon.

President Lee reminded us of upcoming contests including CW Sprint and ARRL DX Phone and CW.

There was a discussion on the future of the CQ Worldwide Contests vis-à-vis the iffy future existence of CQ Magazine.  Lee and Duffy assured the Membership that due to some strategic planning and actions by WWROF, CQ-WW will continue, with or without CQ.

Election of Officers:

The recommended slate of officers was unanimously approved:

K3LR – President                        K8AZ – Vice President

ND8L – Secretary/Treasurer      W1NN – Executive Web Guru

At this point, the gavel was passed to President Duffy.

Contest Whippage:

President Duffy reappointed the following Contest Whips:

ARRL/CQ-WW (Phone and CW):  W8CAR

RTTY Contests (including Sprints and CQ-WW RTTY):  WW3S

160 Meter Contests:  NO3M

CW Sprints:  K3LR

NAQP:  W1NN

After a brief, but favorable discussion regarding the brevity of the proceedings, the meeting was adjourned at 9:05 PM.

NCC Wins Gavel in 2016 ARRL International DX Club Competition

In this year’s ARRL International DX Affiliated Club Competition, the North Coast Contesters have won the Medium Club gavel with a massive win over their competitors.  NCC amassed over 70 million points from 27 entrants to beat second place DFW Contest Group by over 40 million points.  In November, Great Lakes Director Dale Williams WA8EFK sent Tim, K3LR a message of congratulations on this achievement and mentioning that the winner’s gavel would be forthcoming from the ARRL Contest Division Director Bart Jahnke W9JJ.  Congratulations NCC warriers!

Band Condx Challenge NCC Ops in 2016 CQWWDX Contests

Some of the worst band conditions anyone can remember made the 2016 fall contest season extremely challenging for NCC’s multiop stations.  Both the CW and SSB weekends saw what can only be called awful conditions, affecting all stations but especially impacting NCC members who are generally located several hundred miles further from Europe than the other leading US stations.

In the SSB weekend, K3LR still managed to claim the number one spot in the US and beat out East Coast rivals WE3C and W3LPL with a score that was down some 60% from 2015!  Tim’s ops managed 6,910 contacts but this was nearly half of 2015’s total of 12,593 (claimed score basis).  The only band which saw an increase in QSOs was 160, where 508 contacts (versus 468 in 2015) were made.  10 meter QSOs fell by 77% while 15 meters saw a drastic decline from 3,222 to 1191.

Over at K8AZ, things were even worse.  Tom’s veteran ops K8NZ and N8AA commented that they had never seen such terrible conditions in northern Ohio in their entire careers.  Realizing that they simply couldn’t fight against dead bands, Tom’s ops tuned in the Cleveland Indians’ World Series games and gave up their seats to less experienced ops since an all-out effort seemed futile.  Tom’s crew still managed a fifth place finish in the US with a score of 2.4 million. But this was a far cry from their number two USA score of 8.8 million in 2015.

NCC’s other multi-op station W2FU did not submit a score in this year’s WW SSB event.

Among single ops, Alex LZ4AX operating the K3CR superstation managed another first place US finish in the SOAB LP category with 1,136 contacts and 1.4 million points.  In 2015 Alex made 2,211 contacts for 3.7 million points, so it is clear that Alex faced the same terrible conditions that everyone else faced this year.  Other members submitting SSB scores for NCC were NW2K, K8ZT, N2CU and N2ZN.

The CW weekend was just as tough for the K3LR crew.  Tim’s ops amassed some 6,189 contacts – actually a little more than the SSB weekend – but this was 3,600 Qs less than 2015 and 6,800 contacts below their 2014 total!  There would be some solace if, as normally happens, great low band conditions somewhat offset the poor high bands, but this year every single band came in behind the 2015 totals.  Qs on 160 totaled only 160 against 329 during 2015!  10 meter contacts at 211 were below 160 meter contacts and were less than 10% of the K3LR 2014 10 meter total!   The poor conditions affected all US stations, of course, but the geographic disadvantage with East Coast rivals could not be overcome.  The K3LR superstation claimed scores places them 10th in the world and second in the US behind long-time rival W3LPL, compared with fourth place finishes in the world in 2014 and 2015.     

The CW weekend at K8AZ was better than the SSB weekend but their score was just a little more than half their 2015 result, reaching 5.4 million points against 10.4 the year before.  Tom’s great collection of ops were unable to overcome the Ohio disadvantage and K8AZ placed fifth in the US.  In comparison, Tom’s crew placed number three in 2015 and number one in 2014. 

Up in the Buffalo area, the W2FU crew managed an impressive second place USA finish in the multi-two category, finishing behind only the KC1XX gang up in New Hampshire.  W2FU competed in the MM category in 2014 and 2015 so we have no comparison figures with those years, but doubtless their 4,310 contacts were well below what they would have achieved had they been multi-two in previous years.

It should be mentioned that Jim W8WTS was one of the ops at PJ2T.  It appears that a portion of his score will go to the club.

Among NCC single ops, LZ4AX again managed to place first in the SOAB LP category in the US with a score of 2.6 million points and 1,845 contacts.  In 2015 Alex’s score was 5.9 million!  Congratulations Alex for again placing first in both SSB and CW in the SOAB LP category.  This is an amazing achievement.  Other NCC single op CW scores were submitted by K8CX, AA8OY, W1NN, N8TR, N2CU, WW3S, K8LY, ND8L and K8ZT. 

According to CQWW CW whip W8CAR (who operated at K8AZ), the club’s score for the CW weekend was just short of 40 million points! 

Let’s hope that 2017 brings better conditions on all bands, and if we can’t have that, at least let’s have some outstanding low band conditions.

W8CAR and W1NN Mentioned in WPX Write-up

The November, 2016 issue of CQ Magazine carried the results of the 2016 WPX CW Contest and two NCC members were mentioned in the second paragraph of the results article:

Thunderstorms are a part of life in the springtime.  Rain began to fall before the contest in France where W1NN had set up operations in a 300-year-old windmill (see Photos A & B).  OK1LL found he had to “park” his tribander among the flowers in the garden for protection from lightening (see Photo C).  In the states, W8CAR was forced off the air after lightning struck his tower.

It was quite a coincidence that the two NCC members were mentioned in the same context although they were operating on different continents.  Of course, for Dan, this is not the way anyone wants to be mentioned in a magazine and his station sustained considerable damage (see the NCC News article published on July 20 for details on Dan’s recovery from the strike).  Hal spent the hours before the WPX trying to nap in his car amidst a tremendous lightning storm, but survived to complete the contest and place first in the SOAB LP category for France.  And CQ magazine carried two pictures of Hal’s operation.  Pictures of Dan’s lightning strike and Hal’s operation can be found in the Photo Gallery

NO3M Places Fourth in September NA Sprint

The September 2016 NA Sprint saw NCC’s NO3M in fourth place in what is probably the most competitive CW contest in the world.  Eric’s was the top score east of W7 and was only surpassed by N9RV, N2IC, and N6MJ, who all enjoy a propagation advantage over a station located in WPA.  Eric’s score was undoubtedly assisted by his mastery of SO2R.  Eric counted 144 band changes in the four-hour event!  Congratulations, Eric.  (Note that the scores are provisional.)

Here are the individual scores from the joint NCC/MRRC team organized by Tim, K3LR.  The asterisks indicate LP stations:

NO3M    TY PA 99 130 101 330 47 15,510 144
KW8N  BOB OH 84 102 91 277 44 12,188 27
K3LR     TIM PA 80 107 92 279 43 11,997 8
K3UA * PHIL PA 67 89 90 246 43 10,578 2
N8EA *   JOE MI 72 92 86 250 42 10,500 14
NW2K DEAN NY 59 91 84 234 43 10,062 2
W8WTS * JIM OH 56 89 67 212 42 8,904 87
ND8L      RAY OH 62 68 70 200 43 8,600 2
W9PA *   DAVE IN 40 71 54 165 40 6,600 2
K9NW *    MIKE OH 42 77 0 119 38 4,522 5

(Columns show call, name, state, 20M contacts, 40M contacts, 80M contacts, total contacts, multipliers, score and number of QSYs.)

In addition, two other NCC members who did not make it on a NCC/MRRC team posted very respectable scores:

K8MR   JIM   OH    89    96    90    275   43    11,825   14
N3SD  * GREG PA    30    45    58    133   38    5,054    2

The date for the next CW Sprint has not been announced but it should take place on Saturday night local time, February 4, 2017.

NCC Diddlers Set New NA Record in CQWWDX RTTY

A new low power M/S record for W/VE appears to have been achieved by a team of NCC members operating at K3LR in the recent CQWWDX RTTY Contest.  See the pictures in the photo gallery.  We asked Ray, ND8L, who was one of the instigators of this campaign, to give us some background on this operation.  Here is Ray’s report:

Well since you asked…this was the very first CQWW-RTTY contest run from the K3LR Super Station. WW3S and I have been putting a bug in Tim’s ear for years and earlier this year, he agreed to listen to a presentation on our vision of a Multi-Single Low power effort.

One of our selling points was that the RTTY Team would provide all of our own radio and computer gear and when we left on Sunday night after the contest, it would be like we were never there.  All we would use would be his antenna farm and internet access…this was the reason for low power.

While Tim’s station is not exactly engineered for this type of operation…antenna switching challenges were easily overcome.  Selecting and pointing the various arrays was done by someone in the shack, who was not operating at the time.  Sounds kinda clunk…but it worked pretty well.

Tim didn’t operate, but did provide the Team with much needed advice on selection of bands, propagation and optimal use of his antennas.  We wouldn’t have achieved the score we did without that help.

Our final score was a little over 3.5 million, crushing the former North American M/S-LP record of 3.1million.  There is an Italian team with a claimed score of 3.6 million…we’ll see how things shake out after log checking. As much as we would have liked to be #1 World, this year’s effort was a bit of a shakedown cruise and Jamie, George, Eric and I will be comparing notes to see how we can do even better in 2017.

Equipment was three Elecraft K3’s…and microHam digital interfaces.  We used N1MM logging software seamlessly integrated with MMTTY and 2Tone RTTY software.

We had two Run stations on the same band…’one CQ-ing and one sweeping the band looking for Q’s.  What made that work so well was the lockout device that NO3M designed and built especially for the K3’s. We also had a mult station.

The Team consisted of K3GP, WW3S, K3LA, K3LR, K3UA, K8IV, N8NB, ND8L and NO3M.

73, Ray

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Solar Data
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