NORTH COAST CONTESTERS
Supporting Ham Radio Contesting Since 1989

Supporting Ham Radio Contesting Since 1989

NORTH COAST CONTESTERS

NCC News

NO3M Wins September 2017 Sprint!

With the publication of the January/February 2018 NCJ, it became official:  NO3M has won the Sprint for the first time.  Congratulations, Eric! 

I looked over the records going back to 2000 and there has never been a Sprint winner from east of the Mississippi River, not to mention Pennsylvania, during this time.  For most of this century, the winners of the Sprints have been from the southwest and the west:  calls like N9RV, N2IC, N6TR, N5KO, N5TJ, etc. have dominated the top ten, with an occasional East Coast big gun like N2NT or K5ZD sneaking into the standings.  Back when W4AN was active, Georgia was at the top several times, but with this exception, the best East-of-the-Mississippi score I can find is during this time is the second-place finish by W9RE in September, 2011.  This shows just how enormous Eric’s accomplishment is. 

Those of us who have been operating the Thursday night NCCC Sprints (NS) are not surprised at Eric’s win in this event.  For the past several years, we have been watching him perfect his SO2R technique and operating skill to the point where he dominated the NS for several years running with scores way ahead of his nearest rival.  The only reason he has not been at the top of the Thursday night scores recently is that he seems to have taken a break from this activity to focus on his 160 goals and his 1930’s replica station equipment.   

As far as I can tell, Eric first made the top ten list in the September 2013 Sprint.  Since then, he has landed in the top ten numerous times and has often ranked higher on the total QSO list.    

By the way, NCC members are no strangers to the CW Sprint top ten box.  Over the 40 years of the Sprints, K3LR has been at the top of the list three times (possibly from Oklahoma?) and K3UA has placed first one time.  Both of these members have been in the top ten on several other occasions.  And a recent frequent winner – N9RV – is a former NCC member and still a good friend of the club. 

Getting back to the September Sprint results, in the team competition, NCC, along with our MRRC friends, fielded three teams, which placed fifth, sixth and ninth out of a total of 17 teams. 

In the low power category, two NCC members and one MRRC member made the top ten:  W1NN tied with K7SV for fourth place, N8EA was just behind him in sixth place, and K3UA came in ninth. 

In case you don’t subscribe to the NCJ, you can see the full results article on the NCJ website.

The next CW Sprint is scheduled for Saturday night local time on February 3, 2018.  As usual, Tim will be putting together teams so be sure to put this event on your schedule.

 

NCC Ops Claim Leading Scores in 2017 CQWWDX Tests

2017 was another winning year for NCC members in the most popular contests of the year – the CQWWDX tests.  Our top stations again can be found among the top claimed scores in these contests.  Here is an overview:

SSB Weekend

Once again, K3LR finds itself with the top USA claimed score with over 20.1 million points, nearly 5 million points ahead of East Coast rival W3LPL and way ahead of the 16.3 million point second-place claimed score of V26K.   This will be the 13th consecutive USA win for the K3LR superstation.  What a record!  Tim’s ops ended up making 9,631 contacts during the weekend, compared with 7,600 for Frank’s crew.  Their 2017 ‘LR contact total was well ahead of the 6,809 contacts they made in 2016 when conditions were terrible.  Wouldn’t it be nice if this were the beginning of a recovery in conditions?

In the super-competitive multi-single high power category, the K8AZ superstation, handicapped by being over 500 miles further from Europe than its main rivals, ended up in a virtual tie for third place with K5TR, behind W1NA and K1XM operating at K1LZ. 

Only three other NCC stations submitted SSB logs for the SSB weekend:  N2ZN, K8LY and K8ZT. 

CW Weekend

In the CW weekend, W3LPL again edged out K3LR 18,471,360 to 18,163,258 points.  This was a real squeaker, with Tim’s crew actually finding four more zones but Frank’s ops finding 157 more contacts.  These two scores are so close that it is conceivable that log checking could change the result.  The third-place claimed score was 12.6 million points from NR4M. 

In the Multi-Two category, two of NCC’s biggest stations competed for the top spot in the USA.  The crew at W2FU ended up second in the US behind the KC1XX station in New Hampshire with a really impressive 11.3 million point score.  Further west in the Cleveland area, K8AZ’s ops put in a 48 hour effort ending up just behind K2LE (8.9 million points) and K9CT (8.6 million points) with 8.4 million points to finish in the fifth spot in the US. 

A total of 7 NCC members submitted scores this time, a little better than the SSB weekend, but still not a very good showing, although quite a few members were busy at the multi-op stations.  In addition to the three superstations mentioned above, N8TR, K8ZT, K8LY and W1NN submitted scores for the club. 

NCC Wins Medium Club Gavel

NCC has won another gavel, this one for being at the top of the USA medium club category in the 2017 ARRL International DX Contests (phone combined with CW).  Not only did our score put us at the top of the medium category, but it was actually the fourth largest score made in any category!  NCC also won the same gavel in 2016 (and probably in many other years; we just don’t have the stats at hand). 

NCC President Tim Duffty commented  “Now onto BIG NCC scores for CQWW 2017 and ARRL DX 2018!” 

NCC Celebrates 30th Anniversary at K3LR Picnic

Nearly 30 members and guests gathered at the K3LR superstation in West Middlesex, PA on July 21, 2017 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of the club.  Attendees feasted on a luxurious catered picnic fare of hot dogs and hamburgers and socialized at tables set up in Tim’s new garage or in the DX Engineering tent set up outside. 

Following dinner, a brief award ceremony was held to pass out plaques to the operators (K3GP, K3LA, K3UA, K8IV, N8NB, NO3M, ND8L and WW3S) who piloted the K3LR station to a first place North America (and second place world) win in the Multi-Single Low Power category of the 2016 CQ World Wide RTTY DX Contest. 

NCC President K3LR addressed the group, discussing his recent trip to Germany and proposing that the club sponsor a second tent at the 2018 WRTC to be held in Germany in July 2018.  The membership agreed that the club should donate $500 and that members donate an additional $500 dollars, and in just a few minutes generous members had come up with the needed funds!  Vice President Tom Lee K8AZ also made some comments and presented the club’s gavel to the NCC webmaster W1NN to recognize his efforts to keep the website up to date.

Greg W8WWV.brought his quadcopter drone and made another of his fabulous K3LR flyby videos which he promptly posted to Youtube.  Have a look at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9iaueQiD_E 

Picnic attendees received NCC coffee mugs with the inscription “30th Anniversary July 21, 2017.”  Thanks for your thoughtfulness and generosity, Tim!

We are posting a few pictures of the picnic in the picture gallery.    

K3LR Racks up 8th Straight Win in 2017 ARRL DX SSB

The results for the 2017 ARRL International DX Contest SSB are out and K3LR again led the pack, placing first in the world!  It was the eighth consecutive number one placement for Tim’s ops.  These guys own this contest!  What’s Tim’s formula?  It’s simple to describe and extremely difficult to execute:  the best hardware plus the best ops.  Look at this list of ops at K3LR this year:  K1AR, K1DG, K3UA, N2NC, N2NT, K3LR, N3GJ, N3SD, N5UM, NP4G, VE3EJ, W2RQ, WM2H! 

Conditions were as bad as anyone could remember.  Tom Lee, K8AZ wrote that conditions were likely “the worst radio conditions since operations began here in 1985.”  K3LR’s score only barely reached one-third of their 2016 score (6.2 mil vs 18.2 mil) and their QSO total was exactly half of what they achieved in the previous year.  Contacts declined on all six bands compared with 2016, with 10 and 15 taking the biggest hits.  15 meters alone saw a drop of 2,433 contacts (536 vs 2,969)!

In the multi-two category, K8AZ’s ops placed third in a hard fought battle with W4RM in VA and N1MM in CT.  The scores were very close:  W4RM 1,621,538, N1MM 1,602,557, and K8AZ 2,416,554.  There is no doubt that Tom’s ops would be on top without their huge geographical disadvantage.

Lots of NCC members gave this contest a pass, no doubt discouraged by the awful conditions.  Only 9 scores were submitted for the club.  Noteworthy scores were posted by Jamie WW3S (710 contacts) and Ray ND8L (602). 

 

N8NB Selling Alpha 99 Amp

For Sale:

Alpha 99 amplifier in excellent condition. New finals installed and bias adjusted by DXE’s “amp man”.  Full power plus– 45 watts in got 1500 watts out in test. Cooling fan for the transformer has been installed. Non-smoking environment, one-owner and not used seriously in a contest. $2000 firm. Contact Dave Fairbanks(N8NB) at K3LR’s picnic or at n8nb@aol.com.  Amp can be brought to picnic or it is a short drive to N8NB’s qth.

The pulled finals are available in a separate deal (2) GU74B for $300. They got 1500 watts out with 70 watts drive.

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!

 

  

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