NORTH COAST CONTESTERS
Supporting Ham Radio Contesting Since 1989

Supporting Ham Radio Contesting Since 1989

NORTH COAST CONTESTERS

NCC News

New Flyby Video of K3LR Posted on Youtube

On the occasion of the annual NCC picnic at K3LR on July 29, Greg W8WWV created a new flyby video of the K3LR superstation using HD quad copter.  This is a professional-grade video showing the station and the neighborhood in both daylight and again around dusk when the tower lights and the neighborhood lights come on.  The stability of this video is absolutely incredible – Greg is a master videographer!  Be sure to see this:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibFyTukErUE&feature=youtu.be

W8CDX 1930s FD Setup at NO3M

I am constantly amazed at the things our talented members are doing behind the scenes.  Eric NO3M, who has become a major league contester in recent years, has another side of his personality that will surprise many:  he is a major ham radio nostalgia buff and has spent considerable time and energy in recreating the kind of amateur equipment that the first generation of American amateurs were using long before we were born.  Eric has occasionally put his 1920’s equipment on the air in 160 meters contests with good results and wondered what it would be like to put a 30s type station on the air in Field Day.  2016 proved to be the year this was accomplished.

For this year’s FD, Eric had to brew up a new transmitter for 40 meters and he invited a bunch of local ham friends to join him for this inaugural event.  The group was excited to see this brand-new old-time station rack up over 150 contacts on Saturday afternoon, all keyed with an old Vibroplex bug and all contacts logged on paper.  Participating in this most unique FD were:  Mike, WA3TTS; Mark from Pittsburgh; Bob, W3BBO; Gerry, W2FD; Dave, KD3EM; Steve, WA3JJT; Barry, WA3GSH; Bill, KB3PLS; Laura, KB3UIG; Larry, N3BWP; and Ted (callsign?) and Austin.

We have added some pictures of this amazing event to the photo gallery (who would have imagined such a thing back in the 1930s??) but there is much more on Eric’s website at http://no3m.net/2016/06/w8cdx-1930s-fd-setup-at-no3m/ including a couple of really fun Youtube videos created by WA3TTS.  There are links on Eric’s website to these videos as well as plenty of other interesting content on this website.  Don’t miss this!

NO3M Places Third in 2015 ARRL 160

As many of you have probably noticed, Eric NO3M has been producing some very  noteworthy 160 scores for the last couple of years.  His most recent achievement was in the early December ARRL 160 contest, in which he placed third only behind two 160 powerhouses: VY2ZM and K3ZM, both of whom have significant advantages over Eric, who is less than 25 miles from the Ohio border.  The former was way ahead of everyone else but Eric was not far behind K3ZM.  The final scores were VY2ZM 610,176, K3ZM 479,364 and NO3M 431,238.  Eric came in ahead of two other 160 experts:  AA1K with a score of 417,728 and K1LT at 354,368.  Congratulations, Eric.

Eric has racked up quite a number of high-placing scores over the last few years.  Here are his notable finishes since 2010:

ARRL 160M: 2010 (#7 SOHP), 2012 (#9 SOHP), 2013 (#5 SOHP), 2014 (#4
SOHP), 2015 (#3 SOHP)
CQ 160M CW: 2011 (#9 US SOHP), 2012 (#5 US SOHP), 2013 (#6 US SOHP),
2014 (#4 US SOHP), 2015 (#5 US SOHP)
Stew Perry – TBDC: 2010 (#3 SOLP), 2011 (#3 SOQRP), 2012 (#5 SOHP), 2013
(#1 NA SOHP), 2014 (#3 SOHP), 2015 (#4 SOHP)

See the photo gallery for a picture of Eric’s beautiful transmit Four Square.

 

RTTY Ops Plan K3LR Digital Effort in CQWW RTTY Contest

Jamie WW3S, Phil K3UA,Eric NO3M and Ray ND8L are planning a low power multi-single operation from the K3LR Superstation in this year’s CQWW RTTY Contest coming up in September.

RTTY enthusiasts gathered at Tim’s WPA shack for a shakedown cruise in the NAQP RTTY Contest in July to make sure the station is shipshape and break in Tim’s antennas to this unfamiliar mode.  The ops managed a second place finish only behind perennial RTTY powerhouse N0NI.

As far as we know, this will be the first major RTTY effort from Tim’s station.  It is likely that the diddlers around the world will notice the impact!

A picture of the NAQP RTTY operation has been posted to the photo gallery.

W8CAR Back on the Air After Lightning Strike

On May 28, 2016 a lightning strike at W8CAR caused considerable damage and put Dan’s station off the air.  After much work (and expense) Dan is nearly back to normal.  Here is his report.  See the photo gallery for pictures.

 

W8CAR Lightning Strike 5/28/16

While operating during the CWWPX CW contest at the end of May the W8CAR station had some excitement. My wife alerted me to nearby thunder and an app on my phone let me know it was close by. Time to shut down for awhile. Grounded all antennas and left the shack. My wife and I were talking down stairs when we both jumped as a LOUD “KABOOM” was heard outside. The shack breaker was tripped and once I figured that out, our power was restored.

A quick check of the radios showed both the FT1000MP (which was off and not connected to any antennas) and Elecraft K3 were dead. The picture of the MP shows the display that came on after the strike. All 8s was a rather pathetic sight. The K3 came back up but indicated an ERR code that indicated that the I/O board was dead and the radio showed drawing 22 amps in receive (normal is around .5) and transmit showed no output. The computer was dead and I thought the AL1500 was done but later proved to be okay.

After turning everything off and dragging  myself out of the shack, I ignored it till the weather let up and I could look outside and investigate further. What I found was not good! The 80 meter wire vertical (full size) was lying on the ground. In one of the pictures you can see the burn marks on the top insulator and the antenna wire loop with missing wire. As I investigated further I found more damage. The stepper motor controller was toast (see melted IC in picture),  an Ameritron remote antenna switch has melted relay contacts and the control head is dead, the computer lost a video card used for 2 monitors, The variable capacitors on the 160 and 80 meter verticals were arced and in one the connection was melted, both serial to usb controllers used for the radios were toast and of course, both radios were dead. The amplifier (it has not gotten lighter!) turned out to be okay after testing with my venerable IC706.

At the time I write this I have a claim in with my insurance. I must say so far they have been pretty easy to work with. They required that I have documentation that both radios were damaged by lightning but took my word for the other items. The MP is back from WA4GEG in TN who fixed it in record time. My K3 is being shipped and should arrive tomorrow. I ended up switching computers due to the wonderful people at Microsoft who apparently decided that since I fixed my computer I wanted Windows 10. Even after reverting to WIN 7 it apparently has some other malady.

Upon analysis, the lightning hit about 10 feet from the top of my 80 and 160 antennas peeling bark and some wood off. The tree is now dropping leaves so I hope it will make it. The induced voltage came in on the Ameritron switch, its control cable and the control cables for the stepper motor, then into the computer and radios. I think there was no direct grounding on the computer-I usually do that but must have had a brain cramp.  Strangely, the OLD Heathkit manual antenna switches seem to have survived!

I have replaced the Ameritron switch with a lightning protected one. The ground system will be completely redone as time permits. I plan to do a complete audit of the station and get serious about reducing the possibility of damage in the event of an induced voltage.

—A direct hit—-let’s not go there!

Dan W8CAR

K8BL Earns Satellite WAS

On July 7, the ARRL News carried the story about NCC member Bob Liddy earning his WAS award via satellite.  The article, sourced from the AMSAT News Service, appears below.  Congratulations on an incredibly difficult achievement, Bob.

It took Bob Liddy, K8BL, of Mentor, Ohio, nearly 4 decades to achieve Worked All States via satellite and earn WAS Satellite Award #341, although he wasn’t really gunning for the award for all that time. His contacts spanned 38 years, and he submitted QSL cards to claim the award. His oldest satellite QSL card was from W7LSV in Oregon, for an Oscar 8 Mode A CW contact in 1978.

Liddy did not realize until he started going through his QSL cards to submit for awards at Dayton Hamvention® that he might have completed WAS on satellite. An AMSAT member since 1979, Liddy said he was “not in the hunt very seriously,” but he determined that had, indeed, worked all 50 states and was only lacking a card from Vermont.

“Happily, it was Nick, KB1RVT, who I knew was always good for a confirmation, which he quickly returned, confirming our contact via SO-50 FM on January 4, 2016,” he said. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service 

 

CQWWDX CW Results Out – NCC Members On Top (Almost)

The results of the 2015 CQWWDX CW contest have been posted and once again NCC shows the world how to do it!

In the MM category, after three consecutive wins, K3LR slipped to second place in the US behind W3LPL as East Coast conditions proved to be impossible for the ops at ‘LR to overcome.  The ‘LPL ops managed higher QSO totals on all six bands, allowing them to outscore Tim’s gang despite ‘LR’s higher zone and country totals.  The K3LR score of 26.3 million was more than 10 million points below their 2014 all-time record score of 37.5 million points, showing just how much conditions have deteriorated in a single year.

The guys at W2FU came in fourth in the US with a QSO total of over 8,700!

In the Multi One category, it was a really close race but NQ4I managed to edge out the K8AZ team by a mere 0.5M points (10.9 vs 10.4 million).  Clearly Rick’s team down in Georgia had an advantage due to their southerly location.  Like K3LR, K8AZ’s score (10.4 million) was well down from their 2014 total (13.5 million).

In the SOAB low power category, Alex LZ4AX again piloted the K3CR station to first place in the US.  Way to go!

And your webmaster, W1NN, managed to place first in both Japan and Asia in the 40M SOHP category using his Japanese call 7J1AAI and operating from the station of JH1GTV.

K3LR Adds 11th Straight Win in 2015 CQ WW SSB

Once again, the ops at K3LR captured the top prize in the Multi-op Multi-transmitter category in the 2015 CQ WW DX SSB contest, registering their 11th straight NA win in the top SSB contesting event of the year.

Tim’s crew managed 12,458 contacts and 31.6 million points, some 8 million points ahead of second-place W3LPL.  Their 2015 score was nearly 6 million points behind the all-time North American record of 37.4 million points they set in 2013, a clear indication that conditions have declined considerably over the last two years.  The 2015 score was their fifth best score ever, trailing their scores in 2013, 2011, 2012 and 2014.

K3LR’s 2015 score placed them second in the world behind only the Russian crew operating at CN2AA and ahead of HK1NA, PJ2T, DF0HQ and 9A1A.

Over at K8AZ, Tom’s crew put in a heroic effort in the Multi-One category but was edged out by the ops at K6ND/1 to place second with a score of 8,447,173, just a hair behind the ‘ND score of 8,571,050.  The K8AZ ops actually found more zones than the guys in New England (166 vs 157) but were about 200 contacts and 11 countries behind.  A great performance from Ohio to be sure.  The W2FU ops managed to place fourth in the same Multi-One category just behind NV9L.

In the single op category, Alex LZ4AX operating again from K3CR managed to place first in North America in the non-assisted low power category with a score of 3.6 million points.  Alex put 42.5 hours in the chair in his winning effort.

Finally, in the SOAB QRP category, K8ZT overpowered (that’s a joke) his competitors to place first in the United States with 424 contacts.  Anthony’s score put him in second place in North America and sixth worldwide!

Congratulations to all the ops at K3LR, K8AZ and W2FU and to LZ4AX and K8ZT!

 

N8AA to Participate in CY9 DXpedition

NCC founding member John Comella will be joining the August 19-29 DXpedition to St. Paul Island, CY9. This rare DX entity is an uninhabited island located in the Cabot Straights about 15 miles from the Northern tip of Nova Scotia. Due to its inaccessibility, a helicopter will be needed to reach the operating site. More details at http://www.cy9dxpedition.com/. We wish John and the other members of the expedition a safe and interesting journey.

 

February Sprint Results

The preliminary results for the February 2016 NA CW Sprint are in. NCC members participated in two teams organized by K3LR. The teams included several members of the Mad River Radio Club plus a few of our friends from around the country. Congratulations to Eric, NO3M for coming in first among the 19 team members who submitted scores.

The next CW Sprint is scheduled for September 10 (September 11 UCT).

NCC/MRRC Friends East

NO3M 15,620
K3LR 14,168
N2NC 13,995
K8MR 13,596
NP2X 12,600 op K9VV
NW2K 11,550
K3UA 11,295 LP
W2RQ 7,040 LP
N3SD 5,240 LP
K2UA 3,780

NCC/MRRC Friends West

K9NW 14,398
KW8N 13,771
N8EA 11,130 LP
W1NN 10,980 LP
W8WTS 10,332 LP
ND8L 7,568
W9PA 7,434
N5OT 6,513
N8XX 384 QRP

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