NORTH COAST CONTESTERS
Supporting Ham Radio Contesting Since 1989

Supporting Ham Radio Contesting Since 1989

NORTH COAST CONTESTERS

NCC News

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

Report on January Annual NCC Meeting

Here is Ray, ND8L’s report from the January 16 meeting at the QTH of Tom Lee, K8AZ.

Thanks to K8AZ for hosting another great NCC winter get-together. Those of you who couldn’t join us missed a great time, capped off byW8WWV’s amazing video of the building of the 96, count ’em 96 element 10 meter array at NO8D. Greg shared with the group that the array also works nicely SWR-wise all the way down 27 Mhz. Breaker Breaker one-nine, indeed! Tim…I’d like to order one. When will it be in the DX Engineering catalog?

The Treasurer’s Report indicates: NCC’s treasury balance as of 1/1/15 was $2,444.51.  Total dues collected in 2015 (normal dues and voluntary contributions) were$1240.00.  Our disbursements in 2015 were $930.95, of which two items, totaling $450.00, were an extraordinary, one-time spend.  We paid K3LR for a seriously past due bill of $150.00 for the *2014 *DaytonSuper Suite and Scott Neider, KA9FOX, at QTH.COM $300.00 for his invaluable assistance to Senior Web Guru W1NN that brought NorthCoastContesters.COM into the new century.  If you haven’t already, check out your club’s web site from your computer, tablet or Smart Phone…yep, it’s that good.

The other $480.95 of normal disbursements included payments for the *2015*Super Suite, CQ World Wide Plaques and also to QTH.COM for the 2015 web site hosting fees. The NCC Treasury has $2753.56 in the bank as of 12/31/2015.  We have one outstanding bill from QTH.COM for $11.50 which will be paid this month.

Your treasurer’s analysis was that even with $450.00 in one-time payments and no projected extraordinary payments for 2016…our treasury still grew by about $310.00 in 2015.  To that end, we voted to have a holiday for the 2016 NCC dues of $20.00.

However, it was also agreed that those of you who wish to make a completely voluntary and anonymous donation, are welcome to do so. You may mail a check payable to Ray Fallen (uh, that would be me) to: 504East Liberty St. Hubbard, Ohio 44425-2136. Please do *NOT *make your check payable to NCC or ND8L as I’m unable to deposit them.

Contrary to my accountant’s training and nature, I will *not* be keeping alist of voluntary donors…or checking it twice. I will report TOTAL voluntary donations to the NCC reflector in a couple of months.

Your NCC officers for 2016 are:

K8AZ – President,

K3LR – Vice President,

ND8L – Secretary/Treasurer

W1NN – Senior Web Guru.

I’m sure you’ll be hearing from your Contest Whips and apologize that my notes aren’t complete…but my recollection is that they were the same as last 2015, except that Jamie, WW3S was volunteered to be RTTY Contest Whip for 2016.

Congrats and welcome to our three new NCC Warriors. Would those of you who sponsored those folks, please send their names, calls and e-mail addresses to W1NN so that they may be added to the NCC Web Roster and the NCC reflector distribution list? Also, please forward a copy of this e-mail to those gentlemen for me.

The rest of us should also e-mail Hal, W1NN and give him an extremely well deserved atta-boy for his outstanding work on the web site.

73,Ray – ND8L

2015 CQWW Phone Claimed Scores

NCC’s multi-op powerhouses – K3LR, K8AZ and W2FU – once again produced some amazing scores in this year’s CQWW Phone contest.

The top US M/M station of K3LR produced what will surely be their 11th straight USA win in this contest with 12,593 contacts and a claimed score of 32.5 million points.  Handicapped by poorer 10 meter conditions that resulted in a decrease of 900 contacts from 2014, the ‘LR ops nearly made up for this deficit by large increases in 20, 40 and 160 totals to come up only 96 QSOs behind their 2014 claimed QSO total of 12,689.  Their score of 32.5 million was just a hair below last year’s claimed score of 32.8 million.  Log checking will determine whether this year’s score will edge out last year’s score of 32.0 million.

Over at K8AZ’s M/S operation, the summer antenna work paid off with over 4,000 Q’s and a claimed score of 8.8 million points.  This was 0.5 million points short of the 9.3 million score produced by the team at K6ND, located about 500 miles closer to Europe.  The ops at W2FU with a claimed score of 7.1 million and 3,231 contacts, were close behind the amazing K8AZ totals.

Congratulations to all.  We’re looking forward to seeing what these stations do in the CW weekend.

 

We Place Third in September CW Sprint!

According to preliminary scores announced by the NCJ, the NCC + MRRC East team, consisting of N2NT, K3LR, N2NC, KW8N, KU8E, W1NN, NW2K, K3UA, and K1AR, came in third among 12 registered teams.   Our other team, NCC + MRRC West, had scores from only four stations, and placed 11th.  Scores may be seen at http://ncjweb.com/sprint-scores/preliminary/sprintcwsep2015prelim.txt

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