Supporting Ham Radio Contesting Since 1989

Supporting Ham Radio Contesting Since 1989



2018 Summer Picnic at K3LR!

Friday, July 27 is the date for one of the club’s best events of the year – the summer picnic at the QTH of K3LR.  This year’s event will celebrate the 31st anniversary of the founding of our club.  You don’t want to miss this event!  There is always a big turnout and it’s a great chance to leisurely chat with your fellow members.  You can also find out what’s new at the best ham station in the world, and enjoy Tim’s excellent catered meal.  Last year attendees went home with NCC coffee mugs engraved with “30th Anniversary July 21, 2017” – a real collector’s item.  Tim’s bash begins at 6PM and Tim would like you to RSVP so he knows how much food to prepare.  Keep and eye on the NCC email reflector for updates and instructions.  See you there!

NCC Again Sponsoring Contester Activities at Dayton 2018

What do the following Dayton Hamvention contester activities have in common?

Contester Dinner

Contest University

Contest Supersuite

Answer:  They are all sponsored by the North Coast Contesters  (with a lot of help from our friends at the Mad River Radio Club and the Frankford Radio Club)!

Here are some details about these events, which are all taking place just before or during the annual Dayton Hamvention from May 18 through May 20, 2018.

Contest Dinner

The contest dinner always takes place on Saturday night, which this year is May 19, at the official contester hotel, the Crowne Plaza.  Doors open at 5:30 PM when the cash bar will be available.  The dinner commences at 6:30. 

Master of Ceremonies for the Dayton Contest Dinner is Contest Hall of Fame member and World Wide Radio Operators Foundation (WWROF) Chairman, John Dorr, K1AR.

To celebrate our 26th Anniversary the featured speaker will be Chris, DL1MGB, the Chairman of WRTC2018 that will be held this July in Germany.

Tickets are only available on There are no tickets for sale at the door.

Contest University

Contest University will be held on Thursday May 17, 2018, from 7:00am to 5:00pm, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. This is the day before the Dayton Hamvention officially opens. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to gain knowledge that may take you years of practice, trial and error or lost time to learn otherwise. Get the edge to improve your scores and put your station in the winners’ circle today!

Contest University chairman (and NCC president) Tim Duffy, K3LR, recently posted the course outline for this year’s CTU:

2018 Dayton Contest University “CTU” – COURSE OUTLINE – 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM

7:00 ALL SALONS ABCD – Student Registration and Contest Buffet Breakfast – ALL – 60 minutes
8:00 ALL SALONS ABCD – Welcome to CTU 2018 – K3LR – ALL – 10 minutes
8:10 ALL SALONS ABCD – Radio Contesting – Having Fun is Easy – K1DG – ALL – 40 minutes

9:00 CONTEST TOPIC SESSION #1 – attend ONE of 4 sessions – 60 minutes

SALON A – How to Improve your Transmitting Antennas for Low Solar Activity – W3LPL
SALON B Grounding and Bonding for Contest Stations – N0AX
SALON C/D – CW and RTTY Skimmers and the Reverse Beacon Network – N6TV
HARDING – Utilizing Digital Modes FT8 and MSK144 for Competitive Advantage in VHF Contests – W5ZN

10:00 ALL – *CONTEST SNACK* – 15 minutes

10:15 CONTEST TOPIC SESSION #2 – attend ONE of 4 sessions – 60 minutes

SALON A – Easy to Build Low Band Receiving Antennas for Small and Large Lots – W3LPL
SALON B – RadioSport Contesting Hinks and Kinks – N0AX
SALON C/D – How to Read and Learn from your Log-Checking Report – K1DG
HARDING– Having Fun with RTTY Contesting – W0YK

11:20 CONTEST TOPIC SESSION #3 – attend ONE of 4 sessions – 55 minutes

SALON A – How to Adapt your DX Contest Strategies for Low Solar Activity – W3LPL
SALON B – Contest Operating Best Practices – K2YWE
SALON C/D – The Advantages of Waterfall Displays for Contesting and DXing – N6TV
HARDING – Pursuing RTTY Contesting to the Limit – W0YK

12:15 ALL SALONS ABCD – *CONTEST LUNCH* – ALL – 35 minutes

12:50 ALL SALONS ABCD – 2018 Eye Ball Sprint Contest “LIVE” – ALL – 10 minutes – K1DG
1:00-1:35 ALL SALONS ABCD – Some Thoughts About Contesting & Optimization – K3LR


*SALON A –    As determined by *vote 1
*SALON B –    As determined by *vote 2
*SALON C/D – As determined by *vote 3
*HARDING –    As determined by *vote 4

2:40 CONTEST OPEN DISCUSSION Q&A GROUPs Attend ONE of 4 sessions – 30 minutes

SALON A – Antennas and Propagation – W3LPL
SALON B – Waterfalls, Recordings and Reverse Beacon Network – N6TV
SALON C/D – Contest Shack Design Ideas – N0AX
HARDING – Antenna/Tower Reliability – W3YQ

3:15 CONTEST OPEN DISCUSSION Q&A GROUPs Attend ONE of 4 sessions – 30 minutes

SALON A – Receiving Antenna Ideas – W3LPL
SALON B – Small Stations With Big Ideas – K2YWE
SALON C/D – Grounding and Bonding – N0AX
HARDING – RTTY Contesting Discussion – W0YK

 3:45 ALL – *CONTEST SNACK* – 15 minutes

4:00 ALL SALONS ABCD – 2018 Contest Radio Review – NC0B – ALL – 50 minutes
4:50 ALL SALONS ABCD – 2018 CTU Survey – K3LR – ALL – 10 minutes

CTU students will vote for 4 topics/classes that they missed and would like to have presented again – the top 4 WANTED by vote – will RERUN in this time slot.


If you are under the impression that CTU is for beginners and that you, as an experienced contester, won’t benefit from attendance, a glance at the above course offerings should convince you otherwise.  This is a great opportunity to hear some of contesting’s most experienced operators and station builders give up some of their valuable secrets!  And this only costs $85!

More details can be found at:

Contest Supersuite

Unbelievable as it may sound, 2018 will be the 30th anniversary of the Contest Supersuite.  The main details:

Wed. May 16 thru Sat. May 19, 2018
Approximately 7pm – 2am Each Night
Crowne Plaza 2nd floor – Harding, McKinley, Garfield and Harrison Rooms

Here is the detailed schedule:

May 16, 2018 – Wednesday Night

7 PM: Contest Super Suite in the Harding, McKinley, Garfield and Harrison Rooms, sponsored by the Mad River Radio Club (MRRC),North Coast Contesters (NCC) and the Frankford Radio Club (FRC).
8 PM to 10 PM: Contest University Registration
10:30 PM: Pizza Party sponsored by Contest University.

May 17, 2018 – Thursday Night

7 PM: Contest Super Suite in the Harding, McKinley, Garfield and Harrison Rooms, hosted by the Mad River Radio Club (MRRC), North Coast Contesters (NCC) and the Frankford Radio Club (FRC).
10:30 PM: Wings and Pizza Party in the Harding, McKinley, Garfield and Harrison Rooms, sponsored by K3WW, K3LR and the Society of Midwest Contesters (SMC).

May 18, 2018 – Friday Night

7 PM: Contest Super Suite in the Harding, McKinley, Garfield and Harrison Rooms, hosted by the Mad River Radio Club (MRRC),North Coast Contesters (NCC) and the Frankford Radio Club (FRC).
11 PM: Pizza Party sponsored by the sponsored by the Potomac Valley Radio Club (PVRC).

May 19, 2018 – Saturday Night

7 PM: Contest Super Suite in the Harding, McKinley, Garfield and Harrison Rooms, hosted by the Mad River Radio Club (MRRC),North Coast Contesters (NCC) and the Frankford Radio Club (FRC).
11 PM: Pizza Party sponsored by the Yankee Clipper Contest Club (YCCC).

For additional information, visit


Team Competitions in January and February 2018

It’s time to get ready for two of our favorite club operating activities – the NAQP CW and the North American Sprint CW.  The former takes place on Saturday, January 13 beginning at 1300 local and running for 12 hours, with a maximum of 10 hours of operating.  The Sprint takes place three weeks later on Saturday, February 3 (local) and runs for four hours from 7 PM to 11 PM.  NCC and the Mad River Radio Club have been forming joint teams for both of these competitions for the last several years with very good results.  Hal W1NN will start to whip up activity for the NAQP around the first of the new year and Tim will be doing the same for the Sprint shortly after the middle of January. 

Save the Date – January 20, 2018

Yes, it’s time to get ready to turn the calendar to another year, and for NCC the first gathering of the year is the annual meeting at the K8AZ superstation.  Mark those calendars for Saturday, January 20, 2018.  The meeting usually starts in the early evening, but Tom will announce details on the club email reflector.  This will be the 30th such annual meeting at Tom’s place!

NAS Coming September 9, 2017

Mark your calendars for the September 2017 running of the North American Sprint (NAS), which is scheduled for Saturday, the 9th (10th UTC).  Tim K3LR will be whipping up participation for our joint teams with the Mad River Radio Club a week or two before the event.

In the September 2016 NAS, the NCC & Mad River team scored third among 14 teams, just edging out the Southern California Contest Club and the DFW teams.  Heading up our team was Eric, NO3M with the fourth highest high power score in the country.  Congratulations Eric!  K3UA’s score was the fourth highest on our team and was good enough to place him in 10th place overall.  Members of the September 2016 team were, in order: NO3M, KW8N, K3LR, K3UA, N8EA, NW2K, W8WTS, ND8L, W9PA and N9NW.   

Summer 2017 NCC Picnic at K3LR

Save the date – Friday, July 21, 2017.  This is the date that NCC President Tim Duffy has announced for the next NCC Summer picnic.  The event will commence around 4 PM at Tim’s station in West Middlesex, PA and continue until ???  Tim’s picnics are always really fun – lots of good food, good company, and a tour of the latest new equipment and improvements at the K3LR superstation.  Keep and eye on the NCC email reflector for updates and instructions on when to RSVP.  See you there!

NO3M’s 1930’s-Style Field Day

Eric, NO3M, posted the following to the NCC email reflector.  Sounds like a lot of fun!:

Just want to let everyone know that I’ll be hosting a Field Day setup
again this year focused on 1930s type homebrew gear.  Everyone is
welcome to come out to the farm (NO3M QTH) for as long as they’d like,
either day (Sat / Sun), and overnight if you don’t mind crashing in the
barn (fresh hay bale beds!).  The station should be on the air at least
until 3AM Sunday morning and back up by 8-9AM.

The plan is to have a generator so we can claim “A” category.  At the
moment, only one CW station is planned, but there has been some
discussion of a possible SSB station.  We’ll put that station up in the

The receiver will be a homebrew 1934 superhet as long as it behaves.  It
was doing all sorts of weird things at Breezeshooters, which at the
moment are fixed.  Backup receiver will be the HRO-5 we used last year.

The transmitter is a newly built three-stage rig.  At the moment, it is
only doing 30W instead of 150W.  Hopefully that will be fixed in the
next week or so.  If not, I’ll resort to a good old 203A or (gasp) 811
triode amplifier so we can at least hit 100W.

Planned bands are 20-160M, focused mostly on 40M and 80M.

I also have a vintage Speed-X straight key on the way, bug will be wired
in parallel.  Welcome to bring your own favorite key.

Not sure what’s going on as far as food, but hopefully we’ll fire up the
grill with some lamb and chicken (farm raised), fresh walleye or other
local catches, and burgers / hot dogs.  Maybe a casserole to compliment
the meats.  Water, coffee, cola, and beer (Yuengling), maybe some
homemade iced tea.

Pass the word to anyone that might find an interest in operating antique
style gear.

73 Eric NO3M

Dayton 2017 Activities Announced

NCC president Tim Duffy, K3LR, has announced three important events for Dayton 2017:

The first is the event that no contester wants to miss – the Contest Dinner, sponsored by North Coast Contesters.  This year’s dinner, to be held on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, will be the twenty-fifth such event!  It is sure to be a sell-out, so get your tickets early.  Tickets are only available at the new contest dinner website:

The second event is the Contest Supersuite, which will be held on four consecutive nights (May 17-20) in the Harding, McKinley, Garfield and Harrison Rooms at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.  This year will be the 29th anniversary of this event.  The Contest Supersuite is co-sponsored by the North Coast Contesters, Mad River Radio Club, and Frankford Radio Club.  For more information, visit the website:

The third event is the Contest University, to be held on Thursday, May 18, 2017, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.  This will be the 11th year for the CTU! See the new website and course listing at:   



NA Sprint February 4, 2017

Please mark your calendars for Saturday, February 4, 2017 for the next NA Sprint CW.  NCC has been putting together ten-operator teams with our friends in the Mad River Radio Club and a few others for several years and we will be doing the same during 2017.  The January contest begins at 7 PM local on Saturday evening (0000Z on Sunday February 5 and runs for four hours.    In the February 2016 CW Sprint, NCC/MRRC Friends teams came in third and ninth, so this is a contest that we do very well in.  Save the date! 

NAQP CW January 14, 2017

Those unable to attend the K8AZ Annual Meeting (see next Events item) may want to join a team in the January running of the North American QSO Party CW scheduled to take place on Saturday, January 14, 2017.  As we have done for the past several years, we will be putting together joint teams with our friends in the Mad River Radio Club.  It is unfortunate that there is a conflict with the annual meeting but these days nearly every weekend has an event that some are interested in operating.  Stay tuned to the NCC reflector for reminders and requests for team participation.  

Solar Data
K8ZT Useful Links
NCC member K8ZT has a website full of useful links and resources. See the following: