NORTH COAST CONTESTERS
Supporting Ham Radio Contesting Since 1989

Supporting Ham Radio Contesting Since 1989

NORTH COAST CONTESTERS

NCC News

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K3LR Captures Both CW & SSB N.A. Wins in 2018 CQWWDX Tests!

2018 was a great year in the CQWWDX contests for the K3LR multi-multi station.  Tim’s fantastic setup and first-rate ops managed to place first in North America in both the CW and the SSB weekends, a feat that they have not managed since 2014. 

Based on claimed scores, the West Middlesex, PA ops squeaked past rival W3LPL in the CW competition by a margin of just 341,056 points after being edged out by the same station by 149,479 points in 2017.  The claimed scores for the two stations were 19,486,811 for K3LR versus 19,145,755 for W3LPL.  In 2017, the scores were 17,248,623 for ‘LPL and 17,099,144 for ‘LR.  The margins of victory in both years were less than 2%!

In the SSB weekend, Tim’s ops delivered the 14th straight North American victory for K3LR.  What an incredible record.  The scores were not even close, with K3LR making over 1,000 more contacts than second-place KC1XX in New Hampshire and nearly 1,300 more QSO’s than their Maryland rival W3LPL.  It seems that K3LR really owns the CQWW DX SSB contest in North America and can only be beat by stations in Zone 33 and other geographically advantaged locations.  Congratulations, Tim!

K8AZ Station Renovation!

After extensive renovations, Tom Lee’s Chesterfield, Ohio station is finally back up and in the game.  Tom and his ops spent much of the summer rebuilding the inside shack to bring the wiring and operating positions up to standards.  Unfortunately, the work was not quite complete by the time of the CQWWDX phone weekend, so when Tom’s ops arrived to operate the contest, they were given screwdrivers and wire cutters instead of microphones and headphones.  But by the end of the weekend, all six positions were up and running and the station was ready for the CW weekend.  This gave Tom’s ops the chance to show what they can do, with the result being over 4,500 contacts in the competitive M/2 HP category for a fourth place finish with 9.1 million points.  We expect great things from the refurbished K8AZ station going forward as Tom has some of the best ops in the country!

Other NCC Scores in the 2018 CQWW DX Tests

K3LR and K8AZ were not the only NCC stations making noise in the 2018 CQWW DX contests.  Some of the other noteworthy scores from our members:

CW:

M/S HP  W2FU – Second Place USA with 9.1 million points

M/S LP  W1NN & N2BA at VP9I – Second place world with 5.7 million points

SO (A) AB HP K8CX (2.0 million points), N8TR (1.5 million points), N2WK (1.4 million points), and ND8L (570,000 points)

SO (A) AB LP K8LY (308,000 points)

SO (A) AB QRP (298,000 points)

SSB: 

SO (A) AB HP K8CX (735,000 points), N2WK (414,000 points), ND8L (342,000 points)

SO (A) AB LP K8LY (312,000 points)

SOAB HP  K8MR (178,000 points), NW2K @ W2FU (102,000 points), N2ZN (30,000 points)

SOAB QRP K8ZT (85,000 points)

 

 

NCC Superstations All Out for ARRL DX CW

The North Coast Contesters club boasts three of the best superstations in the country – K3LR, W2FU and K8AZ – and all of them were out in force for the CW weekend of the 2018 ARRL International DX Contest .  Unfortunately, conditions were terrible and this really impacted our stations this year, but our guys still put in incredible performances.

First, in the multi-multi category, perennial CW weekend winner K3LR came up a few QSOs short this year and East Coast rival W3LPL appears to have slipped past Tim’s guys by the narrowest of margins to win the USA.  Interestingly, the two stations ended up with an identical multiplier total of 533, but they managed to get there in quite different ways.  The K3LR ops actually had more mults than W3LPL on four bands: 160, 40, 20 and 10 meters, only failing to reach the ‘LPL mult totals on 80 and 15.  But the gap on 15 was big:  LPL found 10 more mults than Tim’s guys there.  Here’s what Frank wrote about conditions this year:

In many respects each of us operated in a different contest. The several hundred miles between us — especially the north-south distance — has surprisingly strong propagation affects especially as we approach the bottom of the sunspot cycle making it impossible for us to compete on a level playing field. At W3LPL we benefited from longer openings to Europe on every band except 10 meters. That produced 340 more QSOs to Europe and ten common European multipliers on 15 meters that were unavailable to K3LR. K3LR enjoyed better propagation to Japan especially on 20 meters, but their 120 additional contacts to Japan couldn’t make up for our longer openings to Europe.

Nice comments from Frank, W3LPL, one of the nicest gentlemen in radio contesting today!  Congratulations to both K3LR and W3LPL for fine performances.

A few miles up the road to the northeast from K3LR is the W2FU superstation.  This year Jeff’s ops entered the multi-single category and seem to have walked away with the top score in the USA and Canada with 3,497 contacts, 455 mults and a claimed score of 4,747,470.  Interestingly, Jeff’s crew managed to find 123 mults on 20Meters, only four less than K3LR and two less than W3LPL! 

Moving in the other direction, Tom Lee’s ops at K8AZ in Cleveland’s eastern suburbs put in a fantastic performance in the M2 category, but just couldn’t keep up with the K1LZ ops 600 miles to the east in Medway, MA.  Sporting all new Icom radios and optimized antennas, the ‘AZ ops kept the station on for 48 hours and ended up just short of 3,800 contacts and 466 mults for 5.3 million points.  Tom’s guys actually found more mults on 10 meters, but the guys at Krassy’s slick station were almost 1,000 QSOs ahead of Tom’s crew to post a score of 7.2 million points.  The same factors mentioned above by W3LPL certainly were at play in the K1LZ-K8AZ contest.

Dan, W8CAR, NCC whipper in chief,  put together a summary of NCC’s scores in the 2018 ARRL DX CW weekend. Here is his report:

Total points so far 21,350,699!!!!  Great job guys.  If I missed your score please hit up 3830 and email me!

      M/2 HP

      Call SO2R Remote QSOs Mults Op Time Score Club

      K8AZ     3797 466 48 5,250,888 NCC

     M/M HP

      Call SO2R Remote QSOs Mults Op Time Score Club

      K3LR     5451 533 48 8,716,149 NCC

      M/S HP

      Call SO2R Remote QSOs Mults Op Time Score Club

      W2FU     3497 455 48 4,747,470 NCC

      SO Unlimited HP

      Call SO2R Remote QSOs Mults Op Time Score Club

      N8TR     991 380 30 1,129,740 NCC

      KK8D     535 227 12.5 363,654 NCC

      SO Unlimited LP

      Call SO2R Remote QSOs Mults Op Time Score Club

      K8LY     390 199 27 232,830 NCC

      SO Unlimited QRP

      Call SO2R Remote QSOs Mults Op Time Score Club

      K8ZT     213 157  100,323 NCC

      SOSB/40 LP

      Call SO2R Remote QSOs Mults Op Time Score Club

      W1NN   x 280 77 12 64,680 NCC

      SOHP  WW3S 1299  X 344=1,339,536

      SOHPA ND8L 466  X 290=405,429

 

3 NCC/MRRC Teams in Sprint Top Ten Team Competition

NCC and our sister club the Mad River Radio Club fielded three joint teams in the February 2018 CW Sprint and all three managed to make the top ten in the team competition!

Conditions were terrible and the scores for most ops were down from the typical January scores.  Here are the details of our three teams based on the preliminary results posted on the Sprint website.  The numbers to the left show team placement while the right-hand column shows the total score achieved by the five operators:

5.  NCC/MRRC CQ (NO3M, KW8N, K3UA, K8MR, W2FU)         55,072

7. NCC/MRRC QRZ (K9NW, N2ZN, NA8V, N8EA, W1NN)          52,160

10.  NCC/MRRC DX (K3LR, W8WTS, W3YQ, W9PA, NW2K)     43,686

On a claimed score basis, here are the individual scores of our three team members, compiled by K3LR:

NCC/MRRC CQ NO3M 14,276 KW8N 13,005 K3UA 10,920 K8MR 10,692 W2FU  7,371 Team Total: 56,264 

NCC/MRRC QRZ K9NW 12,804 N2ZN 11,685 NA8V 10,164 W1NN  9,321 N8EA  9,320 Team Total: 53,294  

NCC/MRRC DX K3LR  13,500 W8WTS 11,111 W3YQ   9,348 W9PA   7,600 NW2K   3,680 Team Total: 45,239 

By comparing the total preliminary scores with the claimed scores, you can get an idea of how much our scores were reduced in the log checking.  The answer:  not very much!  There was only one change in order between the claimed scores and the preliminary scores.  In the former, W1NN edged out N8EA by one single point, but the preliminary scores show that after log checking, N8EA ended up ahead of W1NN by 30 points! 

NO3M and K3LR made the top ten high power list, while K3UA, N8EA and W1NN made the top ten low power list.  NO3M and K3LR were also in the total QSO top ten, with NO3M placing second!  K8MR operated from the station of K5KG where he produced the high score for FL.  W1NN operated remote from Japan. 

Excellent job everyone!

 

4 NCC/MRRC Teams in January NAQP CW

20 operators signed up to operate on a team in the January 2018 NAQP CW contest but only 14 actually managed to submit scores.  Despite the high overall participation in the US and Canada, our members seem to be busy with other things during this contest.  Each team had five registered members but unfortunately several ops were not able to get on, so none of our teams had a full complement of operators.  Naturally, none of them placed very high on the list of 101 teams.  Our best team placed 16th, while the other three teams placed 53rd, 61st and 62nd.  Here are the team scores:

16. NCC/MRRC Team 1 (NA8V,W1NN,K3UA,K8RYU) 593,996

53. NCC/MRRC Team 3 (K8MR,NF8M,K8BL,W8RU)   157,698

61. NCC/MRRC Team 4 (KW8N,N8XX,W8KNO)       130,131

62. NCC/MRRC Team 2 (WB8WKQ,N8FYL,K8AJS)    122,324 

Noteworthy scores were submitted by NA8V (995 contacts), W1NN (888 contacts), K3UA (784 contacts), and KW8N (675 contacts).  NA8V’s score was the second highest in the 8th call district, just behind that of N8II in WV.  Nice job, Greg.  Unfortunately, the NAQP whip, W1NN, failed to put WW3S on a team, or we might have had a little better standing for one of our teams since Jamie had nearly 600 contacts.  Apologies to Jamie. 

Jan 2018 Meeting at K8AZ

The annual K8AZ Open House and NCC meeting took place at Tom’s QTH in Chesterland on January 20.  Approximately 25 members were in attendance.  The recent sub-zero temps moderated somewhat and visitors were able to enjoy moderate weather for a change.  As usual, Tom prepared a great spread of snacks and pizza.  One highlight was the attendance of N3RA and K3UA, charter NCC members who usually are not able to attend the K8AZ festivities. 

NCC Treasurer Ray Fallen, ND8L, filed this report on the meeting:

- K8AZ read an e-mail from KQ8M describing his heart transplant
   surgery at The Cleveland Clinic.  Tim seems to be doing well, but
   has a long road to complete recovery.  Tim did report getting
   back on the air recently to work E31A.

- ND8L presented a brief treasurer's report.  Our current balance
    is $1257.93.  It was agreed that we would have another dues
    holiday in 2018.  However, voluntary contributions will be
    welcomed.  $260.00 was collected at the meeting.  If  you'd
    like to make a contribution to NCC in any amount, send a
    check payable to Ray Fallen at my CBA.

- K3LR reports that there is one tent left at WRTC 2018 and after
    a brief discussion, it was agreed that we would sponsor this
    tent in memory of NCC SK's W3GH and W8GN.  Like last year
    we voted to match individual NCC member's contributions up to $500
    dollar for dollar to reach the $1,000 contribution amount for the tent.

    If you wish to contribute, you may write a check to WWROF
     and mail to ND8L's CBA and I'll total up the checks to make sure
     we get the $500 for the club matching amount.  PLEASE DO NOT
     MAKE THE CHECK PAYABLE TO NCC or me.  If you mail your
     check directly to WWROF or pay via PayPal, please drop me an
     e-mail.  BTW contributions/donations to WWROF are tax deductible,
     for those who itemize deductions.

- K3LR and K8AZ led a brief discussion about the recent events at
    ARRL.  It was agreed that the best way to affect change is to
    reach out to your respective Division Director and make him
    aware of your opinions.  We agreed that at the present time,
    a letter from NCC would have minimal impact at this time.

- K3LR had a brief report on Dayton.  The Fairgrounds are building
    a 250,000 square foot building, the tents are going away and
    improvements are being made to resolve the mud situation in
    the flea market.  NCC will again sponsor the Contest Dinner on
    Saturday night along with the Contest Super Suite at the Crown
    Plaza.  Over 300 tickets for the contest dinner have been sold so far.

- Election of officers was held:  Results were:  K8AZ-President,
   K3LR-Vice President, ND8L-Secretary/Treasurer, W1NN-Webmaster.
   Contest whips will remain the same as 2017.

- The ARRL Club Gavel for Medium Sized Clubs was won by NCC for
    the umteenth time and was awarded to Contest Whip W8CAR.
    Congratulations Dan!

73 de ND8L
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!” 

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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