NORTH COAST CONTESTERS
Supporting Ham Radio Contesting Since 1989

Supporting Ham Radio Contesting Since 1989

NORTH COAST CONTESTERS

NCC News

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NCC Captures Medium Gavel in 2020 ARRL International DX Contest

17 members submitted scores for the CW and SSB weekends in the 2020 ARRL International DX Contest, amassing a score of 21.5 million points, more than enough to secure another gavel for the club in the Medium club competition.  The club placing second was the Central Texas DX & Contest Club, which had 40 entries.  Congratulations NCC!

Unfortunately, the rules of the club competition do not allow K3LR’s scores to be counted, because more than half of Tim’s operators live outside the club territory.  If not for this rule, our club score would have been considerably larger.

Leading off the high scorers in the CW weekend for the club was W2FU’s first place USA/VE Multi2 score of 6.5 million points.  Nice job Jeff and crew.  The next-largest score was that of K8AZ.  Tom’s ops produced 5.5 million points and placed fourth in the M@ category, not far behind the second and third place stations.  Single ops K8CX (#1 in Ohio in the SO Unlimited HP category), WW3S and N8TR also contributed large scores for the club on the CW weekend.  N2WK, K8LY, NJ3K, K8ZT, W8WTS and K8RR also made smaller contributions.

In the SSB weekend, K8AZ’s ops managed a second-place US finish in the M2 category to account for the largest contribution for the club.  K8ZT, who came in first in the country in the SO unlimited QRP category, WW3S, K8LY, K8CX and WZ8P also contributed scores. 

Aside from the club competition, the K3LR superstation racked up another USA/VE win and another runner-up score in the Multi-multi category in the 2020 ARRL International DX Contest.  Tim’s ops dominated the action in the SSB weekend, coming in well ahead of their perennial Maryland rival W3LPL.  K3LR’s final score was 7.3 million points, with 4,989 QSOs and 495 mults versus a score of 6.3 million (4,476 and 477) for W3LPL.  In the CW weekend, it was a real squeaker but ‘LPL edged out the K3LR ops by a mere 43,397 points (9,706,275 versus 9,662,778).  What a heartbreaker!  Both W3LPL and K3LR amassed exactly the same number of mults (537), but ‘LPL managed a mere 50 more contacts!

W1NN, operating 7J1AAI at JH1GTV in Tokyo, managed a first place finish in the single band 40 meter category in Japan on the CW weekend with 678 contacts and 53 sections.  This was also the top score in Asia but just 16th in the world.  The Europeans have a significant advantage over Asian stations in this contest.

 

K8CX Inducted into The CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame

NCC member and creator of the Ham Gallery Tom Roscoe, K8CX, was recently inducted into the CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame for his many contributions to the hobby of amateur radio over the years.  Tom’s principle work has been his Ham Gallery, where he has posted thousands of pictures of contesters at the Dayton Hamvention, as well as a huge number of DX audio clips and QSL cards.  Tom became the 333rd inductee to this prestigious list of accomplished amateurs.  NCC vice-president Tim Duffy, K3LR interviewed Tom on the DX Engineering weekly YouTube broadcast on June 12, 2020.  You can see this interesting interview with Tim at  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTaaNjv2QBg

Congratulations and thanks for your hard work over the years, Tom!

2019 CQWWDX Final Results

As an update to our previous report on the claimed scores for the 2019 CQWWDX contest, we should record the fact that in the SSB weekend, the final results showed that W3LPL managed to sneak past K3LR to win the USA Multi-Multi category that year.  This was the first SSB win for the ‘LPL gang in a long time and they must be savoring it.  Congratulations!

What a battle that was.  On the basis of claimed scores, K3LR’s ops were ahead just 19,201 points (out of a claimed score of 12,385,720 points).  In the final results, though, W3LPL topped the ‘LR score by 58,318 points.  The LPL score was reduced by 677,769 points compared with a reduction of 755,288 points for ‘LR.  Interestingly, Tim’s ops had 302 more QSOs and 2 more mults than the ‘LPL ops, but K3LR was called by more zero-point US stations and ‘LPL worked more three point European and other stations.  Looking over these stations’ breakdowns in their 3830 Scores reports is quite interesting.  On a claimed basis, W3LPL logged 1,349 North American stations, including 341 VEs and 705 K stations!  What an amazing total.  But K3LR’s totals were even more amazing:  1,861 North American stations worked including 528 VEs and 1010 K stations!   

There was no change in the final results for the CW weekend.  W3LPL was well ahead on a claimed score basis, and remained so in the final results.  It is worth noting, though, that Tim’s ops managed to work five more zones and 10 more countries than Frank’s.  Those ops at K3LR really know how to find the multipliers!

NCC Mourns Loss of Charter Member WT8C

NCC members and countless others mourned the sudden loss of Reno Tonsi, WT8C, who passed away at his home on February 27, 2020.  Reno was 83.  Reno had had health issues and had been hospitalized last year but was released and seemed to be doing better, so his loss came as a shock to everyone.  He was active on the air until the day before his unexpected death.  NCC member Bob Liddy spoke with Reno on the phone just hours before his passing and reported that Reno sounded “chipper and up-beat.” 

Reno at K8MR’s annual Xmas party in 2006 (TNX K8MR):

 

 

The following is from Reno’s page on QRZ.com:

I was first licensed in 1957 as a Novice with the call of KN9LJI (IL).  Since then, I have held the calls of K1UVP (MA), W8LIK (MI), W9KUL (WI), W4OUE (GA) and WT8C (OH). 

Member of our local radio club, Lake County Amateur Radio Association (LCARA) located in Lake County, OH.  As a LCARA member, I am a Volunteer Examiner and have held that position for about 25 years.

Also, I am a long term member of the North Coast Contesters (NCC) radio club and operate both from my home station and from the K8AZ multi-single/multi-two contest station in Chesterland, OH.  NCC operates mainly in international contests.  For domestic contests, we belong to the Mad River Radio Club.

As an active DXer, I have confirmed all active entities in both SSB and Mixed modes and on CW only need (P5) North Korea.

Station consists of a Yeasu FT-2000 transceiver and an Alpha 9500 amplifier.  I live in town on a triangular 0.23 acre lot and have a 54 foot crank up tower.  Antennas consist of a Bencher Skyhawk tri-bander for 10-15-20 meters at 55 foot, a Cushcraft rotary dipole for 12-17-30 meters at 57 foot and a Cushcraft 2 element trapped 40 meter yagi at 60 foot all on a single mast.  I also have an 75/80 meter inverted Vee at 50 foot and a coaxial inverted L for 160 meters also at 50 foot.  Both of these antennas are supported by a single cross support going through the tower.

In all of this, I have to thank my wife, Connie, KB8ZZW, for her understanding and support.  Without it, I would not be in the position that I am.

73 de Reno  

 

As Reno mentioned, he was an active operator from K8AZ’s station in Chesterland, Ohio.  Here are some comments from NCC president and station-owner Tom Lee:

Reno joined the K8AZ Crew in 1989, and participated in more than 110 K8AZ multi-operator contest efforts since then.  Further, over the years, he answered the call for the many K8AZ antenna work parties many hundreds of times, showing up to help out countless weekends over the years.  (One summer, he even got the nickname “Reno the Riviter” from when we built multiple HF yagis). 

Plus, since about 1990, every contest Sunday, he cooked individual omelets for each K8AZ operator, making Sunday morning of every contest the biggest turnout day of each contest weekend.  I estimate Reno cooked over 700 contest omelets over the years.  A great tradition we’re now doing our best to honor in his memory.

73, Reno.  RIP, OM.  Know that you are missed, and all of us are grateful   were granted the great privilege of a contest weekend immediately following your passing to remember and honor you. The Glenlivet toast to you after the contest was something special.

With a big mix of sadness (and joy) and respect.
K8AZ

Reno will be greatly missed by all who knew him, and especially by the regular ops at K8AZ who got to know Reno doing one of his favorite pastimes:  spending time with his fellow contester friends. 

RIP, friend Reno.  We miss you already.

 

Congratulations to W2FU & Team (NAQP Claimed Scores)

Congratulations are in order for the fantastic performance of the W2FU team in the recent NAQP CW.  Based on claimed scores, Jeff’s ops took back the number one spot in the M2 competition after losing it to the guys at K5RM in January 2019.  Last year K5RM ended up with 2,398 contacts, nearly 200 more than the W2FU guys.  Jeff’s ops found a couple more multipliers (267 vs. 263) but that was not enough to overcome the Arkansas-based K5RM lead.  This year, W2FU is still slightly behind on the Q count (2,131 vs 2,168) but 16 extra mults puts them ahead by 554,060 to 533,328 (claimed).  Here are their numbers and a list of operators from 3830:

Call: W2FU

Operator(s): KØSM K2UA N2ZN NW2K W2FU

Station: W2FU

Class: M/2 LP

QTH: WNY

Operating Time (hrs): 12

Location: USA

Summary:   Compare Scores

Band   QSOs    Mults

160:   312    49

80:     703    61

40:     650    62

20:     372    59

15:     93      28

10:     1        1

Total:          2131 260    Total Score           554,060

On another subject, here are the claimed scores from the four NCC/MRRC teams we put together for this year:

NCC/MRRC Team 1

NA8V         197,607

W1NN        164,934

K3UA         140,976

N8AA         82,446

KN8CWO(AF8A)          58,824

Team Total:          644,787

 

NCC/MRRC Team 2

K8BKM      108,702

K9NW        42,224

N8FYL       33,761

K8GT         18,531

Team Total:          203,218

 

NCC/MRRC Team 3

N8EA         65,540

AB8OU      20,064

NF8M         15,470

N8SBE       14,544

Team Total:          115,618

 

NCC/MRRC Team 4

KC8J          17,630

W8RU        11,560

W8WTS     8,556

W8KNO     8,192

Team Total:          45,938

Our best team looks to be in 14th place this year.  Last January, our top team was in 13th place.  We have some formidable competition from the west, southwest and deep south, but we have made the top ten before and I’m sure we can do it again.

2019 CQWWDX Claimed Scores

The claimed scores for the 2019 CQWWDX SSB and CW contests have been posted and NCC calls are once again well represented in the rankings.

SSB Weekend

Unfortunately, extremely challenging conditions characterized the October phone weekend and North American scores turned out to be the worst in many years. 

The K3LR multi-multi crew managed to produce 6,744 contacts but this was their lowest Q total since at least 2003.  Compared with their record-breaking 2011 total of 13,422 contacts (claimed basis), the 2019 contact total was exactly half, dramatically demonstrating the drastic impact that a low sunspot count can have on contest results.

The 2019 SSB score from K3LR was not without its highlights.  The ops achieved DXCC on four bands and even worked 60 countries on 160!  Their 20 meter total of 2,532 contacts and 149 countries would be respectable in any year. 

Tim’s final claimed score of 12,385,720 puts K3LR in first place in the US and 11th in the world.  However, perennial rival W3LPL’s claimed score of 12,366,519 points was a mere 19,201 points behind, so it is certainly possible that after the logs are checked, the LPL gang could end up ahead.  If so, it would end a very long string of K3LR phone victories in the world’s most popular contest.  We’re keeping our fingers crossed for Tim and his ops!

Over at K8AZ, things did not go well.  After spending nearly every weekend during the summer working on the station, Tom and his talented ops must have expected a very good weekend, but terrible band conditions combined with antenna problems that kept the station off the air for six hours to keep the score well below the station’s potential, and K8AZ ended up in 4th place US with a score of 2.7 million points.  The awful conditions during the phone weekend impacted North America a lot more than Europe, and the top MS station in the US ended up only in 23rd place in the world!  W2FU was not active this year during the phone weekend.

Two NCC members traveled to Curacao to join the PJ2T team for the phone weekend.  I refer to Jim, W8WTS, a veteran member of the Caribbean Contesting Consortium, and Ray, ND8L, NCC secretary/treasurer and new member of the CCC.  The two joined six other ops in a multi-multi effort that came in fourth in the world with over 10,000 contacts and a claimed score of 20.4 million points.  The picture shows the operators (left to right):  W8WTS, VE4GV, K8IV, ND8L, W0CG, KF4DX, K8PGY, and CE4CT.

Other active members during the phone weekend included K8ZT, whose QRP score put him in third place in the US, K8CX, K8LY and K8MR. 

CW Weekend

Fortunately, band conditions for the CW weekend were not nearly as bad as they were for phone, but they were still below the average of the last decade.  Tim’s crew at K3LR came up with 7470 contacts, but the excellent ops at W3LPL used their geographic advantage to the fullest and managed to best the ‘LR crew by 781 contacts.  Frank’s team found 200 more contacts on both 80 and 160, and over 300 more on 15 meters.  Tim’s operators managed to find 3 more zones and one more country than the LPL guys, but their superior multiplier total could not overcome Frank’s east coast contact advantage.  A great job by both teams!

In an extremely tight race in the multi-single category, the ops at W2FU managed a score of 9.1 million points which placed them fourth in the US behind K1LZ, W3UA and N4WW.  The ‘FU gang was neck and neck with the N4WW crew operating from Florida and about one million points behind the K1LZ and W3UA teams operating from Maine and New Hampshire, respectively.  W2FU kept up with the leaders on 80 and 20 but fell behind on 160, 40 and 15.  Following up in fifth place was K8AZ, where Tom’s further western QTH exposed them more to the polar absorption prevalent that weekend.  Tom also experienced additional antenna problems which kept them off the air for several hours.

Other activity by NCC members in the CW weekend:  K8ZT achieved 7th place world and top US score in the assisted QRP category.  K8CX managed nearly 2,000 contacts in the SOAB HP category.  Other scores were submitted by N8TR, K8LY, NJ3K, and W1NN.  NJ3K is one of the newest NCC members (elected in July, 2019) and has been contributing good scores to the club since.  Thanks, Bruce.  Another top NCC operator, K8MR, operated from K5KG in Florida and was unable to contribute a score to the club this year.

 

 

 

   

 

   

September 2019 Sprint Results      

K3LR made the top ten HP list and K3UA and W8WTS made the top ten LP list in the September running of the biannual NA Sprint contest.  Tim’s score placed him in 9th position among some of the hottest CW ops in the country.  K3UA made 5th in LP followed by W8WTS in 6th place.  Good job everyone!

Conditions were anything but good this time out, with 80 noisy and long.  Participation was also way down owing to the invasion of the weekend by the CWO contest.  We sure would like to see this practice discontinued by our CW ops friends so we can all participate in both events. 

NCC and friends fielded three teams this time:  the Code Guys (K4RO, N2NT, K3LR, K5ZD and K3UA), Mad River (K9NW, KW8N, K8MR, NA8V, and  W8WTS), and North Coast (W1NN, NS2N, NW2K, and WW3S).  The Code Guys came in second (!), while Mad River placed fourth, very good showings indeed.  The North Coast guys struggled to come in 16th.  Having only four members and W1NN losing his 80M antenna and missing the entire last hour didn’t help this team. 

K8AZ Wins MS in IARU HF World Championships

The team of great ops at K8AZ pulled off a spectacular win in the 2019 IARU World Championships.  Tom’s crew logged 2,069 contacts and 284 multipliers for a score of 1,775,888, coming in at the top of the multi-single category in North America.  Their score also placed them 12th in the world, no mean accomplishment considering that the top 11 stations were all in or near the multiplier-rich European continent.  The second-place K1IR team based in Eastern Massachusetts made 1,955 contacts and 258 multipliers.  Congratulations Tom and team!

Other NCC members participating in the 24-hour IARU test were W1NN, placing third in NA in the CW-only LP category with 1,232 contacts and 170 mults for a score of 469K, N8AA with 330K in the same category, K8MR with 100K in the same category operating from his vacation QTH on the Cape in Massachusetts, and K8ZT, who placed second in NA in the QRP category.  Well done, everyone!

NCC Wins Medium Club Gavel in 2019 ARRL International DX Contest

Once again, NCC topped the list of clubs in the medium category to walk away with another gavel in the 2019 ARRL International DX Contest.  19 members submitted logs for a combined total score of 22,665,072 points.  The club competition combines CW and phone scores.

Leading our list of contributors, of course, were our multi-operator stations K3LR, W2FU and K8AZ.  The former, operating in the multi-multi category as usual, managed a first place USA score in the phone weekend, besting the rival W3LPL team by over a million points (4.8 million vs. 3.7 million).  However, the ops at W3LPL snuck ahead of ‘LR in the CW event, with a score of 10.1 million versus 9.7 million.  W3LPL managed 300 more contacts, enough to overcome Tim’s small lead in multipliers (552 vs. 543).

In the CW weekend, W2FJ managed a first place North America win in the multi two category, with a score of 7.1 million points (4,737 contacts and 509 mults).  K8AZ came in fourth in that competition with 6.0 million points.  Interestingly, Tom’s crew came up with 500 multipliers, just 9 fewer than Jeff’s ops.  In the phone weekend, Jeff’s team stood down but Tom’s ops pulled off a second place showing, being beat only by the Maine-based W4KZ station.  Interestingly, W4KZ made nearly 400 more QSOs but Tom’s team found over 50 more multipliers.

Other major contributors to the NCC gavel win in the CW weekend were K8CX, WW3S and N8TR with 2.6 million, 2.0 million, and 1.3 million points, respectively.  ND8L, K8LY, W2NN, N2WK, K8ZT, N3RA and W8WTS also contributed scores.  In the phone weekend, K8CX, K8LY, K3UA, NW2K, K8ZT, and W8WTS contributed scores. 

K3LR Hosts “Team Exuberance” in 2019 WPX Phone

In a splendid gesture of support for young contesters, NCC president Tom Duffy hosted six young and up-and-coming contesters at the K3LR superstation in March 2019 for a serious effort in the WPX phone contest.

The operators consisted of  David VE7DZO, Tomi HA8RT, Levi K6JO, Marty NN1C, Violetta “Kat” KM4ATT, and Bryant KG5HVO. 

This effort was born of a suggestion that Kat KM4ATT made to Tim some months previous and Tim and his team at DXEngineering managed to turn a casual idea into reality, bringing the six participants from all over North America and even from Europe to West Chester, Pennsylvania. 

The event began with a tour and presentation at DXEngineering in Akron followed by a tour of the K3LR station and antenna farm and then a plunge into the WPX contest in the Multi-Two category.  One can only imagine what a thrill it must have been for these young contesters to sit in front of Tim’s fabulous stations and begin to handle the pileups that ensued! 

The team ended up with over 6,000 contacts and a claimed score of 23.8 million points. 

For pictures and additional information on this fantastic 2019 development in contesting, have a look at this website:  http://www.k3lr.com/youth/WPX19PH/

Thanks mainly to the score produced by Team Exuberance, NCC managed to place 11th out of 46 clubs in the 2019 WPX club competition.  This competition combines all SSB and CW scores from all members and the total score for NCC reached 25.5 million points.  NCC members submitted four SSB logs and 11 CW logs.  Club members contributing scores in 2019 were N2ZN, K8MR (using the club call NC8C), W1NN, N2WK, N3SD, K3UA, AA8OY, N8AA, K8BL, K8ZT, K8RR and N2WK. 

 

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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