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.
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 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:
Operator(s): KØSM K2UA N2ZN NW2K W2FU
Class: M/2 LP
Operating Time (hrs): 12
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
Team Total: 644,787
NCC/MRRC Team 2
Team Total: 203,218
NCC/MRRC Team 3
Team Total: 115,618
NCC/MRRC Team 4
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
The following is the agenda from the annual NCC summer picnic held at K3LR’s superstation on July 27, 2019.
The most important agenda item was the nomination and election of three new members: Bruce Manning, NJ3K, Everett Jackson, WZ8P, and Ed Polack, K8IV. Welcome to all and CU on the air!
Meeting of North Coast Contesters
July 27, 2019, 2:00 p.m. (time approximate)
Annual K3LR NCC Picnic
West Middlesex, PA
Call to order
Roster sign in – (circulate sheet)
Financial Report (ND8L) (submitted electronically 7/24/2019)
1/1/19 Opening Balance …………………………. $723.53
1/30/19 ARRL Contest Plaques …………………. (150.00)
2/27/19 QTH.COM Web Hosting ………………… ( 27.43)
5/31/19 Tim Duffy – Contest Super Suite ………. (150.00)
6/11/19 WWROF – CQ-WW Contest Plaques …. (130.00)
6/13/19 Dues Collected …………………………… + 20.00
July 27, 2019 Balance ……………………………..$254.13
Election of Officers (Effective retroactively to January, 1, 2019)
- President: Tim Duffy, K3LR
- Vice-President: Tom Lee, K8AZ
- Treasurer: Ray Fallen, ND8L
- Web Manager: Hal Offutt, W1NN
Election of New Members:
- Bruce Manning, NJ3K
- Everett Jackson, WZ8P
- Ed Polack, K8IV
- 2019 Dayton/Xenia Report (K3LR)
- YOTA Report (K3LR)
- Treasury Status & possible need to reinstitute mandatory dues
- K3LR: NW3Y donation to WWROF for youth programs:
- Need program suggestions/volunteers
- WRTC 2022 Update
- Fall Contests
- NAQP CW – August 4 (W1NN)
- Ohio QSO Party — August 24 (K8MR)
- WWROF WW Digi contest — August 31-Sept. 1
- CW Sprint – Sept. 8
- CQWW DX SSB – October 26-27
- ARRL Sweepstakes CW Nov. 2-4
- ARRL Sweepstakes SSB Nov. 16-17
- CQWW DX CQ – November 23-24
- Thanksgiving November 28 (No Contest Conflict!)
- ARRL 160m Contest Dec. 6-8
- ARRL 10m Contest Dec. 14-15
- Stew Perry TBDXC Dec. 28-29
Comments for the good of the order
- DX Engineering Hamfest!!! — August 10, 2019
- Free flea market
- Special discounts
- Hamfest specials
- Tallmadge Ohio – Summit Racing’s north parking lot
- Apollo 11 Contribution: N8TR
- Return to health: KQ8M
- Return to health: WT8C
Collection of dues/voluntary contributions (ND8L)
In a breathtakingly close match with W3LPL, the ops at K3LR managed to come out on top in the 2018 CQWWDX CW Contest, the results of which were announced in early May.
Once again, the two rival stations turned in very similar scores. After losing to LPL in 2017 by just 149,479 points, K3LR turned things around and managed an extra 292,978 points in 2018 to edge past their perennial Maryland rivals. Their win was achieved by making a mere 54 more contacts and 6 more mults than the ‘LPL ops. That’s 54 out of 8,305 contacts! What a vivid demonstration of the importance of every Q and mult!
The official results for the SSB weekend announced a month earlier confirmed that the K3LR team also came out on top in North America and managed to come in second-place in the world. This was K3LR’s 14th straight win in the SSB weekend. We are tempted to state that K3LR is unbeatable in the CQWWDX SSB Contest!
Other NCC members turned in excellent performances in the 2018 CW weekend. Western-NY based W2FU managed to come in second in the US in the Multi Single category with 8.5 million points. Member VE3EJ, whose scores usually go to the Ontario Contest Club, came out on top in this category in North America with 11.9 million points. In Multi-Two, the ops at K8AZ managed to keep Tom’s rebuilt station on the air for 48 hours and turn in a score of 9.1 million points, putting them in 4th place in this really competitive category. W1NN, operating in the multi-single LP category with friend N2BA from VP9I, managed to come in first place NA and second place world with a score of 5.4 million (half went to NCC).
Thanks to the efforts of Anthony, K8ZT, NCC is now a registered club with Club Log. Here is some information provided by Anthony on what Club Log is and what you can do with it. Anthony is now the official administrator of Club Log for NCC, so contact him with questions/assistance. Thanks Anthony!
What is Club Log?
- Club Log is a FREE online database with a suite of powerful tools supporting active DXers and Contesters.
- Once you have registered on Club Log and uploaded your log, you will be able to:
- Generate personal reports, showing which DXCC countries you have worked and/or confirmed, when you first worked them, which ones you still need, and which are the most likely to QSL (Club Log’s reports are both comprehensive and flexible);
- Analyze your log for possible/likely errors in the DXCC allocations (Club Log’s painstakingly-researched DXCC database is a tremendously useful resource supporting the DX community);
- Predict the bands and times on which you are most likely to work almost any DX station, based on actual QSOs in the logs uploaded to Club Log, and draw great circle maps;
- Set up a personal DX Cluster feed that filters out the DXCCs you have already worked, leaving just the ones you still need …
- … and much more. This is just a taste of things to come!
What are League Tables
- See how you stand relative to your peers in various league tables and challenges (again, the reports are very flexible – for example with a few clicks you can generate a specific league table listing how many DXCC countries or CQ zones have been worked by various African hams on 20m CW in the past year almost as easily as a global league table covering all bands, all modes and all years since 1945);
- See where you stand relative to your peers in clubs and organizations that you belong to. This is where the tie-in to North Coast Contesters comes in
What Do I Need To Do?
- If you are interested in Participating you must add yourself to this club. The opt-in principle is how Club Log is intended to work.
- If you are not already a member you will need to join Clublog
- Go to https://clublog.org/signup.php
- Enter your information and click “Sign Up Now” button
- If you are already a member
- Sign in to your account
- On top menu click “Settings”
- From Settings top menu choose “Clubs”
You will then see this screen
- Use the slider to find NCC – North Coast Contesters and click on it
- If you would like to join other clubs, hold down the Control key and click on addition clubs
- Click “Join Club(s)” button
- After you choose to join clubs you will see a “Pending” membership note.
- Club log will send me an email and K8ZT or ND8L will approve you as a club member.
What Can I Do with Club Log
- Use the DXCC charts menu option under Your Log to find out which DXCC countries you have worked on each band, and which of those have been confirmed with Logbook of the World confirmations or QSL cards.
- There are options to filter the QSOs by mode, by current-only or current-plus-deleted DXCC countries, worked/confirmed/wanted, and by years if you wish to be more specific in your analysis. If you upload logs for different callsigns (e.g. your normal and contest calls), you can also choose which log or logs to analyze.
- OQRS – Online QSL Requests- both incoming and outgoing
- Search other users logs to make sure you are in their log
- Request QSLs
- Setup to receive OQRS for your log (you get to choose if you want Buro and/or Direct request and even collect costs through PayPal
- Check your league position to see how well you are doing in relation to other DXers who use Club Log.
- DXCC Leagues
- Club Specific Leagues
- Analyze your log
- DXCC charts
- Log inspector
- Zone charts
- Log matching
- Work with LOTW (Club Log provides two-way integration with Logbook of the World (LoTW))
What Do I Need to Do on Club Log to Start Using It
- After you have signed up you will want to upload your logs
- From your favorite Logging software, export your log as an .ADIF/.ADI file
- In Club Log click the Upload button (next to the login button) and complete the four steps that Club Log leads you through, one step at a time:
- Step 1 – Select the callsign for which you want to upload QSOs (you may manage logs for more than one call in Club Log, for example, your normal and contest calls)
- Step 2 – Click Choose file, navigate to the directory where you saved the ADIF file, click the ADIF file to select it, then click the Open button. Click Begin upload to start the file transfer process. Wait until you see “OK – got filename” which means the file is now waiting on the Club Log server to be checked and imported into the database
- Step 3 – Choose whether to add the QSOs that you have just transferred into your existing Club Log records, or erase all the existing records for that callsign first before starting over with the uploaded QSOs
- Step 4 – Click the Submit upload button to put the transferred QSOs in the queue to be imported into Club Log’s database
- Be prepared for the reports and league tables to be updated – some are updated almost straight away, others may take a day. Club Log’s personal reports will warn you if you have made a significant upload subsequent to the database snapshot used in the reports: that anomaly should resolve itself in due course.
- Keep an eye on your inbox for an automated email from Club Log telling you if it detected any errors in your upload, such as this:
Most errors are due to Club Log disagreeing with your logging program about which DXCC countries you have actually worked. This is the power of Club Log’s extensive database of DXCC information and a huge amount of research into DXCC. Almost always, you will discover that you or your logging program has made a mistake with the claimed DXCC country. Correct the country, re-export and re-upload your log to have Club Log check it again.
- If you don’t want to receive the upload confirmations or errors, you can tell Club Log not to email you its summary after an upload using an option on the Settings page.
- There are several options in the upload process:
- You don’t need to upload your entire log every time – just export and upload the QSOs you have logged since previous Club Log upload.
- If your logging program has the option to export just your latest QSOs to an ADIF file for signing and uploading to LoTW (Logbook of The World), you can upload that same ADIF file (not the signed .tq8 file!) to Club Log as well as LoTW.
- Some logging programs have the facility to upload each QSO automatically to Club Log as you log it – check the logging program’s help for details.
- Don’t worry if you accidentally upload QSOs more than once – Club Log simply identifies and skips the duplicates unless the QSO details have changed.
- If you have made lots of changes to your log (e.g. you have received a batch of QSL cards from the bureau and updated the QSL details in your logging program), or if you think your log in Club Log might be incomplete or corrupted, it is a good idea to output your entire log to an ADIF file, upload it to Club Log, and then in Step 3, choose “Clear my existing log first, then upload”. This option deletes your previously uploaded QSOs for that callsign, then imports the newly uploaded ADIF file. It doesn’t hurt to do this every so often – maybe once a year – to be sure that Club Log is working with your complete and accurate log.
- If you manage the logs for several callsigns (e.g. personal and club calls), you can export and upload the logs one call at a time, in the same way, selecting the relevant call in Step 1, assuming you have configured your Club Log profile for all your calls. You should be careful always to match your uploads to the right callsign, though.