My Most Recent QSO's

Sunday, March 29, 2015

2015 Charleston Hamfest

For the second year, I gave a power point presentation at the Charleston Hamfest. I love the opportunity to stand in front of a "captive audience" and talk about the NAQCC Club. Like last year, I gave away a "dual band handi-talkie" which was randomly drawn from  those listening to the presentation.

John Shannon (K3WWP) graciously gave me the use of his NAQCC banner again this year. The banner makes a nice "focus point" for those attending the hamfest. I'd highly recommend talking to John if you're talking about the NAQCC club in your home town. It's a great promo item! I also gave out my "club cards" to those were interesting in us.

The presentation was well received. If you recall, last year I actually set up my QRP station and used a simple dipole to make DX contacts in Denmark, Germany and France while at the hamfest.

This was a very busy day for the WV Chapter. Eric (AC8LJ) provided food and beverages to us at his home at noon, and for that reason, I actually left the hamfest after my presentation. My wife and I had another obligation at the University of Charleston in the early evening hours. We're both active in a senior "bridge" group. We had dinner and played cards  until around 10 PM.

Much to my surprise, I had a message on the answering machine from the Hamfest committee when we returned from playing bridge. To my utter amazement, I was awarded the "Kanawha Valley Amateur Radio Operator of the Year 2015 Award". 

I'm very proud to display this nice plaque on my ham shack wall. 

This plaque is the result of our group efforts here at the WV Chapter. I would not have received this award if not for the support of our members. Our "core group" here in Charleston is devoted to moving forward as the spring season arrives. My thanks to all involved in our Chapter. I would not have received it without their support.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Charleston Hamfest Award

My sincere thanks to the Chalreston Hamfest Committee for the "Kanawha Valley Amateur Radio Operator of the Year 2015 Award"  

This award caught me totally by surprise. The last two years I 've done a "power point presentation" about QRP and CW at this hamfest. Last year at this hamfest, I set up and made QRP contacts using a simple wire antenna (dipole) to Denmark, Germany, and Spain. My presentation is always focused on the NAQCC Club.

It's been a good two years for the West Virginia Chapter of the NAQCC Club. We plan to be around for many more years!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Nice Card from Poland

I like a well designed card. I was able to work this station a couple of day ago on the 30 meter band.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The ARRL DX CW Contest on 40 Meters

I made some interesting contacts this weekend during the ARRL International CW Contest.  I added TI5W in Costa Rica and PW0F (an island off the coast of Brazil) to my DXCC log book. These two new stations bring my total DX count to one hundred eleven. 

I've never heard the 40 meter band so active! Almost half of my contacts were on this band. My first group of 40 meter contacts on the 21st (made in a little over an hour) were with the  Slovak Republic, Poland, Germany, Slovenia, and Romania. On the 22nd (in about an hour) I worked Slovenia, Italy,Croatia, Africa, Serbia and the Czech Republic. 

I'm overjoyed to make such unexpected DX contacts with my simple station. As always, I used five watts of power and an indoor Isotron Antenna  on the 40 meter band. 

I've used this 40 meter antenna for almost 25 years now. At one time I had three of these wired together (the above picture) but I sold the 80 meter version since I seldom use that band. I still use the 40 and 20 meter versions when traveling. Both these antennas are easily set up in a matter of minutes. All it takes is a painters pole and a few bungee cords. 

The Isotron antenna is often called "The Bird House" because it's similar in size. It's a controversial antenna but in a restricted antenna area, it's brought me good results. I seriously doubt any of the stations I worked, at over 5,000 miles this weekend on 40 meters, had the slightest idea I was using such a simple antenna and running  QRP  power. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

N3AQC Special Event Results from the Huntington Radio Museum

My thanks go out to the Huntington Museum of Radio and Technology  and all the fine folks in that organization; along with the Tri State Radio Association.

I worked stations in Belarus, Russia, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Canada, and Africa along with 12 Club members from the United States. I had a lot of fun in the brief time I had at the Museum of Radio and Technology in Huntington West Virginia. My little Icom 703 running 5 watts of power functioned perfectly. I also used my favorite Vibroplex square racer for this event. I love the magnetic controlled tension of this key.

I've created the above card for the Special Event Station and uploaded it to the electronic QSL site on the web. (e-QSL) For those without the free account, I've sent an e-mail with the attached copy and the details of the contact.  I've entered all my contacts on my web log. Now I'm waiting on the return cards.

This was a fun event and I look forward to making this an annual event for the West Virginia Chapter of the NAQCC  club. There's some of the finest radio equipment in the world at this museum, If you're interested in any kind of electronics, this is a "must see" building.

Monday, February 9, 2015

February 14th 2015 N3AQC Special Event

The West Virginia Chapter of the NAQCC Club  will once again be transmitting from the Museum of Radio and Technology  in Huntington WV on the 14th of Feburary, 2015. We will be using the club call sign N3AQC  from 10 am till 2 pm. (1500Z - 1900Z). I hope our visit to this museum will always be an annual event for our West Virginia Chapter. This was a fun event last year

This museum is a "treasure chest" of not only ham radio gear, but is a fascinating place to view a variety of electronic radio equipment. The "ham shack" has special significance to the hams in the Charleston WV area. First of all, local ham W8AH (SK) worked 362 countries on 40 meters from his home station in Charleston. His QSL cards are here and a personal friend of mine, Bernie Clark W8PNR (SK) also has an enormous home brew amplifier here.

I'll be using my Icom 703 at 5 watts of power into either the nine element beam or an array of dipole antennas. We will transmit on or near the QRP segments of the bands but will focus on 40 and 20 meters. Should you work us, please spot us on either the NAQCC "members on the air" or "QRP Spots".

For our chapter members and friends in's quite easy to work you with a nine element beam and 5 watts of power on the 20 meter band. Listen for us....

QSL by e-QSL per N8ZYA

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I Caught a Fox this Evening on 40 Meters.

Sometimes a "fox" will just "pop" right up in front of you at the most surprising time. That's the way "fox's are....sly creatures and very clever. They hide themselves and trick the hounds into believing they are some where they aren't. Anytime they're on the run, it makes for a good chase.

Such was this evening when I unexpectedly found Dave (N1IX) sending 5 watts from New Hampshire. He was leading the "hunters"  for a wild ride on the 40 meter band. It took several attempts for me to find his "listening frequency"- but when I did, I was rewarded quickly for a job well done.

Dave (the fox this evening) is also NAQCC member #1130. 

I was searching for stations to complete the "groundhog" challenge this evening when I unexpectedly stumbled onto Dave, sending "fox" and "up"- which meant somewhere, and someplace, secretly above the transmitting frequency. A former Navy Submarine Radioman, Dave graduated at the top of his CW class with a sending speed of around 30 wpm. He was doing a fine job.

If you've never chased the "fox", be sure look for him on their web site. "QRP Fox Hunting"  All the directions are there for a very good run!