Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I find this pretty neat Tool Bar app

pretty awesome free app and is available for Firefox browser or IE



The first weekend of 2008 provides an opportunity to enjoy some healthy competition. The ARRL RTTY Roundup has quickly become one of the best contests using the digital modes. RTTY, PSK31, and several other digital modes are used to communicate with other amateurs all around the world. If you've wanted to try your hand at digital operating, this contest is an exciting way to get your feet wet. The ARRL RTTY Roundup is from 0000 January 5, 2008-2400 UTC January 6, 2008. Complete rules can be found on page 97 of the December QST.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A couple of OPS at the Helm of KG5VK during ARRL SS

making his first ever DX Phone contact
during a visit to KG5vk

N5VU Marcel & Ka5M Marsh
During ARRL Sweepstakes Phone Contest 2007

Look at this............ Pile Up great graphics etc

Pile Up

28 pages of some awesome stats
some of the text is in foreign language but the graphics communicate rater well

pretty neat stuff


Check this out esp if your planning on a cw contest

Looking for an opportunity to sharpen your ears prior to the big one this
weekend? The full recording of my SOAB effort in 2005 and 2006 CQWW CW is
available online at

I also plan to do audio streaming during the contest again this year. You
can find the live audio at the same address.

I also find reading the experiences of previous contests can be helpful for
"getting in the mood." :) You can read my contest reports at

I also find W2SC does a great job of writing up his adventures to 8P on his
web site at He has some audio
recordings as well.

Good luck to everyone in the contest!

Randy Thompson, K5ZD

Monday, November 19, 2007

Wow ! we had agreat time this past week-end (ARRL SS)

Wow !

Awesome turn out 13 visitors to the KG5VK station, including Mr. Murphy

In fact Murphy's Law showed up just in time for our first QSO
allowing us a late start by about 45 minutes while a few few of us jumped through hoops looking for a problem of RFI or equipment failure when all it was was a hung relay contact on an antenna switching relay !

just over 1100 Q's and a Sweep with North West Territory being our final multiplier !

here is the overall score summary..............


ARRL Section : LA

Club/Team : Sundown DX Association

Software: N1MM Logger V7.11.0

Band QSOs Pts Sec

3.5 429 858 20

7 83 166 5

14 111 222 33

14 489 978 19

21 26 50 3

28 2 4 0

Total 1140 2278 80

Score : 182,240

Those in attendance at this years ARRL SS "Boys from the North" Team

N5VU Marcel
KA5M Marsh
N5FH Floyd
N5SH Glenn
K5SL Randy
KF5XV Bobby
KH2DF Rick
NZ5S Richard
K5DLM Mike
KG5VK Steve

What fun we had, Marcel had us all rolling out of our seats when he said
"the station beginding with k", after a pile up answered his cq ss call

We averaged one QSO every 1.263 minutes !!!
improving on that is going to be a though challenge next year

The live on-scores database showed us in second place in our catgory among some Top DX/Contest clubs with the likes of K2nny in first place above us, and NT8V in third place below us with K1Kp and W4MY all super stations with well experienced ops at their helm

IOW We did damn good and I hope to see us in first place in the region box for a Multi-op team, as well as first in our state and Division, when the results are published next year !

Food was plentiful with Gumbo, Vegetable soup, Chili being my favorites
No food went to waste it was all scarfed up before the last op (Randy K5SL) headed home
Sunday night !

A special thanks to Randy and Marcel, Randy for staying late tell the end Sunday night
and Marcel for the long hours in the chair which we both productive and entertaining !

Marsh, I am so thrilled you helped me get the most out of my new filters in the FT-1000MP,
(I had to be shown how to turn the filters on that I just installed, yeap embarrassing but true)

You all let me know who wants Sweep Mugs,
mean while I am scrutinizing the log (looking at the notes posted for changes that we not done on the fly).

and hope to follow up this post in a few days with some graphics
along with comparison charts of years past data.

Thanks again to all that came and played !


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

KT0R to be hear again during ARRL SS.....

(the following is copied from the Contest Reflector)

I think many on the list are aware we lost Dave, KT0R, a great contester and a good friend on September 20 to cancer. The Minnesota Wireless Association is still trying to imagine the contesting season without one of our star members. I know Dave has probably worked everyone on this list and has conversed with many of you. His enthusiasm and love of the hobby was magnetic as Dave trained others to become contesters from his small but mighty city lot location. Al, K0AD, the MWA club president said it best when he called Dave the heart and soul of the MWA. Thirty two MWA members attended Dave's funeral and a memorial fund was also established to help his family. I am so proud to be part of such a fantastic club! You can read more about Dave in the upcoming January NCJ where his story will be featured.

In honor of Dave a group of us in the MWA have formed a little club whose purpose is two fold. First, we want to protect the call in hopes one day one of his two young sons will become licensed and will want the call. Second, we want the mighty KT0R to be heard in some of Dave's favorite contests. This weekend a group of us will be operating from Dave's station at the invitation and encouragement of his wonderful wife, Adrienne. I think she misses the chaos heard in the basement shack during contest season so we will once again take over basement and provide pizza and excitement for the family.

It won't be the same working KT0R without Dave sitting in the big chair but, we will do our best to live up to his legacy!



Greg K0OB

Monday, November 12, 2007

ARRL Phone Sweepstakes is this Saturday / Sunday

An OP just telephoned and asked if I was still planning on playing in the contest since my recent hospital stay

The short answer is YES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The long winded reply is below......................

I would have to be Dead "literally" to miss SS !

I feel pretty good today, I actually ran a new pc of hard line to the
shack yesterday with help of my wife (how about that for spouse support)
I know several of you offered to help with the hard line, but when I was ready Zo was here
it only took us about 30 minutes

Played last night on 40 and 75 meters
I simply love the new 1.8 khz filters I installed from INRAD in my Ft-1000MP
and found a couple of big sigs that were on 75 but neither were just
above and just below my listening freqs to test the roofing filter
but I do like less hiss I am hearing on the FT-1000MP

Worked on the ends of the hard line some today
and will be finishing up tomorrow
(the hard line goes to the K9AY loop system)

With the new WX0B Six Pak antenna controller installed we are able to use any antenna in the farm with either radio A or B
I love being able to use any antenna in the farm with either radio !

I have also been playing with the voice keyer (RFI) checks etc....

The six pak two radio antenna switch caused me a few head aches as I
was attempting to automate it, with manual over ride available
that got too complex

right now I have settled on this...........

Band pass filters are automated with what band the radio is selected to
the antenna choices are manual with One single box
left knob is choosing the antenna for the left radio
right knob is choosing the antenna for that radio

neither radio can steal an antenna once it is selected
so the safety factor for that is built-in
we band change Amps when we change bands on the rig (manually) nothing
knew there

Final RFI testing will be Thursday
with full blown QRO on both radio A and Radio B
thursday and thursday night

A bit more of my health issues for those wanting to know....

My next doc apt is this Wednesday
but that is a consult towards the next step either surgery or pain
management doc
(needles in the back of the neck)
they call it pain management
I call it YUCK !
mean while I am on pain killers as well as extra strength tylenol when
taking a break from the strong stuff which after awhile makes me doppie

All I need for this week-end is OPS

pretty sure we will have........ * are confirmed OPS

KA5M Marsh *
Randy K5SL on Sunday *
Marcel Saturday and Sunday *
Bobby (maybe for a few hours at kick off Saturday)
Hugo (Sunday only and he will be the Sun Rise OP) *
Matt * K5DAZ
Brian Lewis K5RV * Sunday afternoon
KH2DF Rick *
K5JBB Justin
K5SRZ David (not sure have not talked to him)
Me *

AD5ZT duration wants to be part of the team but does not want to bog
us down with slow qso rates and is willing to use dx spider and
propagation software to assist us, this is also the same for Glenn
N5SH, and Mike Ke5dlm

Anyone that wants to play, can come......
OPS that generate rate are the ones that will man the radio
as the ops that can, are investing their time to place our team high in the results
there is plenty of fun, even if your not a Rate maker !

Shack familiarization tour starts any time after 12 noon Saturday
Those from outside our area or that have not been mentioned in the OPS list that are reading this and are interested in playing simply email me
for directions to the QTH and allow me to coordinate your participation

I have plenty of sleeping space
for those that wish to remain here for the duration of the contest

The two primary Kick Off Teams are.....
Ka5m and Kg5vk
Kf5xv and K5JBB

Marcel is slated to be slid in and is a great rate maker
not sure when he will arrive

Who have I missed !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, November 08, 2007

soon I will be QRV again

I was admitted to the hospital because of chest pains etc
Just got shown a really kewel image of my healthy heart

My only trouble lies in my neck (three ruptured Discs)
I see a much lighter camera case
in my near future !

it's Thursday evening

I thank everyone of you for your prayers
they meant and mean a lot to me !


Sunday, October 28, 2007

real time band condition analysis based on cluster spots...

Guys this is a very kewel app..............

click here

refresh your browser manually for up dates
each graphic represents a different band
the data is based on the live spots occurring on the Dx spyder network !

This is so darn neat !


Thursday, October 18, 2007

do you know what contest occurs the week-end of Halloween ?

October 27th is the CQ WW DX Phone contest

it presents an awesome way to quickly increase the country totals you have towards DXCC
and it is down right fun !


Friday, October 12, 2007

so what the heck is SO2R any ways

The idea is to look for other stations and answer then while your calling CQ on another band

again The MAD River Contest club SS Handbook does a great job explaining SO2R during Sweepstakes......................

So how do you operate SO2R in SS? The objective is to be able to CQ on one band while
searching on another. You want to be able to easily work people who answer your CQ, but you
also want to be able to find new stations, stop CQing to work them, then start CQing again.

Here is a typical SO2R scenario – its 18Z hour on the Sunday of SS CW. One radio is CQing on 40M
and getting an answer every two to three minutes. In the meantime, you’re scanning 10M on the
second radio with the beam northwest looking for KL7 and VY1 for your last two section multipliers.

Eureka! There’s KL7Y on 28038 with a good signal. When he finishes his QSO and send QRZ, you
stop your CQ on 40M and dump your call to KL7Y. If he answers someone else, you start CQing
again on 40M. However, if he answers you then copy his exchange, send your exchange, log the
QSO THEN start CQing on 40M again.

Rate is the name of the game, QSO Rate in ARRL SS

here is a vital excerpt from the MAD River Contest Club SS handbook.........

High power SS is almost 100% a rate contest. You need to call CQ constantly to finish well.
Maintaining a run frequency is an art unto itself, but here are a few tips:

• Adjust your CQ to your current audience. If signals are loud and the rate is good, you can
shorten up your CQs. If conditions are poor (perhaps on the low bands with QRN) or the rate is
slow, you may need to slow down and lengthen your CQ to draw attention to your signal.

• The best way to hold a frequency is to be making QSOs quickly.
While this might seem obvious,
there are things you can do to make this happen.
Keep your exchange short, and don’t repeat anything unless asked.
Again, tailor your technique to the audience you think is there.

• If a frequency dries up, but you don’t want to change bands,
try a different place in the band.
Vary your CQing spot in the band by trying down low, up high, or somewhere in the middle.
With one radio, if you’re S&Ping then you’re at best holding your own and at worst losing the
contest. With two radios you can CQ on one radio and S&P on the second.

With high power, if you are doing a good job of making yourself available to QSO, most of the
section multipliers will come to you. Don’t start to worry about multipliers until the second half of the contest.

Usually, you’ll end the first day with a section count in the mid-seventies, which leaves
only a few to worry about.

However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t feel a little kick if a
difficult section calls in early or on an unexpected band. (In the 1996 CW SS, VY1JA called K8CC
on 3518 the first night!)

In reality, none of the sections are difficult to work as long as there is
reasonable activity from that section. These days there are permanent and rental contest stations in PR and VI, which typically makes them easy to work.

Often, there will be one or more Canadian sections (never including Ontario) which proves elusive, particularly on CW.
If you hear any of these, work ‘em now - you might not hear them later. 􀀀

A few Tips from the MAD River SS Handbook

Marsh KA5M pointed me to a couple of Blogs

One of which contains a note about the K4JNY station dismantling
this is Big news to us as they are the ones that had been bumping us from first place in our division and keeping us down in the region box !
Read more here

the important part is..............

" I'm gathering things I need from the piles of stuff from the K4JNY station teardown, "

The other Blog contains the Mad River Radio Club Sweepstakes Handbook
which I highly recommend every SS Op read

here is some important excerpts from the from of the manuscript.....
(the first example most of us LA folks know but read on....)

It is important to become familiar with the names, territories, and official abbreviations for the
various ARRL sections because there are opportunities for ambiguities and confusion, which lead
to errors in logging. For example:

• “Los Angeles County” is a section and most people associate Los Angeles with “LA”. However
“LA” is the abbreviation for the state of Louisiana; Los Angles County is “LAX”. Your logging
program will most likely accept “LA” as the section for a W6 since a callsign can appear from
just about any section these days. But keep in mind that when the ARRL scores your log, it
counts “LA” as Louisiana and if that’s wrong, you lose the QSO.

Other sections with similar
names are Orange County (ORG) and the state of Oregon (OR), San Diego County (SDG) and
the state of South Dakota (SD). Ambiguous state combinations abound: Arkansas (AR) and
Arizona (AZ), Alaska (AK) and Alabama (AL), and the quadruple-header of Michigan (MI),
Minnesota (MN), Missouri (MO) and Mississippi (MS).

• The California sections “Sacramento Valley” and “Santa Clara Valley” sound very similar, but
the abbreviation for the former is “SV” and the latter is “SCV”. Transpose the two and you lose
the QSO as well.

• It’s not uncommon for a Canadian station in one of the sections comprised of combined
provinces to give his province as the exchange rather than the section name. In SS most
logging programs will not accept a province abbreviation which is not a section. Most people
will substitute the section name; so if you hear a NB, NS or PEI substitute MAR and for YT, NWT or NU the abbreviation NT should be substituted.

• Hawaii, and all of the US possessions in the Pacific Ocean are grouped under the Pacific
section, abbreviation “PAC”. In the Caribbean Ocean, Puerto Rico is a section (abbreviation
“PR”) and the Virgin Islands are a section (abbreviation “VI”). Guantanamo Bay (KG4) is
included as part of VI.

Listed on the next page in this manuscript are the names and official abbreviations for
the eighty ARRL sections.
Become familiar with the names and abbreviations, and perhaps we can avoid
having a busted exchange deleted from our SS log.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

N1MM Contest software

as copied in part from the contesting software website.......
A bit of insight as to what the software for logging looks like
that we use during SS at KG5VK

Ok, now we are ready to log. By default, you should be in the General log - look at the log window caption. So you want to log a qso? Type in the callsign field from the Entry Window the call of the station you want to log. Let's say you type 'N1MM'. Notice that the Check window shows calls with N1 in it, later N1M and finally only N1MM. This will happen with any call or partial call 2 or more characters long. Use the mouse and click on N1MM in the Check window. Notice that N1MM will be filled in the Entry window callsign field, defaults will be set for fields who can have defaults (in this case the RST fields) and the cursor will be placed in the next field to be filled in -- the name field.

Using the Space Bar to Tab

Ok, that's cool, lets try it another way. Click on the Wipe button to clear the Entry Window fields. Your cursor will be positioned on the callsign field again. This time Type 'N1MM' and press **SPACE**. Notice that the RST fields are again filled automatically and you are positioned to the next field to be filled in. Enter 'Tom' and press SPACE. In this case, you will not tab to the next field, since space is a legitimate character in a name. This is atypical behavior. Most contest fields do not allow any spaces in them, so the space bar will jump from field to field. You'll like this, dammit! Really, I think you will like it - particularly in contests.

Using the Tab Key

So if SPACE tabs, what does Tab do? It tabs as well! But it doesn't tab like space. The Tab character (and Shift+Tab) behave like they do in most programs. They jump from field to field, without trying to be smart. So if you need to change the RST, you'll use the Tab key to get there.

Bandmaps, Spots and Other Cool Stuff

Ok now the really cool part. We need to get some spots onto the bandmaps. If you have set up a radio, you should have two bandmaps, and they should be displaying the frequencies of your A and B VFOs at the top. So how do we get spots on there? We need to connect to packet or telnet, of course. If you have an Internet connection, try telnet, if a packet connection, well I guess you'll try packet. To pick, click on the appropriate tab in the Packet Window. To connect to packet, just type a command in the one-line text box at the top, like "C K1TTT" and press enter. Just do your usual stuff. Then type sh/dx/100 (we want a lot of spots) if it's a weekend, otherwise just type sh/dx/30. (Why the difference? The logger won't show old spots - the default is 60 minutes.

Spots are Fun

Spots should start appearing. Don't be afraid, there is no leopard. (Get it, spots?) Enough dumb jokes. Anyway, that's what people always tell me. So, what can we do with the spots? Lots of stuff. First note that each spot (except US and VE spots and spots from your own country) has it's beam heading next to it. (Well it has the beam heading from my house, too bad if it isn't the beam heading from your house. If you really want to fix that, go to the station dialog in Config/Change Your Station Data - you'll need to enter your latitude and longitude. If you don't know your latitude and longitude, tough - this isn't geography class, kid.)

Are we ever going to get to the good stuff? Sigh. Ok. You have spots in your bandmaps. Try SINGLE clicking on one. Notice how the radio tunes to the frequency of the spot? Also notice that the call appears in the frame around the callsign textbox in the Entry Window. Now press that magic space bar again. The spot jumps into the call textbox! Let's try this another way. Click on the Wipe button (or press Ctrl+W). Now tune the radio to a frequency within 300 Hz of another spot. Notice that the call again appears in the frame, and again the space bar will enter the call into the call textbox.

Ok, try Wiping again (either way). Now double click on a spot. Notice that again, you jump to the frequency of the spot, but this time the call is entered in the callsign field and the default fields are filled in, and you are ready to copy the next empty field (in this case name).

Wipe just one more time. Let's try jumping around the spots without using the mouse. Your cursor should be in the callsign field. If it isn't put it there. Now press Ctrl+Up arrow or Ctrl+Down arrow. You should jump from spot to spot on the same band. Pick one of the spots where you can hear the station. Use the up and down arrow keys (no Ctrl this time) to tune the station in. Each press of the key will go jump 100 Hz on SSB and 20 Hz on CW (configurable). You're smiling, aren't you? There is a lot more. Go look here for more keyboard tricks: Key Assignments and Key Assignments Short List

Actually Logging Contacts

We need to shift attention to actually logging contacts. Enter a call in the call textbox, press space and then type a name, well any name except 'Arthur' in the name textbox. (I'm sorry, I really cannot be responsible if you type Arthur.) You typed Arthur, and nothing happened, didn't you? Now you're angry. Here's a quarter.... Ok. Back on task. You have enough to log a contact now. Press enter, and notice that the contact will appear in the Log Window.

Now the fun part. Enter the same callsign again and press space. Looky, looky! The usual stuff happens, but two more things happen as well. The first contact shows up in the lower part of the Log Window, and the name from the first contact appears in the name field. If you were logging a contest, like ARRL DX, the power would be filled in from the first contact. If the first contact was on the same band as this contact, then the word "DUPE" in BIG RED LETTERS would appear. I was going to put the word "Dope", but then I thought that no one would want to use the program. Really, you should probably work the dope, I mean dupe, since you might not be in his log. It's actually easier to just work him than explain "You're a dupe, dope!"

Ok, press enter and log the dupe. You don't agree with me about logging dupes? Then RIGHT-click on the Log Window entry for the dupe, and choose delete contact. No, I'm not going to tell you what to do with the dialog box that pops up. I trust you. I feel like we are already friends.

N1MM Contest software how to videos....

At KG5VK we are using N1MM contest software for Sweepstakes
the link below is a site that has a set of videos on use of this software

while some of the video is jerky is is a good over view of the features
esp chapters 3-4

click here


Friday, October 05, 2007

This week-end on the Radio

Sprint, TARA PSK Rumble Contest, Logbook of the World Phone Contest *,
International HELL-Contest, California QSO Party, EU Autumn SSB
Sprint, PRO CW Contest, UBA ON 6-Meter Contest and the RSGB 21/28
MHz Contest will certainly keep contesters busy this weekend. The
YLRL Anniversary SSB Party is scheduled for October 9 to 11. The
SKCC CW Sprint, 10-10 International 10-10 Day Sprint and NAQCC
Straight Key/Bug CW Sprint are all scheduled for October 10. The
ALE On-The-Air Week runs until October 15. Please see October QST,
page 90, and the ARRL and WA7BNM contest web sites for details.

* Hmmmmm is this a new one ?
Don't recall an ARRL LOgbook of the world HF contest

here is the details of ARRL Logbook of the world contest.................

Logbook of the World Contest, Phone: 0000Z-2359Z, Oct 6
Mode: SSB
Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m
Classes: Single Op All Band (QRP/Low/High)
Single Op Single Band (QRP/Low/High)
Max power: HP: >200 watts
LP: 200 watts
QRP: 5 watts
Exchange: RS + (state/province/country)
QSO Points: 2 points per QSO with same country
5 points per QSO with different country, same continent
10 points per QSO with different continent
Multipliers: Each US state (excluding KH6/KL7) once per band
Each VE area once per band
Each DXCC country (including KH6/KL7) once per band
Score Calculation: Total score = total QSO points x total mults
Submit logs by:November 5, 2007
E-mail logs to: (none)
Post log summary at: (see rules)
Mail logs to: (none)
Find rules at:

Thursday, October 04, 2007

WOW Look at thge hard ware at his station......

I was in QSO with K7OKS/ve3
this morning and he mentioned a friends contest station that he often works from W7VJ
so I took a look

lots a hardware on two towers !


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sweepstakes getting ready..........

ARRL SS Rules High Lights

Work Stations ONCE regardless of band

Unlimited band changes for Multi-Op teams

Multi-Op SINGLE Transmitter

(only one transmit signal at any time)

24 hours total operation time out of the 30 hour period

(Off time in 30 minutes increments or more)

Time OFF strategy for KG5VK

Barring a Saturday afternoon/Evening Thunderstorm that QRT’s us we will QRT for 4 hours of sleep at 1 AM Sunday Morning

Returning to the air as sun rises at 5 AM

This leaves us Four 30 minute off periods that may be taken Saturday or Sunday

Band changes

Use the highest frequency band that is open

For Running the Q’s we need a high QSO rate to break past scores and maintain our first place in the Delta Division and move a notch or two higher in the regional listing box

We were fifth in the region and second in the division 2005,

last year (2006) we were fourth in the region and first place in the division as well as first in our state – all with out getting a Sweep yes we busted the call on one of the multipliers !

Bottom line here is we need to break the 1,500 QSO wall !

1500 divided by 24 hours = 62.5 Q’s per hour

Yes we remain competitive if we stay above 1100 Q’s


Call Score QSOs Mult Class Section Check Hours

KG5VK 165,268 1,046 79 M LA 72 24

160 80 40 20 15 10

0 80 449 418 99 0

2005 first year we made the region box !

Call Score QSOs Mult Class Section Check Hours

KG5VK 165,280 1,033 80 M LA 72 23

160 80 40 20 15 10

0 98 415 344 176 0

2004 No region Box and k4jny from Tennessee beat us out of 1st for Delta division

Call Score QSOs Mult Class Section Check Hours

KG5VK 187,704 1,188 79 M LA 72 24

160 80 40 20 15 10

0 10 387 513 278 0

2003 I was single Op High power this year !

Call Score QSOs Mult Class Section Check Hours

KG5VK 133,526 856 78 A LA 72 24

160 80 40 20 15 10

0 196 44 314 302 0

After 2005 I worked to ensure we would have better antenna choices for 80 (75meters) and I also added a second 40m beam at a much lower height

I also invested in Propagation software tools to help ensure we don’t over look a Ten meter band opening

KG5VK Sweepstakes Team members are encouraged to watch the cluster and the prop software computers when not operating and help us be on the right band and not miss a ten meter opening – I totally blew catching a great albeit short opening during 2005 on ten meters !


Sunday, September 30, 2007

One of the best articles on SweepStakes I have seen

and it is right here on the world wide web

click here

ARRL Phone Sweepstakes is November 17, 2007
Are you Scheduled to Operate this year at KG5VK ???

I am building the Op List now
email me and I will ensure your on the list


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Some Pre-Fall Contesting Tips from N1MM

Contest season is upon us. Now is the time to get ready for the big
contests coming up this fall. Here are some suggested steps for your

All stations

+ Print out the key assignments help file and mark it up with a
highlighter. Use one color for things you know how to use, and another
color for keys that you didn't realize were there but are interesting.

+ Learn how to enter frequencies from the entry window. You can type
14022. If you are already on a band, you can type offset from the
bottom of the band or the last three digits of the frequency. On 80m
examples are 22 for 3522 and 795 for 3795.

+ Learn how to set split. Use the callsign textbox if you have not
already copied the call. e.g. On 40m, 214 ctl-enter will set your tx
freq to 7214. Use Alt-F7 to set split when there is already a call in
the textbox. A recent change allows you to clear split by pressing
Alt-F7 and pressing enter with no frequency entered. Esc still leaves
split alone.

+ On many radios, the up/down keys tune the radio or the rit depending
on whether you are running or s&p. You can adjust the step amount in
the configurer.

+ Learn to use check partial. I find it is usually faster to make a
good guess at the callsign and let them correct you than to just say
what you know. I usually ask if their call is correct.

+ On CW, use ESM. It's a skill that pays big rewards in believe it or
not, reducing stress. Instead of thinking all the time "what key next",
the program does it for you. Also learn to use the = key. It means,
send the last message. Another good trick when you are tired.

+ Make sure you understand how the bandmap and callframe work even if
you are not assisted. As you work stations, they will be "spotted" in
your local bandmap. This allows you to skip over them during your next
s&p trip through the band. This saves a lot of time. The call will
appear in grey in the callframe as the station gets within the
user-definable tuning tolerance. Grey means you worked them. Tune on.

+ Make sure you load the lasted wl_cyt.dat and check partial files prior
to the contest. Note that the wl_cty.dat has to be imported into the
program. A step many forget.

+ During the contest, if you work a station that is not handled properly
by the country file, just put the correct prefix in front of it like
(W8/N8SS), then log with Alt-Ctrl-Enter. You can put a note to check it
later. You don't want to take a lot of time to fool with it during the
contest. The other approach is to use Tools/Add call to country. To
use this, you need to know the base countries in cty.dat. A printed
copy at the operating position is helpful in this.

Assisted or multi-op stations

+ You can use the available window to help determine band strategy.
Bands with lots of available spots are likely open well to where the
spots are from.

+ Loud stations can jump from spot-to-spot and pick off many Qs. Be
sure to confirm the callsign. Spot quality has been deteriorating. You
don't want to get penalized for a broken call.

+ Remove broken callsigns with Alt-D. If the call is in your callframe,
Alt-D will delete it. Quick and easy. Otherwise use the right-click
option from the bandmap or available list.

+ During slow times, you may need to turn your antenna to "clean" a band
of spotted stations. Clicking on the beam heading column heading lets
you sort the list so you can get them with minimum rotor movement. Note
that clicking all of the headings works. Click a second time to reverse
the sort. Default sort is descending on spotted time (last column -
usually hidden. Scroll over to see it.)

+ Be sure to adjust the spot timeout and the filtering based on time of
day and conditions. If times are slow, I allow more spots through. At
peak times, I want last 20 min, North American spots only.

+ Try "call stacking" mode. In multi-op, you can specify another
computer as the "target for call stacking". If both stations set this
to each other (recommended) they can see what each other types in their
call textbox in the callframe. This *only* works if they are on a run
frequency. The idea is that you have two ops with headphones listening
to a run. If the secondary op copies the callsign, the primary op can
wipe his and just press enter (in ESM mode). Since the correct call is
in the callframe, it will be pulled into the call textbox and be sent as
part of the exchange. This mode has not been used a lot, so I would
recommend some ambitious souls try it out and let me know what needs
changing. Also note that this function works across the internet. Now
there aren't many contests that allow this -- IARU for HQ stations is
the only one I know of -- but wouldn't it be an interesting kind of
entry class? You could have one big gun and lots of listening stations
supporting it. If you do this across the internet with stations
exceeding the contest's separation limit, you must submit your log as a
check log. The internet mode is useful for practicing with your
Multi-op partner without the necessity of going to a single location.

Tom - N1MMPublish Post

Operating (or How to talk AND Listen on the radio)

here is a really well thought out article on this topic

click here

Cheers !

Contesting..... what the heck is it really

This is a really well written article on Amateur Radio Contesting
the How's the Why and the Fun

here is the link


The CQ WW RTTY contest is This week-end

RTTY is a very Fun mode
if you have not tried it this would be a great time

Sunday, September 23, 2007

SARA Club praised by member in Recent ARRL Club news bulletin...


Re: Mentoring Activity Is Active Mentoring, Club News - August

I have just finished reading the ARRL club newsletter article on
mentoring and I could not agree more. Just for a little background, I
am a new ham who walked into the first "no code" test session, took
all three elements and walked out an Amateur Extra, [and] had no idea
how to properly conduct a QSO. Luckily we have a strong local club,
the Shreveport Amateur Radio Association, whose members helped me
learn how to conduct myself on the air.

We are stressing micro henrys and smith charts and schematics only to
license hams who do not know how to make a contact. l am living
proof of this. We [new hams] must rely on mentors to teach what the
exams ignore.

I have become active in a local emergency communication organization;
I am making friends and contacts all over the world via PSK. That
probably would not have happened without a local group of hams
helping hams. Continue to stress mentoring and perhaps think about
stressing operating skills and not schematic drawings on the exams.
Hams do not build their own rigs anymore.

73 and good DX,


Is that kewel or what !!!!!!!


Wednesday, September 05, 2007


WAE DX Contest--SSB, sponsored by the Deutscher ARC from 0000Z Sep 8
- 2359Z Sep 9. Frequencies: 80-10 meters according to Region I band
plan. Categories: SOHP, SOLP, MS, SWL. Spotting assistance allowed in
all categories. SO operate 36 hrs max., up to three off periods of 1
hour min. Non-EU work EU only. Exchange: RS(T) and serial number.
Score 1 pt/QSO and 1 pt/QTC. Final score is QSOs + QTCs x weighted
multipliers. Multipliers: non-EU use WAE countries, EU use DXCC
entities plus call districts in W, VE, VK, ZL, ZS, JA, PY and
RA8/9/0. Mults on 80 meters count x4, on 40m x3, otherwise x2. A QTC
is a report sent from a non-EU station back to an EU station of QSOs
that took place earlier in the contest. A QTC contains the time, call
sign, and QSO number of the station being reported (e.g.
1307/DL1AA/346). A QSO may only be reported once and not back to the
originating station. A maximum of 10 QTCs can be sent to a single
station. The same station can be worked several times to complete
this quota, but only the original QSO has QSO point value. Keep a
list of QTCs sent. For example, QTC 3/7 would indicate that this is
the third series of QTCs sent, and seven QSOs are reported. For more
information: or Logs due
by Oct 15 to Please use your call sign as the
subject of the email.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


lease help us get the word out and forward this to everyone you know, we are hoping for a huge turnout this year. The event is being advertised everywhere, please help by forwarding this, posting to bulletin boards, posting on club websites, announcing on nets etc. You can even go to the hamfest website and print off flyers to take to club meetings and other hamfests..

Again we will have Ve testing, the special event station will be running, a large tailgate area as well as indoor vendors and the best BBQ around.


OCTOBER 13, 2007




TALK IN FREQUENCY 147.040 pl 100.0+






SPECIAL GUESTS: RAD-COMM RADIO , Texas Bug Catcher , Clear Channel Products and more


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Guess what, a Contest for ARES members

Interesting train of thought in the recent ARRL ARES News Letter

+ FEEDBACK: ARES QSO Party Proposal

I presented your ARES HF QSO Party question to the South Texas
section ARES Yahoo group via a one week poll. That group has 215
members, 36 of which answered the poll (17%). The poll question and
results follow:

Would you support an ARES HF QSO Party over a weekend where operators
would exchange call sign, signal report, county, section or state,
and their ARES or emcomm titles?
NO - 6 - 16%
YES - 30 - 83%

I strongly recommend adopting the NA QSO Party contest format. Only
two entry classes in that; single operator and
, except no teams in this new contest,
and maybe not the multi-two either. The NA QP are mode-specific with
separate weekends for SSB, CW and RTTY; we need not do such, but
allow all modes on the same weekend. To me, the best parts of this
format are that everyone is limited to 100 watts, and it is a 10-12
hour contest starting at noon Saturday. Perhaps different points
could be awarded depending upon the person's appointment that you
work; 1 point for ARES "member," 2 for AEC, 3 for EC/RO, 4 for
DEC/DRO, etc. 1 point for SSB, 2 for CW or RTTY. We should provide
suggested operating frequencies.
<> -- Jerry Reimer, KK5CA, South
Texas SEC

Yay! I enthusiastically support your idea of some kind of op event to
recapture the feel of the CD parties. I think it would be great for
appointees to be able to have the opportunity to fly the flag a bit
and be the gotta-work-it focus of some kind of incentive-driven
special event in which everybody could participate. It would also
allow the appointees to receive some recognition in a really good
way. Another thing it would accomplish would be providing an
incentive for all those new General Class licensees among the
appointees to get on HF and meet their peers and public around the
country. -- Gordon Grove, WA7LNC, Eastern Washington SEC

I think this would be a great idea, because I know the information
that could be shared would be a great energizer for many ARES
operators. -- Richard J. Niemeyer, KC9JMW, AEC, Jackson County,

Yay. -- Charlie Miller, AE4UX, South Carolina SEC and State RACES

Yes, I would support an ARES Party, but ONLY if all stations were
REQUIRED to be on battery, generator, or other emergency power (or
mobile or in mobile EOC's). It would be very helpful in forcing us to
exercise our emergency power sources more often (I haven't tested my
generator since November). It's just the incentive I need.

To keep the playing field level, only dipoles or mobile antennas
should be allowed, up to a maximum of 25' high. No directional arrays
of any kind, no stacked beams on 180 foot towers. Keep it low-key. It
should be like Field Day - more social event and emergency
preparedness demo than contest. The word "Party" is thus a good
choice. -- Steven G. Katz, N8WL, EC Licking County, Ohio

YAY! Count me in. -- Doug Donner, KC8ZCF, EC, Lapeer County,

YES - great idea. Perhaps there might be a way to work the 60 M
allocation for part of the party? Have been observing propagation
lately and the 5 MHz band could work very well during daytime hours.
-- Larry Trullinger, KB0EMB, AES Jackson County, Missouri

An ARES party in this area of southwest Missouri would be completely
worthless, much like the organization. Last winter the Springfield,
Missouri area had the worst ice storm in history. Many were without
power for 20 days. There were numerous shelters set up in schools.
There was not even a 2 meter net between shelters helping with
people's needs. I have no use for ARES here. -- David Rust, W0DLR,
Kirbyville, Missouri

There is an ARES party held at least once a day. It is called NTS. In
the Tennessee section we have one combined ARES/NTS session each
week. What ARES does not need is a contest event. - Bill, N9ACQ

I loved the CD parties, and I'd love to have an ARES QSO Party too.
-- Joe Fisher, K5EJL, DEC 7 South Texas

I'm all for it -- a great opportunity to "show the flag" while
simultaneously providing a welcome diversion from regular emcomm
training. Consider it kind of a "company picnic" for ARES: Take a
break, have some fun on the radio, and incidentally, learn some new
operating skills! -- Ward Silver, N0AX, EC, Vashon, Washington

Here is one more vote for an EMCOMM or ARES QSO party. -- Ed Esborn,
K1UQE, Pawcatuck, Connecticut

I would support an activity like you described. Good chance to test
the station and get acquainted a bit. -- Tom Richmond, NI7W, Kootenai
County, Idaho EC

I would support an ARES Party during any weekend it was scheduled. --
Ron Murdock, W6KJ, Yuba City, California

Yes -- Richard Margey, KE1DH, Cape Coral, Florida

RE your suggestion in the latest ARES E-Letter for an ARES QSO party,
I discussed it with my EC, Bill, N2ZSO, and he supports it as do I.
If this event was able to take hold and get substantial
participation, we might be able to expand and invite served agency
officials, etc, to stop by. - Mike Harla, N2MHO, AEC Cumberland
County, Southern New Jersey

I would go for an ARES Party, or update the old CD party. My CD
party activity goes back to late 1938 or early 1939 (working only
CW). Always enjoyed them and was sorry when they were cancelled. I
remember such calls as W4KFC, W1TS, W1BIH, KH6IJ, W9BRD and many
others that I worked nearly every quarter year CD Party. Time flies,
especially at my age of 86. -- Jettie B. Hill, W6RFF, Roseville,

ABSOLUTELY. I am volunteering to be on a committee that would
establish a set of rules that would promote skill sets beyond the
framework you mention. How about something along the lines of a
hybrid between the CD Parties and Emcomm bonus points, a-la Field
Day. For example: Multipliers for Emergency power, all wire antennas,
combining with local emcomm exercise, press release,
origination/receipt of traffic, working from an EOC, "integration"
bonus points for combining with local support units (police, fire,
med, etc.), operators with qualifying ARES training (ARECC, IS-100,
200, 700 & 800), people signed up for ham classes, etc. Far fetched?
Maybe, but in this new era of our hobby, we need to be creative and
keep the emcomm talent pool strong. -- Fred Kleber, K9VV

Just because an operation is FUN does not mean it is not USEFUL. I
would gladly join such an enterprise, and I am NOT a contester. -
Jean Olson, KC0SVG, Cambridge, Iowa

Recall that in 2004, there was an operating event when League Life
Members, employees, officers and field appointees were signing /135
to their calls for Maxim's birthday. There was a certificate
associated with racking up a minimum number of /135 QSOs.
<> I'm no contester,
but some of the specific elements in the above event might prove
attractive if added to your idea. -- Alan Howard Martin, W1AHM

I would say yes, and hopefully information could be passed and not
just a check in and signal report. It has its merits. -- Dewey H
Bennett, Jr, WM0H, Columbia, Missouri

Let's have a PARTY! I would support and participate in an EMCOMM or
ARES QSO Party. Think about points/categories for operating from
home, portable, from an EOC, or mobile (auto/RV/Command Post). Let's
go with the EMCOMM name, because not all groups are ARES. -- Budd
Johnson, N4WBJ, OES/ARES/RACES/SKYWARN/Sheriff's Tactical Amateur
Radio Comm, Hillsborough County, Florida

I think an ARES QSO Party is a great idea, but I would like a
National ARES Roll Call once a month to exercise the leadership and
find out on a section-by section basis who is committed to EMCOMM and
who is faking it. -- Joe Forren, ND4B, EC Greenbrier County, West

Put me down for a sound YEH for the ARES PARTY. -- Steve Howard,
AB0XE, Dakota County EC, South St. Paul, Minnesota

YES! - Rob Griffin, K6YR, Santa Barbara Section Manager, California,
[and all 'round Good Guy - ed.]

I do believe this would be a good idea. We test our equipment at
Field Day for portable operation but how many test our operation at
the home station for our abilities to function within our own section
or district? Oh, we communicate locally just for fun but do we know
just how well we are doing? I would strongly suggest that the
contacts locally be made on simplex rather than repeater. We don't
necessarily need to test the repeater but we do need to know how well
we can do without it. -- Joe Bushel, W2DWR, SEC Northern Florida

Sure, count me in. -- Duke Knief, W4DK, DEC Area 15, North Carolina

I would be in favor and would operate such an event. A great way to
try out NVIS propagation, and see what your station could do for
realistic distances of an emergency. -- Stuart Rohre, K5KVH, AEC
Williamson County, RACES, Round Rock, Texas

Regarding your question about the "ARES Party", I have a slightly
different suggestion. Since we are getting to a point where there are
almost too many events, maybe it would be better to re-asses the
current events we have: Field Day and SET. - Bryan Koschmann, K7WXO,
Spokane, Washington

I would agree an ECOMM QSO Party is needed and long overdue. This is
a very good vehicle to encourage folks to become part of the solution
and pitch in to help. I work for the National Weather Service and we
sponsor a QSO Party, usually in December, to encourage hams to get
involved in helping our destructive weather tracking efforts. In my
town of Kodiak, Alaska, I started an effort to get out local hams to
report road conditions for winter weather. This is, in turn,
forwarded to the forecast office in Anchorage and put on the NOAA Wx
radio for folks to listen to. I have hopes to start a Wx Net up here
some time in the future. In addition, I recruited two of my fellow
coworkers to get their licences in order to work the 2 meter rig we
put in the office. Thanks for your newsletter, I read it every time
to see if there is something that could be employed here on the
"northern most" Hawaiian Island. - Rich Courtney, NL9H, Kodiak,

I would support and participate in a nationwide ARES Party net. With
some of the 'older' hams upgrading and becoming new HF operators, I
think this is a great idea. I vote 'yea'. -- Maynard Raggio, N9PTG,
Assistant Emergency Coordinator/RACES Officer, Monroe County, Indiana

I think any excuse for a QSO Party is a good one. I'd check in. -
Jeff Carter,
KD4RBG, Fairmount, Georgia [If you're an NFL football fan, check out
Jeff's photo on! - ed.]

With the limited info provided in the E-Letter, it appears that this
would be more of a contest than an exercise of emcomm capabilities.
Would you propose that the event be limited to ARES members only and
would they be forced to use emergency power? Is there a scenario
associated with the event? Isn't this what Field Day is supposed to
be about? Thanks for surfacing the idea, but my "vote" at this point
would be no. -- Mark Wintersole, WB5NMZ, Montgomery County EC,
Montgomery, Alabama

I am a member of a regional ARES Net (California Rescue
Communications 40-Meter Net). I support your idea for a weekend ARES
QSO party. -- Paul Stone, KQ6RJ

Great idea, Rick. I think it would make a great training activity.
The thing I remember immediately after Katrina on the HF bands was
the first night's traffic handling sounding like a bunch of very
inexperienced communicators. The second night was a whole different
story with smooth net operations. Practice is essential to keep
skills fresh. What a great way to polish up the skills and meet
other ARES operators around the country. I suggest communicating the
name of the ARES organization in the exchange. -- John Davis, WB4QDX,
EC Gwinnett County, Georgia ARES

The idea of having ARES stations operating is really a duplication of
Field Day. If you were to propose an "ARES Day" it should not be a
contest with winners posted like Field Day that encourages BIG POWER
station operation. Also it does not seem important to exchange e-com
or ARES titles. To make it unique from Field Day the requirements
should be for every station to operate on emergency power and
possibly have a transmit power limit of 50-100 watts. Also required
should be the use of portable antennas that are set-up on the day of
the contest. All county and district EC comm centers should be
encourage to participate in the event. All modes and bands that have
been successfully used in disasters should utilized. -- Roger Freed,
WB7BZT, Bend, Oregon

In regards to your proposed ARES or emcomm parties, put me solidly in
the Aye! column. I think it's a great idea. It would be fun as well
as provide a needed exercise/test of each station's capabilities. It
might even shed some light on just what areas could be routinely
covered by each station. That information alone could become quite
valuable in times of emergencies. -- Dave Costanza, KA3PNV,
Communications Officer, Penbrook Office of Emergency Management,
FSO-CM, CG Auxiliary Flotilla 53, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

In response to the proposition in the latest newsletter, I personally
am in favor of having an on-air ARES weekend. Good idea and I wish
you the most of luck in getting this idea approved and carried out.
-- John Streeb, KE5DXJ,GIS Intern SFASU, Junior, Arlington, Texas

Count me in for the project. -- Robin Warren, KE5DQM, Ivanhoe, Texas

I say yes to having an event scheduled on the airways for those
involved in ARES/RACES. I also would suggest that all ARES groups in
their respective sections train with each other so one would know
what to expect from another ARES group. Here in the Eastern
Washington section, we have some of our group help our neighbors to
the east of us in Kootenai County, Idaho with their IRONMAN
competition by supplying them with operators that have APRS
capabilities along with voice. So I vote AYE!! -- Charles Greeson,
KG8ZK, AEC Spokane County, Washington ARES/RACES

Great idea! Make something like EASCARS or MIDCARS in that you check
in to cycle the gear. I see this as an excellent place for ops to ask
for a source to obtain certain gadgets to make their station more
effective. . .hams without gadgets are not hams, you know. -- Jim
Montgomery, Prince George's County, Maryland ARES Hospital Project

Great Idea, Good luck. -- Jim Pearson, KS8O, Menominee County,
Michigan AEC

The use of the signal report has become standardized in any
party/contest to 59 or 599 so is not useful. Correct copy is the
proof and should include something NOT in to avoid lookups,
maybe the rig model or antenna style. Good idea though; many ops do
enjoy such activities, and it often "opens" up dead bands like 10
meters. - Dave Prichard, AB3S, Celebration, Florida

I am all for it -- I need practice and communicating with other ARES
or EMCOMM entities would only improve our ability to do so in an
emergency situation. -- Ted Denton, KE7GZN

I vote "NO" on this activity. There are already too many state and
other "qso parties" on the bands as it is, to blah blah blah hams
talking like robots and flooding the ham bands on weekends like QRM
machines. - Charlie Pfister, WD8AXB, Vicksburg, Mississippi

I'd certainly support such an activity. Amateur Radio has had a
tremendous influx of new hams in our area, with well over 150 new
operators in the past couple of years. These hams didn't get to
radio via technical interests, for the most part - they have mostly
come up from the ranks of CERT volunteers!

An event like this would provide an excellent opportunity to hone
communication skills, and would provide a hook for more camaraderie,
which I think is a very important part of any organization, and
particularly of emcomm. I'm not certain that the exchange should
include titles - that might seems exclusionary, as not everyone has a
title. In all, a great idea that I'd love to see come to pass. --
Heating Floyd, KC4HSI/AFA2IU, Hillsborough County ARES/RACES, Deputy
RACES Officer, Assistant EC, Florida

+ K1CE For A Final

There you have it: an ARES or EMCOMM QSO Party could be a rousing
success! See you next month!

Rick K1CE

Contest anyone ??????? :)