WANTED: 3-500Z Tubes
W1XX

I put this on the SwapMeet…but not sure anyone reads that…so this is probably a violation.  Does anyone have a matched pair of 3-500Z amplifier tubes either NEW or USED (but still good)?  If so, please contact me at w1xx [AT] cox [DOT] net or 401-783-1588.  TNX & 73!!

 

— John, W1XX

CQ ww 160 SSB Contest
CQ ww 160 SSB Contest avatar

You can really tell we are on the other side of the cycle with the decrease of the DX stations participating in this contest.

I have always felt that this contest should be held in late December or January. By February the peak for 160 has passed.

Here’s my score:

 

 

 

Meeting Notice, February 23, 2013
Meeting Notice, February 23, 2013 avatar

It’s that time again. If you are familiar with the interactive meeting notice skip down to “Topics“. This is an interactive meeting notice. What, you may ask, is an interactive meeting notice? As the phrase suggests, it is a meeting notice which requires interaction by the readers. For example: we need to have topics for presentation at the meeting; we need presenters; we need volunteers to provide lunch; we need to know who is coming to the meeting so the quantity of lunch portions may be determined, and so on. This post will be updated as interactions (comments) are appended. Topics

  1. Contest Report
  2. CQWW-WPX RTTY Contest Report
  3. Invite to NP3U for CQ WPX SSB
  4. Antenna repair work needed by club
    members
  5. RTTY Meister updates
  6. Matters Arising

Lunch provider:

Coffee and Drinks by: W1AN

Members who will attend:  K1DM, K3IU, W1PN, W1AN, W1XX, NG1G, K1SD, KA1GEU, N6ERD, W1WBB

Venue: Crandall House, Ashaway, RI at 11:00am

MMTTY vs. 2Tone
MMTTY vs. 2Tone avatar

Been reading much hullaballoo on the RTTY reflector about a new program by David, G3YYD, called 2Tone. According to people who are much smarter than I, its decoder beats MMTTY hands down. I have no experience with it but am not one for ignoring a better mouse trap, so to speak. Anyone in the club have any experience with it? Since I’ve heard nothing about it here I figured not but it never hurts to ask.

When I get the time I’ll download it and try it out, perhaps side-by-side against MMTTY (the only true way to tell which is better). The NAQP RTTY next weekend might be a good test, if I can manage to download it and figure it out.

73,

Pat, NG1G

CQ WW SSB WPX @ NP3U invitation
CQ WW SSB WPX @ NP3U invitation avatar

CQWW SSB WPX contest takes place March 30 thru 31 (UTC) 2013.  Carlos has invited us, CTRI CG, to come operate from his station for this event.

For us, there are several advantages to accepting this invitation.  First, during our recent visit in February we a) installed a new 2-element 40-m beam, b) replaced three rotators in three towers, c) repaired several rotor control boxes, and d) re-installed several PL-259 connectors that needed repair.  Second, all the work that we were able to complete, leaves Carlos’s station in pretty good shape.  Thus, if we mount an effort to go south for the SSB WPX, we should be able to put together a reasonable effort in the contest with a minor investment in the station.

This subject will be on the agenda for the February 23rd meeting.  But, before that meeting, we would like to get some idea of who would be interested in committing to the project as an operator?  Who would be willing to head up the team on this end to make sure everything that needs to be done gets done in a timely manner, and then sees that the mission is executed.

So, what say, CTRI, should we mount an effort for the SSB WPX from NP3U?  Who is willing to head up the logistics from this end?  Who can make the trip?

Please post comments below.  We will all monitor the comments, and they will guide the discussion at the February meeting.

Best 73, Mike, K1DM, CTRI President.

NP3U WPX RTTY Report
W1AN

As Ken mentioned, to arrive a day earlier than usual on the Tuesday before the contest was a good decision. We were busy, but all the major work was completed before the start with only minor bruises and sore muscles. This included the assembly, rotor and mast replacement on the crankup for the 40M XM240 beam we airlifted with us, the replacement of the rotor on the Skyhawk which we used for 20M, the replacement of the rotor and feedline for the upper 6 element 10M beam. The 5 element 10M beam we took down from the 40M crankup was reinstalled on the 20M tower. We needed to sort out several feedlines but did not have to install more than 5 PL259S or was it 6? The second 10M antenna was put on the lower 20M tower because the SWR on the other was iffy. The 6 element 15 meter yagi was flipped 180 so all rotors were north centered. Four Hygain Control boxes and three rotors were repaired. There was much climbing to do, but we got it done. The antenna situation at NP3U is better than it had been in a long while.

Along with antenna and tower work, Ken K3IU and James K1SD did much of the preparation in the shack. Several of Carlos’ radios were moved to a safe place to allow us real estate for the K3s and RTTY Meisters. Three RM2s were networked through a switch and tied into Carlos’ ethernet. Yes, he has DSL, which would have been nice to know before the effort of relearning packet and trying to get a long haul RF internet link ready before the trip. We did go ahead and use the DX 2M packet node that Jose KP4JRS setup for us at his Dads QTH 20 miles distant. The packet worked well but we did have a little RF from our HF transmitters get into it. Thanks go to Mike K1DM for bringing his packet hardware, his tower work, and keeping us soldiers in line for the week. We are a tough and unruly bunch.

N1MM did give us a headache. A bug recently introduced did not allow us to sequence serial numbers by band. We lost a little time in panic for a cure but needed to resolve ourselves that it was not a major concern and nothing we could safely fix. We then moved on putting QSOs in the log. ESM worked well but occasionally gave some heartburn, probably self inflicted. It was a joy to use for those long runs, but I still think we need to evaluate time saved vs. potentially lost Qs from bad clicks. I know I had issues with unexpected log and pop calls filling the entry window.

You can’t always plan for the unexpected. During the days before the contest we lost mains power for a while. During the contest and during some of the best runs Sunday we lost a couple of hours. Murphy had hitched a ride with us. He was probably snickering, sitting in first class, which is why we didn’t see him. Unfortunately his tricks probably knocked off a couple million points from our raw score. It looks like we may beat our 2009 score after the robot checks the logs but we may not make enough to take our usual top place. Needless to say, everyone worked hard in this one.

Jay KB1LCQ did much of the menu and food preparation during the days before the contest. He also put in a lot of chair time. Thanks Jay.

Returning to the NP3U team was Carlos WP4N. It was nice to have you back! And a job well done. Newcomer Jose KP4JRS, an avid RTTY contester, added many Qs to the log with nice runs on 10M. He picked up ESM in less than 5 minutes. And Carlos WP4U added to the total for his chair time Sunday. Mike K1DM and James K1SD had their share of Qs. Bill N1HRA outdid himself as usual. There is no doubt, storm conditions at home did cause some stress among our team members.

Ten was crappy the first day but was open a good part of Sunday afternoon. Eighty was very noisy the first night with little activity heard. But good the second night. Best conditions were Sunday. We stayed on the bands where the rates were the best with short breaks to pick up Qs and mults on the others. This sunspot cycle is not behaving normally.

Carlos has added an addition on the side and rear of his house. A cozy place for Ken K3IU to tell you about. There was warm water in the shower. The ice cream truck arrived on schedule. That was worth the trip alone. On Monday an oceanside dinner and sightseeing trip to Ponce completed the tour. Major cleanup was done Tuesday morning. The flight home was an easy one but filled with a little uncertainty about what damage to expect from the snow storm. We all arrived home safely.

John W1AN

Storm damage
Storm damage avatar

It seems I will be off the air for at least some of the contest. My inverted vee is down, which is my main antenna. My verticals are still standing and only need the snow knocked off them to return them to service. My 6M beam is listing at a 45 degree angle off horizontal and almost 90 degrees off bearing.

All in all not too bad, but I’m not sure how long it will take me to get to the repairs. At risk is not only this contest but the ARRL DX CW next weekend, another of my favorites.

Mother nature sucks.

73,

Pat, NG1G

Last-Minute WPX RTTY Info
Last-Minute WPX RTTY Info avatar

I thought I would pass along three bits of info I picked up on the RTTY reflector this week. Thanks to Ed, W0YK.

***First, note the log submission deadline of February 15.

Second, for us M2 stations and operators, the band change limit is now 8 per clock hour instead of the previous 10.

Third, for anyone interested in being spotted by the RTTY skimmers, you must format your transmission to include a space at the end, either after your call sign (as in “CQ NG1G NG1G “) or after a key word (such as QRZ? CQ, or TEST, as in “CQ NG1G NG1G CQ “).

73,

Pat, NG1G