The 3C0L DX-pedition to Annobon has been fun chasing the past few days.  It’s pretty rare DX with big pileups.  Big signal last night on 160. Just worked ’em on 12 meter CW….nice signal.  Turns out to be just two Latvian ops who are doing a great job under somewhat difficult circumstances.  A power supply and one of their K3s blew up.

Since they have no internet, you can’t confirm QSOs on line thru ClubLog.  So I looked up their website and found a link describing their 20-meter-and-up antenna on FoldingAntennas[DOT]com.  It’s a version of the Hexbeam that looks quite interesting and could be of interest to club members looking for an alternative to a tower/Yagi installation.

When you go to the website, hit “translate” from German…although the translation is a bit like Sgt. Schultz.  Hit “design” for a detailed description.  Although, primarily designed for quick portable installation, it could be fixed as well.  Collapsed, it folds into a 45 inch long nylon bag which reminds me of our two folding chairs that the wife and I take to free outdoor summer concerts.

Anyone interested in pursuing this further and maybe even buying one?  Any opinions or thoughts on the design? Actually, this could be a great Field Day antenna.  Should the club buy one?  The basic price delivered to North America is $500 (no VAT).  There is a long list of various optional parts separately priced.   All things considered , that’s not a bad price.

Any takers?  Comments please.

Upcoming Contest Participation

I‘ve always maintained that the most important club office is that of Contest Manager; Kudos to James, K1SD, who has effectively prodded CTRI participation in the recent past.  Since no one was elected CM at the most recent meeting, I suggest that we all become club “contest managers” and encourage contest participation with web postings of your favorite activities. Here’s my take on that.

Our next immediate contest coming up is the CQ World-Wide SSB DX Contest the last weekend of the month.  This is a biggee.  Lots of options:  all band, single band, high low or QRP power, assisted or not, classic,  rookie, etc.  Pick a category and go to it for as many hours as you wish. Exchange is “59 5” (we are in zone 5).

Looking ahead to November, here’s another idea.  Historically, the club has from time to time made a special concerted effort to maximize our club aggregate score.  Remember “one million or bust” in the New England QSO Party?  Special 1 X 1 call-signs in the NEQP?  A mighty 10 meter contest effort?  All highly successful club ventures.

Our club membership has increased in recent months. Some are newcomers to radio contesting.  What upcoming contest could we consider for a concerted effort by all?  I suggest the ARRL November Sweepstakes:  CW Nov. 4 – 5 and SSB Nov. 18 -19.  Why?  It’s a domestic contest, USA and Canada, so a big station is not required.  A dipole at 40 feet is just what the doctor ordered.

Commencing in 1930, SS is the grand-daddy of all contests with an exchange patterned after  the preamble of message traffic….the basis upon which the ARRL was founded!  True, everyone is not conversant in “the code.”  That’s OK.  There is an SSB weekend. This has been my favorite contest for some 50+ years.  It is ideal for newcomers with modest stations.

Here’s how CTRI has done in recent Sweepstakes contests.

2016:  8 entries for 597,756 points

2015:  10 entries for 603,022 points

2014:  10 entries for 755,662 points

2013:  10 entries for 1,060,126 points

   Clearly, we have been going down-hill.  With increased emphasis on a greater number of participants and perseverance, we could do much better. How about “2 million points or bust” as a battle cry?  What a great way to get our newer members — along with our stalwarts — to  contribute to our club’s overall success.  Apathy is not an option. See page 96 October QST for details.

I invite comment here with discussion at the October 14 meeting.




CTRI Meeting Saturday Sept 16 at W1XX QTH

The September CTRI meeting will be held at the W1XX QTH in South Kingstown.  Quick directions:  48 Shannock Road…it’s a right-hand turn off Rte 1 South just before the Charlestown line…then 3rd driveway on the left…best parking near mailbox and across the street…top of the driveway will be blocked by 160 antenna awaiting verticality.

The meeting is the usual 10 AM, but there will be a 160 meter vertical antenna raising at 9:30 with all help much appreciated.  Hard hats if you have one recommended.

Hotdogs and hamburgers on the grill post meeting.  There will also be a door prize.  For anyone interested there will be a tour in the woods of my 80 meter “el cheapo” 4-square antenna. If you expect to attend, post “comments” or email to w1xx [AT] cox [DOT] net  appreciated.

Hope you will all come on down to South County. 73!  — John, W1XX

Minutes” Summary of August 12 Meeting

Attendees:  W1AN (TNX John for coffee/muffins), K1DM, W1XX (in the chair), K1HSY, K1ECU, K3IU, WB2VVV, K1JSM, K1PAD, K1SD, NG1G (late, no penalty), forget anyone?

Treasurers report de KB1RFJ via NG1G and W1XX.  Still solvent.  Mike was clearing the way for his tower project with a rules change at his homeowners meeting.

Contest Manager’s report de K1DS.  Slow summer time, but picking up soon.

Votes were taken to catch up on the membership status of several more recent attendees, namely Dean, K1HSY, Charles, K1ECU, Chris, WB2VVV, and Rick, K1PAD…the latter having a summer residence at the unpronounceable village of “Quonnie” in Charlestown.  After  successfully executing the secret handshake, all were welcomed into the “official” CTRI family.  Also not sure of past action or inaction, Ernest, N1EYE, was confirmed as a member.  Congratulations all.

The upcoming Solar Eclipse QSO Party, August 21,  was discussed. See August QST for details.

Highlight of the meeting, John, K1JSM gave a detailed report on the status of the new website, ctri [dot] club, now running in parallel with the old website.  Most members have already been registered for access by John who provided details on access.  This has been followed up by an e-mail to all as to access procedure.  Any problems  incurred can be straightened out by John with an email to k1jsm [AT] arrl [DOT] net. A rousing round of applause was given to John on the Herculean efforts on this project.

W1XX gave a shameless plug for antenna raising help at the September 16 meeting at his QTH in South Kingstown…with an early 9:30 AM arrival prior to the meeting.  Bribery includes hotdogs and hamburgers on the grill.  Details to follow.

Apologies for any omissions…written from memory.  Respectfully. — John, W1XX

Last Minute Notes: CTRI Field Day 2017

Well gang, Field Day is almost here:  Saturday June 24.  I won’t bore you with dupes of previous info.  Bottom line: We need as many as can make it for set-up at 9 AM at the Seagrave Observatory, 47 Peeptoad Road, North Scituate, RI.  We have a  parking request from Skyscrapers, so follow whoever is directing traffic. Added bonus, the telescope expects to be in use during Saturday night…which is very interesting. I have heard from some new folks who may be joining us which is good news.  Maybe the GOTA station will get a workout.

Three of us (K1SD, KW2G, W1XX) braved the hot sun today to shoot lines over high trees for the 20/40 wire beam and 80M dipole to be installed Saturday morning.  They are way up there high!

If you happen to have a hardhat (or 2) please bring them along.  We practice safety. Annual Field Day tradition:  Secretary/Treasurer KB1RFJ will be collecting a 5-spot from willing participants in the best guess QSO total raffle.

Field Day is an annual Amateur Radio tradition.  CTRI (KE1S) welcomes your participation.

73, John, W1XX

CTRI Meeting April 15

The CTRI monthly meeting is Saturday, April 15, at the North Kingstown Free Library at 10 AM. Agenda includes:  [1]  NEQP.  [2] Field Day.  I got a call from Jim Crawford, our benefactor at Skyscrapers, and he wanted to know if we were operating Field Day there again this year. We are very much welcome.  So we need to decide yes or no at this meeting. [3] Any matters arising.

It would be nice if someone would volunteer to provide the DD Box of Joe and donuts.  If so, please post as comments.

Our esteemed prez is off to Washington on assignment for the Trump administration, so I will be your substitute commander-in-chief.

73, John, 1XX

2016 NEQP Results Are Posted

The 2016 New England QSO Party results are now posted on NEQP [DOT] org.  The good news is that CTRI again topped the New England clubs.  The bad news is that we eked out the victory by a mere 339 points with 189,603 points over the Hampden County Radio Assn.  Can you believe it?  We — who hold the club record of over 1.5 million points in 2011 —  almost lost to the HCRA.  What a disgrace!

I suggest tbat we discuss CTRI participation in the 2017 NEQP (May 6 – 7) at our next meeting.  Hey, conditions were terrible in the 2016 contest, but we can do much better. What say?  — John, W1XX



2017 ARRL DX CW Contest: Post Scores Here

Call:  W1XX (W1XX Op)

Class:  SOSB/40

Op Time (hrs): 11

40M:  570 QSOs;  82 Countries; Score = 139,728

Club:  CTRI Contest Group

Comments:  Holy Moly!  He’s B A C K ! !   Rick, KI1G.  6.8M points ! !  Congrats ! !  so far top score SO All Band.  See 3830scores DOT com. Hold on to your hats, folks…more contests coming up.  Next weekend CQ 160 SSB…followed by ARRL DX Phone the following weekend.  Warm up (or locate) your mycrofonie.  GL ! — John, W1XX


CQ CW 160 Contest Results

Call: W1XX

Class:  Single Op HP

Time (hrs):  21.7

QSOs = 907  State/Prov = 56  Countries = 50  Score= 323,830

Club:  CTRI Contest Group

Comments:  This is a really fun contest.  The really top contestants have some pretty elaborate stations especially antenna-wise.  But you can have a lot of fun with far less. Sunspots — or the lack thereof — are just now coming into favor for the low bands.  For us in New England, it’s all about working Europe.  First night was not so good, but the 2nd night produced long runs of EU responding to my CQ.  Plus you need to work as many of the states and provinces. The “RI” multiplier is always a boon…took me several hours to work before Ed, W1HI called in.  Only other one was W1OP.  The phone version of this contest comes up the last weekend of the month…so I encourage anyone to give it a shot.  Antenna?  Use whatever you got.  Anyone else posting a score under “comments?”

CTRI Meeting January 14

The January CTRI Meeting is this Saturday, Jan. 14., at 10 AM in the main floor meeting room of the North Kingstown Free Library, 100 Boone Street., Wickford, RI. With the holidays, it’s been two months since our last meeting…so good time to get together for a program treat.  Member Lars Mohlin, KE1J (ex-SM0GMG) will give a presentation on the Reverse beacon Network (RBN) .. info we could all use.  Lars is one of the ops at the K2LE super contest station in southern Vermont.  Not only that but K1DM, W1AN, K1SD, W1XX, and W1YRC will be wearing their NPOTA hats while giving a photo wrap=up of their multiple National Parks On the Air activations.

It’s been a long time since I hosted refreshments at my house…fortunately no antennas have fallen down…so I will provide the box of DD Joe and donuts.  The agenda will no doubt include the usual items for discussion.  So…see you at the meeting. 73 & HNY. — John, W1XX


Elecraft K3S

In the event anyone in the club is in the market for a brand new in-th-box Elecraft K3S transceiver, this may interest you.  I am in the process of settling an insurance claim re lightning damage that will require my sending  $$$ to recover depreciation.  I expect to order the new Elecraft K3S 100 watt radio that contesters prefer.I will then sell it at a significantly DISCOUNTED price. The list price I will pay off the internet will be in the neighborhood of $3800. When buying an Elecraft you select items a la carte off the menu — from microphone choice to filters.  I have selected what will appeal to most…but can  adapt to YOUR choices.  Please forward this to anyone you think might be interested.  I also intend to do the same with a brand new Kenwood TS-2000 from HRO. Contact:  w1xx AT cox DOT net for details. TNX & 73!! — John, W1XX

Field Day Photos

Some of you took photos during Field Day.  Skyscrapers requested we send them some photos of our operation to share at one of their meetings.  Of course, it would be nice to see some at our July meeting as well.  Please send them to me as an attachment to w1xx AT cox DOT net.  K1DM is in the process of putting together our entry.  TNX & 73!  — John, W1XX

NEQP This Weekend, May 7 – 8

The New England QSO Party is probably the contest most supported by CTRI thru the years.  We have had an iron grip on the New England club plaque…and we should not take it for granted. Some upstart club could try to wrestle it away from us.  What’s the message?  Get your station on the air this weekend.  We actually have some of the more rare counties that folks will be looking for….Bristol, Newport, Washington.

Speaking of rare counties.  In last year’s NEQP something strange happened.  There was a New England county not QRV….Dukes County Massachusetts a.k.a. Martha’s Vineyard.   Heavens to mergatrude!  That hasn’t happened since the year one.  The proverbial portable HAMCOW station, W1ACT, has been retired to pasture.  Tom K1KI has been pleading for someone to respond to this dilemma.

The call has been answered by CTRI.  W1AN, W1XX, along with K1XA have after endless e-mails and phone calls coordinated with the Vineyard Amateur Radio Assn. to activate a portable station (W1DX) in Vineyard Haven.  We will be catching an early morning ferry in Woods Hole  on Sunday morning with radio, computer, antennas, etc. W1DX should be QRV around 9:30 AM Sunday morning returning Sunday evening. Look for us primarily on 20 or 40 meters.

The most sensible feature of NEQP is that there is an off time from 1 AM – 9 AM Sunday.  This allows sleep time.  Check neqp dot org for details and to “reserve your county.”  A host of CTRI’ers have already indicated their intentions.  Don’t miss this really fun contest and the opportunity to help the CTRI club score.  GL!!  — John, W1XX