Tag Archives: contest

2014 IARU HF World Championship

The results from the July, 2014 International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) High Frequency (HF) World Championship contest were published. WA4NZD placed first in Alabama, in the Single Operator, Mixed-mode (phone & CW), Low Power category. World-wide the club placed #2507 out of 5181 participants. The club earned a score of 32,480, with 152 QSOs and 80 multipliers. The operator was WA2JQZ.

KB5EZ also participated in the contest from his home. He placed third in Alabama, in the same category.

Detailed scores (see Page 14 for WA4NZD):
http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Contest%20Line%20Scores/2014/2014_IARU_Printable_Line_Scores-19_Jan_2015.pdf

ARRL Contest Database with contest article:
http://www.arrl.org/contest-results-articles

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North American QSO Party – Phone

Gary WA2JQZ and Patti Kurth joined Rob KB5EZ for operating portable on Monte Sano for the North American QSO Party - Phone. (January 17, 2015)

Gary WA2JQZ and Patti Kurth joined Rob KB5EZ for operating portable on Monte Sano for the North American QSO Party – Phone. (January 17, 2015) (Photo: KB5EZ)

Patti Kurth and I (Gary WA2JQZ) joined Rob KB5EZ last Saturday afternoon to operate portable on Monte Sano for the North American QSO Party – Phone.

We operated from a scenic overlook on the east side of the park.  The weather was sunny and mild, making a perfect winter afternoon.  We made 60 contacts in the US, Canada and the Caribbean in about 3 hours.  For antennas we strung an end fed wire in a tree for 20 meters, and for 15 meters we used Rob’s 17 meter hamstick on the car with an external tuner.  Our transceiver was a Yaesu FT-897 running 100 watts off a dedicated car battery.   Our contacts ranged from Washington State to Newfoundland, Canada to the Dominican Republic and US Virgin Islands.  We had a beautiful day with beautiful scenery, and we had lots of fun operating.

Rob continued operating later in the evening from his home QTH.   He finished with 75 QSOs with 44 multipliers and 3300 points.

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[Posted by Gary WA2JQZ with Rob KB5EZ. Photos by KB5EZ.]

We earned a First Place award again!

The results for the 2014 ARRL International DX Phone Contest were just published. WA4NZD scored First Place within the Alabama Section, in the Multi-operator Single Transmitter Low Power category!

The contest was during the first weekend in March 2014.  We operated Friday night, Saturday and Sunday.

Our point score was 43,605, with 168 QSOs and 95 multipliers.  Within the global community we placed #2015 out of 4102 entries.

It is still too soon for us to receive a certificate.  We only learned the news by carefully checking the just published online article, ARRL International DX Contest – Phone 2014 Results .  You will see us on page 20, the Regional Leaders by Category Page, under the Southeast Region column.  The results are grouped by categories; we are with the MSLP (Multi-operator Single Transmitter Low Power) group.  The others shown in that group are other state leaders in the Southeast Region for that category: N4XI (VA), AJ4DT (FL), WA4NZD (AL), and WA1F (GA).  We weren’t in competition with the “heavy hitters” of these contests, who typically run scores above a million.  We are in a niche of our own.

Our operators who accomplished this were Matt KA0S, Rob KB5EZ, Kalen KK4KLT, Don N4MSN, and Gary WA2JQZ.  Rob, Kalen, Gary, and Matt operated Friday evening.  This was Kalen’s first contest.  Don operated on Saturday*.  And Gary came back on Sunday.

For us this was a chance to operate and practice our skills, and have some fun in ways that don’t come every day.  Many other hams around the world participate.  It is fun to meet them, and in doing so to recognize that the world is really a diverse place.  With many hams on the bands from so many places, you can notice propagation conditions and how those change over time.

We operated on 10, 15, and 20 meters, and just briefly (for 4 QSOs) on 40 meters.  10 meters was fortunately wide open for parts of the late afternoons.

We significantly increased our DXCC credits with this contest.  Some of the stations that gave us first-time Logbook of the World (LOTW) confirmations for their countries were JL1SAM (Japan), TF3W (Iceland), J75Y (Dominica), LX7I (Luxemburg), YS1/NP3J (El Salvador), HC2AO (Ecuador), and TO5A (Martinique) — to name some which quickly stand out in the record.

As we are not in competition with the “heavy hitters”, our contest operations are relatively relaxed.  Such activities make good learning experiences, no matter how much or how little experience you have.  Because hams of different experience levels and interests operate, they each will make different decisions, based on their needs and how they perceive their situations. Everyone influences what happens.  And so you get a richly diverse environment.

We’re in a unique niche to get such an award.  Nonetheless it reflects genuine and good things about us.  Congratulations to all of us!

– Gary, WA2JQZ

 

ARRL DX SSB Contest 2014

Rob KB5EZ and Kalen KK4KLT warming into the contest as it started Friday evening. This was Kalen’s first contest.

ARRL DX SSB Contest 2014

Rob KB5EZ at the mike with Gary WA2JQZ logging.

ARRL DX SSB Contest 2014

Matt KA0S at the mike, working the contest into late Friday evening. Don N4MSN continued working the contest on Saturday. And Gary WA2JQZ returned on Sunday afternoon.

* PS note — That Saturday, March 1st, was the Birmingham Hamfest. Rob KB5EZ and Gary WA2JQZ drove there with Craig Behrens NM4T and Jim Spikes N4KH, and they had an extra adventure of their own. Craig gave two forums based on his Caribbean DXpeditions. Besides participating in the hamfest, on the way back they stopped at an I-65 rest stop south of Culman, and operated QRP CW and JT65 until dark. The ARRL DX contest was only for phone, and so, operating CW and digital, they didn’t participate in the contest from the field. Malcolm K4MLP also attended the Birmingham Hamfest.

***

ARRL DX Phone 1st Place Award for Alabama Section, Multioperator, Single Transmitter, Low Power

ARRL DX Phone 1st Place Award for Alabama Section, Multioperator, Single Transmitter, Low Power, for 2014

2013 NASA Picnic & June VHF Contest

Posted by Gary WA2JQZ with Rob KB5EZ.

We are catching up with interesting stories that we didn’t have the chance to write earlier. This story is now also posted in our Activites menu.

[You can click on images to see them larger.]

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Marshall Amateur Radio Club tent set up in the NASA Family Picnic area. We had the portable mast with a rotatable VHF antenna. Rob’s G5RV Jr wire antenna was strung to the trees.

On a sunny Saturday June 8, 2013, the Marshall Amateur Radio Club took part in the annual NASA Family Picnic at MSFC. We set up under a tent, surrounded by child-friendly activities and other clubs.  But also the band stage was located not far away. We had access to power. And, a water cooler was conveniently located right next to us.

Don N4MSN set up a portable antenna mast close by, from which we deployed a VHF antenna. Rob KB5EZ set up a G5RV jr wire antenna in the trees for HF. We operated with the Yaesu FT-950 for HF and 6 meters, and the FT-897 for VHF/UHF.

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Portable mast with VHF antenna

The weather for the day was beautiful. Many people of all ages stopped by to visit us. Members of the club took turns talking with folks and operating the radios, and enjoying the day. The center director and his wife dropped by the tent at the beginning of the event. We made a lot of folks aware of the club as well as ham radio in general.

 

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Alan WB5RMG discussed ham radio by the Marshall Amateur Radio Club tent.

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John N4CNY

We made a few HF contacts, mostly digital modes due to the QRM (loud sounds) from the band on the nearby stage. Yet that weekend also was the ARRL June VHF Contest, and we succeeded in making a few local phone contacts on 2 meters as well.

Matt KA0S and Rob KB5EZ

Matt KA0S (ex-KI4EUR) and Rob KB5EZ.

Several young boys and girls, with their families, spent time with us. Some were delighted to have us teach them Morse Code and help them practice. According to their interests and curiosity, we showed educational brochures, engaged them with some deeper understanding and fun, and talked about next steps they could try.

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Ghee WL7C with a young visitor. The ARRL pamphlet says, “Dreams begin here ….”

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Studying Morse Code sheet while Ghee WL7C took a radio break.

Matt KA0S (ex-KI4EUR) and Jenny M

Matt KA0S (ex-KI4EUR) and Jenny M. operating.

After the picnic concluded some members returned our equipment to the shack, and continued to operate for the ARRL VHF Contest into the evening. Some members returned to the shack on Sunday too, and again continued to operate for the VHF Contest.

During the picnic, propagation at 50 MHz and above was poor. But back at the shack, 6 meters sometimes opened to the U.S. southwest. And then we had 6 meters “magic”.

Below are some of the eQSLs we received from our VHF Contest contacts. Some QSLs are from north Alabama where we are located. And some come from the openings to Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.

 

AK4QR 20130608 WA4NZD 6m SSB June VHF EM64 AL_50pc K4TD 20130608 WA4NZD 6m CW EM64 AL_50pc NM5S 20130608 WA4NZD 6m CW DM75 NM_50pc W0RIC 20130609 WA4NZD 6m SSB DM79 CO_50pc W4YZJ 20130609 WA4NZD 6m SSB June VHF EM64 AL_50pc WA4DXP 20130608 WA4NZD 6m SSB June VHF EM64 Huntsville AL_50pc W4ENN 20130608 WA4NZD 6m CW June VHF EM64 AL_50pc KJ4UGO 20130608 WA4NZD 2m SSB June VHF EM64 AL_50pc W0FRC 20130609 WA4NZD 6m SSB June VHF DM78 CO_50pc NQ7R 20130608 WA4NZD 6m SSB June VHF DM42 AZ_50pc

 

And that’s how the story almost ended. We had a beautiful day, and we enjoyed it. We shared our hobby and interests with out visitors, and in turn stretched their horizons and interests. We enjoyed working together. We enjoyed operating on the radios and talking with folks near and far. And we got to participate in the VHF Contest too, especially with some nice propagation openings…

But the following year, we received a surprise in the mail:

June 2013 VHF 2

We had been awarded First Place within the Limited Multi-Operator category, for the Alabama Section, for the June 2013 VHF Contest!

Probably not many other folks in Alabama operated in this category. But nonetheless, that was sweet!

Field Day 2014 is here .!.

Has it really been a whole year since Field Day ?
(updated 20140629)
The club has had a lot of activity getting ready for the summer contest season, and this weekend will be a focal point. I wanted to start a new post, and let everyone know that WA4NZD will be active in the “1F” category, as our facility at NASA/MSFC is an informal auxiliary EOC that exercises to support both the Marshall and the Redstone communities. We will run one transmitter, which covers 160m thru 6m. We will also have an active VHF station to cover VO-52 satellite, 50MHz, 144MHz, 432MHz.
Surely you can find us somewhere. Work us everywhere you can.

Oh, and to find us, if you already have access to the base – please drop by to see whats a goin on. https://wa4nzd.wordpress.com/2010/05/05/quick-maps/

We hope to come back and update this post thru the weekend, so check back.

UPDATE: 20140629 – back for more . . .

The log indicates that KA0S was here until 03:45 local, and I was back at 08:15 after leaving at 01:00 CDT. WA2JQZ got here at 09:30, with fresh muffins and coffee. N4CNY just arrived as well, and is going to listen on 6m. Only one contact on 6 this morning, from Texas, and 2 meters has only been a little noisy.

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N4MSN, W4VM, KK4RPQ, KK4TJP, N4CNY, WA2JQZ, WB8ELK, N5AYD, WB5RMG

We had a pretty good crowd at times last nite, several distinguished guests.

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CW contact with W3CWC, via VO-52

Field Day dramatically increases the challenges, even for CW via satellite. WB8ELK finally pulls one out on our second VO-52 pass just before it goes LOS over the Pacific Ocean. WB5RMG makes sure it logged. Thanks to W3CWC for that contact, worth 102 points for us (including the satellite bonus) .!.

Another update to come later…
Thanks /;^)

2014 update

(Gary – WA2JQZ has been invited to contribute to the blog)

Although we’ve been quiet for awhile here, we’ve been focused on the club and we’ve been busy.

Since the last post here,
•we’ve been repairing our antennas and building new ones,
•we upgraded our CW capability by repairing our straight key,
getting a Vibroflex standard keyer paddle,
and building a Winkeyer kit (during the furlough),
•we’ve been operating portable and QRP in the field around Huntsville and on Monte Sano, on phone, CW, and JT65,
•we’ve become more active in contests,
•we won First Place in two 2013 ARRL contests within the Alabama Section for multi-operator, low power:
for the ARRL DX Contest in March, and the June VHF Contest,
•we’ve been getting on the air more, having casual QSOs, and getting to know more hams,
•we attended the Huntsville and Birmingham Hamfests,
•we’ve been having interesting guest speakers,
•we’ve been cleaning the station and we got better seats,
•some members have been volunteering in the community,
helping with a new high school radio club, giving license tests,
and working with ARES,
•some members have been working on upgrading their licenses,
•and more.
And we’ve been having fun.!.

We’re now getting ready to participate together in ARRL Field Day.

And we’re preparing for a Special Event in July!

– Gary

A good start for 2013

On the heels of a successful January VHF contest, our club has voted to approve a new set of By Laws at our February meeting. These have been sent to the MSFC Exchange Council for their approval. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their participation and continued interest in this club. This is how it works ; we want a club, we make it happen. Congratulations to all of us.

While preparing the 2012 Jan VHF Sweepstakes log for submission, I discovered that I had not uploaded any log entries to eQSL since 2010. Duuuuh….
And on top of that, the latest (current) QSL image was not on-line.
So – since I was off today on Holiday – I took care of all that.

the WA4NZD eQSL card

Our eQSL card is updated.

In addition to updating the image, I have uploaded the ADIF files for several recent VHF contests as well as a few Field Day activities. There is now a total of 614 outbound QSL entries on-line. We still need to process the previous STS special event logs into ADIF format so that we can upload those. We have lots of incoming eQSLs that we need to match up and verify with our logs.
This is how our Outbox looks as of now (mid-Feb of 2013)…

eQSL outbox detail

snapshot of eQSL Outbox summary

OK, Thanks again for all the support. This is how fun happens.
Keep up the good work thru 2013, and you will be proud of your club.
Spread the word, we can always find room for a few more new members.

Thanks  /;^)