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UKDX RTTY avatar

Radio Ansonia’s 1st try in this UK contest. I am trying learn all the nuances of N1MM RTTY.

The solid state amp makes rtty contesting a breeze.

UKDXRTTY Score Summary Sheet

Start Date : 2011-01-15

CallSign Used : W1CTN
Operator(s) : W1CTN

Operator Category : SINGLE-OP
Band : ALL
Power : HIGH
Mode : RTTY
Default Exchange : 001
Gridsquare : FN31ST

Address : 32 BENZ STREET
City/State/Zip : ANSONIA  CT  06401
Country : USA

ARRL Section : CT
Software : N1MM Logger V10.12.10

Band    QSOs    Pts  Cty   SEC
3.5      31      44    6    1
7      27      50   12    0
14      83     144   21    3
21       5      17    3    1
Total     146     255   42    5

Score : 11,985 3.5 HRS
Rig : FT 2000 VL 1000 500 WATTS

Antennas : T10 20-10, 40 DIPOLE, 80 VERTICAL

Soapbox :

I have observed all competition rules as well as all regulations
established for amateur radio in my country. My report is
correct and true to the best of my knowledge. I agree to be
bound by the decisions of the Contest Committee.

Date : 2011-01-18        Signature :

CTRICG Meeting
CTRICG Meeting avatar

During last Spring’s epic floods our long time meeting place, historic Crandall House in Ashaway, RI, experienced significant flood damage, particularly to the section housing our meeting room.  Forced to find other quarters while repairs were effected we met in various members’ QTHes. Fortunately, under the circumstances, attendance varied between ten and fifteen so we didn’t overflow anyone’s home. In this writer’s opinion the quality of dialog was improved by the less formal environment of comfortable living rooms.

RI Section Manager’s Newletter, January, 2011
RI Section Manager’s Newletter, January, 2011 avatar

Greetings fellow RI Amateurs:

Happy New Year to all. I have personally asked, on official Section
Manager letterhead, the Sun Dancers in the hills to dance extra hard
every morning for the return of sun spots and improved propagation to
the deserving DXers of Rhode Island. We’ll find out how much clout
that has. J Cycle 24 so far has turned out to be a dud, hasn’t it?

On a far more positive note, I am happy to report that our list of RI
DXCC qualified Amateurs gained two new members this month; Debbie,
W1GKE with a score of 102 and Al, W1SNE with 100. An added plus to this
news is that I believe Debbie, W1GKE is the first YL on our list of 102
DXers. Congratulations and warm welcome to both! The updated list may
be seen at http://www.w1ddd.org/dxcc.html. These two new list members
have not yet actually applied for their DXCC membership, but my rules
only require that they be qualified by having 100 or more confirmed
entities in Logbook of The World plus QSL cards. Whether they ever
actually apply for DXCC certification, as I hope they do, is a personal

Speaking of LoTW, the February issue of QST, on pages 70 and 71, you
will find a fine article titled, “LoTW-A Modern Tool for
Awards-Hunting” by Parke Slater, N4KFT. The story describes many
advantages to using LoTW in saving money to gain contact confirmations,
whether for DXCC or WAS. It is an honest and easily read article and is
highly recommended.

The CT & RI Contest Group, at their last meeting, put on a very well
received presentation by CTRI member Pat NG1G on Logbook of The World.
It was detailed but easily understood, a tribute to Pat‘s skill in
presenting what can be seen as a complex topic by some. More of this
outreach work is needed to help those of us who are not highly skilled
in computer work. Thank you Pat for your fine work.

I try to call attention to our nets on a regular basis, so here they
YL Net, Thursday at 7 PM, KA1RCI Repeater Network 145.19, 146.075 PL
CW Net, Monday at 9 PM, 3.549 MHz
RI-EMA Traffic Net Wed/Fri at 9 PM 147.075 PL 67
Yankee 6 Meter SSB Net, Sunday at 9:30 AM 50.275 MHz.
BVARC Simplex Net, Wednesday at 7 PM, 146.565 MHz.
RI Skywarn Net, Wednesday at 8:30 PM, 146.70 repeater
RI Swap & Sell Net, Saturday at 9 AM, 146.70 repeater

Actually, some of this net information may be incorrect. Please advise
me with corrections or updates. Thank you. But, please try to check in
to these nets and support them. Net controls and managers, please send
in your net reports for my monthly summary. Thank you all for

Well, here we are buried in snow. Spring and tee shirt antenna weather
seem so far away. But, we have many contests coming up in the next few
months. That should keep the shack warm. I have found WA7BNM’s
Contest Calendar at http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/ to be very
convenient and useful to quickly find out what test is coming up next
weekend and all the details regarding it. Of course, I am not a
contester and always have to look up what the event is that’s causing
the ruckus on the band. I always look up what the exchange is.

There are plenty of contests every weekend between now and the arrival
of warmer weather. So, we have plenty of incentive to be radio active.
Many states host QSO Parties during winter and there seems to be at
least one on every weekend. Rhode Island hasn’t had its own QSO Party
in many years since the WARI award was offered. (hmmm now there’s an
idea for the clubs to sponsor) However, RI is included in the New
England QSO Party Held on May 7-8 this year. See details at
http://www.neqp.org/ .
For those who wish to chase counties all year long, you might check out
Worked All Rhode Island Counties Award and Worked All New England Award.
In these competitions, other hams in US and overseas are also seeking
contacts with you, especially if you are in a rare county like Kent or
Washington. Winter time, especially February and March provide the most
on-air activity for the contest folks. For obvious reasons, hams spend
more time indoors and in their shacks. Pick your contest and get in
there, even if it’s only for an hour or two.

As I’m writing this on Tuesday evening on Jan 11, the state is
preparing to be hit by a serious snow event. My town of Cumberland is
expecting a foot to 15-18 inches. Tomorrow, nothing will move around my
neighborhood, well except the dogs and their humans who will take their
walks regardless of anything else that happens on earth. The Skywarn
group will be taking snow reports on the 146.70 repeater to report
their information to the National Weather Service in Taunton. Why
don’t we have an active statewide ARES network functioning? The
simple answer is because we have no viable state leadership to work
with. Possibly one day, we will have one once again.

New England Section Managers, club presidents, leadership officials
were invited by ARRL Director Tom Frenaye, K1KI to his semi annual
Cabinet meeting held on Saturday, January 15, 2011 in Springfield MA at
the Sheraton Springfield. As of the time I am writing this, at least
three of us are planning to attend; Asst SM and ACC, W1PN, Tech Coord.
W1TSR and I are planning to attend the all day conference. This meeting
normally precedes the regular meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors by
one week. Attendees to this meeting receive a fairly good preview of
what will be discussed a week later.

Now is the time to file if you are interested in running for elected
ARRL office in RI. My fifth term as Section Manager ends on June 30.
The filing closing time for nominations is March 4 at 4PM. I am
planning to file my papers for a sixth term but will support any
qualified candidate who steps up, showing interest in running for the
post. More information and nomination forms may be found at
http://www.arrl.org/section-terms-nomination-information .
From Asst Section Manager KA1RCI:
I’m very sad to report that the historic Edgewood Yacht Club in
Cranston burned to the ground in the early morning hours of Jan 12th
2011. The building, rebuilt after a fire in 1908, overlooks
Narragansett Bay and is a beautiful spot. The Narragansett Bay Amateur
Radio Club has been meeting at EYC for several years and the NBARC
membership help fund the restorations that were just completed a few
months ago.

The KA1RCI 224.040 repeater in Lincoln RI is running on a new antenna
and hard-line, coverage is now as good and in some cases better than it
has been in several years, with users checking in from Franklin, MA to
West Greenwich, RI. If you have a 220 radio give it a try and enjoy the
wide area coverage.

De W1YRC again: I must add that I have gotten into this repeater from
Framingham, MA and Middletown, RI. from my mobile. It is a good
repeater indeed and is not busy at all. As Steve asks, please give it a
try if you have a 220 radio. If not, why not? They’re fairly
inexpensive and 220 is a great band.

Stay active on the air and stay warm. Spring is coming, not soon
enough. But DX and contesting will keep you busy until nicer weather is
here in Rhode Island. Stay warm.

LotW Presentation by NG1G at January Meeting
LotW Presentation by NG1G at January Meeting avatar

For those who weren’t there yesterday, Pat, NG1G, did a very fine presentation on the use of the Logbook of the World. When I first signed up for the program in April 2008, I thought it was quite a cumbersome effort to get started and get all of the right boxes checked, etc. I think that the Help files and instructions available now are much better than 3 years ago. I had never chased DX for an award before and decided to try for DXCC using only LotW and uploaded all my recent stuff that I had in the computer and see how close I could get. On December 7, 2008, I got my first DXCC certificate. Later certificates were for CW and 20 meters in April 2009 and 15 and 40 meters in February 2010. I just noticed that I have enough confirmed QSOs now for DXCC Phone. Haven’t decided yet whether to flip for the 45-50 bucks to buy the credits and then pay the award fee for DXCC award.

I just checked and it looks like I have a pretty good QSL rate in LotW… 20,302 QSOs and 9,357 QSLs… a l’il less than 50%. I also just noticed that my certificate expires in April of this year, so I must keep an eye out for the renewal notice from ARRL.

So, for those of you out there who are not utilizing the services of the Logbook of the World, I suggest that you reconsider and sign right up! I don’t think you will be sorry.

Ken K3IU

Should We Search for New Meeting Venues?
Should We Search for New Meeting Venues? avatar

I am lamenting the lack of an Internet connection at the Crandall House. I think our meetings, or more specifically our presentations, could benefit from a high-speed Internet connection. I’m doing a presentation on LoTW and while a real-time connection is the obvious best method, I’m going to make due with a “death-by-Powerpoint”-style presentation instead. Yech.

So I got to thinking that maybe we should search for a new venue that can not only accommodate our IT requirements, but one that might be food and drink friendly. And then I thought, “Why not see if we can get several venues so we can rotate them? That way we can make traveling to meetings more equitable.”

I know there are some facilities that have meeting rooms for the public to use. I’m thinking of libraries, hospitals, and colleges and universities, to name a few. Maybe we can find some that will accommodate our needs. The idea would be to have each member find a venue in his community that offers the right stuff, and then the club can make an “official” request. It could even be at a member’s house if he wants.

If we only got even three or four venues, we could rotate the meetings among them so we wouldn’t have the same people driving the greatest distance every time. And the change of scenery would be good.


Pat, NG1G

Charlie’s Whistle Number One
Charlie’s Whistle Number One avatar

It was an hour before dawn on a cold Saturday morning in late November. Charlie had been in the CQWW Contest working Pacific stations on 40 CW and was watching for the first signs of sunrise. The wind was howling outside and Charlie was hoping all of his tower anchors were secure. Charlie’s old dog, Rufus, was curled up on the shack sofa, all four feet twitching as he dreamed of chasing that big fat Angora from next door. As first light caught Charlie’s eye through the shack window, he thought, “Let’s see if I can hear that 9M6 that’s been running Europeans. His signal rose from the noise and grew in strength from nothing to S5 in minutes. A call between those Italian stations should do it. Don’t they ever stop calling? There..now! Call him…… OK, one call…..hmmm, not bad for an old timer.”

The grayline opening this morning was a good one. Charlie had logged almost a hundred stations by the time his patient and wonderful XYL, Mary came to the kitchen to find some coffee that she knew Charlie must have made. She brought him a fresh cup and sat for a moment to sip hers with him. “How’re you doing today?” she inquired. “Great” Charlie said. “I worked a hundred stations in 40 countries in only 3 hours.” With her sly grin, Mary asked, “What did you say to them.” Charlie knew she was teasing but he answered anyway, “59905”. “My, that’s not very interesting to say.” She remarked and gave his shoulder a friendly tap and returned to her den to finish her coffee.

Later in the morning, the club’s new ham, Brian knocked at their door. He always visited Charlie on Saturday mornings. Mary greeted him and took his coat to hang. “Have you eaten anything, dear?” she asked. “Well, yes thank you. I had some cereal at home.” he responded. Mary grinned and said, “I’ll bet you can find some room in that growing frame of yours for some blueberry muffins I just baked.” By that time, Charlie had been drawn out of the shack by the sound of the oven door and the wonderful aroma. “Hi Brian. You on the air this morning?” he greeted his young guest. He beamed at his mentor and said proudly, “I worked a YL in California just after midnight. It’s my first real DX.”

Mary set two places for them at their cozy kitchen table. Charlie thought about Brian’s reference to “real DX” and decided not to get too picky. “Well, that’s terrific. What band? What’s her name?” Charlie wanted to know. Brian was so proud. He had just passed his Tech Plus at Slatersville last month and hadn’t contacted more than a few locals on HF yet. He knew that a CW DX contact would make Charlie happy. This California contact was his first distant contact, which is one definition of DX. Charlie prefers to consider exotic countries as DX. It’s OK because both fit just fine.

“Her name is Jenny and she’s 14. She lives in Paso Robles and her father runs a big farm.” Brian said excitedly. You could see the electricity in him as he spoke. “You know, Charlie, afterward I went out into the yard with a flashlight just to look at my dipole. I wanted to see the antenna that sent my signal 3000 miles.” Charlie smiled and recalled doing the very same thing many years ago after his first contact over the pond to Europe. “It was nearly 1 in the morning and my Dad yelled at me to get in the house. I tried to explain but he was kind of upset. Would you talk to him?”

Brian’s dad had started the radio classes to get his ticket but dropped out because of work conflicts. The ham radio bug hadn’t bitten him yet so he couldn’t understand Brian’s excitement. “Brian, I’ll call your dad and explain but I’ll also bug him to get his ticket so he can have some fun with us on the air.” I told my guest who was halfway through his third muffin. Then I called into the den, “Mary, how many muffins did you make?”  Mary assured us she had made plenty and had even put some in a bag for Brian to take home to his family.

He was still quite excited from his experience overnight and he asked,  “Charlie, is it more fun to contact a foreign country or another state?” Charlie took a sip of his coffee and carefully answered, “Well, Brian, it doesn’t get much better than what you did last night. Your first DX QSO is one you’ll never forget. It’s the best one. But the thrill of adventure and exploring the unknown in having a QSO with a new location far away is still a kick even for an old timer like me.”

Brian started eating another blueberry muffin and asked, “Can you remember your first DX contact?” Charlie sat up straight and cleared his throat, “Sure I can. It was January 14, 1946 and I had just gotten my ticket the month before. The War was over and hams were permitted back on the air. At about 6PM, I worked a British operator at an RAF base in the south coast of England. We were on 20 CW and I was using a home-brew two-stage transmitter from the handbook running 25 watts and a regenerative receiver, also home-brew. I was 14, your age. I’ll never forget what he said to me.”

Charlie paused at that point and Brian looked at him carefully, “Are you OK?” he asked. Charlie apologized explaining that it still touched him to think of it. “His name was Colin and he said to me, ‘Cheers, Yank and pass our thanks along to your country for all you did for us.” Charlie remained quiet for a few seconds gathering himself.

“Did you ever talk to him again, Charlie?” He sparked right up and answered, “Yes, I did a few years later. He had gotten out of the military and had a new call and he somehow remembered my call. He lived near London and had gotten married. I was in high school and as soon as he said who he was, the thrill of our first contact and my first DX, came back. I’ll never forget the thrill, Brian, and you won’t either.

Brian asked, “Do you think I’ll ever talk to Jenny again?” Charlie said, “I’m sure you will and I’ll bet you’ll even meet her.” Brian wasn’t sure he was ready for that but he said, “Gee, I’d like that.” Charlie explained how hamfests like Dayton, the big DX meeting in Visalia and ARRL National conventions work. “You will certainly go to these events, Brian and meet many friends you’ve worked. Some will become lifelong friends and when you get to be my age, you will be happy that you’ve made so many friends around the world.”

“Watch for her call again tonight at the same time. I’ll bet you another muffin that she’ll be on the same frequency looking for you.” That made Brian blush and he said nervously, “What could we say? Why would she look for me?”

Clearly, at 14 he hadn’t yet understood what was obvious to Charlie. They talked a few more minutes about Brian’s dad and how he should get his ticket and his mom’s new interest since his contact with young Jenny. “It’s Saturday. I’ll call your dad and I’ll bet he’ll stay up with you tonight.” Brian put his coat on and thanked Mary for the muffins as he headed for the door. “Don’t forget the take-home muffins,” Mary called to him.

Brian’s home was about a half-mile away and an easy bike ride but on a cold windy day like this one, Charlie asked, “Want me to run you home in my truck?” “Naw, I’ll be fine but thanks, Charlie. Thanks for everything.” he said and with a broad smile and a wave, he was off down the hill from Charlie’s.

Sunday morning, Charlie received a call from Brian’s dad. They had successfully contacted Jenny the night before and talked for nearly an hour. Now dad wants to know what they said on CW. Charlie chuckled and said, “The bug has bitten, huh? Come on over later and I’ll talk to you about it. Bring Brian too.”  After the call, he suggested to Mary that it might be wise to get some more blueberry muffins ready.  We may be a while.