ARRL Sweepstakes Contest Begins Saturday
ARRL Sweepstakes Contest Begins Saturday avatar

The October CTRI meeting was held at the W1XX QTH in South Kingstown on the 13th.  After a successful raising of the 160 meter vertical (Thank you!), a regular meeting was held.

From time to time, CTRI has made a special group effort in selected contests.  1.5 million points (a record) in the New England QSO Party (2011) and the 10 Meter Contest come to mind.  The reception to try this again in the ARRL Sweepstakes was somewhat lukewarm but some indicated their intention to give it a go.

Sweepstakes — CW on Nov. 3 – 4 and Phone on Nov. 17 – 18 — is the granddaddy of contests.  I think this is the 80th running.  If CW is not your thing, then give phone a shot.  I’ll be in there on both.

An N1MM+ reminder:  enter the data in pairs like 39A and 61RI.  That way there is no ambiguity between QSO number and the check (year first licensed).  Review the rules on the ARRL website.

N1MM+ has become the de facto default logging program. If you need help, Ken, K3IU, has volunteered to be our “N1MM Resource Person” [kenk3iu AT cox DOT net]. He helped me immensely in transitioning from TRLog a few years back. Ken suggests you reference the on-line N1MM+ manual.

More meeting happenings:  Discussion touched on the New England director election, VP6D, Field Day, and oh, yes club elections.  Newly elected:  John, W1XX, President;  Bill, W1WBB, VP;  Mike, NG1M, Secy/Treasurer; Charlie, K1ECU, Contest Mgr.;  Jim,. KS1J, Recording Secy.




Contest Season Kickoff Meeting @ W1XX Saturday Oct. 13
Contest Season Kickoff Meeting @ W1XX Saturday Oct. 13 avatar

The fall/winter contest season kicked off last weekend  with the CQ WW RTTY Contest.  It’s just the start with the CQ DX SSB the end of the month and Sweepstakes in November plus several more to follow.

To energize activity, our November CTRI club meeting is this coming Saturday, October 13, hosted by W1XX at his South Kingstown hilltop QTH ( 48 Shannock Rd.) Nominal meeting time is 9 AM.

But after two weather-foiled attempts by the club to help raise my 160 vertical antenna, an early 8:30 AM arrival is requested to finalize the project.  It has been blocking the top of my driveway now for two months, so anything short of a tornado, it’s going up…with much thanks to the club!  Parking suggested on Shannock Road…I can shuttle anyone needing assistance (call 783-1588).

Primary AGENDA item  as indicated by Prez Pat NG1G:  ELECTION OF OFFICERS.  Self-preservation dictates attendance.  Luncheon provided.

Guests and prospective members always welcome.  Posting your attendance plans under comments would be appreciated.  73!

Antenna Help Needed Sat. Aug. 18
Antenna Help Needed Sat. Aug. 18 avatar

RAIN…RAIN…RAIN…enemy number 1 of antenna work. Ten hearty CTRI members showed up this past Saturday for a club meeting/antenna raising.  Guess which didn’t get done?

CTRI Contest Group is a helping hand bunch.  It was decided to try again this Saturday, August 18 at 9 AM at the W1XX QTH, 48 Shannock Rd., South Kingstown.  My 160 meter vertical thanks you!

It shouldn’t take over an hour. It takes 3 “crankers” on the winches, guy rope holders, and spotters.  Not hard to do, but several folks needed for success.  Hardhats recommended.  We will celebrate with a BBQ.

So no one makes the trip in vain, your affirmative RSVP reply needed here in comments, email to w1xx[at]cox[dot]net, or voice message at 401-783-1588.  I know some can’t make it…certainly understandable.  If we have enough manpower committed, and the weather holds up, we’re a GO. If we don’t have enough folks to do the job or the weather looks unfavorable, by 7 AM Saturday I will post a CANCEL comment to this thread on the website, ctri[DOT]club.

73! — John, W1XX 8/13/2018


CTRI Meeting Saturday Aug. 11 @ W1XX QTH
CTRI Meeting Saturday Aug. 11 @ W1XX QTH avatar

The CTRI Contest Group will hold its August meeting this coming Saturday August 11 at 9:00 AM at the QTH of W1XX, 48 Shannock Road, South Kingstown, RI.  Agenda:  Field Day results analysis; upcoming contests.

Your host requests an early arrival at 8:30 AM for the somewhat annual raising of the 160 meter vertical that took a storm hit last March.  Your help would be very much appreciated.  It takes several hands to man the 3 boat trailer winches and guy ropes to assure success.

Suggest parking on Shannock Road as the driveway will be blocked at the top by the antenna.  Sorry… rope tow transportation to the top of hill not presently operational.  Hardhats (extras if you got ’em) recommended.

Hot dogs (Saugys of course) and hamburgers on the grill post meeting.

Please join us.  Members and  guests welcome. 401-783-1588 if you get lost. 73!  — John, W1XX

2018 CQ WW VHF Contest
2018 CQ WW VHF Contest avatar

Call:  W1XX (W1XX op)

Class:  SOAB HP

Band  QSOs   Mults

6         377       136

2          68         22

Total   445       158  Score:  81,054

Comments: Very good condx late Saturday afternoon and early evening.  Lots of DM, DN, CM grids far west QSOs several with California on 6 meters.  Best was VA6AN (no relationship to W1AN) in DO42.  Sunday AM nice QSO to XE2JS in DL68.  Refurbished antennas here looking pretty good.

Worked K1SX and W1AN.  Anybody else on?


IARU HF Championship
IARU HF Championship avatar

I think the last time I spent any time in this 24 hour contest was as W1XX/OH0 and it was known as the “Radiosport” championship.  I didn’t know what I’ve been missing.  This is a neat contest coinciding with the every 4-year WRTC emanating in 2018 from DL-land.  You can choose CW, SSB or both.  I chose both or mixed.  Operating off and on around family activity.  I never ran out of QSOs. Working the IARU member society HQ stations is kinda neat as they exchange the society abbreviation — like ARRL — in the exchange.  Otherwise IARU zone number is exchanged ours being “8.”

I made 502 QSOs with a near even split between CW and SSB with a zones multiplier of 52 and HQ mults of 74 and a total score of 170, 604 points.  Not at the head of the class but shows up respectably on 3830Scores. Gave me a chance to test out my refurbished 40meter Yagi and it honked.  Pileups to my CQ  on 20 and 40 SSB were hip deep which is really fun.

I didn’t realize who the WRTC participants were until I started working a slew of Y8#x calls with the 1-letter suffix.  Yep, that was them.  Fun to work picturing these folks in a tent somewhere in Germany on a Hex-beam.  Yes, a hex-beam and they had great signals with 100 watts.

I see scores were posted by K1SX and KS1J…so I suspect that other club members gave this at least a bit of a try.  If so, post your scores and experiences here.

Pre-Field Day Notes
Pre-Field Day Notes avatar

Be sure to check the FD Menu posting by our Commissary Guru.

Is anyone available for about an hour on Wednesday morning at 10 AM to help me with a couple of on site chores at Seagrave? I would meet you there.  Please comment here or email to w1xx [AT] cox [DOT] net or call 401-783-1588.  Sorry for short notice.

Good News Dept:  We are expected to be joined on FD by Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, the ARRL Contest Manager.

FoldingAntennas [DOT] com Part II
FoldingAntennas [DOT] com Part II avatar

At the most recent CTRI meeting, there was strong positive sentiment for the club to purchase this antenna for Field Day.  This was first introduced in my posting in October. Go to the website for a description what looks like a FB FD antenna…and proven in the recent 3C0L/3C1L DX-pedition. Club president Pat (NG1G) asked me to provide details of the order for posting here.

Kit 5-Band Folding Beam……………………………………………………………………………………394.00 EUR

Options/Accessories: Transportation Bag, ferrite core. guy ring, storm brackets……….50.40

Spare Parts: wire clip, fiberglass rod, copper wire, support rope, spacing cord…………….5.85

Shipping to North America……………………………………………………………………………………48.00

TOTAL ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..498.25 EUR

Conversion 498.25 EUR = $622.82 USD

I am in the process of getting the shipping and payment details.


FoldingAntennas[DOT]com avatar

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
Upcoming Contest Participation avatar

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
CTRI Meeting Saturday Sept 16 at W1XX QTH avatar

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
Minutes” Summary of August 12 Meeting avatar

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
Last Minute Notes:  CTRI Field Day 2017 avatar

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