“Storm Watch”

Newsletter of NZ1U – The Barnstormers Contest Group


          “The Barnstomers News”                                                                                                                                             Volume 10 No.1, January 25,2005

9th Annual Christmas Party Report


Well, despite the bitter cold and snow, the annual event was well attended. A few of the regulars didn’t make it for various reasons but all in all there were more than 14 Barnstormers to party on!


The menu was massive. The usual wings, chili, dips, and some new additions like KA1MM famous kielbasa and N4XR’s homemade cheesecake. KE1LI brought a tank of homemade Chocolate Porter beer amply named “All Bloat No Float Chocolate Porter so there was plenty to drink as well. Other beers, brown liquor, and even a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label.


We a name for the door prize which was graciously donated by “The Q”, NX1Q. A great collection of three books that was won by Walt, KA1MM. Walt then donated the books to the Barnstormer’s library and they are here for all to read. The story of the Colvins, the VK0 DX-pedition, and an RFI handbook. You may borrow them to read and bring back anytime.


My dilemma this year was who to give the “K1GX” award to. To be honest I could not think of anyone (of course I won’t give it to myself) so this year the trophy went unawarded. Like Dave said, maybe we need to put a sign up “Four Contests without a major screw-up”. Kind of like the safety boards in factories.


At 3AM I found myself talking basically to myself and so I went into the house. The scotch caught hell that night!


Another great time and I think everyone survived.



January ARRL VHF Sweepstakes…


Plans were for a major effort. New Elecraft transverters, “The Tower of Power”, and a full crew of operators.  Unpredicted was 20” of snow! We had 4 ops cancel out and N1ROZ and Kim had to plow snow. What was to be a good effort turned into a part-time effort. Here is the summary sheet:


                                ARRL VHF SWEEPSTAKES -- 2005



      Call:           KB1DFB

      Category:  Limited Multi

      Power:       High Power

      Band:        All Band

      Mode:       Mixed Mode

      State:        CT


Band QSO QSO Pts. Grids
50 188 188 21
144 208 208 24
222 37 74 12
432 58 116 12
Total 491 586   69   


= 40,434 points


Operator List: KB1DFB, KB1H, KE1LI, W1MKM, N1ROZ




We had planned a full contest effort with at least 3 more operators.

Then it snowed, and snowed, and snowed. The wind blew making lots of

QRN. Two operators who did show had to leave to go plow snow. One

had to get back to the Senior Home before the snow got too deep.

Basically it was a two operator contest after 1:30 AM Sunday morning

with no operating from then until after 12:00 PM Sunday.


This was the first contest with the Elecraft transverters and also with

more than 100 watts on all bands. Lots of bugs to work out before



Sorry to all we could not pull through the QRN. We run no preamps and

We are sure we get out better than we hear. Thanks to all for the

QSOs, QSYs, and look for us in the Spring Sprints.


Kim - KB1DFB


Hopefully we will have better luck in June! At least no snow to deal with.



Webcam Project


The Barnstormer IT team has been working on the addition of a webcam and live score update for the Website. We have decided that because I have lots of space on my broadband ISP it will be better to keep at least the webcam and pictures on that ISP with pointers on QSL.net. W1TJL has supplied a PIII which needs some more memory and this will be the Station #5 computer which will have the webcam. Also this computer will upload to the ISP with live score updates (I hope). A few technical things to work out but we are on it.


The live score addition should be nice. I know that I sure kept my eye on the K1TTT webcam during the last contest and found it to be quite an incentive.





During some recent tower work and also during the last few storms we have found some very serious work that needs to be done. The 15M antenna at the top of the tower is being held by only one clamp. The 40M prop pitch system has some serious play in it and needs repining. In fact Kim found the bottom bolts sheared off after our first storm and before the last one this past weekend.  The 220 antenna connection is not waterproofed yet as when Dave and I re-installed this antenna it was too darn cold to feel our fingers plus the coax seal was stiffer than a sailor’s you know what!


These things need to be done as soon as possible. I will be talking to Dave and Paul and seeing if we can get this done maybe this weekend.


CQWW 160M CW Contest


This weekend (January 29-30) is the 160 CW contest. I will be operating and need help. Anyone want to help?



ARRL CW February 19-20


This is the next contest we will be looking forward to. Unfortunately I have found out that I will have to leave early Sunday afternoon before the end of the contest. I have to go to Germany and Austria. I at least got them to delay until Sunday. I think they wanted me to travel Saturday. Since I will not be here at the end I will be asking someone to ride the crew until the finish. I can pass on the whip! I will speak to Chris, N1XS, as he has done this before for me ion the beginning of a contest. With him and Kim this should be OK. I do not know if Chris even plans a trip up for CW but if I know him this is the mode he would rather be here for.


I will be setting up everything the week before and will send out a message saying what we need for equipment.


Speaking of Equipment…..


After 20 years the era of the Alpha has ended. Al, K1JCL, has taken back the amp which of course is his. He put a new blower in ($300) and I have heard since then the amp has moved on to another home. I have offered for years to buy the amp but that never happened. I have to thank Al for 20 years of being kind enough to let us having a kick ass signal with little drive. Hey, there is a lot more room on the desk now and it has been the antennas that made us loud, not the Alpha. I have moved the HF-2500 Commander to Station #1 and hopefully someday I can buy another Commander to replace the Alpha.



Enough for this the first issue of 2005, the tenth year of our newsletter.



73, Dick – KB1H