“Storm Watch”

Newsletter of NZ1U – The Barnstormers Contest Group

         “The Barnstormers News”                                                                                                                                                    Volume 10 No.2, April 11,2005


Barnstormers Win YCCC Raffle Prizes


The recent YCCC Raffle was good to two members of our group. Vic, N4XR, won an Array Solutions “Six-Pak”. This is a nice device for switching antennas in a SO2R station set-up. Valued at about $400.00. Mark, NB1U, won a $200.00 gift certificate from HRO. Not too bad considering we had two winners in our small group. See, it pays to be on a good team! Congratulations to both of them.



Flea Market Proceeds


Thanks to all your donations (equipment and cash) we raised $430.00 for the station. Our first plan is to buy at least two flat panel monitors for Station 2 & 3.  Also Kim went to the VHF conference and made an additional $40.00 so we now have $470.00 for the fund.  Again thanks to all for the donations.  We are shopping for 15” flat panels and expect to pay around $150.00 per unit. 


Recent Work Accomplished


Paul, KE1LI, and I repaired the 40M south antenna again. We used locktite and added a rope truss to the boom. Hopefully this will hold better.


Jay, N1GKI, is busy trying to put together some new computers. We have quite a bone yard and we will probably end up with at least two PIIIs that will start us on the computer upgrade we want to do. Our goal is for all PIIIs, full file transfers machine to machine, and switching to N1MM logging software. We may also set up the network with a server.


Tom. W1TJL, has given us a new wood stove. This one is much better and will last longer on a stoking. Also it will take a larger piece of wood. We will be making that switch in the next few weeks.


I am still typing in QSLs. I am up to 1700 with about 600 more to type in. It never ends! Again, an appeal for labels if you have any partial boxes around or know of a cheap source. The labels, like ribbons, are becoming fairly expensive and rare.


Chris, WB2VVV, came over with an oscilloscope and we checked Station 1 MP for keyclicks. Though the rig had been modified we had a report of clicks. We found everything to be OK. Rise time of the CW waveform was about 6ms and the fall time was about 5ms. Nice looking waveform.



Dreaded Work to be Done


The list is fairly small. Yes, believe it or not.


The highest priority is the 40M prop pitch system. There is way too much play in the system and we need to re-pin the pipes with Grade 8 bolts. We may also have to re-weld the collars as some of them are no longer welded.


The switching of the two wire beverage is not working right. It has been bad for some time but the European direction has been OK so the priority low up to now.


A second short East-West beverage needs to be put up.


Do we want to investigate installing Frank’s listening loops?



K9AY Loop Listening Antenna


I have seen some good reports on the K9AY Listening Antenna. Basically a four direction listening antenna for 160/80 with the direction selectable. You only need a 30 foot diameter area and a non-conducting pole in the center. Check out the thing at   http://hometown.aol.com/MarkWA1ION/k9ay_ant.htm

I think this might be a nice addition to the station before October. What are your opinions?


New England QSO Party May 7-8


Results from the 2004 NEQP were posted and we got a nice certificate for coming in Second in the M/S class. We did not miss first by very much and I think last year it was only Chris, N1XS, and I. We made only about 60 QSOs less than K1TTT who also had quite a few more multipliers. I say let’s try to win the M/S this year and get the trophy that K1TTT has won the last two years. I would like a serious effort. I will organize an operating schedule. Who wants in?


YCCC Regional Meetings


As most of you know, I was appointed the YCCC Eastern Connecticut Area Manager and I hope to soon begin some regional meetings. I plan on hosting them here and also anywhere where someone might think it beneficial. We are looking to get more members, increase our skills, and just get together to have fun. Also by hosting the meetings here I hope we can help others that are building up a station with the ideas we have implemented. Who knows, maybe we will find a new member or two for the Barnstormers.


Radio Repaired


Chris’ FT-1000MP has been repaired. No word yet as to the problem but at least it was done as a warranty repair.


Webcam Project


I want to thank everyone on the webcam project. Jay did yeoman’s work on this and he got allot of help from Tom, Mark, Dave, and Chris. All had good input and I think we had the best webcam as we had up to the minute score update right off the CT window. Also, by no means is the webcam inactive between contests. There has been plenty of sightings of people walking around with cups in hand plus we are trying to change the screen often with pictures of recent awards and scores. Oh yea, there is also an occasional band practice.


CQWW WPX CW – 28-29 May


After going to Dayton, Chris is returning with Frank to Connecticut. The main purpose is to put in a serious effort in the CQWW WPX CW contest. We will be organizing for this soon. This is Memorial Day weekend. Still to be determined is if we go M/S or M/2. Last year we were 4th in the M/S class. Looking at last year’s results it will not hurt us too bad if we decide to go M/2. Stay tuned for more details.


Poor Man’s Dayton


Again the CTRI Contest group is holding a picnic during the Dayton weekend. I call this the poor man’s Dayton for those of us who can’t afford the trip to Ohio or just can’t take the time. Contact N1HRA for details and I will try to get them out to everyone by e-mail.




It was with great pleasure I heard that Mark, K1RX, had been elected to the YCCC President position. Not all of you know but I have had a hard time getting any response from the YCCC President this past year. I volunteered to be Eastern CT. Area Manager in October and was finally appointed in January. I asked to be allowed to have a local meeting after the flea market on March 19th and NEVER got a response. You need permission beforehand to make the meeting legal to accept new members. I have already exchanged e-mail with K1RX and congratulated him. I also gave him assurances of my full support as time allows. It is good to see a “contester” back at the reins rather than accountants or lawyers. I have heard enough talk of constitutional changes, budgets, what to do with the money if YCCC folds, etc. Let’s talk about operating, having fun, and kicking butt!