“Storm Watch”

Newsletter of NZ1U – The Barnstormers Contest Group

              "The Barnstormers' News"                                                                                                                                                        Volume 11 No.2, April 19, 2006

ARRL DX SSB Follow-up Meeting


On April 15th we had a follow-up meeting to our efforts in the ARRL DX SSB 2006 contest. Pat, NG1G, had offered to gather data from KB1H, K1TTT, and K1RX results and format that into spreadsheets for us to mull over.


My goal was to let each of you know how you did during your stints on the bands as compared to the two stations we want to be competitive with. I also am trying to support my opinions of what I believe to be areas we need to improve.  When this newsletter goes out, Pat will have each of your e-mail addresses and with that he can send you the data we all looked at last Saturday. Rather than going over the data I think it will be better served to list the points that were brought up in the discussion after the charts and graphs were passed out.


Regarding the results shown in the graphs and charts and observations during the contest the following was some of the conclusions:


1.      There were too many operator changes. During the Sunday runtime we had 4-6 operator changes on 20 meters alone. This kept the rate well below the other two stations.

2.      There were empty seats. Regardless of bands open or not, there was no need for 10 or 15 meters not to have someone calling CQ.

3.      Too many spurts of S&P rather than running.

4.      Lack of familiarity with the software and hardware.

5.      Over the next few years 20 meter will be a battle ground. The operator on this band needs to be tougher and meaner!


Where do we want to make hardware improvements according to the group that was present:


1.      More work on the 80M wire beam (K1EBY & W1TJL)

2.      160 Meter Double-Extended Zepp (K1EBY & W1TJL)

3.      E-W Beverage (Group effort)

4.      K9AY antenna (KB1H & help)

5.      Listening loops (K1EBY to test)

6.       Check and make improvements on the 20 Meter system where needed (Group effort)

7.      Not mentioned but a decision has to be made on the “Dallas” 40 Meter beam.


I want to thank Pat for all his work and asking everyone who was here all said the data was extremely helpful and useful.


I include one graph to show you want was some of the data looked over.



The most encouraging conclusion here was that we were where we needed to be at the right time. Notice the ramping up. All the same time and same slope. Just not as high.


Finally one conclusion from the data that becomes my chore is better operator management. Putting only warriors on 20 meters. Longer stints on each band. Keep the continuity going.


Please continue with your feedback especially after you have examined the data. We need to work hard to improve our score and operating is where the largest gain will come from.



Again, if you want the data please ask Pat to send the information to you. Pat’s email address is:  [email protected]





As you can see from above the project list is long and it will take an effort by us all to get most of this done. Not on the list however was the clearing of the radial field for the 80M and 40M 4-Sq. The trees have grown back and we want to clear from one end of the property to the other. Cut down the brush and haul it to the edge of the lawn so we can rent a chipper and get rid of it. This will take many hands and maybe even more than one weekend. Stay tuned for the work dates.



Upcoming Events


During the weekend of May 5 & 6 the Hosstraders Flea market takes place. Kim is planning on going so if you have any equipment you want to add to our “For Sale” items please get it here soon. So far after paying for the 8877 to K1JCL we have about $50.00 in the Barnstormers Fund.


That same weekend is the New England QSO Party. The station will be here and available if someone wants to operate. I will be returning on May 4 from a business trip but have to go way on May 6 with Mary to a friend’s place for a party weekend. Single Op or Multi Op is OK. If someone wants to commit to a serious Single Op that is OK.


CQWW CW WPX is the end of May and I will be organizing a serious effort. The operating crew is just about set so the station will not be available to everyone that weekend. N1XS might even come up for that one!


The VHF QSO party is June 10-11. Kim is getting ready for a serious effort and we need operators. Please let Kim or I know if you want to help.



Station and Software Familiarization


This is a very serious subject. We can not wait until October to become familiar with the station equipment, antennas, and software. There are many small contests that we can play in. I know some of you come a long distance but that still should allow you to work on your software knowledge at home. Any weekend the station is here. Please feel free to come and play around for a few hours or all day/night if you like. We need to not only know the equipment; we need to know what is broke. I recently have found a few things and still am finding a few more.



Summer Picnic


I think when the weather gets hot we should have a Barnstormers picnic which includes your families. Let them see where you are hiding during those weekends  Most of us have children that are grown but maybe the XYLs would enjoy a day of picnic and the swimming pool. What do you say??



That’s all for now.


73, Dick