“Storm Watch”

Newsletter of NZ1U – The Barnstormers Contest Group

             “The BarnStormers News”                                                                                                                                                Volume 11 No.3, August 22, 2006


Dog Days of Summer are about over!


Well I can’t believe I am writing only the second “Storm Watch” for this year and it is almost September! It has been a very busy summer for all of us and our improvements around the shack show that.


Probably the major task accomplished this summer was repairing the damage done by a near lightning strike. Kim, Jay, and Al worked to get all repaired. The other projects started in the spring have not progressed and this means we have to get cracking if we want to be better than last year. Our competition has not stood still with both K1TTT and K1RX making improvements especially on 40 meters. I can only imagine what others have done.


Let me start with the “free” tower status. Nearly a month after the set deadline one of the commercial renters on the tower approached the owner and said that they would make the improvements that the owner had demanded. Things like renewing the guy wires, etc. We have been told that should this commercial user fail to accomplish the work in a timely manner we will still get the tower. Meanwhile Kim and I have made more than one trip to the site and returned with valuable tower parts. New sidearms, guy anchors, turnbuckles, insulators, and some hardline. Let’s not forget that we have about 100’ of Rohn 45 of our own and these parts can be used there. It would still be nice to get this 180’ monster so we could get a 40M beam up that high. Stay tuned as the next deadline is coming and we might have to move very quickly.


Kim has started the repair of the damaged barn roof.


The new beverage is where we left it but as I have already mentioned I have the OK from my cousin to extend onto his land. We need to get on this ASAP before he changes his mind. There is some additional clearing and of course a few holes to dig and poles to cement.


I realize that the Boxboro Convention is this weekend so I don’t expect any work done this weekend except maybe Sunday if you are not going both days. I do hope that beginning next weekend we can start back on the projects and get things ready for the upcoming contest season.



Station gets some use 


When Chris was around the station got regular use and we were on top of any problems. Though not as frequent as Chris, Yuri has used the station for a few contests and has found a few problems that probably would have given us fits close to the next major contest. Yuri has worked the Russian DX Contest (which he holds North America High Claimed Score so far) and also WAE CW this past weekend. 





During that last few contests Yuri has mentioned that it would be nice to have SO2R capabilities. In the beginning I told him that we barely master SO1R but now I think since we have the radios maybe we should look into this. I am going to talk to K1TTT at the YCCC Meeting Saturday and then make a visit to his shack. He also changes from M/M to M/S to SO2R so I want to see what equipment and how he accomplishes this. After my visit I will see what needs to be done and what equipment I need to buy.





Two items concerning QSLs…


First I have not yet printed out the almost 2000 KB1H QSLs I typed into the label maker. I hope I can do this in the next few weeks. I am still looking for blank labels. Chris did send me a link to a cheaper source than Staples. I still have about 1000 NZ1U QSLs to type in.


Second I order 2000 NZ1U QSLs and 4000 KB1H QSLs. The total was $270.00 Unless there is an objection I am using $200.00 from the ”Stormers” fund and will put in the remainder. I guess that is what I should pay for the glory of using my callsign!




UHF/VHF Status


We operated in a few VHF/UHF contest this summer. After the CQWW VHF Kim found that his 2M transverter has a bad FET and that was why we heard very little if anything during this contest. We suspect this has been a problem for sometime. It is repaired now.


The next big contest is the September QSO Party. Rumor has it that Larry, N1ROZ, suffered allot of lightning damage during the same storm that took our stuff out. If so there are some people that want to help operate here as Larry will still be broke by then.


Kim has ordered at least one preamp and we maybe looking for tower help and operators for this contest. Sheky might bring the higher bands. Stay tuned!!



Enjoy the final days of Summer and begin to think about the upcoming contest season.