“Storm Watch”

Newsletter of NZ1U – The Barnstormers Contest Group

                                                            Volume 12 No.3, July 2, 2007

OK, Time to Get Ready for the 2007-2008 Contest Season


I know you all have been expecting this “Storm Watch” and here it is. I hope you all have enjoyed the first half of the Summer and now we have to concentrate on getting things ready for October.


But first let me catch you up on a few things…..


Dayton 2007


You all should have received our diary of the trip. NB1U, KB1DFB, W1UJ and KB1H made the trip in the “Lost in Ashford” rock and roll band’s van. So as to have a record of the trip in print I have included the diary.


The Dayton 2007 Log


If you got the e-mail and was able to follow our trip to and from Dayton, here is the log we kept as we went along:



0630 AM


The night before Mark and Dick depleted the stock of beers we had planned for the day's trip consequently, were an hour late picking up Kim. Two headaches! Bigtime. They went to bed at 2:00 AM it was now about 8:00 AM


Star Date - 92,900 odometer reading.

26.4 Gallons at $80 did not fill the tank at Exxon in Webster

Picked Jay up at 0845 and had to eat!

Stopped at the Checkered Flag, Oxford's Coffee Hop $23. Dick Driving

Deployed the APRS, Emails to ECARA, YCCC and select radio/family people.


NY Border~1107AM

Star date - 93031

Hot blonde at mile marker 15 N.Y. Thruway



First Pit stop at rest area Pattersonville NY. Tough traveling with ole men.


Star Date 93090 miles

Kim Driving

2 Ice Creams a Coke and Coke Zero purchased.


Setup the IC-7000 in the van with the sidekick inside also

Jay and Dick called CQ and spotted on cluster 50.125

No answers-

Called CQ in Syracuse, not one signal heard on any band, no takers on CQ.


Star date 93271 miles 1500pm

$80 25.3Gallons Near Rochester ($20ea)

1 Quart of oil.  KE1LI Checked in with Kim (Said Going Wrong way)

Dick Driving.

AA1CE checked in with Dick on Star Date 93336 Keeping an eye on tracker


Star Date 93352

 Buffalo Brew Pub!  Dick's spot he has been talking about since the idea of Dayton came up.  His personal, earned mug was delivered filled with first sampling of Lager (mistake) first then a "woody" porter

Mark had 6 variation samples of the beers brewed

Jay and Kim guzzled Lager but Kim was to drive next so he drank in moderation.

Food was some of the best hot wings ever, served roughly half hot, half medium, and hot was better.

3 "Beef on Weck" sandwiches consumed These are quality roast beef stacked high on an authentic "Salty Bun"  Kim had a steak sandwich, without magic.

Near the end of the meal, Alain phoned to wonder why the van hadn't moved in a while, he is on standby- waiting to send in van-repair troops.

Immediately after starting up the road again, Paul KE1LI phoned, and knew exactly why we had stopped, for the brew pub where he knows the Mug's (Dick's) number.

Kim is driving-


Star Date 93423 -  PA Border 1848 Local time


Star Date 93469 - OH Border 1926 Local time


Star Date 93515 OH

Reststop at 2010 local time - Bathroom break requested by NB1U, seconded by W1UJ.

Jay was first in, last out.  Large explosions accompanied by the wails and lamentations of those within the concussion area.

Kim is still driving.


Star date 93568

Junction of Rts.271 & 71 OH 2101 Local Time - NB1U releases deadly gas in the van. No one was permanently injured.

2106 Local Time- Finally getting dark. Light traffic. Estimated eta Dayton at 0000 hrs.


Star Date 93602

2145 Local Time Stopped grabbed 6-pack Canadians, 6-Pack Buds, Potato Chips and

$78 filled the tank.  Wooster, OH

Dick is driving


Star Date 93752

0000 Local Time Just into Dayton limits, about 10 miles to hotel exit.


Star date 93763 0017 Local Time Doubletree Arrival!

2 beds and 1 fold-out and 4 dudes.   Kim and Jay needed to share the fold-out.  Those are not pillows!?!? Those are not my hands!



Friday, May 18 Day 1 of Dayton Hamfest


An hour late!  Just on the road at 0810.

All showered with allocated 1/4 cup coffee consumed by most.

No injuries sustained-  Showers were done with Fat Man's Shower Curtain which was an extremely welcome feature of the DoubleTree suite.

The maid was tipped $8.  Great sleep-

Kim is driving trying to find breakfast.


0900 Breakfast at Perkins!

Somehow, the waitress assumed we were in town for the Hamvention and immediately gave us extra napkins!

Mark, Kim, and Jay had the Biscuits and sausage bacon eggs.  Dick had a short stack and 2% milk.

Kim driving North on 75 to the HamVention! YCCC Badges issued and busted calls on badges checked and verified.


0924 We've arrived Dayton Hamvention 2007-

More vendors than you could imagine. Started in the Hara Arena and was immediately disappointed. It is a pit! Dirty, old and ill-kept with a single, smelly Mens room. Sitting in the seats above the main hall, Dick and Mark were a bit disappointed at the size of the venue, being no larger than Boxboro. How wrong we were! At least a half dozen halls were also filled with vendors and radio-related organizations which filled our hearts with gladness. The beautiful wx beckoned us outside to the huge fleamarket. Hundreds of sellers and thousands of buyers made for quite a scene. NB1U searched for a boat-anchor transmitter and saw quite a few. KB1DFB purchased a used but good cndx High-Sierra screwdriver antenna. Inside the hall we received free hats, shirts, bags, maps, signs, and many other items. The new Icom IC-7700 xcvr was seen along with all of the other equipment Icom manufactures. Ann, WA1S was working and said hello. Yaesu featured their FTdx9000 series but we were really impressed with the new FT-2000. We may see one at the superstation in the near future.  Dick found what he thought was the Command Technologies booth and spoke at length with one of their salesman.  In reality, it was the "CMD Technologies" booth, a manufacturer of repeater controllers. Dick also spoke with Bob Heil, of Heil Sound regarding our Yaesu DVK audio problem. Dick was immediately told it was a "Yaesu problem". Later in the afternoon we stopped for a beer and Mark saw it as a "Kodak Moment".  Mark asked the person sitting next to us if he would take our photo.  It was then when Mark realized his error in asking.  This little man thought that I wanted to take his photo!  It took a few seconds (ok a few more than that...) for him to understand what I was asking, which was for him to take a photo of the 4 Barnstormers.  After a few failed attempts at pressing the correct button he eventually succeeded.



1800 Our sore feet and legs declared that it was time to return to the hotel.  We stopped at an AutoZone to purchase a hitch pin so that we could mount Kim's new antenna.  We installed the antenna, stepped back and saw it was good, and drove away. In reality we couldn't use it as no coax cable or ground was attached but damn it looked nice! Back at the hotel we cleaned up and headed into downtown Dayton for dinner. We were told of a parking garage located directly across from the Crown Plaza Hotel, the site of the evening’s festivities. Kim attempted to fit 8' Van into 6'6" clearance garage which resulted Dayton streets at the official contest hotel (Crowne Plaza) blocked up for a bit requiring the van to be squeezed to the side so the traffic could begin flowing again.  Then Kim's difficult task of backing all the way down the entry ramp at the garage while Mark and Dick assisted traffic at the street level while Kim drove and Jay assisted ramp traffic. Next was an open lot which had a slot deposit box, at $3 which Dick immediately took care of. It was only after that did he notice there was a tow notice for vehicles in that lot after the night club opened.  Leaving the vehicle at this lot so an alternative plan could be devised over a beer and food.  Hungry, we searched out a restaurant nearby the Crowne Plaza, while walking a "Good Food Here" type sign led us towards what looked like a semi-fine dining establishment.  While zoned into the restaurant and heading that way, Dennis W1UE (ex. NB1B) and Fred K1VR were met and they had just dined at the place where we were heading and recommended it. The restaurant's name was Spaghetti Warehouse where the food was possibly warehoused beyond its sell-by date. It was suggested that the people dining in this facility would not want to see its kitchen. The same cobwebs exist today that Mark had observed 15 years prior. The staff probably changed though since the male staff was overly friendly to all males in our party. AHH the food.

Kim had Ravioli, which may have been provided from a can purchased from a local grocery store, but this theory was discounted since the canned stuff is better.  Dick had spaghetti and Italian sausage which also may have been a poor choice.  Jay had a combination chicken parmesan and 17-layer lasagna. The waiter had informed us prior to our order placement that the spaghetti warehouse is known for it chix parm, meatballs and something else. Well, the same grocery store may have provided the chix parm but the 17 layer lasagna had a few layers that no one could identify and probably would not want to know.  In a rare occurrence, the entire portion was not consumed by Jay, it was that bad.  Mark also had a taste of the garlic angel hair pasta and lasagna and could not finish.

Kim and Jay went to re-locate the van from the nightclub lot to the lot across the street from our dining establishment, a $3 pre-pay, enough clearance and we were in!!  Uh-o it seems that there is no access to the garage after 2345, so the van would need to be removed before midnight. Remember, the pizza shows up at the contest suite at 0000Z


The contest suites were great fun where many of the people that we work on the air were met in person and the camaraderie in contesting is obvious.  After 5 minutes we were each issued a cool-Icom shirt with past DXpeditions listed on the back.

We had one of the M/M ops from Spanish station ED3SSB is a great guy, and now good friend, Eugene EA3QP.  We lost Dick and went to search him out.  Started in the upper level contest suite.

Immediately entering the SMC sponsored suite at room 425 we were greeted by a Venezuelan Areola Borealis which limited all room communication for a time until she left, or covered up.

We found Dick and Kim called it that it would be a daunting task to remove Dick from this environment "We'll never get him out of here" Luckily the van needed to be moved so it was a relatively easy extraction.  Heineken was available at $2.


We went back to the hotel and Mark, Kim, and Jay decided it was not time to turn in. So Kim's new antenna assembly commenced with some 'pounder' Buds and some fine cigars supplied by Matt.  We were hearing DL on 40 meters from the parking lot at s-9 and the new antenna seemed to perform.  The Hotel security patrolling the hotel's lot was keeping an eye on our activities where the beers were hidden and radio volume lowered since we might be violating some hotel parking lot regulations.

Those still are not Pillows!?!?



Saturday, May 19 – Day Two


0815 KB1H made the first contact as NZ1U to KB8??? and his name is Bob from the lot of the Waffle House. No log book or pen on hand for logging.


0830 Waffle House - UJ had huge breakfast including chili!  Claimed he would not eat the chili but he did (we knew he would...)


0945 Arrived at Hamvention. Another beautiful day with temps running higher than previous day.  Flea Market very busy. Attended Contest forum. Kim and Jay acquired ARRL Passport numbers to qualify for exciting gifts and prizes.

Mark, Dick, Eugeni, and Don plagiarized said numbers and entered the contest in the "Assisted" category.


Mark trolled for Icom hat and Yaesu shirt but came up empty while UJ,1H, and DFB scored big time! NB1U wheeled and dealed for 2 large items, a Central Electronics 100V transmitter and a tube guitar amplifier.  A miserable old coot helped him take the 150 lbs. of equipment out to the van.  Stopped for a well deserved beer. Continued in the arena and checked out new equipment including an Elecraft K3, FlexRadio 5000, and the Alpha amplifiers. Jay bought a DirectTV remote control, powerpole, a short length of coax. Left for hotel at 1515 for R&R. We freshened up, put on our party dresses (not really), and headed back to the Crown Plaza for the Contest dinner. 


1800 Arrived for cocktail hour. Dinner started promptly at 1830. Present at the table were W1EQ, K1ZE, K1VGF, and N3XF, along with the Barnstormers and their Spanish fly, Eugeni.  Salad followed by road kill posing as Prime Rib. 418 Contesters and others attended with speeches, CQ Contest Hall of Fame inductions and prizes awarded.  Dick and Kim won $100 gift certificates from DX Engineering, and N3XF won 10% off of a purchase from the Radio Bookstore (ooooooh!). Suite 425 hosted a fine party with beer for sale, including $1 Stroh's.  We met up with Ralph, K9ZO which was a nice surprise.  Ralph missed out on the Friday festivities because of his wife's retirement party. Drank lots of beer except for KB1DFB, our designated driver.


2345 Back downstairs to the contest super suite hosted by the YCCC.  Beer, pizza, and lots of photos.  Met up with Claude N1QAE, and Don K1IN. Claude dared Kim to cut the pizza line which he did. Met Bob K3EST, and Red W6AE. Red was totally wasted and bragged about his "California Kilowatts".  After the pizza was finished we went back to Suite 425 for more beer drinking.  We met, and spoke with many contesters including K9NS and his crew. A very drunk young woman with big breasts staggered into the room and sat with us. She was of Irish descent (sp?)and an obvious IRA sympathizer.  We were given a history lesson regarding the Irish famine and Dick commented that "That is where the Irish Potatoes came from". He received a nasty look. At that point the woman got up and left. Shortly afterwards, we left for the DoubleTree arriving at 0200 Sunday.

 Dick entered dreamland immediately after shutting off the TV.  His rhythmic snoring being the only clue required.



Sunday, May 20

Checked out of the Doubletree in Miamisburg.

Star Date 93882 miles 0807 Heading Home

Kim Driving

Stopped quickly at D&D hit the road numerous Hams on the road



Star date 93958

0930 Fueled up 3.09/gal $76.80  just west of Columbus, OH.

Kim Driving


Star Date 94180

1300 Rest stop in Erie City, Pa. Adjusted antenna for 75m so W1UJ can check into net.  Band dead.

Kim Driving


Star Date 94221

1345 Stop for gas/lunch at BP PA/NY state line. $3.05 16.75 gals/$51

Dick Driving


Star Date 94383

1630 Stop for stretch and restroom break slightly East of Rochester

Dick Driving


Star Date 94482

1800 Stopping at Dick's Friend Jimmy's Restaurant “The Plaza” in Rome NY.  Promised to be the best we've ever had.- The Plaza celebrates 100 years open this year.


1930 Well, as Dick suggested, this was probably the best pizza we've had.  Met owner Jimmy Colangelo of The Plaza Restaurant in Rome New York on Domenick Street. We enjoyed the pizza and beers and the company was awesome. Also met Jack Lagatta who works for NASCAR modifieds as a tire checker and was genuinely happy to meet all of the crew and we certainly could have hung out and closed the place this night.


2100 Stopped just west of Albany where the consideration of a new documentary was discussed. Jay crapping across America!

Kim driving.

Luckily, Kim picked up cigars and while he is enjoying them the passengers have the fortunate opportunity to enjoy the cigar smell and the fresh air from open windows at the same time.  Hopefully Kim takes this opportunity to chain smoke.


Star Date 94628


2200 Pit stop in Lee, Mass., the first rest stop on the Mass. Pike.

Gas $50 @ $3.07 per gal. Dick driving. Wx has deteriorated to light rain. Dick commented on how poorly the van is handling on the wet road. We are all tired and glad to be on the final stretch. 


W1UJ dropped at 2330!


KB1DFB dropped at 2345

Arrived at KB1H at 0000 05/21/07


We lost the final Star Date but our butts told us we had traveled far and to new worlds!



Well, you can tell from above this was a trip I will remember and everyone agreed.  I might go back in 3-5 years so start saving up your brownie points with the XYL so you can join us next time.



Yuri, N2TTA, and wife now proud parents.


Yuri reports that his wife delivered a baby boy on June 18th. Yuri, throw a CW paddle in the crib with a climbing belt.



Mikey, W1MKM, doing fine after surgery


Mike was diagnosed late last year with prostrate cancer. He has since had radioactive pellets implanted and is recovering slowly but steady.  He surely  has not lost his since of humor as please check out this email he sent me:


Well it seems I'm off the air for a while. The noise level in the shack now is well over S9+. I couldn't figure it out until I left the shack and the noise dropped to S2. I walk back into the shack and up it goes again. It also seems to vary depending on which direction I'm facing. If I'm pointed east the noise drops. I if wrap a piece of aluminum foil around my waist that helps too. If I turn on the amp I get “excited”!.


Well that's my story for the day.


See you soon.


Mike, the shining glow in your life.


What a nut!


Birthday Boy!


On June 30th, KB1DFB, AA1CE, and KB1H attended Mark, NB1U, 50th surprise birthday party. Plenty of food and people.  He looks pretty good for fifty!


OK, back to the serious stuff……


I guess No. 1 on the list has to be the situation with the 40 meter antenna system. Our plans have been to put up the 150’ Rohn 45 and put a new 40M beam on this. The existing KLM 40M beam is really broke and we need to move forward. I think the best thing we could do would be to strip the windmill tower, get it removed and then start the new tower. By removing the windmill tower we will be forced to get our butts in gear and get the new tower up. I have someone who wants the top of the windmill tower and he has a crane.  One catch is that we need the 6M antenna for July 21-22 for the CQWW VHF contest but we can remove the forty meter antennas at this time.  We also need to take down a serious pine tree. Both of these parts can be done anytime.  Beginning this weekend, July 7-8 can we start to move? I will check with our climbers.


The 20M antenna needs the boom stay repaired. Not a big job but one to be done.


Do we want to make the new operating walls like we have discussed in the past?


One of the 80M vertical guy ropes is broken, We need to repair that.

I want to start clearing brush again. It has gotten out of control under the 80M verticals. My plans are to cut and drag the brush to the edge of the field and then I will rent a BIG chipper.


We have a new desk for the Webcam computer thanks to my brother. We need to move that in and burn the old desk.


IARU – July 14-15


Though at this time there are no plans, things can be planned if any interests. Yuri probably will operate if there are no interests in a Multi-Op effort.





Are your YCCC dues paid? You can check on-line at the YCCC website or I can find out for you. Remember, your portion of our score does not count if you are not a paid, eligible member and I do hope (at times require) you keep current with your dues.



Well, 8 pages in this issue so it is time to stop and get it sent out. I hope to see some and at sometime all of you as we get ready for the next contest season.