“Storm Watch”

Newsletter of NZ1U – The Barnstormers Contest Group

                                                            Volume 13 No.1, July 22,2008


Can it really be true?!!!


When I opened my template for this “Storm Watch” I saw that I had not done one at all this year! Not even a report from the Annual Christmas Party. Really my “bad” and I apologize to everyone for not keeping the crew moving forward and excited about the upcoming contest season.


Most of you know my family went through a tough time with Alain getting hurt and that is still going on. He has the pins removed form his foot, has a hard cast on his foot, and finally moved back to his own room. It was a great day when we moved the hospital out of our living room! Still months of mending and then therapy but he is young and will be fine. Not a nice Summer for him so far.  All this led to many months of caring and not a lot of time to think about radio.


My family wasn’t the only one having a tough time. Chris, N1XS, fell and broke his femur. This meant a plate surgically placed and since June 9th he has been either in acute rehab or a Nursing home. He hopes to return home in a week or so.


We all know the Yuri saga. What a story that proved to be!


I don’t think any of us has been spared a hectic moment or two these past few months but now we have to think about what needs to be done.  Of course my goal is to have most of the work done before October 7th when I get a full knee replacement.


So let’s start with the dreaded “List”:


Kim, Mark, JP. and I spent about 4 hours one Saturday clearing brush for the new tower guys. We got quite a bit done but really only one area of the three needed to be done. Eventually I hope to get the whole back cleared like it was when we first put up the 80M 4-Square. The guys and radials of the 80M 4-Square are in bad shape and need tightening and new radials. Kim installed the rear hydraulic kit on my new tractor so we can borrow my brother’s brush chipper that has a hydraulic feed. Much easier and faster. I will be looking for helpers for this chore after the first weekend in August. We have to get this done ASAP so we can get the new tower up!


I have at least one new computer and had a line for three more but that has not come through yet. I want to upgrade Station 3, 4, and VHF. These are not really new but better than what we are using now.


We have to install the active listening antenna that I bought with the prizes Kim and I won at Dayton last year.


I have ordered two new windows for the barn to replace the sheet of plywood and the other window which is ready to blow out soon. These should be in at Lowes in 14 days.


The damaged barn roof from two years ago needs to be repaired.


As you can see the list is long and probably will get longer before it gets shorter.


Stay in touch for when we need the help.


BVARC Field day


Mark, NB1U, was the Field Day Chairman for the BVARC club. The event was quite successful and Kim KB1DFB, N4XR, and KB1H all made a stop at sometime during the weekend. I was glad to see mark experience what it is like to have to motivate and drive the group towards a successful event. It’s tough Mark!


N4XR Antenna Repair


KB1DFB, W1UJ, and KB1H spent an evening at Vic’s replacing his rotor and making a few repairs to the antenna system. Vic should be ready for this winter.


KB1DFB Upgrade

If you got your e-mail this Spring you might already know that Kim has upgraded to Extra Class. We are all waiting for him to pick a new call.






Visitor from the South:


K1DW spent a few hours here this Summer and was extremely interested in the 40M 4-Square. We explained to Dallas how easy it went up especially when compared to our trials and tribulations with the 80M antennas!




With the equipment sitting here most of the time with noone in the chairs I decided to, with lots of help from W1Uj, to set up a few Skimmer stations. If you belong to the reflectors you know all about this operating aid that is stirring up quite a controversy in contesting. Basically software-define radio with a broadband receiver that spots CW stations and can actually fill your band map for you.  I will explain it more later but you can check it out on 40M if you “telnet dxc.kb1h.com 7303” and on 20M if you “telnet dxc.kb1h.com 7304”. Want to know what is on the band or what we are hearing with our antennas? Check it out. We will be putting on a 15M skimmer soon so you will know when the band opens.



We did operate a few contests….


We did get a few contests in though. In CQWW WPX CW we made about 500 QSOs with NZ1U. In the IARU we had K1EBY, KB1H, W1TJL, W1UJ, KB1DFB, and KB1H putting in a good effort and making over 1000 QSOs and about 1.2M points. In the CQWW VHF contest we had a big bunch of people stop by and help out. This is only a 6M and 2M contest. We made about 93,000 points and I see that W3SO a perennial high score Multi only made 111,000 points so we did well. Helping in the VHF contest was KB1DFB (we used his call), W1UJ, NB1U, K1EBY, W1TJL, KB1H, K1GX, KE1LI. N1ROZ stopped by to say hello.



I can only hope we all get excited about the work we have to do to get ready for the 2008 – 2009 season.