“Storm Watch”

Newsletter of NZ1U – The Barnstormers Contest Group

 “The Barnstormers News”                                                                          Volume 6 No.2 February 6, 2001


5th Annual Barnstormer’s Christmas Party Report


The 5th (I made a mistake calling it the 6th last issue) Christmas Party is history. As usual, help for all makes this event fun. Kim had to plow out the driveway. Everyone brought stuff to eat. Attending this year was KB1H, KB1DFB, AA1CE, K1EBY, N1XS, NB1U, W1TJL (and XYL), K1JCL, K1GX, and Jake Six-Pak. A few kids too. The flu season took its usual toll. Paul, KE1LI, was ill but sent his home brewed beer for the rest of us.


The usual jawing and kidding went on. All the big point contributors to the Barnstormer’s contest efforts received a new CQ calendar. Those who smoke got a nice Cuban cigar.


“The K1GX Award” was introduced. There is actually a trophy for this annual honor. Hopefully we will have a picture of the trophy on the web site soon. To explain quickly, “The K1GX Award” is given to the individual who pulls the biggest “boner” of the contest season. K1GX has the honor of having this award named after him because it was his winding the 40 meter feedline around the prop pitch 4 times that won him the inaugural award. I think the rest of the history will be posted on the web site. Probably unfairly, K1GX was a repeat winner. His year 2000 “boner” actually occurred at K1JCL’s station.


Thanks to everyone for a great night especially Max for the meatballs, Barb for the cookies.


ARRL DX CW 2001 – February 17-18


This contest is only a little more than two weeks away. This weekend (Feb. 10-11) we will be setting up the station and also trying to fix a few problems. We need to also try every antenna to make sure all rotors, antennas, and switching is working. We still have a problem with the middle 20 meter beam and also the 15 meter sidearm rotor. If we can get the help we will try to fix these and other problems. Dave and I tried to tackle these two major problems last weekend but the fix on the 20 meter beam was only temporary. The sidearm might be DOA until we get a good stretch of nice weather. It looks like we will have to clamp the beam to the tower and lower the sidearm. Also we have to rewire the cable to the rotor and Stackbox.


I have also begun to rework the beverages. We know we transmit better than we hear on 160 meters. Kim and I have built a new switching box for the listening antennas. The new box has input for 5 different antennas so we can eventually put up Frank’s loops. Chris picked up an Ameco PT-3 tunable preamp. Mark and I are researching some options for beverages and right now we are leaning towards a two-wire beverage. I have also talked to K1FZ who makes and sells termination and impedance matching devices for beverages.


Try to come this weekend to help with all these projects.


I will try to send a pre-contest “Storm Watch” next week.


New FT-1000MP Mark V


Well I have played with the new Mark V. Besides the obvious advantage of 200 watts output, there are other differences which make me happy I made the decision to replace the MP.  I think the biggest improvements are in the front panel knobs and layout of functions. The new switching for the contour, noise reduction, and audio passband filtering is good. I think after these next two contests I will be able to give a better report on the rig. By the way, the FT-1000MP is sold and went in a day.


Please try to come this weekend to help with our projects. Rememeber Feb. 17-18 CW and Mar. 3-4 SSB.