“Storm Watch”

Newsletter of NZ1U – The Barnstormers Contest Group

    "The Barnstormers News"                                                                         Volume 6 No.7, October 24, 2001


Pre-CQWW SSB Issue


Well, it is only a few days as soon to be only a few hours before we start our 2001-2002 Contest season. The primary purpose of this “Stormwatch” is to lay out some goals and hopefully get everyone juiced up for this weekend.


First, band conditions:


If you have been tuning around, you know that 10 Meters has been fairly good early in the morning. Opening to Europe as early as 1000Z and today there were 1-land spots for VKs late afternoon.  15 Meters has been excellent into Europe and last weekend we played in the Work All Germany Contest and was told by many that we were terribly loud. 160 and 80 Meters have been noisy but we will do what we can on those bands. If we are lucky the beverage will be done and helping us out on those bands. I can’t promise conditions as good as last year but there is a good chance we will be able to run all 48 hours on 20 Meters and a fair amount of hours on 15 and 10 meters.


Station Status:


Nibbling away each week, we have just about finished the list. I can’t thank Dave enough for his tower help. I feel guilty the days he climbed alone. Chris tackled the computer network and inside re-coaxing. Kim provided the usual great ground crew help. Mark, Kim, and Frank toiled on the beverage. I know we all had a busy summer schedule so to be at least where we are is amazing. Sunday the computer on Station #3 crapped the bed. Chris has requisitioned a new surplus computer and we will install that Wednesday night. (DONE)


Tonight (Weds) we found the #2 antenna on the 10 Meter stack to have a high SWR 3:1. Looks like a climb on Friday and hopefully we can fix this.


There is still a list as there always will be and we can work on those remaining projects between the two CQWW weekends.

What to bring:


We will plan on using the BBQ grill most of the weekend. Bring your drink of choice. Snacks, pizza (you know who and what), your favorite earphones or Heil Headset. Drinks will go in a cooler.


Who is coming?


I have a definite “be there” from AA1CE, N1XS, NB1U, KB1DFB, and K1EBY. Who else can come? If you are getting this newsletter and want to help out, please reply ASAP when you plan on being here. We are planning for a three station Multi/Multi so there are three chairs that need butts in them 48 hours. I know K1EBY and KB1DFB are planning the overnight shifts (0500Z – 1000Z) Friday and Saturday so we could use one more person for that shift. I haven’t heard from Ted, Mikey, Jason, Bob, Paul (LI), Max, or Tom is quite sometime. How about it guys and gal?





            There are some general goals to start with.


                        First and foremost, let’s have fun.


Keep the three seats occupied as much as possible for the 48 hours.


Try to pass some multipliers. Remember, Alt+J gives you the frequency the other two stations are on. At least try to pass this information along to the station you are working and we need on the other bands. All it takes is saying “ We need you on 20 Meters and we are on 14250 right now” Maybe they can tell you where they are running on the band we need the multiplier. Send a Gab to our operator and he can go get them.


Make more frequent checks of the 160 Band during the overnight hours. At the top of each hour just QSY and see what is there for ten minutes or so.


How about 5BDXCC in a weekend? We have done 4BDXCC + 99 before.


If QSOs get slow, check other bands. We have no QSY rule as a Multi/Multi.





In CQWW SSB 2000:


            Band              QSOs             Zones                        Countries


            160                       9                    5                          4

             80                     192                  20                       78

             40                     212                  24                       88

             20                   1145                  36                     150

             15                   1335                  39                     154

             10                   1087                  38                     146


Totals                                    3980                 162                   620 =è 8,388,514


Rather than set band by band goals, let’s just try for these numbers.


            QSOs = 4250

            Zones = 175

            Countries = 640


This would give us almost a projected score of 12.8M! In reality, if we can break 10M I would be quite happy.


Looking at last year’s rate sheet it appears that only during the first two hours did we really use 4 transmitters. The rest of the contest we had no more than 3 bands making QSOs. I feel if we try harder on the three we run we can improve over last year even though we will have one less station.



I think a reprint of a section of one of last year’s “Storm Watch” is worth doing here. Please read this over at least two or three times. Get your mindset correct. Run, Run, Run……



1)     You are loud! There are only a few stations that can push you off the frequency. Yes, propagation sometimes defeats us but pound for pound we can compete with most stations. Act loud.


2)     Keeping a frequency is not for the timid. Not only is the strength of your signal a part of running. Your character is as well. Sometimes you have to be a bully. I have fought with stations and neither one of us has made a QSO for a minute or two but hang in there. A strong station will answer you sooner or later and you can make that QSO through the QRM.


3)     K1AR made a very important operating point. Tweak your VFO around to stretch your elbows out. I sometimes get a little more processing going to push adjacent QRM out.


4)      Maybe you have to split your antennas to send some RF towards the “frequency foe”.





73 and Kick Butt!!! – KB1H