“Storm Watch”

Newsletter of NZ1U – The Barnstormers Contest Group

    "The Barnstormers News"                                                                         Volume 7 No.3, August 20, 2002


Yes, I am still here and it’s time to start our 2002-2003 Effort


I think it is about time that I put out another newsletter. I have been pretty busy with traveling for work plus the chores around here. I am beginning to feel the itch of contest season coming soon though. As you all know, we have plenty to do and as usual the summer has sped by.


All of you should have gotten a photo of our beginning construction on the 40 Meter “Dallas” antenna. Frank, Kim and I have made pretty good progress on the elements and should be finished them in a few more sessions. It’s hard to believe we have finally begun. The two coffins of aluminum have been sitting in the barn since 1997! When I opened the crates I could see that critters had taken up residence. (See the photo on the next page)


Dallas really has engineered a stout antenna. One secret we have found though is that you have to clean all the tubing with emery cloth and rags. Tube inside of tube inside of tube inside of tube in some cases.


We will start on the boom and element to boom mounting soon.


All the Comtek hardware has come in for the 40 Meter 4-Square. Kim has begun to salvage the 3” irrigation pipe for the verticals. I really started a roar when I said we were building a 4-square AND a 3-element full size beam. We know the options of different propagation and the instantaneous direction switching will make the 4-square a worthwhile project.


We also have to think about installing the new prop pitch and again, we are mounting this at ground level so there is much to be done here also. Kim and Frank will work on this soon and we might be looking for additional help. Don’t forget we also will be adding a new M2 control box with presets and digital readout.




Yes, acorns! We didn’t find any critters though.



CQWW 2001 Results In


YCCC has done it again. Four years the winner!!  KB1H finished in the middle of the pack in the Multi/Multi class but the 6M+ points we made was also the margin of YCCC victory over FRC.  Job well done gang.


New Computers


Chris was able to get 5 new computers from work. All five are Pentium II and came with monitors and keyboards. As soon as Boxboro is out of the way hopefully Chris will have the time to install new computers where needed. Station #1 already has been changed out of necessity before the IARU contest. We are probably looking at least two or three more swaps. Besides the networking, we have to make sure we can talk to radios, Top Ten decoders, and also add DVPs to Station #3 and Station #4.


Speaking of IARU…..


Frank, Chris, Mark and I put in a full effort during the IARU. Preliminary scores have us in 4th but only 30-40K separates us from 2nd. UBN reports will decide the final order for sure. Though the 1st place claimed score is 130K more points than us, they had only 4 QSOs and 10 mults more!


Oh yes, UBNs…


I am sorry to say that we took a giant step backwards on the UBN results. I have been afraid to look at the complete reports but know that in one of the major contest our score was reduced 15%! The other contests we have about the same poor showing. We really did horrible this past year. I am not sure why but we have to concentrate on better results this year for sure.



To Do List


Because we are very actively working on a number of the projects I will forego my usual list and wait until next newsletter to report on what has been done, what needs to be done, and where we need help.





While on vacation I typed in 1700 QSL labels. These still need to be printed and stuck on cards. At $8 per pound at the outgoing QSL Bureau I may ask for some help with the costs. I was going to bring a radio on vacation but QSLing substituted. It took me with my great typing skills about 12 hours!



Web Site Work


Mark has been working on the web site again. A short lull in recent weeks but he has said he will begin to finish the site soon. Check it out and watch the progress. www.QSL.NET/KB1H/



Internet Access and KB1H Node Upgrade

Supposedly on August 22nd I will be getting a cable modem installed. I have purchased an 8-port switch so I will be networking the house and the barn. Plans are to run the node backbone off the internet and also have one of the computers in the barn to have internet access. In the next week or so we will be burying 2 1” PVC lines (listen for when and bring a shovel) between the house and the barn. When this is done, K1XX is bringing down a new node computer running the DXSpider node software.



This looks like an exciting year for us. Lots of new things to play with and test. I hope we can get most of the work done well before October.


73 for now…


Dick – KB1H