“Storm Watch”

Newsletter of NZ1U – The Barnstormers Contest Group

        "The Barnstormers News"                                                                                                                                                         Volume 9 No.4, March 31, 2004


2003-2004 DX Contest Season Behind Us – What a Year!!


With the conclusion of the ARRL DX contests we ended another and to my count 7th straight year that KB1H has submitted a Multi Operator score for the YCCC club effort.  If the YCCC has won a 6th year running in the club competition you can be sure our group helped in a big way.  The YCCC wins because of the number of little pistols that get on the air but without the M/S and M/M entries to offset the FRC Dxpedition scores that outcome I believe would be questionable.


In both ARRL contests we set new records here at KB1H. A great competition between K1RX, K1TTT, and KB1H has added juice to the contest. Though we have beat K1TTT in the last two contests we still have K1RX’s taillights in front of us and it’s time to "Put the pedal to the metal" next year to put them in our rear view mirror.


First, a recap of our ARRL scores:



Band                           QSOs                          Mults

  160:                             214                                74

                                        80:                             724                                93

                                        40:                           1079                              112

                                        20:                           1673                              124

                                        15:                           1640                              121

                                        10:                             628                                97


                                             Totals:                           5958                              621  = 11,062,494



Operator List: KB1H, K1EBY, NB1U, AA1CE, K1AM, K1IN, N4XR, NN1N, K1GX, N1XS





                                         Band       QSOs    QSO PTS   PTS/Q    COUNTRIES

                                          160:           91           183           2.0                42

                                80:         339         1005           3.0                76

                                            40:         463         1386           3.0                94

                                            20:       1398         4146           3.0              119

        15:       1593         4755           3.0              123

        10:         170           504           3.0                57


                                        Totals:    4054       11979            3.0              511  =   6,121,269


Operator List: KB1H, K1EBY, K1XM, K9ZO, N1XS, W1TJL, KB1DFB, NB1U,

                         K1IN, N1QAE, N1LYA, N4XR, NN1N, AA1CE


During the ARRL SSB contest I started a new tradition. Making note of who logs memorable milestones in the contest. Dubbed “The Bouvier Award”, it can have multiple categories. During ARRL SSB I gave out two awards. The first was the 6M point in the log and that went to Frank, K1EBY. The 4000th QSO( not including dupes) went to Chris, N1XS.  Mark, NB1U had number 4000 worked but it was a dupe!


A brief explanation for this award. Jeff Bouvier, K1AM, has always been one to push other operators for better performance and promoting internal competition amongst stations/bands. I do my share of whipping but Jeff has added that extra snap that seems to make us all try a little harder. I hope we see him here many times in the future and he doesn’t spend too much time at his retirement job at the Foxwoods Blackjack table!


The idea of scheduling operators (an idea which came upon a few of us all at the same time – thanks KB1DFB and N4XR) had to be the biggest improvement. Fresh operators and putting the right people in the right seat for band conditions worked great. Again some tweaking of operators and also our skills will help in the future.


I really want to thank everyone who came and operated for putting in a record setting performance for our station. We all know where the next milestone will be.


I especially want to thank those who spent many weekends preparing the station so we can achieve new highs each contest.



Where do we go from here?


We all know that we have some unfinished projects and we also have a few improvements in mind for the coming season.  Some are large projects like the 40 Meter tower and antenna, including the 6 Meter beam and prop pitch. Some projects are small like a second beverage or repairing the tribander for remounting.  I think there is something for everyone regardless of talent or physical ability.


In an attempt to help share this work load I am going to try and apply the “scheduling” idea to our work parties. I will announce a project and then ask for help on a specific date. No need to have 10 guys here at one time but we need a constant effort to finish our tasks. Once I feel we have enough of the proper help I will say who is expected to help. I think this is the only fair way to share the work, keep things moving forward, and not asking each of you to commit to weekend after weekend. Of course some projects are subject to weather so the actual dates of work could change.


Looking at my list of things, the first two high priority projects are the 40 Meter tower and the repairing of the tribander.


On the 40 Meter tower we need two climbers to help fabricate the next thrust bearing mounting plate. This is only about 35 feet up and fairly safe on planks. Angle iron pieces need to be measured, cut, and then mounted. I see Kim, myself and one more climber necessary with a fourth person helping Kim on the ground if possible. The date for this will be April 10 with a rain date of April 11.


The tribander repair will also be scheduled for the same weekend. Here we need two people to set the antenna on saw horses, assess the damage, repair what can be done with material on hand, and make a list of what will be needed to finish the job.


So, we are looking for one climber and three ground people for the weekend of April 10-11. Who wants to help?



Contest Feedback and Signal Reports


In the three ring binder which hold contest results I have also saved comments from fellow contesters congratulating us on our recent scores. There are also comments on our signal from DX stations. Both KB1H and NZ1U has been popping up everywhere and including antenna ads in World Radio!


If you haven’t heard yet….


I have been contacted by a ham in Ohio who has proposed a ½ hour program to the Discovery Channel about Amateur radio. This is a program series called “NOW” (No Opportunity Wasted) and is kind of like a reality show. If his proposal is chosen, a film crew shows up at his house unannounced and he has 72 hours to film the half hour show. His plan is now to start at ARRL HQ and then he wants to have a portion of his show on Contesting. His web search found KB1H – The Superstation! After his filming at ARRL he wants to come here and use our station for the contesting portion. We need to plan a little on what we want to cover and you all will get due notice during the filming. I need to have a calling tree because if I am traveling we need someone else to show up to do the segment. We need to work this out as well. Needless to say, I can’t let the station get too trashed as I will only have about 24 hour notice when and if it happens. If his show proposal is chosen he will at least know a few days in advance as he has to sign some papers. The film crew arrival will be unannounced as I said but he should be able to give us 24-36 hours notice.


Speaking of the Web Site...


After many months and many attempts to get access to our web site, Mark and Chris finally got a reply from the Server Administrator. With renewed access we will be updating the site as soon as possible. New photos including special sections on the two ARRL contests will be uploaded.


Name the Crapper Contest (notice the brown letters)


I really got some great suggestions for naming our permanent station #6.


A partial list:


                        CB Operating Position #1

                        P1SS for SSB

                        SH1T for CW (dupe sheet required)

                        UBN King’s Throne

                        Beer Recycler

                        Chilly Chair

                        Yellow Monster


With the continuing theme of the “Barnstomers” and our own “Storm Watch” newsletter, the winning name is “Storm Drain”. I have sent a $15 check to the YCCC for N1XS dues in 2004-2005.


Upcoming Contests


With April being a slow contest month, May will bring a few. Two upcoming events are the New England QSO Party the first part of May and then the CQWW WPX CW during Memorial Day weekend. I am not sure of the size of our effort in NEQP but in WPX CW I would like a full blown effort. Last year with N1XS, K1EBY, NB1U, and KB1H we were 2nd in the M/S category. Beaten well by #1 but maybe we can make a run at them this year. More to follow on that. In June there is the VHF contest. I am always in Canada that weekend but Kim needs operators for this.



Don’t forget to offer to help on April 10th and 11th


73 – Dick