Introducing the Maine QSO Party HF Contest
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
The Date: September 29, 2013
The Website: www.maineqsoparty.com
ME - A few weeks ago, WSSM members asked a question over coffee:
"Wouldn't it be awesome if there was a twice around the clock HF
contest that emphasized contacts with Maine stations?" The result,
after weeks of development, is the Maine QSO Party, which takes
place September 29th.
QSO Party's mission is to encourage Maine hams to expand their
knowledge of DX propagation on the HF and MF bands, and to improve
their operating skills and station capabilities by taking part in a
competition in which W/VE, and DX stations have the incentive to work
with Maine stations count twice as much as other contacts, which serves
as the incentive, while multipliers are the same for everyone
participating. The multipliers include the sixteen (16) Maine
counties, fifty (50) U.S. states, fourteen (14) Canadian
provinces, and each new DXCC entity (other than the U.S. and
We're especially grateful to all the contest
clubs and groups around the world who have publicized the event, and to
those who have helped translate the contest rules into other languages.
Mark your calendars and tune up your gear. The Maine QSO Party is here!
Team Activates W1/AM-381 for Summits on the Air
Agamenticus, York, ME
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
YORK, ME -
On April 28th, the WS1SM team activated Mt. Agamenticus for Summits on
the Air. The day started out with breakfast at the Maine Diner, and
then it was off to the hilltop.
west of the oceanside community of York, Mt. Agamenticus' panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean to the
east, and New Hampshire’s foothills to the west were a
backdrop for the operation, which included three HF stations and a VHF
setup. Antennas were a BuddiPole and various dipoles for HF, and a
J-Poles for 144 and 220 MHz.
Agamenticus has an interesting story to tell. During the 1940’s it served as
the site of an anti-aircraft spotting station and an SCR-271 early warning
radar, as well as quarters for 25 soldiers from the 551st Battalion
of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. The entire complex was destroyed by fire in the
winter of 1945 when crews couldn’t get up the auto road due to heavy snow. Except for the radar tower’s concrete
footings, nothing remains of that era.
December of 1966, after being planned for several years, the “Big A” ski area
was opened for the first time, and was dedicated at an opening ceremony by
Governor Reed. It was designed by the
famous ski resort architect and consultant, Sel Hannah, founder of Sno
Engineering. Mt. Agamenticus is one of few ski areas which featured parking and
a lodge on the summit. It featured a double chairlift, T-bar, and rope tow, and
also offered night skiing.
the 1970’s when a real estate development threatened the area with 3,000
residential buildings proposed, a Save
Mt. Agamenticus Committee was
established to protect the lands as part of a wilderness area and wildlife preserve.
The committee was ultimately successful, but the environmental movement,
combined with an anemic economy, and other factors such as poor snowmaking, also
had an effect on the popular ski area, which closed after the 1975 season.
famous ski lodge, with its massive fireplace and 34 by 54 foot second story
lounge, still exists today, and serves as an education center. Several remnants
of ski area equipment, though mostly dismantled and far beyond operation, are
still on the grounds as well.
setup our stations on the south-western slope, and were especially
successful on 220 MHz, where Dakota Dumont KB1YYC, made simplex
contacts as far away as Rhode Island! Charlie Shepard,
W1CPS, and Cindy Shepard W1CJS, were busy working stations on 15 and 17
meters, using a fan dipole and an Icom IC7000, while Ryan Michaelson,
KB1YTR made use of his Elecraft KX3 and random wire to work stations on
20 meters. Meanwhile, Thom Watson W1WMG, myself, Dave Wood KB1FGF, and
Sam Webber N1WIG, worked stations mostly using a Yaesu FT857 and a
dipole (40 meters) and Buddipole (20 and 15 meters), many of whom were
taking part in the Florida QSO Party.
first outing of the season was enjoyable and finished with a dinner and
debrief at the Bull and Claw restaurant on Route 1 in Wells.
Wassamki Springs Campground
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
time of year again! On the weekend of June 22-23 join us for Field Day
at Wassamki Springs Campground. Special thanks to the Hillock Family
for once again providing an outstanding location to hold this event.
year we beat our previous QSO record despite having to break down for a
few hours because of thunderstorms. We made the most of bonus
points opportunities and handled more than a dozen radiogram messages.
2013, we anticipate good participation and expect to improve our QSO
totals even more. But Field Day is about more than just making lots of
contacts and finding new ways of capturing ARRL's foolish bonus points.
Its about building camaraderie and working together as a
team to accomplish a certain goal. Most importantly, Field Day is about
enjoying the experience and having a good time.
New IRC Introduced
Czech design chosen to replace current IRC
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
A recent DX Coffee
article reports that the Universal Postal Union has announced that
the Czech Republic won the contest to develop the new model of
International Reply Coupon (IRC). Known as the Doha round, the
new coupons will become available on July 1st, 2013 and will be good
through December 31, 2017.
The theme of this new model is
"Water, source of life" in order to reflect the International
Cooperation year of the United Nations in 2013.
Nairobi model IRC's are valid through December 31st, 2013. The U.S.
Postal Service no longer sells IRC's, but post offices in the U.S. must
redeem them and they may still be purchased in other countries.
June 1 - July 28
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
we haven't seen any DXpeditions with the rarity or publicity as 7O6T,
like we had last last year at this time, but there have been few that
have caught our attention since the last issue. These include the
German activation of Mayotte, with the call sign TO7BC, which took
place in late March through early April, as well as the TK2INT Corsica
Island activation by a team of French and Spanish operators in late
March. More recently, South Cook Island was on the air with the call
Looking forward, some interesting
expeditions include HQ8S (Swan Island), VQ93JC (Chagos Islands),
and Madagascar (5R8NE). Check out the chart below for more info about
announced DXpeditions that will take place through mid summer.
Another great place to check for upcoming DXpeditions and special events is the 425 DX Calendar, edited by I1JQJ.
|06/01 - 06/22
06/01 - 07/14
06/06 - 06/20
06-09 - 06/19
06/12 - 06/21
06/15 - 06/20
06/15 - 06/30
06/16 - 06/20
06/17 - 06/24
06/21 - 07/01
06/22 - 07/07
06/25 - 10/31
06/27 - 07/27
06/28 - 07/07
07/01 - 07/06
07/01 - 07/07
07/16 - 07/30
07/24 - 07/28
Nosy-Be Island, Madagascar
|By K9HZ; 40-6m; CW, SSB, RTTY; QSL via K9HZ
Special Event - 100th Anniversary of the Tour de France
By DW2WO from Praia (AF-005, HK84fw); 40-10m; CW, SSB
By JH1NBN; mainly SSB; 100w; wires; spare time op
Special Event - Jesuit Ruins of Jesus and Trinidad 40-10m, CW, SSB
By ZS6RJ, from KG47ac; 80-10m; CW, RTTY; QSL via ZS6RJ
Special Event - FIFA Confederations Cup; 40-10m; CW, SSB, Digital
(NA-035) 10, 15, 20m; CW, SSB, EME
(OC-285) HF; visit: www.h44iota.com for details
By W6JKV; HF
By ND9M; from Diego Garcia, "Field Day style" op
40-10m (possibly some 50 MHz) Mainly CW, some SSB + PSK31
By EA4GBA; HF, mostly SSB
By VK3DAC; 80-10m; SSB (100W, dipole + vertical)
(EU-053) By ON5JT and others; HF; CW, SSB
(OC-100) By NR6M; HF; visit: www.h40iota.com for details
(AF-057) By IW2NEF; 10-40m
(NA-128) By CF2I Contest Group; HF
PSK-31 Code Gets ITU Official "Seal of Approval"
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
Telegraphic Alphabet for Data Communication by Phase Shift Keying at 31 Baud in the Amateur and Amateur Sayelite Services.
code behind the popular PSK-31 digital mode has now been officially
endorsed by the International Telecommunications Union and given its
own "recommendation" number. |
the journal of the Irish Radio Transmitting Society, reports that the
technical characteristics of "Varicode," developed by Peter Martinez,
G3PLX, in the 1990s and which serves as the underpinning of PSK-31, has
been enshrined by the ITU as Recommendation ITU-R M.2034,
CEO Dave Sumner, K1ZZ, says the primary value of the designation is
that it "provides further documentation in an important international
forum of radio amateurs' continuing creativity and contributions to the
art and science of radio communication" (Echo Ireland, March, 2013, 19).
In this issue, we'll take a closer look at some vintage QSL's from Clipperton Island, ranging from 1958-2000.
If you received an interesting one
yourself that you'd like to show off, please send a digital image to
[email protected] and we'll be sure to publish it in an upcoming issue.
FO0AAA - CW contacts on 20, 10, 12 and 17 meters March 2000 -
We all know about this Dxpedition from the DVD we watched
FO0XG - SSB with W2AO 10 meters March 1978
FO0XX - CW contact with W6BS 20 meters April 1985,
Clipperton ‘85 consisted of 16 operators, they traveled aboard the “Royal
Polaris” made nearly 31,000 QSO’s in 130 different countries during six days of
FO8AT - SSB and AM contacts with W1PFA 20 and 15 meters
August 1958. This is one of the first Dxpeditions we are aware of to the
island. Sponsored by the San Diego DX Club, the crew, 11 men and one woman,
were scientists who were put ashore to perform “IGY” studies. Shortly after
reaching shore, rains and extremely high winds arose, making immediate operation
impossible. Operation commenced on August 8 and continued through August 23.
Extreme weather conditions which existed during the entire stay on Clipperton
and “IGY” tasks limited operations.