VLF Contest Announcement

HCRA & SOTA Jerks
VLF Competition

VLF Bandscope

 

As you know the FCC has recently approved amateur radio use on the VLF (Very Low Frequency) bands starting September 15th, 2017. These bands are 135.7 to 135.8 kHZ (2,200 meters) and 472 to 479 kHz (630 meters). More information can be found about the authorization and bands by clicking the links.

It’s unlikely anyone will be using these bands for a SOTA activation but nevertheless the SOTA Jerks have proposed a QSO competition to spark interest in the new allocations. Our two clubs have gathered together $100 to award the winner of the competition. In the spirit of keeping things simple we’ve made the rules easy to follow. It’s up to you, the station builder/operators to do the heavy lifting on this one!

Rules:

  1. Eligibility
    1. All participants must be hold the proper license and permissions to use the VLF bands.
      1. Bands are open to General and above and permission must be secured by applying to UTC.
    2. All participants must be a member in good standing in either club.
    3. No participant shall have held an experimental license for these bands. We are looking for new folks to give VLF a try
  2. Contest Period
    1. Contest starts October 15th, 2017 at 0000z
    2. Contest ends March 15th, 2018 at 2359z
    3. Winner will be announced at HCRA’s April 6th 2018 meeting
  3. Bands
    1. 630 or 2,200 meters only
  4. Mode
    1. Any mode authorized for 630m or 2,200m
  5. Prize
    1. The winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to DX Engineering
  6. Selection criteria
    1. The winner is the operator with the longest distance, confirmed QSO.
      1. Distance determined by Latitude/Longitude of each station.
        1. Here’s a handy on-line calculator: https://www.mapdevelopers.com/distance_from_to.php
      2. Confirmation Proof by LotW or card only
      3. All entries must contain proof of confirmation and the distance calculated between the two stations.
      4. In the event of a tie a drawing will be held to determine the winner.
  1. Entry Requirements
    1. Submit your longest confirmed QSO to Jim Mullen via email or USPS by March 15th 2018
      1. Email: kk1w.jim@gmail.com or USPS to 144 Tower Hill Rd, Brimfield, MA 01010
        1. Enclose an SASE for return of any submitted cards

That’s all there is to it. As of this writing there are at least two transceivers that can be used without modification on VLF frequencies: Kenwood TS590 and Elecraft K3s. The Elecraft K3 can be modified to use these bands. Transverter kits for VLF are available, here’s one for under $100.

VLF Transverter Kit

These bands are more like our AM broadcast bands (think WHYN-AM 560) than traditional bands. Antenna size and power levels are limited so it shouldn’t cost a lot to be QRV on either of the bands. It will take some ingenuity and good ole’ ham ‘experimentation and modification’, which is exactly what amateur radio is all about.

There are many blogs on the web about VLF and the new bands. Here’s one from AE5X to get you started. These bands can be really interesting once you start digging a little deeper. Your efforts represent the start of a new ham radio frontier!

 

Good luck and may the longest QSO win!

’73…
HCRA and SOTA Jerks

Slides and Information from HCRA’s Contest University

Did you miss HCRA’s contest university that was part of our “Share The Knowledge” seris this past fall? No problem! We’ve uploaded the slides from our presentations. Also included are links to sites and software that was mentioned during the class

Click Here For The PDF (.pdf) of “HCRA Introduction To Contesting”
Click Here For The Powerpoint (.pptx) of “HCRA Introduction To Contesting”

Click Here For The PDF (.pdf) of “Small Station – Bang For The Buck”
Click Here For The Powerpoint (.pptx) of “Small Station – Band For The Buck”

Here are some notable links that were mention during the presentation

Software
N1MM Logger Plus – Commonly used software by HCRA members (Free)
Wintest – Another popular software (50eu)
N3FJP – Popular contest software ($10USD-$70USD)

Other Links
WA7BNM Contest Calendar – Find out about upcoming contests
VOAcap Online – Excellent propagation prediction website
N1MM Tips and Tricks – Make use of N1MM easier and could get higher scores
YCCC – Yankee Clipper Contest Club – New England base contesting club
NEQP – New England QSO party

HCRA Contest University – Slides And Links

Thanks to all who attended HCRA Contest University. Hopefully it was beneficial. Here are the slides (in PDF format) and notable links.

HCRA – Introduction To Contesting Presentation

HCRA – Small station Bang For The Buck Presentation

VOAcap Online – Propagation Prediction Website/Software
Contest Calendar – Upcoming Contest Schedule
3830 Scores – Study your colleagues
CQcontest.net – Live contest scores

HCRA Is Now On Club Log

HCRA is now listed as a club on ClubLog.org. This allows HCRA members who use clublog to see how they rank against other HCRA members in DXCC standings. HCRA could also compete with other clubs. This could create friendly competition  within the club as well as with other clubs. It can also benefit knowing that if your fellow club member made contact with a certain DX entity, that it could be possible for you as well.

If you are a HCRA who uses electronic QSL services such as LoTW, QRZ.com and eQSL.cc then it would be stongly suggest that you create an account at clublog.org, upload your logs and join the HCRA club on ClubLog to see where you stand.

If you are a ClubLog member and would like to Join the HCRA League, please do the following

1: Go to Clublog.Org and Sign In.

ClubLog1If you do not have an account, you can sign up for free and upload a log. Please follow the instructions on ClubLog.org

2: Once you’re signed in, Click Settings

ClubLog2

 

Located on top of the page, Click on the Setting Link

3: Click on the “Clubs” Link/Button located near the top of the page

ClubLog3

4: Look for “HCRA – Hampden County Amateur Radio Association”: in the list, Highlight it and click the “Join Club(s)” button under the list

ClubLog4

 

Please note that members have to be manually added to the club to prevent random people from joining in. Once approved you should be able to view your standings.

ClubLog6On the left side of the page, please click “DXCC Leagues” then choose HCRA from the dropdown list and then click “Generate DXCC League” button. You should now be able to see standings from all HCRA members that are participating on ClubLog. Please note that if you don’t see your callsign right away, don’t worry. Sometimes it takes a day for the lists to repopulate on the server which we have no control over.

Thanks for Participating!

 

 

Conditions Look Good for ARRL 10 Meter Contest December 13-14

Always a favorite among serious and casual contesters alike, the 2014 ARRL 10 Meter Contest may enjoy excellent worldwide openings, plus a record number of participants! Activity in the CQ World Wide CW contest in late November was through the roof, with some operators reporting better 10 meter conditions than they could ever remember.

“Don’t miss out on this opportunity to work the world, before the Sun works its way back into a slumber,” ARRL Contest Branch Manager Matt Wilhelm, W1MSW, urged.

There are a few new twists this year. Single Operator stations using assistance will no longer be categorized as Multioperator entries. Also, nine new Unlimited categories have been added: Single Operator QRP, Low Power, and High Power CW Only, Phone Only, or Mixed Mode.

Single or Multioperator stations may operate for up to 36 hours. Technicians have phone privileges from 28.300 to 28.500 MHz, so operators new to contesting, or even to HF operating, can take part.

All stations will send a signal report as part of the contest exchange. Stations in the US (including Alaska and Hawaii), Canada, and Mexico will send their state or province abbreviations as part of the exchange; stations in the District of Columbia stations will send “DC.” DX stations (including KH2, KP4, etc) will also send a sequential serial number starting with 001.

The 2014 ARRL 10 Meter Contest gets underway at 0000 UTC on Saturday, December 13 (Friday, December 12, in US time zones). It concludes at 2359 UTC on Sunday, December 14. Logs should be e-mailed or postmarked by 0000 UTC Wednesday, January 14, 2014. Mail paper logs to ARRL 10 Meter Contest, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111.

(Copied from ARRL newsletter)

New catagories for teh ARRL 10 meter and 160 meter contest.

This December’s ARRL 160 Meter and 10 Meter Contests complete the addition of new Single-Op Unlimited categories. All three power sub-categories: High Power, Low Power, and QRP are available. This means stations using spotting information will no longer be assigned to the Multioperator category. It also means there are quite a number of new records that will be set in December! Will your score be one of them?

(Snipped from the ARRL news letter)

DX Bulletin 39

QST de W1AW
DX Bulletin 39 ARLD039
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT September 25, 2014
To all radio amateurs

SB DX ARL ARLD039
ARLD039 DX news

This week’s bulletin was made possible with information provided by HA3JB, ZL4PW, the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News, The Daily DX, DXNL, Contest Corral from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites. Thanks to all.

VIET NAM, 3W. Bruce is QRV as 3W3B from Da Nang on the HF bands using CW and RTTY. This includes an entry in the CQ World Wide RTTY DX contest. QSL via E21EIC.

BHUTAN, A5. Operators Pekka, OH2YY and Pekka, OH1TV are QRV as A52O from Paro until October 2. Activity is on the HF bands with two stations using CW and SSB. QSL via OH2YY.

CHINA, BY. Operators Zhang, BA3AX, Wang, BA3CE and Lu, BD3AEO will be QRV as BA3AX/2, BA3CE/2 and BD3AEO/2, respectively, from Juhua Island, IOTA AS-151, from October 2 to 5. Activity will be on 20 to 10 meters. QSL via BA3AX.

NAURU, C2. Stan, LZ1GC will be QRV as C21GC from September 28 to October 14. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL to home call.

ANDORRA, C3. Members of the Unio de Radioaficionats Andorrans will be QRV as C37NL in the CQ World Wide RTTY DX contest. QSL via C37URA.

BAHAMAS, C6. Phil, G3SWH will be QRV as C6AYS from New Providence Island, IOTA NA-001, from September 30 to October 10. QSL to home call.

SOUTH COOK ISLANDS, E5. Operators Mathias, DJ2HD and Gerd, DJ5IW will be QRV as E51HDJ and E51XIW, respectively, from Rarotonga, IOTA OC-013, from September 30 to October 6. Activity will be holiday style on the HF bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL to home calls.

CANARY ISLANDS, EA8. Members of the Union de Radioaficionados Espanoles plan to be QRV as EF8U in the CQ World Wide RTTY DX contest. QSL via operators’ instructions.

JERSEY, GJ. Kazu, M0CFW is QRV as MJ5Z and plans to be active in the CQ World Wide RTTY DX contest as a Single Op/All Band/Low Power entry. Before and after the contest he is active as MJ0CFW. QSL both calls to home call.

LUXEMBOURG, LX. Operator LX7I will be QRV in the CQ World Wide RTTY DX contest as a Multi Op entry. QSL via LX2A.

ARUBA, P4. Al, W6HGF is QRV as P4/W6HGF until October 1. He plans to be active as P40HF in the CQ World Wide RTTY DX contest.
Otherwise, he’ll be active as P4/W6HGF. QSL both calls to home call.

SABA, ST. EUSTATIUS, PJ5. David, OK6DJ, Petr, OK1FCJ and Pavel, OK1FPS are QRV as PJ5/home calls from Sint Eustatius, IOTA NA-145, until October 3. Activity is on 160 to 10 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY and other digital modes with up to three stations active. This includes an entry in the CQ World Wide RTTY DX contest. QSL via operators’ instructions.

INDONESIA, YB. Members of the Orari Daerah Jawa Tengah Contesting Team will be QRV as YE2C in the CQ World Wide RTTY DX contest as a Multi/Single entry. QSL via operators’ instructions. In addition, Gab, HA3JB is QRV as YB9/HA3JB as part of the International Police Association Expedition until October 7. Activity is on the HF bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. This includes an entry in the CQ World Wide RTTY DX contest. QSL to home call.

VANUATU, YJ. Members of the Quake Contesters will be QRV as YJ0X from October 3 to 15. Activity will be on the HF bands, including 6 meters, with two stations using CW, SSB and RTTY. This includes an entry in the upcoming Oceania DX contest. QSL via ZL3PAH.

ALBANIA, ZA. R.C. Nikola Tesla club members Igor, Z32ID, Mome, Z32ZM, Oz, Z35T and Venco, Z36W will be QRV as ZA/Z35T in the CQ World Wide RTTY DX contest. Outside the contest they are active on the newer bands. QSL via operators’ instructions.

SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS. W1AW Centennial Stations W1AW/5 in New Mexico and W1AW/7 in Idaho are QRV until 2359z on September 30. In addition, W1AW/KL7 in Alaska, W1AW/6 in California and W1AW/3 in the District of Columbia will be QRV starting at 0000z on October 1.
They will be active until 2359z on October 7.

THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO. The CQ Worldwide RTTY DX Contest, NCCC RTTY Sprint Ladder, NCCC Sprint, AGCW VHF/UHF CW Contest, Texas QSO Party, UBA ON 6-Meter Contest and the Peanut Power QRP Sprint are all on tap for this upcoming weekend. The 222 MHz Fall Sprint is scheduled for September 30. The CWops Mini-CWT Test is scheduled for October 1. Please see September QST, page 81, and the ARRL and WA7BNM contest web sites for details.

(Copied from an E-Mail sent by the ARRL)

Weekly ARRL DX news

QST de W1AW
DX Bulletin 38 ARLD038
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT September 18, 2014
To all radio amateurs

SB DX ARL ARLD038
ARLD038 DX news

This week’s bulletin was made possible with information provided by I3VJW, the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News, The Daily DX, DXNL, Contest Corral from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites.
Thanks to all.

TIMOR-LESTE, 4W. Sei, JA7LU and Hiro, JA2VWG will be QRV as 4W6LU and 4W6DD, respectively, from Dili, IOTA OC-148, from September 22 to 29. Activity will be on 40 to 6 meters using SSB and RTTY. QSL direct to home calls.

CROATIA, 9A. Ede, HA5BWW, Pista, HA5AUC and Karl, HA7PC will be QRV as 9A/home calls from Rab Island, IOTA EU-136, from September 22 to 29. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW and SSB. QSL to home calls. In addition, a group of operators are QRV as 9A/IQ3VO from the Lighthouse Porer-Pula Croatia, ARLHS CRO-014, until September 21. Activity is on 80 to 6 meters with two stations using CW, SSB, RTTY, PSK31, JT65A and EME. QSL direct to IQ3VO.

KUWAIT, 9K. To celebrate the naming by the UN of Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah as a Global Humanitarian Leader, special event station 9K9GHL is QRV until October 6. QSL via 9K2QA.

FRANCE, F. Special event station TM89IARU will be QRV from September 20 to 29 to celebrate the IARU’s 89th anniversary. QSL via F6KMF.

ITALY, I. Bob, OK2BOB will be QRV as IA5/OK2BOB from Giglio Island, IOTA EU-028, from September 21 to 28. Activity will be holiday style mostly on the newer bands using CW and SSB. QSL to home call.

BULGARIA, LZ. Special event station LZ14IARU will be QRV from September 20 to 27 during the IARU Region 1 conference in Albena.
QSL via bureau.

BELGIUM, ON. Special event station OT703CCF will be QRV on September 21 and 22 to celebrate the 70th anniversary for the freedom of the Farciennes City. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW, SSB and PSK31. QSL via ON4CPN.

SABA, ST. EUSTATIUS, PJ5. David, OK6DJ, Petr, OK1FCJ and Pavel, OK1FPS will be QRV as PJ5/home calls from Sint Eustatius, IOTA NA-145, from September 21 to October 3. Activity will be on 160 to 10 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY and other digital modes with up to three stations active. This includes an entry in the upcoming CQ World Wide RTTY DX contest. QSL via operators’ instructions.

ST. MAARTEN, PJ7. Ed, WA1ZAM will be QRV as PJ7PL from the Royal Palm Beach Resort in Cole Bay, IOTA NA-105, from September 21 to October 15. Activity is holiday style on the HF bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. This includes being an entry in the upcoming CQ World Wide RTTY DX contest. QSL direct to home call.

SEYCHELLES, S7. Chris, HB9LCA will be QRV as S79LCA from La Digue from September 22 to 27. Activity will be on 40 to 6 meters using mostly CW. QSL to home call.

DODECANESE, SV5. Fred, PA1FJ is QRV as SV5/PA1FJ/p from Karpathos Island, IOTA EU-001, until September 27. Activity is on the HF bands using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL to home call.

GABON, TR. Alain, F6CTL is QRV as TR8CA. His length of stay is unknown. QSL via F6CBC.

BENIN, TY. A group of operators are QRV as TY1AA until September 26. Activity is on the HF bands. QSL direct via I2YSB.

CHRISTMAS ISLANDS, VK9X. Rob, N7QT and Melanie, AB1UH are QRV as VK9AN until October 2. Activity is on 80 to 10 meters using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL via N7QT.

ASCENSION ISLAND, ZD8. Bob, G4DBW will be QRV as ZD8RH from Georgetown, IOTA AF-003, from September 22 to 30. Activity will be mainly on the HF bands using CW. This includes being an entry in the upcoming CQ World Wide RTTY DX contest. QSL to home call.

SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS. W1AW Centennial Stations W1AW/1 in Connecticut and W1AW/4 in North Carolina are QRV until 2359z on September 23. In addition, W1AW/5 in New Mexico and W1AW/7 in Idaho will be QRV starting at 0000z on September 24. They will be active until 2359z on September 30.

THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO. ARRL 10 GHz and Up Contest, NCCC RTTY Sprint Ladder, NCCC Sprint, AGB NEMIGA Contest, Pirate QSO Party, Scandinavian Activity CW Contest, Feld Hell Sprint, QRP Afield, Washington State Salmon Run, and BARTG Sprint 75 are all on tap for this weekend. The 144 MHz Fall Sprint and Run for the Bacon QRP CW Contest are scheduled for September 22. The CWops Mini-CWT CW Test and SKCC CW Sprint are scheduled for September 24. Please see September QST, page 81, and the ARRL and WA7BNM contest web sites for details.

This was clipped from and E-Mail that I recieved

WRTC 2014 Results and HCRA/WRTC Trivia

The scores are out! They can be found on the WRTC2104 web page. But here’s the really cool stuff.

We hosted four teams at Medfield State Hospital. Medfield was site 8 and the stations were 8A through 8D. Here’s the results from ‘our’ teams:

8A: K1M – IK1JHS & I4UFH – Won the SSB mode, placed 58th!

8B: N1A – DL1QQ & DL8DYL – The first YL WRTC team – placed 26th

8C: W1R – OH2BH & OH2MM – Sponsored by Azores Travel, placed 50th

8D: W1M – 4O3A & HA1AG – Placed 15th, our highest scoring team

Some of our team members held 1×1 calls for the event:

K1S: held by Don/KB5VP for the 12th placed W2SC team
N1P: held by Jim/KK1W for the 51st placed CX6VM team
N1Q: held by Dave/AA1YW was unassigned
N1R: held by Steve/N1SR for the 22nd placed UA3DPX team
W1H: held by Brian/K1LI was unassigned

About a 1/2 hour before the contest started I4UFH’s power supply cable broke for his iMac. One couldn’t be found quickly and they were scrambling for a computer. John/Kx1x came up with a Window’s laptop and within ten minutes the software was loaded and configured and Fabio was QRV when the opening bell rang! How cool is that?

Al/KB1XG was an official WRTC2014 videographer, we can’t wait to see some of his shots in the videos.

Rich/N1KXR was night security and roaming driver/helper from Wednesday through Saturday.

Nick/K1MAZ made many trips to town for team and competitor supplies.

Mary/KB1ME was the unofficial photographer for the DL1QQ team.

HCRA fielded 28 volunteers over the five day period. The weather was beautiful but the hot summer sun made the afternoons grueling, even with the low humidity. We drank plenty of water and used almost as much sun screen.

We serviced two cars with dead batteries (N1SR and W3SM) and changed one flat tire (KB1XG)

As far as I know, even though we spent four nights there, no ghosts were noticed haunting the Medfield complex.

Thanks to everyone who volunteered for this seventh running of WRTC. Everyone worked hard and created an outstanding experience for the teams we hosted. All competitors said they felt welcomed and appreciated by all we did for them.

What a great showing for the HCRA/WRTC volunteers!

Helpful DXlabs Tip #2156.572

Want to play in the ARRl Centennial QSO Party and work the W1AW/? stations? Every week they are in two different states. It’s easy using SpotCollettor.

Simply program one of the eight SQL buttons to do the hard work for you. Never done it before, here’s an example using the “SQL 1” button:

1. Hold down the <CNTL> key, then left click the button labeled SQL 1 in the SpotCollector screen.
2. A new window will open called SpotCollector SQL Filter
3. On line 1, in the ‘Caption’ field type W1AW (or whatever you want the button to say that makes sense to you).
4. In the “SQL” Field enter, Callsign LIKE’W1AW/?’ (The ? after the slash means you will get ANY listing of W1AW/x. Tonight /3 and /0 are listed.
5. Close the SpotCollector SQL Filter Window

Now in the SpotCollector main window click the new W1AW button you created. Yahoo, if you’ve done it right you will be rewarded with a listing of all W1AW/x stations SpotCollector has heard. That’s the easy part, now go work them!

Be careful, those are single quotes -‘- before the W in W1AW and after the question mark, not double quotes -“-. If you make a mistake don’t fret, simply go back to the SQL window and fix your expression. Want to try some other ones, click on the ‘Help’ button in SpotCollector. When the help screen opens scroll down and click on the  “Filtering with SQL Expressions” link. Dave has given us a lot of examples to try.

While you’re doing this take a moment to marvel at the power of DXlabs Suite, the fact that it’s available to everyone for free and the tremendous support the author Dave/AA6YQ provides. If you like it, drop him a note of thanks or even better post a positive review on eHam.

Haven’t tried DXlabs? Here ya go, download it and have fun:

http://www.dxlabsuite.com/

Only 48more states to go….

Jim/KK1W