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

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)

Massachusetts to Host USA ARDF Championships June 5-8

The USA ARDF (Amateur Radio Direction Finding) Championships return to the Northeast this year. ARRL ARDF Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV, said on-foot foxhunting fans of all skill levels will gather near Boston in early June for 4 days of intense competition. Registration to participate in the event has been extended to June 1.

Activities begin on Thursday, June 5 with a 10-transmitter short-course sprint competition on 80 meters. The following day is the foxoring event, a combination of RDF and classic orienteering on 80 meters in which participants navigate to marked locations on their maps where very low-power transmitters can be found nearby. Saturday morning will be the classic full-course 2 meter main event, with five transmitters in a very large forest. The banquet and awards presentation follow that evening. A similar full-course 80 meter main event takes place Sunday morning, with awards presented afterward.
ARDF champ Vadim Afonkin, KB1RLI, is this year’s lead organizer, event host, and course-planner.

National ARDF championships typically take place in late summer or early fall. This year, though, the ARDF World Championships will take place during early September, however. To provide plenty of time for selecting Team USA members and planning overseas travel, the 2014 USA ARDF Championships must take place 3 months before.

ARDF championship rules are set by the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). For scoring and awards, participants are divided into 11 age/gender categories. In classic ARDF championships, competitors start in small groups comprised of different categories.

The USA ARDF Championships are open to anyone who can safely navigate the woods solo. A ham radio license is not required. Each participant competes as an individual.

Stateside winners will be considered for membership in ARDF Team USA, which will travel to Kazakhstan for the 17th ARDF World Championships.

An online entry form and more information are available on the Boston ARDF website. Read more. — Thanks to Joe Moell, K0OV, ARRL Amateur Radio Direction Finding Coordinator

 

ARRL 10 Meter Contest This Weekend!

Hello Fellow HCRA Members,

This is a reminder that the 10 meter contest is this weekend and we will again be participating not only as individuals, but also as a club. The band has had some great openings over the last couple months, so there is some potential to see quite a bit of activity during the contest.

A couple of things to remember:

  • For HCRA to get credit for your score, you must have “Hampden County Radio Association” spelled out in the “CLUB” field in the cabrillio file you submit to ARRL after the contest (ex. CLUB: Hampden County Radio Association)
  • If you use ANY assistance (ie Cluster Network, Facebook, QRZ.com, Telephone, etc), you need to change your operating category to Multi-Single instead of Single-Op.
  • Work on setting up logging NOW and not 10 minutes before the contest.
  • READ THE RULES!!!  It can seem daunting, but they’re not too complicated, just detailed.  Knowing what to expect makes all the difference in the world.
  • If you don’t understand something, let us know and we’ll do our best to explain and help get you going.
  • DD gift cards will be awarded to anyone who scores over 100K.
  • HAVE FUN!  Don’t get hung up on the equipment that you have compared to what others are using or how everyone else is doing.  Just focus on your own operating and try to do better than the year before or if you’ve never operated in the contest, set a baseline to try to beat next year.  We do this because it’s fun!

When the contest is over, please send me your claimed score and QSO breakdown so we can update the HCRA page. Below are few useful links for more information. Again, don’t hesitate to ask questions if there is something you don’t understand. Also, if you need a place to operate or want to try HF for the first time, let us know and we might be able to find a station where you can guest op.

General Rules for all ARRL Contests:
http://www.arrl.org/general-rules-for-all-arrl-contests

10 meter contest rules in addition to the general rules:
http://www.arrl.org/10-meter

Contest basics for those new to contesting:
http://www.arrl.org/contest-basics

A deeper look into contesting:
http://www.arrl.org/contest-toolbox-tutorials

GL ES 73 DE W1MSW

HCRA Invades Agawam

T minus 4 days and counting.

Agawam residents should be on the look out for Amateur Radio operators.

They look like normal people, dress like normal people, but have a language all their own.

Some speak in code (CW), Some in Digital ( RTTY, PSK), Even the words they use(CQ, 59 WMA, 73).

Here is what we know about their movements for this weekend they call Field Day.

Starting with a healthy Breakfast at 8:00AM Friday Morning at Partners restaurant   485 Springfield St.

http://www.partnersrestaurant.com/ordereze/default.aspx

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Then its off to School street park to do the setup.
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As set up continues through out the day we will be breaking for lunch and dinner which will be left to the hired volunteer help on what they want to do.

(Note: VE session is the 28th)
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Some will stay and guard their precious aluminum that they have freshly planted and some will even stay overnight.

On Saturday morning they get going again with some coffee and other foods from the locals.  They will continue on the setup, do any last minute repairs, and do the testing.

If all is well at 2:00PM Saturday the festivities commence.  For the next 24 hours all that the residence of Agawam will hear is the hum of generators and people calling CQ or -.-. –.- Field day this is W1NY.

At 2:00 PM on Sunday all goes quiet.  Peace starts returning back to this little town as the Hams of HCRA disassemble the great flowers and return them to their collapsed state.

As things are put away neatly in the Storage trailer, people are saying goodby for the summer months  and will see every one again in the fall.

73 and Good Night

DE KB1NWH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HCRA Field Day makes local paper

FD

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Well looks like the advertising campaign for FD 2013 has gotten under way.  We also have gotten a pencil in visit from the mayor of Agawam.  Great bonuses this year.

 

Hope to get some more volunteers for this new setup and new location.  Should be more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

 

Ed

KB1NWH

Get ready for the New England QSO Party May 4th & 5th.

Tom/K1KI sent the message copied below. Please take a moment to read it and hopefully you will be QRV in NEQP this year. Don’t forget, HCRA sponsors a beautiful plaque for high score, single op, Hampden County. I’ll bet it would look nice on the wall in YOUR shack!

Here’s Tom’s message:

I hope everyone is thinking ahead to the New England QSO Party on May 4th and 5th.

The NEQP is a great time to check out antenna systems and radios outside of the major contests.  Plus – the focus will be working you.   Activity is usually very good – there’s also the Italian DX contest the same weekend, the on Saturday you’ll be able to catch all of the W7 multipliers in the 7QP.

We’re working to make sure that all of the New England counties are active again this year and would appreciate your help.  Get on for at least an hour or two and join in on the fun.  Please let me know if you can put in any time at all so we can work on activity from the rarest counties.

Oh yes, the NEQP is also lots of fun when mobile.  Every time you cross a county line the pileup starts over again.   It’s amazing what a 100w radio and mobile whip can do.

The contest is 20 hours long overall, in two sections with a civilized break for sleep Saturday night.  It goes from 4pm Saturday until 1am Sunday, then 9am Sunday until 8pm Sunday.
Last year we had logs from more than 50 YCCCers – and 400+ other stations.  You’ll find that many of the participants will turn into future big gun contesters aftere\ they figure it all out!

Full rules are here ->  http://www.neqp.org/rules.html

The last eleven year’s worth of results are here ->  http://www.neqp.org/results.html

See if you can set a record or two!

Will you be QRV?

   73 Tom/K1KI

WN1E brings home the HCRA Plaque for NEQP 2012!

Putting in a major effort last year Dave ‘brings home the gold‘ (or at least the plaque) for High Score, Single Operator in Hampden County. Battling it out with eleven other entries Dave’s 31,850 points almost doubled the next closest score of the W1NY club call operated by Ed/KB1NWH. Here’s Dave’s soapbox comment:

WN1E – Had a great time doing the contest this year.  Decided to put more effort into making cw contacts.  This really helped with the final score, and I was glad I put in the effort.  Thanks to all who were patient with me on the cw side.

Well said Dave and we hope you have a nice spot on the wall for your plaque!

Other HCRA highlights from last year’s NEQP:

1. HCRA came in fourth in the club competition. If you look at club logs submitted we came in third. Nice work folks.

2. HCRA’s WB1Z team achieved fourth place in the multi-single category. Operating from AA1YW’s vacation home in Vermont Dave/AA1YW, Matt/W1MSW, Frandy/N1FJ and Jim/KK1W racked up 120,428 points also landing them the highest score in Vermont.

3. The WB1Z team won the New England County Expedition Award.

Click here to see all the results from NEQP 2012. How did your score stack up?

What are your plans for NEQP 2013? It’s easy, it’s fun and since the contest takes a night time break from 1:00 AM to 9:00 AM Sunday morning you can actually get some sleep too! Take a few moments out of your busy schedule, get on the air and hand out some New England QSO’s. Like Matt/W1MSW said at Friday’s meeting, “we’re the DX for a change and other stations will be looking for us”. Click here to read the rules for this year’s contest.

Good luck and imagine how nice that HCRA plaque will look in your shack!

Jim/KK1W

CONTESTS 26 September through 9 October

 

CONTESTS

26 September through 9 October

An expanded, downloadable version of QST’s Contest Corral in PDF format is available. Check the sponsor’s Web site for information on operating time restrictions and other instructions.

HF CONTESTS

SKCC Straight Key Sprint–CW from Sep 26, 0000Z to Sep 26, 0200Z. Monthly on the 4th Wednesday UTC. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28, 50. Exchange: RST, QTH, name, SKCC nr or power. Logs due: 5 days. Rules

CQ WW RTTY Contest–Digital from Sep 29, 0000Z to Sep 30, 2400Z. Bands (MHz): 3.5-28. Exchange: RST, CQ zone and State/VE area (US/VE). Logs due: Nov 1. Rules

Texas QSO Party–Phone,CW,Digital from Sep 29, 1400Z (multiple operating periods, see website). Bands (MHz): 1.8-28, 50,144, Frequencies (MHz): CW–20 to 50 kHz above band edge; Phone–25 kHz above edge of General segment. Exchange: RS(T), county or S/P/C. Logs due: Oct 31. Rules

ARS Spartan Sprint–CW from Oct 2, 0200Z to Oct 2, 0400Z. Monthly on the first Monday evening local time. Bands (MHz): 3.5-28. Exchange: RST, S/P/C, and power. Logs due: 2 days. Rules

OK1WC Memorial Contest–Phone,CW from Oct 2, 1600Z (see website). First through fourth Monday of each month. Bands (MHz): 3.5, 50, 144, see website for bands. Exchange: RS(T) and serial. Logs due: 7 days. Rules http://www.hamradio.cz/ok1wc

SNS and NS Weekly Sprints–CW,Digital from Oct 5, 0200Z to Oct 5, 0300Z. Weekly on Thursday evenings local time. Bands (MHz): 1.8-14. Exchange: Serial, name, and S/P/C. Logs due: 2 days. Rules

DX/NA YLRL Anniversary Party–Phone,CW,Digital from Oct 5, 1400Z to Oct 7, 0200Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28. Exchange: Serial, RST, and section/province/country. Logs due: 30 days. Rules

PSK Rumble – The Fall Classic–Digital from Oct 6, 0000Z to Oct 6, 2400Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28, 50. Exchange: Name and call area (see website). Logs due: Oct 31. Rules

Worked All Provinces of China–Phone,CW from Oct 6, 0000Z to Oct 6, 2359Z. Bands (MHz): 3.5-28. Exchange: RS(T) and serial or province abbreviation. Logs due: Oct 31. Rules

EPC Russia DX Contest–Digital from Oct 6, 0400Z to Oct 7, 0359Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28. Exchange: EPC member nr or serial and grid square. Logs due: Oct 22. Rules

Oceania DX Phone Contest–Phone from Oct 6, 0800Z to Oct 7, 0800Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28. Exchange: RS and serial. Logs due: Nov 7. Rules

Worked All Britain HF Contest–Phone from Oct 6, 1200Z to Oct 7, 1200Z. Bands (MHz): 14-28. Exchange: RS, serial, DXCC entity or WAB area. Logs due: Oct 28. Rules

California QSO Party–Phone,CW from Oct 6, 1600Z to Oct 7, 2200Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28, 50,144. Exchange: Serial and state/prov/”DX” or CA county. Logs due: Oct 31. Rules

EU Autumn Sprint–Phone from Oct 6, 1600Z to Oct 6, 1959Z. Bands (MHz): 3.5-14. Exchange: Both call signs, serial, name. Logs due: 15 days. Rules

RSGB 21/28 MHz Contest–Phone,CW from Oct 7, 0700Z to Oct 7, 1900Z. Bands (MHz): 21,28. Exchange: Serial and UK district. Logs due: Oct 22. Rules

VHF+ CONTESTS

ARRL EME Contest–Phone,CW,Digital from Oct 6, 0000Z to Oct 7, 2359Z. Bands (MHz): 2.3G+. Exchange: Call signs, sig rpt, acknowledgement. Logs due: Jan 1. Rules


902 MHz Fall VHF Sprint–Phone,CW,Digital from Sep 29, 7 AM to Sep 29, 1 PM. Bands (MHz): 902+. Exchange: 6-character grid locator. Logs due: 4 weeks. Rules

432 MHz Fall VHF Sprint–Phone,CW,Digital from Oct 3, 7 PM to Oct 3, 11 PM. Bands (MHz): 432. Exchange: 4-character grid square. Logs due: 4 weeks. Rules

Texas QSO Party–Phone,CW,Digital from Sep 29, 1400Z (multiple operating periods, see website). Bands (MHz): 1.8-28, 50,144, Frequencies (MHz): CW–20 to 50 kHz above band edge; Phone–25 kHz above edge of General segment. Exchange: RS(T), county or S/P/C. Logs due: Oct 31. Rules

OK1WC Memorial Contest–Phone,CW from Oct 2, 1600Z (see website). First through fourth Monday of each month. Bands (MHz): 3.5, 50, 144, see website for bands. Exchange: RS(T) and serial. Logs due: 7 days. Rules

PSK Rumble – The Fall Classic–Digital from Oct 6, 0000Z to Oct 6, 2400Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28, 50. Exchange: Name and call area (see website). Logs due: Oct 31. Rules

California QSO Party–Phone,CW from Oct 6, 1600Z to Oct 7, 2200Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28, 50,144. Exchange: Serial and state/prov/”DX” or CA county. Logs due: Oct 31. Rules

LOG DUE DATES

26 September through 9 October