Tuesday, June 15, 2010

News from A.R.S. KD8JHJ

This Past Sunday I participated in the June SKCC Week End Sprint.  I operated in three different sessions because I had allot going on over the weekend.  The sprint started at 00:00 hours Sunday which is actually Saturday night 7:00PM local time.  I used  the Vibroplex Original with my homebrew bugtamer and made a few contacts before thunderstorms moved into the area.  Sunday morning I got up early and operated for an hour or so while having coffee.  I did not get back on the air until evening for the last few hours of the sprint.  For this last session I used my Straight key and managed to send perfect copy for the last five or six contacts logged. 
I have been using the European style of sending with my straight key and have grown to like this method best.  European style sending requires that the operator's hand and arm touch nothing but the key knob.  With American style the operator's wrist is usually resting on the table and the pivot point is the wrist.  I think these styles may have been influenced by the evolution of key designs in different parts of the world.  The Thomas Edison patent key and the popular U.S. J-38 straight keys are small and flat with a flat knob.  They lend themselves well to arm on the desk sending while the early European keys were large  long lever keys that respond well with the whole arm getting in to the action. 

Here is a list of the stations I worked during the June WES. 

  1. K2RFP  Dick - New York 

  2. N2JNZ  George - New York

  3. N0UMP  Bill - Missouri

  4. WA1AR  Alan - Massachusetts

  5. KA5VZG  Alan - Tennessee

  6. WD4SCZ  Emil - Kentucky

  7. KA0RJY  Reg - Minnesota

  8. K2EGJ  Ed - New York

  9. KO7X  Alan - Wyoming

  10. W3NP  Dave - West Virginia

  11. W9DLN  Dan - Wisconsin

  12. W2DEC  Urb - New Jersey

  13. K0LUW  Russ - Nebraska

  14. KB1OIQ/QRP  Andy - Massachusetts *

  15.  W4CUX  Bill - Georgia

  16. W0MSM  Mark - Missouri

  17. KB2RAW  Bill - New York

  18. NV9X  Jim - Illinois

  19. WB2UWU  Finn - New York

  20. VE3CWU  Bob - Ontario Canada
*Andy was running 3 watts from a QRP transmitter kit he had just finished building himself.

Although I had no aspirations of placing high in the contest I had a great time giving out contacts and even worked some new club members.  Since I joined the Straight Key Century Club a bit over a year ago there are 1,974 new members bringing the total for the club to 6,851 members.  It is nice to see a few of the newer members coming out to participate in the club sprints.


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  2. Sounds like fun. Noticed that your contacts were all "Back East". Any Reason, that I should know about? Being here in Arizona, think that's WEST, will I be limited to contacts on the West Coast? Hope not!

  3. Hi Norm
    Something I recently learned about dipole antennas- Until the antenna is at least a half-wave length high it will behave in an omnidirectional fashion. I have noticed this to be true with my own antenna system. Stations off the end of the wire are just as loud as stations located at right angles to the wire. My antenna is up 30 ft at the feed end and slopes gradually to about 25 feet. Since my antenna is only up 30 feet and not 66 feet (1/2 wave on 40 meters) I'm confident that my observations prove the theory correct. At 60 feet up the signals coming in at 90 degrees to the orientation of the wire would be much stronger than off the ends.

    This leads to your question. Since my wire is lower to the ground I think it has a higher angle of radiation. NVIS I think it's called. Signals heading up to the ionosphere at steeper angles will reflect back down to earth at an equal angle resulting in a shorter "skip". I notice that I have great coverage out to about a 1000 mile radius from my QTH. Not that my signals are not going any furthur. On Tuesday night about 11:00 pm Eastern I worked AB7KT Ken in Pahrump, Nevada on 30 meters using 40 watts CW.

    I'm no expert and only been at the ham game for a short time but antenna theory is interesting and I have been reading trying to get my head around it.

  4. I remember Pahrump, from when I worked and Lived in Las Vegas. There is no doubt that that's out WEST.