Christmas Dinner 2014
Below are some pictures from the 2013 Christmas Dinner party, compliments of Joe.
Christmas Dinner 2013
Below are some pictures from the 2013 Christmas Dinner party, compliments of Paul.
MVDX/CC Members Attend the Midwest Division Convention • 2013
Pictured below: Ward, NØAX & Glenn, WØGJ
Pictured below: Bill, KØDEQ; Paul, KØJPL & John, K2VV
Pictured below: Paul, KØJPL at W1AW/Ø
Pictured below: Bruce, KØBJ; Paul, KØJPL & Dave, K1ZZ
Pictured below: Bill, KØDEQ & Paul, KØJPL
Pictured below: Mike, WBØSND at W1AW/Ø
Recent Happenings with MVDXCC/SWMO Hogs
One of our SW Hogs Kent N0IRM placed well in the CQ WW. N0IRM 1,098,880, 999, 108, 296 • 7th in the Zero call district in AA category. Kent says he could have done better but he took too many breaks.
We have another young ham Tony Kennedy who is not a SW HOG at the moment but will be I am positive. Tony passed his Extra with us late last year and has been active chasing DX and Contesting. He is stuck with wire antennas and 100 watts for the time being but a tower, beam and some other goodies are in hand are almost ready for install. Tony was #2 in the Rookie round up in the Zero district and placed #7 overall. The SW HOGS are cultivating him as best we can. He doesn't need any push so we give him all the help we can. I will have him signed up as a SW HOG by next year for sure. His call is KD0TSX. He is also on the air
Another young ham Zack KD0COR is running CW now up to 15 WPM , on 7105 kHz (more details to come), and will be hosting a slow speed net in this area for some of the other guys working on their CW. Zack also has a tower and beam in hand and will have it going when time is available. He uses vintage gear or current gear and is getting more excited about working DX. Zack is currently
73 • Mike, K0AZ
KMØDX on CQ WPX SSB
I operated KM0DX in the CQ WPX SSB contest, and made 810 QSOs, 1512 points, 431 mults for a total score of 651K points. This was not my all-time high, which was 868 Q’s and 756K points in 1982. But the early 80’s were the contesting “glory years”, where we would start the contests on 10M with an initial run of 100+ QSOs with JA’s. Contrast to this year when I made no QSOs with JA on any band, and propagation to EU was limited.
I spent a lot of time calling CQ, and as expected, the KM0 prefix was in demand. I had a couple of good runs, 97 stations in 58 min on 40, and 78 stations in 62 minutes on 15. I worked locals K0JPL, W0NFS, W0FK, W0NBC and W0NZG. Thanks for the points!
Here are club DXCC totals before and after the contest (these are DXCC countries worked, but not necessarily confirmed):
I had good openings to W7 in most of my CQ runs, but I did not hear my friend KN7T, nor did I work that prefix. I was hoping he was QRV and would call in so we could chat a bit.
Eric – W0TT
Howdy from Joe’s Place • “Sun Control”
Sun Control has recently taken a back seat to what some consider “more news-worthy” items. Capitol Hill seems to have given it the hands-off treatment too, although I suspect it’s a hot topic behind closed doors.
Lobbyists from the NRA (National Radio Association) have raised concerns that efforts to limit the sun’s effects on the earth and its ionosphere will greatly reduce the propagation of radio waves over long distances. Some have even suggested that experiments with Sun Control have already begun and point to the very low SFI (Solar Flux Index) levels of the current solar cycle.
Alaskan and Canadian travel agents are protesting also, pointing out that travel packages advertised as “Come See the Northern Lights” have had to be canceled, resulting in lost revenues and even refunds to their pre-paid customers.
Some of the scientific community has weighed in saying that Sun Control will have a drastic effect on global warming. A spokesman for Global Research and Sun Study (GRASS) stated that “Reducing the sun’s effects will speed-up environmental warming.”
Proponents of Sun Control maintain that limiting the sun’s harmful rays will greatly reduce skin cancer and other epidural conditions. Car makers and home builders are confident that Sun Control will greatly extend the lives of car finishes, exterior paints, and roofing materials.
Strange bed-fellows in the controversy are white and black extremists. Both favor the enactment of Sun Control legislation, citing the sun’s tanning effects on fair-skinned individuals. An unnamed source from a white militia group said they want it because it would restore the traditional, sharp contrast in skin color between the races. A spokesman from a militant black organization simply said “We don’t want them whites to look like us.” More moderate groups, not wanting to further divide an already racially-polarized society, pleaded “Can’t we all just look alike?”
Historically, Sun Control legislation has been a taboo subject for law makers because all fifty states have constituencies on each side of the debate. Rumors of secret closed-door senate hearings on the topic continue to surface. Systematic Solar and Universal Limiting Technologies, a San Francisco-based group, has long sought Sun Control legislation. It has been suggested that secret government grants have been awarded to the firm to design and build a prototype Sun Control device. Opponents say such a device could be used as a weapon and all discussions should be held by the Joint Chiefs, with G.R.A.S.S. available.
The Anti-Systematic Solar and Universal Limiting Technologies group (ASSAULT) was subsequently established to oppose the production of any prototype. They have demanded a ban on any Sun Control devices. Their proposed ASSAULT Weapons ban legislation is now in limbo since no one in Washington seems eager to sponsor such a bill.
That’s it for this month. See you all in May… At Joe’s Place.
Reaching Out To Other Hams
On Sat 02/09/13 I was invited to give a presentation on the "Hog's" at the Nixa Amateur Radio Club just outside of Springfield, Mo. It is the largest club in SW MO. and the most active. Bob Heil was going to be there but weather kept him away he is joining that club as he has moved into the area. The president of the club told me that the HF operators in the club had about quit operating there except for Field Day and wanted to stir some interest among them and invited me to speak to the group about the SWMO/MVDXCC club and its activities.
I asked two other members of SWMO/MVDXCC to go along with me; Mike K0AZ, and Gordon K0GUN and told them we were asked to speak about our HF activities and DX'ing to the Nixa group. What started as a 45 minute request turned into a 1 hour and 35 minute talk with loads of questions. There were about 30 in attendance with the most being General and Extras Class. We talked mostly about DXing and contesting and putting them together, electronic logging, LoTW, station improvements, digital modes and the cost of a used HF station using a wire antennas and a wide range that all seemed interested in and questions from all it seemed.
Here it is almost the 1st of Feb as I write this and it’s 65* outside at 6:30 am with winds out of the SSW @ 20mph, sure beats 2” of ice or 2’ of snow on the ground.
This time I want you to look at something that all that do not have something like this should consider one almost a must have “Backup Power”. Many of you have backup power for your radios and other necessary items in the shack to keep you on the air if the power fails. I would guess 90% of those use 12v batteries and many different ways to charge them from battery/solar/wind/chargers to generators. Up till last year I used a 12v battery with a battery charger and a 6500w Honda generator had used the generator for many years since 1987. A few times during that period for as long 2-3 weeks running 24/7 only stopping for oil changes (I live in the country and depend on electric even for water).
Last Feb 2012 I was on QRZ.COM ham Built Items for sale and came across this the Low Loss PwrGate made by Jim/KI0BK from Olathe, KS. (seen at right)
This is a small unit and so simple to use it’s a no-brainer to hookup a simple 3 or 4 Power pole hookup once connectors are on. What you see above is all of the hookups there are and your done then you forget about it. It works so fast you will never know when it switches between your power supply and battery it’s that fast. Mine is hooked to my Astron RS-70M and 2 large Optima 12v batteries. The center connector hooks to your power supply, the single on one end the battery and the 2 on the other end to radios. One of mine goes to a West Mountain Rig Runner the other to a single radio. Below is a photo of the unit opened up simple and very clean.
Below is a short description of the unit by Jim along with contact info and price.
1. Low Loss PWRGate the safe/easy way to add backup power to your station
Get ready for Field day with the Low Loss PWRgate, it uses MOSFET power transistors to switch the load between power sources with less than a 20 milivolt drop, much smaller than similar systems that use Schottky diodes. This keeps the power losses and heat to a minimum.
The Low Loss PWRgate transfers up to 25 amperes at up to 16 volts dc continuously. It is a safe way to connect both a 12 volt battery and a 13.8 volt power supply to a load, while electrically isolating both from each other. Whenever your power supply is on, the supply feeds the load while also charging the battery, keeping the battery healthy and ready for use when the power supply is off or looses AC power. Switching is instantaneous.
The LLPG weighs only 3 oz's, perfect for go kits and portable op's, set up on battery power then send someone to go set up the gen/solar or find commercial power while you operate.
Its small size is also ideal for remote APRS WX stations, Win link sites/stations and low power repeater sites too! Check the web site for details!
Serving the ham community since Jan 2012! Thanks to QRZ forums and all who have helped spread the word at local clubs and ARES groups!
Full money back if not satisfied.
I have been very pleased with this setup the way it works, the price and quality of the unit. It has worked twice since I installed it during power failures plus the battery filters the line to your radio. I made sure my batteries were fully charged with a battery charger when I brought them home and check them every week with DMM I do exercise them on a regular basis. The LLPG has kept them topped off for almost a year now. I would like to add that these do come with a 1 year warranty and he does take of that personally. Don’t ask how I know.
This is another great small company “Ham Made” product that we as hams like to support to keep new things coming to the hobby from “OUR OWN”!!
Get on the radio and make some contacts many Contests coming in the next few months and a good place for DX’ers old and new for contacts bands/modes and new ones for some.
73 till next time and thanks for reading
Winterfest 2013 Pictures
Here are some pictures from this year's Winterfest Hamfest. Looks like the "Hogs" were well represented. Click to view.
MVDX/CC December Christmas Party Pictures
Each December many members take time to gather with friends and family at the annual Christmas dinner. This year, as in the past, was no exception. Members met at the . Click here to see the pictures.
Winter Kit Building
January is upon us and the winter cold and winds are here for a while so we need to find something to do inside the shack this month. A favorite among veteran hams it was a must to do this sort of thing just to get on the air “Building”. It was from scratch and the junk box is what they made do with for their shack. Did they do well? Must have look where we are at today because of them and all the work they did to make the hobby what it is today. We can order a new radio or any piece of equipment we wish and have it delivered to our door, all it takes is a few shekels.
But wait there are some that still like to build things from scratch, radios are for the most I said most not all bought. The reason is today’s radios have huge amounts of SMC about everything in them now there some that undertake this easily but not many. You still find quite a few hams that build their own amps and very good ones and other equipment as well from scratch. I and most of my closest ham friends from just a few years in the hobby to several 3 of my closest over 50 years don’t build from scratch. Reasons myself lack of knowledge, poor eyesight, unsteady hands mostly knowledge. We all have found a way to have fun the last 3-4 years for me anyway and others have joined us.
It’s called “Kit Building” and there is no better way to enjoy a winter evening than assembling a piece of equipment for you. Along with the knowledge that you built it and can tell your friends about another way to enjoy the hobby.
This time I’m going to start with a Wattmeter for the QRP’er as this is one I built last year and is I think one of the most accurate one out there. It is the Oak Hills Research WM-2 ohr.com for all the details on their products.
For complete details of the kit with photos of the kit go here http://www.ohr.com/wm2det.htm it show the parts package and inside photos of completed wattmeter.
The wattmeter has 3 different wattage scales selected with the knob they are 10W/1W/5mW. I have had mine checked on lab grade equipment and is on the money excellent wattmeter. It runs on 12v off the shack supply if you want to leave it inline all the time or it has a 9v battery so it can be used portable or on it alone.
The kit cost’s $109.95, if you want them to build and align (that’s no fun) $65. Another nice thing this is an American company in CO. Aurora a suburb of Denver. You can order online of give them a call with any questions or orders at 866-647-5487
Later we will check on some radio “Kits” that I have and really enjoy and fun to build also.
Happy New Year to ALL!
MVDX/CC SWMO Celebrate
On Sunday December 2nd the Southwest Missouri Chapter of MVDXCC met at Acambaro restaurant in Monett at 1pm for their first ever annual meeting. It was a great success. We had 7 members of the SW HOGS and XYLs present. Another
Have a great Christmas and New Year. Please forward our holiday wishes and regards to all ofthe HOGS.
73, Mike KØAZ
Financing A DXpedition
These DXpeditions covered 15 years and were evenly spread over easy fly-in operations, chartered plane or boat expeditions to the Pacific and Indian Ocean targets and the super rare locations in the South Atlantic/Antarctic. They covered almost 2 million QSOs at a cost of $3 million. From this study I chose to exclude the vacation or visit a resident ham one or two man trip.
(To read the complete articke, click here for the PDF version as originally published in the Fall 2012 Issue of the Northern California DX Foundation newsletter.)
Stained Glass DX Callsigns • by Bob Myer, KAØRM
This hand-crafted Stained Glass Callsign is a very new and unusual item for those who have it all or just want something different made by a local MVDX/CC SWMO club member Bob, KAØRM.
Bob is recently retired and along with spending more time on the radio has started a new hobby the first of this year and has gotten quite good at it.
The call sign is done in stained glass with a hardwood boarder. It comes in two pieces the callsign and the stand so it can either sit in the stand or be hung. The size is basically 2” deep and 14” wide you can order any size you want.
If you desire one of these keep in mind each of them is a one of a kind no 2 alike with your choice of glass material for frame etc. If you do order “don’t” expect to have it in a week or 2 these take a lot of time as each have to have a pattern cut then all the glass cut it takes time.
Pricing starts around $70 depending on what you order he can quote you and exact price when you contact him if interested. For more information contact: Bob Myer, KA0RM, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Coax to Choose?
Well December is upon us and more time can be spent in the shack doing what it is you enjoy the most from just rag chewing to planning what you want to do to improve your station either this winter inside or next spring outside.
This time I’m going to touch on a piece of gear that some seem to try and save money on which costs them dearly COAX. I know it’s just a piece of wire between your radio and the antenna you have a good antenna and bought a really nice radio. But if you bought really cheap coax you may be losing your signal between your equipment.
Let’s take for example your UHF/VHF radios/antennas many argue you can get by with cheap coax for shorter runs. Yes you can but why? Coax is one of the cheaper things in this hobby and good coax will last for a long time 5-10 yrs depending. Velocity factor come into play also cheap coax may have a .55-.66 where 400 series is in the .84-.85 range.
When most everyone but coax for these bands its usually LME-400 series Times Microwave brand for shorter runs under 100’ for non-FM use then Hard Line is used. In the past I used LMR-400 for everything I had VHF/HF either straight 400 or UF (Ultra Flex) and Direct Bury) I kept it on hand in all flavors all the time.
Recently you’re 50 MHz and above writer Kent brought to my attention coax he had been using a 213 series for his HF antennas as I was getting ready to replace several runs of coax on my tower. He brought a short length of it over and we dissected it to see its interring makeup. It was from a company that I had tried their coax several years back and didn’t care for it. After looking at this piece I was clear that it was very different an excellent coax. The 213 that you can see in the photo is about the same price as other brands and it’s a Direct Bury also high quality and with free shipping hard to beat.
It came from DXE (DX Engineering) the next day I went online and started checking specs of all the coaxes I had been using most of all their 400MAX coax. I checked every spec against Times Microwave LMR400/UF/DB and then ordered 10’ of it to check it out. Then the real surprise “Free Shipping” on all coax nowhere else do you get that.
When it came I cut it open and compared it to the LMR-400 and this is what I found. LMR-400 Velocity Factor .85/ DXE 400MAX .84 very close the center conductor is larger (10AWG) and has more strands (19).
I have now changed from LMR-400 to the DXE 400MAX and have saved money and having to have several different kinds of coax on hand.
Hope I may have been able to save you a few bucks and shown you a new product.
(One of my CW friends is Joe Papworth, K8MP. We have talked a number of times over the past 4 years always on 40CW around 7028-7030 kHz. a few days ago I caught him /m on his way to Columbus and as always we had a nice chat. To me, one of the interesting things about Joe, besides the fact that we can chit chat on 40CW at 30+wpm while his is driving, is that for a number of years he has written articles and ancedotes for the local radio club under the byline "Joe's Place". In the December 2011 issus of our own "The DX Hog" I included one of his articles titled, "Dr. Strangekey or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Code." Anyway, as part of our chat a few days ago I mentioned that I would enjoy sharing another of his articles and below is one that he sent me. I especially like it because for many years I ran CW/m and can identify with some of the things he notes in the article below, Hi. • de Steve, WØSJS)
Howdy from Joe’s Place…
MIB: Men in Black … Cars
From a recent conversation (or maybe not…)
“I noticed you have some antennas and a special license plate on your car. What does that plate mean?”
“Oh, that’s a special plate. The K8MP was assigned to me by the United States Government.”
“And what about the antennas?”
“They go with the two-way radio I have in the car.”
“What do you use it for?”
“I send coded messages to other government personnel. Some are even foreign nationals. They have been permitted by their governments to send and receive coded messages as well.”
“Can I see the radio?”
“Wow, that thing is small. It’s amazing you can transmit to other countries with it. What do those numbers mean?”
“Those represent one of our special channels or frequencies. They are for our use only. Currently, the radio is tuned to 14.030 megahertz and that’s what the numbers mean. If I turn this knob you can see the frequency changes. We use thousands of such frequencies to handle all the information we pass along.”
“Can I listen to it?”
“Sure, I’ll turn up the volume.”
“That sounds like something from a James Bond movie.”
“Yes, it’s in code.”
“What did he just send?”
“What does that mean?”
“That is the code name for his station. Every one of us has his own. You already know that mine is K8MP.”
“Where is he?”
“He’s in Moscow.”
“WHAT???? This can’t be legal. I knew something was fishy here.”
“Nope, it’s perfectly legal. Look, here’s my permit from the Federal Communications Commission.”
“Wow. But isn’t it dangerous to have your code name on your license plate? It’s like advertising that you’re a spy.”
“Well, it does raise some eyebrows sometimes. But at the same time, it’s a good way for others who do this to recognize me. Sometimes we even pull off the road and exchange the messages in person. That way we can maintain a degree of radio silence.”
“That’s great thinking. After all, your plate just looks like a typical vanity plate so most folks wouldn’t think anything was up. Heck, when I first saw it, I thought it meant the owner’s name was Kate Empy until I saw you get in the car.”
“You’re not the first person to think that. At stop lights, I sometimes look in the rear-view mirror and see folks staring at it, trying to decipher it. The other day, a guy behind me even whipped out his cell phone and took a photo of my license plate and another of the big antenna on the fender. I’ve been mistaken for a cop too. Folks often come flying up behind me and then hit the brakes when they see the all black car with antennas and a cop-sounding license plate number.”
“This is all so interesting. How long have you been doing it?”
“I started during the Cold War.”
“WHAT??? Now I’m suspicious again.”
“Relax, it’s nothing bad. Actually, I have been teasing you a bit in the way I have explained things. This radio is something you have probably already heard about. It’s a Ham radio.”
“No way. I have seen Ham radios in movies and they look nothing like this. They were huge, with great big knobs and gauges and even had vacuum tubes in them. And they certainly didn’t have lit up numbers like yours does. No, this is not a Ham radio. I really think you’re some sort of spy. And that’s OK with me, as long as you are working for our side.”
“Think what you want but it really is a Ham radio.”
“I just don’t believe you because Ham radios died out when cell phones came in. This is something different. Speaking of cell phones, why don’t you guys just use those?”
“We prefer to stay off the grid.”
“There you go again. What are you hiding? And I want to know what that Russian guy told you.”
“It was routine stuff.”
“Oh yeah? Like what?”
“Really, it was nothing to get excited about.”
“Then you shouldn’t have a problem telling me what it was.”
“All right. He simply said that I had a good signal into Moscow and that his name was Boris.”
“Pretty much. Oh, he did say something about his XYL.”
“That’s our code word for wife.”
“I’m pretty much convinced you’re a spy now. And I bet you use that code word for wife to protect your wives from harm. I’m kind of surprised that the Ruskie, oops… I mean Boris, would even mention he had a wife, er, I mean an XYL. You know, for her safety and all that.”
“There is really no danger. Boris and his wife are just regular folks like you and I. I’m sorry I mislead you before. IT IS REALLY JUST A HAM RADIO !!!
“I’d like to believe you but there are too many things that don’t add up. Say, you never told me what Boris actually said about his XYL.”
“Oh, he only mentioned her name.”
“What is it?”
I hope to see you all at the November meeting but if I don’t, please have a fun and safe Thanksgiving Holiday. And I’ll see you in December, at Joe’s Place.
MVDX/CC SWMO Hogs to Do Lunch in December
Mike, KØAZ reports that several new members have joined the SWMO Hogs and that there are plans for a December luncheon of members. Also, from Fred, NØAZZ, please welcome a new member and contester of our SW MO Chapter Kent, NØIMR, and send along a a big congratulations to Kent on his #14 place overall on the 2012 IOTA Contest. (Click here to open a link to the 2012 IOTA Contest Top 25 Listing) • Congrats! Kent!
NIØC Visit to Germany, Summer 2012
From mid-May through the entire month of June, my wife and I lived in Germany. Margaret took a small class of Fontbonne University students to study in Berlin during the first four weeks. We stayed at the campus of Teikyo University in a resort town, Schmoeckwitz, East of Berlin, and commuted daily by bus and trains to the historical parts of Berlin. We also took side trips with the students to Dresden, Nuremberg, Potsdam, Spreewald, and Wittenberg.
I brought along my Sony ICF-7600GR shortwave portable receiver, and a wire reel antenna, and spent a little time listening to the ham bands. The cuckoo birds at Schmoeckwitz woke us up before sunrise most mornings (around 4:00 a.m. at this time of the year, as Berlin is at 52.5 degrees North latitude). Of course, I listened to my favorite bands. There was a lot of activity on 40 and 80 meters CW, especially during the WPX CW contest. I was disappointed I didn’t hear any North America stations, but there were a lot of Asians and many very loud local EU stations.
I took a picture of my “Berlin listening post,” and I thought about my SWL days I spent as a boy, shortly before getting licensed as KN0VSH in August 1959. I had a National SW-54 receiver, and an outdoor long wire antenna. The SW-54 served me through my Novice days.
On June 15, Margaret and I said goodbye to the students, and had our vacation. We spent several days each in Bacharach (Rhine Valley), Staufen (Black Forest), and Mittenwald, Grainau and Oberammergau in the Bavarian Alps. We took advantage of the good weather and did plenty of hiking in each of these places.
On June 26, we rode the cable car to the top of the Zugspitze, the highest point in Germany. While enjoying the magnificent views up there, I overheard some QSO’s being made by a man sitting at a picnic table operating his HT. His callsign, N3UA, was on his cap. I waited for him to complete his QSO before I introduced myself. Sejo was from Bosnia, where he held the calls T97C and 4N4JB. He is an avid contester and DX’er and has operated at W4DR and W3LPL. Sejo told me he had just been to the Friedrichshafen hamfest. Small world, indeed!