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Subject: Choices
From: force12@ibm.net (force12@ibm.net)
Date: Wed Aug 2 15:33:27 1995
Dear Friends,

Having been enjoying contesting for the last quarter decade I feel
some connection to the greater contest community.  We as amateurs
in general and as contesters in particular have for the most part
been able to conduct ourselves in a most exemplary manner.  In fact,
I often thought the concept of the international DX contests, 
where competition is engenderd without regard to politcal borders
would make a fine masters thesis for a graduate student.

Recently I celebrated my 50th birthday and on that day I took time to
reflect about the impact amateur radio has had on my life and career.
Indeed my 23 year career running high tech companies in Silicon Valley
would have never happened had I not been a radio amateur.  Amateur
Radio facilitated the growth and vision necessary to compete in a new
growing, exciting industry.  So many of the "Captains of Industry" in 
Silicon Valley are hams.  In fact, the passing of my dear friend Stan
Kaisel K6UD caused the recollection of his own accomplishments that
were made possible in no small part by amateur radio.

That said, I want to be sure that future generations of hams may have similar
opportunities for their lives to be enriched by being radio amateurs.
To keep a society vital, it is necessary to challenge just about everything
that happens.  Thomas Jefferson tought us many things, but perhaps one of
his most enduring messages was that we should be super critical and most
demanding of our elected officials.  You simply cannot sit by and watch
things happen that may affect the very foundation of something you believe

I have made a choice recently to not sit back and let unfounded challenges
made on this reflector and in the press go unanswered.  While it is cer-
tainly not the intent of this reflector to provide a deliberation field 
for all matters, I strongly believe the impact on contesting and amateur
radion warrants the bandwidth.

Recently an individual made observations about one of our products (C3) and
chose to share his observations and his opinions the meaning of those 
observations.  I have no intention of letting what appears to be a personal
vendetta go unaswered.  If you have a problem with our products, we have made 
a choice to provide an Internet resource to facilitate communications with
us.  If you want to take shots at our products on the public forum of this
reflector, you certainly may, but you will be answered by me and others in
the same public forum.  Get your technical facts straight and don't come
off half cocked as you will certainly continue to make a fool of yourself.

I enjoy my relationship with FORCE 12 and I believe in the products and
their performance.  We have toned down greatly the response from the
account base concerning the performance of the C3.  Perhaps the real
problem here is that people have a very difficult time with their ego
in accepting that a small antenna like the C3 outperforms what was thought
to be a fantastic antenna.  I don't blame you for being frustrated.  
Frustration begets beligerent behavior and subsequent name calling.  You
should be taking to task the makers of your antenna to make a better 
product rather than trying to concoct some erroneous response to our 
products!  Ask intelligent questions about claimed gain numbers, such as
how could it be that a 5 el. monobander has less gain than the claimed
gain for a 3 element tribander on a smaller boom.  Of course the claimed
gain is more than the theoretical gain attainable per NEC and its variants.
Its in the literature!  There are real bombs sitting in the literature.  Read
it sometime instead of tossing out knee-jerk reactions!

In the publication WORLDRADIO...there appears a column written by a person
who goes by the name of Kurt N Sterba.   For the past two years this person
has been taking shots at our company and its products.  Recently he quoted
a sentence to serve his embraced "controversy makes sales" type of writing.
In concert with our new policy of responding to comments of this type, we
sent the following letter to the editor of WorldRadio. 

July 22, 1995

2120 28th St.
Sacramento, Ca 95818

Att. Mr. Armond Noble, Publisher

Dear Mr. Noble

Certain comments in the "Aerials" column of your August, 1995 issue were brought
to my attention and it appears a reply is warranted.  You have made cryptic
references about our products for more than two years.  Until now, however,
you did not use a product name or company name.  Specifying the C3 product name
makes it different.  A preface to this letter should be that long ago two
relevant things were learned; things that we all now and need to be reminded of

        a.  Anyone reading material that is written anonymously should give the
material the same amount of credibility the writer provides himself - none.  
Afterall, if the writer were truly reliable, he would take a public position and
allow himself to be known, along with his background and associations.   One
exception to this would be when personal safety would be in jeprardy, but
tht hardly applies here.

        b.  A publication is in the business to sell paper; therefore, anything
that will create and stimulate controversy is highly prized.  Common terms
for this today are "media hype" and "biased reporting."

You selected a review of our C3 trapless triband yagi antenna from QST.  As
a quick background, the C3 utilizes seven (7) elements and an improved
open sleeve driver design to enable coverage on the primary bands of 
20, 15, and 10 meters.  The C3 also provides reduced gain on 17 and 12 
meters, although there are no specific elements for those bands (particularly
in the driver cell); consequently, these two bands are not matched to 
50 ohms, but operate efficiently as long as a tuner can keep the equipment

We should be actually  be pleased that you made only one "Kurt-type" comment,
which might well mean that the remainder of the page and a half review is 
quite acceptable!   Anyway, you picked only one sentence out of the entire
review.  It was quoted out of the C3 manual, "If the VSWR is measured
directly at the feed point, the 2:1 points on 15 and 10 meters will not span
the entire band: however, making use of a particular phenomenon with coax
cable, the VSWR response is flattened out slightly and the C3 covers all 
the bands with a 2:1 or less across the band."  You stated that the quote
should make the old timers laugh and then, corrected the statement in 
your own words, perhaps even implying that there was an intent on our part
to mislead the customer.  When you reference the old-timers, I supposed
I am in that group, recently having joined QCWA with a 35 year pin.

The statement in the manual is correct and the assembly manual is not
intended to be an in-depth discussion of VSWR, loss, etc.  You do state
that the particular phenomenon with coaxial cable is its loss, which is 
obvious, but you seem to imply tht we are trying to mislead someone
into thinking the coaxial line is changing the feedpoint impedence.  That
is not what the statement says.  Had you bothered to inquire furthur into
the same paragraph (good journalism), you would find additional information
including the following, "A fine book addressing this is Reflections, published
by the ARRL."  Mr. Maxwell's book clearly articulates this entire subject and
everyone would enjoy reading it.

Amateur radio used to be called a "fraternity" (both OM's and YL's included!)
We are all in this together and I greatly enjoy sharing learning experiences
with everyone.  How about working toward nurturing fraternity instead of 
creating controversy?  That does not mean we keep our collective heads in 
the sand.  It means we can openly discuss issues that are of interest and 
I invite you to participate.  Each year I have the privilege of speaking
several times at  conventions and clubs on the subject of antennas and
sometimes also on contesting.  The format includes an open forum where anyone
can ask me anything.  If I can, I will share what I know and I invite others 
to share their information as well.  If I cannot enhance the topic, I will say
so and will endeavor to research it and contact the questioner later.  It 
certainly gets interesting at times!  Since many are within driving
distance of your publication, I am sure you have attended at least one.  Did
you make yourself known?  Why not stop by at the next one and introduce yourself
Kurt?  If you want to remain anonymous, I will keep it ot myself, but I believe
it is far better to be open.

A closing remark is needed too.  It is somewhat amusing to contemplate your 
printing this letter.  Back when you began making criticism about our 
products, you also generally challenged manufacturers to contact you, which
I did.  I spoke direclty to you (Mr. Noble) and subsequently wrote a letter,
specifically addressing antennas and gain.  It was never printed, but Kurt made
another comment in the Aerials column wherein "he" stated that you received
nothing.  Then you send us an advertising packet.  Why would we want to 
advertise in a publication that is not forthcoming?  I even stopped purchasing
it off the shelf.

Here is yet another letter, but.....today we have an additional avenue of 
information called the Internet.  I believe it is important for all of us 
to not hide behind a facade such as "Kurt N Sterba", especially when being 
negatively critical.  So just in case you might choose to be selective again,
this letter is being simultaneously distributed openly via the Interenet.

So Kurt, stand up and identify yourself.  Stand up and be counted - just
like the rest of us who receive credit (both good and bad) for what we do
not do. You have exposure to many people, just like I do, and you could
share a lot in a positive way.



Tom Schiller

Now back to the phone and the gent who is having trouble getting his 80 meter
dipole to resonate while perched on a 8' step ladder.


Natan, W6XR/2

>From David & Barbara Leeson <0005543629@mcimail.com>  Wed Aug  2 19:16:00 1995
From: David & Barbara Leeson <0005543629@mcimail.com> (David & Barbara Leeson)
Subject: C3
Message-ID: <03950802181630/0005543629NA4EM@MCIMAIL.COM>

Many discussions of antenna gain and comparisons disregard the effect of
aging on various antennas.  It's not unusual in my experience to find a new
antenna is lots better than an old one, only to discover a bad joint, trap
or coax in the old one.  The C3 has a lot to recommend it in this respect.

Re which elements are active, etc.:  this question can be answered in part
by looking at the current distributions at various frequencies, using a
NEC or MININEC program such as MN/AO or Elnec/Eznec.  I can tell you that
it's hard to do any better on that boom length, with a single feedline, than
the C3 design.  The additional elements do appear to play a minor role in
the pattern, but the VSWR bandwidth is a lot better than a simple 2-el.

Bottom line:  you pays your money and takes your choice.

BTW, for comparison, my 7-el/45' 10m monobander (M2) shows (and plays)
12.5 dBi gain.  Makes no difference how you define it, dBi, dBd or dBd over
ground, to first order at low angles they all track fairly well to each other.
I can hear, feel and smell the difference between the LP and the monobanders,
but you better have a good rotator direction setup or you waste all the
gain you struggled for.  For reference 6-el/45' 15m shows 11.5 dBi and 
5-el/42' 20m shows 10 dBi, all with very broadband VSWR.  But depending
on personal tastes and what you are going to use it for, the current crop
of tribanders are tough to improve upon, and hard to equal with a short
stack of monobanders.  For a lesson in engineering humility, put the C3 on
the computer and try to make it better while preserving the bandwidth!

73 de Dave, W6QHS

>From kn5hose@acca.nmsu.edu (kn5hose)  Wed Aug  2 23:38:23 1995
From: kn5hose@acca.nmsu.edu (kn5hose) (kn5hose)
Subject: Good callsigns
Message-ID: <199508022238.QAA03548@acca.nmsu.edu>

I look forward to DX-peditioning on Kingman Reef......

Would that be   KN5H/KH5K  ??


>From ni6t@ix.netcom.com (Garry Shapiro )  Thu Aug  3 00:07:46 1995
From: ni6t@ix.netcom.com (Garry Shapiro ) (Garry Shapiro )
Subject: Good callsigns
Message-ID: <199508022307.QAA27149@ix9.ix.netcom.com>

You wrote: 
>How about:
>CQ6T  ?
Yeah, how about it? You have landed on one of the frustrating things 
about my own callsign. In heavy QRM or QRN, I have more than once 
credited myself with a QSO where I heard the last part clearly--or so I 
thought. But I really heard TEST, sent fast and sloppy.

Garry, NI(TEST)

>From David O. Hachadorian" <74752.115@compuserve.com  Thu Aug  3 00:00:21 1995
From: David O. Hachadorian" <74752.115@compuserve.com (David O. Hachadorian)
Subject: Crankup tower safety
Message-ID: <950802230020_74752.115_EHL188-1@CompuServe.COM>

Steve, K0SF, requested info regarding crankup tower safety.

There was a time when Rohn manufactured crankup towers. In their
catalog from that era (70's?), they had a horrific full page
caricature of a person with fingers cut off and bright red blood
dripping out. The message, in huge letters, was "BE CAREFUL WITH

If you show a color copy of that picture to your city council, I'm
sure they will drop the crankup idea. I bet someone on this
reflector has a copy. It would help to emphasize that Rohn is most
prominent in the field, and no longer manufactures crankup towers,
probably for safety/liability reasons.

Don't show them the even more horrific picture from a more recent
Rohn catalog which depicts a person being electrocuted, with the

Dave, K6LL

>From steve.wilson@almac.co.uk (STEVE WILSON)  Wed Aug  2 20:59:00 1995
From: steve.wilson@almac.co.uk (STEVE WILSON) (STEVE WILSON)
Subject: GW5LP/P IOTA Score
Message-ID: <8AE64EB.141200384A.uuout@almac.co.uk>

Hi Guys,

Thanks to everyone who worked GW5LP/P in the IOTA Contest.  Activity was
certainly much higher this year and we really enjoyed running the
pile-ups on the bands.

We operated in the multi-operator island, mixed mode category from
EU-124 Anglesey Island.

Raw score is as follows:

    2031 QSOs
    274 Mults


    Band scores

                 10    15    20    40    80      Total
                 --    --    --    --    --      -----
         QSOs   246   108   758   611   308       2031
         Mults   16    29    91    81    57        274

We had two separate stations - the main Run station had a Yaesu FT1000
and a Kenwood TL-922 amplifier.  The Multiplier station had a Kenwood
TS-950SDX and an Alpha 78 amplifier.

Antennas were two unterminated Vee beams at 70ft aimed at W/VE and JA,
80/40 dipoles at 60ft, a 132ft doublet at 45ft and a Force 12 C3 yagi at

The Force 12 C3 is some antenna for contesting and really made the
multiplier station a pile-up buster!  Thanks to Ron GW3YDX of Vine
Antennas for supplying the C3-S at very short notice.  We actually
collected the C3 en-route to Anglesey.  I assembled the C3-S in about 90
minutes and it was a real joy to build - pretuned, with precise
instructions and very simple to rig on our antenna mast.  I've just got to
have one of these little beauties!

Operators were Steve G3VMW, Fred G4BWP and Lionel G5LP

Thanks also to Tony GW4VEQ for the use of the GB7ADX PacketCluster which
is located on the island of Anglesey.

QSLs are being handled by G5LP and the first batch of direct cards
arrived this morning for the operation.  We shall be back on Anglesey
again next year for the '96 event.  This contest really is FUN....

73 de Steve, G3VMW

    | steve.wilson@almac.co.uk (Home) |  Making digital communication   |
    | steve@ttelm.demon.co.uk  (Work) |         span the earth          |
    | G3VMW @ GB7YDX  (PacketCluster) |      I *like* morse code!       |

 * 1st 2.00o #6466 * 

>From Larry Tyree <tree@cmicro.com>  Wed Aug  2 23:54:35 1995
From: Larry Tyree <tree@cmicro.com> (Larry Tyree)
Subject: KB6I
Message-ID: <199508022254.PAA23376@cascade.cmicro.com>

I forgot another active contester who did some teeth cutting at KB6I: N6TV.

Also, the original "Dave" who started this was WX3N.

Tree N6TR

>From HWDX09A@prodigy.com (MR ROBERT REED)  Wed Aug  2 21:11:14 1995
Subject: KN2T  IARU  SCORE
Message-ID: <013.09392510.HWDX09A@prodigy.com>


 M/S     KN2T  KN2T  N2ORM  KD2I

            CW     SSB     MUL

 160         8       0      2

  80        32      32     30

  40       138      27     30

  20       411     869     61

  15        84     173     35

  10         1     105     14

           674    1206    162
            |      |
            |------|--- 1,880

  TOTAL SCORE  ==   1,180,00

>From ni6t@ix.netcom.com (Garry Shapiro )  Wed Aug  2 23:43:28 1995
From: ni6t@ix.netcom.com (Garry Shapiro ) (Garry Shapiro )
Subject: IRCI crystal filter availability
Message-ID: <199508022243.PAA23119@ix9.ix.netcom.com>

I called IRCI in Florida today, to see how far away delivery might be. 
The news was somewhat grim.

I was told:

* IRCI deals with the manufacturer's rep in South Florida, and not the 

* IRCI was informed that the factory is experiencing severe 
manufacturing problems "for the first time in the sixteen-year 
relationship" and that is why they are receiving NO product. There was 
no elaboration as to the nature of the problems.

* IRCI does not expect to receive product for another three months.

* Orders received since about four weeks ago are in the NEXT level of 
delivery. Orders like mine (placed in May) are the "lucky' ones in the 
initial queue.

Good thing this outfit isn't a sole supplier for heart transplants!

 Lordy, this must really be the end: to be stuck on 20m with the stock 
filters again!

Garry, NI6T

>From ni6t@ix.netcom.com (Garry Shapiro )  Thu Aug  3 01:02:19 1995
From: ni6t@ix.netcom.com (Garry Shapiro ) (Garry Shapiro )
Subject: C3 Stuffe
Message-ID: <199508030002.RAA07113@ix9.ix.netcom.com>

You wrote: 
>Dear Friends,
>I have recently had inquiries and calls relating to comments made
>about our C3 antenna --- an antenna used by more and more contesters
>every day.
>In spite of pontifications made by a self appointed expert in our 
>made recently on this reflector, we stand by our claimed gain
>figures as published in our free brochure.  Our gain figures, dbd and
>"net gain", are accurate and are repeatable on both computer 
>and in the real world.  The net gain of the C3 and the gain expressed
>in dbd are significantly greater than what can be expected by a 2 
>yagi-uda type array.  There is a lot going on with the C3 design!
>Those people who purchase our C3 continue to comment favorably about 
>performance and close inspection and understanding of our technology 
>explain just why this antenna performs as well as it does.  The 
>response to our antenna is not typical of a product that performs 
>The real test for us contesters is just how the antenna perfoms over
>time and in contests.  

>Natan, W6XR/2

Don't forget DXpeditions.

The YK0A and 3D2CU/3D2CT DXpeditions both relied upon Force 12. In the 
latter case, every antenna save one (Pekka's big vertical) was F12, all 
4-foot-section DXpedition versions: 2 C3's, one N1217, and 
linear-loaded verticals for 30, 40 and 80/160 (although the latter was 
not deployed on 160).

When I recommended F12 as our antenna purveyor to SM7PKK, our 
coordinator, there was--despite my personal confidence in Tom Schiller, 
N6BT and my satisfaction with my own DXer model--a bit of worry about 
performance. After all, these were new products from a new company; 
some were conceptually somewhat radical; several were custom models for 
which we would be guinea pigs. In stressed-out moments near departure, 
I would worry that something terrible might happen, and I would be 
blamed for noone working us.

It is to laugh! These antennas go together easily, without a tape 
measure. The C3's at only 16 feet were impressive in performance, as 
was the N1217 WARC beam. Pekka, OH1RY, Jun, JH4RHF and Mats, SM7PKK 
praised them. Pekka compared his full-sized 75m vertical to the little 
F12 37-footer with careful listening--and could discern no difference. 
I consider Pekka--an experienced DXpeditioner and antenna constructor 
and world-class contester--to be a tough audience. 

Lightweight, easily-assembled, flexible and effective: perfect for 
DXpeditioning. N6BT must be amused at these Reflector exchanges. Sure, 
there is for many a fascination with a "new" product and an eagerness 
to get on the bandwagon and decry the old tried-and-true. But there is 
also for many others a tendency to put down the new, to be skeptical to 
the point of hostility, and to stay with that which is comfortable and 
familiar. The True Path is usually between the poles, of course: 
healthy skepticism, but with a genuine interest in and technical 
awareness of evolutionary and revolutionary developments. What 
impressed me was not the hoopla and the published claims (and Marconi 
knows that some of our hoary manufacturers goose their figures more 
than a little), but what seasoned and knowledgeable DXers and 
contesters in NCDXC and NCCC--many with the resources to run A vs B 
tests on their own towers ---told me about these antennas.

The real testimonial was that those who knew Tom Schiller were the 
first to order antennas from him, leaving a lot of East Coasters 
wondering just what the hell was going on out there in California.

Yes, I am an engineer; an analog designer, at that. No, I don't work 
for Tom. I just wish I had the room for few modest 140-foot towers, so 
I could hock the family jewels and buy some more aluminum from him.

Garry, NI6T

>From ni6t@ix.netcom.com (Garry Shapiro )  Thu Aug  3 01:23:00 1995
From: ni6t@ix.netcom.com (Garry Shapiro ) (Garry Shapiro )
Subject: filters-another perspective
Message-ID: <199508030023.RAA10842@ix9.ix.netcom.com>

You wrote: 
>Hi all.  I would like to add to the FILTER discussion. 
>Just remember, "one man's ceiling is another man's floor."
>de Doug   KR2Q@mcimail.com
Thanks for your comments, Doug. A very interesting and provocative 
view. I guess I will have to find out for myself where I am vertically. 
 No way to find out without trying them.

When I was contemplating the purchase of my then 8 year-old TS930S from 
my oldest friend (whose XYL had bought him an FT1000D for Christmas) I 
lugged it 60 miles to the shack of another DXer who was selling one 
with IRCI filters (and an antenna tuner) for considerably more money. I 
set them up side by side with the same antennas and listened for about 
two hours. To me, the differences were striking, on both SSB and CW 
although I do not know what I might have thought after two weeks of 
such tests.

I bought my friend's more modest unit for the below-value price he 
offered it for, knowing that I could upgrade the filters later and 
still be ahead. I did not need the ATU. Of course, the filters have 
increased in price, since then. But it is still a damned sight cheaper 
to try them than to buy a new radio---a very sensitive subject in this 

So, in a few months, I will hopefully be able to state whether it was 
worthwhile, or if your top-contesters were correct.

Garry, NI6T

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