Steve, W4/YV5DTA writes:
>I was wouder, if is legal during CQ WW to use a internet connection to
connect >to a packet cluster and rx spots?
>Can this be consider under ASSISTED cat?
I personally see no problem with the idea of using any form of technology
to aid in operating a contest, short of actually calling people up to tell
to get on the air.
Being a regular entrant in the assisted category, this issue is dear
to my heart. This is a subject ripe for open and intellegent debate.
Questions such as: what constitutes the boundary, with ham radio
on one side and a sophisticated technological world is on the other.
I would say that if the internet connection connects to a real packet
cluster system where spots are posted by means of ham radio
(HF/VHF/UHF) it rightfully qualifies as assisted operation.
A philosophical problem we will have to address in the not too distant future
is when everyone is logged onto the cluster via telephone lines. The
isn't whether this is assisted operating, but whether this in fact is ham
I regularly log onto packet cluster systems all over the world either via
some form of radio HF link, satellite, or via the internet by means
of telnet. I typically place a mail message on these accessable systems
reminding the operators/users that a contest is in the offing for the weekend
and that they should look for me on all bands. I have also spotted friends
on these systems, in real time. To date these methods have had little impact
on my score. My time is better spent putting up better antennas, getting
out of the shack, or studing the CT manual on comfort breaks in the commode.
But before you know it we'll all be wearing Dick Tracy wrist watches
and carrying cell phones in our shirt pockets. Or, are we already there?
Well, gotta run my beeper just went off to remind me the roast is done in the
73 de Walt - K2WK
>From sfraasch@ATK.COM (Steve Fraasch) Wed Aug 30 01:10:24 1995
From: sfraasch@ATK.COM (Steve Fraasch) (Steve Fraasch)
Subject: K0SF TOWER CUP: Need Data on Bird Strike
Do any of the tower owners out there have any experience with birds striking
their towers ?
I would appreciate receiving as many responses as possible with:
"1 strike(s)/per year" by (Geese, ducks, warblers, whatever).
Please tell me the height of the tower, whether it is guyed or unguyed, day
or night occurence(s), and describe the local terrain (woods, grass fields,
wetlands, sububan high-density, etc), your town and state, and any other
information you feel is relevant.
I will attempt to tabulate data for special environmental hearing my city is
having Thursday night regarding my tower.
Anyone is privy to the information I gather regarding any aspects of my
Steve Fraasch, K0SF
>From email@example.com (Walter Spector) Tue Aug 29 09:07:46 1995
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Walter Spector) (Walter Spector)
Subject: Speaking of sunspots...
There is a nice little article in today's (8/29) San Jose
Mercury News about the return of the sunspots. As previously
reported the first new spot was observed on Aug 12 and there
have been about 6 more since then - including the first
new solar flare.
"While the new spots are delighting solar observers...
the latest round of solar blemishes is making power
companies, AM radio stations, and satellite specialists cringe."
Well, I'm not cringing yet. :-)
The article answered a question I had: how can they tell if the new
sunspots are part of the previous cycle or the next one? Apparently
they can measure a magnetic polarity in the new spots which is
opposite of spots from the old cycle.
Non Bay-area folks: I think that the Mercury News places their
articles on the web (http:www.sjmercury.com) though I've never
tried to access them. (Note: I have no affiliation with the
SJMN - I just read it sometimes.)
Walt Spector kk6nr
>From Fred Hopengarten" <email@example.com Tue Aug 29 23:38:38 1995
From: Fred Hopengarten" <firstname.lastname@example.org (Fred Hopengarten)
Subject: VE1ZZ Splices
Given the recent discussion of the mega-bucks required
to suitably create a station with big signals, I think it
appropriate to mention my visit two weeks ago to VE1ZZ. He
built his station for $1.98, and in Canadian dollars at
If you've always wondered why he's working 80 and 160
meter CONTEST multipliers you can't even hear, this will
offer a clue.
Jack retired after 34 years of work for the Canadian
government. He is now 62 or 63. He did a lot of work on
marine communications and weather gear, as that's what is
important if you live in the Maritime provinces. He now
lives on a government pension about 45 minutes outside of
Nova Scotia's largest city (and it's commercial centre),
Halifax. When he sold his house in Halifax in 1968 and
moved out of town to buy his present house (with its huge
parcel of land), he actually wound up with some money in his
Drive Northeast along the coastal road from Halifax,
which is on the Atlantic Ocean, and, let us not forget, a
time zone East of Boston, to Jack's House. The ocean and a
variety of bays are on your right. Jack's house , and a
long gradual slope behind it, will be on your left. When I
say long gradual slope, try to imagine a back yard 2,000
feet deep, and about 400 feet wide.
First you come to his yagi antennas. Nothing most of
us would recognize. No tribanders. My favorites? I think
it was a fifteen meter beam with elements made of .850 inch
hardline, a gamma match on the driven element. The hardline
is tied and taped to thin logs (real wood) that he cut down
to open up his back yard forest. He painted the wood white
(it was the color he had handy), then tied and taped the
hardline to the wood. The hardline is stiff enough to stick
out the last three or four feet on each end with additional
support. It is aimed at Europe, but for domestic contests,
he pulls it around the tower to point SW by using two ropes.
My other favorite was a six meter 23 element quagi (a quad
driven element, a quad reflector, and 21 directors), on a
boom about 90 feet long. The boom is made of two ropes
running toward Europe, supported at one end by a tower, in
the middle by a tree, and at the far end by a tree. Cable
TV hardline for the directors, hung between those two ropes
of the boom.
Behind (meaning further up the hill) the dipoles and
loops, quagi and yagi antennas you'll find his 80 meter four
square and his 160 meter four square. But don't forget to
look up in that forest of wires to find the 80 meter three
element inverted vee yagi aimed at South America.
The 80 and 160 meter four square antennas are made of
some really small tower, about the size of Rohn RG-6, even
smaller than most TV tower you see. You wouldn't feel safe
climbing it, and Jack doesn't either. He erects, and re-
erects, it with a 40 foot portable tower and pulleys, in one
piece. As the 160 meter towers aren't tall enough, he uses
wire top hats.
Radials are all made of scrounged wire. Some aluminum,
some copper, some whatever he had. He even has about 40
radials on the 160 meter four square made of big hardline.
It seems that he got 100-300 foot scraps, a LOT of scraps.
I particularly liked one of his radial hubs -- made from an
old hub cap (Chrysler, I think).
But the thing I'd never seen before was his method of
splicing hardline, a subject of a recent thread here. Jack
runs out a scrap of hardline until it ends. He then bends
the end up toward the sky, grabs the next piece of hardline
scrap and bends its end toward the sky. Now he takes these
two ends, each pointing up, secures them together with some
scraps of stainless steel wire (for physical stability) and
uses a stainless steel muffler clamp (a pipe clamp) to hold
the two shields together. Finally, (using a propane torch)
he solders some #14 wire wrapped several times around the
two center conductors. He takes a standard two liter clear
or green soda pop bottle, cuts a two or three inch diameter
hole near the "top," and inverts the bottle over the splice.
The splice goes through the new hole. Any moisture which
gathers just slides out the bottom through the original
------- <--2 liter bottle as cover
| --- |<--center conductor splice
| | |
| === |<--tubing splice
\ / \ /
You'll see these splices all over his yard. But at 1.8
and 3.5 MHz, they seem to make no difference. He's got at
least one feedline which is about 1000 feet long.
He feeds his beverages with really long feedlines,
spliced this way. BTW, he has one 1500 foot beverage which
runs up and over the top of the hill, and down again toward
EU. He seems to favor that on 160.
His HF amplifier is a single 4-1000 amplifier,
originally built for 2-30 MHz for marine service. His 160
amp is a pair of 4-400's, dedicated to that band, homebrew.
All relays are open frame, many are 110 volt but run on 24-
30 volts. He uses what he can find.
Now land is, by Boston standards, cheap in Head of
Jeddore, Nova Scotia. But, oh, what a location Jack has!
To the East through South, his antennas look downhill toward
saltwater. To the Northeast, it is just a mile to
saltwater. And, for all intents and purposes, Nova Scotia
might just as well be an island.
So that, children, is how to be loud on the low bands
for $1.98. Live rural, over salt water, within spitting
distance of the white cliffs of Dover.
By the way, while walking all over his property, I kept
snacking on the wild blueberries and wild strawberries that
I found just by looking down.
Jack's wife likes to darn sweaters during the winter.
I bought a handmade sweater for one of the women in my
wife's practice who is about to have a baby. It was C$15
Jack was very gracious as a host, patiently walking
around his huge lot and explaining everything. His wife
explained that lots of hams come by to see what he's got
there. Jack mentioned that W8LRL, KA1PE and W1ZE have been
visitors. Wear comfortable shoes for climbing (as in
mountain climbing), and long pants. Bring a sweatshirt, as
it could get windy up there. The view out to the bay is
Fred Hopengarten K1VR
Six Willarch Road * Lincoln, MA 01773-5105
home + office telephone: 617/259-0088 (FAX on demand)
"Big antennas, high in the sky,
are better than small ones, low."
>From Will Sill <email@example.com> Wed Aug 30 00:35:23 1995
From: Will Sill <firstname.lastname@example.org> (Will Sill)
Subject: K0SF TOWER CUP: Need Data on Bird Strike
On Tue, 29 Aug 1995, Steve Fraasch wrote:
> Do any of the tower owners out there have any experience with birds striking
> their towers ?
Good grief! Sorry you have to go thru this idiot process, Steve.
OK, I had ONE known bird kill since 1979. An unknown large fowl met death
by attempting to fly thru the swept area of my wind-powered generator fan.
I did not see it happen but found feathers and damage. The blades on the
small machine in question ran at tip speeds of over 200 mph in storms and
were virtually invisible then. Tower was 95' tall, in rural area at 1630'
altitude. The blade suffered a dent in the leading edge.
I have never seen ANY other evidence of any bird striking that tower or my
radio tower. Even the neighbor's incredibly stupid and clumsy peacocks
manage to lumber into the treetops without colliding with either the tower
or my wire antennas.
Of course, we do not allow drunken birds to fly in stormy weather! 8-)
email@example.com - KD3XR - W F Sill, Tunkhannock, PA
>From firstname.lastname@example.org (John Brosnahan) Wed Aug 30 01:52:42 1995
From: email@example.com (John Brosnahan) (John Brosnahan)
Subject: VE1ZZ Splices
Fred, enjoyed your observations of VE1ZZ's place. Puts K0RF's place into
better perspective, since Chuck has been using and reusing junque for years
On the hardline splice--we have been doing it that way (pointing to the
sky-but without the pop bottle--RTV and Scotch 88 instead) for years AND AT
50 MHz. It isn't perfect but connectors for 50 KW pulses are expensive and
the science guys are poor. Have never noticed any problems associated with
doing it that way but there is another way that is almost as easy. Put the
cables in line and splice the centers together with a very short section of
the hobby shop thin wall brass tubing. Cover the splice with some salvaged
dielectric material and add some RTV to fill up the holes and gaps (use the
non-acetic acid stuff --9130 I think the number is, but probably should look
it up). Wrap the immediate area with one layer of Scotch 88 to hold in the
RTV until it sets--the non-acetic acid stuff is slow. Cover and splice the
shields with either some thin aluminum tubing that has been split (5/8 x
.058 for 1/2 hardline) or use something like three halves of the hardline
shield material (takes a little more than two halves since the splices ID is
the original tubings OD and you lose some when cutting it lengthwise. Hold
the whole mess together with hose clamps or just some temp wires if you use
some heatshrink. When done properly you can make a splice that is virtually
transparent on a TDR. The increase of the center conductor diameter from
the brass tubing is pretty well compensated for by the increase of the
shield where the new ID is equal to the original cable OD.
(The above clearly illustrates that a word is worth a millipicture.)
BTW I thought you darned (repaired) socks and knitted sweaters-- but darn
is the proper word if I have knitting needles in hand!
73 John W0UN
>From Takao KUMAGAI <firstname.lastname@example.org> Wed Aug 30 02:03:43 1995
From: Takao KUMAGAI <email@example.com> (Takao KUMAGAI)
Subject: CQ WW, The Internet and Packet?
I wrote to Steve personaly already but could not resist to
post the "rule" here.
on 95/08/29, K2WK@aol.com writes:
: Steve, W4/YV5DTA writes:
: >I was wouder, if is legal during CQ WW to use a internet connection to
: connect >to a packet cluster and rx spots?
: >Can this be consider under ASSISTED cat?
: I personally see no problem with the idea of using any form of technology
: to aid in operating a contest, short of actually calling people up to tell
: them to get on the air.
Sorry Walt, NO.
The CQ WW RULE describes on the use of non amateure related
XII. DISQUALIFICATION: Violation of amateur radio regulations in
the country of the contestant, or the rules of the contest;
unsportsmanlike conduct; taking credit for excessive duplicate
contacts; unverifiable QSOs; or unverifiable multipliers will be
deemed sufficient cause for disqualification. Incorrectly logged
calls will be counted as unverifiable contacts.
An entrant whose log is deemed by the Committee to contain
a large number of discrepancies may be disqualified from eligibility
for an award, both as a participant operator or station, for one year.
If an operator is disqualified a second time within 5 years, he will
be ineligible for any CQ contest awards for 3 years.
The use of non-amateur means such as telephones, telegrams,
etc., to elicit contacts or multipliers during a contest is
unsportsmanlike and the entry is subject to disqualification.
Actions and decisions of the CQ Contest Committee are official and
So if you do the phone calls to JY1 to be on your frequency or
the Internet linked packetcluster users will be disqulified.
Tack Kumagai JE1CKA/KH0AM
>From Randy Thompson <firstname.lastname@example.org> Wed Aug 30 02:40:58 1995
From: Randy Thompson <email@example.com> (Randy Thompson)
Subject: CQ Cover
On Tue, 29 Aug 1995 KB5YVT@aol.com wrote:
I am answering this to the reflector since I can't believe you looked at
the picture this hard!
> Hey Randy,
> Nice cover, are those penny loafers your wearing?
Nope. Lands End boat shoes. My favorite.
>And does your ring finger ever turn blue from lack of circulation???
Nope. But I do take it off when playing golf!
>And what part do the red racing stripes on the chair arm play in keep
>the rate up???
These were added by my 5 year old son -- probably when he was playing
while I was operating!
>Now we all know your secrets!!
Hah! There are more. But you certainly discovered some I didn't even
know I had. Now let's move on to something more interesting.
Randy Thompson, K5ZD
>From firstname.lastname@example.org (Barry Kutner) Wed Aug 30 02:12:16 1995
From: email@example.com (Barry Kutner) (Barry Kutner)
Subject: Mail deluge
It seems that the volume of mail from the DX and Contest reflectors has
been multiplying over the last few months. My guesstimate is close to 100
e-mail msgs per day!
I would like to suggest that we exercise some restraint in our postings.
More importantly, please be aware of the destination of your mail.
Meaning, are you replying to an individual, or the whole list?
As an example, do we ALL really need to know each other's history of
birds hitting our towers? Send you replies to the ORIGINATOR of the
I am sure I will get at least one comment telling me how wasteful this
message is. If you feel the need to do so, send it to ME, so the rest of
the group doesn't need to waste time/money reading it.
Barry N. Kutner, W2UP Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org
Newtown, PA Packet Radio: W2UP @ WB3JOE.#EPA.PA.USA.NA
Packet Cluster: W2UP >WB2R (FRC)
>From email@example.com (LondonSM) Tue Aug 29 22:56:10 1995
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (LondonSM) (LondonSM)
Subject: CQ WW, The Internet and Packet?
On Aug 29, 4:53pm, K2WK@aol.com wrote:
> Steve, W4/YV5DTA writes:
> >I was wouder, if is legal during CQ WW to use a internet connection to
> connect >to a packet cluster and rx spots?
> >Can this be consider under ASSISTED cat?
> I personally see no problem with the idea of using any form of technology
> to aid in operating a contest, short of actually calling people up to tell
> to get on the air.
> Being a regular entrant in the assisted category, this issue is dear
> to my heart. This is a subject ripe for open and intellegent debate.
> Questions such as: what constitutes the boundary, with ham radio
> on one side and a sophisticated technological world is on the other.
> I would say that if the internet connection connects to a real packet
> cluster system where spots are posted by means of ham radio
> (HF/VHF/UHF) it rightfully qualifies as assisted operation.
As a regular M/S entrant, I make use of any and all packet spots that I can get
my hands on, AS LONG AS THEY ARE OBTAINED USING AMATEUR RADIO. I don't agree
with Walt's interpretation. My opinion is that the use of packet spots which
were directly or indirectly obtained using internet should not be allowed.
Unfortunately, this leads to an unenforceable "rule" that no packet clusters
should be connected to internet for the duration of the contest. If you want
to obtain out-of-area spots, you are going to have to use strictly amateur
radio means to get those spots - VHF or HF links.
Steve London, N2IC/0