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CQ Contest Magazine

Subject: CQ Contest Magazine
From: ke6ber@usa.pipeline.com (ke6ber@usa.pipeline.com)
Date: Mon Mar 25 02:01:16 1996
Got my first copy today in my PO Box at school.  Was away for a week, and
it must have come while I was gone.  Had a great time reading through it! 
Wonderful articles and information.  Can't wait till I get the next issue. 
My only complaint is that I did not subscribe sooner!  I think I'm going to
be ordering some back issues so I can get information from a couple of the
aritcles that are continued, such as the Operating Techniques column "Phone
Pile-up Techniques: Part 3".  Great to see the people from this reflector
getting a chance to put all their knowledge in print for reference and to
reach an even wider audience.  Enjoy, and I'll see you in the pileups in
WPX.  Watch out, I may just hand out KE1 for a while Sunday afternoon. 
Al, KE6BER/1, KE6BER@usa.pipeline.com 

>From Larry Schimelpfenig <lschim@mailstorm.dot.gov>  Mon Mar 25 12:28:18 1996
From: Larry Schimelpfenig <lschim@mailstorm.dot.gov> (Larry Schimelpfenig)
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.960325071646.3326A-100000@mailstorm.dot.gov>

In addition to ensuring that your own climbing gear is adequate and in
good shape, look after your buddies. A couple years ago while helping a
friend take down 160ft of Rohn 55 tower, one of the local club members
showed up with a belt he had picked up at a hamfest. The belt didn't
include a strap, so the local made his own - from 1/2 inch line connected
to snaps by loops of the same line secured with hose clamps. No knots or
anything else, just a loop held in place by radiator hose clamps. He was
as serious as a heart attack about doing tower work with it...... 
Something that a big club might consider doing for a little club is a 
presentation on tower safety. Doesn't matter whether ones working at 200 
feet or 30 feet, failure to observe proper safety procedures may result 
in death.

73 de Larry K7SV - lschim@mailstorm.dot.gov

>From Troy Majors <wi0r@southwind.net>  Mon Mar 25 14:20:19 1996
From: Troy Majors <wi0r@southwind.net> (Troy Majors)
Subject: should I renew NCJ?
Message-ID: <199603251420.IAA02960@onyx.southwind.net>

>From my perspective here, it looks like if either 
of them folded, it would be CQ Contest.  With what
it's been so far, I will not renew it.  NCJ will 
survive and even grow if the editors don't get
intimidated by the slick competition.  NCJ needs
to be a monthly though, to allow more of the
submitted material to be published, an thus to make
it a more interesting and viable magazine.

Troy WI0R
 þ RM 1.3  þ Eval Day 56 þ wi0r@southwind.net    Wichita, Kansas

>From David Clemons <dave@egh.com>  Mon Mar 25 15:33:11 1996
From: David Clemons <dave@egh.com> (David Clemons)
Subject: TailTwister Problems Summary
Message-ID: <Pine.3.89.9603251059.A5197-0100000@newman.egh.com>

        I sent this message last week, but it appears to have been lost:

        Two or three weeks ago I requested opinions on my broken TailTwister
situation, as well as thoughts on replacing it with a Yaesu G-1000SDX.
Thanks to all who responded (hope I haven't missed any in this list):
is a goldmine of mechanical information), KJ7CH, and KR9A.

        Here is a summary of responses received:

        On the Yaesu - generally I received good remarks.  The control 
box is good looking, and the 450 degree rotation and preset function are 
very good features.  One warning - be extremely careful not to overtighten the 
mast backet.  (The material it is made of will easily break.)  Also, many
respondents did not feel comfortable with the idea of drilling the mast and
bolting it through the center hole in the rotator bracket, as is recommended by
the manufacturer.  One adverse comment heard from several people is that the
service from Yaesu is generally not good - although at least one op was sent
a new mounting bracket free when his original cracked from overtightening.

        On repairing the TailTwister - my rotator was freewheeling in the 
wind.  Bill (K5FUV) suggested I check the bolts which hold the case together.
I sure wish he had been right about my particular case as it might have been a
simpler problem.  The repair possibilities are:

                1. the Hygain factory has a flat rate $90 repair, no matter
                   what is wrong.  This seems to be an excellent deal.

                2. Norm Jeweler (Norm's Rotor Service, 5263 Agro Dr, Frederick,
                   MD 21701, tel (301)874-5885) will also repair them.  He
                   offers the convenient option of sending you a rebuilt
                   rotor first, so you can make a single trip up the tower
                   to do the replacement.  You then have 30 days to send yours
                   to him, at which time he will rebuild it and charge you for
                   whatever was done.  (If you don't send yours in 30 days, you
                   will be charged for the invoice price which comes with the
                   rebuilt unit.)

I chose option #2 before hearing about option #1, so I ended up paying $185.
The damage started with a sheared brake wedge, but was severely compounded by
the freewheeling that occurred over a period of 2 or 3 weeks before I could
get it down.  (I was severely hampered in this regard by my work schedule and
the weather.)  In retrospect, option #1 would have been a better deal $$$-wise,
but I am happy with Norm's service.  His response time was excellent, and the
rebuilt unit works fine.  I still have the Yaesu rotor, and am contemplating
the possibilities of trying to return it vs. keeping it as a spare unit.

73, Dave Clemons K1VUT

>From Setzler" <setzler@c813.npt.nuwc.navy.mil  Mon Mar 25 10:05:28 1996
From: Setzler" <setzler@c813.npt.nuwc.navy.mil (Setzler)
Subject: Station Ergonomics
Message-ID: <n1384373820.21510@c813.npt.nuwc.navy.mil>


A few points on station layout that come to mind :

* Obviously, you want to be able to reach everything during the contest with
minimal excess movement.  You don't want to be sliding from one end of a long
desk to the other to reach various pieces of equipment.  Sure, a chair on
casters will get you from one end to the other pretty fast.  But fail to put
on the brakes quickly enough just once and you slam into the wall, putting you
out of commission for the rest of the test and putting a damper on your club

As your equipment suite grows, I think this would tend to dictate a U-shaped
position for a single operator.  Most used items right in front of you and
those lesser used to the sides.  This would put the monitor and radio(s) in
front and amp(s) to the side, for example.

* If you have the space available, don't push the operating desk up against
the wall.  Make sure you leave plenty of room between the operating desk and
the wall so that you can walk and work behind the desk to connect cables,
reconfigure equipment, replace fuses, etc.  I left ~24" and that's not enough;
 once you have a lot of gear (and all those wires!) in place it becomes a
tight squeeze.

* To give my forearms a rest, I put a 24" x 16" piece of 3/8" foam pad on the
desk top that extends out over the edge of the desk.  I place the keyboard and
the wrist rest on the pad.  It really helps.    

Good luck with the project.

73 James/kd1ng   >> setzler@c813.npt.nuwc.navy.mil  <<
From: richards@nylink.org on Fri, Mar 22, 1996 7:22 PM
Subject: Station Ergonomics
To: CQ-CONTEST@tgv.com

Hi All,
     I want to build a new operation position this spring/summer.
I am going to put it in the basement so there is plenty of room
for whatever I want to do. Operating considerations are that
it will be primarily a single op HF station with a VHF/UHF
station. The most pertinent question is what shape should the
operating desk be? Straight, L-shaped (L on left or right or
depends on handedness), U-shaped, something else? What about
desk height? Should it be normal desk height or somewhat lower so
that the keyboard is at a comfortable height. I am considering
insetting the keyboard into the desk and covering that with
plexiglass when not in use. Placement of the monitor? I realize
much of this depends on personal preferences but is there one 
set up more that's more effecient than another?
     Thanks in advance for any help.

73 de Rick WZ2T

>From aa4lr@radio.org (Bill Coleman AA4LR)  Mon Mar 25 14:27:08 1996
From: aa4lr@radio.org (Bill Coleman AA4LR) (Bill Coleman AA4LR)
Subject: Station Ergonomics
Message-ID: <v01540b01ad7c5bf691f4@[]>

Bill  W7LZP Wrote:
>Regarding the keyboard, I have the monitor directly in front of me, sitting
>on top of a keyboard drawer - I think that's what they call them - so I can
>slide the keyboard under the monitor so it's out of the way when not in use.
>Keyboard drawers are available at your local office supply house.  I think
>it's important to have as little eye motion from the keyboard to the monitor
>as possible, so I have the desk a little higher than "normal" and use a
>chair which semi-reclines.

In general this is good advise. Keyboard should be in front, and there are
a number of keyboard solutions. If your operating desk is very narrow and
high, you might consider keyboard drawer that mounts under the desk. Make
sure your elbows are supported comfortably when you are in a typing
position -- otherwise your shoulders will start to ache after a few hours.

However, I wonder about this business of looking at the keyboard. The
monitor should be at a comfortable viewing distance and angle. But really,
you shouldn't spend much time looking at the keyboard. If you can touch
type, you don't need to be staring at the keyboard.

If you cannot touch type, then you have a problem -- but isn't this the
same situation as with learning morse? It is just a skill you have to work
to acquire. Considering how central the computer is to today's contest
operation, touch typing would appear to be a prerequisite.

Bill Coleman, AA4LR      Mail: aa4lr@radio.org
Quote: "Not in a thousand years will man ever fly!"
            -- Wilbur Wright, 1901

>From k5na@bga.com (Richard L. King)  Mon Mar 25 15:46:13 1996
From: k5na@bga.com (Richard L. King) (Richard L. King)
Subject: Towers and The FAA
Message-ID: <199603251546.JAA02391@zoom.bga.com>

>Tim K3LR writes:
>PS Regarding tower belts and climbing hardware, I never lend my
>belt to anyone. If I put my life on the line at 20 feet or 200 feet
>on a tower, I want to know the complete history of my saftey device.
>Even with routine inspections, I replace my tower belt every 5 years.

I was glad to see that there is someone else out there who thinks like I do.
I have been climbing towers for over 25 years. Ever since 1971 when K5MA and
K5TU insisted that I climb my uncompleted first tower in Texas as a show of
good faith. At that time, I put on my brand new climbing belt and up I went.
I have been climbing ever since. 

W5RMC (now W5NA) and I had bought our belts together and he gave me a piece
of advice that I never forgot. He said, "your climbing belt is your safety
equipment and never, never loan it out". 

I have always kept to that policy even though it sometimes made me unpopular
with some who just didn't understand why I wouldn't share my belt. Later I
bought a ginpole for 25/45G and I classified that as my safety equipment
too. Heavy duty ropes for pulling up towers sections fall in the "safety
equipment" classification also. 

However, I have only replaced my belt once in those 25 years. I think I will
follow Tim's guidelines and start a 5 year replacement cycle. Thanks Tim,
for making me aware.

73, Richard

>From Pete Smith <n4zr@ix.netcom.com>  Mon Mar 25 15:47:04 1996
From: Pete Smith <n4zr@ix.netcom.com> (Pete Smith)
Subject: Tower paint etc.
Message-ID: <199603251547.HAA16684@ix9.ix.netcom.com>

At 10:07 AM 3/23/96 -0500, John A. Ross, IV wrote:
>I was able to find (via an industrial supply house) a cold
>galvanizing paint in convential 1 gallon cans. It worked great and that one
>gallon went a real long way. (Good thing...it was $65!).
>Of course it was light-grey, but I can't see any reason you couldn't add a
>bit of tint to make it either tree-greenish or sky-bluish. It went on easy
>with both a brush and mitt.
The stuff is also available from welding shops here in WV at about $9/spray
can.  Great for healing nicks in galvanizing, but I don't know I'd paint a
whole tower with it - the solvents in it are VERY powerful.


Pete Smith N4ZR (n4zr@ix.netcom.com)

>From Ronald R. Sigismonti" <sig@locke.ccil.org  Mon Mar 25 15:57:52 1996
From: Ronald R. Sigismonti" <sig@locke.ccil.org (Ronald R. Sigismonti)
Subject: New E-Mail Address for N3RS
Message-ID: <Pine.3.89.9603251001.A1106-0100000@locke.ccil.org>

Starting this week, I will be switching over to a new Internet service.  
my new E-Mail address will be: sig@newtech.net

I will be phasing out of the current service over a several day period.

Hope to see you all in the WPX CW Contest.

73 de Sig

>From Pete Smith <n4zr@ix.netcom.com>  Mon Mar 25 16:16:49 1996
From: Pete Smith <n4zr@ix.netcom.com> (Pete Smith)
Subject: Climbing belts
Message-ID: <199603251616.IAA24305@ix9.ix.netcom.com>

At 05:09 AM 3/24/96 -0800, Bill Turner wrote:
>One thing I'd highly recommend is a backup to your safety belt.  I use just
>a piece of 3/8 inch rope tied around my waist with a carabiner-type hook on
>the end.  Whenever I pause I just snap the hook around any convenient part
>of the tower.  Looks kind of hokey, but does wonders for my peace of mind.
>I never climb without it.
>73, Bill  W7LZP
Full-body harnesses like my Klein generally have a D-ring in the middle of
the back, and come with a 7-foot fall-arrest strap that has snap hooks on
both ends.  Despite a certain amount of derision from my ground crew (but as
a result, in part, of a deal with my acrophobic wife) I keep the fall-arrest
strap attached to the tower at all times while moving up and down.  I let
the positioning lanyard hang from one of the 2 D-rings on the belt, and only
attach it when I reach the work position.  That way, the extra "overhead" of
moving the fall-arrest hook every 6 feet or so doesn't seem excessive.

And by the way, Klein isn't out of business, and only sells full-body
harnesses now, because they say (in writing) that selling positioning belts
alone is contrary to current OSHA rules.  The belt someone bought from Texas
Towers may be "new," but chances are it was produced a couple of years ago,
before the rules apparently changed.  Getting into and out of the full
harness is annoying (sometimes comical) and it's a pain until you get it
adjusted right for your body and the amount of clothing you have on, but I
like the idea that it'll hold me even if I'm unconscious (and tip upside
down).  After all, we don't wear these things for when things are going right...


Pete Smith N4ZR (n4zr@ix.netcom.com)

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