Continuous Quality improvement

K8DO at K8DO at
Sat Nov 11 13:08:54 EST 1995

This is a snip of a conversation, which I thought would be of general

begin snip
In contrast  we pre-assembled a KT34XA  yesterday and the machining on it is
junk... really bad... the through drilled, bolt holes in all the swaged
pieces on the traps are about 15 degrees off center line, and do not line up
with the predrilled fiberglass rods which they mate with... all the tubing
with drilled holes had a big wad of burrs protruding through on the inside of
the tube, sign of a very dull, drill bit... we spent a fair amount of time
with round files cleaning this up...then we had to spend time with the drill
press remachining the numerous pieces with misaligned holes... on one end the
B straps were formed way off, and you have to sit there with pliers, and a
hammer, and a drift, rebending and then redrilling them... the boom had 4,
1/4" holes completely missing... luckily I had a drill bit long enough to do
the job... All of the slotted ends were only grooved  the last third of their
length instead of slotted, and the  unmilled aluminum had to be removed and
the slot filed clean... I have a good workshop, but... what was an annoyance
for us could be major problem for someone with limited tools and
end snip

Was this the once in five years bad job that got out the door, or a trend?  I
don't know.
I called KLM and while they were polite, they had no answer as to how their
product got out the door in such shoddy condition....

General comments:
There is no more excuse for this on a $700 antenna, than there would be for a
mercedes to be shipped with bad paint...
They have been building this model for what, 8 or 10 years?  It is obvious
that they have no concept of CQI.... By this stage of production, the parts
should slip together like they were dipped in hot butter... there should be "
match the color paint stripes" on the mating ends of all parts... the
critical steps (like the A straps and caps)  should be preassembled... the C
straps should be factory bent... the manual should have hi-res drawings, with
the assembly steps for each logical subassembly on its own page... etc. ...

This is only one example as to why other countries are kicking our
manufacturing butt all over the globe... (See Mario, I'm not always a bad
guy..   :)   

Cheers  ...  Denny

>From peterj at (Peter Jennings)  Sat Nov 11 18:23:33 1995
From: peterj at (Peter Jennings) (Peter Jennings)
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 10:23:33 -0800
Subject: Digital QSLs
Message-ID: <199511111823.KAA21613 at>

As W6QHS has pointed out, it doesn't make much sense to transport a
piece of cardboard half way around the world to confirm a radio contact.

The technology now exists to send a QSL confirmation via email or
packet using public key cryptography for message authentication.

Following is an example of a digitally signed email QSL. The message
is not encrypted, but "signed" with a PGP signature which is a
function of the message contents.


    V31DX is pleased to confirm the following QSO(s):

          Call   Date       UTC     Band   RS

          W6QHS  28-Oct-95  0654     80    59
          W6QHS  28-Oct-95  0754     40    59
          W6QHS  29-Oct-95  2331     20    59
          W6QHS  28-Oct-95  1752     15    59
          W6QHS  29-Oct-95  2135     10    59

                                        73 & GL

                        John N6YRU, Vic   KI6IM
                        Bill  WA9L, Peter AB6WM

Version: 2.6.1


Anyone who has a copy of the V31DX public key can verify that the
above message has not been altered and that it originated from
V31DX. The V31DX public key is at the end of this message.

Technically, the level of security is extremely high. It is virtually
impossible to modify the contents of the message and have the signature
validate correctly. The degree of security depends only on the
confidence you have that the public key came from the real sender,
in this case V31DX.

In order for digital QSL confirmations to work, the ARRL, and other
award granting bodies, need to collect public keys directly from the QSL
senders and use them to authenticate digital QSLs submitted on diskette
or via email. Most of this can be automated.

The private key used to create the QSL message, and the password
protecting its use, always remain with the sender of the messages.


One way to simplify further the issuance of digital QSLs for contest
and DXpedtion logs, is to create a central site with all of the logs.

Digital QSLs could be issued from the site to be used for awards purposes.
In that way, the QSLs would be available to anyone who wanted to request
one via email or WWW. The site would be the digital equivalent of a QSL
manager. It would not be necessary for the contest or DXpedition operators
to answer individual QSL requests if their logs were available on the
master QSL database. Nor would it be necessary for the award granters to
do the database searching in order to validate each contact.

V31DX is pioneering this new approach to QSLing as a demonstration of
the technology. Our logs are available already at

and we will soon be sending email QSLs like the one above to all who
request them. (When the program to automate the process gets written).

The next step is to generate discussions among the award granting
bodies in order to specify a standard for the types of digital signatures
that would be acceptable. After that, it's a simple matter of programming ;)

Peter   AB6WM

For more information on PGP and public key cryptography, check out the
following URL:

This is a complex topic for which there are innumerable mailing lists
and newsgroups. Digital QSLs are a topic for the CQ-Contest mailing
list, but I suggest that the discussion of the background technology
might better be kept to the appropriate groups and email.

V31DX Public Key for demo purposes only:

Version: 2.6.1


>From kp4xs at (Kenneth Ramirez )  Sat Nov 11 18:25:01 1995
From: kp4xs at (Kenneth Ramirez ) (Kenneth Ramirez )
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 10:25:01 -0800
Subject: The Facts abt Guest Operating!
Message-ID: <199511111825.KAA14832 at>

    What's this I hear about no respect for guest operators? Lot's of 
time and no money? Megabuck station owners? No will and desire on part 
of operator to put a station together? Hiding behind someone elses 
      HOGWASH! Anyone who even thinks remotely like that hasn't been 
around the hobby very long and hasn't got a clue!
    I have guest operated from many stations in previous contests. One 
reason has always been the lack of acreage for an antenna farm. A 
townhouse in a Washington DC suburb does not lend itself well for a 
contest antenna farm. Two acres here in my new QTH in South Carolina 
still wouldn't be enough.
   Another reason is a lack of Moolah! I know this hasn't kept others 
from assembling world class stations I.E. W3LPL,etc. They are good at 
scrounging. To tell you the truth; even if I had enough money to 
assemble a world class contest station I wouldn't do it. Do you realize 
how much work is involved in keeping that station running? Do you think 
I want to get ulcers every time a storm front moves through? Do you 
think I want to spend most of my summers up on a tower? Besides, If I 
was rich I could think of dozens of other things I would rather be 
doing.Some that come to mind are chasing broads down in the Caribbean, 
or having fun with the local women over in the Phillipines or Thailand! 
I am greatful to the LPLs of this hobby for allowing me to blow off 
some pent up energies in a contest.
  I am fully aware of the hard work and effort they have put into their 
stations and the least I can do is put in 100% when given the 
opportunity. I ain't lazy, I ain't unmotivated and I ain't HIDING 
behind someone elses money and sweat! I Just have my priorities in a 
different order! And that's the MAIN reason!  73 Ken KP4XS ex-KH2F

        Member of the W3 Zulu Zulu Grid Pirates VHF Group and the
        KP4XS WPXSSB Contest "Team Cabo Rojo". Where eating Seafood and 
drinking a Beer is priority numero uno! See you in March!

>From mpickard at (Mike Pickard)  Sat Nov 11 18:42:13 1995
From: mpickard at (Mike Pickard) (Mike Pickard)
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 10:42:13 -0800
Subject: K7NPN SS CW Score
Message-ID: <199511111842.KAA25085 at>

Single Op Low Power  Section WWA

Band     QSO     PTS
80	83	166
40	144	288
20	131	262
15	282	564

Total	640	1280     X     71 multipliers  =  90,880

Club:   Western Washington DX Club

Station: TS-140  NA V9  Cushcraft A3S @ 50' with Alpha-Delta Dual 
Sloper on 40-80-160

Comments: Finesse and etiquette in maintaining a working frequency became
the key challenge in this one! The DSP 9+ was effective in pulling out
some weak stations. Well gotta run almost time for Contest College! 73
de Mike K7NPN mpickard at

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list