My Most Recent QSO's

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Month of October

It's been a busy month starting a new West Virginia Chapter of the NAQCC Club. I've not made a blog entry in almost a month but starting a new group is always time consuming and I feel the club is on it's way now.

The following is a copy of what has been happening in October with the West Virginia Chapter of the NAQCC ClubIt should appear in the next newsletter of the NAQCC club. This free newsletter is full of information about our state chapter club activities in Western Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, West Virginia, and Europe. It's a great read for QRP'ers specializing in Morse Code.

Hello Everyone:

First of all, let me offer a warm welcome to the following new members and those who have expressed an interest in the WV Chapter of the NAQCC club. I‘m looking forward to your participation in the club activities and thank you for your membership.

WA8SIE- Joe from South Charleston WV
NK8Y- Bill from Winfield, WV 
KD8EZS- Kevin from Morgantown WV
KB8AOB- Richard from Buckhannon WV
KC8SBK- Carroll from Harmony WV
W8GDP- John from Charleston WV
KA8SYV- Frank from Charleston, WV
N8NH- Jeff from Princeton, WV
K8SX- Pat from Follansbee, WV
K9ESE- Jeff from Charleston, WV

I've been networking this month and since the beginning of October I've added several friends to our e-mail and membership lists. I hope other members in West Virginia will do the same with their friends and acquaintances who enjoy Morse Code as their primary operating mode at 5 watts or less of power.

If you have WV CW QRP friends; let them know about our club.

Several things happened this month in West Virginia. I drove to Mineral Wells WV early this month on October 12th and attended the Parkersburg Hamfest. I had the intention of meeting Steven (KC4URI)  and we had a wonderful talk about the radio hobby. I look forward to many more of the same.

While at the Hamfest, I also met WA8WV and W8IW (from the Charleston area) who were checking cards for the ARRL DX and WAS award program. I might also add they both offered me the use of some really good “beam antennas” for my QRP work and  I intend to be knocking on those doors soon. Thank You!

A few days later, a small group of us had a breakfast meeting on October 16th  at a local restaurant which was attended (left to right) by myself (N8ZYA), Eric (AC8LJ), John (W8GDP) and Jim (NX8Z). I’ve been gathering information from these club members, and as a result, we had lots to talk about while we ate breakfast.

I like my new hat.

We've made a decision to have a weekly NAQCC WV Chapter net on Tuesday evenings at 8:00 PM (local time) on the frequency of 7060 MHz. I hope to hear more of the folks up in the Northern part of the state at that time.

Steve (KC4URI

I met up with Steve (KC4URI) at the Cedar Lakes Conference Center on Friday Oct 18th for our first “outing”.

I found the Cedar Lakes Conference Center to be a great place to operate QRP radio because of the low noise level and it’s inherent scenic beauty. It’s ideally situated about equal distance between Charleston and Mineral Wells and about a half hour drive from both locations.

I’ll try to do more of this with out future outings to get others involved from different parts of the state. I realize we have many members in the northern part of the state which is a bit too long of a drive to attend a gathering near Charleston. 

We operated for around three hours at Cedar Lakes, and afterwards, the log book on 40 and 20 meters looked like this:

W8ICN, K8LJG, and KG8YT in Michigan, N8IUP in Ohio, WA2JSG in New Jersey, W8GDP and AC8LJ in Charleston, W0CC in Kansas, KC5NX and NE5DL in Texas, W9UX in Wisconsin, K4RHG,K1YAN, and N1AN in Massachusetts, K1IEE in Maine, K3MD  in Pennsylvania, and W2LG in Florida.

John (N8ZYA) 

I was amazed at the difference between a dipole antenna at 20 feet and 40 feet. I was also astounded at the difference between the noise level in the country verses the city. The noise level at Cedar Lakes was nearly “zero”. My first shot over the cedar trees left the 40 meter contacts at the mercy of some low hanging 20 foot limbs. Switching over to 20 meters, I put another line over the 40 ft crest of another section of the tree.

Although I concentrated on the agreed 40 and 20 meter frequencies, I could have easily worked DX on 20 meters with about 3 watts. I kept hearing a distinct PA3 (14.060) station in the Netherlands. There were also several IK stations on the lower CW section of the band.

My last “official duty” of the month was the “first” WV Chapter NAQCC net on October 22, 2013 which was Tuesday night at 8 pm.  As noted above, I've decided to do this weekly net on 7060.  (plus or minus) My location in the center of town, with the eleven story apartment building next door, leaves much to be desired for a net control operator, but I was surprised to hear seven stations. I must admit that operating from Cedar Lakes, where the noise was practically zero, spoiled me.

Checking into our net were K8SX from Follansbee, WV (148 miles) , K9ESE- mobile from a parking lot North of Charleston , K3NLT- Broadway, Virginia (153 miles) , N4OLN- near Atlanta Georgia (351 miles) , KA8SYV- Charleston, WV, W3TTT- Baltimore, MD (274 miles) , and AC8LJ- Charleston, WV.

My congratulations to all of the stations who had the patience to work me. Propagation is a strange thing at times …...N4OLN in Atlanta Georgia was the winner with the best signal, and amazingly, the longest distance this evening.

I’m looking forward to next month but until then, this month has been a good one for us. My thanks go out to all those who encourage and support me in this new WV Chapter of the NAQCC club.

Happy Trails,

John Smithson N8ZYA
NAQCC # 2279
President - WV Chapter of the NAQCC Club

You can keep up on our local chapter activities at this link:

NAQCC WV Chapter

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The West Virginia Chapter of the NAQCC Club

I've reached a peak in this QRP radio hobby where I have a deep desire to share my enthusiasm for Morse Code and QRP radio with those in my  home state of West Virginia. The announcement of the West Virginia Chapter of the North American QRP CW Club is in the  current newsletter  of the NAQCC club this month.

I've included a link to our "West Virginia Chapter" page on the right side of this blog, so be sure to check it for the latest information on activities and feel free to drop your comments and suggestions for our  NAQCC WV Chapter on this site.

West Virginia is a beautiful place to live and we're known as the "Mountain State" for good reasons. There are more than one hundred "mountain tops" at more than 4,000 ft elevation. West Virginia is also a "rural" state where electrical noise is nearly "zero" in many places. This makes an "excellent" venue for low power Morse Code radio operations.

This local chapter is for the CW QRP operators in West Virginia. I've discovered around 40 NAQCC members on their national membership list. I find around 20 are "radio active" in our state. I hope to hear from and meet many of them as soon as possible.

Listen for our chapter on the standard QRP frequencies of all bands. Check the  NAQCC WV Chapter   for our future activities.

If you're a WV QRP CW radio operator, and not on the NAQCC membership roles; drop me a line and I'll be more than happy to include you on their (and our) e-mail list. Membership is absolutely and unconditionally "free". 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

DX on 40 Meters with an Indoor Isotron Antenna

Due to a busy personal schedule, I've sparsely been on the air for a few days; but I still continue to work a few DX stations. Early this morning, I found this VERY satisfying QSO with a station near Munich Germany. 

I've been hearing a few nightly DX stations, on the lower end of the General class portion of the 40 meter band, but never thought I could work one. I was very surprised when I called DJ6ZM on 7026 MHz with 5 watts from my indoor mounted Isotron antenna - and he answered with a "question mark".  (IMI)

After re-directing his beam, and me repeating my call sign a few times, he could hear me clearly, and responded with a 449 report! He lives about 15 KM from the headquarters of BMW motor company.

 Wikipedia image

I've worked Germany 41 times now. Fifteen of them have been this year, but this is my first German contact on  40 meters. As most of my readers know, I live in a restricted antenna area near the state capitol in Charleston and use stealth antennas.

My 40 meter antenna has often been called "the bird house" because...let's face it, I've seen bird houses about this size.  Hihi  

My 40 meter Isotron antenna is the one with the "small coil" on the left side of the painters pole.

This morning, on 30 meters,  I also worked EA3NT for the "third" time and he responded with "nice to hear you again". This makes my 37th contact into Spain.

I'm also very proud of a nice contact, on the 29th of September, with UX1AA in the Ukraine ! This was a great signal on the 17 meter band. In addition to a nice card displayed on

He sent me this one via E-QSL: 

The Ukraine log book now has ten contacts listed on it's pages.