APRIL 2020

Build The Station Vermont QSO Party Results New England QSO Party
Secretary's Minutes

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The April 14th RANV On-Line Meeting

For our next meeting, Mitch W1SJ will reprise his HAM-CON talk on building and operating an award winning station. All of our April and May events will be on Zoom Video.

There are a number of ways to join the meeting. The best way is to set up a free Zoom account and download the Zoom helper software into your computer or phone. A few days before the meeting, I will send you a meeting ID or a direct link to the meeting. The ID's will NOT be posted on-line. If you have a camera on your set up, then that is great, because we will be able to see you. If not, you can still see everyone else.

Alternatively, if you cannot or choose not to set up your computer to join a meeting, you can link to the audio portion of the meeting on your telephone. The phone number and meeting ID will be identified in the E-mail. However, this should be considered as a secondary method to access the meeting since you will not see anyone or see anything in the presentation.

We have been running brief Zoom meetings each Tuesday night, followed by a gathering on 3803 and on 145.15. This is a great time to check out your ability to test your link to the meeting. I will start the meeting up at 6:30. In the following half hour we will be able to check audio levels, video settings, etc. so that the meeting runs more smoothly. And then we all have the opportunity to meet on the air. We are hams; that is what we are supposed to do!

So make preparation to take part in the On-Line RANV meeting on Tuesday, April 14, starting at 6:30.


Mitch W1SJ

When all the logs were tallied, 39 Vermont stations made close to 10,000 QSO's with stations all over the world. In terms of logs, there were submissions from 23 Vermont stations and 253 stations outside of Vermont, totally crushing previous highs.

In the Vermont competition, Kevin KE1VT moved up to a first place finish of 270k after finishing third last year. He used a mixture of phone and CW and posted the highest QSO total while only running low power. Well done! Zach W1JXN repeated his second place finish with 108k, a slight increase from last year, running low power. He split time between phone, CW and RTTY. He managed this accomplishment even though his operating time was limited due to family activities. Paul AA1SU improved to a third place finish of 90k, running high power on two modes. He had the highest number of multipliers of all the Vermont entries. Joe K1VMT operated on CW only, running up a score of 86k running high power for a fourth place finish. He was part of the reason why CW was so popular this year. Mike N1JEZ ran up a fifth place score of 64464 mostly on high power phone with a few digital contacts. He had the highest number of phone QSO's and was a force to be reckoned with on 20 meters. Bob KB1FRW just missed the top five with 63977, a difference of only 484 points, or 1 multiplier. He ran low power on phone only, but added 13 digital contacts to pick up the score. N1FS, operated by Rob N1TRK & Tom WB2BCD were the big winners in the multi-op category with an amazing score of 129k, setting a new record in this category. They did this with equal parts phone and FT8 with a good amount of multipliers. Mill K1IB, put only 4 counties in Southern Vermont on the air, but did it in a big way, adding up to 33k while running some tremendous rates on CW while sitting in the mobile on county lines.

In the outside Vermont competition, first place goes to Mark K1RO from New Hampshire. Mark ran up a score of 2322 points from an amazing 57 QSO's and 27 multipliers. To put this in perspective, only 34 multipliers from the various modes were possible this year. Mark was also able to horsepower his way to 20 QSO's on 20 meters even though the skip distance makes this difficult over the short hop from New Hampshire to Vermont. Super job! Second and third place were a real horse race. When the dust had settled, Ken KS4X from Tennessee squeaked out a second place finish. Ken is no stranger to this position as he has finished in the top 10 for many years in this event. Jeff N8II from West Virginia took third. Jeff is also no stranger to the top ten as he was the top finisher in 2018. The difference between second and third place was 1 miscopied county! The top three finishers will receive a 3.4 oz container of genuine Vermont maple syrup! Fourth and fifth place were also tight. Ron W4UT from Tennessee was in fourth place on the strength of FT8 and RTTY contacts and extra multipliers. Ron took the top spot in 2016. Fifth place goes to Dave KA6BIM who made more contacts than Ron, but ran high power which resulted in a lower multiplier. Last year, 17 stations outside of Vermont earned certificates by placing in the top 10 or working 10 Vermont stations. This year, 76 stations outside of Vermont will receive certificates in addition to 17 from Vermont. Processing those 93 certificates kept me busy for awhile.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Vermont QSO Party and we hope to have another great time next year. Full results can be found at

NEAR-Fest Cancelled?
Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled - The New England QSO Party Will Go On

Paul AA1SU

NEAR-Fest XXVII may be canceled, but rest assured there is plenty of Ham Radio to do on the weekend of May 2-3. The New England QSO Party and 3 other state QSO Parties will go on. And, you only need one logging program to log them all. The NEQP starts at 4 PM on Saturday and runs until 1 AM on Sunday. It starts up again at 9 AM on Sunday and runs until 8 PM. This contest covers 6 states. The late start was to allow people at NEAR-Fest time to get home and participate. A similar contest called the 7QP will also be going on. This one covers the 8 states in the 7 call area. The contest starts Saturday at 9 AM and ends at 3 AM on Sunday. The Delaware QSO Party starts Saturday at 1 PM and ends Sunday at 8 PM.

The Indiana QSO Party is on Saturday from 11 AM to 11 PM. This is a whopping 16 states all on the air in one jam packed weekend. You may be asking. “Paul! How on earth will I be able to log all of this?" The logging software N1MM+ has a solution for this. This program will keep track of and log all four contests at once.

If you are not familiar with N1MM+, you will need to download it and become acquainted with it ahead of time. For a contest, simply choose QSOPARTY, then NEWE in the drop down box. When working a ham in the NEQP or another contest, simply log the exact abbreviation that he/she sends you. If they are on a county line enter it as ORDES/JEF for example. This would be a ham in Oregon on a county line. When you hit Enter, the logging software will give you credit for both counties on 2 lines automatically. If you are working any other state simply enter that state's 2 letter post office abbreviation.

Let's say you are mobile in Vermont and working from the Chittenden/Grand Isle county line. You would send CHIVT/GRAVT. Notice that this is different from what the guy in Oregon sent.

When the contests are over, generate one Cabrillo file. Send this file to the sponsor for each QSO Party. They will score it for you. It's that simple. They may even send you a certificate!

Doing this, is not only fun for you, it helps the log checkers in the other contests to verify the logs. Below you will find links to each contest. Here, you can find rules, times, exchanges, county abbreviations, etc. After you submit your scores to the contest sponsor, be sure to upload your score summary to the State QSO Party website, as well.

Links New England QSO Party:
7-Land QSO Party:
DE QSO Party:
IN QSO Party:
State QSO Party:
State QSO Party Upload Page:


Duane WL7CVD, Secretary

There were about 12 in attendance. Club president Bob KB1FRW called meeting to order at 7:11 PM.

Official Business
Bob KB1FRW read a thank-you note from Max KC1MDX, an 13-year old who recently received his Extra license. The club gave him a membership and a subscription to ARRL. Alex KC1MRP also received his license, and George KC1JGM upgraded to Extra.

Ruth agreed to bring snacks for the April meeting. Mitch W1SJ asked for feedback on Ham-Con. Bob liked the station being in the main room. There seemed to be less opportunity to sit around and gather for chit chat. The Steering Wheel is always looking for new meeting ideas. Paul suggested having a meeting where members could describe other clubs they belong to such as the Fist CW club, the 10-10 club, etc.

It was proposed that the club buy a zoom account, offer club meetings on zoom.

There were suggestions on how to have the Steering Wheel meetings online or on the air via repeater given the corona virus.

The presentation consisted of a video by the "space weather lady", Dr. Tamatha Skoy. She pointed out that ham operators are on the front lines of space weather as it affects propagation. There are many applications that can be affected by space weather (variations in the ionosphere) such as GPS, fit-bit watches, satellites, military, FAA, aurora tourism, etc. What is space weather? The planet interaction with sun, environment, other planets have auroras, also moons. Weather is sun driven, but is also affected by such things as cosmic rays, interstellar space dust. The sun's output is electromagnetic radiation, also solar wind and plasma, plasma is magnetized. There are solar flares and coronal mass ejections. There are four types of solar flare, solar radio bursts, essentially light, broadband pulse. They can wipe out a band with no warning. Coronal mass ejections are blobs of plasma blown out of the sun. They have magnetic properties. They can predict when they will reach the earth. NOAA tries to provide space weather predictions. The ionosphere is a charged plasma layer energized by the sun. It is not smooth but turbulent. It can cause huge differences in gps location.

Amateur radio operators are the space weather field reporters of future. Space weather still in infancy, has gaps. The ability to predict space weather will be increasingly important as indicated by the fact that more people have cell phones than toilets.

For more information, see

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