From [email protected] Mon Aug  5 17:40:19 1996
Date: Mon, 5 Aug 1996 17:36:47 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Dick Wilder (K3DI)" <[email protected]>
To: Steve Affens K3SA 
Subject: PVRC Newsletter, August 1996

  PRESIDENT KE3Q   RICH BOYD       (301) 464-8014 [email protected]
  VICE PRES KF3P   TYLER STEWART   (301) 414-5444 [email protected]
  SECRETARY WA3WJD BRIAN McGINNESS (301) 652-6768 [email protected]
  TREASURER N3KTV  JIM HORTON      (301) 258-9731 
  HISTORIAN K3SA   STEVE AFFENS    (301) 774-0558 [email protected]
PVRC Charter Members:
PacketCluster Contest/DX System (MHz):
K3NA  Frederick MD  145.630                     
W3LPL Glenwood MD   145.590 441.250
KE3Q  Bowie MD      145.570 445.375       
N3RR  Rockville MD  145.510 441.325
N4OHE Mt.Weather VA 145.710 440.925       
N4SR  Woodbridge VA 145.530 *
WR3L  Baltimore MD  145.610 **          
K4FJ  Mt. Vernon VA 145.770 *
*  These nodes are separately operated and funded by the Rappahannock DX
Packetcluster Group.  The others listed are sponsored by the Potomac
Valley DX Spotting Network.
** WR3L is temporally unavailable to users while being used as link to
PVRC on Internet:  
Visit the PVRC Home Page, courtesy of K3SA, at:
Dues are by donation.  
The mandatory $10 dues have been discontinued. So please send your
donation - hopefully at least $10 - to Jim Horton, N3KTV, 8527 Calypso
Lane, Gaithersburg, MD 20879-1522.  Make checks payable to PVRC.  Thank
Newsletter Editor:
Dick Wilder, K3DI, 913 Shore Acres Rd, Arnold, MD 21012-1724.  The
communication ports are:  (410) 757-6706, FAX/modem 757-6720,
[email protected], and the DXcluster.  The deadline is for the September
issue is Monday, August 26.
PVRC Meeting Calendar:
Sat,    Aug 17: Fowlfest at W3YOZ in West River, MD.*
Tue,    Aug 20: Regular NW meeting, Frederick. *
Mon,    Sep 9:  First central meeting of the season.
Tue,    Sep 17: Regular NW meeting, Frederick. *
Sat,    Sep 21: Open house at WR3L in Baltimore.
               *See details in article in this issue
It's Fowlfest time; a joint PVRC and NCDXA meeting, hosted by Marty, W3YOZ
near Annapolis.  Festivities start at noon on Saturday, August 17, with
BBQ chicken and drinks.  Some folks may bring the optional salad or
dessert. Everbody should bring a big appetite!  Directions:
From Wilson Bridge:   I-95/I-495 to MD Route 4 (PA Ave. South/East); turn
off at MD Route 258 (Bristol/Deale); take 258 to MD Route 256; turn left
and go to Rodgers Road; turn right, go to gravel road on left, turn left;
go to 1062 sign, turn right and go to picnic grounds at the water's edge.
From U.S. Route 50/Beltway:  Take Beltway to Route 50; take Route 50 east;
after crossing Patuxent River the next turnoff is MD Route 424
(Davidsonville Road); take 424 and continue until it dead ends at MD Route
2; turn right, go 200 feet and turn left on Mill Swamp Road; continue to
MD Route 468 (Muddy Creek Road); turn right on 468 and to MD Route 256
(look for Smith's Building Supply); turn right on MD Route 256 and
continue to Rodgers Road (first left after the Churchton Post Office);
turn left on Rodgers Road, go to gravel road on left; turn left, go to
1062 sign, turn right and go to water's edge.
From I-97: Take I-97 South to MD Route 665 (Allen Blvd.); take 665 to MD
Route 2; take Route 2 south to Mill Swamp Road (first left after Route 424
on right); take Mill Swamp Road to MD Route 468 and follow the directions

The much anticipated N3RR bash started at noon as we navigated Bill's
course of yellow flags to outline the drive in across the grass toward
parking, with Bill's daughter Brittney leading a bevy of pre-teen YLs
frantically waving us in and Bill's son Brian waving us to specific
parking spots.  Conversation and mini-tours of Bill's antenna farm ensued,
followed shortly by the queue for the O'Brien's barbecue, under a big blue
and yellow tent in Bill's backyard.  Bill had a number of tables set up
under the tent, with chairs.  Bill was prepared for almost any weather,
but the weather cooperated pretty well anyway.
Inside the house we got to see Bill's newly renovated basement and his
hamshack with IC-781 and IC-4KL, backed up by an IC-761 transceiver. I
enjoyed presetting all three ringrotators (there are just three so far,
right?) then pushing all three start buttons and running outside to see
all the antennas turning simultaneously, but in alternate directions.
Yes, that was me.  I suppose we could get a similar effect if we had the
ops at W3LPL all rotate (but not all in the same direction) their yagis at
once.  Would be fun to capture this on videotape.  Maybe we can work up a
choreographed routine, "synchronized rotating" and maybe put it to music!
We convened a "real" meeting at 2:30 and voted in six new members.  Thanks
for joining us, guys!  Current members, keep up the recruiting efforts!
And let's work up to an activity frenzy for the fall contests!
KF3P had not yet been heard from in a general meeting on his WRTC
experience and gave us some interesting info, "It was one big pool party."
W3ZZ added some info on his experience as a referee, and K3ZO, who had
already spoken on this subject at the KT3Y meeting, added some more.
Bill arranged for Mike Martin, N3RWF, to give his interference
hunting/solving presentation, which we commenced at 3.  Mike works for
PEPCO and solves interference complaints full-time, using his high tech
anti-interference truck, handheld yagi and
interference-sniffer-on-a-stick.  Mike has been very helpful to N3RR,
WB3ARZ, K3ZO and many others.
We're very fortunate to have him "walking the beat" in our neighborhood.
If you'd like Mike to speak to your local club, I think he's willing.  He
is: Michael Martin, Interference Investigator, Speaker Bureau, CR-ES
Volunteer, Substation Electronics, 8300 Old Marlboro Pike, Upper Marlboro,
MD  20772 301-967-5230 Pager 1362.  And it does say PEPCO in larger
letters in the middle of the card.  The question was raised whether he's
an actual employee or freelance.  I think he's an actual employee but
these cards appear (to me) to have been made up to pass out when he goes
out to speak to groups like ours.
Futures dates to remember:  8/17, the Fowlfest at W3YOZ, Churchton, MD
(south of Annapolis) and 9/23, our first ever ((I think) "summer" meeting
in September, at WR3L's packetcluster node station and NE PVRC region HQ
(I guess it's a front line trip wire outpost) in Essex, MD, east of
Baltimore.  And, our first fall "regular" meeting, the second Monday of
September, Temple Hills (preceded by Topolino's
restaurant nearby), Maryland, with a presentation by WB4NFS and maybe
others, on the VP2MFM contest DXpedition that was done by Woodbridge guys,
plus ringers W4MYA and W2HPF.
Sign in:  W3GG, N3MIL, KE3Q, WF3J, AA3KX, N3JT, KE4PSV, WD3Q, AA4EL,
K3ZO, W6AXX, WR3E, N3II, AA3LE, W3GNQ, KT4W, AA3NM, WA3WJD, and Tom Gately
(non-ham PE, neighbor of W6AXX who did tower plans for KF3P, N3RR, and
The meeting broke up around 5:00 with additional mini-tours of the
grounding panel by N3RR, walks out to the base of the tower with
description by N3RR, and we drove out, staying between the red flags.
Congratulations, N3RR, on your station and on putting together a fine
PVRC Northwest Regional Meeting Minutes July 16, 1996 
by Tyler Stewart, KF3P
The meeting was called to order at 8PM at Legends Restaurant in Frederick.
In attendance were members: KF3P, K3SME, N3KKM, K3ZNV, K3IXD, W6AXX, N3RR,
ND3A, N5OKR, AA3HM, and the ghost of AA6DC (ask someone who was there
N3RR reminded us of his open house on August 3rd... [details deleted. See
above minutes. ed]   AA3HM reminded us that NAQP CW is August 3rd as
well....oh well!
K3IXD sent a substantial check to N3KTV (PVRC Treasurer), for profits from
the most recent PVRC paraphenalia sales.
KF3P drove straight from National Airport to preside over the meeting,
after participating in WRTC with Bob, KR2J of FRC as W6V.  Tyler related a
few details of this first-class event, synopsizing by saying that it was
an incredible experience and a whole lot of fun!  He passed around a copy
of a 2/3 page article that appeared in the local paper for Solano County,
CA with an interview and big color photos of Bob and himself, manning W6V
at the home of host Les Valdez, WB6YRN.  Of course, the reporter and
photographer showed up at 11 AM during the contest, providing a convenient
and justified excuse for their team not winning the competition!  The
organizers are hoping that the next WRTC will be run in the year 2000.
Possible locations loosely bantered around were Japan and Aruba/Bonaire.
A reminder was made that NAQP Phone is August 18th and 19th. Meeting
We met at KT3Y's Saturday, 7/20/96 starting at noon.  Present were: KE3Q,
KB3AUG, KU3M, AA6DC, and N4RV.
We got the antenna tour at KT3Y, much like last year, but with some new
antennas added.  There were 5-el wire yagis for EU and JA for 20 and 15,
stacked 20M dipoles, phased 80M dipoles, the 3-el 40M EU wire yagi in "the
lower 40" (that's what KE3TT called it), beverages, and others too
numerous to remember.
Inside, Phil demo-ed his IC-765 and IC-775, antenna switching, code reader
innovation, and Ameritron AL-1200 and AL-82.  He also showed us the design
and construction technique of his antenna tuners in mailboxes and
discussed the merits of the different designs.
When we settled in around the dining room table upstairs, Phil showed us
his wire antenna center insulator consutrction techniques.  Not one has
failed yet, he says.  And, using his high-tech satellite TV system in the
living room he demo-ed a 1-db, 3-db, and 10-db difference in signal
strength.  Very interesting.  As Phil said, "And when I think of how many
hours I spent to try to get half a db!"
K3ZO and KT3Y each, in turn, gave their observations from WRTC, where both
were judges, with many questions and comments from the PVRCers.
We heard from N3QYA about his station and operating activities, and voted
him into membership.  Andy is the son of long-time PVRCer W3MR, who was
also in attendance.  Andy's 16 and lives in Davidsonville, Maryland.
Also voted in were Pennsylvania region co-chairmen (K3MQH is passing the
torch) NE3H and K3TZV.  Congratulations!  We hope for many more new PA
PVRC members.
We also welcomed first-time PVRC meeting attender NR3O, (number thirty),
known to many of us from the 147.0 repeater, and FRCer K3SW. 
We had a great time, didn't run out of cola or beer or chips, the weather
was MUCH better than last year, and the company was just as good!
Anyone who was there, did I forget to mention anything in particular that
I should have?  If so, packet me and I'll put it in an addendum.
RESULTS - 1996 PVRC REUNION by Dick Wilder, K3DI
The following are the results of the PVRC Reunion-on-the-air held 3-5 June
1996.  Some scores of the top five were adjusted by the judges to remove
N6ZO/MM as a multiplier; MM is not a state, DC, Province, or DXCC country.
These scores, with soapbox from far flung PVRC'ers, will be in the annual
edition (April or May 1997) just before the '97 reunion.  Notice the
margin with which Henry edged out Buddy -- 1/24 of a QSO!  Many thanks to
all that participated.
Call  #    QSO    Mult    Score
W3UJ  1    191     23     8786
W4YE  2    183     24     8784
N4RP  3    122     22     5368
K3ZO  4    116     23     5336
KE3Q  5    136     19     5168
K3DI       138     18     4968
K4PQL      109     22     4796
KF3P       119     17     4046
K4VT        99     20     3960
K3AV        98     20     3920
WB3AVN      85     22     3740
WR3E       105     17     3570
W3TMZ       82     19     3116
AA3HM       91     17     3094
W3GN/M      57     26     2964
K8OQL       73     20     2920
K1HTV       82     16     2624
W7YS        81     16     2592
K4RZ        75     17     2550
W3CPB       63     19     2394
KT5X        61     16     1952
N3II        60     16     1920
N3AM        62     15     1860
DK5AD       62     12     1488
W4HM        39     17     1326
W2RS        40     15     1200
W3HVQ       50     11     1100
N4KW        41     10      820
N5OKR       44      8      704
W5KL        34     10      680
NH6T        36      9      648
W0SS        29     11      638
G0WJF(K6ZH) 27     10      540
W6MVW       12      7      336
K4CAX       15      9      279
W9LT        19      7      266
KA3TGY      12      6      144
K6SG        26    unknown   52
K3IXD        7      1       14
W3JPT/7      2      2        8
This was a joint effort by members of the Potomac Valley Radio Club and
the Frankford Radio Club on 13th and 14th of July.  All transmitters,
antennas, and operators were located at W3LPL using the call of W1AW/3 and
entering the contest as the ARRL Headquarters Station.  QSL's will be
automatically sent to every station from ARRL Headquarters.  The score
160   333    433     8    3
 80   671   1145    23    7
 40  1627   3839    33   14
 20  2619   7473    49   21
 15  1628   5062    33   16
 10  1139   3195    20   16
     8017  21147   166   77    Final score:  5,139,207
The operators were: AA3NM, K3DI, K3NA, K3RA, KA2AEV, KJ4VG, N3ADL, N3QYA,
My original intentions were to video this event and stay out of the way.
I was doing fine until Doug, N3ADL asked me if I wanted to sit down on 20
meters for a while.  I thought about it for about 2 seconds and said sure.
That was the best hour I have ever had at Franks!  Here are the comments
by bands.
10 Meters:  This was the big surprise band for the weekend.  We worked
about 400 Europeans.  We worked three in the first couple of hours (JX7DFA
was one of them).  We had a about 270 along with a lot of USA between
1930z and 0145z.  And then the biggest surprise was from 0700Z on until
the end of the contest we worked about 130 more.  There was no flutter at
all, and all signals peaked on their true headings.  We knew Bertha was
over the path, and it may have set up enough wind shear to account for the
polar path opening with Es conditions on 10 and 15 meters.  One more
surprise was JA7OWD at 0525Z directly over the pole. Our best hour on 10
meters was 2100-2200z with 122 qsos.  We only worked 4 South Americans, 0
Caribbeans, 1 African, 3 Oceania.
15 Meters:  Nice run of Europeans from 0613z to the end.  Worked JA1XRP at
0531Z, 5Z4BZ at 0614z, VS6BG at 1136z along with other JA's.  Best hour on
15 meters was 1800-1900z with 151 qsos.
20 Meters:  This is where the bulk of our QSO's were made.  We had 13
hours at rates over 100.  Biggest hours were 13z with 189, 12z with 171,
and 16z with 164.  We  should have spent more time looking for Europeans
on 20 meters SSB.
40 Meters: Our best hours on 40 meters were between the hours of 0100z and
0500z.  All four hours the rate was over 100 per hour.  It was nice to
point the top antenna to the west coast and have the bottom fixed on
Europe.  Noise from the storm was a factor but not nearly as much as it
was on 80 and 160 meters.
80 Meters:  Conditions were definitely hurt by the extreme noise
generated by the thunder storms from hurricane Bertha.  Many passes were
made to 40 and 160.  Lots of Canadian activity.  Very little long DX
worked or heard.  Very little South American activity on the band
considering it is winter down there.  Our best hour was 0500z with 69
160 Meters:  Same as 80 meters, very noisy and lots of passing from other
bands.  Our best hour was 0000z with 38 QSO's.  We only worked 4 Europeans
on this band and 3 of them were IARU HQ stations, So we only worked zone
27!  We spent about 2 hours trying to work some ZL but never did get his
call.  Sorry whoever that was, it was noisy.
IARU HQ Stations:  We had 77 QSO's with the IARU headquarters stations
working OM6HQ and HG96HQ six times and LX0RL once.   We worked (sorted by
EM5HQ/UARL, OI1X/SRAL, Z30M/RSM, and LX0RL/RL.  It hurts missing all those
HQ stations on 40, 80, and 160 meters.  I hope RAC (Canada) makes a better
effort next year, we missed VY1RAC completely.  I heard someone work him
but I could not hear him.  We missed 8J3XHQ/JARL and EI0RTS/IRTS, both
were spotted on our packet cluster.  Where were the following IARU HQ
stations: SP0HQ/SN9C/SQ0DXC, LZ7A, ZA1A, IY2ARI/IR2MQP, 4V100RC, HB9A,
CT1REP, HK3LR?  Surely other IARU countries can get special HQ callsigns,
especially in North America.
WRTC Stations:  This event added 190 QSOs to our log.  We worked each of
the 54 stations at least once.  Unfortunately, we were unable to really
chase these guys and help them out without seriously hurting our score.
At one point a good number of WRTC stations were on 10 meters CW, and
since our time was limited on CW we concentrated on trying to call WRTC
stations especially. Sometimes this had the bad effect of reversing the
pileup from the WRTC station to calling W1AW/3 which was bad.  We had to
send the exchange to one WRTC station four times for all the stateside
callers suddenly calling W1AW.  But we immediately left those frequencies
after working the WRTC stations.  On 10 meters the WRTC stations seemed to
all have very equal signals.  Also most of the WRTC stations on 40 meters
were equal, 1 or 2 were down from the rest.
I sure would like to hear how the other IARU HQ stations did, especially
HG96HQ who seems to have a lock on this contest.  If you have any
information please send it to me.
Editors WRTC note:
Fred Laun, K3ZO wrote an excellent article about the WRTC but it was too
long to include here.  For a paper copy of "WRTC: A JUDGE'S COMMENTS" send
a #10 SASE with 32c postage to K3DI.  Address on page 1.
Effective August 15th, I will be relocating to the Atlanta area: 1070
Cherokee Trail, Woodstock, GA 30188  770-592-3657.  "I"ve "B"een "M"oved.
I'm excited about my new QTH with two acres.  I look forward to getting a
new tower up with room for lots of wires and "stuff!"  After five years of
QRT, I'm restless anc can't wait to meet y'all on the air again.
Centreville, VA., 3 br, 2 bath, full basement, rambler with 2 car garage.
1.7 acres on a quiet dead end street convenient to US 29, 28, and I-66.
Have lived there 21 years and it is time to leave the area.  With the
house goes a basement ham shack with 230V and operating desk.  Towers and
antennas stay: 48' Rohn with TA-33 and 8 el 2m yagi.  AB-105 at 101' with
4 el 20m yagi and 2 el 40m yagi.  Dipoles for 80 and 160.  Price $175,000.
Contact Buddy, W4YE at (703) 830-3195.
EVOLUTION OF 8P9Z by Steve Jarrett, K4FJ
In 1987, a group of contesters consisting of K3KG, K3ZR, K4FJ, N4TX and
W4NL organized a CQWWSSB expedition to Barbados to try their hand at
operating from the other end.  We had developed our interest by operating
from the K3KG (GA, at that time) and W4NL (MD and, later, SC) and we were
anxious for something new.  N4TX did most of the coordination enabling us
to rent a cottage on a sugar cane plantation called Welchtown in the
northern part of Barbados.  The plantation manager, 8P6PW, had helped set
up a rental unit with a limited amateur radio capability.  Armed with
equipment and some antennas, we descended upon the place in late October
1987 and found the place, although a bit primitive, perfect for our first
shot at contesting from the dx side.  Thanks to 8P6PW, we augmented our
M/S effort by including his own station in the loop, and, in retrospect,
it is probably the very reason we finished high in the standings.  During
the contest, using my assigned 8P9HR call,  we found that rain wiped out
the little TH-3 but the antenna recovered after the shower was over.  A
few months later, while replacing that antenna, we found that the trap
holes were positioned upwards- -in fact, the antenna was upside down!  The
bottom line was that we enjoyed ourselves, helped the beer and rum
production, and had gotten our feet wet.
The following February, K3KG, K3ZR and myself returned for a shot at
ARRLDX Phone.  We had arranged for use of a special call, 8P9X, to ease
the vocal chords.  In the mean time, we had sent down a 2el shorty forty
which had been erected by VE3LGC.  We also sent down a TH-5DX which
quickly replaced the little TH-3 and the station began to come alive.  It
was no longer necessary to use 8P6PW's station---we had a good station now
that performed well.  We nearly won that contest, but a younger group
(only two ops) at VP2M beat us.  Something to be said for age.
The view from Welchtown was breath taking, a view of the Caribbean and the
Atlantic from a hill top location.  In the years to follow we gradually
improved the station with better equipment which would reside there, and
we raised the little tower by 20 feet.  The 8P9X scores improved.  We even
won the ARRL Phone M/S in 91 and collected a bunch of other awards over
the years thanks to donors such as K3NA.  Our only contest entries as M/S
were CQWWSSB and ARRL DX Phone, but I did attempt a Single Op entry in
ARRLDXCW in 89.  In 92, we switched our contest call to 8P9Z to further
ease the vocal trauma and still hold that contest weekend-only call.
The year 1993 was when it seemed that the roof caved.  That year was when
the plantation was sold, 8P6PW was out of his job, and our little contest
cottage was history.  We were given 10 days to get our stuff out.  8P6PW
took care of the cottage contents and K3ZR and I flew to Barbados and took
down the antennas and towers and transported to a place that resembled a
tropical jungle.  This was to be the new home and place of business for
8P6PW.  We had doubts that we would ever return.  One year later we went
back to survey the situation and were amazed to find the place totally
organized, beautiful, and ready for reconstruction of the contest station.
In fact, the cottage available to us was about five times larger, better
equipped with the essentials of life, and far more room for antennas that
we ever could imagine.  This is when the rebirth of 8P9Z began and, while
it has been expensive and required many non-contest trips, it has been a
worthwhile enterprise.  K3KG and K4FJ have purchased, erected and
installed competition grade antennas and proven the station in recent
contests and the rebuild continues.  Our score in last Fall's CQWWSSB was
very credible for two overaged ops and we have yet to hear a score that
beats our ARRLDXSSB M/S effort in Mar 96.  K3ZR joined us for that effort
and the 3rd op surely made the difference.
Today 8P9Z is a well equipped contest station supported by K3KG, K3ZR,
K4FJ, and W4NL.  We have a TH-6DX at 60 feet, a 3 el 40M yagi at 90 feet
and wire antennas for 80 and 160.  During our own contest operations we
have access to 8P6PW's TH-7 at 60 feet.  Although the location of the
current site is not as impressive as the earlier site, we have yet to see
the difference in performance.  The current cottage is fully equipped with
modern conveniences, except for air conditioning, and has room for up to
six people.
In the past we have rented our cottage to K4BAI for his cw contesting, as
well as G3VBL and VA3DX (VE3ICR).  There have been a number of others.  We
are currently actively advertising the cottage for a rental and it took
only a few days to book it for major contests for several years.  The
cottage is shown on K3ZR's home page
(http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/k3zr) and I can provide you with
additional info if you contact me at [email protected]
K3KG and I are currently looking into other investment ventures for
contest cottages in the Caribbean.