PVRC NEWSLETTER AUGUST 1997

OFFICERS

PRESIDENT KE3Q   RICH BOYD       (301) 464-8014 rlboyd@capaccess.org
VICE PRES K3MM   TYLER STEWART   (301) 414-5444 k3mm@erols.com
SECRETARY N3OC   BRIAN McGINNESS (301) 652-6768 n3oc@wirelessinc.com
TREASURER N3KTV  JIM HORTON      (301) 258-9731 
HISTORIAN K3SA   STEVE AFFENS    (301) 774-0558 k3sa@access.digex.net
 
PVRC Charter Members:    W3GRF (SK), W4AAV (SK), W4KFC (SK), N0FFZ (SK),
W4LUE, W7YS, VP2VI (W0DX), W3IKN, W4KFT.
 
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 145.630 *
WR3L  Baltimore MD  145.610 440.950             
K4FJ  Mt. Vernon VA 145.770 *
K3MQH S Mountain PA 145.630
The system is sponsored by the Potomac Valley DX Spotting Network except
for nodes marked with "*" are funded & operated by the Rappahannock DX
Packetcluster Group.
 
PVRC on Internet. PVRC web site:   http://www.pvrc.org  courtesy of K3SA
    PVRC/NC web site:  http://www.pagesz.net/~pvrc  courtesy of N4AF
    PVRC reflector:  n4af@pagez.net to join. pvrc@pagesz.net to post.
 
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 you.
 
Newsletter Editor:  Dick Wilder, K3DI, 913 Shore Acres Rd, Arnold, MD
21012-1724.  The communication ports are:  (410) 757-6706, FAX/modem
757-6720, wilder@clark.net, and the DXcluster.  The deadline for articles
is Monday, two weeks before the central meeting.
 
The Central Meeting is always the second Monday except during the summer.
During June, July, and August an alternative to the central meeting are
the various summer activities.  The NW Region meets through the summer.
Also, the Newsletter does not go on vacation.
 
PVRC Summer Meeting Calendar:
Thu   Aug 7   PVRC/NC meeting at Luna's at 6 PM.
Sat   Aug 16  Annual "Fowlfest" at W3YOZ, Churchton, MD.  See p.2.
Tue   Aug 19  NW meeting, Legends Restr, Frederick MD at 8:00 PM
Sat   Sep 13  PA meeting at K3SWZ New Cumberland, PA
Sun   Sep 14  PVRC meeting at FAR Hamfest in Gaithersburg.
Mon   Sep 8   First central meeting of the fall.
Sat   Sep 20  Open house at Dave's, WR3L, Essex. MD.  New hamshack with
              10 mile view across water to NE.  Needs operators!
Tue   Sep 16  NW meeting, Legends Restr, Frederick MD at 8:00 PM
 
PVRC FOWLFEST SATURDAY AUGUST 16TH NEAR CHURCHTON, MD
 
It's Fowlfest time; a joint PVRC and NCDXA meeting, hosted by Marty
Johnson, W3YOZ, near Chruchton south of Annapolis.  Festivities start at
noon on Saturday, August 16, with BBQ chicken and drinks.  Some folks may
bring the optional salad or dessert.  Everybody should bring a big
appetite and stories about contesting and Dxing!
 
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
above.
 
TIME TO MODIFY THE LOGO? by Ed Steeble, K3IXD
 
In 1993 when PVRC members selected our logo the club only had a few active
members from WV and PA, none from DE or NC.  In the past several years the
club has been very successful in recruiting members from DE, NC, PA, and
WV. The time has come to consider modifying the logo to reflect the
increased geographical coverage of PVRC. Shouldn't the PVRC logo recognize
the presence of those active members not residing in either DC, MD or VA?
Everyone should appreciate DE, NC, PA, and WV member's contributions to
the aggregate scores in club competitions.  Now, lets make members in DE,
PA, NC and NC more a part of the club by including their state in the
logo.
 
After a lot of thought I am suggesting the current logo be modified to
include DE, NC, PA, and WV.  Working on the premise that the current logo
has become very recognizable worldwide, (it is even on the internet!), and
we shouldn't obsolete any of the unused QSL cards, badges or shirts, I am
presenting three modifications for the club's consideration.  And at the
July NW regional meeting two additional changes were proposed.
 
But, if the club decides to modify the logo it will encounter some set up
charges to modify the plate used to print the QSL cards, the art work for
the badges, the art work for the t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and the disk
to guide the embroidery machine.  But those cost are less than if an
entirely new logo was adopted.
 
Here are the five proposals:

Proposal #0 
    keep the logo as it is,
Proposal #1
    has the states evenly spread around DC,
Proposal #2 
    has WV, VA, and NC below "the Potomac"
    with PA, MD, and DE above "the Potomac",
Proposal #3 
    has a box inside the circle with MD, DC and     outside the box,
Proposal #5 
    is a state map of the PVRC area inside the
    circle, it replaces the "Potomac River" and
    outline of DC.  Another version of this is
     being submitted.
 
Color copies of Proposals 1, 2, and 3 were posted to the PVRC reflector.
 
The club can decide to keep the current logo, accept one of these
proposals, or suggest other minor modification.  Now we need someone
familiar with graphics to produce the art work for the newsletter so a
vote can be taken. The that person would produce the color overlay art
work that we give to the companies that produce the badges, t-shirts, and
QSL card.  (I have a color copy of proposals 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 in
Microsoft Word version 6.)
 
At the July NC and NW Regional meetings, the straw votes favored proposal
2. I didn't hear whether or not a straw vote was taken at the "MYA"
meeting.
 
A decision should be made this summer if we are to continue on our usual
cycle of taking QSL card orders in the fall, t-shirts and golf shirts,
etc. in the winter.
 
Anyone willing to help with the graphics?  If so, contact me via
PacketCluster(tm) (k3ixd>w3lpl), email (steeble@erols.com), LL
(410.489-7616), or via CBA.
 
LOGO COMMENTS by Dick Wilder, K3DI
 
Excuse me if I go mad with editorial power and voice my logo opinion here
to the masses.     I am in favor of a logo revision that will
recognize our more distant members and, if I understand the last example,
that most closely aligns with my humble opinion.  That is, I believe that
the logo should include a to scale 175-mile radius outline map with state
and coastal boundaries.  It would be nice to include the DC boundary with
"DC" next to it but, I believe, that could be deleted if it looks
cluttered.  The outline of MD, most if not all of DE, plus the entire
outline of Chesapeake Bay would clearly be identifiable as a map.  I
believe that graphical clutter can be controlled by using either fine
lines or shaded lines for the map.  With this proposal, the actual line
work for the map may be producible via computer generation from a map
database and then the state acronyms added.  I agree that the border
should not be changed.
 
I should emphasize that the whole logo change recommendation is unofficial
but seems to have wide interest.  Therefore, I will make this Newsletter
available to publish the various recommendations if our word processing
can handle available graphics.  We may be limited to black and white but
I'll check with N3KTV who handles reproduction.
 
CENTRAL SUBREGION MEETING JULY 9 by Jack Hammett, K4VV
 
An informal dinner meeting was held at Morton's Rx at Tysons Corner, VA.
Attending were Marty/W3YOZ, John/K4IQ, Norm/K3LYW, and Jack/K4VV.  We had
a pleasant evening of steaks and talk about antennas, towers, and station
development.  The food was great; the noise was challenging.  We covered
many 'war stories' about towers, and a few from Viet Nam and Thailand.  
 
K3LYW comments:  Best rotor? OR 2800P by M2.  Source of used
towers?...WB9Z/Jerry, Midwest Antenna Service.  What damages a rotor?... 
1) Leaving it at the end of rotation;
2) Letting finger slip off the brake while rotating;  and 
3) Putting Silicon (or other sealer) over the terminal strips (because it
plugs a breathing hole).  (Subject to edit by Norm.)
 
W3YOZ described his continuing development of the balloon antenna site and
the progress at his PA mountaintop site for Field Day and VHF contesting.
 
K4IQ told of his progress towards activating the ridgetop site 1200 feet
from his house.  Clearing, hardline, and operations shed are done; the
tower base is next.
 
K4VV is planning for a modest tower behind the house and is dealing with a
neighbor to annex a narrow strip of land across the street.
 
PVRC/NC JULY 10th MEETING MINUTES by Pete Soper, KS4XG
 
Site.  The meeting was held at N4AF's home in Apex from 6-9pm with good
food and refreshments.
 
Attendees. AA4NC Will, N4AF Howie, K4HA Bob, N4CW Bert, K4MA Jim, NT4D
Jay, KF4MOK Dave, W2CS Gary, KS4XG Pete, WA4ZXA Jim, N3QYE Jim, and Terry
Floyd
 
Membership. This was the second meeting of Gary, W2CS -- Welcome to PVRC
Gary! This was the first meeting of Jim, WA4ZXA. Since the meeting was
quorate with 10 members in attendance a motion was made and voted on and
Jim was inducted as a member of the NC chapter. Chapter membership is now
sixteen.
 
Club business and announcements.  N4AF circulated drawings of the three
proposed designs for a revised PVRC logo. He then asked for preferences.
There were zero votes for design #1, 11 votes for design #2 and zero votes
for design #3.  The belief was that design #2 is geographically more
realistic and the other design's square seemed extraneous.  N4AF described
the current southern boundaries of PVRC as a line passing through the
following points:  "Rt 77 where it crosses the NC/VA state line, SW edge
of Winston Salem, Ramseur, Sanford, Benson, Goldsboro, Ayden, Chocowinity,
and Point Harbor."  There is interest in PVRC Teeshirts and QSL cards.
KS4XG agreed to coordinate an order at the point the PVRC logo change is
implemented.
 
N4AF explained that the KS4XG entry for the 10 meter contest was lost by
the ARRL.  The ARRL was presented with a copy of their email
acknowledgment of receipt and after a few weeks they found the entry and
indicated they would update their records.  This score pushes PVRC over
Florida Contest Group for the overall team club championship but it
remains to be seen whether ARRL will acknowledge this. [late news: ARRL
feedback makes KE3Q optimistic]  N4AF stressed the expectation that the
SCCC will be attacking Sweepstakes with a vengeance this year to take back
the club championship.  All agreed that maximum effort will be needed this
year.  When someone asked about winning strategy for Sweepstakes the
consensus was to "make a lot of QSOs!"
   
WANTED: W2CS is looking for Rohn 25G for a tower project. He can be
reached at gferdinand@ipass.net 
 
WANTED: K4MA needs a 20 foot long, 2" diameter chrome molly mast. He can
be reached at k4ma@mindspring.com
 
Member activities.  N3QYE was the obvious winner with range and accuracy
during the watermelon seed spitting contest that broke out during the
meeting.  We're hoping N4AF's wife didn't look out the window.
 
AA4NC, K4MA, K4HA, W2CS (and possibly N4CW) described their adventures at
the Cary Amateur Radio Club Field Day effort (N4NC). Their CW QSO totals
were very impressive this year and it appears that CARC may be exactly
tied for first place in their category. There was much animated discussion
about hypothetical missing log sheets or some other explanation of why the
score isn't a tiny bit higher. AA4NC got a laugh as he described a very
slow first hour caused by too-long VOX delay on the 1000MP he was using
with QSK. The delay adjustment is inside that radio, a major
inconvenience.
 
A show of hands indicated most attendees will be taking part in this
weekend's IARU contest.
 
AA4NC and K4HA announced a coming Mosley Yard Sale as they dump their
Pro67 and Pro57 antennas for new equipment. Will intends to put a second
402CD up to create a 40 meter stack.
 
WA4ZXA commented about how nice the CQ plaques are for last year's CQWW
contest. A few members got the new, improved IARU certificates from ARRL
(first round omitted the year). Still no Sweepstakes certificates for some
attendees. Jim asked about recommendations for a 1x3 callsign when the
gate opens for advanced licensees. N4AF recommended FCC records that show
when callsigns will become available.
 
Station upgrades.  N4AF expects to close on new property near Chocowinity
in a week or so.  He plans to build a station that supports multisingle
efforts.
 
W2CS asked about tower restrictions. As he lives in Chatham county (and
the rest of the chapter lives elsewhere) it wasn't clear. Gary wants to
put up a Rohn 25G tower. He also asked about which is the best contesting
transceiver. Most votes on the contesting reflector still give the nod to
the FT1000D and K4HA was enthusiastic about his 1000MP. When asked about
the new FT920 there was a side splitting description of one big gun's
judgement of this transceiver after he looked inside the cabinet at the
electronics: "Nope, this one's no good. There isn't enough sh*t in it."
 
K4MA got base and anchor concrete in place for his 100 foot tower with
help from AA4NC, K4HA, N4CW and KS4XG. About 150 bags of concrete went
into the ground but it went quickly thanks to the mixer K4MA rented.  Most
of the holes were inaccessible by a redimix truck) K4MA has a TH6 in hand
and will be buying a 402CD with the goal of being ready for the Fall
contest season.
 
The KS4XG 68 foot foldover is up, thanks to help from N4AF, NT4D, and
K3KO.  Special thanks to Emily, KS4XG's unborn daughter, for holding off a
few more days to allow this milestone. A few notes about getting the
initial few tower sections up: K3KO's notched 2x4 idea was a lifesaver for
holding the 35' length of tower part of the way up while we made
"adjustments" to get it into the base hole and fully erect.  Also Noalox
on the section joints would have been wise to make the them slide together
easier (apart from the conductivity benefit).
 
The next PVRC/NC meeting will be 6pm Thursday August 7th at Luna's
(directions will be forthcoming from N4CW).
 
NW REGIONAL MEETING MINUTES - JULY 15, 1997 by Tyler Stewart K3MM
 
In attendance were members:  K3MM, W3KB, NE3H, W3EKT, N3KTV, K3IXD, K4VV,
W3UR, N3RR, W8ZA, N3OC, WB2BZR, K1DQV, K3SX, W3ZZ, W6HZW, and N3HBX.  In
addition, we had two guests:  N3YDT, Jim, and KK5ZX, Allen.
 
K3IXD passed around samples of possible logo changes that he and N3OC came
up with in the quest for recognition of our new, larger territory.  A
quick vote was taken for members opinions of the different designs.  N3OC
was taking badge orders.
 
Members Speak:
 
N3KTV, Jim, discussed recent events a planning at K3MQH for increased
microwave activity in the quest for the Unlimited crown.  He invited all
to join in for a bus-loaded keg party at K3MQH.  The price of admission
being a Gunnplexer QSO (or two or three)!
 
NE3H, Joe, mentioned ordering a second motor for his ring rotator.  K3MM
and N3RR suggested that there was probably something else wrong, probably
some binding in the ring system, and that it shouldnt require two motors.
 
KK5ZX, Al, only operates HF contests.  A recent transplant from Louisiana,
he's looking for a new home QTH in Sterling, VA.
 
W6HZW, Barry, is doing lots of Dxing on wires, with a now higher Windom
that is working well.
 
W3ZZ, Gene, is trying to get his station back together.
 
K3SX, Sid, (ex-K3SME) has the tower base for his new 160M vertical in
place.
 
N3YDT, Jim, knows Roger, K1DQV, well and is W3ZZs roomie.
 
K1DQV, Roger, came for the beer.  He's putting up a 135 rotating pole Big
Bertha system which he salvaged from CT.   He' s working on the rotator
now and aiming at completion in time for Sweepstakes, in which hell
operate CW and K3UT will do phone.
 
WB2BZR, Beezer Bob, is still filling his ditch.
 
N3OC, Brian, will op the IOTA Contest from NA139 Assateague.  He was
encouraged when he heard activity from Russian on Saturday AM in the IARU
contest.
 
K3IXD, Ed, has been roving for better rover sites for the September VHF
contest.
 
W8ZA, Bob, has new holes in the ground for his new tower.  Hes pouring
next week.
 
N3HBX, John, reports that his 69kv powerline noise is gone however the
power company reports that they didnt do anything.  He worked some VEs in
the 6M contest.
 
N3RR, Bill, showed off aerial photos of his QTH taken recently.
 
W3UR, Bernie, made 300 Qs on 20M Single Band with Packet, noting lots of
new Headquarter stations on the air.  He reports that his virtual DX
newsletter, Daily DX, is doing well, and hes getting plenty of material
now.
 
W3EKT, Ed, is looking for more Rover sites and rovers to work K3MQH.
 
K4VV, Jack, did the June VHF contest with KO4NX on a mountain in Virginia.
He's planning on joining W3YOZ in FN00 for the September VHF Contest.
 
W4MYA OPEN HOUSE 19 JULY MEETING MINUTES by Rich Boyd, KE3Q
 
Congratulations to W4MYA and wife, Vicky, for putting on a very nice
event, the July summer PVRC meeting today, Saturday, 7/19/97.  As we've
done occasionally when a notepad was not readily at hand, we passed around
a sign-in plate, which records these folks present:  W4ZYT, WB4DNL, K3OSX,
W4SD, NW3K, NQ4E, K4HOT, ND3A, NJ4F, W6AXX, WU4G, W4MYA, WA4QDM, N3RR,
W4PRO, K7SV, WA4DAI, N4MXT, AD4TS, WR3Z, N4CFL, W4DR, KD4JXY, WK4Y, KS4RX,
KC4AUF, KB4DI, K4EC, N4ZJ, KA3CCE, N3MIL, and KE3Q.  There were also some
others who had already left by the time we passed the sign-in plate
around.  Bob or anyone else who was there, please augment our attendance
list as others come to your mind.  Thank you to the PVRCers from other
regions, such as W4SD, W4ZYT and gang from tidewater, the northern
Virginia and Marylanders, and the Rappahannock area guys for making the
trip, and to the central Virginia guys for hosting us.  Hotdogs and
hamburgers were plentiful, there were half a dozen coolers with beverages,
and there were various other dishes like a couple different styles of
chicken and many, many deserts -- excellent cookies, brownies, and
cupcakes.
 
Bob's one-room outbuilding hamshack (not outhouse) is FB and, for those
who've never seen it, his antenna farm is substantial, with an interesting
aspect being that because of the many trees on Bob's site you don't
realize how many towers there are until you walk through the woods and
they appear one by one.  Since my last visit Bob has added a second 3-el
40 in a two-high stack and has nice monobanders on the other bands with
stacks on at least 20 in addition to 40.  With thunder rumbling in the
distance in a couple different directions the party started breaking up
and I grabbed my video camera real quick and made W4MYA the second on my
PVRC video station tour (#1 is W3HVQ).  Got some quickie video that shows
his station very well I think.
 
We did have a brief meeting, went around with callsign introductions and I
thanked our geographically diverse members for unifying under the PVRC
banner, which has resulted in, so far, wins in the unlimited category in
SS '96, medium class in the ARRL 160 '96, and apparently in the ARRL 10M
'96 contest, unlimited category.  W4SD invited any of us who find
ourselves in the Virginia Beach area on the third Tuesday of any given
month to join the SE Virginia PVRCers for their meeting at a local
restaurant.  For details of time and place, contact me or W4SD and we'll
get the info for you.  We heartily thanked W4MYA and Vicky for hosting us;
W4MYA thanked several central Virginians for handling various aspects of
the affair, from food and cooking to tables and setup.
 
After the meeting, W6AXX showed me some very nice work he's done on the
web...maps showing the PVRC geographical center and our 175-mile-radius
circle, etc.  And we discovered that two of our members at the meeting,
KC4AUF and KS4RX, in fact live very close to our geographical center,
which is near Louisa, Virginia.  K7SV noted, from going to a high school
football game in Louisa, that people in Louisa are tough.  I suggested
they sound like good prospects to become contesters.
 
For several of us in a 3-car caravan, N3RR with W6AXX, K4VV, and N3MIL and
I, the car-to-car discussion all the way down and all the way back was an
extension of the meeting and made the trip go faster.
 
Hope to see many of you next month, August 16, at W3YOZ's south of
Annapolis, for the annual Fowlfest!  As usual, NCDXA, the DC-area DX club,
will be jointly meeting with us.
 
PA CHAPTER MEETING JUNE 7TH  by Bruce Schade, K3TZV 
 
The first meeting of the PA Chapter of PVRC was held at the QTH of Steve
Steltzer, WF3T, in Newport, PA on June 7th at 7 PM.  The following members
were in attendance: N6CQ, NE3H, N3KVF, K3SV, K3SWZ, WF3T, and K3TZV. 
 
Steve gave us a tour of this antenna installation and overview of his
plans for the future.  We then went indoors and held a round of
introductions and brief statement of activity and plans.  We then watched
a video of the VK0IR operation and everyone was quite pleased with the
video quality.  We had an indoor tour of Steve's station and a
demonstration of several computer programs that he is using to plan and
analyze his stations performance.  I think everyone went home with a smile
on their face. 
 
 
HINTS AND KINKS - PVRC #1 - A SUBSTITUTE FOR STEEL WOOL - K3DI
 
Use plastic scouring pads when up the tower instead of steel wool.
Plastic does not leave residue that may short circuit or start a rust spot
 
NOTES FROM THE EDITOR - K3DI
 
I received a RADIOGRAM from W4YE asking if there were PVRC meetings in
Roanoke.  KE3Q told me that K4IQ agreed to be the regional charman so a
message to both W4YE and K4IQ hopefully will get them together to start a
subregion in that area.
 
Pete Soper, KS4XG, and his wife Jenny have a daughter Emily Margaret born
July 15th at 5:53 AM.  She measured eight pounds, ten ounces and 21 inches 
long.
 
I look forward to receiving technical and operating articles of interest
to the contesters for the PVRC Newsletter.  They can be submitted in
nearly any format.  The safest is ASCII via the Dxcluster or TEXT in an
Email.  I am starting to be able to retrieve attachments from an Internet
messages which, when proficient, that should be a route to send word
process files.  Of couse, written material via FAX or US mail works fine
as well as 5.25 and 3.5 inch floppies.
 
Another category of articles wanted are short Hints and Kinks -- undated
filler articles that are used to push the start of the next article to the
top of the next page.  A H&K example was used on bottom of the previous
page.
 
The final edit of the Newsletter is sent via modem to Jim, N3KTV, who
handles the reproduction and distribution.  In the past, I modem a
WordPerfect 5.1 file to Jim and he had to play with it in MS WORD to fix
page breaks.  Last month, I did the conversion and it worked fine.  This
month (at last!), the whole Newsletter was edited in MS WORD 6.  I thank
Jim for bearing with me while I got up to speed with MS WORD.
 
Now, with reproduction compatibility, I will be able to start playing with
the format.  An ability to easily handle schematic diagrams and
photographs is a must.
 
 
PVRC IARU HF CONTEST RESULTS 
by Dave Blanchard, N3II   (#3)
 
CALL      QSO'S  MULTS      TOTAL
 
**  SINGLE OP MIXED
K3MM      1957    177   1,328,385
AA4NC     1670    157     890,000
N4AF      1297    151     735,521
K4MA      1302    120     500,640
 
**  SINGLE OP PHONE
WV3B       169     49      27,785
 
**  SINGLE OP CW
K3ZO      1495    171   1,032,327
N3NT       587    104     206,648
W3CP       226     60      43,296
NY3M       150     49      24,304
 
---------------------------------