A Collection of Old SCCC News Stories (Newest to Oldest)
Monthly News (SCCCORE)
July 2019
Greetings. June and July are slow months for contesting but... As we head into the warmer months of summer, it's time to do that antenna work that you've been meaning to do. And/or that station reconfig and optimizing that has been on your mind. And invite over that nephew or neice, maybe a grandchild to experience the thrill of making a few contacts at your station. Let's make the most of our 2019 summer!

If you are running N1MM+ contest logging software, you may run into an error when the program tries to check for updates or you manually make the check. There was a change to the web site (for example they moved to https which secures data transfer between the server and browsers) but did not rewrite the update routine in the software to reflect the change, at least at first. In my case, I got a 404 error, which is essentially a server not found message. To correct the problem, go to the N1MM web site. Download and run the lastest update file. This will update your copy of N1MM+ and resolve the issue. Note, if you are running Windows XP or (gasp) Vista, the N1MM+ auto update feature is not compatible with the new site. You will have to do manual updates going forward.

The WSJT-X development team has been busy in May and June. They have been working hard on the new FT4 contest mode. The current beta version is WSJT-X 2.1.0-rc7. It is not compatible with earlier release candidates that included FT4. A mock contest was held June 4 to test things out. Installation packages are available for Windows, Linux and macOS. More information can be found here. The software is available at the WSJT-X web site.

Monthly News (SCCCORE)
June 2019
Our own Bruce, WA7BNM has been inducted into the CQ Magazine Contest Hall of Fame! Bruce works very quietly behind the scenes but has made huge contributions to the amateur radio contest world over the years! Witness 3830scores.org and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar to name just two of many. Thanks, Bruce, for all that you do! ARRL's article on the subject can be found here.

Several issues ago, I mentioned that there were many amateur radio podcasts out there for our listening pleasure. ARRL has a new one out now, launched a couple of months ago, called "So Now What?" This podcast is geared toward newcomers to our hobby. It's may not be something that most SCCCers would be interested in listening to but if you know someone new to our hobby, interested in it or returning to amateur radio, you might pass this one along to them. The podcast can be listened to online or on a smartphone or tablet. More information on So What Now can be found on the ARRL web site. I find podcasts great to listen to on my drive to and from the office, or while relaxing in the backyard. Wherever you listen, podcasts are a lot of fun and often educational.

Monk Apollo
On May 5, DX-WORLD.net and a other sites shared the very sad news that we lost Monk Apollo, SV2ASP/1. While not a contester per se, I believe I have seen evidence of him participating casually in some contests. More importantly, he was the most active ham on Mt. Athos (Monk Iakovos, SV2RSG has been reported to occasionally be active, and in fact participated in the 2016 WPX CW contest. A search on QRZ.com shows only these two as licensed there.). There have been a few attempts to get DXpeditions approved there but all have failed. The governing body there is very protective of the monastery and grounds and has not allowed outsiders to operate from there. Monk Apollo provided many with a DXCC counter. It's now likely that Mt. Athos will quickly rise from its position of #20 most wanted on Clublog to a place in the top 5. You can read a little about Monk Apollo on his QRZ.com page. Also, SV1DPI wrote about his friend, Monk Apollo, here. Also, the ARRL posted this article.

Monthly News (SCCCORE)
May 2019

Congratulations to SCCCer Bill, N6RV who was voted the Southern California DX Club DXer of the Year for 2019! He has an impressive station, including a mix of new and classic radios and a plethora of Collins gear.

According to a news item published by ARRL, scientists are now predicting that Solar Cycle 25 will be very similar to Cycle 24. Cycle 25 may get off to a slow start and is anticipated to hit its peak between 2023 and 2026 with a sunspot range of 95 - 130. The typical average is between 140 and 220. More on this story can be found here.

WPX SSB raw scores are out (these are before log checking). Alex, W6AFA is shown as 8th in the world Single Op HP 40 meters. Read more here. Late May brings the WPX CW contest! Watch for our own Jim, N6TJ operating at KH7M. Jim tends to really tear it up on CW!

CQ Magazine has published the final results of the 2018 CQWW RTTY Contest. Paul, WN6K placed 5th in Zone 3. We had a total of 16 SCCC log submissions in the contest.

CQ also published the final results of the 2018 CQWW DX SSB contest. The write-up says that less than 200 countries were reportedly worked for the first time in a decade. Low sunspot numbers obviously reared their heads. Or didn't as the case may be. 199 were in the logs this past contest, down slightly from 2017. Dick, W6TK placed 3rd USA 21 MHz high power. That must have been brutal! Bill, N6RV placed 6th USA All Band low power. Bruce, WA7BNM landed 2nd USA 14 MHz low power. And Bill, W8QZA operated W6QU to 4th USA All Band QRP. All of those were unassisted. Full results can be found here.

Monthly News (SCCCORE)
April 2019
W6PNG Welcome aboard to new member Paul, W6PNG (pictured left). Paul is located in Laguna Beach. Paul has been active of late in SOTA and NPOTA activations, which has led to suitcase DXpeditons, as he calls them. While he is antenna impaired at his home QTH, he is able to get on for contesting from other locations. He did ARRL DX Phone for the second consective year from TI7 for example. He was also interviewed by Eric 4Z1UG on QSO Today. Welcome Paul!

Also, welcome to NI6V. Matthew is in Long Beach and enjoys CW, RTTY and QRP. He too is antenna challenged at his home QTH but he will be purchasing an Elecraft KX3 and Buddipole so that he can go portable.

We are hams. Amateur radio operators. Radio guys. As such, we use batteries. Probably more than the average person. Certainly we have more of an interest than most in how batteries work, how to properly charge them, and how to prolong their life. Battery University has all sorts of information on batteries. You'll find chapters under "Crash Course on Batteries," "Battery Types," "Battery Testing and Monitoring," and "How to Prolong Battery Life," among others on the site. There is a plethora of interesting material there. There is even a fascinating section called "Charging Without Wires -- A Solution or Laziness." Most of us are familiar with the basic concept but this chapter provides some interesting information on the topic. Battery University is a good place to learn a lot about batteries.

Monthly News (SCCCORE)
March 2019
KK6M Welcome aboard to new member Paul, K6PO. Paul hails from San Diego and enjoys CW and RTTY contesting. We are looking forward to having Paul's scores added to the club scores in coming contests!

Also, welcome to new member Roy, KK6M. Roy recently purchased an Elecraft K3S and is really enjoying it. He also has a Yaesu FT5000MP that he loves. Roy is looking to improve his CW contesting skills, and racked up 170 Q's in last month's ARRL DX CW contest. The picture to the left is Roy's well equipped station.

And welcome to Gary, KK6YB from La Jolla, CA. Gary enjoys HF, VHF, UHF, FT8 and RTTY. He was first licensed in 1972.

And...welcome aboard to another new member, Joe, W6AYC in Atascadero. Joe tells us that CW contesting is his speciality.

A recent note from Jim, N6TJ brought to my attention that this month, he is celebrating 70 years of contesting! And this is his ninth decade in the contesting fray! Wow! Jim is planning on operating as 9K2HN in CQWW CW in Zone 21 this November, another new one for him. Jim perennially turns in very high scores in CQWW, and judging by the antennas seen in the 9K2HN QRZ.com photo, he will do so again this November! KB, Jim and congrats on the contesting anniversary!

Monthly News (SCCCORE)
February 2019
Welcome aboard to our first new member of 2019, Stephen, K6AW! Stephen hails from Santa Barbara and enjoys HF contesting.

Have you heard this before? "Read the contest rules before starting the contest." That one hit home for yours truly last month. I added my call to the SCCC #4 team in NAQP CW so as to fill out the five member team. I knew I had limited time to operate but thought I could get in a few dozen Q's. I wound up having a little more time than I thought though. Surprisingly (at the time), I was able to work everything I could hear, even the extremely weak stations. Having fun with that, I put in more time than I expected and logged 135 contacts in just over three hours of mostly S&P. I had to admit that I was pretty happy with that. The following morning, I noticed that almost all of the entries on 3830scores showed as low power. DOH! I'd run high power the entire time, totally forgetting the fact that NAQP is a LP affair. Sorry SCCC #4. The NE6I log became a checklog. Repeat after me, "Read the contest rules before starting the contest." And take nothing for granted!

ARRL reports a "dramatic uptick" in the number of logs submitted in this year's ARRL RTTY Roundup (which took place the first weekend in January) as compared to 2018. Their informal polling indicates that RTTY and FT8 successfully shared spectrum during the contest as well. Early returns indicate that most operators operated one mode or the other but a small percentage operated both. WSJT-X co-developer K1JT logged an astounding 585 FT8 contacts during the contest! As a reminder, if using FT8 in an ARRL contest, you must enter one of the Unlimited categories if operating single operator. This is because WSJT-X is a multi-decoder.

Preliminary results for the ARRL SS Phone contest are now out. The K6AM station is atop the MSHP category. Full results will be published in the June issue of QST.

Preliminary results for the January NAQP CW are also out. Marko, N5ZO shows as 2nd place overall, followed closely by Axel, KI6RRN in 3rd. The SCCC #1 team shows as 2nd place in the team competition, with only 65K and a smidge points separating us from the top spot in a 1.3M point battle! Oh so close! Those preliminary results can be viewed here.

Monthly News (SCCCORE)
January 2019
KX6A Welcome aboard to Mike, KX6A in Newport Beach. Mike was first licensed in 2007, and enjoys Summits on the Air (SOTA). Two of his sons are also licensed (N6NGG and N6WMG). Mike is new to contesting but is enjoying learning about it.

December is typically a slow month for contesters. There aren't a lot of major contests going on, and we are all busy dreaming of amateur radio gifts under the tree. Uh, busy shopping for gifts for family and friends! Okay, we are busy doing both of those! The weather has cooled and we aren't typically busy with antenna work either. Although... as I type this particular paragraph on Xmas Eve day, it's 70 degrees at my QTH and I've tried to be outside to enjoy it much of the day.

In case you missed it, registration has opened for the 2019 ConTest University presentation at the Dayton Hamvention in Xenia, Ohio. The faculty lineup, posted on the CTU website, includes several new and returning members. Newcomer Bryant, KG5HVO, will present ideas for attracting youth into contesting, while Dan, N6MJ, and Chris, KL9A — the gold medalists at WRTC 2014 — will present advanced operating papers. More info can be found here.