SCCC is celebrating its 44th year this month! The club was established on July 17, 1976.
The International DX Convention, normally held in April in Visalia, will be going virtual in 2021. From the
, "After consultation with a few medical experts, epidemiologists, and long-time attendees of IDXCC, we have concluded that for 2021, the right choice -- and the safest choice -- is to have a Virtual Convention instead of an in-person meeting. So that is our plan." The committee has also renamed it the "International DX & Contesting Convention" (IDXCC) to more accurately reflect what it has become over lthe years. Indeed, contesters have flocked to the convention for many decades. The 2021 event will be held on two weekends, April 16-18 and 23-25. Keep an eye on the convention
for updated news and registration information.
Jim, N6TJ and Dick, N6AA are working on a, what they call, "mini-Visalia" to be held March 19-21, 2021 at the Visalia Wyndham (formerly the Holiday Inn). The emphasis will be on friends getting together, with minimal structured events. The plan is to have a catered BBQ Saturday afternoon, possibly followed by a gathering. The Wyndham is has a block of rooms for attendees at $95/night. Vendors have expressed interest in showing up as well. Jim says they will perhaps organize a catered dinner at the hotel for Friday. They are in the very early stages of planning. If interested, please contact Jim at N6TJ [[at]] sbcglobal.net. A web site is being set up and I'm sure you can get updates on the SCCC reflector.
The CQ WPX CW contest was held the last weekend of May, just before publication of the June edition of SCCCORE. Despite being at the bottom of the sunspot cycle, 20 meters had a good opening to Europe for several hours on Friday evening, and 10 opened up briefly during the weekend. 15 had openings both days, albeit nothing like what we will see in a few years, but hey, we'll take it!
Paul, WN6K said conditions to South America did not seem to be pop-ins from EU (not sure what he meant by that) and reported that the A index seemed to be goofy.
Dave, N6AN ran 5 watts to a 44 ft CAT5 twisted pair inverted vee with apex at 19 feet on a 1st floor apartment patio just 8 ft from the building! Nothing like being determined! Still, he managed 24 QSOs with this set up!
Frank, WA6KHK did not catch many DX openings but knocked out 916 QSOs!
Marko, N5ZO operated club station NT6Q. He had some challenges, shall we say, with time on and time off, and had to make some adjustments. He reported a great opening to deep Europe Friday night.
Axel, KI6RRN did a remote operation using the WA6TQT super station and used the NO6T call sign. He ran off 3,709 QSOs and a score of 8M + points! Holy smokes!
Steve, AC6T had a good opening to Asia on 80 and 40 on Sunday morning but said that EU stations were very weak to his QTH.
Bruce, WA7BNM said that he never heard Japan and only a few South American and Caribbean stations. He too reported a good opening to Europe Friday night.
Eric, NC6K had planned to be at KL7RA for another M/M effort but that was nixed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He reported that conditions at home seemed decent but not great on 20. He found reasonable propagation on 15 and managed a few Q's on 10.
Dan, N6MJ was again at N6WIN in AZ using the ND7K call (and his score goes to the Arizona Outlaws Contest Club as requested by station owner Tim). Dan reported on numerous additional station and antenna improvements at Tim's station, and that Hector, XE2K has been busy helping Tim with antenna work. Dan reported some equipment issues during the contest but he was able to overcome or create work arounds. His full writeup can be found on 3830scores.com
Ken, K6LA used the WK6LA call sign but said that it's a lot more fun operating from his PEI station. He is going to work hard on remoting VY2TT!
Bill, W6QU again operated as W8QZA and was QRP as always. He commented how strange it was to have so few Caribbean stations on. He too caught the good Friday night EU opening on 20. He said, "Some of the best thrills of these contests come from "winning" little battles to get a good Q in the log. There is nothing like it and it is hard to explain to a non-ham. But that is sure what keeps me going at 80 yrs old through 4 hours of sleep the first night and 4 1/2 hours the second. These kind of thrills don't show up in the score but they sure make great memories!"
Dana, K6NR felt conditions were terrific given the current stage of the solar cycle. He said 20 was open later than he stayed up, and 40 was good to Europe on Saturday. He also caught an opening to Europe on 15 on Sunday! And he caught the 10 meter opening. He recorded 1,227 Q's in just 22 hours!
Jim, K6ZH operating as KG7NV also found 20 fruitful to EU Friday night, with the Russians especially strong. He also experienced a big 15 meter opening and a short one on 10 on Sunday.
Don, NK6A enjoyed the 20m opening to EU Friday night and again on Sunday. He did not work a single JA (nor did I, although I missed the early 40m window to JA both mornings-NE6I).
Steve, AC6T often operates the UCSB club station but ran the contest from home this time. Europe was very weak for him but he had a good opening to Asia on 80 and 40 meters Sunday morning.
Dick, W6TK found 20m still open at midnight over the pole! 40 was good Saturday night and not particularly noisy. He was happy to see 15 open up but missed out on the best of the 10m openings. Drew, N7DA did almost exclusivly 40 meters using a 26 ft vertical with a cap hat.
Wyatt, AI6V was part of the 9A1TT crew again, operating remote to Croatia using the call sign 9A0AA. They operated M/S using 7 operators from 6 different countries. He enjoyed working us SoCal guys from the other side of the world.
Terry, N6IC had a goal of working at least 10 stations on each band, and only fell short on 160 meters.
Dennis, NE6I knew going in that condx would be stinky but it was going to be a quiet stay-at-home weekend, except for grocery shopping with the XYL for them and his elderly mom. Plus he wanted to do a second contest run-through with the new FTDX-101MP obtained a few months earlier. The antennas were giving him some SWR issues Friday night and Saturday while running high power but seemed fine Sunday running low power. He will check on what's going on in coming weeks. He enjoyed the 15 meter openings both days. The band was quiet and stations were easily workable, even barefoot. 20 was crowded and the 101's filtering did not disappoint! 50 Hz BW with no ringing? Crazy! One mistake he realized later was not leveraging the second receiver to monitor for 10m openings. Next time!
Scott, N6MI operated at Frazier Peak from his ham van. He was running his first contest with his new 101D. He too reported great performance from the receiver. Glenn, K6NA was using the club call NA6TT and had a lot of fun, scoring 1302 Q's and 1.9M points. He found conditions surprisingly good and caught a nice 10 meter opening on Sunday.
Dick, N6AA reported having bad power line noise and made most of his QSOs using a tri-bander only 6 feet high that looks under the power lines. He left on a trip Sunday morning and missed operating that day. Yet he still managed 1,350 Q's for 1.5M points!
The ARRL June VHF Contest was held mid-month. There were a lot of pre-contest announcements by SCCCers on the club reflector announcing operating plans during the weekend. The Magic Band (6 meters) had had some healthy openings here and there leading up to the contest weekend, so I think we all had high hopes for a spectacular contest. And it was. Out east! Here in California, we were mostly shut out of any kind of really huge Sporadic E openings on 6 (although it was depressing to me to look at where XE2CQ in TJ was being copied (using PSKReporter). For example, 00Z Monday (5pm local), his CQs were being copied by VE9GJ in the PEI area and WA1EAZ in Massachusetts, and all over the Great Lakes Region. NA6L was similarly copied in the northeast at that time as was NC6K and K6RO. Yours truly had only a brief opening to Texas Saturday afternoon and managed to QSO two of the guys out there. Never-the-less, I had a good time and found having the second receiver on the 101MP was quite handy! I was monitoring 50.313 on the main receiver and 50.125 on the sub receiver all weekend, occasionally snagging an SSB Q on .125. I also used the sub receiver to tune the CW and the rest of the Phone portion of 6 periodically. As an aside, I normally forget to monitor 2 meters during these contests (I only have an FM rig on 2) but had it on 146.52 Saturday and .55 on Sunday. I did log one FM QSO despite my handicapped ground plane situation. I've not figured out how to interface the N1MM+ contest logger to WSJT-X, so I used N3FJP's VHF contest logger instead and manually entered the Q's as I worked them. N3FJP's logging software can be interfaced to WSJT-X using JT-Alert but I didn't have time this go round to tackle it. Maybe next time. If anyone has figured out the N1MM+ / WSJT-X interface, email me offline. Tim, N6GP operated limited rover and recorded a personal best for number of QSOs on 6, 2 and 440 MHz. Footnote, rather incredibly, 6 magically opened up from SoCal just as the contest was ending and continued on for the next hour or two. Crazy.
Some comments from participants: Larry, K6RO: "I really never intended to do this contest for 18 hours, but when N6GP sent
an email to our club reminding us to get on, I said..what the heck.
No preparation, but jumped in on 6m FT8 to start..then to 6m ssb...had a
run there, and back to ft8.
When I was on ssb, many guys asked me for 2m and 440...I said I didn't have
But on Sunday, I grabbed my 2m/440 mobile rig,and started to make q's
there...only had FM, but that was better than nothing. I spent Sunday
between 6m ft8, ssb, and asking everyone to move to my FM bands. Was kinda fun
..2 different radios on separate benches..2 logging programs..that was a mess..
Anyway..I had a great time playing radio.
I only took one 3 hour tennis break on Sunday morning, and quit the contest 1
hour early to take Sharon out to dinner...our first sit down dinner in over
I think I have a good location for VHF contests, and now I am thinking of
an IC9700 so I can do fm and ssb in the next one.
Any other radios that are better ? or have 6m also ?
Probably will need a dual band 2m/440 yagi also.
I ran about 600 watts on 6m..not sure if I needed that, or if 100 watts would
have brought the same results.
I found out after the contest that the 3 band category is only low power..so
I need to think about this before September.
Thanks to Bruce WA7BNM for merging my 2 logs, and a few other guys that
helped me with other things.
I hope to do this contest in September...will the conditions be the same ?
typically better ? I hope better as my 6m grid total was not good.
I have not done a VHF contest since 1996,so I have no clue..lots of reading
do before I do this one again.
Thanks for the q's.
My score may change, as these results were from the ARRL upload site,which
didn't take out any dupes."
Drew, N7DA: "No 6 meter, so really limited. :-) WA5VJB cheap yagis and drive
on-mast. HT and a ground plane. Roved local hilltops in DM12 and
DM13. Ran out to Laguna, also in DM12 Sunday AM to work a bunch over
in Arizona which was a lot of fun. FM, SSB, and CW. (The most CW
I've ever worked in a VHF contest; crazy considering I wasn't on 6.)
No digital, so again, really limited. :-) Paper logging; somehow
only had to purge 4 dupes from my log.
Worked a lot of SCCCers. Thanks!
A number of fairly new callsigns (per current sequential callsigns.)
Thanks to N6MI for being patient and giving me another mult.
Only glitch was discovering late in the contest that my microphone
plug could slip partially out of a jack. Explains why sometimes they
couldn't hear me on phone! :-)
FM was hopping. I mostly used HT whip for FM. Need to get folks
organized with more than 2 or 3 simplex frequencies so we can spread
out more. It really was that busy at times."
Dana, K6NR: This was my first fairly serious effort in a VHF contest. I had a
blast. I operated from our property in Phelan, California.
I recently acquired a second AB-577 military mast and set up yagis for
2 meters, 440 and 1.2g at about 45'. I didn't install a rotator so I
turned the whole mast from the bottom with the AB-577 wrench. I had
three coaxes running down the mast to a switch connecting to the
shack. I spent an amount of time running out back to switch antennas
or turn the mast. At least I got some exercise. Next time maybe I'll
add a rotator and use a triplexer to feed the shack? Don't want to
make it too easy.
I spent a fair amount of time listening on multiple frequencies,
waiting for new stations to show up. I had my IC9700 as the main
radio, with my K3 on 6m, and mobile rigs on 220 and 440 fm. Hard to
tell which one I was hearing at times, and easy to pick up the wrong
microphone. 6m FT8 was helpful to keep up a pace when no one new
was on. The modest openings on 6m were nice, but, well, modest.
The calling frequencies were a bit over used - folks would get on from
mountain tops or strong base stations and make it hard for others to
come on and announce and get off. I am too used to HF contesting
where there is liberal use of VFOs.
Greatest fun was working some distant stations on 2 meters. I worked
a number of San Francisco area stations on FT8, as well as a few in
Nevada and parts east. I wasn't setup for FT8 on the IC9700 but
managed to crack that nut during the contest. I also worked K6MYC
and his megastation up in DM07. That's about the longest haul for me
on 2 meter SSB to date. Also worked K6MWK in DM06.
At any rate, it was quite an experience. Thanks everyone for the
QSOs, including my first 3 ever on 1.2ghz (W6PNG, N6AX and N6MI)."
Jim, K6ZH reported lousy conditions in SoCal. And great conditions before and after the contest! Levi, K6JO had a great time despite the propagation challenges. It was his first time contesting on 2m and 440 MHz. Marty, N6VI found 6m poor but he worked KD6RMS and N6UTC on all six of the bands he had. Bruce, WA7BNM operated for only the second time in a VHF contest, putting his SteppIR DB-36 to work this time around. Worked a few stations on SSB and CW during the first half hour and then spent the rest of his time on FT8. He was happy to work a couple of XE's and surprised to decode a PY. Eric, NC6K said, "Seriously, this was one of the worst years for Es that I can remember. For some reason, the weekend of this contest always coincides with practically no sustained Sporadic E. We had an opening Saturday evening for about an hour to the PNW and some very in-and-out openings Sunday to the FN grids and Hawaii (lasted less than 10 minutes and no QSOs).
To add insult to injury, my friends east of the Continental Divide shared their misery at having to deal with extremely full waterfalls that made it hard to find an open spot. I spent most of the contest watching the Blue Screen of Death, which in this case was the empty waterfall. At least there were a few dozen locals to decode endlessly. I went to the 6 Meter FT4 segment a few times, but there was pretty much nothing there, and I did spend some time on CW, SSB and FM, but there was also very little going on. With conditions like we had, FT4 would probably have been better, but no one seemed to move from the FT8 segment.
As Brooklyn Dodger fans used to say, "Wait til next year". I'm sure conditions will be so much better."
ARRL published the final results of the 2019 ARRL 10 Meter Contest. John, K6AM placed 6th in the USA SOHP, Mixed Mode category. Paul, WN6K finished 3rd USA SOLP, Mixed Mode. Bill, W8QZA operating as W6QU took 2nd USA SOQRP Phone Only.
ARRL has also published the final results of January VHF contest. Of little surprise, Wayne, N6NB took top honors (by leaps and bounds!) in the Classic Rover category, well more than doubling the nearest runner up's score! Greg, W6IT took 6th in the category. Bruce, KG6IYN placed 1st in the SO FM only category. SCCC took top honors in the Medium Club category, edging The Ontario VHF Assocation by a mere 267 points! (387,843 with 18 scores versus 387,576 with 38 scores) What a photo finish!
I mentioned on the reflector last month that I had run across XE2SI on 6 meter FT8 and couldn't resist giving him a call for a quick QSO. Back in the 1980's, the SCCC partnered with him to do some multi-multis in the CQWW DX contests from a hilltop in Tijuana. The crew took tower trailers, antennas, radios, generators and of course all the contest fixin's to stage competitive runs from Mexico. My comment on the reflector conjured up some fond memories by those that participated in those M/M's. CQ Magazine has the results of those on their web site. The XE2SI/SCCC efforts ran up some respectable finishes from the west coast! Check out these stats!
1983 SSB 13,487,670 points, 10,848 QSOs, 162 zones, 380 countries. Ops were XE2SI, AA6RX (now N6AN), K6NA, N6AA, N6AR, N6NB, N6ND (sk), N6TR, N6TJ, N6ZZ (sk) and WA6OTU (now N5OT).
1984 SSB 9,984,236 points, 8,952 QSOs, 143 zones, 350 countries. Ops were AA6RX (now N6AN), K6NA, N6ND (sk), N6NI, NI6W (sk), and WA6OTU (now N5OT).
1983 CW 1,878,600 points, 7,668 QSOs, 142 zones, 308 countries. Ops were AA6RX (now N6AN), AE6E, N6TR, N6VI, N6ZZ (sk), NE6I, WA6OTU (now N5OT).
1986 CW 5,093,276 points, 5,052 QSOs, 141 zones, 298 countries. Ops were XE2SI, AA6RX (now N6AN) and AB6R.
That 1983 SSB
effort placed 4th in the world! Read the article in the link telling about the "crazy Americans" in Mexico!
In 1984, a couple of those guys jumped ship and went to TI1C where they won the world on SSB in M/M. The XE2SI guys finished 5th
On CW in 1983
, the SCCC team took XE2SI to a close 2nd place world, also recording the highest QSO total! And you might also recognize the top single op all band winner: 9Y4VT operated by Dick, N6AA! Dick broke the SOABHP record that year.
In 1986, Dick, N6AA broke his 1983 SOABHP record operating 9Y4VT with over 5,000 QSOs, besting the '83 score by 1M points! Chip, K7JA was right behind him in 2nd place operating at NP4A. In 5th place was Jim, N6TJ who set a new African record that year from D44BC. The SCCC XE2SI team
didn't quite make the Top 5 M/M that year but their 5M points certainly came close. SCCC finished 3rd that year in the Club standings!
Tree, N6TR shared these great photos
from the 1983 contests (scroll down near the bottom of the list and then click each picture link).
Wayne, N6NB has these
from the 1983 SSB operation.
is the 1984 SSB team. Top: AA6RX (now N6AN) and Kurt, NI6W (sk). Bottom from left: K6NA, N6NI, N6VI, N6ND (sk), and just above N6ND is WA6OTU (now N5OT). Paul, N6LL (not shown) was the photographer of this shot. He recalls that Mark, WA6OTU demanded that everyone stop packing after the contest and pose with the tower trailer for this now classic shot. Thanks, Mark!
Larry, N6NC shared the story about and some pictures of the SCCC team that operated 6E2T in Ensenada and took 1st place Multi-Two
! Ops were K6LA, K6LL, N6NC, N6HC, KM6SN and N6KI. Pepe, XE2MX (sk) was instrumental in helping SCCC with that operation. See separate story here on the web site.
CQ Magazine announced late last month that Tim Shoppa, N3QE has been named CQ Contesting Editor, succeeding Dave Sidall, K3ZJ after five years in the position. Dave's increased job responsibilites have limited his available time. Tim is an active contester and served as secretary of the PVRC for several years.
CT1BOH has a nice presentation on 2BSIQ (Two bands, synchronized interleaved operating protocol here
. It's a good read. Check it out.
Once again, I have run across something that made me gasp. You might have seen these yourself at Dayton or another convention. A company called Luso Tower
out of Japan makes some towers that can support just about anything you could throw at it. The LUSO150 Magnum (see KM8AM page on QRZ.com) can handle 183 square feet of wind load at 57 mph with the tower fully extended to 145 feet tall! Now here in Califoria, we would probably want to derate that a little by using a higher wind speed in our calcs, but you get the idea! And that isn't their tallest tower! They have others! Yikes! Now, these things aren't cheap, so you'll be needing a healthy bank account if you want to bring one home. The 150 Magnum was priced at $68,900 at Dayton in 2015.
Strange but true...
A violin contains about 70 separate pieces of wood!
73 for now,