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The NAQCC Groundhog Challenge

Final Official Results:

K3WWP:  All names - 73 callsigns used - 1st Place Certificate
NU7T:   All names - 66 callsigns used - 2nd Place Certificate
W2JEK:  All names - 41 callsigns used (all from ARRL DX test)
K4PBY:  All names - 29 callsigns used
W9ILF:  All names - 29 callsigns used
N8XMS:  All names - 26 callsigns used
KB4QQJ: All names - 25 callsigns used
N1LU:   All names - 20 callsigns used
N9AKF:  5 names   - 28 callsigns used
KC2EGL: 4 names   - 33 callsigns used
VE3HUR: 3 names   - 16 callsigns used

Bug handle drawing winner - KB4QQJ

N8XMS - It sure helps to have some time off of work to play radio!

K3WWP - Finally got the last S and X in the sprint tonite (2/13). I've used 50 different callsigns so far and probably will expand on that as the month goes on, and I adjust letters around. I also think depending on conditions I might try to do it a second time with callsigns just from the ARRL DX test this weekend. We'll see. ADDENDUM: Well my kidney stone wiped out plans for completing the challenge again in the ARRL DX test. Also my quest for a perfect 85 callsigns for the challenge. Still I'm happy with the 73 total, and it's a nice ham radio number as well.

KB4QQJ - Wow, bands were horrible in NC for the February NAQCC Sprint, but I waited till then to finish the challenge. Wanted to use as many NAQCC members as possible. Out of the 25 calls needed to complete the challenge, 10 of them came from the February 2 hour Sprint. The other 15 came from a 24 hour Junkbox Key Sprintathon. Not too shabby!! Thanks to all in the log for making this one of the most fun type of challenges. 73

N1LU - Good fun as usual. It took me 43 qso's to get all the letters I needed from the 20 calls I finally used. It took a while to get 'x' and the last 'e'. A big treat was a 539 qso with VK2KM in Austrailia using a KX-1 and OPEK mobile antenna, operating in a parking lot in Vero Beach, FL. The other setup used for the challenge was my FT-817ND and Buddipole. 73 Don

W9ILF - This type of challenge has to be my favorite. I wasn't sure I would make it this month, but thanks to contests and QSO parties it worked out pretty well. The DX calls made things interesting and I got one of my favorite DX QSO's when taking a break from the ARRL DX contest, VP6DX on 17M. I worked them again on 40 meters a couple days later. My favorite QSO though has to be the last letter I needed, an "I", which was filled by calling CQ and getting KI4FW. We were both using an Icom 703 and vertical antenna. He is in Arlington, VA. I am such a U.S. history nut that this seemed as neat as any rare DX to work someone in such a historical place. Gen. Lee's home is there and Arlington Nat. cemetary.

KC2EGL - For the last week all I needed was O S T to complete the hunt for all six ground hogs but could not get them. Never the less this was a lot of fun. I found myself trying to hunt down call signs with the last three letters I needed. I find the alphabet challenges to be most fun. I guess it is all in the hunt for your prey. 73 Mike

N9AKF - My most noteworthy qso was with WP4DQK, located in Adjuntas, Puerto Rico. This was a 2XQRP qso. Milton was transmitting at 5 watts, and I was at my usual 4 watts. Using the longitude and latitude info from, the distance was 1,925 miles. Not bad considering that there was a RTTY contest going on and it took three tries until we were both certain that we had successfully exchanged RST, QTH and name. I also had a very enjoyable one-hour QSO with WA0FDV, John, from 3am to 4am local time, during a wind storm here that wouldn't let me sleep. John told me about the years he spent as an electrician working on locomotives out of Fargo, ND. It seemed fitting to hear train stories via cw, since, prior to wireless, telegraph went were the train tracks did. The blustery winds also added charm to John's tales as it put me in mind of the rushing sound of a train as it passes nearby. I went back to bed about 4:15, the wind no longer seemed quite so menacing. I drifted off to sleep feeling grateful to be an amateur radio operator; for what other hobby could turn a sleepless, stormy night, into such a pleasant and soothing event. And, like a homeopathic treatment for sleeplesness, I awoke the next morning suffering no ill side effects. My advice to any ham who is having trouble falling asleep is to take 4 watts and call CQ. Bart

VE3HUR - Couldn't get an "R" so only managed to bag three of the vermin. On a brighter note, this is the first month ever that I've worked entirely QRP.

This was suggested by Don VE3HUR several months ago for use this 'Groundhog Month.' He suggested tying in the predictions of the groundhogs to the challenge, but we decided that would make things too complex. I'm sure all of you know about the most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil here in PA, but you may not be aware that there are also many other rodent prognosticators around the USA as well as in Canada and other parts of the World. We're offering a random selection of 3 USA and 3 Canadian forecasters in our word list.

Feb 1, 2008 0000Z through Feb 29, 2008 2400Z

You must use QRP and the other station can be using any power. You can use any antenna you want.

Make as many Groundhog names from the following list as you can. You must make the 2 or 3 separate words in each name for it to count. The location and parentheses are NOT part of the name, but are there just so you will know where that particular rodent is from.

To track your challenge, we suggest making a worksheet as described here


For reference especially if you use the worksheet, the following 20 letters are contained somewhere in the words:

You can use a letter in a call TWICE. For example, N3AQC's N could be used in STATEN and ISLAND PIE.

If a call has two or more of the same letters, only one may be used. For example, only one of the three E's in K3EEE could be used for two E's in the words (for example STATEN and PUNXSUTAWNEY). You can't use the two extra E's for anything.

Subsequent QSO's with the same station cannot be used for additional letters. For example, no matter how many times you work K3WWP, you can only get two K's from his call.

A certificate goes to the two members using the most different calls to make ALL the words.

A set of beautiful bug or paddle handles. These pieces are wonderfully hand crafted and donated by Gregg, WB8LZG. To see what they look like check them out here.

Everyone who earns a participation point as outlined in the next section is eligible to win the prize. A list of those eligible will be sent to Gregg, WB8LZG who will select a winner in a random drawing. An individual can only win one set of paddles after which they become ineligible for future drawings. At Gregg's request, NAQCC officers at their discretion are also eligible for all his bug/paddle handle prizes. If you do not wish to be entered in the drawing for any reason, let us know when you submit your report. Some folks only use a straight key, for example and would have no use for bug/paddle handles.

Anyone submitting a report gets a Participation Point and a web listing, even if you make only 2 names.

For your report, just list the names you made and the stations used for each word. If you use a call more than once in a name, please list it more than once in the correct positions as in:

Include the number of calls you used.

Please preface any soapbox comments with "SOAPBOX:" so we will know what you want posted and what is private.

Send your results to:

E-mail: pix_email_naqcc (1K)

You must type that address into your email program.

Subject must read: (your call) NAQCC (month) Challenge

For example in my case: K3WWP NAQCC February Challenge

Postal mail:
John Shannon, K3WWP
478 E. High St.
Kittanning, PA 16201

All entries for the challenge must be RECEIVED before March 10, 2008 at 2400Z.