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The NAQCC May 2014 Challenge

All challenge info such as rules are now in the hands of Gary K1YAN. Email him with any questions in that regard at pix_email_k1yan (1K).

The results on this page are the responsibility of Hap K7HAP. Email him with any questions in that regard at pix_email_k7hap (1K).


All the above get a certificate and participation point.
All below get only a participation point.

K0FNR - 7
VE6RI - 1
K3WWP: This hardly deserves to be called a "challenge". I finished it at 2121Z on May 1st. Conditions to Europe were great on 17 and especially 15 that afternoon and it was easy to work 10 stations. I also completed just about half of this month's European Chapter Birds challenge that afternoon.

KDOV: I enjoy building kits and making wire antenna. I would probably enjoy home brewing equipment from scratch, if I had the time. For the May Challenge I exclusively used my NorCal 40A, 2 watts out, and my 80M center fed double extended Zepp, hoping to make the May Challenge a real challenge. Fortunately there were not many thunder storms on the eastern half of the US during the first three days in May keeping the QRN down. The gray line was working well here in Minnesota in the evenings. It turned out not to be such a difficult challenge after all. It was fun and I have great QSO's with ham running linears on CW. 72, Merlin

MW0RSS: This was fun! My 36" diameter magnetic loop did better than I expected. It is built from some 1/2" aluminium tube that I found in the shed. Aluminium is not supposed to be as good as copper but seems to work fine. The tuning capacitor is about 300pF (with a 3:1 gear ratio) that pulled from a 60's transistor radio and the driven element is some thick cable from my junk box. I admit I had to pay for the plastic box to mount the parts in! It works well on 40, 30, 20, 17 and 15 meters. 21MHz was great in the morning, and I used 7MHz and 10MHz later in the day. It is very relaxing just sitting with a coffee and a radio, working round Europe.

SM5MEK: This was a different and nice challenge for me. Recently got my vertical antenna ready for hard test, now done. All qsos done with my BCR 3W and HB Knife and HB vertical antenna. Was on RBN from Canada to day Saturday 03. It was VE2WU registered me with 18 dB at 20m. See more at my blog http://www.sm5mekqrpeng. Also short video. (HB= homebuildt) ;-)

N8XMS: For me every month is homebrew month with an Elecraft K2 as my main station rig. It's always fun! 73, Paul

AB9YC: I was thinking this one would be quick and easy for me. Was I just a bit off - it took until the 14th! I kept trying, but was coming up empty, with only a few W1AW portables to show for all my CQ's. The ARRL Centennial Celebration is a pretty good reason to call CQ, and a stint calling CQ CENT finished this one off for me.

KF7WNS: Been having great fun with my Home Brew tube transmitter. Circuit uses 6C4 oscillator and 5763 final, xtal control. Puts out 3 to 4 watts and gets good reports for tone. Best DX, WA8REI in Michigan. You can see construction on QRZ.

NQ2W: This one was easier for me than last month's. Every QSO I make involves homebrew equipment. Combinations of the equipment I use always boil down to something homebrew. The roof-mount quad tower that I built from angle aluminum stock supporting my store bought mini-beam and homebrew 40 meter inverted vee or my homebrew 80 meter near bottom-loaded, ground-mounted vertical are used for all of radio work from my home shack. Two separate memory keyers that I built from kits are connected to my Jupiter or the K1 that I enjoyed building. Sometimes I use a hombrew paddle made mostly from stuff laying around the basement. For me homebrew/kit building and making QSOs with that equipment is a very enjoyable part of this great hobby!

KT1K: Used Heathkit HW-9, 4 Watts Built by KT1K in 1985, No Mods; HyGain 18-AVT/W Trap Vertical. Actually the old Hot Water 9 met the May challenge with little difficulty ....but you rekindled my old homebrew interest. I found an old transmitter my son (KA1OVM - he was 10 yrs)) and I built in 1987. It was based on the Tuna Tin 2 but we experimented with 20 mtrs. Thus the "Tuna 20" was born. I really don't remember the mods or the transistors but it still has a 14.058 xtal in it. (photo attached) other than the xtal it has 18 components and puts out less than a half watt. It was designed to be put in a "mint can" but we never got around to finishing the mints.

KB1UOH: My transmitter is a one tube homebrew using a 6V6 tube. My version of the Ameco AC-1. The antenna is a dipole and the key a navy flame proof. It is so much more rewarding to make contacts with a little five watt transmitter that you made yourself. Thanks to all who heard me. See you in the next sprint. Charlie

K1IEE: As I traveled across the northern part of the USA on my way to Alaska each overnight stop was a chance to set up my home brew 20M dipole and HW-9 Heathkit rig with my 13 foot fiberglass camper. At Devils Lake N D had a great QSO with Ted N1WPU from Maine. Next memorable QSO was with Matt W9BGX and it was his very first CW contact. He was from WI and I was in Malta MT. Then on to Dawson Creek BC Canada where I heard Dale WC7S and the NAQCC net so I checked in and had a great chat. My ultimate goal and challenge was to participate in the NAQCC sprint. Thanks to K4BAI John and VE7BCS Harold I succeeded. Had a good time. Thanks to all 73 Dick

KC9SNC: This challenge was completed with a Weber Tribander kit that I built in March of this year. This rig covers 40m, 30m and 20m. The antenna was a home brew 40m dipole at 25 feet that is fed with open wire line. I expect to have about 75 contacts with this setup by the end of the month. Don

VK4JAZ: This is my first time I have been able to participate in one of your challenges. I enjoyed it as it was very challenging, with bad conditions and a very small CW community Down Under. But I made it.

K2DEP: This was a lot of fun and I enjoyed building a modified AMECO AC1 style transmitter using a 6V6 tube. I added a slide switch to switch my coil from 40 to 80M but had to manually change the crystal. I also added a crude VXO that gave me about 500 Hz of tuning up from the crystal frequency that I could switch in or out. My 10th contact on the 31st was just seconds prior to 40M dissolving away. Whew! Antenna was a G5RV @ 30Ft. Receiver was an ICOM IC-R71A.

VE3FUJ: I enjoyed the Challenge this month using the K2 kit I build, Spending many enjoyable hours putting it together. That in itself was a challenge but I followed the book to the letter, that made it a little less so, also I've built many kits over the years, K2 was the most challenging so far. All in all very enjoyable. Brion 3011

AK3X: Since all my rigs are kits I built about 15 years ago, along with my antenna tuner and wire antenna, and antenna mast, all my QSOs counted towards this challenge. I worked a few on each of the bands that I have rigs on, 40 thru 15. Run SWL DSW rigs on 40/30/20, an MFJ CUB on 17, and a KD1JV MS-15 on that band. Even worked a ZL with the MS-15.. first one in years. Antenna in all cases is a 40M inv vee at 25 feet (it keeps shrinking) and a ZM-2 tuner.

K1YAN: All the QSOs were made on 40m using a SW Labs DSW40 kit at 2.5w out, a ZM2 antenna tuner kit and a NEQRP club NEScaf audio filter kit to a HB G5RV Jr. The audio filter is still available and a good way to sharpen up your RX. Fun to pull out the little gear and make a few Q's. Might be time to fire up the 500 mW Rockmites again too.

W4DUK: I used a homebrew straight key that I built specifically for this challenge using a cylindrical body momentary pushbutton switch, that I held in my hand and operated with my thumb. It wasn't fancy and my code speed wasn't very fast, but it worked great and I will continue to use it from time to time in the future.

W2JEK: I made 15 qso's using 10 different home brew xcvrs. They are Heathkit HW8, TWO-FER XCVR, TEN-TEC 1380 and 1315 xcvrs, Oak Hills OHR-40, OHR 100A [20m], OHR100A [15m] and OHR-500 rig and Two NN1G rigs , one for 20M and the other for 30M from QRPARCI Quarterly of Jan 93 and Jan 94. The TWO-FER was from an article by KN1H in the July and October 1986 Quarterly. W3TS was also involved in the creation of the TWO-FER. Had a lot of fun putting these rigs on the air. 72 and 73 Don Younger 1135

N1NUA: Another great challenge! My 40 mtr xcvr wasn't available after the first Qso, so was limited to 20 mtrs. Conditions have been tough.

N2GDS: The contacts were made on the 18th around 2200Z, all on 20m CW using 3W out. I combined the challenge with a SOTA activation at Sugar Hill Fire Tower here in western NY, using all homebrew gear: a 20m direct-conversion rig with a crystal oscillator, a magnetic loop made from coax, an end-fed half-wave antenna matched with a homebrew tuner, and a touch keyer designed around an Atmel ATTiny chip.
Back in the day, it was common to hear "RIG HR HB 6V6"... "PADDLE HB, TWO J-38S BACK TO BACK"... "VFO MODIFIED ARC-5"...
Our gear often came from junk boxes fed by old TV sets and junked BC radios. The kit rigs, by Heathkit, EICO and others, had become popular choices, and of course there was all that good surplus gear from Uncle Sam. Today our rigs with "basic necessities", such as DSP, stacked memories and multi colored displays, have raised complexity to the point where HB is not often heard any more and diving in under the hood may cause more problems than it cures.
Lets go back this month. Do you have a kit or scratch built, rig, antenna, key or station accessory that could use some exercise? This is the time to bring it out and make some QSOs.

The first day of the month 0000Z through the last day of the month 2400Z

Make 10 QSOs during the time period using a home brew or kit piece of gear for each QRP QSO. This may be a rig, tuner, key, antenna or station accessory.
It is not necessary that the station worked be using any home brew gear or be QRP. In the spirit of homebrew, please make it something that you personally built or at least did a significant part of the work. Since we do have to draw a line somewhere to say what qualifies as homebrew gear, modular kits (eg. the KX3) and items such as store bought antennas which only require cutting to length and connecting coax and end insulators, do not qualify as home brew gear for this challenge.
Please check out your rig and see what it sounds like on the air. Remember chirps, yoops and drifting around a few kHz during each over are no longer as accepted as they were in the 60s!

A certificate and Participation Point go to everyone making 10 HB QSOs and submitting their report before the deadline.

A Participation Point goes to everyone making at least 1, but not all 10 HB QSOs and submitting their report before the deadline.

Some challenges involve a prize. Check the Prize page in the main section of the web site for more info.

For your report, just tell us you either made the required 10 homebrew/kit QSOs or if you didn't make 10, then tell us how many you did make.

If you think that your HB gear is a bit different (everybody has seen a K1 or HW- 8) and interesting send a digital picture we may post in the NAQCC newsletter challenge section to pix_email_n8xms (1K).
You may also include comments about the challenge. Please preface any comments you want posted with "SOAPBOX:" so we will know what you want posted and what is private.

Send your results to:

E-mail: pix_email_k7hap (1K)

You must type that address into your email program.

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

For example: K3WWP NAQCC February Challenge

Postal mail:
Hap - K7HAP
8532 Canterbury Dr.
Annandale, VA 22003

All entries must be RECEIVED before the 10th of the following month at 2400Z.