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Located halfway between Africa and Australia, and just about as far away from North America as possible, this icy, windswept island has always held a top spot on the DX world's most wanted lists. But just what kind of DXer does it take to leave home for six weeks and travel to such a faraway place?
Sailing with the famous "Braveheart" to new extremes in the South Indian Ocean,
and again using the "low power-vertical antenna" approach, join the Microlite
Penguins DXpedition team as they battle through the seas and the pileups from
yet another remote Antarctic destination
We received 107 logs representing 922 QSO's from stations outside of Vermont. This is a new record of participation which resulted in very tough competition! Overall, we received logs from 39 states, 2 provinces and 4 countries.
QSOS MULTS CALL LOC CLASS PWR | PH CW DIG TOT PTS | CO CL CO CL CO CL TOT | PWR SCORE K0FD MO SO LOW | 33 22 55 77 | 12 4 9 2 27 | 1.5 3119 KK4CLY NC SO QRP | 18 14 1 33 48 | 10 3 7 3 1 24 | 2.0 2304 OM2VL OM SO HIGH| 16 31 3 50 84 | 6 3 10 3 2 1 25 | 1.0 2100 KA5VZG TN SO LOW | 15 15 2 32 49 | 7 3 11 3 2 1 27 | 1.5 1985 WN4AFP SC SO LOW | 27 13 1 41 55 | 10 2 6 3 1 22 | 1.5 1815
Three of the five top finishers are new to the Vermont QSO Party and they raised the bar so much higher this year! Grabbing the top spot in 2017 is Dan K0FD from Missouri. He ran up an amazing 55 QSO's and 27 multipliers for a new record score of 3119. Dan managed to work 13 of Vermont's 4 counties, the first time this has been done in as long as anyone can remember.
Second place goes to Garner KK4CLY from North Carolina, who operated with QRP to score 2304 points. Garner is still a teen and has scored high in several QSO Parties and is quite high on the DXCC list.
Laci OM2VL increased his record setting score from last year, going up to 2100 points. But it was only good enough for third place this year. I'm sure lackluster conditions on 40 and 80 meters between the U.S. and Europe at night certainly hurt his score. It was a real squeaker between second and fourth place and the logs came under tight scrutiny to determine the place.
Alan KA5VZG from Tennessee ended up a few points behind Laci to claim fourth place. Again it was real close - only a few multipliers separated second third and fourth place.
Rounding out fifth place is Dave WN4AFP from South Carolina, a regular in QSO parties and other contests. Positions 2-5 and 6-20 were all very close together. So close that a single multiplier or QSO could mean a jump of 1 or 2 positions in the standings. Great competition! A record number of stations (24) worked the 10 Vermont stations necessary to earn a certificate. Good job everyone!
In the Vermont competition, certificates will go out to the top 5 single OP finishers and top multi OP finisher. In addition, all Vermont stations making over 100 QSO's will also get a certificate.
In the Outside Vermont competition, the "grand prize" for the 2016 Vermont QSO Party is a souvenir 3.4 oz. jug of genuine Vermont Maple Syrup which goes to the top 3 Outside Vermont Single OP finishers who are within the U.S. You guys worked hard for those contacts and we recognize you with a product which is uniquely Vermont. If you've never had Maple Syrup before, it is very sweet and very concentrated, so a little goes a long way! Here in Vermont it is the breakfast topping of choice on pancakes, waffles or jacked deer steak (!?). Enjoy!
Certificates will also go out to the top 5 Single OP stations outside Vermont and stations outside Vermont working 10 or more QSO's.
Starting this year, we had access to software to check the accuracy of logs. Thanks to Ron AD0DX we were able to see who really was working who. Errors included busted call signs, busted counties, and the dreaded NIL (not in log). Sadly, if you lost a QSO it might also mean you lose a multiplier as well. In several cases, the wrong mode was logged by someone. That was allowed to pass – but just for this year. The software report was carefully rechecked by a human before any reduction was applied. I am happy to report than the final positions were not changed by any score reductions.
Great contest! Hope I finish "in the syrup". (K0FD). My 4th Vermont QSO Party in row and my best result. The activity was very low, worse than last year. Never-ending CQ's without any VT coming back. Another BIG handicap - I hear big signals on 40 and 80m SSB, but on the part of the band where Europe cannot transmit. Thanks N1GVT for many multi’s for me and also for club stations for more QSOs. The most QSOs with: N1GVT 17, K1VMT 7, W1JXN 7, W1NVT 7. Unfortunately, very limited time on Sunday, as usual. (OM2VL). Saturday fair conditions, Sunday, well.... Did get 11 of 14 mixed bands and modes. (K4EZS). Enjoyed the party and challenge to work all 14 counties! Missed operations at Caledonia, Franklin and Orleans Counties. Special thanks for patience of W1NVT and N1GVT stations during CW QSOs. Also, GREAT ROVER WORK BY N1GVT TEAM! Look forward to working all counties and all clubs in 2018 during VTQP.(KF4QFJ). worked all 4 club stations...W1KOO, N1GVT, W1JXN, W1NVT. (KJ4KKD). Straight key, no computer, worked from summer house. (SP6JOE). My first VT QSO Party. Bad conditions to VT. (CT7AIX). Just tuning around and spotted some of the callers so I thought I would try to catch a few. Had a few stations that I could hear close to 59, but they could not hear me. (K7RFW). Enjoyed my 2nd Vermont QSO party - great fun! (K4VBM). The low-power VT stations were a magnet for QRM from stronger stations heard in AZ, and generally not enough signal to get a reliable QSO. (K7HKR). Portable QTH - FM29jw. (KF3G). I saw a CQ on 20m PSK31 from a US state I did not yet have in the log, so I answered and entered the contest. (PE4KH). Antenna is rain gutter and downspout.(K9GDF). Not many QSOs but submitted to help the VT stations who CQ'd. (KD8DEU).
This year, 18 Vermont stations submitted logs adding up to 6330 QSO’s. We lost a few ops from last year including, N1BCL (SK), AB1NJ (rig down) and W4YFJ (working) who collectively accounted for over 1500 QSO’s. While the number of phone and digital QSO’s were down (this was likely the result of lackluster conditions), the number of CW QSO’s were significantly higher almost hitting 1000 QSOs. Another 38 Vermont stations did not submit logs, but were logged by other stations, adding up to a total of 56 unique Vermont stations on the air
QSOS MULTS CALL LOC CLASS PWR |PH CW DIG TOT PTS |ST PR DX CO CL ST PR DX CO CL ST PR DX CO CL TOT |MULT SCORE W1NVT CHI HOST HIGH|1594 113 1707 1820 |49 5 44 7 2 28 1 15 4 1 156 |1.0 283920 | | | K1VMT LAM SO HIGH| 662 147 197 1006 1350 |47 6 11 9 2 31 0 14 8 3 32 0 24 1 1 189 |1.0 255150 W1JXN CHI SO LOW | 208 155 52 415 622 |31 4 15 8 2 32 3 21 4 1 25 0 9 0 0 155 |1.5 144615 N2TOM ORA SO LOW | 510 510 510 |45 2 9 10 2 68 |1.5 52020 W1SFR RUT SO LOW | 226 226 452 | 38 4 24 3 2 71 |1.5 48138 AA1SU CHI SO HIGH| 360 60 420 480 |37 2 14 7 2 27 1 2 4 2 98 |1.0 47040
At the Host Station W1NVT, located in Essex, conditions were tough. Friday night required a lot of quick band changes and a lot of CW. Conditions to Europe were poor. For example, OM2VL was quite weak on phone while he was very loud last year. It was a good deal of work, but the QSO’s were able to be made. Saturday morning was slow, requiring mixed phone and CW stints on 20 and 40 meters. The Black Sea Competition had many Europeans on the air looking for contacts, so there were stations out there. Finally at 1500Z, we were able to call CQ and hold a frequency and had a wild ride of 2 hours with rates running over 150 per hour, mostly DX. In the afternoon, we settled on working stateside stations on 20 meters phone. Bob took over the Host station from his location in Richmond 10 miles further SE, but the lack of a competitive 80 meter antenna curtailed nighttime QSO's. Sunday, the rates climbed back up, but with a noticeable absence of DX stations. In summary, QSO's could be made, but you had to be wise about your band changes and have a decent station. The days of sitting all day on 20 meters are gone!
Joe K1VMT easily outdistanced the competition to grab first place with 255K while running high power. He was a triple threat on all three modes with considerable QSO's and multipliers on each.
Zach W1JXN grabbed second place with 145K, while running low power, even though he was off the air for considerable time both afternoons due to other conflicts - some even ham radio related.
Tom N2TOM is from the Glens Falls area of New York, but he wanted to participate as a Vermont station. So, both days, he travelled 100 miles to a rest area on I-89 in Bethel, Vermont, in rare Orange County. From a portable setup in the parking area he banged out 510 QSO’s and 52K points, good for 3rd place.
Steve W1SFR moved up to fourth place from last year’s 6th place finish with 48K. His 226 QSO’s were all on CW. Paul AA1SU rounds out the top 5 with 47K. He was supposed to help us at W1NVT, but instead put out more QSO's from his own station. The standings for places 3-5 were a real squeaker – only 5k points separate the three!
There are two BIG WINNERS of this year's Vermont QSO Party. First is the first place multiOP mobile team of N1GVT, consisting of Scott W1ZU and Cesar K1TNT who not only put all 14 Vermont counties on the air to the tune of 127k, but made the 2017 QSO Party an exciting event for all of us. Several participants noted that they hung around looking for N1GVT to show up from the next county. You can read about the N1GVT operation in last month's newsletter.
The second BIG WINNER is Bob KB1FRW. He took over the W1NVT Host Station operation when I had to go out of town on family business Saturday afternoon. We were able to felt a lot better when after arriving at the hotel, I fired up the laptop, looked at the cluster and Vermont stations were being spotted all over the place.
I would like to thank the Radio Amateurs of Northern Vermont for their support as this year's sponsor. And finally, thank you to all of you who participated. We will see you all next year as the Vermont QSO Party will be better than ever! keep the Host station and special multiplier on the air without interruption while also training new operators on Saturday.
I had a great time and would certainly consider doing it again. It will be
interesting to see if we had any impact on scores for individuals inside and
outside of the state and I'm looking forward to the results. (N1GVT).
Geez....the bands were dead (Super Bowl Day) except for the FOC, MN, MI
contests. Maybe I'll pick up my mic next year..if I can find it. No QRP this
year due to band conditions. (W1SFR). It was a real bummer that I had to go
out of town on family business. But I felt a lot better when after arriving at
the hotel, I fired up the laptop, looked at the cluster and Vermont stations
were being spotted all over the place. (W1SJ)
We had to cancel our regular RANV meeting due to a blizzard. It is a rare event when a RANV meeting is canceled but heavy snow (up to 3 inches an hour!) and wind gusts made it prudent to stay home for the evening.
However, off the road does not mean off the air so several members got on 145.15 at meeting time.
I moved my Yaesu 8800 from the car to inside my nice warm house. The first call out was Cathy N5WVR. I got on and we chit-chatted a bit before Dave KC1APK joined us. We talked about - what else? - the weather - until Cathy got the conversation going by asking "What kind of radio activity is everyone up to?"
Cathy said she worked a little of the VT and MN QSO parties but could not log both with the N1MM software so just logged the VT contacts.
At this point Mitch W1SJ joined in and gave some opinions and suggestions.
Dave was operating cross-band but for me his signal was strong. Mitch suggested using the UHF side of our repeater. Carl AB1DD checked in briefly after having shoveled snow.
I confessed that I was spending more time on MARS frequencies and not doing
much on the amateur side but would endeavor to be more active on the amateur
bands. Dave and I both closed after a half hour. I still had my radio on and
heard Alan KB1MDC check in to say he has never seen so much wind in all the
time he’s lived in the islands. A few minutes later Chuck KB1RQX checked in
while driving home from work. Talk about a true Vermonter!
"When I was 2 1/2 years old I put some bobby pins in a wall socket and saw the light!"
John's first radio experience was at his grandmother’s house where there was an old Atwater-Kent receiver with a dial that had names of faraway places. He didn't understand how this mysterious box it worked but he was fascinated.
It wasn’t long before John discovered wires and the things they were connected to. Then he started taking things apart to see how they worked. Around age 8 he started experimenting and building his own 'things'.
His father was an electrical contractor and a shortwave listener so there were always radios around the house. John's first ‘real’ receiver was a Marconi Receiver No. 52. It had no covers and no isolation on AC, so as he says he was “shocked into the world of DX listening.” And like many of us he would listen to AM skip on the radio at night. From his home in Canada he would listen to Motown from WRL in Detroit. He got his amateur radio license in 1975 at the age of 15 and has been on the air ever since. He started out with a Yaesu FT DX 100 hybrid rig with a wire antenna.
After high school John joined the Canadian Armed Forces where he was a Commissioned Officer and UN Peacekeeper. Once a civilian he worked as a technical sales manager in the Defense industry for a Canadian manufacturer. He has worked for companies such as HP and Siemens as well and traveled extensively.
During his 'vacation' times he would work jobs as a contractor. Some of these side jobs were in West Africa where he worked on energy installation projects. In 2008 he was able to have a mini DXpedition from Guinea, West Africa with the call 3XY0D operating from KanKan.
Several years ago John changed his profession to become a Personal Property Appraiser specializing in Fine Art, Antiques, Watches and Clocks and is an Accredited Member of the prestigious International Society of Appraisers. He is a columnist with a watch and clock magazine and writes on appraisal subjects.
Even with his busy schedule he participates on 80m nightly when he is home. "It puts me in a different mindset", he says. He operates portable when the opportunity arises, even family picnics and road trips. He prefers QRP because "it's simple". He uses his FT 817 as a QRP radio and throws a wire in a tree. Unsurprisingly, John has a lot of radio equipment: Elecraft, Yaesu, and tons of home brew projects!
John has been a member of RANV since its beginning. For the past 22 years he has been a speaker and presenter of ham radio topics at Boxboro, NEARFest, Atlanticon QRP events and most recently our 2017 VT HAM-CON. He has also spoken on energy systems relating to large scale solar installations, DC back up power, Emergency Communications and Power Sources. In addition to his professional writing he has also written numerous amateur radio articles and was featured in 73 Amateur Radio and eHam as well as various club newsletters in the US and Canada.
John is a licensed prospector in the Province of Quebec. He also volunteered at the Montreal Shriners Hospital for 18 years. He is a founding board member and handles the job of Secretary/Treasurer for the Nouvelle Generations Orchestra, and has donated computers to help set up electronic (and ham radio) programs at local schools.
John just keeps on going. He makes the Energizer Bunny look like a slacker!
Congratulations to the following new licensees:
Technician Question: T5B09 What is the approximate amount of change, measured in decibels (dB), of a power increase from 5 watts to 10 watts? A. 2 dB B. 3 dB C. 5 dB D. 10 dB General Question: G5C15 What is the total resistance of a 10 ohm, a 20 ohm, and a 50 ohm resistor connected in parallel? A. 5.9 ohms B. 0.17 ohms C. 10000 ohms D. 80 ohms Extra Question: E9E13 What is a use for a Wilkinson divider? A. It divides the operating frequency of a transmitter signal so it can be used on a lower frequency band B. It is used to feed high-impedance antennas from a lowimpedance source C. It is used to divide power equally between two 50 ohm loads while maintaining 50 ohm input impedance D. It is used to feed low-impedance loads from a highimpedance source Ans. B,A,C