Check Out the March/April 2010 NCJ
The March/April issue of NCJ, The National Contest Journal, is filled with the latest news from the contesting world. Whether you are new to contesting or are a seasoned pro -- or somewhere in the middle -- you will find something in NCJ just for you.
J.V. Evans, N3HBX, discusses how his Maryland contest station takes advantage of various inverted V antennas for the low bands in his article "Eighty Meter Inverted Vs at N3HBX." This is a follow-up to his September/October 2005 and November/December 2005 articles that discussed his support stacked monoband Yagis covering 40-10 meters and wire antennas for 80 and 160 meters. Evans says that his inverted Vs are "hung low enough to support near vertical incidence sky-wave (NVIS) propagation for short-distance contacts, such as those encountered in a domestic contest such as ARRL November Sweepstakes. These have contributed to Atlantic Division wins in that contest by Mark Bailey, KD4D."
John W. Thompson, K3MD, conducted an informal poll of the top contesters, asking them which radio, in their opinion, was the best contest rig. The answers he received surprised him. He said that although the question seems straightforward enough, he said that there are different ways to arrive at an answer. "One involves a detailed technical analysis of each radio, measuring significant parameters. The ARRL Lab staff does a terrific job of this, making it easy to compare a transceiver's technical prowess. More difficult to quantify, however, are such aspects as ergonomics, simplicity of setup and operation, ease of use, display screen and spectrum scope quality, audio timbre and how well it suits your operating style. With this in mind, I conducted a quick survey of well-known contesters, seeking their impressions, based on their experiences, as to what radios are best for contesting." Find out which radio most contesters prefer in his article "What's the Best Contest Rig?"
Rich Westerberg, N0HJZ, comes clean in his article "Confessions of a Rate Junkie." Join Westerberg as he and his wife Julie travel to Belize for the 2009 CQWW Phone Contest where he operated as V31MW from V31MD's Palmetto Place Guesthouse in Placencia, Belize. As a rate junkie, Westerberg says he loves a good pileup: "I've had large pileups before, especially on 10 meters from Hawaii and on 20 meters from Iceland. Nothing prepared me for the pileups from Belize, however. It seemed that the bands were always open to the US and Europe at the same time. That combination is a lot of fun but can also be intimidating. I would say 'QRZ V31MW,' and [it] would break loose. There would be an S9 roar as 100 stations would start calling and I couldn't pick out anything. Occasionally I'd get almost paralyzed waiting to hear a single letter. I'd say 'Who is the station with "Charlie" in it?' whereupon 50 stations with the letter C in their call signs would resume the racket. A fun problem to have!"
This issue also features "NCJ Profiles": Tom Menas, K3WT, introduces us to Rich Strand, KL7RA, of Kenai, Alaska. Of course, there are all the regular columns and features you expect from NCJ: "Workshop Chronicles," by Don Daso, K4ZA; "Contest Tips, Tricks and Techniques," by Gary Sutcliffe, W9XT; "VHF-UHF Contesting," by Jon Jones, N0JK; "RTTY Contesting," by Don Hill, AA5AU; "Propagation," by Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA; "Contesting on a Budget," by Ralph Bellas, K9ZO; "Software for Contesters" by Pete Smith, N4ZR, and "Contesting 101," by Kirk Pickering, K4RO.
All this and more in the March/April issue of NCJ. NCJ is published six times a year by the ARRL; it is edited by Al Dewey, K0AD. NCJ is what every contester needs in their shack -- subscribe today!