Amateur Radio From Loudoun County VA

August 1997

The LARG Radio News - DE K4LRG

The Loudoun Amateur Radio Group, P.O. Box 1004, Purcellville, VA 20134

President John Unger (W4AU) (540) 338-4620
Vice-Pres. Gary Quinn (NC4S) (540) 882-3017
Secretary Tom Dawson (WB3AKD) (540) 338-4905
Treasurer Dale Cabaniss (KD4LSL) (540) 338-3521

NOTE: Next Meeting is August 16, 8:30 at the El Rancho Plus

July Club Meeting Notes

As hoped for, discussion at the July meeting resulted in some great ideas for programs for future club meetings. These ideas include: installing and operating HF mobile rigs; lightning protection for your ham station; basic antenna fundamentals, and a demo of the “new” Icom IC-706. We have scheduled some of these items for next few meetings, so stay tuned. We also decided to include a “Contest Corner” column for this newsletter to be written by Norm, AI2C (DX contests) and Paul, K4MSG (domestic contests); you’ll see the first installment of the column in this edition of the newsletter.

August Club Meeting Notes

At our August meeting, Paul, K4MSG, will discuss some VHF techniques and tactics that will make your use of these bands more pleasurable. Paul will be covering propagation and related antenna and station setup issues that are applicable to both general operating and to VHF contesting. He will be passing out some useful handouts, so be sure and be there to pick up yours. We will discuss an invitation from the Dulles and Sterling Park amateur radio clubs to join them in providing communications for the Loudoun Hospital Center when they move their patients from the Hospital in Leesburg to the new hospital at Landsdown on October 18. We would also participate in the two practice runs of the transfer operation that will be held on August 23 and September 20.

Club News

We are glad to announce that Gary, NC4S, had finally gotten his tower down, and up, and then all the way up again! Now about those antennas… Otto, W4QDP, is now a member of the heavyweight boatanchors class; Otto recently acquired an 87-pound Hammerlund SP-600-JX. Also, Tom, WB9RXJ, is now tuning the HF bands with a newly acquired (Berryville Hamfest) HQ-180; he says that it works just great. Could this be trend? Are AM broadcast stations back on the air? Watch out on 80 meters for Charlie’s, K4LJH, newly built modulator driving his 1940’s vintage Wilcox transmitter!

Under the leadership of Paul, N4PD, planning for the novice/tech Amateur radio class that LARG is teaching at Ida Lee this fall is proceeding and all of those teaching classes are busily working on their lesson plans. We are looking forward to having a good turnout. We have coordinated with DARG VECs to have an exam in Sterling the week after the class ends. So we should have some new hams by mid-November!

Thanks to the efforts of Norm, AI2C, Tom, WB9RXJ, and John, W4AU, the LARG Field Day logs have been dupe-checked and sent in to the ARRL. As suspected, our score was down slightly from last year, but the final tally shows 1151 QSO’s, a really outstanding effort, and since we had a higher proportion of CW vs. SSB contacts, our total score was only 100 points less than last year’s.

The DX Contest Corner As ol’ Sol’ settles lower in the western sky, September marks the return of better HF DX conditions. The higher noise levels of summer are gone and the fall equinox signals the return of transequatorial paths. So, as we finish summer antenna projects, it’s time to try some DX Contesting. The 1997-1998 DX Contest Season is full of exciting activities. Are you chasing big scores, looking for wallpaper, trying to make the Top Ten Box, or an all time personal best? Or maybe you need to flush out some missing band countries or band zones, or trying to get to the next plateau on your DXCC or WAZ? Or maybe you are determined to master a new mode- say CW, or you want to just run for a few hours. Whatever, it’s fun!

First, you have to get psyched up! What you try to do in a DX Contest, or any contest, are usually personal goals. We all have a few advantages and most of us have limitations. So, make it fun; carve out a niche for yourself. A personal best is always nice and should be a goal. But to get started, just start. Get into a couple. Try your hand and see what happens. You need a baseline to grade yourself as you improve your skills and station. So, over the years, keep records; analyze them and find ways to add capabilities. Webster says a contest is “struggle for superiority or victory.” But at first, you compete against yourself, then after a couple good tries, you’ll see how you stack up. Where are you in the section, region, state, division, call area, east coast, the States, North America and the World? Among other things, the guys who win don’t sleep much and squeeze ever possible QSO out of every opening. Some of these guys have super stations, but there are still many contest class entries where you can be competitive.

As Solar Cycle 23 picks up steam over the next few years, we’ll get a big help. First, 15 meters will be back, 20 meters will stay open longer and then eventually all night, and finally 10 meters is there. At the peak of the cycle it’s possible to work world-wide and make upwards of 2000 QSO’s on 10 meters during a weekend. So, as you gain contest experience and improve your DX contest station, you’ll get a big rush as ol’ Sol’ comes alive. Don’t miss this cycle; it will be fun.

The attached calendar offers many good possibilities for fun. Pick a couple and jump in. An all-time great DX contest is the CQ World Wide DX Contest. Try this one for sure. Maybe at the next couple of club meetings, we can form a team or two, and also decide to compete as a club.


WHEN: 25-26 October - Last full weekend in October for Phone.

29-30 November - Last full weekend in November for CW.

EXCHANGE: RS(T) + CQ Zone Number - #5 for here.

QSO PTS: 2 pts per NA (less US) QSO, 3 pts per non-NA QSO, US QSO count for mults only..

MULTS: CQ Zones (CQ Zone Map) + Countries (DXCC and WAE) per band.

SCORE: Total QSO Pts x Total of Band Mults.


SO QRP (<5) AB, MS, MM, TEAM and CLUB.

RULES: In September issue of CQ Magazine.

And here are a few other DX Contests scheduled during the next several weeks. Check the WWW at or a recent copy of QST or CQ Magazine for details. GL.


0000Z Sat 9 Aug      2400Z Sun 10 Aug   Worked All Europe DX CW RST + SN (Also QTCs)

0000Z Sat 16 Aug    2400Z Sun 17 Aug   SEANET Contest (SSB)       RS + SN

1200Z Sat 23 Aug   1200Z Sun 24 Aug    TOEC World Wide Grid Contest RST + GF & Sq ID

1200Z Sat 6 Sep     1200Z Sun 7 Sep       LZ DX Contest (CW)          RST + ITU Zone

0000Z Sat 6 Sep     2400Z Sun 7 Sep       All Asian SSB DX Contest   RST + Age

0001Z Sun 7 Sep    2359Z Sun 7 Sep       XXVI Panama Anniversary Contest (SSB) RS + SN

0000Z Sat 13 Sep    2400Z Sun 14 Sep  Worked All Europe DX (SSB) RST + SN (+ QTCs)

1500Z Sat 20 Sep   1800Z Sun 21 Sep     Scandinavian CW Activity Contest   RST + SN

1500Z Sat 27 Sep   1800Z Sun 28 Sep     Scandinavian SSB Activity Contest   RS + SN

Calendar of Events:

Every Third Saturday 8:30 a.m. Club Meeting, El Ranchero Plus Restaurant, Purcellville
Weekday Mornings and Evenings Commuter Net, 147.480 MHz Simplex
Every Sunday 8:00 p.m. Club Radio Net, 28.360 MHz USB