Here’s the latest ARRL Contest information compiled by HQ ARRL.
Views expressed in this Amateur Radio News update are those of the reporters and correspondents.
Content supplied by HQ ARRL, Newington, CT, 06111.
Accessed on 26 May 2021, 1403 UTC, Post 2056.
Source (email message from HQ ARRL):
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May 26, 2021
Editor: Brian Moran, N9ADG
IN THIS ISSUE
The CW leg of the CQ WW WPX Contest is the main event for this upcoming weekend. The advice given by David, WD6T, in the NCCC’s February Jug for the RTTY WPX is still relevant: use the best location you can, have great antennas, maximize your score by using 40, 80, and 160 meters, and run, run, run. For a list of announced DX operations that may feature fancy prefixes just for WPX, see NG3K’s web page of DX Operation Announcements.
Though not HF, activity on 6 meters has been perking up, especially on the east coast, where the band has been open to the EU for hours and hours on some days — just in time for the UK Six Meter Group’s contest the first weekend in June. Also during the weekend of June 5-6 is the Kentucky QSO Party, offering the traditional QSO party fare of CW, SSB, and RTTY contacts. If you’re thinking at all of entering the Cookie Crumble QRP Contest, you’ll need to get a cookie number ahead of time, so plan ahead.
27 May – 9 Jun 2021
The Northern California Contest Club has their own “NCCC Land’s End Store” where club members can order NCCC branded items at their leisure. From their website: “You can choose from an array of shirts, jackets, and hats and apply your choice of custom-embroidered NCCC logos: A plain one, or one that also says Fifty Years. And, you can personalize your item by adding your name and/or call sign. The store is open 24/7 and items are shipped directly to you. No more waiting for everyone else to make up their minds on a group purchase.” Other clubs: It costs little to nothing to set this up, besides the time and effort to upload your club logo to the merchandise website. Other websites, such as LL Bean, also provide this service.
WSJT-X 2.4.0 Achieves General Availability! Here’s part of the announcement from Joe, K1JT: “We are pleased to announce the General Availability (GA) release of WSJT-X version 2.4.0, which includes the new digital mode Q65. Q65 is designed for two-way QSOs over especially difficult propagation paths, including ionospheric scatter, troposcatter, rain scatter, TEP, EME, and other types of fast-fading signals. Details and recommendations concerning the Q65 sub-modes are provided in the “Quick-Start Guide to Q65”, available here.” For the complete announcement, see the WSJT-X website.
Scott, N3FJP, announces the availability of Amateur Contact Log 7.0, with the following features/improvements:
Other N3FJP programs have also been updated:
During the Contest Forum at the virtual International DX Convention last weekend, Craig, K9CT, chairperson of the ARRL Contest Advisory Committee (CAC), talked about some issues that were being considered and the recommendations made to the ARRL Programs & Services Committee (PSC). For recommendations to make it from the CAC to the PSC, the CAC’s consensus must be unanimous. In 2022, you may see the power limit for low-power in ARRL HF contests change to 100 W (current is 150). Also, the restriction that a single physical station may not be used by more than one call sign during an ARRL contest may be modified or eliminated. It’s increasingly more common for remote stations to be used by amateurs that don’t have the ability to have a competent station at home due to HOA restrictions, RFI, or other issues, and this would provide a way for more of those amateurs to get on the air in contests.
Also according to participants in the Contest Forum: Remote Ham Radio’s Youth Program has provided access to over 500 young hams, and is adding about 100 per month. The RHR Croatia station is in use over 20 hours per day by licensed “kids from around the world.”
A new 6-meter beacon is on the air! C6AFP is on the air from FL16 on 50.040 MHz. C6AFP would enjoy receiving any reception reports.
Ward, N0AX, writes: “This caught my eye from Instructables — a 3D-printed globe showing the terminator all year long. Might be a fun station accessory if you don’t want a full GeoClock!”
ARRL HF contest rules are different than those for VHF Contests, in ways big and small. For example, soliciting contacts via non-amateur radio means is not allowed for HF contests (General Rule 3.10), while it is allowed for VHF+ contests (OPRG.8.1). Here are a couple of others:
This is by no means an exhaustive list. It’s just a reminder that it’s always good practice to read all of the rules of the contest that you’re entering.
“Do you enjoy digital modes? Ready to warm up the atmosphere with the power of your transmitter? Are you ready to compete? If your answer is yes, then RigExpert has good news for you. For the last 12 years, RigExpert has been holding the DigiFest contest with very valuable prizes! This June 5 and 6 we are waiting for you on the air! Get your equipment ready, tune your antenna and get your prizes! The contest rules are at https://rigexpert.com/
Rusty, W6OAT, congratulated Mitch, K7RL, for qualifying for the WRTC-2022 (now 2023) competition in Italy. Mitch’s response to the post on the Western Washington DX Club reflector: “Thanks guys! I’ve been working on my Italian, so here we go: È molto gratificante qualificarsi dalla stazione di casa durante il minimo solare. Molti concorsi sono stati spesi chiedendosi se 15m sarebbero stati aperti; sarebbe 10m prendere vita; o 40m sarebbero rimasti aperti tutta la notte? Apprezzo il supporto e il cinque!”
Here’s a view of a Geomagnetic Disturbance from the point of view of an electrical grid operator, PJM. PJM is “a regional transmission organization (RTO) that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia.”
From the 2021 Glossary of Contesting Terms by Pat, N9RV, published by Contest University: “A mode of operation for a CW skimmer that disables the decoding of call signs as well as the integration with internet spots. In this blind mode, the operator only sees (potentially) a waterfall display showing recent historical activity across the band as with a panadaptor. Blind mode is legal for single operator, unassisted entrants in most major contests.”
The video from virtual Contest University 2021 is now online. Watch it as it unfolded, or pick and choose from the program’s outline. Also, check out the files from the earlier-in-the-year propagation summit on the Contest University file page.
The virtual International DX Convention held on May 15 and 16 had 1664 virtual attendees. If you missed any of the presentations, you can view them online.
The raw scores for the SSB Unassisted Challenge have been posted. The contest sponsors ask that you contact them if your claimed score is missing or significantly different from what you expected it to be. The CW leg of this contest is coming up on May 29 and 30, coincident with the CQ WW WPX contest. The contest sponsors want to remind participants that “entrants must submit their log to both CQ WW WPX and https://unassisted.org/logs…
9A21Y was the call sign for the youth Ham YOTA contest team operated @9A1TT by 9A1TT, 9A5MX, K6BFL, KA4RLL, MØNCG, TA2AXZ, TA2BDD, TA2SLC, TA2UUO, TA4AHV, and TA7AZC. In the M/S-Youth category, they operated 12 hours, making more than 825 contacts. They faced some challenges, such as coming together as a distributed team in less than a week, and the first-time use of the station with two signals, but had a blast nonetheless! Check out their 3830scores post for the complete details.
Don’t Fret the Score Details Too Much
After the contest, when you send your Cabrillo log in to the contest sponsors, it may contain a CLAIMED-SCORE line in the log header. This line is usually ignored by the contest sponsors. Contest sponsors will calculate your contest score based on the entries in your log, adjusted for any cross-checking of contacts with other contestants that submit their logs.
In addition to sending in your log to the contest sponsors, it’s also fun to post to 3830scores.com with a breakdown of your number of contacts, a calculated score, and any comments about the actual contest for the “Soapbox.” For that purpose, the CLAIMED-SCORE calculated by the logging program is just fine to use, because scores posted to 3830scores are unofficial. Please recognize that the CLAIMED-SCORE will be less accurate for some contests for the following reasons:
OH6BG has updated VOACAP online’s DX charts with some new graphics code, and has also added charts for the upcoming VP5M and 3A/IW1RBI operations. VP5M plans to be active in the upcoming CQ WW WPX Contest.
Finding and “curing” RFI is a never-ending battle. Tobias, DH1TW, recommends “Locating and Killing Receiver Interference” by Gary, NA6O. Gary describes the battle against unintentional emitters in his presentation, with concrete examples and real-life mitigations.
Ken Shirriff, known for posts on restoring vintage hardware, breaks down what’s inside a switching PC power supply in series of tweets.
Here’s a DDC/DUC transceiver project by UA3REO he’s named “Wolf,” with the source code for its STM32 processor on Github: “The RF signal is digitized by a high-speed ADC chip and fed to an FPGA processor. It performs DDC / DUC conversion (digital frequency shift down or up the spectrum) – by analogy with a direct conversion receiver. The I and Q quadrature signals from the conversions are fed to the STM32 microprocessor. It filters, (de)modulates and outputs audio to an audio codec / USB. It also handles the entire user interface. When transmitting, the process occurs in the opposite order, only at the end of the chain there is a DAC, which converts the digital signal back to analog RF.” (Tweeted by EA7GIB)
Dan, KB6NU, noted in a recent blog entry that legendary analog designer Bob Pease’s columns from Electronic Design magazine have started to appear online, with the first volume as a free e-book (requires registration).
Field Day – Regrouping (by Ward, N0AX)
Next month is ARRL Field Day, and after most groups didn’t operate together in 2020, many will return to their usual ways in 2021. What’s different in the Field Day rules this year? Well, the rule waivers put in place last year remain in effect. New in 2021, however, home stations (Class D or E) are limited to 150 W PEP output. It is always a good idea to check the rules in advance! But even though some things have changed since 2019, the fundamentals of a successful group Field Day remain in place. Let’s revisit a few.
Agree On A Plan
There are as many ways of approaching Field Day as there are groups participating: club picnic, emergency communications exercise, competitive scoring, public demonstration, “county fair,” and more. No one style is the best, but the common factor for success is for everyone to be aware of the plan in advance. A competitive Field Day effort is not the place for someone to just show up and experiment. Likewise, a competitive operator will not be happy if the primary goal is socializing with a little operating on the side. Managing expectations for RF, food, and operating is important to everyone having a good time. Make a plan and publish it so everyone knows what it is.
Play Well Together
Since Field Day in 2019, a lot of new gear has appeared, along with changes in modes and software. The latest and greatest stuff may work just fine by itself, but what about with other extremely close stations? Unless your group is operating in a one-transmitter class, this is a good time to find out who is bringing what type of radio. If someone is offering to bring a model with known noise issues, or a receiver that overloads easily, gently suggest that they leave it at home. It is not fun to discover radio shortcomings at 1800 UTC on Saturday!
Wideband transmitted noise presents real problems for Field Day efforts with multiple stations all located within the 1000-foot separation limit. So do harmonics and other spurious emissions. Every station should use a band-pass filter and have additional harmonic-suppression stubs available, if needed. (See The ARRL Handbook and Antenna Book for more information.) One of the first setup tasks should be resolving inter-station interference. Make sure all of the radios are configured for clean modulation, with mic gain and compression carefully adjusted. This is great practice for SO2R (Single-Op, 2 Radios) or multi-op home stations!
With solar flux expected to stay below 100 and early summer conditions, only a couple of bands may be productive at a time. Trying to get a phone and CW or digital station on the same band requires careful attention to antenna location, very clean transmitters, and cooperative, patient operators. Planning operating time helps get the most out of the bands and operators.
Manage Your RF
Recognize that the stations will be temporary and with antennas close by, there may be RF issues to deal with due to the strong local signals. A lot of RFI problems can be minimized if attention is paid to bonding all of the equipment together, including computers. Bonding can be as simple as laying down a sheet of aluminum foil and using short clip leads to attach equipment to it. Take a look at the bonding examples from W6GJB and K9NN for portable stations in the Contributed Examples section of http://www.arrl.org/grounding-
Generator and AC Safety
Finally, don’t overlook basic electrical safety. Make sure your power generation and distribution system is sound and secure. While ground electrodes (usually ground rods) are not required for most modern generators, many groups like to use them. If you do, all of the electrodes must be bonded together so that voltage differences between widely separated rods or short circuits don’t create a shock hazard. Rain or dew are often encountered, so consider using GFCI-protected outlets at each station, too. The ARRL Handbook‘s “Assembling a Station” and “Safe Practices” chapters are good sources of ideas.
Ready, Set, CQ FD!
I’m coming up on 5 decades of ARRL Field Day, and each event has been unique. I’ve learned something — technical or personal — at every one, and this one will be no different. What’s the secret to Field Day happiness? Plan, prepare, perform.
That’s all for this time. Remember to send contesting related stories, book reviews, tips, techniques, press releases, errata, schematics, club information, pictures, stories, blog links, and predictions to email@example.com
73, Brian N9ADG
27 May – 9 Jun 2021
An expanded, downloadable version of QST’s Contest Corral is available as a PDF. Check the sponsors’ website for information on operating time restrictions and other instructions.
CWops Mini-CWT Test, May 27, 0300z to May 27, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: May 29.
RTTYOPS Weeksprint, May 27, 1700z to May 27, 1900z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20m; [other station’s call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name]; Logs due: June 1.
EACW Meeting, May 27, 1900z to May 27, 2000z; CW; Bands: 80, 40m; EACW Member: RST + Member No. + Nickname, EA non-Member: RST + Nickname + EA province, non-EA: RST + Nickname + DXCC prefix; Logs due: May 29.
RSGB 80m Club Championship, CW, May 27, 1900z to May 27, 2030z; CW; Bands: 80m Only; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: May 28.
NCCC RTTY Sprint, May 28, 0145z to May 28, 0215z; RTTY; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: May 30.
NCCC Sprint, May 28, 0230z to May 28, 0300z; CW; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: May 30.
K1USN Slow Speed Test, May 28, 2000z to May 28, 2100z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20m; Maximum 20 wpm, Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: May 30.
Feld Hell Sprint, May 29, 0000z to May 29, 2359z; Feld Hell; Bands: ; (see rules); Logs due: June 2.
CQ WW WPX Contest, CW, May 29, 0000z to May 30, 2359z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: June 4.
K1USN Slow Speed Test, May 31, 0000z to May 31, 0100z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20m; Maximum 20 wpm, Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: June 6.
QCX Challenge, May 31, 1300z to May 31, 1400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + Name + (state/province/country) + Rig; Logs due: June 6.
OK1WC Memorial (MWC), May 31, 1630z to May 31, 1729z; CW; Bands: 80, 40m; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: June 4.
QCX Challenge, May 31, 1900z to May 31, 2000z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + Name + (state/province/country) + Rig; Logs due: June 6.
Worldwide Sideband Activity Contest, Jun 1, 0100z to Jun 1, 0159z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6m; RS + age group (OM, YL, Youth YL or Youth); Logs due: June 2.
QCX Challenge, Jun 1, 0300z to Jun 1, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + Name + (state/province/country) + Rig; Logs due: June 6.
RTTYOPS Weeksprint, Jun 1, 1700z to Jun 1, 1900z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20m; [other station’s call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name]; Logs due: June 1.
Phone Weekly Test – Fray, Jun 2, 0230z to Jun 2, 0300z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15m; NA: Name + (state/province/country), non-NA: Name; Logs due: May 28.
CWops Mini-CWT Test, Jun 2, 1300z to Jun 2, 1400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: May 29.
VHF-UHF FT8 Activity Contest, Jun 2, 1700z to Jun 2, 2000z; FT8; Bands: (see rules) ; 4-character grid square; Logs due: June 7.
CWops Mini-CWT Test, Jun 2, 1900z to Jun 2, 2000z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: May 29.
Walk for the Bacon QRP Contest, Jun 3, 0000z to Jun 3, 0100z and, Jun 4, 0200z to Jun 4, 0300z; CW; Bands: 40m Only; Maximum 13 wpm, RST + (state/province/country) + (Member No./power); Logs due: June 10.
CWops Mini-CWT Test, Jun 3, 0300z to Jun 3, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: May 29.
RTTYOPS Weeksprint, Jun 3, 1700z to Jun 3, 1900z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20m; [other station’s call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name]; Logs due: June 8.
NRAU 10m Activity Contest, Jun 3, 1700z to Jun 3, 1800z (CW) and, Jun 3, 1800z to Jun 3, 1900z (SSB) and, Jun 3, 1900z to Jun 3, 2000z (FM) and, Jun 3, 2000z to Jun 3, 2100z (dig); CW, SSB, FM, Digital; Bands: 10m Only; RS(T) + 6-character grid square; Logs due: June 17.
EACW Meeting, Jun 3, 1900z to Jun 3, 2000z; CW; Bands: 80, 40m; EACW Member: RST + Member No. + Nickname, EA non-Member: RST + Nickname + EA province, non-EA: RST + Nickname + DXCC prefix; Logs due: May 29.
SKCC Sprint Europe, Jun 3, 1900z to Jun 3, 2100z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6m; RST + (state/province/country) + Name + (SKCC No./”NONE”); Logs due: June 10.
PODXS 070 Club Three Day Weekend Contest, Jun 4, 0000z to Jun 6, 2359z; PSK31; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6m; Name + RST + (state/province/country); Logs due: June 13.
NCCC RTTY Sprint, Jun 4, 0145z to Jun 4, 0215z; RTTY; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: May 30.
NCCC Sprint, Jun 4, 0230z to Jun 4, 0300z; CW; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: May 30.
HA3NS Sprint Memorial Contest, Jun 4, 1900z to Jun 4, 1929z (40m) and, Jun 4, 1930z to Jun 4, 1959z (80m); CW; Bands: 80, 40m; HACWG Members: RST + Membership No., non-Members: RST + NM; Logs due: June 11.
K1USN Slow Speed Test, Jun 4, 2000z to Jun 4, 2100z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20m; Maximum 20 wpm, Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: May 30.
10-10 Int. Open Season PSK Contest, Jun 5, 0000z to Jun 7, 0000z; PSK31; Bands: 10m Only; Name + (state/province/country) + organization membership numbers; Logs due: June 14.
PVRC Reunion, Jun 5, 0000z to Jun 5, 0200z and, Jun 6, 0000z to Jun 6, 0200z; CW, SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; PVRC Member: 1st year of membership + name + (state/province/country) + callsign when joined PVRC, non-Member: name + (state/province/country); Logs due: June 20.
DigiFest, Jun 5, 0400z to Jun 5, 1200z and, Jun 5, 2000z to Jun 6, 0400z and, Jun 6, 1200z to Jun 6, 2000z; RTTY75, BPSK63, MFSK16, HELLSCHREIBER, OLIVIA; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + 4-character grid square; Logs due: June 13.
KANHAM Contest, Jun 5, 0600z to Jun 6, 0600z; CW, Phone; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, 2, UHF; JA: RST + Prefecture No., JA Young or YL: RST + Prefecture No. + “Y”, Non-JA: RST, Non-JA Young or YL: RST + “Y”; Logs due: June 30.
Wake-Up! QRP Sprint, Jun 5, 0600z to Jun 5, 0629z and, Jun 5, 0630z to Jun 5, 0659z and, Jun 5, 0700z to Jun 5, 0729z and, Jun 5, 0730z to Jun 5, 0800z; CW; Bands: 40, 20m; RST + Serial No. + suffix of previous QSO (“QRP” for 1st QSO); Logs due: June 12.
Tisza Cup CW Contest, Jun 5, 1200z to Jun 6, 1159z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + CQ Zone No.; Logs due: June 11.
Kentucky QSO Party, Jun 5, 1400z to Jun 6, 0200z; CW, SSB, Digital; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, 2m; KY: RS(T) + county, non-KY: RS(T) + (state/province/”DX”); Logs due: June 30.
RSGB National Field Day, Jun 5, 1500z to Jun 6, 1500z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: June 11.
FULL-LRB HF Contest, Jun 5, 1800z to Jun 6, 1200z; SSB, FT8; Bands: 40, 20m; RS(T); Logs due: June 15.
Cookie Crumble QRP Contest, Jun 6, 1700z to Jun 6, 2200z; All; Bands: All, except WARC; RS(T) + (state/province/country) + cookie no. + name; Logs due: July 31.
K1USN Slow Speed Test, Jun 7, 0000z to Jun 7, 0100z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20m; Maximum 20 wpm, Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: May 30.
RSGB 80m Club Championship, Data, Jun 7, 1900z to Jun 7, 2030z; RTTY, PSK; Bands: 80m Only; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: June 8.
Worldwide Sideband Activity Contest, Jun 8, 0100z to Jun 8, 0159z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6m; RS + age group (OM, YL, Youth YL or Youth); Logs due: June 9.
ARS Spartan Sprint, Jun 8, 0100z to Jun 8, 0300z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + (state/province/country) + Power; Logs due: June 10.
RTTYOPS Weeksprint, Jun 8, 1700z to Jun 8, 1900z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20m; [other station’s call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name]; Logs due: June 8.
NAQCC CW Sprint, Jun 9, 0030z to Jun 9, 0230z; CW; Bands: (see rules) ; RST + (state/province/country) + (NAQCC No./power); Logs due: June 13.
Phone Weekly Test – Fray, Jun 9, 0230z to Jun 9, 0300z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15m; NA: Name + (state/province/country), non-NA: Name; Logs due: May 28.
CWops Mini-CWT Test, Jun 9, 1300z to Jun 9, 1400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: May 29.
VHF-UHF FT8 Activity Contest, Jun 9, 1700z to Jun 9, 2000z; FT8; Bands: (see rules); 4-character grid square; Logs due: June 14.
CWops Mini-CWT Test, Jun 9, 1900z to Jun 9, 2000z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: May 29.
UKSMG Summer Contest, Jun 5, 1300z to Jun 6, 1300z; not specified; Bands: 6m Only; RST + Serial No. + 6-character grid square + (optional UKSMG member no.); Logs due: June 28.
27 May – 9 Jun 2021
May 27, 2021
May 28, 2021
May 29, 2021
May 30, 2021
May 31, 2021
June 1, 2021
June 2, 2021
June 3, 2021
June 4, 2021
June 6, 2021
June 7, 2021
June 8, 2021
June 9, 2021
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Aloha es 73 de Russell Roberts (KH6JRM)
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Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section