The Newsletter of the Mother Lode DX/Contest Club s1

Volume 7, Number 7 JULY 2002

The Nugget

The Newsletter of the Mother Lode DX/Contest Club

The MLDXCC Newsletter Page 3


July meeting will be Saturday the 20th, 2002 at 12 noon in Jackson, CA. This is a joint meeting with the Mother Lode DX/Contest Club (MLDXCC) and the Northern California Contest Club (NCCC), (5th annual).

Al Maenchen, AD6E, will give a presentation on his DXpedition to TI9M, Cocos Island.

The meeting will be a Barbecue and potluck. Grilled chicken breasts and beef tri-tip, condiments, buns and plates/eating utensils will be provided by MLDXCC. NCCC will provide soft drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages. BYOB if you desire. Please bring the following to share based upon the first letter of the suffix of your callsign, and serving utensils if necessary:

A - F - Relishes (assorted pickles, olives, carrot & celery sticks, veggies with dip, etc.)

G - M Simple desserts (cookies, fresh fruit, etc.).

N - R Chips/dips/salsa

S – Z Salads (potato, macaroni, fruit, green, etc.)

Talk-in on Amador County Amateur Radio Club repeater, K6ARC, 146.835 minus 600 kHz (PL is 100 if in use)

In case of repeater failure, use Stockton ARC repeater, W6SF, 147.165 plus 600 kHz.

Jackson is located at the intersection of State Highways 88 and 49 in Amador County, southeast of Sacramento.


The meeting will be held at the Senior Services Center, 229 New York Ranch Road, Jackson, CA. Take State Highways 49/88 to Jackson. From the West (State Highway 88) or North (State Highway 49), go through the traffic light at 49/88 intersection and proceed to bottom of hill, turn left at the 2nd stop sign (Safeway and Chevron gas station will be on your right), onto State Highway 88 East to Lake Tahoe. Follow signs to Senior Center and turn left on Court Street (approximately 1 mile). New York Ranch Road will be the first stop sign (1/4 mile). Turn right and the Senior Center will be on the left approximately 100 yards from the intersection and behind an apartment complex (signs will direct you to “Oak Manor”). Parking is available in both the front and back. Additional parking is available next door at the Quail Hollow Professional Center with stairs at rear that lead to the Senior Center. Please do not park in the spots marked for the Oak Manor Convalescent home.

In addition to the Safeway mentioned above, if you continue South thru the stop there will be a

Raley’s on the right (1 mile). There is also an Albertson’s on Hwy 88 abt ¼ mile West of Hwy 49.

To Jackson from the Bay Area - Take Interstate 580 East to Interstate 205 (bypass Tracy) and proceed to Interstate 5 North. Proceed North to Stockton and take State Highway 4 (Ort Lofthus Freeway) East to State Highway 99 North. Proceed North for approximately 1 mile and take State Highway 88 East to Jackson.

To Jackson from Nevada - Take Interstate 80 or State Highway 50 West to State Highway 49 and proceed South to Jackson. Or take NV/CA State Highway 395 South to State Highway 88 West to Jackson and turn right on Court Street.

From the North or Sacramento - Take State Highway 16 (Jackson Road) East to State Highway 49 and proceed South to Jackson.

From the South - Take State Highway 99 North to State Highway 88 East to Jackson.

Amador County is in the heart of the Mother Lode Gold Country. Our meeting location will be minutes from antique shops galore, 18 wineries, gold mine tours, camping and fishing sites, and the historic Chaw’se Indian Grinding Rock State Park and Jackson Rancheria Casino/Hotel. Motels/hotels and B&Bs are close by if anyone wants to make a weekend of it.

For additional information contact:

Kay, K6KO – (Phone 209-296-5577)

Ken, K6TA – (Phone 209-296-5577)

Dick, K6LRN – (Phone 530-620-2147)

This promises to be a fun event - plan to be there.


The DX Yearbook hit my mailbox last week and what a treat. It’s great to see many of my friends and club members moving up the DXCC annual list and the Clinton B. DeSoto Challenge standing. I’m sure I’ll miss a few club members and DX buddies if I started sorting out the accomplishments of the MLDXCC members, so I’ll pick on a few random cases. Starting with the DeSoto Challenge and Leading the MLDXCC pack is Norm Wilson (N6JV) and Gary Stilwell (KI6T). Norm ranks at 54 with 2088 and Gary ranks 122 with 1780 entries. One of only a few 6’s in the top 200! And Gary and Norm make the meetings. What’s your excuse?

Chuck Paterson, K6RK moved up to 480th with 1212 on the CBD. Danny Hayes is on the list at 1069. My old neighbor and early DX mentor Tom, K6TS with 1051 ranked 722. Congratulations fellows and I hope the propagation is favorable whenever you are working DX. W4DR, Bob Eshleman tops the DeSoto Challenge again this year with a total of 2718 band countries. Searching through the DXCC band and modes list, Bob is tops in CW DXCC with 362, second to ON4UN in 80 meter DX, second to W8AH in the forty meter band. A fourth in 20 meters, tied for first in 17 and 15 meters and second in both 12 and 10 meters round out Bob’s accomplishments. Yes, this guy has a life. Ham Radio.

A review of the DXCC Annual list shows Gary Stilwell KI6T and Ken K6TA with 378 and 367 confirmed mixed mode countries, respectively. With the P5 and VP6 operations, I’m sure Gary and Ken will move up a notch or two next year.

I won’t quit without mention of two other members who started out DX chasing about the same time I did and had a large part in starting MLDXCC. N6TNW and N6TNX have worked N6TNX up to the rare air of the Honor Roll. Congratulations Dick and Shirley.

Some day when the A is 30 and the F is 105, pull out the DXCC yearbook for a great afternoon of DX dreaming.

I hope to hear you in the IARU 13 July 1200 UTC until 1200 Sunday the 14th. See you at the NCCC/MLDXCC meeting noon Saturday at the Senior Center Potluck July 20th. Ray ND6S


Rick Samoian, W6SR

I was born in New Jersey on September 18th 1940 and lived there until the family moved to Los Angeles in 1949. My first exposure to Ham Radio was at Horace Mann Junior High School, by my Electric Shop teacher, Paul Kitagaki, W6NDA. Paul is still active from South S.F. after moving back to the bay area many years ago. I wonder if any of you have ever worked him?

At that point I was hooked on electronics and knew I wanted to be an engineer and also get a HAM ticket. So I built a Heathkit receiver, started listening to the HAMS, and studying the code. But, interests change quickly at that age and girls and cars soon dominated all my spare time, radio would have to wait. And wait it did until after college, a wife, and a child (with another on the way) had become part of my life. I was working Aerospace, as an Engineer, when several of my coworkers (who were HAMS) rekindled my interest in amateur radio. So back to studying the code, I received my Technician Class license, WB6OKK on 24 February 1965. Why a VHF only license? All my friends at work were VHF/UHF guys, since we were all working in the higher frequency ranges, it seemed a natural thing to do. Also, my interests were more electronics oriented, than communication oriented, yep I was a builder. I got started on 6 & 2 meters and built a lot of my own gear as well as all my antennas, I ran low to medium power and was happy. Then, 1968 the unthinkable happened, the DX bug bit me and things have never been the same. DXing (for me) has always meant QRO, so I built a 2KW output 6M rig was built, always running 1KW input or less of course. Now I was able to work DX on 6 meters! As a side benefit I met all my neighbors, although not always under the best circumstances. About this time the FCC started the incentive licensing program and a lot of my friends were up grading, so I said "why not". In October of 1969 I got a General and my wife Karen also got her Novice license, 2 months later I received my Advanced. And I have been DXing on 160-2 meters ever since. In 1995 I received my current call W6SR, my wife is now WB6OKK.

If you’re a DXer, ya' gotta' join a DX club, right? So I was taken to my first SCDXC meeting by the infamous W6AOA, and joined the club shortly thereafter. At that time, the SCDXC had a very diverse and tenacious bunch of DXers/contesters and over 275 members. I learned a lot, and I must say, not all of it was good DXing practices, but that's another story.

My work in engineering and engineering supervision has always kept me in the big city, and city lots don't offer much room for antenna systems. My antennas and towers were always modest, a 70' and a 35' tower were the largest towers I ever had. So lacking big towers and mono-banders, I tried to compensate by living in a good QTH. For a number of years I lived in Palos Verdes, a community which is 1300' above the smog, juts into the Pacific Ocean, and is just 12 mile south of LAX, where I worked. It was an outstanding QTH; the problem with a good QTH is it’s full of HAMS! Including W6AM, who's famous rhombic farm was less than 1/2 mile from me, and ol' Don was really loud! Our next QTH was in Orange County and now I had enough room for a small 2nd tower. Anyway, from So. Cal. I managed to get 5BDXCC, Honor Roll on Mixed, Phone and CW, and confirm 199 of the 200 zones needed to complete 5BWAZ. In 1992 I was president of the SCDXC, and was presented their "DXer of the year" award at the Visalia convention in 1995.

In 1978 I got interested in contesting, and starting participating in Contest DXpeditions in 1989. I have contested from, Mexico, Cayman Islands (twice), Western Samoa, Argentina, Hawaii (twice), Guadeloupe, Granada, and Lord Howe Island and have casually operated from several other countries. My best contest finish was in the 1999 CQWW Phone Contest, as part of the FG5BG group (a multi-single), we finished #1 in North America and #3 in the world! A great finish considering it’s from a two-point country! Also in 1993, the VK9LI CQWW Phone operation was named CQ magazine’s DXpedition of the year.

In July 2000 I retired from Raytheon/Hughes, and we purchased 10 acres on a small knoll west of Placerville, it has a nice view and we love it.

Currently I have 350 mixed mode countries confirmed, and have achieved #1 Honor Roll with all of the current DXCC entities confirmed. My current DX interests are adding countries to my 6-meter, WARC, 40, 80 and 160-meter DXCC totals. I am also interested in the DeSoto Cup Challenge since I have over 2000 band-countries confirmed. I am still interested in building and computer modeling of antennas.

My current station(s) consists of the following: Yaesu FT-1000D & Alpha 87A Amp., Icom 765, & Dentron DTR 2000 Amp., a Icom 736 & Swan MKII amp. (for 6 meters). I have 2 towers, an LM-470, with a TH-7, 40M rotatable dipole, and a A3WS/30M. The second tower is a W-51, with 2M, 6M, and C-3 on it. Plus the usual wire verticals for 80 and 160. I have a 3rd tower in the works to support vertical beams on 40 and 80M and hope to get it done by mid-fall. It’s been 37 years of improving the station and I am still havin’ fun! de Rick W6SR


Remember my comments last month, well ditto for this month. The bands are still noisy and/or disturbed and only 12 entries have made it into my log since the end of May. A few were a couple of new band-countries by the CY9 guys and YA5T on 15 SSB, just for drill.

The past month I received the VP6DI cards (got the P5/4L4 last month) and now I “got em’ all”. Finally, after 34 years of DXing I qualify for a #1 HR plaque. We be celebrating here, HI HI

My fun activity this past month was a trip to New Jersey and NYC for my Godfather’s 90th birthday & family reunion. My brother and I were the West-Coast contingent, and we had a great time seeing people we hadn’t seen for many years! While we were there we also visited West Point and the WTC site. The WTC site has been cleaned-up a bunch, but… it’s still a mess and the traffic in the city “REALLY BITES!” Ol’ NYC gave us a warm welcome with temperatures of 95 degrees and 80+ % humidity; I quickly remembered why the family smoked the tires and headed West.

The other activity around our place was adding 400’ of fencing on the west side of our property, so that we could add some weed-eating critters in the future. I’m gonna get away from a weed-wacker yet! Since I needed concrete for the fence posts, I finally poured the base and guy anchors for the 40 and 80-meter vertical beams, and the 71’ tower that will support them. I hope to have the tower and at least one of the beams operating by our September meeting.

Enough for now, C U all at the BIG-ONE on the 20th PS: Don’t forget to bring your checkbook to the meeting so u can pay your NCCC dues (due in July) or join the NCCC if ur not already a member de Rick, W6SR



The MLDXCC Board meeting with a slim quorum of three reviewed the plans
for the joint MLDXCC and NCCC July meeting. Food assignments and purchase
of brand name soda's are on schedule. The agenda for the general meeting
was discussed. The board meeting closed at 11:55.


The MLDXCC at the Round Table Pizza in Martel was called to order by President Ray Parker at 12:10 PM. The agenda covered the Field Day invitation from the Amador county Amateur radio club for MLDXCC
members to participate. Ron St. Jean indicated that he would bring radio
gear and operate.
Final plans for the MLDXCC and NCCC were reviewed by the members. No
changes were suggest. After a brief open forum, Dick Wilson introduced Norm
Wilson with the program.
Norm brought a 17 meter push pull grounded grid amplifier of his own
design. His amplifier was as much of a work of electronic art as a final
amplifier. Norm explained the theory behind the rig. The construction
material has been gleaned from swap meets and his collection of tubes. The
use of Coleman lamp shades in place of expensive Eimac chimneys was an
effective cost cutting scheme. Coupled with a home brew tuning coil using
copper pipe instead of the "cheese slicer" tuning capacitor, Norm's cost
for this amplifier was around $100-bucks. The cabinet being the most
expensive component. A black crinkle paint job topped off the construction
A final plug for CQP by the President concluded the meeting at 1:20 PM.