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Editor: G4BUE

June 2001

A man should keep his friendship in constant repair - Samuel Johnson (1755)
(3525, 7025, 10120-10125, 14025, 18080-18085, 21025, 24905-24910 and 28025kHz)



For nearly three years I have edited this monthly column, portraying hopefully a balanced view of members opinions on a wide range of issues. Now leaving Committee and also passing on this column perhaps, I could leave you with my own thoughts about the future of FOC. It seems that we are going backwards while the world is moving forwards. Our core aim, CW operating, is being taken for granted by some and instead the impression is that we are recently becoming a social club. On- and off-air socialising and camaraderie is a fundamental aspect of FOC and makes us a club. But it is secondary to our prime purpose of promoting good CW Operating. In recent years social aspects have increased in prominence. Mini-dinners have been heavily-promoted and rag-chewing between members attracted the spotlight when anti-contesters started objecting to nominees on the grounds that they do not make enough normal QSOs. Recently, new Advice on Sponsoring was offered, seeking to change how the club functions by specifying the type of on-air operating that was to be considered acceptable. Social QSOs between members were to be the main purpose, 5NN contacts were to be secondary. But it then seemed that this advice was being ignored - subsequently a string of objections to nominees have seriously upset many members, on both sides. Each objection leads to lots of negatives and seriously damages the Club. Several times high-achieving, wellknown, thoroughly first-class CW operators have been subject to objection because they do not rag-chew enough. There is nowadays dramatically less rag-chewing on the bands and dramatically more 5NN contacts compared to only a few years ago. The world of HF-operating is moving one way but some would have FOC move the other. These differing views have solidified just recently, triggered by a big increase in the number of objections - an out-dated concept, in my view, like

white-smoke and black-balls. This secretive process is damaging FOC more than anything else. Perhaps there are two positions: a social club: on- and off-air social-contact between members is the highest priority a CW operators club: CW operating is the number one purpose, camaraderie is a bonus The first approach, I believe, leads to gradual decline of the Club as members retreat into a private world whereas the latter would actively promote CW and FOC. What to do about it? Probably not a lot. There is nothing too much broke about FOC that is difficult to fix so long as we do away with this 1920s Gentlemans Club attitude, and the objection system with it. We need to update FOC and embrace the wider-world of CW. There is much that needs to be done to protect CW and its sub-bands. Our energies should now turn from introspection to pro-actively implementing the Clubs core aim. That aim - to encourage a high standard of CW operating ability and behaviour on the amateur bands - does not demand friendly chatting nor ban brief contacts. Maybe all that is needed is to embrace an outward-looking stance and then for us all to get on with enjoying CW in our own ways. Those whose main enjoyment is chatting with other members will continue to do so - those who contribute to the Clubs aims with other forms of CW operating are equally welcome to engage in their DX-chasing, contesting, 136kHz ultra-slow CW, VHF, QRP or whatever is their choice. In closing, I refer you to our past leaders. Bill, G8VG, promoted on-air CW activity, not just rag-chewing with other members. G3FXB strongly supported, as does our current Chairman, all types of CW operating, especially DXing, contesting and chatting. Let us each do what we enjoy and which contributes to the Clubs aims, without being told that we are doing too much 5NNing and/or not enough chatting. It just requires the balance to shift a little towards being an inclusive group of CW aficionados.

Resigning from Committee after only the first year is mostly because I have done what I set out to do: to progress the debate about this fundamental issue so as, hopefully, to reverse a gradual decline in the Club's health. But entrenched attitudes make me fear for the future health of my beloved FOC. Now is the time to decide future direction - forward or backward. Several Committee places are changing hands this year. Will the new Committee oversee the continuing slow stagnation of FOC? If you live in UK and value your FOC membership maybe you should considering joining Committee before it is too late. No apologies for again drawing your attention to the big change (half the members) of the Committee referred to by Roger above and in my editorial in the May News Sheet. Thank you to those members who have volunteered and/or agreed to be nominated and thank you also to those members who approached them to nominate them. If you are a non-UK member, then please dont think this does not apply to you. True you have to be a UK member to actually serve on Committee, but two overseas members have already made nominations of UK members for Committee. I will be happy to offer advice and information about what is involved in being a Committee member and am willing to have an informal chat with anyone thinking of either volunteering themselves or nominating someone else. This months Topical Comments is the last to be written by G3SXW. I am very sad that Roger has decided to stop writing it, especially as the concept for it came from an idea he originally had with G3MXJ. The column has often been controversial, and on occasions very controversial, but that is the necessity of writing any discussion type column. I congratulate Roger on having the ability to present both sides of a debate fairly and impartially. I know that he has often felt quite strongly against some of the members views that he has included in the column, but has still included them so as to fairly present the two sides of a debate. I have always remembered some good advice I was given by a (now ex) member when I took over as Editor of the News Sheet from G3FXB back in 1988. He told me to always include at least one item that was controversial in each issue. If I did that, then the News Sheet would be likely to be read by more members and I would never be short of material to publish (something which editors often complain of) because those members who disagree with what was published would write and tell me, and thus provide material for future issues! I think Roger must have been given the same advice (in fact he probably was as the member concerned was a good friend of his!), and I thank


Starred List


An objection to K4UEE is under consideration by the Committee. Invitations will be sent to G3ZGC and VE3VA.

Additional Nominations

6. KP3R: KP4L, KP4P . 6. LU6EF: K4EWG, K4BAI, W6IJ, G3SXW. 6. G3ORH: K4EWG. 6. OZ7UW: K4EWG 6. K2KQ: W1WEF, K2UFT. 6. OE3GSA: ZS6AL, ZS6QU. 5. KVA: W2DX, K4AO. 5. KZ5D: W5ZR. GKDZ, K6TS, K5AX, W8XM, K5CA. 4. ZS1WA: G3LIK, ZS1EL, ZS6QU. 4. LY2PX: SV1AOW, LZ1AF. 4. N6XI: W6CYX, N6NT, LZ1AF. 4. K7SS: N6NT, W1WEF. 3. K5RC: W4AN, W4QM, W5GEL. 2. W8PBO: G4HZV, W6OV. 1. I3KAN: K6TS. 1. DL8LBK: DL4CF, W1HMD. 1. N6FB: G3IEW.

New Members

1751 VE3HX (Alan) A. Goodacre, 1286 Woodside Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K2C 2G9, Canada; XYL - Lise; tel - 613 224 8728; e-mail <>.


EI9BG (1142): Silent Key. G3LPN (1479): new address - Little Vixens, 28 Robins Bow, Forest Hills, Camberley, Surrey GU15 3NR; Tel - 01276 20933; e-mail <>. G4XRV (1650): new address - 139 Nalders Road, Chesham, Bucks HP5 3BZ. G8QZ (A59): Silent Key. KL7PJ (1380): transfer Associate Membership W4TAJ (1663): Silent Key. him for providing me with the controversial item for the News Sheet for most months during the past three years. In addition to providing a forum for discussion, the Topical Comments column has covered most of the recent important topics facing FOC members and amateurs with a love of CW. G3MXJ and I would both like to see the column continue and ask for a volunteer to take over from Roger. You need not be a Committee member (in fact Roger wasnt for the first two years), or even reside in the UK. With the availability of e-mail, it is now possible for anyone in the world to write it and send it to me each month.

My helpful contact with the Customs & Excise told me that consignments arrive in this country with very obscure descriptions on the Customs forms. He said that if there was any doubt about an item then duty would be charged. There must be many amateurs who have paid import duty unnecessarily. I have been advised that when gear is ordered from abroad, the supplier should be asked to properly, and fully, describe it on the customs forms. eg Transceiver apparatus for radio-telegraphy. It is also essential for the supplier to include on the custom forms the Commodity Code No 8525209900. The suppliers of my K2 included the Commodity Code on the forms but described the consignment as a Hobby kit of Electronic Parts for Amateur Radio. Clearly this description did not meet the requirements of Customs & Excise who slapped on import duty. I am now negotiating with them for reimbursement of the sum involved. Another point worth mentioning is that when the US suppliers sent my K2 kit they included the optional SSB kit that I did not order. At their request I returned the SSB kit by airmail and am still trying to get a refund of the VAT and customs duty that I paid on it. Fortunately I have proof of posting but the Customs and Excise have advised me that it would have been easier to process my claim if I had approached their local office before exporting the unwanted item. I am still waiting, optimistically I might add, to get my money back. Members who receive the ARRL DXCC Yearbook will know that 2000 is the first year of the DXCC Challenge, and the Desotu Cup. The DXCC Challenge is a plaque given for confirming 1000 band-countries on all bands (160-6 but excluding 30 metres) and the Desotu Cup is awarded to the operator who sits atop the Challenge list at the end of September each year. The winner of the Desotu Cup for 2000 is Bob Eshleman, W4DR, with a total of 2383 bandcountries. The runner-up was Jim, W1JR, with a total of 2299 band-countries. Other FOC members in the top 25 are: 7. G4BWP 2068 11. K8MFO 2006 25. OZ1LO 1864 Congratulations to Jim, Fred, Don and Leif. Here is the usual monthly reminder about Lords. I wonder how many of you are planning to come this year? Maud informs me she has already sold some tickets with G3MCK being the first member to buy his. Thank you Gerald and many thanks for your support over the years at Lords.


If you are considering coming then the date is 6 October starting at 9.30am with the function room open all day for our annual get together. The Dinner will start at 7pm and more details can be found in the April News Sheet. The cost has been kept down to 32 and your Committee is looking forward to seeing you there. Please contact Maud if you are coming and overseas members can pay on the day as is the usual arrangement. Accommodation details can be found in the May News Sheet, although I understand one or two of our Continental members are taking package trips to London and taking advantage of the cheaper travel and accommodation and then coming directly to the Dinner. I hope we can see many more of the UK southeast and London members again who may not have had the chance to come in recent years. I have not received any advice and suggestions about what you would like to see at Lords, or any offers of displays or exhibits so far. If you have anything you would like to display, or perhaps you could donate something for our raffle, then I would be most appreciative. Contact me via the FOC Call Book or by e-mail at <>. Finally, G8VG informs me he will not be able to attend but has offered his hospitality to overseas members who may wish to stay with him if they want to see the Gloucestershire area. Thank you Peter and hope to see you at Lords next year. 4X4NJ: Riki was QRV in the CQ WPX CW Contest as 4X3A. DJ3KR: Juergen says, Most likely JW/DJ3KR has to go QRT on 17 June, since I have to go to YB 24/28 June. DL7AKC: Jens reminds us that the annual Hamfest at Friedrichshafen will be held 29 June/1 July and says, Quite a bunch of FOCers are supposed to be there. EI9BG: We have only just learnt that Tom became a Silent Key last Summer. He was listed in the September Irish Radio Societys magazine. G3WGV: John has analysed the 168k D68C QSOs (a new world record) and found that 369 different FOC members made 2797 CW QSOs with D68C, 946 of them being with D68C FOC operators. He says, I think the fact that 369 members worked D68C is an excellent indicator that activity levels in the Club are high and that DX chasing is an important facet of FOC life. G6LX: Older members will be saddened to hear that Ron became a Silent Key on 12 May in St Christophers Hospice after suffering from lung cancer. Ron was number 772 and a member of FOC between March 1963 and May 1979 thanks G3BFP.




G8QZ: Harry sadly became a Silent Key on 29 March at the Queens Medical centre in Nottingham - thanks G2CVV (RAOTA). G8VG: Helen and Pete went on a cruise on the QE2 in May and Pete says, When I booked the cruise I enquired about the amateur radio gear on board because an article in FOCUS a year or so ago said that it was installed in the radio room. Its all gone Im afraid. The Americans bought Cunard a couple of years ago and when refitting the ship dumped the amateur equipment. What a shame. I have the urge to take the K2 but will do my best to resist it. GW3KGV: Ken says the special call LX9FOC will be used by the Con-Din station 8/10 June. Ken will be QRV near Idar Oberstein for two weeks after the Dinner as DL/GW3KGV/P . K4BAI: John; Bill, W4AN, and Larry, K5OT, were QRV in the CQ WPX CW Contest (multisingle) as KM9P Bills old call. John enjoyed , meeting many members while attending his first Dayton Hamvention. K4II: Anne and Bill are planning to attend Lords this year - thanks G3KTZ. K6NA: Glen was QRV 15/16 May as ZD8A again - thanks Daily DX. KL7PJ: Due to continuing poor health and resulting difficulty in getting on the air, Chuck has transferred to Associate Membership. LA5HE: Rag says, Thanks to all who worked me from JW5HE. The aurora played games with me for a while and all bands were completely dead, even the strong broadcasters on 40 metres were only just audible! Flutter makes you very tired and copying flutter signals in a pile-up is the ultimate challenge!. N3JT: Jim reports an attendance of 48 at this years North American Weekend in Washington DC, see FOCUS 47 for report. Next years North American Weekend will be 3/4 May at the Double Tree Hotel. N4KG: Tom was due to go into hospital 30 May for aortic valve replacement surgery but a week before, it was postponed. N4OO: After attending his first Dayton Hamvention, Ink says he was somewhat overwhelmed by the size of it. One of my goals was to meet and talk to as many club members as possible. I did fairly well, but know that I missed a few: K1AJ, K1AR, W1WEF, K1ZZ, WB2QYH, K2ZR, N3BB, W3LPL, W3MC, N3RD, N3RS, K3ZO, N4AR, K4BAI, K4FU, K4LTA, K4OJ,

(callsign in brackets indicate G4FOC operator)


Until June C9 by G3MRC (618) Until July W1/VE1BN (620) June - VHF & 10m (G3WGV) 4/11 8Q7WH by G3SWH (618) 8/10 Con-Din LX9FOC (616) 8/24 DL/GW3KGV/P (620) 9 Harrogate Get-Together (616) 28 Deadline July N/Sheet July - 40m & 12m (G4BUE) 15 Committee meeting 19/26 HR1/W4CK (619) 29 Deadline August N/Sheet 29 Hamfest at Friedrichshafen W4PM, K5AX, K5NA, N5TJ, N7BG, KC7V, W8AV K8MFO, K8NW, K9DX, N9DX, W9KNI, , K9WA, OK1KT, S5A, SM3EVR, G4HZV, 5B4AGC and 5B4AGN. SM6CLU: Len was QRV in May as SV9/ SM6CLU. VE1BN: Don will be QRV June and July as W1/ VE1BN while visiting family. W4QM: Congratulations to Dale on retiring. He says, I will certainly miss VQ9QM operation but then, over the years, have made over 200k QSOs from there (not counting contest operations using the club call VQ9IO), so I am sure that has helped to decrease the need list of many amateurs. I worked a lot of the members over the years and some even made it on nine bands. W4TAJ: Members will be sad to hear that Jack became a Silent Key on 21 May after suffering a massive heart attack in Johnson City Hospital, Tennessee - thanks G3IEW. W4XJ: John is QRV again after being QRT due to a lightning strike at his QTH. He retires in June from the University of Tennessee after 25 years of teaching and doing research with nursery crops - thanks K5XK. W6RGG: Bob is planning to attend his eleventh Lords since he became a member in 1990. Bob was one of the operators of the HC8N ARRL DX CW Contest and CQ WPX CW Contest teams. ZL2AGY: Tony was QRV 21/22 May as ZL75 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of NZART. ZP6CW: Doug, who joined FOC in July 1974 as K4EZL writes, There has now been 500 new members since I first joined FOC. Hard to believe!.

Score updates can be passed to G4BUE or any committee member. An asterisk against the call indicates the score has been updated this month. Table shows the scores received by 0730z 30 May 2001.
W8XM 269 YV1NX* 267 W4QM* 230 W5ZR* 216 G3KTZ* 208 SV1AOW* 200 K9QVB* 199 LY3BA* 195 G3MXJ* W1HMD* G4BUE* G4BJM* G4HZV* DL6TQ KT4P* W6TZD* 180 168 165 164 163 150 140 139 G3NKS* G2FFO K2VCO* VE1BN* G3IEW* WCGR* DJ5ZN G2HKU* 133 129 122 119 114 112 112 111 W3MC* G3JJG* G3IY* N3BB* F3AT G3KKQ* G3MCK* W9GW* 110 109 106 105 102 102 89 88 F5VEX ZL1AH* W2DX* 4X1FC* W4YE* K4II* WIAK* 83 78 76 75 75 72 71 G8VG* W3NZ* GW3SB* W5GEL* G3JZV* W8VSK* OZ4FF* 68 67 66 61 60 57 56 KC7V* VK8AV W6THN W4ZYT* N2KW G3LHJ G4XRV 55 55 55 52 51 50 50 W1HT* W1FZY K6TS* W4IF ZP6CW* OH2EA* K6OU 48 44 35 35 27 13 12