By Jim Neiger, N6TJ
The concept of a contest-oriented cub in the SF Bay
Area was "kicked around" by myself and Rick "The Locust"
Hilding, K6VVA around the 1965-1968 period. Rick and I were very active in DX contests as
members of the Northern California DX Club and could often be found slugging it out, mano
a mano from K6ERV, K6OHJ, K6DXM, WA6GFY, or any other stations crazy enough to host us. I
guess Rick and I were among the early "hired guns."
Rick acquired his nickname ("The Locust") during these
operations, not necessarily for his prowess on the DX bands which was considerable (I
still consider him to be the FINEST DX operator, phone or cw, EVER, and certainly of his
generation), but rather for his in-contest reputation for cleaning out the hosts
Anyway, back to the point: We were frustrated that the members of
the NCDXC did not share our interests in launching major club efforts in the contests. The
NCDXC-SCDXC rivalry in the ARRL DX contests was HUGE during the 1960s and although
the NCDXC members liked the sweet smell of victory when the winner was announced at Fresno
(it would be many years yet before Visalia was to be discovered), Rick and I felt that we,
and a few others like W6CUF (became W6CF) (SK), W6WX (SK), K6ERV, K6AHV (now W6RJ), K6OHJ, W6WB (SK), were
"carrying" the NCDXC
and that this club really wasnt interested in
contesting per se.
When I moved to ZD8 in April 1968, the notion of a "NCCC"
was put on the back burner, but K6VVA and ZD8Z kept the idea alive during our frequent
In July 1970, I finished a one-year operation as 9Y4AA, and moved
back to the Bay Area. Little did I realize that the August 1970 meeting of the NCDXC would
become the final stimulus to the creation of the Northern California Contest Club.
Im sure that many of those in attendance that fateful night
will recall the turbulence of the business portion of the meeting. K6VVA wanted the NCDXC
to officially support Sweepstakes participation and entries (Rick liked to collect
wallpaper, and certificates were only awarded to club winners if the club had at least
Someone exclaimed that NCDXC was a DX club and had no business
sanctioning contests other than DX contests. I had the notion that NCDXC could satisfy
both the DXers and the contest-minded, as had been successfully achieved for so many years
by the Frankford and Potomac Valley Radio Clubs.
When my motion to accomplish it was soundly defeated, Rick and I
ordered another 807 (what else was there to do??). When this frosty 807 arrived, I wrote
on the cocktail napkin
"NCCC"! As I recall, others at the table who ordered
807s were W6CUF and K6EBB.
Within a couple of weeks, the Charter Meeting of NCCC was held in my
town house in Santa Clara. Among those in attendance were W6BHY (N6TJ), WA6DKF (N6RO),
W6RGG (N6KB for awhile), W6CUF (W6CF), K6EBB, K6CQF (later K6PU, now K6TA), K6AUC,
WA6UFW (K6RV), W6WX (SK), and K6ERV (SK).
Because it was my home, I was elected the first NCCC president. I
think K6EBB was Vice-President, but Im sure someone else has a better recollection
of this than I do. W6CUF was the first editor of the JUG.
Immediately, of course, came conflict of loyalties
and the NCCC. However, having done the damage, I beat a hasty strategic retreat from the
area in July 1971 and let the battle wage.
It is hard to believe that 40 years have passed since the founding
of the NCCC. Ive kept my membership current, if not always as an active member. I
guess, in retrospect, that the many accomplishments of the NCCC more than attest to the
notion that Rick Hilding and I had a pretty good idea.