Bonus Update

Bonus Update

As promised, here is an update of the bonus lineup for this year’s QSO Party

N4RAL – Wake county home of Fin Gold, NC4FG, (Wake County) staffed mostly by members of the Raleigh Amateur Radio Club and guests. Note: they won’t be at a POTA park, but are representing RARS, the QSO Party sponsor. Thanks, Fin, for heading this up!

Work N4RAL and the other five for a clean sweep! All bonus stations will be QRV on both phone and CW.

Chairmans Message: New for 2024

Chairmans Message: New for 2024

We’re excited about the event coming up in a few months. Here are the highlights of the changes. Enjoy!

Bonus Theme for 2024

“North Carolina Outdoors”

We are encouraging hams to go outdoors portable or expedition style and get on the air! POTA is really getting big in NC and we want to challenge our in state activators to do their thing on Sunday, February 25, 2024. We see this as a way to get rarely activated counties on the air. Go to the website under the “County Activity” tab to view a great list of POTA parks by NC County. Spend the day at your POTA honey-spot no matter where you might live! That said, this is not a POTA event. Therefore, the “Outdoors” spot you pick does not have to be a POTA sanctioned place. A city park, private park, etc. is OK for NCQP. There’s no reason, though, a POTA activator can’t go to a recognized park and make their operation a “two-fer” a POTA and NCQP!

Work the bonus stations that will be on the air operating Phone and CW modes from a North Carolina (POTA) park as follows:

N4AMW – Carl Sandburg Home, National Historic Site, Flat Rock, NC, N4AMW Op.

N4W – Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kitty Hawk, NC, W4MPS Op.

N4A – Alamance Battleground, Alamance County, N4MIO Op.

NI4BK – USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial, Wilmington, NC ACARC, W4MY Ops.

NC4QP – Goose Creek State Park,, Beaufort County, W4TTX/K4RLC Ops.

N4RAL – QTH TBD, Raleigh Amateur Radio Society, Raleigh, NC*

*Will be updated when known

Expedition and Portable Categories

Please take the opportunity to read the new descriptions of these categories if they apply to you. There have been some small, but significant, changes. First thing you will notice is the name change. We brought back the name “Expedition” to describe the classic scenario of going out and setting up your station outside “Field Day” style. There are some new restrictions (no mobile equipment) to better level the playing field. Maximum simultaneous transmitters was reduced to one.

The name “Portable” is now reserved for a kind of new operation style that we see the need to accommodate. Many POTA activators who (for example) travel to a park expeditiously deploy their radio equipment using a combination of mobile radios and quick setup antennas. After making the desired QSO’s, they pack up quickly and travel to a new QTH doing it again. Its sort of a “no restriction” category where you get on the air with just about anything, move quickly and tak advantage of working everyone again in a new county. One transmitter only here also, and no QSO’s are to be made while in motion.

100 NC Counties on the Air

Our desire is always to light up North Carolina with as many of our friendly hams as possible for a day. It’s never been a disappointment! I am frequently amazed and humbled by our level of participation. That said, we always are trying to think of new ways to get all of out 100 counties represented.

NC Weather

With all the emphasis this year on the “outdoors” the issue of weather is always in the front of our minds. February is in the middle of winter and that’s always a concern. Over the years we’ve had snow, rain, fog, freezing temps, warm temps, clear skies… no telling what’s in store. But whatever it turns out to be, we NC hams are a hearty bunch! Minnesota, with their QSO party in the dead of winter (Feb 3), has nothing on us! At least they can depend on ice, snow, and sub-zero temps, we never know what we are going to get!

Make your plans!

Think about what you want to do this year and gather up your plans. Please announce your activation, on the website (/map/create.php) whether operating at home as a single/multi-op, or outside with the new Portable or classic Expedition categories. Of course, we always want our Mobiles out there also!

See you in the pile-ups

NC POTA Event

NC POTA Event

The North Carolina QSO Party committee will be supporting the statewide NC POTA event on September 9-10, 2023 http://www.ncpota.org

We have been asked by the event organizer to field several stations using our club callsign NC4QP . Those stations will be bonus stations for the event. We currently have four NC4QP stations scheduled to be on the air from various POTA parks over that weekend. Look for Spots and Activation notices which will be posted on the POTA website www.parksontheair.com under the “POTA Spots” tab near the top of the main page.

Each station will post using designators: NC4QP/r01 NC4QP/r02 NC4QP/r03, etc. So, when you contact one of our stations, make sure you have the correct Park # in your log as there may be 4 NC4QP stations on the air at any given time. We should be operating CW, SSB and FT8. This should be a fun event and we’re happy to help. So mark your calendars and join in.

73

2023 Results are In!

2023 Results are In!

2023 is now official! Take a look at the Results page. We’ve worked hard to get them out as soon as possible. Winner or not in any of the categories, congratulations! If you do get a plaque this year, double high five for you, a really special treat is coming, they look fabulous! The draft orders for printing are on the way to JNS as we speak to be made. As soon as all the winners have theirs we’ll post a picture here. Marc did a super job with the design this year Now that we’ve switched over to making the plaques using the sublimation printing process the result will be nothing short of awe inspiring.

Lets not leave out Dwayne’s design of the second place certificates. He’s got that process nailed and they look great! We still put those in the snail mail, a frame quality document worthy of the achievement.

Click over to the RESULTS tab and have a look! Enjoy! And, as always, please let us know if you have any questions or comments about this or any other subject.

73 Marty W4MY NCQP Chairman

CW Spelling Bee Sweep

CW Spelling Bee Sweep

The present spelling bee bonus award system of the NC QSO Party has turned out to be very popular since its inception a few years ago. Whenever I am out and about talking with fellow QSO party hams I always hear proud stories of clean sweeps or the agony of the one that got away. Your NCQP committee expends good effort in organizing and balancing the spelling bee in such a way it is available and elusive at the same time making the game an enjoyable one. A very unfortunate issue has come to our attention and I want to address it right away. Bonus station N4T (New Hanover county) did not field a CW operation. It was not possible for anyone in one of the CW only categories to accomplish a clean sweep.

The first thing everyone should know is that we on the committee are aware of the situation and have verified that the rumors of N4T’s CW absence are correct. Many ideas have been kicked around on how to mitigate the damage and all committee members have contributed in just this short of time. I will just pare it down to whats going to happen. Rest assured steps have been identified so this doesn’t happen again.

  1. No rule or scoring changes will take place. Those in other categories than CW only will receive what they earn, sweep bonus (if applicable) etc. CW only categories will not receive the sweep bonus but since this applies to everyone in that category its a level playing field. Bonus credit is still given for each individual bonus worked.
  2. Sweep certificates will be automatically e-mailed to all non CW category entrants who earned it. CW only entrants who worked five out of the six possible can receive a certificate also in recognition of working every possible bonus station available to them.

To those entering one of the CW only categories, and to those that made a last minute decision to go mixed mode in order to work N4T on phone, please accept my sincere apology. I bare the responsibility of this miss step and promise to take corrective action so it doesn’t happen again.

As I say often, we appreciate each and every NCQP participant who gets on the air whatever mode it may be in this great hobby of ours.

Marty Young W4MY

NCQP Chairman


Win a trip to Turks and Caicos

Win a trip to Turks and Caicos

*** NEWS FLASH ***
ATTENTION NCQP MOBILE OPS

Win a trip to Turks and Caicos Islands at Harbour Rock Villa – VP5M. To encourage mobile operations in NCQP 2023, Jim Jordan, K4QPL/VP5M, has set aside two raffle tickets for a one week stay at their 6 room, fully amateur radio equipped villa in VP5-land. The raffle prize is worth approximately $5,000, and will be awarded at the 2023 DX Dinner at the Dayton Hamvention.

One raffle ticket will go to the highest scoring In-State (home QTH) mobile finisher. The other raffle ticket will go to the highest scoring Out-Of-State (home QTH) mobile finisher.

A minimum of 50 QSO’s will be required for each entry.
Raffle details can be found at : https://www.swodxa.org/vp5m
The mobile team of K4QPL/K3TD will not be eligible.

Many thanks Jim. Who knows? One of our mobile road warriors may wind up enjoying a week of sun and fun at VP5M. So, get on the road !

Good luck

2023 Chairman’s Message

2023 Chairman’s Message

Its that time of year where the new changes for NCQP come out and we have some great things in store for the event coming up in 2023. The updated rules are posted so look them over and form up your plans!

“In-State” operator is now called “NC”

“Out-of-State” operator is now called “Non-NC”

First, these are just simple name changes to use a more conventional way of naming and to improve the first and second place awards increasing clarity.

“Expedition” is now called “Portable” and a new “Single Portable” category has been added

Along with the name change like many other state QSO parties, we’ve responded to suggestions and requests. First thing is that the “Multi Portable” is now closest to the old Expedition category with the exception we have added the option to have an additional transmitter here. So “Multi” was added to the Portable name here because that is what it actually is.

The next thing we did was add a new “Single Portable” to not edge out the single-op who wants to go outdoors in somewhat of a “POTA” style. You don’t need to go to an actual POTA QTH, but you can if you want. This satisfies the two most requested changes we have gotten about this category. The big groups wanted to use two rigs, and the little guys didn’t want to have to compete against the larger groups.

Under ordinary circumstances we don’t like to split up a category where diluting the competition usually results. However, we’re hoping that the new single option will be attractive to all the POTA op’s out there thus resulting in MORE activity ultimately.

The “Digital” category for both NC and Non-NC has been retired.

Since the digital mode was allowed and category created about 10 years ago there hasn’t been any significant traction with it resulting in any significant participation. I’m sure FT-4/8 plays a significant role in this. Many state QSO parties don’t even include digital. We’re not going to that extent.

Here’s whats happening. The digital mode is still OK to be used in NC QSO Party for credit. Since a “Digital” category no longer is an option, making digital QSOs puts you in the “Mixed” mode along with (or without) your other QSOs. FT-4/8 still is not allowed as in the past. The software programmers for that haven’t made any accommodation for state QSO parties heretofore.

Activated NC county is added to the mult score in all NC categories     

We really appreciate the ops who travel to the lesser (aka “rare”) counties but often times they have difficulty getting credit in their multiplier score for that same county. (Like everyone else, that’s why they’re there!) We want to reward them for that effort by giving them mult credit for that county whether or not they work anyone else from there. Of course, this applies to ops in all NC categories, including mobile and portable, getting this credit for all of the counties they activate.

Bonus Spelling Bee this year is “WRIGHT”

The year 2023 is the 120th anniversary of the Wright brothers first flight in Kitty Hawk, NC in 1903. In celebration, NCQP has partnered with the Wright Brothers’ Memorial and Museum in sponsoring special event station N4W on the day of the QSO party. The other five calls of the bonus spelling bee word are N4R, N4I, N4G, N4H, and N4T. Not to give anything away, but the USS North Carolina battleship hams and your chairman are among the group of other great ops making up the 1×1 stations. Though I won’t be at the Wright Memorial for N4W, your vice chairman and NCQP log manager, W4MPS, will be heading that up and he has done a stellar job of setting that up.

2023 Special Event Stations

2023 Special Event Stations

2023 marks the 120th anniversary of the Wright Brothers historic first flight. To commemorate that, our NCQP bonus will consist of six special event stations: N4W, N4R, N4I, N4G, N4H and N4T. Working each station will earn you 50 bonus points. A clean sweep will award 200 additional points for a maximum of 500.
Some exciting news- the National Parks Service has approved our application to operate special event station N4W from the Wright Memorial in Kitty Hawk. We are currently working out the details with the Rangers.
In addition, we are pleased to announce that the Battleship North Carolina will again be a bonus station operating as N4T from its mooring in Wilmington.
A special Certificate of Achievement has been designed which will be sent to each participant working a clean sweep of all six bonus stations. We’ll share that design with you as we get closer to the contest.
With the propagation gods providing improved conditions, NCQP 2023 should prove to be one of the best yet. Mark your calendars for February 26 and stand by for more news which will be posted here and on our Facebook Groups page.
73