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Author: Marty Young W4MY

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.

Thank You to our Bonus Team

Thank You to our Bonus Team

The bonus ops this year were out there front and center for the taking. We had a record number of sweeps. Close to 200. Marc, W4MPS, created the certificate and disseminated it to each of those successful in gaining a QSO with all five bonus stations.

N4D

The NC Ham Activators, NC4NP (North Carolina Four National Park) headed up by David, ND1J. John, K4SGR, with logger Sarah, KN4SGR, Howard, WB4GUD, Chip K2KJD, Meg, K5MEG, and David, ND1J, operated N4D. “November Four Duke” from Macon County did a great job of putting up QSOs for the QSO Party bonus. N4D was on the air the entire 10 hour period, giving everyone lots of opportunity to work them. Ops were attempted on all bands and QSOs made on 80/40/20/15/10. A big thank you goes out to these guys.

N4U

Floyd Sense, K8AC, is no stranger to the upper part of the mixed mode award listings in NCQP over the years and he did us a great favor in applying his skills in handing out bonus QSOs. I asked Floyd to volunteer for this job based on his consistent participation and support. Funny co incidence is that my Drake TR-7 in my antique collection was modified and improved by Floyd and passed through other hands before it got to me. When talking to Floyd about it he was very generous and helpful in helping me get it to top condition. This is the type of ham we like to have working with us and we are grateful.

N4K

Bruce, N1LN, and Laurie Meier, N1YXU, took on N4K this year for us. Laurie is a Duke alumni and said she liked taking on the suffix letter “K” to commemorate Coach K’s retirement from Duke this year. Bruce and Laurie have a long relationship with us on the NCQP committee in offering their operations skills to help the QSO party. In those off years where they weren’t in the bonus lineup they were aligning with the Orange county club helping them. These guys are the truest of what ham radio service is all about.

N4E

Dick Godwin. K4JJW, hales from New Bern with a long list of awards to his credit. DXCC Honor Roll, 5 Band WAZ (including 160), VUCC 500+, the list goes on. Having Dick in the bonus lineup for the first time this year was a pleasure. I’ve worked Dick on the air outside of the QSO Party more than once (CW) and it was my pleasure to do so.

NC4QP

W4MY had the pleasure of teaming up with W4MPS to operate this one from chairman headquarters in Harnett county. We had a great time and made a lot of QSOs! It was a blast, conditions were better and participation was very good.

Congratulations to each of our sweep holders, and a big thank you to our bonus stations. As soon as the plaques and second place certificates are mailed in a couple of weeks, this one will be in the books!

73 Marty W4MY

NCQP Chairman

Time for the Results!

Time for the Results!

2022 is now history as the results are posted! We’ve worked really hard to get them out as soon as we could. If you are a first or second place finisher in any of the categories, congratulations! Your plaque is coming soon. Watch your mailbox!

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

Logs Due Sunday 3/13/22

Logs Due Sunday 3/13/22

We have well over 500 logs submitted so far with only a couple of days left to get yours in if you have yet to do so. Its due before Sunday, 3/13/22 at midnight EST (0400Z. 3/14/22).

So don’t miss out! Get your log in right away!

This Year’s NCQP

This Year’s NCQP

The QSO Party is now less than 2 weeks away. I trust everyone has their operating plans ironed out. Hopefully the keepers of good weather and propagation will be good to us!

Want to remind everyone, if you haven’t already done so, to go to the COUNTY ACTIVITY page and announce your operation. There are a few there already, but lets fill up that map with announcements, a very useful feature for our out of state county hunters and others. Just click on “Report an Operation Here” and fill out the form. It only takes a few minutes.

Marc wanted me to tell everyone about the new plaques this year. They are still an outline of the North State as usual, and JNS is still our plaque maker, but the face has been “lifted” for a new more colorful and interesting look. It really might be worth it to stay in the chair longer to make enough QSO’s to get one of these, they really are beautiful!

Operating strategy advise is still the same, stay on the highest band open as long as you can. Watch 40 meters carefully. Sometimes in the late afternoon it can go long and get really noisy. Like you, I’ve been tempted to go to 80/75 early (before dark) because of this. If you do, be sure to check back to 40 a while later because I’ve seen where the conditions straighten up and the noise goes away leaving 40 open to the west coast with crystal clear conditions! And, of course, call CQ as much as you can, they will be looking for you!

More so than other state QSO parties, NCQP has allot of “casual” non-contest types that participate. Except for maybe Field Day, this is their only “contest”. I just want to say thank you to all those ops for turning out, it makes a huge contribution for success. Of course, we do appreciate our contesters too, no doubt. Don’t want to leave anyone out.

I’d also like to give a shout out to our “State QSO Party Challenge” participants. For those that don’t know, participating in multiple state QSO parties, and submitting a log, brings the opportunity for more awards and wall paper. There’s a link in the sidebar if you want to know more about it. Oh, and be sure to get on the air Saturday the 26th for SCQP. You can put your station through the paces to work out any last minute bugs, and say hello to our neighbors to the south.

Be sure to work the “DUKE” spelling bee and NC4QP bonus stations. The one that gives out a report from HARnett will be me and Marc.

Let me know if you have any questions. See everyone in the pileups!

73 Marty W4MY

NCQP Chairman

Chairman’s Message for 2022

Chairman’s Message for 2022

The contesting season is opening up with a big bang this year as we see the sun waking up! Its been a long time coming and by February it should be even better. I was reminded during CQWW/SSB a few weeks ago that Europeans do, in fact, have frequency privileges on 10 meters!

So, what’s new with the QSO Party? The website is updated for 2022, we’ve added some structure to the committee, new spelling bee bonus, Marc has the new Facebook group going, and, of course, this will be the first year sans paper logs. Lets dive right in!

I do want to mention that we received a record number of logs last year in no small part due to the support and dedication of all participants, but especially to our NC ops. I just want to put out a “Job Well Done” to those that got on the air and submitted a log last year. Check out the website and make your plans for 2022, we’re looking forward to even better!

Some housekeeping was in order this year in the committee personnel. Steve, W4MGT, has taken over the website administration job, and started out as a WordPress novice. But, no longer. What a great job he has done and has taken to it like a fish to water. Thanks Steve! Marc, W4MPS, our tried and true logs manager, was promoted to “Vice Chairman” status. A new NCQP advisory committee will consist of three non voting members of the amateur radio community with experience holding positions of leadership. They will be our “consultants” when issues arise needing a broader spectrum of knowledge and experience. The process of forming is going on now and it should be in place by next February. As time goes on, we want to ensure the long term viability of NCQP irrespective of who is in the office.

The spelling bee bonus has been a tremendous hit in the past and we’ve got another great one lined up for 2022. The word is “DUKE” this year in keeping with the Tarheel and Wolfpack college theme. What is everyone’s opinion for having Appalachian State’s Yosef for 2023? Anyway, the ops are already lined up and 1×1 call signs secured for the event. NC4QP will also be QRV this year rounding out the bonus situation. Don’t want to give away who the op or ops will be for that, but I hope my fist holds up under all the activity! 😉

Marc has spearheaded the move away from the general social media Facebook site in favor of “Facebook Groups” See the W4MPS post on this blog earlier. Its a more private group of those that are interested, much in the vein of our e-mail reflector list of yesteryear. I think its a good move.

It was well announced that 2021 was our last year accepting paper logs. We encouraged everyone who was still using paper to work on making the transition. Out of 598 logs received last year, only a handful were paper. It looks like everyone is making the effort to get changed over. If you are one of those in this small minority that are using paper, we still want to accept your log. You’ll have to help us out this year by using the link on the right sidebar “Create Cabrillo File from Paper Log” and then upload the new file. Thank you for your support in doing this!

I hope everyone and their respective families have a safe and prosperous holiday season. Please be sure to upload your NCQP plans to the website using the County Activities tab and form once you know what you’ll be doing. It really helps everyone out.

And finely, last but not least, thank you to all of our sponsors who make all of this happen. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions concerning the rules, strategy, or anything else. I’m good on QRZ.com.

73 Marty W4MY

NCQP Chairman

NCQP Facebook Group

NCQP Facebook Group

From the desk of Marc, W4MPS, NCQP Logs Manager…


Our new Facebook Groups page is up and running. Please go to Facebook Groups and sign up under North Carolina QSO Party. Our Facebook Groups page will be used to exchange the very latest information about our QSO Party and will also serve as a meeting place to share information about Activations and Mobile routes, spotting, requested QSO’s, skeds, equipment, antennas, etc. This will also serve as an excellent venue to post Soapbox comments as well as photographs and videos (keep ‘em coming). You’ll also see articles and adventure stories submitted by our valiant and intrepid QRM warriors. I’ll be posting several from last year’s event which I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading. So please take advantage of this resource. I think you’ll find it very helpful and useful. See you down the log in NCQP 2022.

The 2021 Results are In!

The 2021 Results are In!

Go to the Results page and have a look! It was a record year receiving and processing 598 logs! That and the WOLFPACK Spelling Bee kept us very busy.

One important note is the winner of the $150 GigaParts gift card. James (Rodney) Bridgers, N4BNO, of Elm City, NC stayed on 20M long enough to get 256 Q’s there plus one on 10M; enough to win this prize. Good job Rod!

Plaques, certificates, and the gift card are all in the works now and will be mailed out or delivered in person as soon as they are available.

Enjoy!

Chairman’s Random Thoughts for this Year’s Running

Chairman’s Random Thoughts for this Year’s Running

Preparations are complete and NCQP is on GO! From what I can see on the announcements so far the mobile category should be an interesting one. Lets hope the weather cooperates in the west to allow for safe passage through the mountains. And if you haven’t announced your operation, please take a minute to do so. Its an easy form to fill out here:

http://ncqsoparty.org/county-activity/ Click on “Report Your Operation Here”

Pay close attention to 20 meters and above. The out of state ops further away are looking for QSO’s and there’s always a good number of them, including DX stations looking for those NC counties to work. For those of us in state ops there’s a $150 gift card to GiggaParts up for grabs to the station that works the highest number of QSO’s on 20 and above. Call CQ! You never know who’s out there!

As you probably already know, this is the last year we’ll be accepting paper logs, so now may be the time to get your feet wet into computer logging for a “dry run” I’m sure there are many willing to help with that if you need it. Check out Kenn’s YouTube video (link in the sidebar) on converting your paper log to Cabrillo if that’s the route you go.

I think we are out of the doldrums of the last solar minimum so I’m expecting allot of activity this year. Also, check out those mobiles, that is going to heat up with a visit to the west by our good neighbors from Georgia. I’ve gotten allot of questions from folks going outdoors on an expedition. That seems to be the thing to do in these times we find ourselves. Be sure to announce yourselves on the cool NCQP map (link above) to get everyone cued up to work you.

I’d like to welcome the new In-State ops who have moved in to NC this past year. I’ve received many great questions from them and I’m glad to see we’ll be lighting up some of the more rare counties where they live.

We’ve got great ops lined up for the WOLFPACK spelling bee! Some you will recognize from past years (ahemm..Yours’ Truly, HI 😉 and some are brand new. Good Luck with your Sweep. We got 82 last year.

As I always say, thank you for your continued participation and support of this event. Go out there this Sunday and make North Carolina proud!

Marty W4MY

NCQP Chairman

Changes for 2021

Changes for 2021

Its that time when we start gearing up for 2021. I hope you are making your plans for that activation, Multi, or Expedition. It will be here before you know it. Helping you do that is my job, so let me point out some of the significant changes this year.

First, here is the date:

1500 UTC February 28, 2021 to 0100 UTC March 1, 2021. (10 am to 8 pm EST on February 28, 2021). All stations may operate the entire contest period. Logs are due March 15. And, this will be the last year for paper logs. We held out as long as we could. Its time. If you are still using paper while operating, that’s fine. Its just each participant will be responsible in 2022 for getting it into the acceptable electronic form when submitting the results to us.

We’ve made some changes to the categories, hopefully for the better. There is now a high and low power category for each of the Phone, CW, and Mixed modes. Remember, when we added high power five years ago, you could only do it if you were mixed. No more. If you want to operate CW high power, for example, go for it! This applies to both in and out of state ops. Mobile, Expeditions, and the Digital mode still have lower power restrictions, so be sure to read those rules carefully if that applies to you. We made some other small changes to the categories removing the out-of-state Multi-Op as well.

SOMETHING BRAND NEW, PLEASE READ: A GigaParts gift card in the amount of $150 will go to the In-State entrant, in any category, who makes the most combined QSO’s on 20, 15, and 10 meters. These are QSO’s that otherwise qualify for score credit in the submitted log (Duplicates don’t count, for example.) I know its only for in state ops, so for those of you out of state don’t be disillusioned. This is going to keep the NC ops on the upper bands longer and trying harder to reach you guys and gals that are further away. Maybe we’ll have some out-of-state plaque winners from the upper mid west or New England this year! Please see the rules for complete details.

The point system is staying the same. Its worth noting that the Maritime change the ARRL made this year segregating out Prince Edward Island (PE) doesn’t apply to us. PEI and the other small northeast provinces of Canada have always been their own multiplier in our contest.

There’s a new Spelling Bee Bonus. “WOLFPACK” We are giving equal time from Tarheel last year. Duke fans, don’t worry, 2022 is coming before you know it! Same system, 50 points each 1×1 call you work. 200 more points if you sweep and you get a certificate.

We said good-by to former committee member Bill Turner, W4WNT, who resigned. Bill’s not finished, look for him to be activating Union county for a good time to come. We welcome Steve Jenkins, W4MGT, to the committee of “Jenkins Family plaque winner” reputation. We had to save the wood from a few trees by taking Steve out of the running! Seriously though, Steve brings to the table a wealth of NCQP Expedition experience as well as his background in automation and programming. This will provide depth, backup, and help to Andy as needed to keep NCQP operating smoothly and efficiently.

Dwayne is now in the process of collecting sponsorships from the previous year’s donors. We always give them first shot. I think with the category expansion there may be some openings. Any remaining to be sponsored by December 31 will be up for grabs. If you or your club is interested in participating in this let Dwayne Ayers, N4MIO, know about it.

Under miscellaneous changes, 25 QSOs are now required to be in your log in order for us to give you an award if you win anything. When you participate and submit your log, make sure it has 25 QSOs in it and you’ll be good to go.

And lastly (and I intentionally saved this for last) is the FT-8 issue. I know that’s all digital uses nowadays, or some variant of it. We spent a significant amount of time during the committee meeting discussing how we could include it in the authorized digital modes. We looked at how Nevada did it using the “Field Day” contest mode by transposing the meaning of the FD exchange. We agonized over it, but in the end, it just doesn’t fit into the spirit of a “QSO Party”. So, when there is a more generalized contest mode available for FT-8 that suits a QSO Party, we’ll incorporate it. Until then, PSK and RTTY is still an authorized mode. Remember, NCQP is in the minority of state QSO Parties that authorize any sort of digital mode. I personally believe, and the committee agrees, that digital is a legitimate QSO Party mode when its used in the spirit of two way communication over the air between two living, breathing parties.

Hopefully I have helped in forming your plans for 2021. I look forward to working everyone on the air the last day of February coming up. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding the rules, suggestions, or anything else.

Very 73 to all. Marty Young, W4MY, NCQP Chairman