NC QSO Party Results - 2020
North Carolina QSO Party 2020 Results
by Marty Young W4MY
Chairman, North Carolina QSO Party
So much this year to write about, so let’s get started! The first thing everyone should know is that we set a new record for the number of QSOs made. What really is important here is to stress how important it is to submit your log, regardless of its size. Doing that impacts so many things. The data we get from them directly affects decisions the committee makes on how the event is organized and run. Andy, AA9P, our IT guru, has made it easy to upload logs, and Marc, W4MPS, does a great job of putting it all together for us. BTW, we also got a record number of logs, 423 submitted to be exact, so this message is resonating. I appreciate the response. Keep it coming!
The single op categories were the most popular, with phone being the prevalent choice for both in and out of state ops. This really isn’t a surprise now that CW has not been a required skill to obtain a ham license for many years now, but it still remains in a strong second place, way ahead of digital. Not being a digital person, I really don’t understand why digital hasn’t taken a more prominent role in the party. We instituted it in 2014 after strong requests from the community. We even enhanced the QSO point value in 2018 in an attempt to stimulate activity, but the interest is still in other more traditional modes. Maybe it’s FT-8. That has surely taken precedence in the digital world, but the software is not yet structured to accommodate events like NCQP. Figuring a way for it to work in 2021 would be very welcomed. We’re hoping WJST developers will work on that.
Probably the biggest change this year was revamping the bonus system. The battleship, VOA, and W4DW took their place in the NCQP history books and stepped aside for the new TARHEEL spelling bee. It was very popular and we have received many positive remarks. We went out on a limb revamping the bonus system, but it turns out it was a good decision. Almost 20% of the submitted logs had contacts with all seven bonus TARHEEL stations for a clean sweep. That’s 80 commemorative coffee cups going out in the near future. Certificates recognizing this achievement have already been issued.
Changes were made for 2020 in the club competition. The distinct “Club” status was removed from the requirement in favor of a multi operation. Now any group wishing to do so can put together a crew and mount a multi effort. This didn’t seem to deter the clubs from just stepping into the multi categories and marching on. Good job, guys, we appreciate your efforts!
The nationwide “State QSO Party Challenge” that started this year certainly had an influence on the records we are setting. I hope the trend continues and that this boost in activity carries on to next year and beyond. There was a big spike in out of state logs, accompanied by a somewhat anemic quantity of in state logs submitted. Only 63 NC counties were represented with at least one log being turned in. We’ve got to get that number up. Getting this number closer to 80 with more mobiles and expeditions would certainly help. Putting an HF mobile together might not be for everyone, but an expedition is not that much different than Field Day without having to be “off the grid”. If you’re in a county represented by a lot of hams, you might want to consider an Expedition to a lesser ham populated area.
One more thing on the subject of planning for next year -- paper logs. There has been a steady decline in paper log submissions over the past several years. We received twelve this year. Don’t get me wrong, we appreciate all logs, no matter how we get them. But with the availability of free or inexpensive logging software, coupled with LogBot making electronic submission process so easy, it is very likely that 2021 will be the last year we accept paper logs. I’m not sure if we are the last state QSO party to still accept paper log submissions, but we will be joining our fellow QSO party brethren in going 100% electronic very soon.
Enough of me opining on NCQP, I could go on, but now it’s time to get to the results. The last day to have your log submitted was March 16, 2020. Here we are, less than a month later, publishing the results. Marc, W4MPS, has done a tremendous job getting the data tabulated and ready for presentation. The plaques are being mailed out as this is being released, followed by the TARHEEL spelling bee sweep cups going out soon.
Single Op / Out of State / Phone (92 Logs)
This was the most popular category with 92 log submissions. Spencer Graham, WT8WV beat 91 others vying for top spot in this category. His score of 9,030 from neighboring West Virginia was a clear winner over second place finisher Bud Governale, W3LL, from Maryland.
Single Op / Out of State / CW (74 Logs)
Brass pounders outside North Carolina were in full swing, chirping and clicking away. Zeljko Repic, K2SSS, finished first from New York and Bill Bliss, W1WBB, came in second, handing out Rhode Island, a highly sought multiplier by the NC ops. Both Zeljko and Bill were TARHEEL sweep certificate winners as well, a sure one-two punch for this category.
Single Op / Out of State / Mixed / HP (67 Logs)
Choosing to operate all modes in a strategy that includes full smoke, ensures a high score when it comes to any contest. Mark Wilson, K1RQ was at the top of these entrants as the clear winner. His 282 QSOs were 100 plus more than second place finisher Bill Stavinski, K3WJB, who will get the paper certificate. Both deserve kudos for their top finishing effort in such a large group of worthy opponents.
Single Op / Out of State / Mixed / LP (61 Logs)
Over the years, I heard consistent chants that in these times of poor band conditions, it is impossible to make Q’s with North Carolina using anything less than the full legal limit. Well, the 61 ops who filed in this category might not agree with that. First among them from West Virginia is state QSO Party guru Jeff Hartley, N8II, with a score of 28,585 and 186 Q’s. Paul Kirley, W8TM, came in second from neighboring Ohio.
Single Op / In State / Phone (31 logs)
Joel Perry, KN4EWI, and Joe Kornahrens, K4REB, are the first and second place finishers here. They surely had horse voices between them at the end of this year’s event. That is because they had a combined QSO total of over 1,000. Joel captures first place with 497, and Joe in second with 547. Joel achieved the win getting significantly more mults. A good showing, certainly, by both.
Single Op / In State / CW (22 Logs)
Past plaque winner John Getz, AD8J, from Asheville is again the top CW op this year. John got it done with a very respectable score of over 128K points, beating out second place winner Lou Alexander, K4BYN, hailing from Wake county. Both are perennial NCQP warriors.
Single Op / Out of State / Mixed / QRP (16 Logs)
I was glad to see a good showing of entries in this very low power category. In the bottom of the sunspot cycle QRP can be quite challenging, both for the QRP operator, and for those receiving on the other end as well ! But in the end, top finisher Tom Warren, K3TW got the job done. Don Nelligan, KI4MZC from Georgia took second place. Tom made 111 QSOs and Don got 43. Did someone say it was impossible to make contact over such short distances using low power on HF during these times of low conditions? I guess Tom and Don didn’t get that memo either. For that matter, neither did the rest of the 16 out of state QRP submitters who made a total of nearly 500 QSOs among them.
Single Op / In State / Mixed / HP (13 logs)
Taking full advantage of what QRO entails Floyd Sense, W4YSB smoked the pack of 12 other competitors, more than doubling the score of his nearest rival Hector Parker, W2NPR, who took second. Ash county certainly won't be listed in the “rare” county list any more with Floyd operating from there. Hector, working from Wake county, the opposite side of NC, submitted a score that was of winning caliber in its own right. A plaque and certificate will be going right out as both deserve recognition for a job well done in this category.
Single Op / In State / Mixed / LP (9 Logs)
Changing modes and making the most of obtaining multipliers was the strategy taken by our winner of this mixed category Bob Lukaszewski, K4HA. Along with 470 QSOs Bob maximized this operating plan for the winning score. Coming in second, Kevin Hodges, WA4GQG bested the others in a tight race for that position headed up by third place finisher K3YDX/4. Wake, Alamance, and Chatham were well represented by those hams. The challenge is put out there for our western NC hams to break up this eastern monopoly.
MultiOp / In State / Mixed / LP (7 Logs)
Cape Fear ARS, K4MN, keeps their dynasty going even with a change in category, as Clubs no longer hold a protected operating status. These guys are just a QSO generating machine getting it done from Cumberland county. I'm glad to see a western club in the mix of placeholders in the name of the Blue Ridge Amateur Radio Club, W4YK, who take second place from Henderson County.
Expedition (4 Logs)
The winner of this most exciting and challenging category operating from Transylvania, Henderson, and McDowell counties is David Ledford, W4JL. Taking advantage of moving twice to activate these three counties was the ticket to a first place finish. There's always a tradeoff between taking time off the air traveling, versus working everyone again in the new county. David found the right balance. Further to the east along the NC/VA line is second place holder Mark Swing, KG4ZOI who put Person county on the map. His 334 QSOs were just 28 short of first place but had the most mults. That made it close. Mark's strategy was to stay in place and work QSOs for the maximum duration. An honorable mention goes out to the N4F operation from Swain. Operators K4SGR, K2KJD, WB4GUD, led by David, ND1J took a very close third. Four QSO's and two multipliers was the slim separation. This will be the group to watch next year especially if they add in some CW and digital to their log. Sincere congratulations to these guys and to all of our Expedition entrants.
MultiOp / In State / Phone (4 Logs)
This has got to be the start of a great rivalry. What are the odds that first and second place would be achieved by two great groups just across town from each other? Well, that is what happened. When the smoke cleared it was the Mecklenburg ARS, W4BFB, on top. The Charlotte Amateur Radio Club signing with their club call, W4CQ, took second. Next year these guys should get together for an arm wrestling match to see who gets to stay in Mecklenburg county, and who goes out on expedition to light up a different rare one.
Single Op / Out of State /Digital (3 Logs)
Digital is a fun and ever changing mode. Jack Cleavenger, KD5ILA in Arkansas is the top out of state operator. Joe Malone, KA1PPV, in Connecticut was second. With only three logs submitted in this category its apparent that PSK and RTTY modes are down, due to so much general activity on FT-8/4. We're going to take a real hard look at that for next year. The nature of state QSO Parties revolves around personal contact. We hope that the powers that be can accommodate this style of operating for us.
Single Op / In State / Digital (2 Logs)
Good news! We awarded both first and second place in the digital category this year. Jim Howard, W4SDJ, from Cherokee was first and Fred Gaisser, KK4HEG hailing from Gaston county was second earning the certificate. These guys deserve kudos for tenacity as the digital activity was way down, as mentioned before. Thanks for hanging in there.
Multi Op / In State / Mixed / HP (1 Log)
One log with over 1000 raw QSOs operating from a single county was submitted by The North Carolina Kilo Watts, NC4KW, with Bruce, N1LN, and Lori, N1YXU Meier driving the ship. Great job guys! We'd like to thank them for representing North Carolina in a big way and for being a good example to others on how it’s done. High power was strongly requested in years past, and we now have it, giving others besides Bruce and Lori and opportunity to follow suit.
Multi Op / Out of State /Mixed / HP (1 Log)
Team Ethan, N1SOH, and Jacob, W1FM Handwerker, a family team from Lexington, Massachusetts, will be receiving the plaque as the only out of state multi-op endeavor, we received. My short amount of research revealed that these guys are a regular contest team and are no stranger to getting plaques for their efforts. We're happy to send this one along.
Mobile (1 Log)
Road warrior Wayne Brown, N4FP was the only mobile to submit a log for consideration. We're giving Wayne the well-deserved plaque for his effort. I, for one, know the effort it takes and the obstacles to overcome when operating HF mobile in a contest. By the way, Wayne wasn't the only mobile in the fray, our own Jim Jordan, K4QPL, and Tad Danley, K3TD, were out there activating bonus N4E but were recused from the standings for obvious reasons. Many counties not otherwise activated was because of the efforts of our mobiles.
Laszlo Vegh, OM2VL, is a fixture we can depend on for NCQP. Laci entered in the Mixed / High Power category coming in fourth place overall. Transmitting from the Slovak Republic topping 63 others in this category, all of which were much closer to NC. I'd love to get a tour of his antenna farm. I personally remember working Laci using CW on every open band during the contest.
I made my formal message about the TARHEEL 1x1 stations in a blog on the NCQP website, but I just want to put my mention of it in this “official” record. The Spelling Bee was a tremendous success, in that 80 worked all seven special event stations. That represents Clean Sweeps for 19% of all who submitted logs. That’s a good balance of making the challenge worthwhile at the same time being reasonably obtainable. We're going to do another one next year, so get ready for February 28, 2021, it will be here before you know it!
Thanks go out to all who participated, whether you submitted your log or not. The winners are mentioned here because that is what we do, although we recognize everyone's effort. No matter where you placed in the standings, your participation is greatly appreciated. Enjoy reviewing the detailed results and related statistics.
Let’s all work together to have a record turnout of NC stations on in the years to follow!
With warm regards going out to all. Let’s make the most of our wonderful hobby during these stressful times of uncertainty.
Marty / W4MY