I think we have all felt quite fortunate over the past couple of years, as we’ve been blessed with pretty decent weather for late February. This year was different. It seemed to me that the forecast changed by the hour. Prior to the contest, emotions ranged from bouts of extreme optimism fading to the depths of despair. March 1 dawned with below freezing temperatures in many parts of the state, and we began the event very concerned about icy conditions for our road warriors. In fact, several proposed expeditions had to be cancelled due to the forecast. Nevertheless, in true NCQP spirit, the “show” rolled on. Personally, I expected flat results this year due to the weather. Boy, was I wrong.
Log submissions were up by 22% over 2014 with new records set in nearly every category. 325 logs are in the books for 2015. We logged a total of 37,180 QSO’s, an increase of 4,809 Q’s over last year. There were some notable changes in the distribution. In recent years it has been pretty much a 50-50 split between CW and Phone. This year the pendulum swung 61% Phone and 36% CW. There were many new callsigns recorded in 2015, and it appears that quite a few of our newer hams jumped into the fray. We made a real effort to encourage “non-contesters” to enter the contest, both to improve their skills, and, more importantly, to find out just how much fun NCQP can be, even for the casual Op. This photo tells the story. It captures Pete, K4PHS just after he completed his first contest QSO at the RARS club operation N4RAL. Way to go Pete!
In the Digital category, we nearly tripled the 2014 result with 1,112 Q’s logged. That’s great news. We expect that trend to continue.
We expanded our bonus opportunities this year to 6. I have not heard one negative comment about that so far. Although achieving a Bonus Clean Sweep was definitely a challenge, it was certainly achievable. 41 stations submitted logs with clean sweeps. Congratulations to those who prevailed; that’s a fine accomplishment. That may seem like a low result, but our bonus stations were definitely on the air and available. 81% worked our flagship superstation W4DW, 40% worked the Battleship NI4BK, 51% worked Bill K4CIA (winner of the first NCQP in 1970 – great job Bill), 65% worked our club call NC4QP and 56% worked the two bonus counties PER and SUR. So, virtually every log included bonus points. There was one entry that made me shake my head though. He worked every bonus station....except W4DW !
Now for the winners. The envelope please-----
Single Op/In State/ Mixed
Back to regain the title is Will AA4NC in WAK, with a score of 249,616 from 898 QSO’s. In addition to winning this category, Will also posted the high score for the entire contest. He also holds the All Time high score record of 278,004 posted in 2013. Fantastic job Will. Second place goes to Nate N4YDU in FRA, last year’s Phone champion. Nate was scheduled to leave for Costa Rica after NCQP to operate in the ARRL DX Phone contest. Because of that, he told us he wouldn’t be able to get on much for NCQP. Not getting on much to Nate means 511 QSO’s and a score of 117,151 – HI. Nate just edged out John AD8J in BUN, who operated from home this year. John had more Q’s but Nate made it on Mults. There were 28 entries in this category.
Single Op/In State/ Phone
Number 1 of 51 entries in this category was Cameron AJ4TW in SUR with a score of 142,964 and 636 Q’s. Cameron could have entered and won as an Expedition station, but chose to operate in this category. That’s a great result considering he worked a makeshift station in a friend’s home with temporary antennas. Well done Cameron, and also thanks for activating a Bonus county. You made a lot of people happy. This was a tight category. Cameron just squeaked past Ed KU4BP in DVD who takes second place with 141,010 points from 612 QSO’s, and arch rival Donnie KG4ZOD in ALA with 123,646 points from 546 Q’s.
Single Op/In State/ CW
In that never-say-die spirit, our champion this year is Alan AA4FU in WAK who has been chasing a trophy for some time. Always near the top of the heap, Alan made it this year with a score of 127,552 from 433 Q’s. Second place for our brass pounders goes to Vlad N3CZ in BUN with 94,448 points and 374 Q’s.
Single Op/In State/ QRP
There were quite a few QRP’ers in the hunt this year. Congratulations to Mark WG8Y in ROW, our QRP winner with 89,004 points from 375 QSO’s. Mark also worked 75 counties. What a great result. This year the tables were turned. Mark finished 2nd in 2014, and last year’s winner, Jim W4UX in FOR, takes second place in 2015 with 75,499 points from 334 Q’s. Who says life’s too short for QRP? Not these guys.
Mobile/ In State/ Mixed
Kudos to our intrepid road warriors. They persisted in spite of ice and rain and did an amazing job. Repeating again this year is N4E, consisting of the team of Kyle WA4PGM and Mike KA4RRU. They actually beat N4E’s amazing 2014 result. This year, they traversed 27 counties and logged an incredible 1,104 Q’s for a score of 214,768. N4E did a wonderful job of picking off many extra counties by making short side trips along their main route. Second place goes to last year’s CW champ Jack W0UCE, who teamed up with last year’s SO/IS/Mixed champ Jim K4QPL. They hit the road as N4C and did a fabulous job of making it through 20 counties with 729 QSO’s and a score of 151,980 in spite of visits by Mr. Murphy. Special mention also goes to NCQP Committee member Paul, AA4XX, who motored as a Lone Ranger Checklog through 11 counties operating as both AA4XX and NC4QP. Hats off to this hearty group of great operators.
|Hurry up and eat your lunch, Mike!
KA4RRU operating as N4E(WA4PGM photo)
Mobile/In State/Lone Ranger
Weather no doubt affected this category. But we did have one additional mobile marauder. Jim W4TMO single handedly logged 84 QSO’s in 10 counties. Jim gets the Lone Ranger hardware for 2015. For you concerned citizens out there, Jim assured me that his vehicle was not in motion while he operated.
Expedition/In State/ Mixed
This was indeed a family affair. I heard quite a few comments during the day asking “did you work the Jenkins family?” It was W4MGT operating as an Expedition in PER, our other bonus county. Steve W4MGT, XYL Lisa, daughter Grace KJ4KWG and son Sam KI4TRG braved the elements and set up in Hyco Lake Park handing out 352 bonus point QSO’s throughout the day. They worked 50 counties and 26 S/P/DX. The family that hams together, stays together. I’m sure there’s a potential QST article in the works from this adventure. Second place goes to Roger N4GF operating from HYD. Good job Expeditioners.
Expedition/In State/ QRP
Dean K2JB is no stranger to expeditions. In fact, you can hear him regularly operating from mountaintops in western North Carolina as part of the Summits On The Air program. So an Expedition for NCQP was a natural. But why make it easy? Why not operate QRP, which Dean did in great style from BUN with 178 Q’s and a score of 33,185. These QRP’ers know how to rack up counties. Dean tallied 50 on this expedition. Second goes to Garner KK4CLY who set up in 3 counties for the event.
Club/In State/ Mixed
Ah, the battle of the clubs. This is always exciting and our NC clubs did not disappoint. 2015 saw a repeat of last year’s results and, again, it was a tight race. Cape Fear ARS grabs another trophy operating as K4MN from CUM edging out Alamance ARC operating K4EG from ALA. Alamance had 9 more counties and both achieved a bonus clean sweep, but Cape Fear made it on points with a score of 79,878 from 356 Q’s vs. Alamance’s 71,844 from 334 Q’s. Rumor has it that Alamance is attempting to recruit AA4NC as an honorary member for 2016. We can’t wait for next year to watch this slugfest continue.
NC4AR, the guys and gals from Tri-County ARC are always a shoe in, right? Hey, wait a minute, who is that hot on their tail? It’s the SWAT team from Cabarrus ARS operating as K4WC and the storm troopers from Mecklenburg W4BFB. K4WC and W4BFB both pulled off a bonus clean sweep and Cabarrus also outpaced Tri-County in counties worked with 68 vs. 64. But TriCounty squeaked it out in the closest of finishes beating Cabarrus by a mere 30 points with 114,518 vs. 114,488 for K4WC and 107,204 for W4BFB. The difference? 539 QSO’s logged at NC4AR vs. 483 logged at K4WC. After a recount and checking for any hanging chads, congrats to the NC4AR crew operating from their cabin in ALL for another job well done.
We want to also congratulate all the clubs who participated this year. You can see the excellent scores which will be posted on our website. NCQP is a perfect opportunity to expose new hams and casual ops to the thrill of low stress contesting. At the same time, it provides a perfect venue to increase club camaraderie and improve one’s skills with Elmers and mentors who all love our great hobby.
Top Score/Digital/ In State
We saw a marked increase in digital activity this year. The word must be getting out. We also made a special effort to insure that two of our bonus stations, W4DW and NC4QP provided significant airtime in the digital modes. First place goes to Bill N4GBK in PEQ who really had his keyboard clicking with a score of 20,450 from 136 QSO’s. He was followed closely by last year’s winner Jim W4SDJ in CHE tallying 18,964 from 131 Q’s. I foresee another perennial rivalry in the making.
Single Op/Out of State/Mixed
It seems like almost everyone worked Laci, OM2VL from Slovakia. Laci is really making the rounds in U.S. QSO parties and did a great job logging 199 North Carolina Q’s and 67 counties. Unfortunately, Laci didn’t read the rules carefully, as he advised us that he was running a kilowatt and, thus, was disqualified from winning any awards. Nevertheless, we congratulate him on both his honesty and his upbeat operating style. I’m sure we’ll see him again next year. The trophy goes to repeat winner, Jeff N8II in WV, who just made it past our favorite judge John, K4BAI in GA (if you get a ticket in Atlanta, don’t call him) with scores of 28,286 and 27,430 respectively. John had more Q’s but Jeff was able to increase his score by sweeping the bonus stations and working 6 more counties. There were 58 entries in this category with some very respectable scores. You’ll enjoy reviewing these results on our webpage.
Single Op/Out of State/ CW
There was some hot and heavy action in this category with the prize going to a Buckeye, Tom KV8Q in OH. Tom contacted 57 counties from 159 QSO’s and got 5 of 6 bonus stations for a score of 27,439. Tom was followed closely by Jeff WB8WKQ in MI with 24,703 points and previous champ Gene NT2A in NY with 21,934. With 37 entries in this category, CW remains alive and well in NCQP.
Single Op/Out of State/ Phone
This was our most active class with 66 logs submitted. Just a quick comment – we do appreciate the participation from our western US and DX Ops. We received logs from CA, OR and WA as well as 9 DX stations. It’s difficult in certain US QSO parties for these participants, especially with a 150 watt power limit, and we want to express our gratitude to them for being a part of NCQP. Their activity makes our contest even more exciting.
The 2015 champ is Dave WN4AFP in SC who logged 169 Q’s in 64 counties for a score of 22,132. Dave also managed a bonus sweep. Second place goes to Howard KO4GS in VA recording 15,422 points from 129 Q’s. With all 100 North Carolina counties on the air again this year, NCQP is becoming a delight for county hunters.
Single Op/Out of State/QRP
Many thick-skinned Ops are discovering how well you can do in NCQP with peanut power. This includes Stan in Poland, SP6JOE. You’ve got to love Stan’s fortitude. Here is an excerpt from his Soapbox: “No computer, no internet, worked from my summer house, always work using a straight key.” Now that’s an operator. Thanks Stan.
A very attractive piece of hardware will be on its way to the sunshine state. Tom K3TW in FL takes the prize with a score of 16,754, 123 Q’s and 54 counties. How about this! Tom also completed a bonus clean sweep running QRP. Great job. Second place goes again to Dan KE0G in MN who always posts a fabulous result from a distance of some 900 miles. 11,816 / 88 Q’s/ 44 counties for Dan. 72 to all our QRP Ops.
Top Score/Digital/Out of State
Also a nice increase in this digital category with 10 logs submitted from 9 states and provinces. Our digital winner is an encore from 2014, Joe KA1PPV in CT, followed by a tie for second place between Jeff KD8AJK in OH and Ed KC9JBU in IL. They finished with identical scores. With more and more digital entries each year, Joe will have his work cut out for him in 2016. Nicely done boys.
Most NC Counties In State
No, not Will AA4NC. No, not Nate, N4YDU. No, not Louis K4BYN. It was Mark in ROW with 75 counties, RUNNING QRP !! Great achievement Mark. Donnie KG4ZOD repeats in second place with 74, besting his 2014 second place result of 68.
Most NC Counties Out of State
Last year’s winner Jeff, N8II in WV comes in second this year with 66 counties. Our new county champ is Don W1DWA in MA with 68. Don finished 4th in the SO/Out of State/Mixed category. Congratulations on a great effort.
EMCOMM Challenge Award
Our Emergency Communications boys were on the job. Last year’s 2nd place finishers, ARES District 14 made it to the top of the heap this year with 8 stations activating 4 counties in their area. Rockingham Area 9 finished second with 3 stations on the air in ROC. NCQP is a great opportunity for ARES groups throughout the state to combine a competitive effort with emergency exercise drills. We hope to see this category blossom over the next few years. Thanks to NCQP Committee member Dwayne N4MIO for spearheading this effort.
Top Score DX
There must have been another contest competing this year, as our regulars from Deutschland were conspicuous by their absence. But it’s great to see new winners. Congratulations to Jose Miguel EA5DFV who takes top honors, followed by Marco I1EIS in second. I apologize to Marco for making him repeat, but hearing dit...dit dit....dit dit dit threw me- HI.
Top Score Canada
I’m so glad we added this category, as it recognizes the wonderful efforts of our comrades to the north. This year’s winner is Jean VE2JCW in QC. Jean is the #1 Chaser in VE2-land with the Summits On The Air program (SOTA). It’s great to have such a fine Op join our ranks of champions. Second place goes to last year’s winner Evgeny (Jack) VA3ATT in ON.
We can’t conclude this writeup without a big thank you to our checklog stations. This includes our perennial bonus operators at W4DW who, this year, logged 1,288 QSO’s in 66 counties and 58 S/P/DX. In addition, NCQP committee member Bill W4WNT did a super job putting W4DW/Digital on the air from UNI. Our battleship North Carolina Operators at NI4BK are always a big hit and consistently do an outstanding job operating below decks in Wilmington. What a wonderful job Bill K4CIA did this year. Bill of course, was the winner of the first NCQP back in 1970, and is still going strong. As one of our bonus stations this year, he made this party very special. Thanks again to the mobile effort from Paul AA4XX operating also as NC4QP/M. Another great job by our Awards Manager Dwayne, N4MIO in ALA. Kudos to Joanne AK4RJ who coordinates our clubs and who arranged the N4RAL team effort. You can’t say enough good things about Andy AA9P, our IT specialist. Andy is responsible for our website and for developing our famous LogBot, which has been working so well in accepting and analyzing electronic log submissions. His automation wonders have made the rest our lives on the committee much easier. Oh yes, our illustrious Chairman Marty, W4MY. Marty’s efforts are tireless. He has been a great leader and spends countless hours traveling around the state promoting the North Carolina QSO Party. Be sure to watch his 3 part NCQP YouTube presentation on my W4MPS channel. All of us on the NCQP Contest Committee are grateful to the wonderful operators and participants who have helped this event grow each year. It would be nothing without you. Thanks for the fun everyone, and see y’all again next year.
Marc, W4MPS Logs Manager