The North Carolina QSO Party was exciting this year, with new challenges and new participants. If this was your first year, thank you for giving us a try. If you are a NCQP veteran, we’re glad to have you back! The things that stand out are the addition of W1VOA bonus (Voice of America) and “The Carolinas Weekend.” Oh, and there was the addition of High Power. That came just in time for use on the lower bands, because from what we observed and was reported by others, 10 and 15 meters were not in such good shape. Not much we can do about that, but it didn't stop anyone from going to a lower band and cranking up the power. Based on what we observed this year, the High Power categories are here to stay.
As everyone knows, mobiles and expeditions are the heartbeat of any state QSO party. Ours is no exception. I'm happy to see nine mobiles and four expeditions submitted logs. That's an increase in mobiles from last year [yeah!] and a decrease in expeditions [booo!] I'm sure the synergy with South Carolina on Saturday helped us in the mobile department, but really don't know why the expeditions were down. Bolstering the expedition effort was the committee's own Charles Swindell, WA4DCM, who went to Hyde to set up shop. Although Charles’s score isn't counted, that didn't keep him from putting in the effort. Be sure to read the account of this expedition in the soapbox.
Then there's the W1VOA story. After much effort coordinating and cutting through the red tape, we got the go ahead for a “special” station to set up at the VOA site 'C' in Greenville, NC. The team was formed, and Jack Ritter, W0UCE (SK) stepped up to take the lead. Anyone who knew Jack knows he was very history-oriented and was very excited being involved in the rich legacy of the Voice of America. As everyone knows, no sooner than the plans were in concrete, Jack unexpectedly passed away 5 days before go time. This was a blow to all of us involved, let alone the Raleigh ham community. Long story short, Marty, W4MY, stepped in and got W1VOA QRV with the help of others too numerous to mention. We knew Jack would want us to go on, and we did. Rest in peace, good friend.
Total QSO's this year was 35,555. This is about par with last year. There were 53 participants who opted for High Power. Most of these did this intentionally, some didn't. We had to reclassify quite a number of logs that indicated “High Power” but were submitted in a different class unknowingly. So, as you look at the results, if you don't see your call in the single mode category you operated, check High Power Mixed. This is our first year with more than 150 watts allowed, so there are going to be some growing pains. The logs committee decided to reclassify rather than disqualify, as the high power participants did nothing wrong. (other than pull down the wrong tab on the website during log submission). It is our hope that we’ve handled that in a fair manner.
“The Carolina Weekend”. What can be said about that? All good news from SC as they report a significant increase in their activity level from years past. Credit goes to the SC committee for the idea, which we were more than happy to support. If you sent a log into both, be on the lookout for the winner of the BBQ dinner drawing! Mmmmmm!
If you are reading this, you know about most of these things and probably want to know the results, so here they are, without further ado.
In-State Single Operator
The Single-Op In-State Phone title was won by NCQP regular Donnie, KG4ZOD, operating in Alamance County. Donnie racked up a score of 147,488 points. He made a total of 646 QSO’s and worked a total of 75 counties. The runner up for the Single-Op In-State Phone is Dave, W4JL, in Cleveland County with a score of 90,006 points! Dave made a total of 439 QSO’s and worked 62 counties.
Coming in first for the Single-Op In-State CW category is Vlad N3CZ operating in Buncombe County. Vlad came out ahead with a score of 126,222 points! N3CZ made 446 QSO’s and worked a total of 54 counties. Coming in second for the Single-Op In-State CW category is Tommy W4ZM operating in Swain County. Tommy earned a score of 91,445 points by making 385 QSO’s and working 39 counties. Great job to the in-state CW ops!
The winner for this year in the Single-Op Digital category is Bill, N4GBK, operating in Perquimans County! Bill racked up a score of 11,662 points and worked 11 counties to take the title. Unfortunately, there was only one entry for the Single-Op Digital category so there is no runner up. We are glad to see activity from the NE corner of the state.
Mixed Low Power
The winner for the Single-Op In-State Mixed Low Power category for this year is Chris, K4HC, in Guilford County. Chris was able to attain a score 139,522 points! Chris made 473 QSO’s and worked a total of 63 counties. Coming in second for the Single-Op In-State Mixed Low Power category is Pete, WH6LE, in Union County. Pete’s hard work resulted in a score of 86,424 points. Pete made 372 QSO’s and worked a total of 53 counties. Job well done by Chris and Pete!
Mixed High Power
This was one of the most popular categories in this year’s NCQP, meaning competition was fierce! Coming out ahead was Nate, N4YDU, of Franklin County. Nate had a whopping score of 373,116 points making a total of 1,234 QSO’s and working 74 counties! Coming in a respectable second for the Single-Op In-State Mixed High Power category was John, AD8J, in Buncombe County. John also had a great score, earning a total 248,379 points! John made 874 QSO’s and worked a total of 64 counties. John, you would have won with a great score, but had the unfortunate circumstance of being in the sane category as Nate, HI!
The winner of the Single-Op In-State Mixed QRP category is Mark, WG8Y, in Rowan County. Mark earned a total 76,799 points. Mark made a total of 333 QSO’s and worked 34 counties. The runner up for this category is the QRP man himself Randy, KB4QQJ, from Alamance. Randy attained a final score of 32,342 and racked up a total of 179 QSO’s with his peanut whistle. Great job by these QRP operators. Who says life’s too short for QRP?
Out of State Single Operator
The winner for this year’s Single-Op Out of State Phone category is Loyd, W4LVH, from our sister state of South Carolina. Loyd made a total of 170 QSO’s and worked 68 counties for a grand total of 23,570 points. Nipping at his heals was Ken, WB2P, in New Jersey. Ken made a total of 161 QSO’s and worked 70 counties for a final score of 22,990 points!
The winner of the Single-Op Out of State CW category from the Buckeye state is Tom, KV8Q. Tom earned a score of 25,932 points. Tom did that by making 137 QSO’s from 62 different counties. The runner up for the Single-Op Out of State CW category is Art VE3UTT in Ontario, Canada. Not the first time a Canadian has made the standings, and we’re sure it won’t be the last. Art submitted a total of 114 QSO’s and worked 48 counties for a score of 16,866 points. Great job to the out of state CW ops.
Taking the number one spot for the Single-Op Out of State Digital category is Bob, WB2COY, in New York. Bob had a final score of 579 points and worked 11 counties. Coming in second for the Single-Op Out of State Digital category is Joseph, KA1PPV, with a score of 86 points.
Mixed Low Power
Taking the gold for the Single-Op Out of State Mixed Low Power category is John, W4IX, another South Carolina participant. John made a total of 276 QSO’s and also worked the most counties by an out of state op, a whopping 77 counties for a score of 51,578 points! The runner up for the Single-Op Out of State Mixed Low Power category is Dave WN4AFP of South Carolina. Dave happens to be the chairman of the SCQP. He earned a score of 24,890 points by making 160 QSO’s with 65 different NC counties.
Mixed High Power
The winner of the Single-Op Out of State Mixed High Power category is Dietmar, DL3DXX, from Germany. This is the first time a DX station has won a NCQP category. We don't mind spending the extra postage to mail the award, this is quite an accomplishment for this DL. From across the pond, Dietmar was able to make a total of 115 QSO’s and worked 55 counties for a total of 19,435 points! The runner up for the Single-Op Out of State Mixed High Power category is none other than QSO Party frequenter and Georgia QP committee member John, K4BAI. John worked 51 counties and made 113 QSO’s, just two short of Dietmar’s winning QSO count. John’s final score is 14,577 points. Congratulations to both.
The winner of this Single-Op Out of State Mixed small signal category is Tom, K3TW, located in Florida. Tom made 108 QSO’s and worked 58 counties for a final score of 14,327 points. The runner up for the Single-Op Out of State Mixed QRP category is Mike, WS2E, in New Jersey. Mike made 88 QSO’s and worked 48 counties for a score of 11,106 points!
This category is the fiercest of all. I can't tell you how many times I've been stopped at a hamfest by someone in such-and-such club to pick a bone with me about such-and-such club rule. Or to tell me they were at the operation of winning club such-and-such in years past. I’m happy to see such enthusiasm, as clubs are vital in NCQP! (Names withheld to protect the innocent – HI!)
Coming out as the top entry in the Club In-State Phone category this year is the Tri-County Amateur Radio Club NC4AR operating in Randolph County. The folks at NC4AR were able to keep their title as the top Club In-State Phone entry with a score of 212,856 points. NC4AR had a total of 909 QSO’s and 67 counties. The Runner up this year for the Club In-State Phone category is the Cabarrus Amateur Radio Society K4WC in Cabarrus County with 158,456 points, 671 QSO’s and 64 counties.
Low Power Mixed Mode
The winner for the Club In-State Low Power category this year is The Cape Fear Amateur Radio Society K4MN operating in Cumberland County. CFARS came out ahead of the pack to keep their title as the top LP club entry. K4MN ended up with a score of 207,246 points and worked a total of 63 counties. Coming in second place for the In-State LP Club category is the Alamance Amateur Radio Club K4EG in Alamance County. AARC had a total score of 99,345 points and worked 60 counties in NCQP this year.
Coming in first for the Club In-State Unlimited category, is the Onslow Amateur Radio Club NC4OC operating in Onslow County! The operators at NC4OC were able to rack up a score of 32,130 points and worked a total of 55 counties. The runner up for the Club In-State Unlimited category is KO4DI operating in Macon County. KO4DI was able to attain a score of 14,708 points and worked 25 counties.
The winner of the Mobile In-State Lone Ranger category is former committee member Marc, W4MPS! Marc was able to activate 11 counties on his lonely mobile journey for the 2016 NCQP, attaining a score of 41,108 points. W4MPS made 235 QSO’s and worked 20 counties. The runner up for the Mobile In-State Lone Ranger category is WA4UNS. WA4UNS had a score of 10,401 points and worked 34 counties. Nice work by all of the lone ranger mobile operators!
The operation which takes the gold this year for the Mobile In-State Mixed category is that of Connie and Pam operating as K5CM/M. The K5CM/M team activated a total of 22 counties (wow!) For all of their hard work, they were able to earn a score of 259,598 points, making 1167 QSO’s and working a total of 28 counties. The runner up for the Mobile In-State Mixed category is Kyle WA4PGM who activated 23 counties, one more than K5CM/M! Kyle had a score of 176,547 points. WA4PGM made 759 QSO’s and worked a total of 37 counties. Job well done to the mobile operators in this category!
The winner this year for the Expedition In-State Mixed category is the Jenkins family W4MGT operating in Warren County. The Jenkins family was able to rack up a score of 98,811 points! W4MGT had a total of 406 QSO’s and worked 60 counties. Coming in second with a total just north of 60,000 were John Laughlin, KD4LHP, and John Coleman, KF4QDS, representing the East Davidson Repeater Group using call sign WW4DC. Their expedition was also in Warren, those bonus counties really are popular! Hi!
For the Expedition In-State QRP category, W4PH took the title operating from Swain County! W4PH had a total of 14,060 points and worked a total of 36 counties. Coming in second for the Expedition In-State QRP category is KB4IRR in Wayne County. KB4IRR had a score of 7,438 points, working 35 counties. Great job to all the QRP expedition operators!
Top Score Canada
Congratulations go out to Art, VE3UTT for having the best score of our Canadian friends to the north. Art operates from both the US and Canada and decided to work NCQP from the maple leaf this time. Art swept the bonus stations and had 114 NC QSOs for the top Canadian ham award.
Top Score DX
Dietmar, DL3DXX, is no surprise to top this category winning first place in the Out-of-state Mixed HP category. What else can be said about his great achievement from across the water. We’re glad to give Dietmar this twofer.
Most Counties Worked, In-State-Op
With the great showing of N4YDU it would seem that he might be up for this award, but no, he was just shy with one county less than Donnie, KG4ZOD. Donnie got 75 and Nate had 74. What a nail biter! Congratulations Donnie, you are another one of our dual winners.
Most Counties Worked, Out-of-State Op
It seems like if you work a lot of QSOs you win first place in your category AND a most NC counties award. That's just what John Colyard, W4IX did. John got a whopping 77 multipliers in his mixed mode effort to take the top spot here. He also has the bragging rights to the most counties worked in the entire event. John is from South Carolina and it’s a good bet he did well in SC QSO Party as well.
What more can we say about our bonus stations that already hasn't been said? But we're going to recognize them again for the selfless work they do in providing interesting competition to the participants. This work is selfless as they, themselves, are removed from competition and make QSO's for the sheer love of it. Bruce, N1LN, and Laurie, N1YXU, contribute manpower and facilities of this top contest grade station to provide Q's to everyone. Few submitted logs are sans W4DW.
The crew at the Battleship North Carolina keep coming back every year. I met these guys in 2013 and there isn't a better bunch to keep the fire lit in the ship’s radio room. Thanks guys!
The Brightleaf Amateur Radio Club was the host club for this year’s activation of W1VOA, the Voice of America. That's the reason why you didn't see them in the standings. They were there, along with a crack team of operators, signing W1VOA. There is one name that needs to be singled out in the VOA effort that frankly was the lynch pin of the whole operation being QRV. That's Doug Ferris, K4ROK. Without Doug, this bonus station wouldn't have been on the air for NCQP. What else can be said? Thanks Doug!
To Infinity, and Beyond!
Taking Buzz Lightyear's advice, it’s time now to present the standings and soap box. Click the links to read more about all that happened. Take your time and enjoy! A big thank you goes out to everyone who participated, and we invite you to mark your calendar for February 26, 2017! Everyone knows what that is, right?
73, Tucker McGuire, W4FS and Marty Young, W4MY