2018 North Carolina QSO Party Contest Rules

Updated 11/12/2017


For amateur radio operators outside the state of North Carolina to make contact with North Carolina stations. Amateur radio operators within North Carolina, activating as many NC counties as possible, making contact with everyone, including other NC stations

Contest Period

1500 UTC February 25, 2018 to 0059 UTC February 26, 2018. (10 am to 8 pm EST on February 25, 2018).  All stations may operate the entire contest period.



One person performs all operating and logging functions operating from a fixed, permanent location set up for amateur radio operation.


One or more persons perform operating and logging functions from a self-contained vehicle capable of operating while in motion. Motion is optional. All apparatus used must be wholly contained in, on or attached to the vehicle. Attention to driving and safety is a top priority. Use of a separate driver (whether an amateur radio operator or not) is allowed and strongly encouraged.

Mobile stations that choose to move to a new county may work everyone again for QSO credit. If returning to a previously activated county, only new stations, respective of band and mode, not previously worked from there may be counted as QSO credit.

Mobiles may give out more than one county in one QSO if part of the vehicle is physically and safely located in multiple counties simultaneously.  MARAC County Hunter rules are to be used to determine the county border. ( page 6)

This category allows only Low Power, see "Operating Details" below.

Mobile “Lone Ranger”

Same as Mobile, but WITHOUT the use of a separate driver. One individual performs all functions of operating, logging, and driving.  Driving and safety are to be top priority.


One or more persons operating from a temporary location using portable antennas and radios. No permanent antenna structures may be used. Use of trees, buildings, etc to raise antennas is allowed as long as it is safe to do so and not originally intended for that purpose.  Mobile radios, equipment, and antennas installed in, on or attached to a vehicle wholly for mobile operation are not permitted to be used in this class.  The vehicle may be used as part of the setup once stopped at the temporary location. (i.e., a vertical base held under one wheel)

Expedition stations that choose to move to a new county may work everyone again for QSO credit.  If returning to a previously activated county, only new stations, respective of band and mode, not previously worked from there may be counted as QSO credit.

Expeditions may give out more than one county in one QSO if part of the radio and antenna setup is physically and safely located in multiple counties simultaneously.  MARAC County Hunter rules are to be used to determine the county border. ( page 6)


Two or more persons using a valid FCC issued club call perform operating and logging functions.  Operation may be from one permanent or portable location only.  The location must remain fixed throughout the event. More than one simultaneous transmitted signal may be on the air in this category only.
Clubs entering the Phone only are limited to Low Power.  If Mixed Mode the entry can be either Low or High Power.


  • Plaques will be awarded for first place, and certificates for runners-up, in the following categories:
  • Single-Op / In-State / Phone (Low Power)
  • Single-Op / In-State / CW (Low Power)
  • Single-Op / In-State / Digital (Low Power)
  • Single-Op / In-State / Mixed Mode (Low Power)
  • Single-Op / In-State / Mixed Mode (High Power)
  • Single-Op / In-State / Mixed Mode(QRP)
  • Single-Op / Out-of-State / Phone (Low Power)
  • Single-Op / Out-of-State / CW (Low Power)
  • Single-Op / Out-of-State / Digital (Low Power)
  • Single-Op / Out-of-State / Mixed Mode (Low Power)
  • Single-Op / Out-of-State / Mixed Mode (High Power)
  • Single-Op / Out-of-State / Mixed Mode(QRP)
  • Mobile / In-State / Mixed Mode (Low Power)
  • Mobile Lone Ranger / In-State / Mixed Mode (Low Power)
  • Expedition / In-State / Mixed Mode (Low Power)
  • Expedition / In-State / Mixed Mode (QRP)
  • Club / In-State / Phone (Low Power)
  • Club / In-State / Mixed Mode (Low Power)
  • Club / In-State / Mixed Mode (High Power)
  • Top DX Score
  • Top Canada Score

Operating Details


In State Stations work everyone. Send call sign and NC county. Use the county abbreviations as needed.Out of State Stations work NC stations only. Send call sign and QTH (State, Province, or "DX".)Sending signal report (i.e., 59) is optional.


Operate on 80/75, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, and 2 meters.  No 160, WARC, or above 2 meters.

Suggested operating frequencies (MHz) CW: 3.540, 7.040, 14.040, 21.040, 28.040, 50.040, 144.040.

Phone:  3.860, 7.260, 14.260, 21.360, 28.360, 50.160 (SSB), 52.040 (FM), 144.260 (SSB), 146.520(FM).

Digital: (Use standard digital frequencies per band plan)

No cross-band QSOs are allowed. No repeater, satellite, or internet transponders may be used to completeaQSOfor award credit.


QRP - Per ARCI standard, 5 watts or less for CW/Digital, 10W-PEP for SSB/Phone.

Low - 150 watts or less.

High - Legal limit power.


Phone  Includes SSB, AM, FM voice.

CW  All CW QSO's for award credit must take place in the CW sub-portion of the band. Does not include any other digital mode.

Digital  All digital modes (except CW) are considered one mode for the purposes of this event.  (so you may not work the same station for credit on 20m using PSK31 and RTTY and JT65, for example, it is a duplicate after the first one.)

Mixed Mode  Any two or more modes as described above. No cross-mode QSOs are allowed for award credit.


QSO Points

Phone - 2 points for each phone QSO.

CW - 3 points for each CW QSO.

Digital - 3 points for each Digital QSO.  All digital modes, except CW, count as “Digital”.

It is permissible to work the same station on each mode (Phone, CW, Digital) on each band for award credit.

A valid QSO logged for award credit consists of date, time, mode, call sign, and location as described in Exchange above.  For In-State Mobile or Expedition participants:  It is permissible to include more than one County in a QSO where line sitting is applicable.


In-State participants:  100 North Carolina Counties, 49 US States (no NC) plus DC, 14 Canadian Provinces/Territories (AB, BC, LB, MB, NB, NF, NS, NU, NT, ON, PE, QC, SK, and YK), plus one DX as described below. 165 total possible.

Any location not listed is considered DX.  This includes US Territories, Mexican provinces, and DXCC countries.

No restriction on NC stations to work DX for QSO credit, but only one “DX” multiplier is applied in the calculation of the final score.

Out-of-state participants: 100 North Carolina Counties.

Count each multiplier worked only once across all modes or bands.

Bonus Points

50 Points each for working the following bonus stations:

  • NI4BK aboard the battleship North Carolina,
  • W4DW RARS Club station,
  • W1VOA located at Receiving Site "C" of The Voice of America,
  • NC4QP North Carolina QSO Party hallmark station,
  • Any station in Alleghany (ALL) and Columbus (COL) county.

200 additional points added if a sweep of all six bonus stations above are worked. (300+200=500 possible!)

For Mobiles and Expeditions only, 100 bonus points for each county activated where at least one QSO was worked.

Final Score

Multiply the total QSO points times the total multiplier value.  Add bonus points to score (as applicable) after the multiplication.

Submitting Logs


Cabrillo format is required for all electronic logs submitted via the website.  The category items that should be verified in the header with the valid selections to ensure proper scoring are:

  • ARRL-SECTION:  NC or (anything else)
  • ADDRESS:  Address where awards should be mailed
  • ADDRESS:  (Use as many lines as needed for address)
  • EMAIL:  Valid email address for submitter
  • OPERATORS:  For CLUB category, submit at least two participating operator call signs.
  • CLUB:  Indicate your club name for entering that category


All logs must be received by March 12, 2018 (Paper logs postmarked by this date). Electronic submission via the website is encouraged. Electronic Cabrillo logs should be submitted via the website.

Multiple mobile and club logs, if applicable, should be combined and submitted as one Cabrillo text (.LOG) file.

Paper logs submitted via US Mail are required to include the completed NCQP Summary Sheet.  Paper logs are still accepted, please be aware these must be processed manually by a committee member.

Log Submission Methods:

Web Page (Preferred):  Go to and submit your log.

US Mail:  Send paper log together with the completed summary sheet to:

  • NC QSO Party
  • c/o Charles Swindell
  • 10809 Rondeau Woods Ct.
  • Raleigh, NC 27614

Misc. Rules

All entrants competing for awards in all categories except “Club” only one transmitted signal is permitted on the air at a time.  "Club” entries may have one or more transmitted signal.

There are no band or mode change limits.

Clarification on use of high power:  Single-Op / Out-of-State / Mixed Mode (High Power), Single-Op / In-State / Mixed Mode (High Power), and Club / In-State / Mixed Mode (High Power) are the only three categories where use of high power is allowed for an award.  All other categories are Low power or QRP (see Operating Details above for definitions)

Use of spotting networks, nets, PacketCluster, Skimmer, and other assistance is allowed in all categories.

Use of remote radio equipment and antennas (via remote link) is permitted as long as the receive and transmit operation are located together in one location.  Entry is based on the location of the transmitter, receiver, and antennas.

Final results will be posted on the NCQP web site. First place awards will be mailed to the recipients to the address provided in the Cabrillo log header or summary sheet.  Second place certificates will be e-mailed to the recipient and hard copy mailed upon request.

Members of the North Carolina QSO Party committee may participate but are not eligible for individual awards. A committee member's participation in a club category activation does not disqualify that club from award eligibility.

Bonus Club stations NI4BK aboard the battleship USS North Carolina, W1VOA Voice of America, NC4QP NC QSO Party hallmark station, and W4DW are not eligible for awards. Entrants in bonus counties are eligible for awards.

All licensed amateur radio operators may participate and submit their log for awards except as noted in these rules.

Each entrant submitting a log for an award agrees to be bound by the provisions, as well as the intent, of these rules, the requirements of his or her amateur license, and the decisions of the North Carolina QSO Party committee.

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