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
Very 73 to all. Marty Young, W4MY,