by Tom Frenaye, K1KI – firstname.lastname@example.org
The second running of the New England QSO Party seemed to go quite smoothly. The few rules changes made were received well. A couple of counties proved to be nearly impossible to find on the air – but they were there.
All in all, the logs show a slight increase in QSOs overall. The number of logs was similar to the total from 2003 – with 128 from outside of New England and 127 New England home stations plus 9 mobiles who were on in 77 counties, and one group (K1JB w/K1MV) who was on from four counties in Maine, travelling to each airport via small plane.
Propagation was clearly not as good as it was last year, with few 10m signals. Activity was concentrated on 20m during the day and 40m in the evening.
|QSOs made by W1s||1,154||10,656||15,099||2,838||54|
|Different stations worked||241||1,603||3,263||971||42|
WWV solar indices suggested that conditions should have been reasonably good, with the K-index at 2 for most of the contest. Most likely the disturbances from the days before the contests still lingered, causing poor 10m and marginal 15m conditions. From New England to the southeastern USA was pretty easy, but to the west coast was not very good at all. At times the European signals were more consistent, especially on15m.
Realize that northern Maine is farther away from southwest Connecticut than Detroit MI, Columbus OH and Raleigh North Carolina.
All in all, conditions were “good enough” to make QSOs possible for the entire contest period from New England, and for those within 2000 miles it appears that there was always at least one band open to New England. Those out 2500 miles or more probably found a few hours where it was not possible to find any W1 stations to work.
Mobiles are an important part of any state QSO party – they usually provide the hardest to work counties. Most mobiles run about 100w into a mobile whip antenna on the roof or back bumper. They make up for the limited station by having a new contest every hour or so as they enter a new county, and driving through some new places! Perhaps this chart from some of the 2003 NEQP mobiles will help you see that it doesn’t take a whole lot to get started!
|Vehicle?||2003 Suburu Forester||1983 Toyota sw old vehicle I used to pull behind motorhome.||2002 Lexus ES300 sedan||1993 Plymouth Voyager||97 Ford Explorer||1999 VW Beetle|
|Transceiver||Icom 706MkIIG||ICom-730||IC706MKIIG||Yaesu FT-100D||ICOM 706||Kenwood TS-2000|
|Op while in motion?||Stopped only. Didn’t want to log while driving||Stopped but do it usually in motion using a tape recorder||90% while stopped along the road. Some Real Mobile Sunday when Mrs. DG was driving.||Stopped only||Yes|
|Antenna(s)?||Outbacker Stealth||Hustler mast with KM4W’s resonator.||Cheapo mobile whips on a big mother mag-mount on the trunk deck.||ATAS-100||Hamsticks||Whip on 4-mag mount on rood, and one on rear bumper|
|Difficult to switch bands/modes?||No, once you get used to the stinger length. Tune Scan on the radio helps.||Homemade bracket which holds three resonators. Switching is doneautomatically.||Had to change whips…1-2 minute operation.||Automatic (40M – 10M)||Pull over to side of road and switch whips||Nope, used A-B switch, or stopped and switched whips|
|Other accessories?||Used a laptop running CT for logging and keying, as well as a Drake CW-75 and Vibroplex key. No tunas. Also, my Garmin GPS and map program, but didn’t use it to navigate.||Use a keyer and operateCW while in motion usually using a tape recorder. I am a countyhunter buthave them all on ssb and cw||Just a paddle. Used the 706 internal keyer and sent everything by hand.||None||none||Used RC-2000 remote control head with radio in back seat|
|How professional or permanent is the installation in your vehicle?||The mount for the Outbacker is fairly permanent. The Icom is connected directly to the battery and the wiring is sorta permanent, although the radio itself is not attached to the car. There is a compartment in the back of the Subaru that holds the radio perfectly without mounting.||I put rig in different cars using a 3 position mag mount and 3 nylon guys,but in Toyota use a side fender mount which is the car I usually use.||Completely temporary.||Temporary operating position for NEQP (table in rear area).Permanent “antenna roof mount” + “direct battery connection”||semi-permanent at best||Very temporary|
|For those who were single op, did you have a driver?||You need a driver. Even if the driver isn’t a ham. You double the amount of time that you can operate if you can operate while in motion. I can still operate while in motion, but I can’t log, it’s just too dangerous.||No driver ever.||Only on Sunday.||No.||No||Yes, my wife likes driving when I’m not the backseat driver|
|What did you bring with you for tools and spares?||My Swiss Army knife. Actually found that the stinger couldn’t extend long enough for 40M CW. Had to improvise. I found a clip from a name badge and created a capacitance hat which allowed me to tune 40M.||Nothing||Nothing. Had a 30-foot telescoping fiberglass mast that I planned to deploy as a vertical for 40M with a wire taped on the side and a couple of radials, but it was too much trouble and it never got used.||None||Nothing. Even my logging pen died and I had to stop to buy another!||Small toolkit, 80m wire dipole (unused), spare fuses|
|Any special problems? RFI, eqpt failures, etc||Black flies||Nothing except confusion wheather I was working NEQP or MARAC cw contest,both going at say time.||Other than driving around looking for a nice spot in Stratham county andlistening to K1KI/m in VT running guys and not hearing me, no problems.Mobile whip seemed to be intermittent while in motion at 80 MPH on the MaineTurnpike||FT-100 susceptible to low battery voltage||RFI from the car||Sometimes RF got into dashboard display electronics|
|Did you log with a computer or by hand?||Computer, using CT||By hand||By hand. Typed em all in the computer later.||Computer||by hand||By hand on clipboard|
|What did you find was the best approach to making SSB QSOs?||Go to CW…||I made only cw qsos but usually work people that call cq. I don’t call cq. More fun on cw||Did not make any SSB QSOs. Tried once or twice, but CW was far better.||Only operated SSB while mobile, and make quick Qs with loud stations, then back to CW||Still trying to make more SSB QSOs, not easy|
|Did you power your rig from the car’s battery?||Yes||Yes||Nope. Plugged it in to the cigarette lighter.||Yes||Yes||Yes, had a local mechanic run cable through the firewall|
|Any special places along the way you especially enjoyed?(scenery, food, etc)||Started out looking for scenic spots (Suffolk and Essex were rather nice), but for the sake of being able to hit more spots, I went for rest stops along highways. In Maine, I just pulled off the road. When I quit on Sunday afternoon, I went to LLBean and then had a lobster dinner. I figured I wasn’t going to win one.||Went up on mountain top for only 1 hour. Nice view.||Found some nice hilltops, and had a nice lobster dinner in Maine Sunday.Mrs. DG took a visitor for a shopping trip in Freeport while I headed to acouple of counties further north.||nope||Northern VT NH and ME are very nice places, even before the main tourist season. Especially like the NH/ME border area.|
|What other mobile activities do you do besides the NEQP?||VHF Rover sometimes. Did the MARAC county hunters contest on the way home from Dayton. Usually listen to 6M for openings. The usual 2M and 440 activities.||Countyhunter contest and put out various counties I go through while in motion both ssb and cw using a tape recorder. Working dx on warc bands and now trying to work all USA prefixes. Out of 861 I have 841.||None. So far, that is. Thinking about VHF hilltopping someday…got 1296?||none||A few QSOs in the Florida QSO Party the weekend is a good way to check things out.|
|Any special advice or comments for someone thinking of going mobile in NEQP 2004?||Stay away from my counties. You also need a plan. I was sort of lucky in find decent places, but I could have done a few more counties if I had a better plan.||Are you working a countyhunter in their contest or NEQP? I found it very confusing.||It’s not as hard as you think to get setup for mobile operation. And it’s a hoot to draw a pileup in each new county.||Go for it! A big high in my ham career, despite only 4 hours and a few counties on Sunday. An absolute blast – you can run EU mobile from NE||It’s really a lot of fun!!!|
|Any questions I forgot to ask?||What do you tell people you are doing when people come over to your car?||No||Any trouble working DX while mobile? Nope. Even with a very simple setup, the faithful DLs, LYs, and RK2FWA were easy to work on all the bands, including 40M, with a little loaded whip.|
The results have three teams of multi-op mobile entries. W1XX/m+K1JX concentrated on four counties in Rhode Island, racking up the top score – while running QRP. K1JB/p+K1MV operated from airports at four counties in Maine, flying between them in a small plane (see photos in last year’s results). KK1W and WB1Z operated using the Hampden County Radio Association’s W1NY/m callsign and racked up 22 counties in CT MA NH RI and VT.
In the single op category, K1KI/m put in a full-time effort, had the luxury of a driver and went through some of the rarest New England counties along the way. He managed to go to 22 counties and make 300 more QSOs than the year before. Doug, K1DG more than doubled his previous score to snag the 2nd place position after visiting 12 counties. Ed, K1EP/m was back for a second year as well, for a solid 3rd place result.
The USA multi-op competition was between the groups at W6YX and N0HF. Both are veterans from the previous year. This year their QSO totals were down – with no 10m and 15m not producing very many QSOs. In the end, W6YX pulled out the victory.
Last year Paul/N4PN topped the list while operating low power in Georgia. This year he was in Florida and turned on the amplifier. The result was the same – a convincing victory with 523 QSOs and 65 counties after the dust settled. The top several high power positions came from around the country – Dave/K6LL was 2nd from Arizona, Bert/N4CW 3rd from North Carolina, and Jerry/K6III was 4th from California.
The low power category had a lot of competition … from Florida. The top three low power entries were fueled by orange juice – just one weekend after the popular Florida QSO party. Bob/N4BP had a clear victory with 340 QSOs in 62 counties, while Dave/N4IG and Jim/K4PV came in 2nd and 3rd. Western scores were led by Paul/W1PR in California, Phil/AB7RW from Washington, and Jim/KI7Y in Oregon. The middle of the country was led by Don/N0YO in Kansas followed by Bill/K5WAF in Texas and Wyndell/W5TZN in Oklahoma.
Will/WJ9B made quite an effort from North Caolina in the QRP category with 229 QSOs in 53 counties. Actually, he would have placed 3rd in the low power or high power categories! Dale/KG5U’s 133 QSO 51 multiplier QRP effort from Texas was enough for 2nd place QRP and would have been 4th high power of 5th in the low power categories.
Canadian scores were led by Brian/VE3MGY who edged out Dave/VE3LFA in the low power category. Note that in 2004 there is a plaque awaiting the single operator winner from Canada.
In the DX category, the RK2FWA club effort was 1st in the multi-operator category with 173 QSOs in 53 counties – and was higher than any of the USA multi-op entires. They hit paydirt on 15m and that made the slim difference. The top DX effort came from Ged/LY3BA with 255 QSOs in 59 counties. Ged improved upon his 2002 winning effort in the highpower category. On low power. Hal/DL5MC pulled out the win with 111 QSOs in 44 counties, ahead of Harry/PA3ARM and Stan/OK1FCA.
New England results
The K1TTT team on the hill in Western Massachusetts took home the multi-single title again, with a record-setting 301K point, 1476 QSO and 136 multiplier effort. The NZ1U group operating at KB1H’s QTH in Connecticut more than tripled their 2002 effort with 860 QSOs and 95 multipliers for second place. Pulling into third place in the multi-single category was Jim/AD1C with 286 QSOs and 58 multipliers. Jim was actually a serious competitor in the MARAC CW contest the same weekend, and submitted his NE QSOs for the NEQP. Not bad!
Dennis/NB1B continued his winning streak with the top single operator high power score – 1158 QSOs and 119 multipliers from Massachusetts. Next on the list were Andy/K2LE in his Vermont home, and Charlie/K1XX from southwest New Hampshire. Each won the plaque for the top score in their state. Seven stations had more than 500 QSOs compared to five the previous year. Ninth place K1PLX operating the Providence Radio Association club station W1OP had the top Rhode Island score, and took home the RI plaque.
The low power category, by far the most popular one, was led by Jim/K1PX, who turned in a 653 QSO, 99 multiplier effort from CT. He was followed by Bob/W1EQ and Bob/WA1Z in third place. Don, K2KQ, was on again from Martha’s Vineyard in Dukes County MA with his portable station, this time with a fourth place finish, just ahead of Joe/NY1S who had the top score (and plaque) from Maine.
The New England QRP battle was won by Bill/K1EV with 284 QSOs and 54 multipliers. Second-place went to Joe/W1TW just a short distance back.
Who are the “Multiplier Kings”?
Who worked all of the counties in each New England state?
All sixty-seven New England counties were on the air during the 2003 New England QSO Party, but no one managed to work them all. There were eight stations who worked all Connecticut counties, and eight who worked them all in Rhode Island – including several from Florida, K6LL in Arizona and LY3BA from Lithuania. The group at RK2FWA in Kaliningrad worked all of them in Massachusetts.
|Worked all Connecticut counties (8)|
|Worked all Massachusetts counties (14)|
|Worked all Maine counties (16)|
|Worked all New Hampshire counties (10)|
|Worked all Rhode Island counties (5)|
|Worked all Vermont counties (14)|
What about the New England stations?
Both AF1T and NB1B worked all 50 states, while K1TTT and K2LE/1 each missed one. No one worked all of the Canadian multipliers but NB1B, K1TTT and K1XX all worked eight different provinces. The same as last year, sixteen New England stations worked 20 DX countries or more.
|Worked all US States (50)|
|Worked at least 20 DX countries|
Looks like the Yankee Clipper Contest Club ran away with the club competition this time! Since they are sponsoring the plaque for the top club competition score this year, the plaque will go to the CT-RI Contest Group. Again this year, the Hampden County RA and Meriden ARC each generated at least four entries. Make sure to add your club name to your entry next time.
|Yankee Clipper Contest Club||1,684,614||41|
|CT-RI Contest Group||220,084||9|
|WPI Wireless Assn||28,392||1|
|Sturdy Memorial Hospital ARC||27,494||1|
|Addison County ARA||19,250||1|
|Pine State ARC||17,708||2|
|Hampden County RA||13,803||5|
|New England QRP Club||11,898||2|
|Contoocook Valley RC||11,071||2|
|Fall River ARC||10,704||1|
|Cheshire County DX ARC||5,811||1|
|Greater Norwalk ARC||3,024||1|
|Pawtuxet Valley ARC||1,168||1|
|Newport County RC||1,166||1|
|Southern Vermont ARC||680||1|
|Middlebury College ARC||420||1|
Activity by County
We worked hard to make sure that all New England counties were active during the 2003 NEQP – but it was pretty light in several of them. Here’s a summary of activity by county reported in non-New England logs – note that only two stations were active in Hampshire MA, Newport RI, Sullivan NH, Piscataquis and Waldo ME, and Lamoille and Windham VT. Only one station was active from Knox ME, Carrol NH, and six counties in VT (Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Orleans, Rutland and Washington).
|State||QSOs||Stations (in min 2 logs)|
We’re sending out participation certificates to everyone with 25 QSOs or more, along with the printed results. Thanks to Scott/W1QHG for doing the certificate design work!
|2003 New England QSO Party |
Plaques and Special Awards
Certificates will be awarded to the top scorers (25 QSO minimum) in each New England county, U.S. state, Canadian Province and DXCC country.
Special plaques have been awarded to these top scorers:
|USA – single operator||Southborough Rod & Gun Club (W1SRG)||Paul Newberry, N4PN|
|USA – single operator low power||Laci Radnay, W1PL||Bob Patten, N4BP|
|USA – single operator QRP||Joe Zdrojowy, NY1S||Will Baber,WJ9B|
|USA – single opr(W5-W6-W7-W0)||Huckleberry Mountain Contest Club (W1SSB)||Dave Hachadorian, K6LL|
|USA – single opr(W2-W3-W8-W9)||Jim Monahan, K1PX||Bill Shaw, K3EGE|
|USA – any category (California/Nevada)||Calif QSO Party – Northern California Contest Club||Gerald Bliss, K6III|
|USA – multi operator – single transmitter||Dave Robbins, K1TTT||Stanford ARC – W6YX (N7MH W6LD AD6FX AE6KU AE6EJ)|
|DX – single operator||Yankee Clipper Contest Club||Gedas Lucinskas, LY3BA|
|DX – Russia – any category|
(min 50 multipliers/200 QSOs)
|Dmitri Y Jikharev, N2OW/RA9USU||RK2FWA (UA2FB UA2FF UA2FM RN2FA)|
|Clean Sweep – Not First, but Furthest||Dennis Egan, NB1B||(no winner this time)|
|New England – single operator||Yankee Clipper Contest Club||Dennis Egan, NB1B|
|New England – single operator – low power||Algonquin Amateur Radio Club||Jim Monahan, K1PX|
|New England – single operator – QRP||Blackstone Valley Amateur Radio Club||Bill Birtcher, K1EV|
|New England mobile – most counties activated||Tom Frenaye, K1KI||W1NY/m (Jim Mullen, KK1W, + Jim Allen, WB1Z)|
|New England mobile – most QSOs||Boston Amateur Radio Club||Tom Frenaye, K1KI/m|
|New England – multi-single||Wellesley ARS||Dave Robbins, K1TTT (+ Dmitri Jikharev, N2OW, Tom Homewood, W1TO, Brian Szewczyk, NJ1F)|
|Connecticut – single operator||Candlewood ARA||Jim Monahan, K1PX|
|Maine – single operator||Merrymeeting ARA, Androscoggin ARC, Yankee ARC, Portland Amateur Wireless Assn, Piscataquis ARC||Joe Zdrojowy, NY1S|
|Massachusetts – single operator||Framingham Amateur Radio Association||Dennis Egan, NB1B|
|New Hampshire – single operator||NH-ARRL||Charles Carrol, K1XX|
|Rhode Island – single operator||CT/RI Contest Group||W1OP (Dennis McCormack, K1PLX)|
|Vermont – single operator||Jim Jarvis, N2EA||Andrew Bodony, K2LE/1|
|MA – Hampden County – single operator||Hampden County Radio Association||Dave Cayen, AA1MM|
|New England Club||Yankee Clipper Contest Club||CT-RI Contest Group – WA1RR|
If you’d like to sponsor a plaque for 2004, please contact us at email@example.com
The top USA (non-New England) single operator winner: The Framingham Amateur Radio Association has donated a Lobster dinner for two from Legal Seafood of Boston to the USA single op (non-New England) winner.
For 2003 the winner is Paul Newberry, N4PN!
The top Florida score: One gallon of Paul Tibbetts (K1PT), somewhat world famous, chowdah. He will personally prepare, deliver, and participate in the consumption of said chowdah at the time and place of the winner’s choosing.
For 2003 the winner is Paul Newberry, N4PN!
Other top USA (non-New England) scorers:
- Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream – 250+ QSOs
- K6LL N4BP
- Maple Syrup – 150+ QSOs
- W6YX N0HF N4IG K4PV K3EGE NF4A KK4TA WJ9B
Thanks to everyone who sent in electronic logs, it made the log checking process go much easier. There were 265 logs overall, with 200 in electronic format (75%) and 65 on paper. We took the time to convert all of the paper logs to electronic format for log checking. If you operate in 2004 we’d sure appreciate it if you’d use electronic logging – it makes the log checking process go a whole lot quicker!
For non-New England stations, cross checking was possible on 7,821 of the 9,826 QSOs reported (79.6%). Of the 431 QSOs not allowed (5.7%), the break down is as follows:
|QSOs||Reason not allowed|
|48||Not in log|
|5||Time was outside of contest period|
|431||Total of QSOs disallowed|
For New England stations, cross checking was possible on 13,330 of the 31,573 QSOs reported (42.2%). Of the 1802 QSOs not allowed (5.7%), the break down is as follows:
|QSOs||Reason not allowed|
|100||Not in log|
|1||Time was outside of contest period|
|1,802||Total of QSOs disallowed|
Of course, people are encouraged to leave duplicates in the log and there is typically no penalty for duplicates. The errors that “count” are those where you got the callsign or QTH wrong, or where the QSO didn’t appear in the other station’s log. New England stations do have to copy the full exchange (county and state) or the QSO won’t count. We started enforcing that rule this year. We didn’t assess any extra penalty for any of the callsign, QTH or not in log errors – but are considering it for the 2003 contest.
Thanks to the various software authors for supporting the New England QSO Party. Based on the information in the electronic files we received, here is what people used during the 2003 NEQP.
NEQP Discussion Mailing List
You may want to join the NEQP e-mail reflector. You can use it to pass along comments, suggestions and ideas, to let us know about your plans for the next NEQP, or just to keep an ear on whatever activity there may be between now and then.
To join, go to this URL –> http://www.kkn.net/mailman/listinfo/neqp
You’ll find some good comments and a few photos from NEQP participants in the pages of soapbox comments –> soapbox
Thanks to everyone who helped to make the 2003 NEQP successful. We hope you’ll be back in 2004!