by Tom Frenaye, K1KI – firstname.lastname@example.org
As the contest started on Saturday afternoon in New England, rain was already falling, and much more was in the forecast. The big Hosstraders hamfest in central New Hampshire had a good turnout on Friday, and a lot of overnight campers, but as Saturday morning proceeded, the crowd fairly quickly cleared out as the weather was supposed to get worse. It turns out that it was only worse further to the south, especially along the coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts where they had heavy rain and strong winds as the storm headed out to sea. In central and northern New England the skies were mostly cloudy with a few showers, then improved on Sunday.
On the other hand, the solar weather deteriorated on Sunday. That was the real story of the weekend.
The number of logs jumped slightly to a total of 299, with 133 from New England and 166 from non-W1 entries. The number of QSOs reported was 38,719, down 22% from 2004. All 67 New England counties were active again, and logs from nine mobiles showed 115 counties – in increase over 2004’s 86 counties.
The contest got off to a good start with pretty decent conditions. Within a couple of hours the K-index moved from 3 to 4 to 5 then 6 as a significant solar storm arrived. When the contest restarted in the morning, the K-index was at 7 and stayed there for several hours before dropping to 4 for the last several hours. What is the K-index? Check here: http://son.nasa.gov/tass/magnetosphere/ob_kp.htm
When the K-index gets to 5, a geomagnetic storm has started, and HF propagation deteriorates. At K=6, aurora should be seen in northern VT NH and ME. A K-index of 7 should generate auroras as far south as Massachusetts. Reports from stations in northern New England indicated blackouts and very poor propagation, while in southern New England it was a little better, but propagation was still quite poor for much of the contest.
The strong storm was the root cause for the decrease in overall QSOs, with 15m and 10m suffering the most. Sunday was particularly slow with little east-west propagation. From New England it seemed like the only stations available to work were W4s. The final results show that those in the southeast took many of the top spots.
|QSOs made by W1s||2,622||9,222||15,556||456||43|
|Different stations worked||397||1,293||2,976||184||33|
The graphs below show that the hourly totals for everyone suffered because of poor conditions. For an interesting comparison, these same two charts were included in the 2003 results.
We sure appreciate the mobile activity in the NEQP! The Hampden County Radio Association has fielded a two-man mobile team every year, and in 2005 they mapped out a plan to make QSOs from as many counties as they could. Jim/KK1W and Steve/N1SR, headed out with the W1NY club callsign and when the dust settled, they managed at least one QSO from 39 counties in all six states!
From the HCRA’s June 2005 Zero Beat newsletter: W1NY/m sets new NEQP Record!
(unofficial for now but…)
On May 7th & 8th Steve, N1SR and myself set out to put our club call in the record books. I don’t know if this rates up there with the W1NY VHF scores in the past but we had a great time. Steve (now known as Mad Max) drove while I sat at the table in back of his E-150 van and tried to work at least one station in each county we visited. The old record for maximum number of counties activated was 24. We had a route that ‘should’ take us though 34 counties. We felt that was both attainable and high enough to ensure success.
N1SR (Mad Max) at the wheel! –>
Well, propagation was not our friend and neither was the weather. Cold, windy & rainy outside Saturday and a geomagnetic storm on Sunday were the major challenges. When all was said and done, Steve drove 1202 miles over the two days, we made 140 contacts (about 60/40 phone/CW) and visited 39 (yes 39) counties! What didn’t go to plan? Lots of ignition noise hampered us and a noisy computer power supply didn’t help either. Band conditions really dropped off Sunday and we were only hearing the strongest of stations. The plan was to end up in Nashua, NH at 8:00 PM on Sunday. What did go right? Steve did a super job of driving (accident & ticket free I might add), the rig/computer/software worked FB and we managed to exceed our goal by 20%. Oh, one more thing. If you ask us we will tell you we ‘really did’ want to visit L.L.Bean, that’s why we ended up in Lisbon Falls, ME at 8:00 PM Sunday!
I hope everyone had a chance to work even a few contacts during the contest. We listened for everyone but only managed to work NE1C in Essex, VT for a few contacts Saturday evening. Don’t forget to turn in your logs so you will have a chance at the HCRA sponsored plaque. Thanks to Tom, K1KI and friends for putting together a great QSO party. Our goal next year — 45 counties!!
Steve, N1SR & Jim, KK1W
John/W1XX and Bob/K1XA collaborated on the other multi-op mobile score with a Sunday visit to two Rhode Island counties. W1XX operated from home the first day to make sure that county was active.
Four single operator mobile stations had more than 100 QSOs – Tom/K1KI/m, Bob/WA1Z/m, Doug/K1DG/m, and Rick/N1RL/m. Tom’s route went from central New Hampshire to Grand Isle County in NW Vermont, then east across northern NH and through central and eastern Maine – for just over 600 QSOs. Bob concentrated on central and southern NH, plus a little MA and ME, for 425 QSOs and second place. Doug travelled to many of the same counties Bob did, and added three in Vermont. Rick couldn’t put in a full effort this year but still put three coastal Maine counties on the air. Brian/NJ1F/m gave out all Vermont counties but still hasn’t mastered the art of mobile logging – his entry never made it to the P O Box.
Newcomer Ron/KB1LXV/m put on six tough to find Maine and New Hampshire counties (and had the most SSB QSOs for any mobile), Steve/W3SM/m visited seven counties in CT-MA-VT and Joel/N1JEO/m drove through eleven in Maine.
Mobile activity from outside New England is fun also, with Frank/KA0GGI/m (now K4EJ) netted 173 QSOs and 52 New England counties using his mobile set up (TS-140 and two Hustler whips on his Silverado) because he’s in a deed-restricted, gated rental QTH near Tampa. That’s the top non-W1 mobile score ever int he NEQP. Mel/KJ9C/m was out running counties in the Indiana QSO Party and worked a bunch of W1 stations.
With the not-so-great conditions you might think scores would be down considerably. Well, some were, some were not! Paul/N4PN continued his winning streak from Georgia with a record single operator high power score of 59,630 – with 224 QSOs on CW and 442 on SSB. He also was the only one who worked all 67 counties in New England. Compare that with his 212 CW and 295 SSB last year and you can see he really dug out a lot of stations!
As we showed last year, here’s some insight into how Paul does it. Lots of time in the chair. Movement between CW and SSB. Changing bands at the right times… But almost 75% of his QSOs on 20m.
|N4PN||May 7th||May 8th|
|Band/UTC||20||21||22||23||00||01||02||03||04||1st day||13||14||15||16||17||18||19||20||21||22||23||2nd day||Total|
Other stations doing well in the SOHP category were Bob/N4BP at WN1GIV/4 in Florida with 32,116 points, followed by John/K4BAI at 22,950 from Georgia, Bert/N4CW with 21,289 from North Carolina and Tom/N2CU in New York with 15,888. The top SOHP score from the West coast was Rex/K7QQ in Washington at 9,676 and 41 counties and Wayne/WA1PMA also from Washington at 6,806 and 41 mults. In the middle of the country Barry/N2BJ in Illinois made all of his 183 QSOs in 52 counties on SSB for 9,516 points, leading John/K0IO at 7,059 from Iowa and Larry/K0RI with 6,900 from Colorado.
In the single operator low power category, Ned/K1GU/4 led the crowd with 33,201 points better than all but N4PN in the high power category). He had balanced effort and tracked down 170 QSOs on CW and 187 on SSB in 63 counties. It wasn’t too many years ago that Ned moved from New England to Tennessee. Bob/WA1FCN/4 from Alabama was close behind with almost as many QSOs and 63 counties for 29,421 points. Third place went to Paul/K0JPL from Missouri at 13,904 and the top West coast low power score was from Bill/N6ZFO from California.
The geomagnetic storm cut down on activity from the West coast considerably. Stations from CA-OR-NV-WA made 57% of their QSOs in the first four hours of the contest! (and 70% in the first five…) The rest of the way it was really tough for them! Let’s hope 2006 turns out a lot better.
Bill/K4LTA from Tennessee continued his domination of the single operator QRP category with 193 CW QSOs in 51 counties for 19,686 points, more than double his winning score from 2004 but not quite enough to top the 20,511 record set by WJ9B in 2003. Will/WJ9B moved to Florida and turned in the number two QRP score with a score of 14,628, and Tom/K3TW grabbed third place from Maryland.
Jim/AD4EB, also from Tennessee, ended up first in the multi-operator category with more than 200 QSOs in 47 counties for 14,335, while second went to Dan/N0HF(+Bruce/WW1M) in Colorado close behind at 12,480 and Jim/AJ1M in West Virginia with 7,560.
First-timer Alan/VA1MM set a new Canadian record working 49 counties in the single operator low power category of 10,682 points – mostly on 40 meters. Doug/VA3DF came up less than 100 points short of his 2004 single operator QRP Canadian record with 8,815 points.
Gary/CU2JT in the Azores together the top DX score with 109 QSOs, all but one on CW, in 37 counties for 8,029 points. Gerhard/DL5AWI was second with a score just one-third that of last year because of the poor conditions – with 6,549 points. The third DX score was sent in by Dennis/ZL/NB1B who was portable in New Zealand. Talk about a tough chore from a long distance in bad conditions! Dennis had 93 QSOs in 35 counties for 5,810 points and the new record from Oceania. For a more detailed story from ZL/NB1B, follow this link –> ZL/NB1B
Overall there were a lot of state records set, though a number were first-time entries from some states. There were two multi-operator records, nine high power, eight low power, eight QRP and two low power mobile records set outside of New England. Add that to one Canadian and five DX records and it sounds like activity was pretty good from New England! For a full list of current records –> Records
New England results
Check here for detailed results –> Score detail
and for band-by-band leaders –> Band-by-band
The team at K1TTT again topped the score listings for multi-operator entries from New England, with 635 CW QSOs, 628 on SSB and 102 multipliers. Ken/W1NG(+net) was pretty close behind with more than 1100 QSOs and 107 multipliers. Some details about K1TTT’s operating methods can be pulled from the chart below – looks like they often switched between CW and SSB each hour, but certainly didn’t stay in one place more than an hour.
|K1TTT||May 7th||May 8th|
|Band/UTC||20||21||22||23||00||01||02||03||04||1st day||13||14||15||16||17||18||19||20||21||22||23||2nd day||Total|
Some photos at K1TTT during NEQP 2005:
The multi-operator category tends to attract some interesting groups of operators. The team at NE1C (John/KX1X, Mike/KB1FWN, Bill/AA1DI and Luke/KB1ISP) in rare Essex County in northeastern Vermont was from the Boy Scouts Venture Crew 510 associated with the Hampden County Radio Association (MA). W1AW in Newington was operated by Frank/N8WXQ, Ken/KD1DD, Jim/KD1YV and Bill/N1TIW from the Candlewood ARA in CT. A list of ten operators from the Fall River ARC (MA) manned the W1ACT/P station portable on Martha’s Vineyard island (Dukes County) off southeastern MA – a trip that also makes Island On The Air hunters happy.
Andy/K2LE/1 came out on top of the single operator high power results this time with 125,330 points, making 755 CW QSOs and working 83 multipliers from Bennington County VT – he says he never did work anyone else in his own county. Mark/K1RX edged out Dave/K1ZZ for second place by a 89,700 to 88,750 point margin. Dale/AF1T put in a big effort with 1057 SSB QSOs for the fifth spot, just behind Ken/K1EA in fourth.
Randy/K5ZD was the operator at AK1W, in the single operator low power category with nearly 700 QSOs and 86,317 points. Good efforts from Pete/W1RM at 69,000, Mike/W1JQ at 67,080 and Joe/NY1S at 60,200. W1JQ appears to be working his way up the list – tenth in 2002, seventh in 2003 and 2004, and now third in 2005… Two single operator low power husband and wife teams made a splash this year, with Anne/WB1ARU edging out OM Tony/WA1ENO with one less QSO and one more multiplier, and Barry/WB1EDI ahead of YL Mary/N1OZF.
The single operator QRP category in New England was captured by John/KO1H with 126 QSOs and 17,368 points – while setting a Rhode Island record. Why is he called “the bubafish”? Second place went to Pi/K1RV in Massachusetts at 8,052 and third to Steve/AA4AK in Maine.
State records were set by K1FQ(+N1FQ) for their multi-operator effort, K1JB’s SOHP entry, and AA4AK’s QRP score – all three from Maine. As mentioned before KO1H has a new RI QRP record. The team at NE1C established a multi-operator record from Vermont.
Despite the poor conditions, there were more than 50 records set in various categories in different New England counties. For a closer look, check out the NEQP records page –> records
Who are the “Multiplier Kings”?
Who worked all of the counties in each New England state?
Congratulations to N4PN for working all 67 counties in New England – for the third time, and no one else has done it once! K1GU/4 and WA1FCN/4 found 63 of them, N4BP/WN1GIV found 62, and N4CW snagged 61. SOLP-mobile KA0GGI/m worked 52 of them, and QRP K4LTA was able to put 51 of them in his log.
|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?
Single operator AF1T and multi-operator W1NG managed to work all 50 states, with K5ZD/AK1W finding all but Hawaii, and K1EA and K1TTT working 48 states. Canadian provinces were tough this time, W1NG put eight in his log, and K1EA found seven (13 stations found six of them). Only ten New England stations worked 20 DX countries or more – with W1NG leading the way at 51 and K1TTT close behind at 48.
|Worked all US States (50)|
|Worked at least 20 DX countries|
The YCCC mega-club turned in the largest number of logs and the biggest total. The CT-RI Contest Club won the club plaque, and there were a record number of clubs with four or more entries in 2005. Make sure to add your local club’s name to your entry in 2006.
|Yankee Clipper Contest Club||49||1,796,531|
|CT RI Contest Club||5||155,177|
|Nashoba Valley ARC||1||33,540|
|Nashua Area RC||1||30,305|
|Narraguagus Bay ARC||1||29,700|
|Hampden County RA||6||26,548|
|Contest Quahogs of RI||2||26,079|
|Central NH ARC||2||21,513|
|Fall River ARC||1||7,332|
|Contoocook Valley RC||1||4,726|
|Green Mountain Wireless||1||2,756|
|Pen Bay ARC||1||2,527|
|Franklin County ARC||1||304|
|Middlebury College ARC||1||288|
|Ocean State AR Group||1||98|
Activity by County
It’s great when a plan to get all of the counties on the air works out, and for 2005 it worked. Nantucket County MA was only represented by W1AWB but he made quite a few people happy with QSOs. Four others only had two stations QRV – Coos NH, Dukes MA, Grand Isle VT and Rutland VT. Five counties had more than two stations active but 25 QSOs or less in the logs – Somerset ME (25), Knox ME (20), Windham VT (20), Franklin ME (19), Piscataquis ME (11) and Orleans VT (3). Middlesex MA edged New Haven CT for the most active county.
Certificates have been sent to everyone with 25 QSOs or more, and printed resultswere mailed to everyone who sent in a log. Thanks to Scott/N1AIA for doing the certificate design work, and to Bill/K1GQ for doing the really nice job on the printing.
|2005 New England QSO Party |
Plaques and Special Awards
Certificates were 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||Ned Swartz, K1GU/4|
|USA – single operator QRP||Joe Zdrojowy, NY1S||Bill O’Kain, K4LTA|
|USA – single opr(W5-W6-W7-W0)||Huckleberry Mtn Contest Club||Paul Haefner, K0JPL|
|USA – single opr(W2-W3-W8-W9)||Jim Monahan, K1PX||Tom Williams, N2CU|
|USA – any category (California/Nevada)||Calif QSO Party – Northern California Contest Club||Bill Haddon, N6ZFO|
|USA – multi operator – single transmitter||Dave Robbins, K1TTT||Jim Hall, AD4EB (+ net)|
|USA – single operator – CW only||K1EL Keyers||Bill O’Kain, K4LTA|
|Canada – single operator||Chris Terkla, N1XS||Alan Prosser, VA1MM|
|DX – single operator||Yankee Clipper Contest Club||Gary Wikstrom, CU2JT|
|DX – Russia – any category|
(min 50 multipliers/200 QSOs)
|Dmitri Y Jikharev, N2OW/RA9USU||(no winner this time)|
|Clean Sweep – Not First, but Furthest||Dennis Egan, NB1B||Paul Newberry, N4PN|
|New England – single operator||Yankee Clipper Contest Club||Andy Bodony, K2LE|
|New England – single operator – low power||Dave Hoaglin, K1HT||AK1W(Randy Thompson, K5ZD)|
|New England – single operator – QRP||Blackstone Valley Amateur Radio Club||John Sexton, KO1H|
|New England – mobile||Boston Amateur Radio Club||Tom Frenaye, K1KI|
|New England – mobile – most counties activated||Tom Frenaye, K1KI||W1NY (Jim Mullen, KK1W and Steve Rodowicz, N1SR)|
|New England – multi operator mobile||Brian Szewczyk, NJ1F, in memory of James Szewczyk, WB1EYM||W1NY (Jim Mullen, KK1W and Steve Rodowicz, N1SR)|
|New England – multi-single||Wellesley ARS||Dave Robbins, K1TTT (+Tom Homewood, W1TO + Mike Perry, WM1K)|
|New England – school club||Chris Terkla, N1XS||(no winner this time)|
|New England – CW only||Andy Bodony, K2LE||Andy Bodony, K2LE|
|Connecticut – single operator||Candlewood ARA||Dave Sumner, K1ZZ|
|Maine – single operator||Merrymeeting ARA, Androscoggin ARC, Yankee ARC, Portland Amateur Wireless Assn, Piscataquis ARC||Joe Blinick, K1JB|
|Massachusetts – single operator||Framingham Amateur Radio Association||AK1W(Randy Thompson, K5ZD)|
|New Hampshire – single operator||NH-ARRL||Mark Pride, K1RX|
|Rhode Island – single operator||CT/RI Contest Group||Jim Bowman, KS1J|
|Vermont – single operator||Bob Raymond, WA1Z||Andy Bodony, K2LE|
|Maine – single operator low power||Augusta Amateur Radio Assn||Joe Zdrojowy, NY1S|
|MA – Hampden County – single operator||Hampden County Radio Assn||Dave Cayen, WN1E|
|New England Club||Yankee Clipper Contest Club||CT-RI Contest Club|
If you’d like to sponsor a plaque for 2006, 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 operator (non-New England) winner. For 2005 the winner is Paul Newberry, N4PN! Again!
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 2005 the winner is Bob Patten, N4BP (WN1GIV/4)
Other top USA (non-New England) scorers: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream – 250+ QSOs
K1GU/4 K4BAI N4PN WA1FCN WN1GIV
Maple Syrup – 150+ QSOs
AD4EB K4BEV K4LTA K4WW K0JPL KA0GGI/m N2BJ N2CU N4CW N0HF WJ9B
Thanks to everyone who sent in electronic logs, it made the log checking process go much easier. There were 299 logs overall, with 254 in electronic format (85%) and 45 on paper. As usual, we took the time to convert all of the paper logs to electronic format for log checking. There is no penalty for duplicates – we encourage you to leave them in the log.
For non-New England stations, cross checking was possible on 7,888 of the 11,392 QSOs reported (69.2.0%). Of the 571 QSOs not allowed (5.0%), the breakdown is as follows:
|QSOs||Reason not allowed|
|84||Not in log|
|15||Time was outside of contest period|
|571||Total of QSOs disallowed|
For New England stations, cross checking was possible on 11,714 of the 29,253 QSOs reported (40.0%). Of the 1,354 QSOs not allowed (4.6%), the break down is as follows:
|QSOs||Reason not allowed|
|71||Not in log|
|12||Time was outside of contest period|
|1,354||Total of QSOs disallowed|
Log checking shows who is the most accurate in the NEQP. For those outside of New England, the top ten scorers (all categories) had an average loss of 2.4%. John/K0IO followed by K0RI and NF4A had the biggest scores with no errors. Others with significant scores and low error rates were K4BAI N2CU and K0JPL.
In New England, the top ten scorers averaged a 1.9% loss. Dave/K1HT had the biggest log with no deductions. Other standouts were K5ZD/AK1W with only 4 errors in 695 QSOs (0.6%) and K1ZZ with six out of 625 (1.0%) – and N1DC NN1N K1GQ and W1EQ all had 1.0% errors or less.
Thanks to the various software authors for supporting the New England QSO Party! Writelog continues to dominate the software chosen by NEQP participants, with N3FJP and N1MM moving up the list.
|Ham Rado Deluxe||1|
You’ll find a lot of very interesting comments from more than 100 NEQP participants in the soapbox comments –> soapbox
Thanks to everyone who joined in for the fun in 2005. We hope you’ll be back this year for the 2006 NEQP!