2014 Soapbox Comments

Writeup | New England Scores | Scores from Outside New England | Breakdowns of Top Stations | Soapbox Comments

Non-New England W/VE stations

AB3TM – First time trying to work all three QSO parties, what fun! Just can’t understand why I didn’t find any Idaho stations. Thanks to all the great ops in 1, 7, & 9 land!

I was out of town Saturday and recovering from the trip on Sunday morning, plus caught the first 6m opening of the year on Sunday, but after that, had a lot of fun in the contest and it was great to see the level of activity.

AI4SV – Thanks for running the contest.

AJ0CM – Thanks for the great time!

K1RQ – The bands were a bit lacking in propagation this weekend. Rig Kenwood TS 940SAT Antennas are ham sticks on all bands mounted on the ground. I live in a retirement community in Florida where large antenna and towers aren’t allowed.

K3TW – any thanks to the organizers and the mobile stations for making the NEQP a great success.

K6WSC – Didn’t get nearly as many as I had hoped, but conditions took a dive for me for some reason!

K9DY – Thanks for a great contest. See you next year.

K9GDF – Antenna is rain gutter and down spouts.

K9UIY – Thanks to all for pulling my QRP sigs out of the pile ups!! Had a great time and many thanks also to all those that hit the road giving many mults to those in the hunt. Would have loved to have gotten all but ended with 61 anyway. Hope to BCNU all again next year!

K0GEO – Another truly fun NEQP! Thanks very much for the QSO’s and see you next year!

KC0DEB – Never done this “3 in 1” QP’s before, the N1MM IN7QPNE module worked great though. This was fun! Don’t know how this is going to work out on the sponsor side, but working all 3 QP’s at once was a blast!

KD8HAM – Thanks for the contacts

KF5WFL – My first contest ever! Hard work with the band conditions, but lots of fun.

KI0I – Great idea the three band log file! How easy not to switch between logs for each QP. Was a lot of fun with lotsa activity on the bands. 73 and thanks

KJ3Q –
I came home early and was able to turn on the radio for a bit. I hope everyone had lots of fun this year.

KX7L –
Got a very late start on this one due to family obligations. Not sure I missed much though – propagation on 15 and 10 seemed poor here, with lots of QRN. 20m seemed pretty slow. Things livened up quite a bit once the Sun went down though, and I had good luck on 80 and 40. Spent a fair amount of time fiddling around with the new rig – a KX3, and HR-50 amp. Thanks for the Q’s!

It was a fun contest!

N4GG – Thanks for a great contest! Sorry about the dupes – next year its one contest at a time.

N4PN – Another fun weekend… Thanks to K1KI and the team for putting on the show… WA1Z, W2PV(NJ1F) and NZ1U kept the bands hot.. NZ1U made it to SUFMA for the sweep.. This is one of the bet every year..

A very good turnout in New England.

ND3R – Great contest again this year. See you all next year.

ND9M –
Great to see all the activity on several bands. Too bad there weren’t many stations that could hear my 2 watts!

NE8J –
All contacts, cw, with Alpine screwdriver antenna inside a flagpole, using 70 watts.

NF4A –
At the end of the first day, I was on target to have a sweep and a great score, based on the schedule of the mobiles for Sunday. However, enter the tower crew from hell…..I had to be at one of my broadcast towers at first daylight Sunday morning so that the US Coast Guard’s contractor could replace a vital piece of equipment that was mounted on my tower 900 ft above ground. My FM broadcast antenna was just above the equipment on the tower so I had to be there to turn down the power from the normal 100kw ERP so a safe level for the tower crew to do the work-and be there to insure that the power stayed at that safe level….long story short, the tower crew from hell took 10 hours to do what normally is a 2.5 hour job. Needless to say, my NEQP hopes quickly went down the drain….but, today there was solace in the mail…..my 2 plaques for furtherest clean sweep and #1 US M/S for the 2013 NEQP. There’s always next year as they say.

NO2D – Band not open here on Saturday, but great on Sunday. Family fun took me away from the fray way too early, but family comes first.

NT4Z –
Fun Contest. The bands were quite noisy but was still able to make some contacts. Thanks to those who work behind the scene who made this contest possible.

This year’s objective: don’t be a checklog !

W2SA –
As always, a great event with lots of activity!

smallest score yet but here it is. Had ommitments on Saturday so missed that day. 80/40
seemed to be the bands here Sunday. Looks like a good turnout. CU next year.

W4CC –
I wish more regions would do this. Great fun!

W9ROG – I would have given this contest more attention if there was a SSB only category. Maybe next year.

WC7S – Thanks for all the fun. Great to see all the friends, thanks for the Qs.

WA4JA –One of the friendliest contests around! FB job.
WN1GIV(N4BP) – Missed Addison, VT for the sweep. It was on WA1Z’s mobile route, but I must have dozed off.. He and NZ1U/M kept me interested. Great job! NZ1U – 22, WA1Z – 16, W2PV – 11 counties.

WN4AFP – This was my first NEQP and it was a blast.. I look forward to seeing the results..

DX stations

CT7AIX – First NEQP for me.

EA5IIK – FT 757GX, magnetic loop. Thanks for the fun

F8BFU – Work only on 21Mhz in CW

G4JFS – First attempt to log 3 contests at once with NIMM logger

HK3Q – Used the N1MM logger for three QSO parties.

IV3AOL – Finally broken the barrier of 100 QSOs in QRP mode from Europe! 108 QSOs with FT817 (5W) and home-build G3TXQ Hex Beam + dipole for 40m.

JA9CWJ – Tnx contest!

M5Z (JK3GAD) – Some station is kind enough for EU station to send both exchange, one for NEQP and one for ARI contest but they tend to send CW too fast to be copied both of them at once….

ON3ND – A real pleasure to sent a small log… 73 to all entrants…

SM5DJZ – I found it to be a very interesting Contest and with Very high activity, so perhaps next year I will be more active in just NEQP!

UA3AGW – Thanks to Tom K1KI for his effort in organizing another big NEQP event and to everyone who did not forget to beam North-East and work me. Special thanks to mobiles:
– Bob, WA1Z was strong and easy to work on 15 -40 mtr bands and even readable on 80 though I had no chance to break local US pile-ups there.
– Jay, W1UJ using Barnstormers Club contest call NZ1U was always able to recognize my callsign in the crowd and even used to send “tnx Dima” during every QSO we made. Maybe it’s due to a good memory of my visit to KB1H/NZ1U shack for Barnstormers team joint effort in CQWW CW 2012. Thanks so much, Jay!

HF propagation was not that good as in 2013 when I made my best ever result. 15 and 20 mtr bands opened very late to US here and closed very early. 40 mtr was a big problem with BARTG RTTY Contest QRM and nearly no SSB activity below 7200 Khz. Another problem was my broken Mag340 Yagi, so I had to use a non-effective low dipole and made less than 20 Q’s. 80 mtr is a big challenge from UA3 to USA in May, especially in QSO Parties when nobody is expecting for DX calls : !
Anyhow I managed to make 9 Q’s for the first time in NEQP. Since NEQP is one of very few QSO parties encouraging DX Q’s as mults, I would really appreciate W1 guys and at least mobiles to give periodically a special chance to DX callers in the hours of good inter-continental propagation. Had a real chance to make a clean sweep from zone 16 in 2013 but was unable to break through endless US pile-ups on mobiles. Thanks again to everyone who replied to my call and cu next year!
Best 73’s from Moscow!

New England stations

AB1VL – Thanks to all the patient ops who worked me on 1st NEQP es 1st QRP QSO Party. All contacts uploaded to LOTW.

K1ESE – I’ve done better. I should have stayed longer on Saturday night. Quit at 350 QSOs and went to bed. Conditions here on Sunday were poor. Nothing on 10m and only a few on 15M. 20m was the workhorse with more than half of my points. Ran the entire time, no S&P. Some software problems lost me a handfull of contacts. But, the hardware held up fine. Orion 2 and K3, KPA500 amp, Palstar tuners, two wire doublets up 80′. One of my favorite contests, thanks to Tom and the gang.

K1GQ – CW only, 16.2 hours, 92 band changes. 5-banders: W2CS K8MR. If you didn’t work me, you weren’t trying

K1IX – Casual operating …low score but high fun.

K1JB – Got to spend some time Sunday that I didn’t expect to have and had some good runs — especially during the last half-hour on 20 SSB. Ended up with almost equal CW and SSB Q’s but that certainly wasn’t planned. Much of the time I wondered if someone had clipped my coax since the bands seemed so dead. And then all of a sudden some nice DX (VU, YB, JA) would call in or a pile-up would materialize for a half-hour or so and then things would go dead again. Never heard a signal on 10 all weekend and never heard anyone on 75 SSB the few times I tried it. I can’t complain about the result, but it seemed like a lot of hard work digging out weak signals. I had hoped for endless pile-ups on 10 and 15 like the old days. Maybe next year! Wonder how the mobiles did. It must have been a struggle to maintain focus with dead bands and cold rainy weather. I admire their efforts.

K1LKP – Once again, I had a lot of fun working the New England QSO Party event.

K1TH – A few on 40CW on Sat. Then a little run late Sunday afternoon on 20CW. Less than an hour. But lots of fun.

K1ZK – Celebrating my 34th birthday with family this weekend, so I didn’t have much time to operate.

K1ZZ – Did not use DX cluster much but it was on so I’m multi-single.

K5ZD – Bands were not too good when I was on.

K6ND – Really tough propagation. I can’t imagine being mobile this past weekend. It must have been tough. Worked only 2 stations from NJ. Never worked DE, SD, KH6 or KL7. Missed VE8, VY1, VY0. Best DX was UA0, JA, ZL, VK6.

KB1MAO – Gave it a go both days but between other commitments and band conditions/low end antenna this year didn’t go well. I had fun anyway.

KB1VWQ – Thanks to the NEQP Staff for their time and efforts. I was QRV for as much as I could do. I did had a schedule conflict Sunday AM with a MS Charity Walk for my daughter Shannon, that I was team captain for. That being said, this was a tough go around this year. Seemed a struggle on 20m most of the day, and did have good runs on 40m on both Saturday night, as well as Sunday early evening until QRT Sunday. As a New England Station, these are fun to do every year, and look forward to next year.

KB3PD – Great contest this year – as always.

KC1AAQ – Well, first ever contest entered. Hope you don’t laugh at me….I normally use HRD for casual logging and couldn’t quite get my arms around any of the other programs. Exported ADIF and then imported to N1MM Logger to get to Cabrillo format. Did make 35 QSO’s but of course none were in New England on 20 meters. Had fun trying….

KE5ISO – I think I was better set up for the NEQP than I have ever been. But my score is about 1/4 of some of the earlier. The propagation from my home WASN’T.

N1AIA – Another NEQP come and gone.

– Thanks to Tom and the entire NEQP crew for another great event! I had my best ever Saturday with 500+ QSO’s. I knew I was going to have very little time on Sunday due to family activities and needed a good Saturday. I did manage to squeeze in 9-10AM and 6:40-8PM on Sunday. This really helped my score. Overall this was my best effort with 617 QSO’s and a new Norfolk County MA record (I broke my old record by 3,200 points).

I was really hoping for some new multipliers Sunday evening on 10M but the band was totally dead. Same for 15M. I was very surprised to end up with only 10 QSOs on 10M. I went to 20M for about 20 minutes and then had a very nice run on 40M to close out the contest. I picked up 4 new mult’s in the last hour. Highlights: 42 NE counties (best ever for me), 46 states, 8 provinces, 18 countries. Having ZL3TE call me on a very quiet 10M Saturday evening. Working 131 SSB QSO’s (not bad for a CW Op !).

Thanks to the many stations I worked on several bands/modes. These QSO’s really helped my score. Special thanks to all the DX stations that participated.

N1EP –
First time contest with CW, FUN!

N1EVK – Missed it last year. Was happy to participate this year.

N1JHJ – terrible QSB & weak signals

N1NN – My 7TH New England QSO Party

N1RLR – It was unfortunate that conditions were so different from Saturday to Sunday.

N1VVV – Last year i missed Texas. This year for some strange reason i missed New Jersey. Oh well still had a blast. Conditions were not as good on Sunday as Saturday when 15 meters really opened up late afternoon. Didnt make any contacts on 10 meters this year.

N3IMU – Chores and family commitments kept me from making a serious effort this year, but I managed to get on the air for a few contacts. Activity seemed pretty good, at least on Saturday night.

NB1N – Thank you for the contest, it was a lot of fun.

NE1QP – Thanks to Dave, K1TTT, for the use of his fine station. Conditions could have been better.

NM1C – First time operating this contest, it was fun! Unfortunately I was trying to get over a nasty cold/bronchitis, so I didn’t operate the full contest. Conditions were rough on Sunday, many signals were weak on the dipole. Thanks to all who pulled out my signal.

NU1U – Only had a chance to operate 6 hours, but still had fun!

NZ1U/m – A fantastic time with good friends. KB1SBC Drove most of the way, N1WK navigated, W1UJ operated. Was in northern ME where we have never gone before. K3/100 with a motorized High Sierra antenna and a Hy-Gain mast with changeable resonators. 2003 Caddy SLS turned 38k miles on the trip. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbtKdE_fqvs Used N1MM for logging and CQ/x for county warnings. 2 networked laptops with N1MM and navigation software/streets and trips 2010. Wireless LAN in the car to network the PC’s and connect the ‘operating’ laptop to the Rig for CAT, keying and GPS with a Comtrol serial-Ethernet appliance on the LAN.

Headed off-track to give out SUFMA after a couple of requests. 2 lucky QSOs in NORMA with a short corner of that county. We did this in 2012 with good results and a better score, The conditions seemed to be poor but steady, thanks for the ‘regulars’ chasing us through the counties.Some Photos; http://w1uj.net/NEQP-2014/
Notes for next rover effort– Pass counties! Advertising to the guys that constantly call from each county change deserve to know when that is!- Pass QSOs to other bands. But fun “shooting the breeze” with nav and driver too!-Have better notifications to the navigator on county changes.-Missed the last 2 hours where WA1Z stated good rates…. :(
Congrats to WA1Z and W6PH! We will see what future Barnstormer efforts bring!

W1AGP – Not much, but ran out of time as wife had “emergency” honey-do for me.

W1END – Rig was FTdx5000 (150w) and Butternut HF6V all-band vertical. That was fun. I have no idea what my real score is.

W1HIS – One antenna for all bands: 70 ft (21m) long and 30 ft (9m) high. Worked all states except ND, NE, SD, MS, HI, and AK; but in Canada worked only BC, MB, NB, NS, ON, and QC. Worked 32 DXCC entities other than K and VE; the only ones outside NA and EU were 4X, HK, HP, JA, and PY. Although conditions seemed only fair, this year’s numbers are nearly equal to last year’s when we were Multi-Single.

W1JQ – Almost entirely running. Started out on 10; there was nobody there, except for some ZLs in a ZL contest of some kind. So I started out with 5 ZLs, which makes me happy, though doesn’t really help the score that much. (I hope I didn’t confuse them too much, since I had no idea what their exchange was. They didn’t complain…) Great rates on 20. 80 seemed dead, though maybe it’s just that a vertical (my only antenna right now) just isn’t right for the band. (Possibly significantly: one of my few 80M Qs was a DL that called me.) At any rate, I never heard much activity on 80.Was amazed at the DX calling in. Didn’t spend ANY time making ARI QSOs. Maybe this really should be the New England DX Contest. Nothing spectacular, but a steady stream of Europeans. At one point, I was wondering if I had run into the Swedish QSO Party. As usual, Sunday seemed quite dead. I could have put in a few more hours here, but didn’t seem worth the effort. There are a lot of multipliers that I didn’t expect to work in a short effort, but seriously: where was KY? And where was QC?

W1MA – Conditions not that great but fun to make a few runs.

W1MSW – Today (Sunday) was brutal. It took everything I had to stay in the game. Very difficult to squeeze into an SSB calling frequency when everyone is on one band That said, overall it was very fun as usual and thanks to K1KI and the rest of the NEQP crew for organizing one of my favorite events of the year.

W1NQT – Operating time was limited and conditions seemed not so hot.

W1SFR – The bands were dead during the day but fortunately picked up in the evening.

W1VE – Well, that was a fun experiment… We are in the midst of getting Remote operation fully running at K2LE/1 in Readsboro, VT. So, Andy and I decided to operate NEQP remotely from my QTH in NH and his house in Long Island. We ran N1MM networked over the internet. Since we only have one K3 remoted in Vermont, we had to take turns operating. We have the Alpha 87a remoted as well as some rudimentary antenna switching. No rotor control yet. Anyway, this was a shakedown to see how it would ring out. Well, the amp control died about 6 hours into the operation, so we went 100w for the remainder of the contest. Then the bands died. Yuck Sunday morning! Not much better throughout the day. I took a bunch of time off as it was boring. Thanks for all the QSOs! Excellent participation by NE stations. Thanks Andy for all the fun!

W1WIU – Thanks to the organizers for another great NEQP ! 40 and 20 meters seemed to be the bands of choice. Used a ZS6BKW (modified /optimized G5RV) up 50′ and had a blast. Hope to see you all again next year.

WA1Z/m – with pilot extraodinaire: Kurt W6PH. Elecraft K3 running off car battery. Two Hustler MO-2 Masts (braced by homemade harness attached to car roof rack) on Comet antenna mounts. Monoband Hustler RM-series coil/whips on top.

Although I discovered a problem with my car’s AUX stereo jack in the center console a day before the event, between what we could get out of one of the speakers and the K3’s own speaker we were still able to pump enough audio into the car for Kurt to listen in to the action. There was a lot of ignition noise (or fuel injectors) on 40m. Kurt would keep the accelerator down while I was transmitting and let up if there was a weak signal calling so I could get the call and report! Twenty and 15 were completely quiet.

Kurt and I were moaning and groaning most of the day Sunday ” it felt like a nearly unbearable slog most of the day. After a record-breaking 2013 effort in the NEQP, the score contracted a bit this year. I kept trying to keep in mind that the NEQP is notoriously a slow starter on both days. Aside from 15 Meters being seemingly open without activity Saturday afternoon at the start, we were still on a record pace after the first operating period with 637 QSOs and 67 Multipliers, so we felt really good Sunday morning.

We headed up to Orleans VT immediately Sunday morning before turning west to Lake Champlain. I had visions of a massive pileup for a county in high demand when we got there. We spent 33 minutes and got 21 QSOs out of it. :-( Same thing happened in Grand Isle. Nothing seemed to be working and our only hope was that we’d have the normal Sunday afternoon “crescendo” to the end of the contest when activity/rate tend to steadily increase (at least this is my experience as a 9-year mobile veteran).

We started to sense the rates improving around 2000z, but we were still grousing how week signals were and that we couldn’t get a really good rate going. But I kept giving Kurt an update on QSO totals about every 50 or so and before we knew it I was saying a fairly big number. We started to grouse less.

In the last 1.5 hours, the 60-minute rate finally broke 100/hr. It stayed above 100 until the end of the contest, peaking at 117 and settling back to 115 for the last hour. Now we were in a good mood. 🙂 Originally the plan was to finish at the border of CHEshire and HILlsborough county with no activity in HILNH. But Kurt cut SULNH short and raced through CHENH so we could spend the last 20 minutes in HILNH which proved to be a good idea as the rate on 40m was phenomenal (compared to all day on Sunday).

77 Multipliers break down as 52 St/Prov and 25 DX. Down from 1472/88 from last year. There were a lot valleys with high terrain right next to the road. Kurt and I both think that roving in Vermont is more difficult than Maine for this reason. Besides propagation and activity the terrain was definitely a factor in a lower QSO total. Very happy with our totals.

For st/prov mults, we missed DE, MS, NM and NV (yeah, W1AW/7 was active all day Saturday from NV – I know), KH6, KL7. Missed NF, LB, PEI, and the territories in VE-land.

I was reminded by folks far smarter than I am that signing /M in a CQ transmission is a BAD idea in these QSO parties. RBN/Skimmer doesn’t help “alert” CW operators who use that god-forsaken, um, Thing (tongue-in-cheek folks ;-) that I changed counties; I should’ve sent the county designation after / instead. Lesson learned….

It’s nice having a buddy along for the ride in these things. I couldn’t imagine doing mobile contesting alone again ” Now if I could just get Kurt to operate. 🙂 Thanks to everyone for all the QSOs!

WB1HGA – going nice until the band dropped out