2016 Soapbox Comments

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

Non-New England W/VE stations

K0GEO – Part time effort this year due to Mother’s Day and poor solar conditions on May 8. Still had a great time; many thanks to the great NE stations on the air. See you next year and 73.

K1AUS – Conditions from my QTH to N.E. states poor. Contacted 1 station on Saturday. 3-0 signals from N.E. Sunday and no contacts. Maybe next year.

K1RQ – The propagation was really poor for this NEQP!! I don’t think I worked many that wasn’t a “Super Station” . K1M was all over NE mobile and I only worked him a few times. I worked NZ1U a couple times as a Mobile as well. There were a number of other stations that were going mobile according to the website, but I never heard them.

K2YGM – Conditions were bad on all bands. Running QRP didn’t help but was challenging. Had a great time with S&P on 40/80 though.

K3TW – Disturbed band conditions this year made QRP operating very challenging, nevertheless it was nice to meet some old friends.

K4EZS – band conditions stunk, no where as good as last year but still had fun

K4VBM – Enjoyed my 1st New England QSO Party. Great Fun!

Thanks for contacts, good luck in contest. 73!!!

K5KG – It was a blast working NE IN and 7QP together.

K9GDF – Antenna is rain gutter and downspouts.

K9UIY – Thanks to all for pulling my 5W signals out of the pack. Special thanks to all the mobiles…and for those willing to change bands when 10 and 15 were open to W1 Land from here in the Midwest region. That was fun! Would have wanted better propagation, but we took what was given to us. See you again in next year’s NEQP.

KB6NU – Thanks for a great contest!

KD5ILA – Had a great time. Props not all that good but still enjoyed myself. Thanks to all operators who allowed me to be part of their logs. I appreciated the opportunity to work you all.

KE0TT – Thanks for the party! Some signals good, some weak, but made some Q’s. Thanks for your great copy of my QRP.

KF3EB – TNX for the contest, it was fun. I particularly want to thank those CW operators who were willing to slow down (or space out high speed characters). They really helped to make the contest more fun, for us lower speed CW ops.

KF4QFJ – This event marked my fifth month on the air and your party has made it a memorable milestone. I look forward to future QSOs with New England area stations and to the excitement of next year’s New England QP. I had fun working New England stations in spite of band conditions. I hope all families had wonderful Mother’s Day celebrations!

KJ9C/m – The NEQP backward exchange fouls me up. WASRI was NOT in Washington but It went into my 7QP log….. then I had to move it to this log….

KW5RF – Lot of fun but Sunday propagation made it tough.

N0GB – Thanks for the QSO party! great fun. First NE QSO party ever!

N2BNP – Too bad propagation was so poor on Sunday — Oh well, there’s always next year!

N3KN – Sorry the bands were so weird, but I’m happy to have made as many Qs as I did.

N3RJ – The bands were not very open to the northeast

N4PN – Thanks once again for a great NEQP despite bad condx, a flair, and Mothers Day… Sure missed K1KI and WA1Z – not our on the road this year…. Got Tom in five band slots… Joe, K1JB, led the way with with eight Qs.

NC6K – There were some interesting conditions this weekend. Yesterday was a toss-up between working the multi-contest and getting on 6 Meters for the Sporadic E opening. At one point, I got to do bot as there were some WY stations on USB that I also worked on FM simplex. A major frustration for me was stations from outside the QSO Party areas calling CQ with no indication that they weren’t working all comers. Nowadays, with many stations having calls that don’t reflect their locations, if you’re going to call into the QSO Party Areas, add your state to your call (e.g., NC6K/CA) so out-of-area stations know that you aren’t worth any points. Sunday was not a good day for propagation (K-index of 5), but was still able to work a lot of NE stations on 20 M and even picked up some 40 M QSOs mid-afternoon local time, which was surprising. I have no idea what my scores were for each contest, but I had a good time in any case.

NO2D– Not many contacts, but I always enjoy this contest, having lived for a number of years in Massachusetts, where I was first licensed. The NEQP is one of my favorite QSO Parties. Unfortunately, this year the 7 Land ops overpowered the bands here in Colorado. I look forward to trying again next year. Thanks for the good time.

VE2GT/m – I was in my car atop of mountain (1500′) with a rope dipole attach between 2 trees

W4UTX – Great party! Too bad the bands weren’t so great between Atlanta and NE.

W6NS – Rig: K3s Antenna: BuddiPole 20 ft AGL. WX very strange this year, had to take breaks for lightening/thunder and lower the BuddiPole to prevent wind damage. Had fun and was entertained by the idiosyncrasies of N1MM.

W8KNO – Only got to play Sunday. Conditions were poor/strange. NU1O was the only phone station I heard.

W8TM – Lightning Saturday night.

WA1FCN – This must of been the poorest propagation of any recent NEQP event. Still glad I was there, it’s nice to work all the old home states. i tried to drum up club participation, it sure worked ( ACG ). Thank you to all the mobiles, it really helps activity.

WA6KHK – Between going to a birthday party on Saturday night and spending all Sunday morning for Mother’s Day, we came with a decent score. The bands were in and out again. K1M was an great rover! Good luck to all.

WA6URY – Operated remote from Tokyo, Japan

WN1GIV/N4BP – Lots of free time due to poor conditions gave me the opportunity to notice an interesting combination in NZ1U’s Sunday route. Combining his first two counties with appropriate abbreviations, Barnstable, MA with Dukes, MA shortened to Barmaduke. The two way ferry trip from Wood’s Hole to Martha’s Vineyard must have set him back time wise. Spent most of my time chasing the mobiles since SSB seemed unproductive. K1M-30 NZ1U-23 NJ1F-8 George IV, W1GIV called me on both modes. Last year, missed Nantucket for the sweep. This year worked three on CW and one on phone. But missed three Maine counties for the sweep, not on any of the mobile routes.

WQ6X – This was a multi-contest effort from the W7AYT QTH. Radio was an FT-1000mp into a Comet CH-250 Vertical. You can read more about my contest activity at: http://WQ6X.Blogspot.com

DX stations

DL3DXX – weak signals on 20m and 40m closed surprisingly at 02z before local sunrise. With Sunday QSO rates of 4/hr I gave up after 4hrs. Hope better next year

G3LHJ – Very poor condxs, some of the big stations getting through 9+, but lots of weak ones down in the noise.

PG2AA – Mised the condx on 15m from last year; But then K went up to K7; bands fade out. So a slow NEQP this year for me. Cuagn next year!

New England stations

AB1XW – Wow, that was tough. A combination of equipment problems, Mother’s Day, and the weather spiked my original plan of operating QRP portable from multiple counties. Plan B was to enter the single op, low power category from home and see if I could beat NT1K’s top Hampden County score from last year. I did, but just barely and with a lot of effort. Conditions weren’t great on Saturday but I managed some decent rates in short bursts. Sunday was a different story: no propagation and hardly anyone on the air. It was like jogging in a cold Spring rain, difficult and unpleasant to do, but with an intense feeling of accomplishment afterward.

K1BV – Saturday conditions FAIR, Sunday’s was POOR. Think the sun was not on best behavior, but had a UA6 on 40.

K1EP/m – I tried a last minute mobile effort. The weather was gloomy and wet, not too enticing. First county was Cumberland Maine. Murphy hit early. I forgot my headphones, the laptop charger didn’t charge the laptop, and I never found the switch to actuate the screwdriver antenna. The bands were dead. I was using a new triple magnet mount and I thought maybe the lack of a good ground was a problem with getting out. I fabricated a solid ground strap before going out again Sunday morning. Still no luck in anyone hearing me. I heard many locals, some 7’s and 4’s. Maybe next year I will plan it a little better!

K1ESE – Limited time, poor conditions, my glove didn’t fit, the sun was in my eyes, the other kids were picking on me…..

K1HT – Part-time effort. I wish I had had time on Saturday.

K1JB – DXing was terrible. Only worked a few Europeans, two SA, no Asia, no Oceania, no Caribbean no KH6 or KL7. But had all the lower 48 and a few Canadians call in. 20 CW was where most of the multipliers were but 20 SSB gave me the most Q’s. Never had many stations stacked up during runs, but at times there was a steady stream for long periods. Tried 15 and even 10 occasionally with no luck. Only Qs on 15 CW were two fellow New Englanders and N4PN who requested me to QSY from 20. We then also worked each other on 15 SSB and 10 CW and SSB. That was it for the high bands. Both N4PN and K5KG commented that conditions down south were also bad and they “never heard so many weak signals from New England. “I apparently made a few stations very happy by giving them Maine as their 49th or 50th state for WAS. That’s always fun.

I tried entering the exchanges for the 7QP and Indiana QSO parties into N1MM Logger+, but it wouldn’t take them and gave me an error message. The only way I found to clear it was to wipe out the call and then re-enter it and the state alone. After two or three of those, I gave up and just entered the state. One station in 3-land sent “DC” in his exchange and N1MM logger wouldn’t accept it, so I changed it to MD. I enjoyed the QSO Party and only wish conditions had been better for getting more multipliers. Ah well. Wait’ll next year.

K1KA – Was not expecting to be on due to family obligations. was able to grab just under 2 hours.

K1KI – The first few hours were pretty good, but Sunday was hard! Was CW only on Saturday for 9 hours and 800 QSOs, but Sunday morning the bands were lifeless. Decided to try SSB and found plenty of activity on 20m, and later on 40m.Alternated about 30 minutes of SSB then CW for most of the day. Managed to work all states (SDak was the last one), missed VE6 VE8 VY1 VY2 and most of Europe… I always enjoy working new callsigns and now have plenty in the log from the SSB effort. Looks like the magic distance for QSOs was 900-1000 miles. See you next year. Conditions will be better…

K1LOL – Hopefully next year will be a better year :)

K1M/m(WC4E) – Approx 950 QSOs / 71 Mults about 18 hours operation. ~1000 Miles (Including traveling to starting points) in 6 states and 34 counties. It was just a personal goal to visit all 6 states and put on 30+ counties as a pure Single Op, No driver.

Random thoughts: Weeks of prep! MANY hours on Google Maps, mob-rule com, and Mapquest, scripting the entire trip county by county. A huge thanks for to everyone who called in!! Special thanks to the FCG group who hung in there despite the condx and stayed with it: WN1GIV (N4BP), K5KG, K4RUM, K0LUZ, N4OX and several others. NEQP diehards (K9PG, N4PN, W6SX, KU8E (Part of W4AN/m in FQP)

Used a Garmin Navi w/Tyre & Basecamp to mark County lines and safe stopping points . Worked well. Life saver, I could concentrate on driving better without having to worry about finding the next exit and place to park. Much different than FL, very few states clearly mark County lines, Maine seems to do in the median but only when there is a “town line” also. RI, NH & VT seemingly non-existent (learned that from last year). MA is hit and miss from what I can tell. I need to bring in NO5W software next.

Wish I wouldn’t pick the smaller dark back roads to hit counties late at night, The 80Mtr whip on the screw driver antenna hits everything. Sometimes I was sure it would damage the antenna. No issues, I think I broke some small branch though. The Scorpion SA680 antenna is an awesome beast of an antenna. All equipment worked well, just not the propagation. Did I see an A index of 70? K of 7?! No wonder so many CQs went unanswered!! Just brutal. Saturday Night was crazy local 80 meter signals sound like they were over the pole. 40M when long and gone way early. My one SSB QSO with Bob WN1GIV, painful 5 minutes calling him right during a solar event) Even with the 7QP, I missed WY again along with DE and SD.

Off track random thoughts. OK, time to retire the 2002 20lb Dell Laptop with Windows XP. It served me well in over 15 years and many mobile events. I think I hit a Dunkin Donuts in every state this weekend. Added a few more to my DDCC count. I think I’m around 50 on my way too 100 different DD. (I have no idea why, can’t help it. After 30+ years of mult chasing I’m always thinking how many ___ can I get).

Central Maine was interesting, on my way to my starting point, one guy in a huge muddy 4×4 pickup truck was trying to talk to me with his CB radio waving his hand mic at me. Hilarious! Sorry good buddy, I’m bringing a mic out only once this weekend. One guy at a toll booth (again in Maine) though it was a rocket launcher.

Is it weird, when fueling my truck, that I always strive to get to $xx.59 or $xx.73 in the amount? (especially during a QSO Party) Despite the conditions, it was fun tour of New England!

K1MTD – Being fairly new to contesting, I learn something new each time I participate in one. One thing’s for certain: they’re all fun!

K1RX – As previously stated, about the worst I have ever seen for conditions. Limited operation with some family activities in play but did enjoy the high rates. Next year, maybe a rarer county…

K1RK/K1WCC – Wish the bands could have been a bit better. Mother’s Day took some talent away from the station.

K1ZK – Very difficult band conditions on Sunday.

K1ZZ – I split the regular SO2R setup in half so Linda, KA1ZD and I could operate at the same time but she got bored quickly and I used the weekend to learn my way around a new laptop I’ll be using at CU4DX in CW WPX.

K2LE(W1VE) – Wow! Worst conditions EVAH in this contest! Andy, K2LE and I did this remote, he in Long Island and myself in NH. We were running N1MM locally, and I networked the clients over a VPN. Only one of us was logged into the remote at a time. Thanks for all the calls and QSYs… This is one of my favorites, especially on CW… but man, the conditions were hard to take! CU next Year!

K5KEN – Thanks for a great weekend despite the really bad conditions! Can’t wait for next year!

KA1IOR – Had to work during the weekend, so a limited time. Yes, Sunday was disappointing.

KA1WPM – Not my best showing, but not my worst. Stayed almost exclusively on 40 meters. I’m having some real problems with RFI and my signal not getting out. I think it is time to do some serious antenna work. I also found out that 80 meters makes the smoke detector go off in my living room — at 10:30 PM. The XYL and the dogs were not too happy.

KB1MAO – Not much time this year and conditions on Sunday weren’t good. Hope others had better luck.

KB1VUN – Wish there had been more digital activity!

KB1VWQ – This was my 2nd year as 5w QRP via KX3. Thanks Staff for another great NEQP!!! This year was extremely sweeter by being able to work this NEQP from the porch of the Commandant’s Quarters at NS66 The Springfield Armory in Hampden County, MA during the 100th year centennial for National Parks On The Air NPOTA 2016! Thanks to all chasers who worked my station. See you next year!

KC1PUG – First QSO party as a General!

KK4ADQ – This is the first time that I have submitted a log! I was operating from Townshend VT

N1AIA – Another year, another “I wish I had a better antenna farm.” QRP and poor propagation are not a great combination. Some fun, just the same.

N1API – Biggest goal this weekend was to concentrate on 7QP and all the counites available there.

N1BCL – Sorry, but Mother’s Day was the winner on Sunday. The XYL needed her day!

N1DC – Thanks to Tom and the entire NEQP organizing team for another great event. This contest is always fun despite the conditions this year. My goal was 600 QSO’s and at least 80,000 points. I only has 240 QSO’s in the log Saturday night. I figured some nice runs on Sunday would get me to 600 Q’s. Boy was I wrong!!! Sunday conditions were unbelievably bad. The worst I can remember since I started contesting in 1968. WWV was barely readable at S0/S1 on 20MHz and there was only QRN across all frequencies above 20MHz. A total blackout from that G3 disturbance. I needed QSOs and multipliers and the only band with any propagation was 20M. I tried at least 5 times to work EU with the beam pointed East. No luck. I tried turning the antenna due south and heard a 4Z5 but could not work him. Weird propagation to say the least. No SA or Caribbean stations were heard either on Sunday. Amazing from here!

I moved the antenna West and kept it there for the bulk of Sunday afternoon. Stations were very variable with a lot of QSB and heavy QRN. W6/W7 stations were generally booming but others further east were often in the noise. I worked Bert F6HKA (my only Sunday DX QSO) with the beam pointed West. I tried SSB a few times in S&P mode. Worked a few and got good signal reports. Tried calling CQ a bunch of times but got only one QSO. Back to CW. This turned out to be a tough slog with rates way down compared to last year. I usually average around 60/hour in the log. This year about 37/hour. The big difference was multipliers. Only 3 DX QSO’s (18 less than last year). With the same operating time as 2015 I was down 33,000 points. Time to change my strategy. New goals: 400 QSO’s and 40,000 points. I didn’t realize how tough this would be. Results: 45 states(missed ND,NE,AR,LA,WY), 4 provinces, 31 NE counties, 3 DX QSO’s Thanks to HK3Q, DL3DXX and F6HKA for hearing me and calling.

Worked several mobile op’s outside NE. Special thanks to W9MSE/M who worked me from IL, WI and IN! Great to hear many familiar contest ops on the air. Thanks for the QSO’s. Station: TenTec Omni 7 @100W, WinKeyer USB, MFJ Diff.T tuner, Heil ProSet Plus Antennas: 4 element Yagi @30ft, 80/40 dipoles @35 ft Computer: Windows 7 running N1MM

N1NN – 9th NEQP

N1WXQ – Great time. we will do it again next year.

N1XSS – First time for the New England QSO Party, I had a great time. I wish conditions had been better.

NE1QP/W1TO – Conditions were awful.

NG1I – I haven’t been in a CW contest for a bit but Sunday’s horrible propagation only made it harder and more of a challenge and honing of the skills.

NZ1U/m – What a super time! Again taking a ride across this wonderful region. Good times, good friends, good food! The conditions were poor as we only harvested about half of our normal QSO count, additional excuses could include ferry rides, and Mother’s day errands, and Mother’s day visits! Another factor is the noise…. Sticking to the South this year, there was significant noise in each of the bigger cities, and surprising amount of noise on the entire island of Martha’s Vineyard. Boston and Providence were pretty rough operating from the roads. The roads seemed OK, even with an early W1WBB warning about RI, we still must give them the crappiest roads award! 40m Antenna was shorted and not working until mod-day Sunday……

It is an indescribable experience participating as a rover. We have covered each county of this region, as a rover, except for NAN MA…. This year’s ferry ride will hold us over for a very long time. We had planned and executed an ‘easy’ trip which would include a trip to Martha’s Vineyard island and hand out QSOs from the -vacant in 2015- DUKMA. All went off well, one of our first contacts was W1DX who was already covering the island…. We cut our trip 3 hours short and caught the next ferry back. made ~30 QSOs….. It looks like we had QSOs from 25 counties this year. Could not find space in any ‘mobile window’ Saturday night, and would lose the frequencies often- Sunday was better- Had many guys in the 7QP give me the ‘ol ‘Only 7QP sri’ when trying to work them…..

The NO5W CQ/x software worked well. the county warnings and switching relieves a bunch of stress. 2003 WPX Contest Caddy NO5W CQ/x GPS Enabled Software. S&T 2010 K3/100w High-Sierra motorized with 6′ whip ANT1 Hustler Resonator setup ANT2 WN1GIV(24) N4PN(19) K5KG(18) WA2VYA(16) W8TM(14) K9UIY(14) DL3DXX(11) KE8M(9) W6SX(8) K0LUZ(8) K4SAV(8) K4HAL(7) NF4A(7) K9PG(7)

W1AST – Lousy conditions, busy weekend limited my operating time. PLUS a ham 3 streets away was killing me with his 1.5 KW splatter on 20 and 40 in both phone and cw. I definitely could have heard more and worked more if he hadn’t been running so much power all the time. He just killed me until I just gave up. 🙁 Will try again next year.

W1DYJ – Bad Propagation – solar storm

W1END – An enjoyable time even with rotten conditions. Tough sledding but fun.

W1GIV – This was my second year participating in the New England QSO Party. Saturday night was great on 40m. Most of Sunday the bands were not the best. Only ended up making a couple additional contacts Sunday. It was nice to make my yearly QSO with WN1GIV, the former holder of my callsign. This year I was able to work him on SSB and CW. My claimed score seems to be higher than last year, but we will see what happens when the results come in.

W1HIS – One antenna for all bands: wire, 70 ft long & 30 ft high.

W1HS – Not great propagation, but fun time.

W1NQT – Despite a real ‘dead’ period when the solar storm hit yesterday [Saturday] afternoon, things finished up pretty well.

W1RM – Spent 8.25 hours on and off. As many pointed out there are a number of 4-letter words to describe conditions, good not being one of them. I even did a little ssb!

W1WEF – I had another 150 Qs or so operating mobile in NLNCT and HARCT with no log. My plan for operating from NLNCT was actually to drive to a prime location, the rooftop of the Mohegan Sun Casino parking garage, park in a remote corner, and operate. I even had a laptop with me. When I got to the casino, it was so busy that the whole parking garage was blocked off. I drove to another parking lot about a mile away, only to find condx so lousy I couldn’t make a single Q! ALL I could do was go in and win $37 on my favorite slot machine! By the time I left…wasn’t really there that long… condx improved and I worked about 50 stns on the way home.

W1WIU – Not much time to operate due to Mother’s Day activities. Thanks to the organizers for all their efforts . Hope to see you all again next year.

WB1HGA – Bad weekend for propagation.

WJ1B – Very poor conditions, but managed to work a few.