2018 New England QSO Party

2018 New England QSO Party

by Tom Frenaye, K1KI – frenaye@pcnet.com

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


Leading up to the 2018 NEQP it looked like the sun was going to be a good friend, then, boom! A solar storm turned the bands into a tough slog as the K-index went to 5 for the first day. It did the same thing later the next day as well. The resulting propagation effects made for a challenge with decent north-south propagation but east-west QSOs were more difficult.

Despite the solar storms, we received 553 logs – 13 from DX stations, 16 from Canada, 358 from USA stations and 166 from New England. There were more than 69,000 QSOs in their logs, down about 10% from the previous year.

The logs show 678 different New England stations reported from all 67 New England counties, but several counties were pretty scarce.. There were 147 stations on from Connecticut, Massachusetts had 226, Maine 82, New Hampshire 116, Rhode Island 45, and Vermont 62. Counties where more activity was needed were Nantucket MA (11 QSOs), Coos NH (14), Orleans VT (15), Dukes MA (15), Carroll NH (23) and Caledonia VT (24).. The Clean Sweep plaque for working all 67 New England counties was earned by Paul/N4PN, who also had the top single operator high power score. Charlie/NF4A logged 64 counties and of special note was Kurt/W6PH with 56 counties worked from California.


Interestingly, compared to the previous year, there were more QSOs made on 80, 15 and 10m in 2018. Even though 20 and 40m were the “money bands” with 83% of the QSOs, the supressed band conditions encouraged people to look at the other bands for activity. One interesting result of the band conditions was that the low power stations (especially the mobiles with limited antennas) had a very tough time. Their totals were down 30% or more from past years.

Valid QSOs80m40m20m15m10m
QSOs made by W1s6,75915,03621,52865157
Different stations worked7152,3423,70715344
QSOs made by non-W1s3,4528,6539,90538913
Different stations worked109212440576


Thanks to all of the mobiles for your big efforts! Logs show activity from WA1Z/m, NZ1U/m, K1EP/m, K1IB/m, N1QY/m, and AJ1G/m plus some more casual participants. Springtime can be challenging on the back roads of New England in early May. In northern New England there are sometimes piles of snow on the side of the road, and there can be snow showers. Spring showers often make for limited visibility on the curvey back roads. Most important for mobiles is that much of the time the potholes and frost heaves that developed in the winter have not all been repaired – making for some bumpy driving.

WA1Z/m had 1286 QSOs and  58 multipliers for 146,740 points in the multi operator category.   Jay/W1UJ operating from NZ1U/m made 745 QSOs in 45 multipliers for 67,050 points as a single operator low power mobile entry.   Mill/K1IB/m tried a couple of county line operations in Vermont and New Hampshire for his first NEQP mobile effort. and 211 QSOs.   Ed/K1EP/m had 200 QSOs from six counties in MA ME and NH.  Ron/N1QY/m made a bunch of people happy with his activity in the Boston area, especially Suffield County.

We put together a summary of where to look for mobiles on 80-40-20m CW based on their activity in 2018.

WA1Z/m (+K1GQ KM3T, oprs)

A  big thanks to those who stuck it out this year in challenging conditions, especially the guys listed below who followed us all weekend: N4PN was worked 46 times, W6SX (30), WN1GIV (28), NF4A (27), W4CB (27), W6PH (26), K9UIY (21), N8UM (19), N4VV (16), W4NZ (16), N4ARO (15). Special thanks to DL3DXX (13 QSOs), M4J (G0DVJ) (4), and XE2S (3) for looking out for us as well.

In total, 397 different calls were worked. US States missed were NE, ND, HI, and AK.  VE Provinces worked: NB, NS, QC, ON. DX Mults: DL, EA, G, HC, I, LY, PJ7, XE.

KM3T and K1GQ came along this year to do a Multi-Single. Kurt, W6PH, who has come out to do the driving for the last 5 years, couldn’t do it this year, unfortunately. These three guys are not only good friends, but have also been contesting mentors to me for many years. It is always a pleasure when we have a chance to do a multi-op together – even when packed into a car for 20 hours!  

(l-r) Bill, K1GQ, Dave KM3T, and Bob WA1Z

We managed to get to all 32 counties on our route plan.  We modified the schedule a little on Sunday to accommodate some extra time in counties we heard were still in demand, such as ANDME.

We had visible aurora in northern New England on Saturday night. While we didn’t stop to look up at the sky, we definitely “heard” it.  40 Meters went long quickly and we had some surprising west coast QSOs on 80 Meters due to the good ears of W6SX, W6PH and NA6O.  Thanks for pulling us out, guys!

The bands ended up not being as bad as we feared going into Sunday.  Twenty had some strange simultaneous openings with long and short skip.  In all, it could’ve been a lot worse!

Not a single deer or moose seen. 

Station:  2008 Honda CRV  Elecraft K3, 100 watts, powered from car battery. SkookumLogger for logging. Two Hustler MO-2 54-inch masts mounted on hatchback door secured by a homebrew roof rack harness. One Hustler MO-4 22-inch mast mounted on mag mount, used for 15 Meters during the day and 20 in the evenings. Hustler RM-model resonators and DX Engineering Capacity Hats for 80 through15 Meters.

WA1Z mobile station showing both antennas

We set up a radio on a small makeshift desk in the middle of the back seat.  Two guys sat the in the back on each side of the radio while the third man drove.

We had two MacBooks available in the backseat, one for each operator.  We set up some basic switching for toggling radio control and keyers so the two guys in the back could take turns operating without having to change positions or pass any equipment.  For the most part, we did operator changes at county lines. As one guy finished up working stations, the other would prepare for the county change and pick up the operating once we crossed the line.  Worked well.

We had the ability to switch to 40 and 20 for the entire contest, but 20 closed down pretty quickly on Saturday night and even earlier on Sunday.  That left 80 as the third option.  We tried to make sure we were toggling between the two best bands available to us at the time in each county.

Our best 60 minute rate was shared by Bill and Dave who had a combined 132/hour in the last hour of the contest between BELNH and MERNH. 

— Bob/WA1Z

NZ1U/m (W1UJ, opr)

What a weekend! The LMR (Last-Minute-Rover) rides again! Although that may be said every time that we do this, driving and riding more than 1300 miles through one of the most amazing regions in the world…participating in an amazing race home whilst gathering QSO’s along the way.

N1WK did an incredible job safely getting us there. This passenger notes that passenger brake pedal was not accessed during the trip.

The NZ1U/m LMR (Last Minute Rover)

Initial plans were to cover the southern counties of RI MA and CT on Saturday, and heading to GRAVT on Sunday. When there was indication there was no coverage for AROME, we decided to head that way.  The trek started early to the North East to catch the first county as PENME with AROME next, so to drive from Southern New England, get to AROME and back for the end we would be hustling…. That we did, and made it within 20 minutes from W1UJ for the end.

Sunday we had similar hustle, forfeit both GRAVT and SUFMA to make it home before the end. We took some new, challenging roads that made the trip worth it (for this passenger, anyway!)  The lookout on top of ‘Mad River Glen’ ski area was amazing, for example.

Conditions seemed poor and we were begging for QSOs most of the time, it felt. Coupled with some RFI issues on money bands slowed things below their potential, but we learn things with each attempt- just don’t remember them by ‘the next time’…sometimes…

Great meals including a ‘New England-esque’ seafood meal with ‘steamahs’ and a Mrs UJ ‘Dayton Grinder’ that had to be consumed on a deserted highway when the YL at the only gas station we found in many miles turned the lock while mouthing ‘CLOSED’ to WK as he approached the door. We were able to fuel up, thankfully.

Vehicle stats;   Day 1/Sat 814 miles 10:30a – 1:10a   Day 2/Sun 506 miles 8:12a – 20:03p

The ‘Blue Ox’ (2017 Chevy Equinox SUV) did ok, as WK and I discussed, it is not the ‘Contest Caddy’ but the Ox has on-board internet and a few other modern amenities that help with long trips. Used an Elecraft Kx3 on the dashboard with the matching Elecraft KPA 100watt amplifier under the passenger seat and a deep-cycle battery charging through a PowerGate fed by the Ox charging system.

Antenna – 40m Hustler HP resonator on the roof via a magnetic mount and a High-Sierra motorized screwdriver type antenna mounted in the 2″ receiver hitch.

NZ1U/m in motion

N1MM Logger+, Google Maps, and APRS.fi and cell phone was spitting the APRS beacons with APRSDroid.  We tried, and used F-key KY keying commands through the CAT control – it worked well enough for all of these QSOs, oddities included; ESC does not work, an F-key was setup as the stop TX, or hitting the paddle stopped TX too, and no type-ahead, it would only send what was typed in at the time you hit send exch… that stunk.  Everything else was ok, nerves were tweaked when the Ox’s on-board broadband Wi-Fi connections were severed, but here we are to talk about it, survivors!

Thanks to all of those who followed us around, that is why we do this for sure.

A little video from the trip –  https://youtu.be/Fx7wG9CGuPc

— Jay/W1UJ

USA/VE/DX Results

Check here for detailed results –>  Score detail 
and for band-by-band info for the leaders –>  Band-by-band

USA outside New England

The top five USA stations in the single operator high power category all came from the southeast. Congratulations to Paul/N4PN for another top finish from Georgia with 261 CW and 288 SSB contacts, along with a sweep of all 67 counties, for 54,270 points. Second place went to Bob/N4BP operating WN1GIV from Florida with 308 CW QSOs in 58 counties for a 35,728 score. The next three spots were John/N8UM from Tennessee, John/K4BAI from Georgia and Bob/N4VV also from Tennessee. Two California stations were next, with Hank/W6SX edging out Kurt/W6PH by about five QSOs! New state high power records were set by Dwight/KM4FO (KY), Riki/K7NJ (UT), PaulW8PI (MI), and Clyde/K9JWI (IN).

W6PH visiting W6SX’s shack

The low power results show that Charlie/NF4A took first place with 200 CW and 122 SSB QSOs in 64 counties for 33,408 points from Florida. Dick/N4ARO from Tennessee was second The next three were from Missouri (Paul/K0JPL), Ohio (Paul/W8TM) and Illinois (Dave/W9QL), There was a tie for fifth actually, with Jay/N4OX from Florida earning the same score as W9QL.

Tom/K3TW from Florida worked hard for the best single operator QRP score, working 146 W1s on CW and 46 on SSB in 51 counties. His 17,328 points were more than twice the score of second place finisher Jim/W4QO from Georgia. New state QRP records were set by Bob/K2YGM (NY), Don/N7FLT (MT), and Mark/NX1K (WI).

Barry/N2BJ (+Paula/K2PAC) combined for the top multi=operator score. They had roughly the same number of CW and SSB QSOs for a total of 341 from 62 counties and a 31,124 score from Illinois. The teams at K7N (NV), and K8BF (OH) set state records.


Canadian scores were led by Marcel/VE9ML who had a single operator low power 187 QSO, 15,356 point effort from New Brunswick. Ken/VE3KP earned the top high power position with 144 QSOs from Ontario for 12,672 points. Both set new records.

Marcel/VE9ML @ VE1EV


Conditions from Europe to W1 were difficult, but Dietmar/DL3DXX earned the single operator high power top spot with 170 tough QSOs and 15,970 points.   Jonathan/G0DVJ(M4J) improved upon his SOHP record from England for second place.   Hector/XE2S earned first place in the low power category with 73 QSOs and a new record from Mexico. Second place went to Alexey/HC2AO with 66 QSOs and the first entry we’ve had from Ecuador.   

For a full list of current records –>  Records

New England Results


The single operator high power category had a really close finish with Martin/AA1ON from Massachusetts just edging out Connecticut’s Dave/K1ZZ for the top spot – the difference was less than ten QSOs! Martin had 860 CW and 420 SSB QSOs with 76 multipliers for 162,640 points while Dave had 947 CW and 150 SSB QSOs and 79 multipliers for 161,476 points Emil/W3EP improved on his SOHP record from New London County CT, Martin/AA1ON improved upon his SOHP record from Middlesex MA. Layne/AE1N at N1E set a new record from Grafton County NH.

The low power category also had a very close finish with Dave/K1VUT from Massachusetts with 761 QSOs and 59 multipliers for 89,798 points just edging out Ed/K1TR from New Hampshire with 712 QSOs and 62 multipliers for 88,102 points. Not too far behind them were Ed/K1ZE from CT with 71,804, Chris/NU1O from Massachusetts with 70,028, and Karl/K1KX from Rhode Island with 56,700 points. Rick/WW1ME improved upon his SOLP record from Washington County ME, Dave/K1VUT set a new record for Plymouth County MA, and Art/K1ARR’s score was the first SOLP score from Washington County VT.

With tough conditions the level of QRP activity was reduced, except that Dave/N1IX gutted it out for 439 QSOs and a multiplier of 50 for 43,900 points, far out distancing the rest of the field. Dave/K1SWL set a new record for Sullivan COunty NH.

The battle of multi operator stations was a close one, with the team at NE1QP (love that callsign) in western MA finishing first with 965 CW and 468 SSB QSOs, 99 multipliers and a final score of 237,402 points. W1XX from Rhode Island wasn’t far behind with 733 CW and 858 SSB contacts, 89 multipliers and 206,836 points. Third place was earned by K1ESE from Maine, setting a new Maine multi-op record.. The rest of the top five were Emil/W3EP CT, Joe/K1JB ME, and Dale/AF1T from NH, all with scores from 112k to 117k. New records were also set by W1DX in New London County CT and W1NVT in Grand Isle VT.

Check here for detailed New England results –>  Score detail 
and for band-by-band leaders –>  Band-by-band

Check out the NEQP records page for details for all record categories  –>  Records

Club Competition

The Tennessee Contest Group earned the top club score, with John/N8UMDick/N4ARO and Bob/N4VV the top three scorers..   There were fifteen clubs from outside of New England with at least five entries, a new record.

Non-New England Club Scores

Tennessee Contest Group18144,169
Potomac Valley Radio Club17111,029
Florida Contest Group9101,642
Society of Midwest Contesters1178,810
Frankford Radio Club1365,916
South East Contest Club956,824
Mad River Radio Club756,448
Georgia Contest Group254,879
Kentucky Contest Group643,565
Northern California Contest Club1641,985
Contest Club Ontario537,670
Maritime Contest Club329,364
Swamp Fox Contest Group323,229
Mississippi Valley DX/Contest Club222,751
Minnesota Wireless Association920,179
Alabama Contest Group419,396
Central Texas DX and Contest Club217,992
Kansas City Contest Club516,644
Bavarian Contest Club115,980
Deep Dixie Contest Club315,098
San Diego DX Club113,230
Niagara Frontier Radiosport212,819
Arizona Outlaws Contest Club610,978
Shenandoah Valley Amateur Radio Club19,594
Metro DX Club29,495
Grand Mesa Contesters of Colorado19,102
Yankee Clipper Contest Club38,292
Cornwall Ranger Station17,826
Holmesburg Amateur Radio Cub17,175
North Texas Contest Club17,035
Southern California Contest Club55,893
Fort Smith Area Amateur Radio Club15,809
Dallas Ft Worth Contest Group35,193
XE DXers15,110
Central Oregon DX Club45,080
Rochester (NY) DX Association14,352
Portage County Amateur Radio Service13,944
USS Wisconsin Radio Club13,648
Willamette Valley DX Club63,470
DELARA Contest Team13,276
Contest Group du Quebec13,132
Big Sky Contesters32,872
Arrow Communications Association12,862
Cleveland Amateur Radio Club12,600
W/K Amateur Radio Club12,438
Murgas Amateur Radio Club12,050
Oklahoma DX Association11,940
Western Washington DX Club21,928
Order of Boiled Owls of New York11,794
South Texas DX and Contest Club11,512
Goshen Amateur Radio Club11,482
QSY Society11,064
Hoosier DX and Contest Club1990
Hoosier QRP1756
Orca DX and Contest Club1680
Middle Peninsula Amateur Radio Club1624
First Class Operators1616
Orange County Amateur Radio Club1390
Mother Lode DX/Contest Club1264
Ole Virginia Hams Amateur Radio Club1204
Colorado QRP Club1200
Pottstown Area Amateur Radio Club1143
CSU Pitesti 1126
Great South Bay Amateur Radio Club190
Russian Contest Group172
Ventura County Amateur Radio Society172
Clark County Amateur Radio Club136
Muncie Area Amateur Radio Club18
NorDX Club14
Northwest Indiana DX Club12

New England Club Scores

Yankee Clipper Contest Club562,583,563
CTRI Contest Group11428,621
Hampden County Radio Association12149,322
Eastern Connecticut Amateur Radio Association171,804
Merrymeeting Amateur Radio Association158,565
Candlewood Amateur Radio Association253,856
Radio Amateurs of Northern Vermont137,284
Preston Contest And DX Society129,650
Meriden Amateur Radio Club421,950
Nashua Area Radio Society217,405
Greater Norwalk Amateur Radio Club116,044
CCDX ARC Keene, NH113,500
Stratford Amateur Radio Club111,016
Addison County Amateur Radio Association18,840
Stamford Amateur Radio Association15,880
Middlebury College Amateur Radio Club15,180
Harvard Wireless Club15,130
Maine Ham Radio Society14,130
Westerly Amateur Radio Team14,096
Providence Radio Association13,300
Lincoln County Amateur Radio Club11,932
Contoocook Valley Radio Club2772
Hop River Radio Club1702
Central New Hampshire Amateur Radio Club1656
Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club1546
Northville Amateur Radio Association199

Activity by County

CountyQSOsStations Active
New Haven71132
New London132915
New Hampshire
Rhode Island
Grand Isle2462

Certificates, Plaques and Special Awards

Digital (Adobe PDF) certificates will be emailed to everyone who made at least 25 QSOs. If you want a paper certificate, please let us know. Please come back and enjoy the fun in the 2019 NEQP!!

Special plaques have been awarded to these top scorers:

USA – single operatorYankee Clipper Contest ClubPaul Newberry, N4PN
USA – single operator low powerDave Sumner, K1ZZ, in memory of Laci Radnay, W1PLCharles Wooten, NF4A
USA – single operator QRPVern Brownell, W1VBTom Warren, K3TW
USA – single opr (W5-W7-W0)Huckleberry Mountain Contest ClubFrank Widmann, WA2VYA
USA – single op (W2-W3-W8-W9)Steve Moynihan, W3SMPaul Kirley, W8TM
USA – single opr low power (W2-W3-W8-W9)Whit Carter, K1EODavid Pritchard, W9QL
USA – single opr low power – W7Michael Therrien, N1MDRichard Maxey, AA5TL
USA – W4 – any categoryGerry Hull, W1VE ex AK4LBob Patten, N4BP (WN1GIV)
USA – multi operator – single transmitterWill and Pam Angenent, K6ND/K6NDVBarry Cohem, N2BJ
USA – single operator – CW onlyHamcraftersBob Patten, WN1GIV (N4BP)
USA – single operator – SSB onlyMark WIlson, K1RODavid Tucker, KA6BIM
Canada – single operator high powerChris Terkla, N1XSKen Dixon, VE3KP
Canada – single operator low powerGerry Hull, W1VE/VE1RMMarcel Leblanc, VE9ML
DX – single operatorYankee Clipper Contest ClubDietmar Kasper, DL3DXX
DX – single operator low powerPete Chamalian, W1RM, in memory of John Thompson, W1BIH/PJ9JTMarco Antonio Soto, XE2S
DX – Southern HemisphereSteve Kercel, AA4AKAlexey Ogorodov, HC2AO
Clean Sweep – Not First, but FarthestDennis Egan, W1UEPaul Newberry, N4PN
Golden Log – no errorsJim Spears, N1NKDwight Orten, KM4FO
Top ClubFlorida Contest GroupTennessee Contest Group
New England – single operatorYankee Clipper Contest ClubMartin Bayes, AA1ON
New England – single operator – low powerDave Hoaglin, K1HTDave Clemons, K1VUT
New England – single operator – QRPBlackstone Valley Amateur Radio ClubDave LeDuc, N1IX
New England – mobileBoston Amateur Radio ClubJay Corriveau, NZ1U/m (W1UJ)
New England – mobile – rookieBob Raymond, WA1ZMill Moore, K1IB/m
New England – mobile – multi-singleBrian Szewczyk, NJ1F, in memory of James Szewczyk, WB1EYMBob Raymond, WA1Z/m (+K1GQ KM3T, oprs)
New England – County Expedition AwardHuckleberry Mountain Contest ClubMASSRADIO, WW1DX (AA1YW, KK1W, W1PY, N1FJ, WD1S, oprs)
New England – multi-singleCheshire County DX ARCDowneast Contesters & DXers – NE1QP (K1MK W1TO NJ1F, oprs)
New England – school clubChris Terkla, N1XSMiddlebury College ARC, W1RMC (Zach Manganello, K1ZK, opr)
New England – single operator – CW onlyAndy Bodony, K2LEAl Rousseau, W1FJ
New England – single operator – SSB onlyFred Reed, KK1KW, and Woody Beckford, WW1WWDale Clement, AF1T
Connecticut – single operator high powerCandlewood ARADave Sumner, K1ZZI
Connecticut – single operator low powerDick Pechie, KB1H, memorial sponsored by the Barnstormers (NZ1U)Ed Shekleton, K1ZE
Maine – single operator Larry Banks, W1DYJJoe Blinick, K1JB
Maine – single operator low powerSue, K1RQ, and Brian Szewczyk, NJ1F, in memory of Dana Cobb, K1RQRick Lindquist, WW1ME
Massachusetts – single operatorFramingham Amateur Radio AssociationMartin Bayes, AA1ON
Massachusetts – single operator low powerChuck Counselman, W1HISChris Scibelli, NU1O
Massachusetts – Hampden County – single operatorHampden County Radio AssnChris Scibelli, NU1O
New Hampshire – single operator Tom Frenaye, K1KIDale Clement, AF1T
New Hampshire – single operator low powerJim Poulette, WQ2HLayne LaBaume, N1E (AE1N, opr)
New Hampshire – multi operator Nat Lee,N1BNC, and Dan Norman, N0HFNat Lee, N1BNC (+ Dan Norman, N0HF)
Rhode Island – single operator CTRI Contest GroupKarl Wherry, K1KX
Vermont – single operator Bob Raymond, WA1ZRobert Litch, N1TRK
Vermont – single operator low powerWest River Radio ClubJason Garneau, K1LOL
New England ClubYankee Clipper Contest ClubCTRI Contest Group

If you’d like to sponsor a new plaque for 2019, please contact us at info@neqp.org

Special Awards

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 2018 the winner was Paul Newberry, N4PN!

Log checking

The log checking process found some mistakes, here and there. There were 552 logs overall, with 541 in electronic format (98%) and only 11 on paper. The best operators have error rates in <3% range. Those with at least 100 QSOs with no errors were N4DW WA2VYA K3WJV K3DMG KW4CW N3QE K3PA and NI7R. Dave/N4DW was the best with no errors in 210 QSOs, earning the Golden Log plaque. Congrats!.

For non-New England stations, cross checking was possible on 22,412 of the 24,097 QSOs reported (92.1%). For New England stations, cross checking was possible on 24,274 of the 45,526 QSOs reported (53.3%).

Logging Software

N1MM introduced N1MM Logger+ and more than half of their users switched to the new version, plus a few additional users. N3FJP and Writelog software were still next in the list with another 20 others, none exceeding ten users. Thanks to WA7BNM for adding the NEQP to his list of supported contests.

Logging Software UsedLogsQSOsPoints
N1MM Logger+31743,0724,037,740
N3FJP’s NEQP856,471398,973
N1MM Logger111,414131,559
TR Log POST462340,549
WA7BNM Web2Cabrillo1251524,659
TR4W 742128,142
NA Version223817,820


You can get a real feel for the contest by going through the various “Soapbox” comments from the big guns, the little guns and everyone in between.  


Thanks to everyone who made QSOs and to those who sent in logs in 2018. We’re making plans for 2019 and hope you’ll join us on May 4th and 5th for the next running of the NEQP!! If you’re from New England, let us know if you’ll be QRV this year – send a message to us at info@neqp.org with the county name(s).