2018 New England QSO Party
by Tom Frenaye, K1KI – firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
|QSOs made by W1s||6,759||15,036||21,528||651||57|
|Different stations worked||715||2,342||3,707||153||44|
|QSOs made by non-W1s||3,452||8,653||9,905||389||13|
|Different stations worked||109||212||440||57||6|
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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).
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.
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 out the NEQP records page for details for all record categories –> Records
The Tennessee Contest Group earned the top club score, with John/N8UM, Dick/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 Group||18||144,169|
|Potomac Valley Radio Club||17||111,029|
|Florida Contest Group||9||101,642|
|Society of Midwest Contesters||11||78,810|
|Frankford Radio Club||13||65,916|
|South East Contest Club||9||56,824|
|Mad River Radio Club||7||56,448|
|Georgia Contest Group||2||54,879|
|Kentucky Contest Group||6||43,565|
|Northern California Contest Club||16||41,985|
|Contest Club Ontario||5||37,670|
|Maritime Contest Club||3||29,364|
|Swamp Fox Contest Group||3||23,229|
|Mississippi Valley DX/Contest Club||2||22,751|
|Minnesota Wireless Association||9||20,179|
|Alabama Contest Group||4||19,396|
|Central Texas DX and Contest Club||2||17,992|
|Kansas City Contest Club||5||16,644|
|Bavarian Contest Club||1||15,980|
|Deep Dixie Contest Club||3||15,098|
|San Diego DX Club||1||13,230|
|Niagara Frontier Radiosport||2||12,819|
|Arizona Outlaws Contest Club||6||10,978|
|Shenandoah Valley Amateur Radio Club||1||9,594|
|Metro DX Club||2||9,495|
|Grand Mesa Contesters of Colorado||1||9,102|
|Yankee Clipper Contest Club||3||8,292|
|Cornwall Ranger Station||1||7,826|
|Holmesburg Amateur Radio Cub||1||7,175|
|North Texas Contest Club||1||7,035|
|Southern California Contest Club||5||5,893|
|Fort Smith Area Amateur Radio Club||1||5,809|
|Dallas Ft Worth Contest Group||3||5,193|
|Central Oregon DX Club||4||5,080|
|Rochester (NY) DX Association||1||4,352|
|Portage County Amateur Radio Service||1||3,944|
|USS Wisconsin Radio Club||1||3,648|
|Willamette Valley DX Club||6||3,470|
|DELARA Contest Team||1||3,276|
|Contest Group du Quebec||1||3,132|
|Big Sky Contesters||3||2,872|
|Arrow Communications Association||1||2,862|
|Cleveland Amateur Radio Club||1||2,600|
|W/K Amateur Radio Club||1||2,438|
|Murgas Amateur Radio Club||1||2,050|
|Oklahoma DX Association||1||1,940|
|Western Washington DX Club||2||1,928|
|Order of Boiled Owls of New York||1||1,794|
|South Texas DX and Contest Club||1||1,512|
|Goshen Amateur Radio Club||1||1,482|
|Hoosier DX and Contest Club||1||990|
|Orca DX and Contest Club||1||680|
|Middle Peninsula Amateur Radio Club||1||624|
|First Class Operators||1||616|
|Orange County Amateur Radio Club||1||390|
|Mother Lode DX/Contest Club||1||264|
|Ole Virginia Hams Amateur Radio Club||1||204|
|Colorado QRP Club||1||200|
|Pottstown Area Amateur Radio Club||1||143|
|Great South Bay Amateur Radio Club||1||90|
|Russian Contest Group||1||72|
|Ventura County Amateur Radio Society||1||72|
|Clark County Amateur Radio Club||1||36|
|Muncie Area Amateur Radio Club||1||8|
|Northwest Indiana DX Club||1||2|
New England Club Scores
|Yankee Clipper Contest Club||56||2,583,563|
|CTRI Contest Group||11||428,621|
|Hampden County Radio Association||12||149,322|
|Eastern Connecticut Amateur Radio Association||1||71,804|
|Merrymeeting Amateur Radio Association||1||58,565|
|Candlewood Amateur Radio Association||2||53,856|
|Radio Amateurs of Northern Vermont||1||37,284|
|Preston Contest And DX Society||1||29,650|
|Meriden Amateur Radio Club||4||21,950|
|Nashua Area Radio Society||2||17,405|
|Greater Norwalk Amateur Radio Club||1||16,044|
|CCDX ARC Keene, NH||1||13,500|
|Stratford Amateur Radio Club||1||11,016|
|Addison County Amateur Radio Association||1||8,840|
|Stamford Amateur Radio Association||1||5,880|
|Middlebury College Amateur Radio Club||1||5,180|
|Harvard Wireless Club||1||5,130|
|Maine Ham Radio Society||1||4,130|
|Westerly Amateur Radio Team||1||4,096|
|Providence Radio Association||1||3,300|
|Lincoln County Amateur Radio Club||1||1,932|
|Contoocook Valley Radio Club||2||772|
|Hop River Radio Club||1||702|
|Central New Hampshire Amateur Radio Club||1||656|
|Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club||1||546|
|Northville Amateur Radio Association||1||99|
Activity by County
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 operator||Yankee Clipper Contest Club||Paul Newberry, N4PN|
|USA – single operator low power||Dave Sumner, K1ZZ, in memory of Laci Radnay, W1PL||Charles Wooten, NF4A|
|USA – single operator QRP||Vern Brownell, W1VB||Tom Warren, K3TW|
|USA – single opr (W5-W7-W0)||Huckleberry Mountain Contest Club||Frank Widmann, WA2VYA|
|USA – single op (W2-W3-W8-W9)||Steve Moynihan, W3SM||Paul Kirley, W8TM|
|USA – single opr low power (W2-W3-W8-W9)||Whit Carter, K1EO||David Pritchard, W9QL|
|USA – single opr low power – W7||Michael Therrien, N1MD||Richard Maxey, AA5TL|
|USA – W4 – any category||Gerry Hull, W1VE ex AK4L||Bob Patten, N4BP (WN1GIV)|
|USA – multi operator – single transmitter||Will and Pam Angenent, K6ND/K6NDV||Barry Cohem, N2BJ|
|USA – single operator – CW only||Hamcrafters||Bob Patten, WN1GIV (N4BP)|
|USA – single operator – SSB only||Mark WIlson, K1RO||David Tucker, KA6BIM|
|Canada – single operator high power||Chris Terkla, N1XS||Ken Dixon, VE3KP|
|Canada – single operator low power||Gerry Hull, W1VE/VE1RM||Marcel Leblanc, VE9ML|
|DX – single operator||Yankee Clipper Contest Club||Dietmar Kasper, DL3DXX|
|DX – single operator low power||Pete Chamalian, W1RM, in memory of John Thompson, W1BIH/PJ9JT||Marco Antonio Soto, XE2S|
|DX – Southern Hemisphere||Steve Kercel, AA4AK||Alexey Ogorodov, HC2AO|
|Clean Sweep – Not First, but Farthest||Dennis Egan, W1UE||Paul Newberry, N4PN|
|Golden Log – no errors||Jim Spears, N1NK||Dwight Orten, KM4FO|
|Top Club||Florida Contest Group||Tennessee Contest Group|
|New England – single operator||Yankee Clipper Contest Club||Martin Bayes, AA1ON|
|New England – single operator – low power||Dave Hoaglin, K1HT||Dave Clemons, K1VUT|
|New England – single operator – QRP||Blackstone Valley Amateur Radio Club||Dave LeDuc, N1IX|
|New England – mobile||Boston Amateur Radio Club||Jay Corriveau, NZ1U/m (W1UJ)|
|New England – mobile – rookie||Bob Raymond, WA1Z||Mill Moore, K1IB/m|
|New England – mobile – multi-single||Brian Szewczyk, NJ1F, in memory of James Szewczyk, WB1EYM||Bob Raymond, WA1Z/m (+K1GQ KM3T, oprs)|
|New England – County Expedition Award||Huckleberry Mountain Contest Club||MASSRADIO, WW1DX (AA1YW, KK1W, W1PY, N1FJ, WD1S, oprs)|
|New England – multi-single||Cheshire County DX ARC||Downeast Contesters & DXers – NE1QP (K1MK W1TO NJ1F, oprs)|
|New England – school club||Chris Terkla, N1XS||Middlebury College ARC, W1RMC (Zach Manganello, K1ZK, opr)|
|New England – single operator – CW only||Andy Bodony, K2LE||Al Rousseau, W1FJ|
|New England – single operator – SSB only||Fred Reed, KK1KW, and Woody Beckford, WW1WW||Dale Clement, AF1T|
|Connecticut – single operator high power||Candlewood ARA||Dave Sumner, K1ZZI|
|Connecticut – single operator low power||Dick Pechie, KB1H, memorial sponsored by the Barnstormers (NZ1U)||Ed Shekleton, K1ZE|
|Maine – single operator||Larry Banks, W1DYJ||Joe Blinick, K1JB|
|Maine – single operator low power||Sue, K1RQ, and Brian Szewczyk, NJ1F, in memory of Dana Cobb, K1RQ||Rick Lindquist, WW1ME|
|Massachusetts – single operator||Framingham Amateur Radio Association||Martin Bayes, AA1ON|
|Massachusetts – single operator low power||Chuck Counselman, W1HIS||Chris Scibelli, NU1O|
|Massachusetts – Hampden County – single operator||Hampden County Radio Assn||Chris Scibelli, NU1O|
|New Hampshire – single operator||Tom Frenaye, K1KI||Dale Clement, AF1T|
|New Hampshire – single operator low power||Jim Poulette, WQ2H||Layne LaBaume, N1E (AE1N, opr)|
|New Hampshire – multi operator||Nat Lee,N1BNC, and Dan Norman, N0HF||Nat Lee, N1BNC (+ Dan Norman, N0HF)|
|Rhode Island – single operator||CTRI Contest Group||Karl Wherry, K1KX|
|Vermont – single operator||Bob Raymond, WA1Z||Robert Litch, N1TRK|
|Vermont – single operator low power||West River Radio Club||Jason Garneau, K1LOL|
|New England Club||Yankee Clipper Contest Club||CTRI Contest Group|
If you’d like to sponsor a new plaque for 2019, 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 2018 the winner was Paul Newberry, N4PN!
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%).
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 Used||Logs||QSOs||Points|
|TR Log POST||4||623||40,549|
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with the county name(s).