The First NEQP

The current NEQP started in 2002.  Did you know there was a New England QSO Party in the 1950s and 1960s?   I didn’t…  

Frank/W3LPL posted a note on the Potomac Valley Radio Club email reflector recently saying that he had a first place NEQP plaque he had earned in 1962 when he was 14 years old.  It was his first contest win and at the time he lived on a small 80×100’ lot in Rhode Island and was K1LPL.

Frank noted the contest was sponsored by the Connecticut Wireless Association (now inactive) and ran for at least ten years from the late 50s until the late 1960s.  The announcement was in November QST with the contest in December.  It was a New England to New England only event

Frank noted, “I still have the plaque, it was actually 1962.  It was my first contest win, from an 1/10th acre lot in a densely crowded urban neighborhood (Providence RI).  The secret to my win was the many 10 meter AM nets that operated in the evening all over New England at the time.”

Pete/W1RM remembered a little about it, saying, “But I surely remember Frank was tops.  Rhode Island was the hotbed of primo contesters!”

Dave/K1ZZ said, “My first opportunity to participate in the New England QSO Party was 1963. I have no memory of the event but my log shows 52 QSOs, the first of which was K1LPL.”

Bob/WA1FCN remembers the old NEQP beause he still has a certificate from 1966 when he lived in New England.

After a bit of digging, thanks to input from K2QMF and K1ZZ, a copy of the November 1961 QST announcement was retrieved.   The announcement is reproduced below.

        — Tom/K1KI   4/6/2020

December 9 and 10 1961

Sponsored by
The Connecticut Wireless Association

ALL AMATEURS IN THE SIX STATE AREA are invited to take part.  The Conn. Wireless Assn. calls this its SEVEN-ELEVEN PARTY because the three operating periods are from 7 P.M. to 11 P.M. EST Saturday night 7 A.M. to 11 A.M. Sunday morning, and 7 P.M. to 11 P.M. Sunday night.  &-11 are lucky numbers …. Try your luck!

Eligibility:: All licensed amateurs in New England are eligible and invited to participate  Only single-operator entries will be considered for awards.   CWA members are not eligible for awards.  

 Three operating periods during the weekend of  December 9-10 will be utilized.   2400Z to 0400Z Sunday (Dec 10), 1200Z to 1600Z Sunday (Dec 10),  and 2400Z to 0400Z Monday (Dec 11).  See above for SEVEN-ELEVEN EST times.

 All amateur bands may be used.  Each band with its sub-bands counts as one band for scoring purposes.  For example,  80-meter c.w., 80-meter Novice, and 75-meter phone all count as 80-meters.  It is suggested that 25 kc. on the lower edge of each band and sub-band be used.

Exchanges:  Call “CQ New England: on phone and “CQ NE” on c.w.  The exchange will consist of the QSO number, RS(T) report, name (or abbreviation) of county and state.  For example, W1NXX might send “NR 7  589  CUMBERLAND, MAINE”  

Scoring:  Count one (1) point for each contact. Multiply total contact points by number of different counties worked. Multiply again by number of states worked. For example, W1NXX works 50 stations, 35 counties and six states. His score would be 50 x 35 x 6 = 10,500. Maximum possible county multiplier is 67.  Maximum possible state multiplier is 6. Stations may be worked once per band regardless of mode.  

Awards:  A certificate will be awarded to the 1st and 2nd high scorers in each state; to the high scoring Novice in New England; and to the high scoring Technician in each New England state.  

Logs:  Logs must show date and time of each QSO, complete exchange information, call and address of operator, and final score calculations. Mark each new county and state as worked. Mail copy or carbon of logs to F.E. Handy, W1BDI, 35 Brookline Drive, West Hartford 7, Conn, no later than January 13, 1962.