2011 New England QSO Party
by Tom Frenaye, K1KI - firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2011 NEQP coincided with Mother's Day, something that happens once every five years or so, and it did cut back on some people's time available for operating. Nevertheless, we received 460 logs, up from the 421 logs in 2010. Even better, the logs showed 78,459 valid QSOs, up a strong 30%.Oh yes, 2011 was the tenth running of the NEQP - thanks for your support over the years!!
In addition to reading this article, make sure to view all of the Soapbox Comments from those who sent in logs.
PropagationSolar activity was pretty low, with few sunspots, meaning that 15 meters did not open very well and 10 meters was only used for a handful of QSOs, but both were up from the previous year. The sunspot number was almost as low as it was during 2009 and 2010 when the solar cycle bottomed out. There were no geomagnetic storms during the weekend though - and that was a bright spot.
|QSOs made by W1s||3,119||19,338||27,730||6,671||138|
|Different stations worked||
|QSOs made by non-W1s||924||5,789||9,385||1,492||7|
|Different stations worded||92||304||515||137||6|
MobilesMobile activity was down a bit in 2011, with only three logs received out of the more than dozen who were active. Sean/KX9X/m tried out mobile contesting for the first time and had a blast activating counties along the VT/NH border - see his story below. Joe/K1JB/m put several rare coastal counties in Maine on the air in addition to operating from his home station near Portland. Tom/K1KI/m covered 26 counties while making just over 1000 QSOs. He started in central Maine, then covered norther New Hampshire, much of Vermont, a little bit of New Hampshire and western Massachusetts and ending up in his own driveway just inside the Connecticut border as the clock expired at the end of the contest.
Additional New England mobile activity came from Art/K1BX/m, Chris/AJ1G/m, Doug/K1DG/m, John/K1JSM/m, Greg/N1KPW/m, John/W1GS/m, Jim/W1KQ/m, and Gerry/W1VE, combining for several hundred QSOs.
AJ1G says, "All contacts were made using an Elecraft K1 at no more than 5 watts on 40 and 20 from a mobile setup in my Volvo Cross Country with a Hamstick clone on the roof rack. QRP mobile rocks!!! "
Outside of New England, we had entries from mobile stations in the Indiana QSO Party, including Dave/N9FN/m (and 2nd operator Dave/K9FN), leading the multi-operator category, plus single operator low power mobile Mel/KJ9C/m. Mike/NE9O/m had fun from Florida. The top single operator low power mobile score came from Larry/W6UB/m in Tennessee with 55 QSOs. Dick/N7XU/m(K4XU) was operating in the 7th Call Area QSO Party and worked nearly 30 New England stations. Both W6UB and N7XU set state records.
As a long-time contester, I’ve always been interested in having fun with radio. With my move to Connecticut as ARRL Contest Branch Manager in 2007, I found myself in an apartment, with little chance for a tower and yagi for HF. As “necessity is the mother of invention,” I soon found myself doing more portable operating. I also purchased a set of mobile whips and installed my Icom 706 MkII in my car, and was soon working DX from my apartment parking lot.
I found myself with no commitments on the first weekend in May, and wanted to take part in my first NEQP. My normal “contest expedition” mentality was in place: look for the rare DX location, find a rental cottage and set up shop for the weekend. Upon further reading of the rules, the “Mobile” category was looking more and more appealing. I’d never operated in a QSO Party as a “Mobile” before, I had all the gear I needed for a casual, low-power effort, and was interested in mixing things up a bit and trying something new.
A survey of the map and license data in the NEQP rules showed there were a couple very rare counties in VT and NH, just three hours north of HQ. A couple phone calls later and I had a place to stay in Sullivan County, NH on the Saturday evening of NEQP. Saturday would be a casual day of operating and visiting friends, while I’d be more serious on Sunday. I was in business!
The Saturday of the NEQP, I threw all my gear into my Suzuki SX-4 and drove up to my first county: Grafton County, NH. Grafton is a relatively rare county, yet it’s the home of Dartmouth College…go figure. My plan was to simply drive to a given county, find a place off the main roads out of the way and as high as possible, and make some QSOs. I had done no pre-planning of operating sites, I was “flying blind.”As I exited I-91 North and crossed the Connecticut River into Hanover, NH, I noticed a public park right along the water. Kicking up dust, I made a sudden, hard left into the parking lot. The weather was nice and there weren’t that many folks around, so I put my 40m whip on the roof and turned on the rig; “CQ NEQP” was everywhere on CW. I made a handful of QSOs and headed back to Sullivan County for dinner and an evening with my non-ham friends. I made about 25 QSOs from their driveway after dinner.
Sunday morning it was time to get a little more serious. I hit the road for my first destination: Orange County, Vermont, about an hour’s drive from my friend’s house. I wasn’t able to drive and log at the same time, so I opted to not make QSOs while in motion. My adrenaline was pumping.. I felt an earnestness to get to the county, find a place to operate and move on to the next one. It was a real thrill!
My first location in ORAVT was plagued by RFI, so I used my GPS and found Thetford Hill State Forest nearby. There was nobody there, so I just parked off to the side of the main entrance road and called CQ on 20 CW. My first QSO was with W1UE at 1358z, and I stayed there for an hour, switching between 20 and 40m. One of the folks I worked was Paul, N4PN, who informed me I was his first QSO with Orange County. A quick chat reveaed I’d be going through three other counties he needed.
I hit the road, en route to activate Windsor County, VT. Landed there, found a spot literally off the side of the road in White River Junction, and made several QSOs on 20m. A quick drive across the bridge into Hanover put me back at in Grafton County, NH, at the same park I started in. I stayed there for about 45 minutes, working a constant pileup, including N4PN again. By this point it was 1810z. I had plans to meet my NH hosts for lunch in Lebanon, NH, so I met them and filled them in on my exploits.
After lunch, I headed down I-89 and found a “park and ride” in Merrimac County, NH about 2015z. My first QSO was, once again, Paul N4PN, at 2028z. It was interesting to be “followed” by the out-of-state stations participating seriously, and it gave my travel to the next county an edge. I felt like I had people waiting on me, and that was neat. I was also working European DX on 20 meters now, including DL, HA, UA3, PA, SM, ES, HB9 and others. DL3IAC and HA8IB each worked me from three counties; quite exciting.
I still had a three-hour drive to Hartford after the contest, so I packed things up and found my last operating spot back in Sullivan County, NH on my way back home. I set up shop and made my first QSO at 2248z with RN3AW. My last QSO was W6PH, right at 2359z.
I have to say that operating as a mobile was a fantastic experience. While I only made 210 QSOs in what was admittedly a casual effort, the Fun Factor was high. My simple 100w station with mobile whip antennas activated some rare counties. Indeed, I was partly responsible for giving N4PN a sweep of all New England counties. That felt good. Another unexpected treat was the rush when driving from one county to the next. It was amateur radio contesting combined with a road rally. The blending of these two aspects of the NEQP was quite exciting, and I have to admit I enjoyed that feeling of racing against the clock to get to that next spot to operate.
If you’re looking for a bit of adventure with a good bang for your buck, consider entering as a mobile in NEQP from some of the rare (or not-so-rare) counties. I had a blast, and you can bet that I’ll be in there as a mobile again this year!
USA outside New England
The single operator low power category is the most popular one, with 128 entries from the US - Charlie/NF4A took the honors again this time with almost the same score as he made the previous year. His 173 CW and 182 SSB QSOs provided a good balanace between modes and 33,264 points when the dust cleared.
The rest of the top five low power finishers were Paul/W8TM, Joel/NA4K, Jim/K9YC, and Tom/KG4CUY. Of particular note was K9YC's all CW score from his central California QTH. It wasn't the all time record for California but it was close. New state low power records were set by N7VEA in Idaho and N7TP from Nevada.
Paul/N4PN dominated the high power category again - his tenth win in ten years! Paul worked 215 CW and a big 370 stations on SSB with a sweep of all 67 counties to come in with 53,600 points, well ahead of the competition. Paul's state by state QSO totals were Connecticut/97 Maine/76 Massachusetts/189 New Hampshire/113 Rhode Island/62 and Vermont/48.
Other big scores in the high power category came from Bob/N4BP at WN1GIV, John/K4BAI, Willie/WJ9B, and Dave/N4DW, all from the southeastern USA. High power state records were set by WA5ZUP in New Mexico, N3RC in Montana, and K7NJ in Utah.
Bob/WA1FCN from Alabama came within a hair (63 points) of setting a new multi-single record with 166 CW and 228 SSB contacts for 34,720 points. He set the record in 2009 with 34,782 points. Not too far behind was Tom/K3TW from his new QTH in Florida with 26,656 points and a new state record. Other state records were set by KC2UNF in New Jersey, W4JHC in Louisiana, N5KGY in Mississippi, KE5FXE in Texas, K7LFY in Washington and NU0Q in Iowa.
CanadaAlan/VA1MM claimed the top Canadian score with his high power entry, making 183 QSOs and 13,680 points, with the top low power entry coming from another regular participant and first time low power winner Serge/VE2AWR with 9,240 points, who was closely followed by Ed/VE4EAR. New Provincial records were set by Luc/VE2FXL(SOHP), Serge/VE2AWR(SOLP), Jerry/VE6TL(SOHP) and Bud/VA7ST(SOLP).
Conditions were good enough in 2011 that we received more logs from DX stations(30 of them!). Anders/SM6CNN had the top multi-single score - 153 CW QSOs and 12,852 points.
Prasad/VU2PTT, Tano/EA6AZ, and Fulvio/IV3AOL were the first entires ever from India, the Balaeric Islands and Italy. New country records were set by George/UA6LCN, Reg/G3WPF, Zlatko/9A2EU, Gary/ES1WST, Pere/EA3ELZ, Anders/SM6CNN and Tibi/HA2MN.
For a full list of current records --> Records
New England ResultsThe QRP champion from New England was Tom/AA1CA, who gathered in 299 QSOs for his 36,478 point effort from New Hampshire. Steve/AA4AK's 255 QSO effort netted him second place from across the border in southern Maine. Third place went to Clayton/NF1R who operated the Harvard Wireless Club's W1AF call with 250 QSOs in the log.
Bob/WA1Z's big effort set a New England single operator low power record with 916 CW and 117 SSB QSOs, 92 multipliers and a score of 179,208, beating the record set by K1BX in 2009.
Jim/KS1J made more QSOs with 755 on CW and 361 on SSB, and had 86 multipliers for 160,906 points, more than
doubling the old Rhode Island low power record. Fellow Rhode Islander, Bill/W1WBB earned third place with a 97,310 point effort. Next was Paul/K1XM who stuck to CW-only for 517 QSOs and fourth place overall, but first in Massachusetts, and Jack/K2RS in Connecticut using the Voice of Ansonia Radio Club callsign KR1CW slid into fifth place. The rest of the tope ten were Rick/N1DC, Mill/K1IB, George/K1PQS, Karl/K1KX and Al/W1FJ. Paul/KB1QYS finished 17th with 482 QSOs for the top low power all-SSB effort.
In the high power category, Rick/KI1G, smashed the old New England record sey by W1UE just last year. His 368,877 points is better than the record for multi-operator entries. Rick worked 1,069 stations on CW and 861 on SSB, along with a mutiplier of 123 - and he says he'll be back in 2012 to try to set the bar even higher.
KI1G's nicely layed out station NP3U in 2008 with (left to right) N1HRA, WE1H, KI1G, NG1G WP4U
Second place went to Mark/K1RX in New Hampshire with 810 CW and 1,234 SSB QSOs for 311,086, also breaking the old record. John/W1XX finished third, followed by big efforts from Dennis/W1UE and Fred/KK1KW. W1XX did a lot of the organizing that led to a large turnout from the CT-RI Contest Group.
|KK1KW's entry from WW1WW's QTH was his first in the NEQP, and it was a big one with 1772
all-SSB QSOs, the most ever on SSB by an NEQP entrant and set a New
Hampshire record. Fred sent along a link to a YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nh0e79E882g from IW3FZQ who worked him on 15m with just 2W from a spectacular mountain QTH.
Sixth through tenth places in the high power category went to Gene/W3UA, Krassy/K1LZ, Jim/AD1L, Neil/AE1P and Chuck/W1HIS. Chuck continues to do an exceptional job with his "One wire antenna, 21m (70ft) long and 6m (20ft) high, for all bands."
The multi-operator single transmitter plaque went to NE1QP, with operators Brian/NJ1F, Krystyne/K1SFA and Michael/K1MK. Nice callsign! Their QSO total of 1380 for 238,754 points was just enough to edge out the W1FH team's 231,306 points, operated by Mark/NB1U, Velimir/K3JO, Pam/K6NDV, and Will/K6ND. Third place went to Bill/K1GQ with 1203 CW QSOs, breaking his own New Hampshire record, fourth to the Barnstormers at NZ1U (Dick/KB1H, Allan/NR1X, Jay/W1UJ), setting a new Connecticut record, and fifth to the WB1Z group who operated portable in Vermont, thanks to Jim/KK1W, Matt/W1MSW, Dave/AA1YW and Frandy/N1FJ. WB1Z set a new Multi-single record in Vermont, as did Kevin/K1FQ(+Debra, N1FQ) from Maine.
The W1ACT team operates from a camper on Marth'a Vineyard multi-operator multi-transmitter style. Thanks to them for the only activity from that rare county.
Check here for detailed results --> Score detail
and for band-by-band leaders --> Band-by-band
Overall there were 36 New England records set in various categories during the 2011 NEQP. Check out the NEQP records page for details --> Records
How'd you do hunting multipliers?
Paul/N4PN was the only one who logged all 67 counties. and another 5 had at least 60 of them. NF4A worked 63, WA1FCN 62, both N2BJ and WN1GIV found 61, and N2WN grabbed 60 counties.
The five counties with the fewest QSOs reported in the logs were Knox ME(18), Suffolk MA(19), Orleans VT(25), Essex VT(27), and Lincoln ME(33). Middlesex County MA was the most popular, showing up in more than 2500 QSOs.
Five New England stations worked all 48 contiguous US states(W1ACT, KI1G, K1RX, W1XX and AE1P). W1ACT found 10 Canadian Provinces to work. The top number of countries went to KI1G with 67,
followed by W1FH
at 61 and KK1KW
at 60. Although New England stations don't get extra multipliers for
counties worked, they still have to copy the county in the exchange.
W1CTN worked the most counties at 52, followed by NE1QP at 51. Eight others topped 45.
As promised, the CTRI Contest Group fielded a big contingent of members and smashed the record with more than 1.5 million points and twenty entries, triple the number of points from their old record in 2004. Their goal was "only" one million points. For 2012 they have some more things in their plans - something about 1x1 callsigns...
Non-New England Club Scores
New England Club Scores
Certificates wwill be mailed to everyone who made at least 25 QSOs
- we hope you'll be back again in 2012 to earn another one!
Plaques and Special Awards
Special plaques have been awarded to these top scorers:
|USA - single operator||Southborough Rod & Gun Club (W1SRG)||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||Julius Fazekas, N2WN
|USA - single opr(W5-W7-W0)||Huckleberry
Mountain Contest Club
||Eric Rust, K5LH|
|USA - single opr(W2-W3-W8-W9)||
Jim Monahan, K1PX
Steve Courts, K8JQ
|USA - single opr low power (W2-W3-W8-W9)||Whit Carter, K1EO||Paul Kirley, W8TM|
|USA - California/Nevada||Calif QSO Party - Northern California Contest Club||Jim Brown, K9YC
USA - multi
operator - single transmitter
||Will and Pam Angenent, K6ND/K6NDV||
|USA - single operator high power - CW only||K1EL Keyers||Dave Wilson, N4DW|
single operator high power
Chris Terkla, N1XS
|Canada - single operator low power||Gerry Hull, W1VE/VE1RM||Serge Langlois, VE2AWR
|Canada - single operator - CW only||Bud Hippisley, W2RU||Bud Mortenson, VA7ST|
|DX - single operator||Yankee Clipper Contest Club||KH6LC (Curt Knight, AH6RE, opr)
|DX - single operator low power||Pete Chamalian, W1RM, in memory of John Thompson, W1BIH/PJ9JT||Tibor Zentai, HA2MN|
DX - Russia - any
(min 50 multipliers/200 QSOs)
Dmitri Y Jikharev,
winner this time)
|Clean Sweep - Not First, but Furthest||Dennis Egan, W1UE||Paul Newberry, N4PN|
|Golden Log - no errors||Jim Spears, N1NK||Ned Swartz, K1GU|
|Top Club||Florida Contest Group||Florida Contest Group|
|New England - single operator||Yankee Clipper Contest Club||Rick Davenport, KI1G
|New England - single operator - low power||Dave Hoaglin, K1HT||Bob Raymond, WA1Z|
|New England - single operator - CW only||Andy Bodony, K2LE||Paul Young, K1XM|
|New England - single operator - QRP||Blackstone Valley Amateur Radio Club||Tom Doubek, AA1CA
|New England - mobile||Boston Amateur Radio Club||Tom Frenaye, K1KI/m|
|New England - mobile - rookie||Bob Raymond, WA1Z|| Sean Kutzko, KX9X/m
| New England - mobile
Szewczyk, NJ1F, in memory of James Szewczyk, WB1EYM
||(no winner this time)|
|New England - mobile - County Expedition Award||Huckleberry Mountain Contest Club||Joe Blinick, K1JB/m|
|New England - multi-single||Wellesley Amateur Radio Society||NE1QP (Brian Szewczyk, NJ1F, Krystyne Keane, K1SFA, Michael Keane, K1MK, ops)
|New England - school club||Chris Terkla, N1XS||W1AF Harvard Wireless Club
(Clayton Nall, NF1R, opr)
|Connecticut - single operator high power||Candlewood ARA||Ted Melinosky, K1BV|
|Connecticut - single operator low power||Mikey Mavor, W1MKM, memorial sponsored by the Barnstormers (NZ1U)||KR1CW (Jack Russell, K2RS, opr)|
|Maine - single operator|| Merrymeeting ARA, Androscoggin
Amateur Wireless Assn
|| George Monti, K1PQS
|Massachusetts - single operator||Framingham Amateur Radio Association||Krassy Petkov, K1LZ
|Massachusetts - single operator low power||Chuck Counselman, W1HIS||Paul Young, K1XM|
|New Hampshire - single operator||Mark
||Mark Pride, K1RX
|Rhode Island - single operator low power||CTRI Contest Group|| Jim Bowman, KS1J
|Vermont - multi-operator||Bob
||WB1Z (Jim Mullen, KK1W, Matt Wilhelm, W1MSW, Dave Cain, AA1YW, Frandy Johnson, N1FJ, ops)
|Vermont - single operator low power||West River Radio Club||Mill More, K1IB|
| Maine - single operator - QRP
||Augusta Amateur Radio Assn||Stephen Kercel, AA4AK|
|Maine - Kennebec County||Kennebec Amateur Radio Society||Bill Mann, W1KX|
|Massachusetts - Hampden County - single operator|| Hampden County Radio Assn
||Jeff Bail, N1BMX
|New England Club||Yankee Clipper Contest Club||CTRI Contest Group
If you'd like to sponsor a plaque for 2012, please contact us at email@example.com
The top USA (non-New England) single operator winner:
Other top USA (non-New England) scorers:
checking process went pretty smoothly this time. There were 460 logs
overall, with 444 in electronic format (97%) and only 16 on
Ned/K1GU garnered the Golden Log plaque from his Tennessee QTH, with 166 QSOs and no errors! Jim/K8MR was close behind with 148 without error, and WA6KHK, N4VV, N4CW, G3WPF and KV8Q all had no errors and more than 100 QSOs.
For non-New England stations, cross checking was possible on 15,711 of the 18,904 QSOs reported (83.1%). Of the 1307 QSOs not allowed (4.3%), the breakdown was as follows:
|Reason not allowed|
|QTH incorrect * (most from 7QP stations who didn't copy the county)|
|Not in log|
|Time was outside of contest period|
|Total of QSOs disallowed|
For New England stations, cross checking was possible on 25,697 of the 59,555 QSOs reported (43.1%). Of the 2,557 QSOs not allowed (6.9%), the breakdown was as follows:
|QSOs||Reason not allowed|
|Not in log|
|Time was outside of contest period|
|Total of QSOs disallowed|
N1MM software use is still growing for logging the NEQP, followed by Writelog and N3FJP's software.
|N3FJP's New England QP||55||9,899|
|Ham Radio Deluxe||7||298|
Get a real feeling for the NEQP 2011 experience by taking a browse through the extensive "Soapbox" comments and stories! You'll find some interesting advice and some good details about the 2011 event.
Doug/K1DG/m seems to always fine some interesting to take a picture of when he travels.
K1DG/m - 65 MPH on I-93, while taking a photo of a balloon, listening to 20M
SSB, and trying to figure out the shortest route to the MERNH border.
ThanksThanks to everyone for the QSOs and logs during the 2011 New England QSO Party - sure hope to see you again in the 2012 contest.