Results

2005

Michigan

QSO Party

 

Sponsored by

The Mad River Radio Club

 

By Dave Pruett, K8CC

 
   
Links into contest report: Downloadable information (new for 2005):

As the 2005 running of the Michigan QSO Party approached, there was a different feel in the air from previous years.  New rules had been implemented to encourage activity and the contest committee had made a concentrated effort to reach out to clubs and hams that had not participated in MiQP before.  The MRRC reflector was buzzing with reports of planned operations, and two weeks before the event, commitments were in hand to activate all 83 Michigan counties.

The weather for most of the state for the 2005 MiQP was sunny and unseasonably warm, making life easier for the mobiles and portables heading out to activate rare counties.  Leading up to the contest, WWV was reporting stable conditions, with SFI = 85, A = 12 and K = 2.

However, when the participants turned their radios to 40 meters (the workhorse band of MiQP) they found weak or non-existent propagation within the state (i.e., MI-to-MI QSOs).  This most severely impacted the mobiles and QRP entries, but it affected participation from everyone.  The effect of this can clearly be seen  in the band totals of reported QSOs for the contest:

  80 40 20 15 10 total
CW 6325 9197 3983 9 5 19519
SSB 4949 4976 3613 37 21 12596
Total 11874 14173 6576 46 26 32115
Pct 37% 44% 20% 0.2% 0.1%  

40 meters typically carries 65% of the QSO burden in MiQP, but in 2005 a portion of that shifted to 80 meters, particularly  as MI stations looked for other MI QSOs.  It also affected the CW vs. SSB balance, which in recent years came out around 50/50.

Despite conditions less than favorable for MiQP, participation and activity was up significantly.  A total of 239 entries were received, a 34% increase over the 178 received in 2004 and a 16% increase over the MiQP record of 206 received in 2003.  The total number of active stations rose from 2418 last year to 2544, beating the MiQP record of 2521 from 2002.  The total number of reported QSOs also took a big jump with 32,115, a significant increase of 18% over 2004 and beating the the old MiQP record  from 2003 by 8%.

The increase in activity showed up in the scores as well.  New records were set for the MI single-op high power, MI multi-op multi-transmitter, and DX single-op high power categories.  Significant initial records were set in the new MI mobile solo-operator and MI multi-single categories also.

For the sixth year straight, we can report that all 83 MI counties were active during the contest.  The five most active counties were Oakland, Wayne, Macomb, Grand Traverse and Washtenaw.  Only Oakland and Washtenaw are repeats from 2004.  The five least active counties were Cass, Van Buren, Missaukee, Benzie and Newago.  Only Benzie and Newaygo are repeats from 2004.  However, it is indicative of the improved MiQP activity levels and coverage that even the least active county, Cass, still had 8 QSOs reported.

From the out-of-state areas, QSOs were reported with 53 of 63 geographic entities on CW, 56 of 63 on SSB and 57 of 63 overall.  The five most active out-of-state areas were Texas, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Florida and New York.  Only Pennsylvania and Florida were on the list last year, while Texas made a huge leap from the pack to take the top spot this year.  Entities with no reported QSOs were YT, PEI, SK, MB, NU and NWT.  Most of these are typical difficult-to-get MiQP multipliers, although MB (VE4) and SK (VE5) are usually snagged by at least one MiQP participant.

County Activity

Prior to 2005, there were fifteen Michigan counties from which a fixed station entry had never been submitted.  In 2005, six of those were knocked off that list: BARR by K8XXX, GOGE by N9EZ, KALK by W8RU, K8ESQ & K8RCZ, MASO by WA8YLZ, MUSK by W8ZHO and OCEA by N8NM.  Our thanks to these stations for putting these counties on the air.

Log Submittals 

The quality of MiQP logs received continues to improve, for which the logcheckers are very grateful.    While the number of logs received continues to increase, so does the percentage of electronic logs; 204 of 239 this time.  While paper logs will always be welcome, we hope that the information concerning electronic log submittal on the MiQP web site encourages that trend.

We only had one log we had to could not accept this time.  It was received electronically in Cabrillo format, but was missing the received exchange information in every QSO.  When an e-mail query to the entrant went unanswered we had no choice but to set the log aside.  This points out that it is a good idea to look at your electronic entry with a text editor prior to submittal.

Awards

The MiQP awards program was greatly expanded for 2005.  Additional plaques will be awarded for the two new categories (MI Mobile-Solo and MI multi-single), and certificates for top single-op score at the Mi county and out-of-state geographic entity level.  Awards should be arriving to the winners in September 2005.

And now, on to the results.

Michigan Single Operator 

High Power

Call Cty QSOs Mults Score  Club

KK8I

OAKL

649

172

175,512

 SEMDXA

N8SS

WAYN

659

152

150,936

 Blossomland ARA

K8AO

DELT

541

132

84,612

 Delta County ARS

The high power single op winner is Uli Ann, KK8I/DL2HBX signing his Michigan callsign from the QTH of W1SKU in Oakland county (shown at right).  He experienced equipment trouble during the MiQP, which was difficult to troubleshoot in an unfamiliar shack. His log is biased slightly towards CW, and he dealt with the poor 40M conditions by making 80M his band with the most QSOs.  Despite a deficit of 10 QSOs to second place, Uli had 38 more CW QSOs to more than make up the difference in QSO points, and that, along with 20 additional multipliers, proved to be the margin of victory.

In second place was Earl, N8SS, operating from his “station under construction” in Wayne county.  Earl is a long time MiQPer, having previously signed KZ8E from the west side of the state before a 20-year stint in Houston, TX as N5TU.  Earl’s log was almost perfectly balanced between CW and SSB, but his 48 QSO edge on SSB could not make up for KK8I’s 38 additional CW QSOs and greater number of multipliers.  Look for Earl to move up the rankings as his station gets completed and additional antennas go up.

In third place was a station we often see in the MI SOHP top ten; that of Duane, K8AO, operating from Delta county in the UP.  Duane’s log heavily favored SSB, which put him at a disadvantage to 1ST and 2ND place in terms of QSO points and multipliers.  However, Duane was far and away the best at making 40M SSB play with a big total there.

All of the top three single-op high power entries operated the entire contest.

Low Power

Call Cty QSOs Mults Score  Club

N8TC

GRTR

541

150

123,750

 Cherryland ARA

AD8J

LEEL

431

142

93,825

 Mad River RC

K8RO

OAKL

429

135

84,612

 L'Anse Creuse ARC

Leading the way for the low power single ops was Brian Cox, N8TC operating from Grand Traverse county.  Brian is a former MiQP plaque winner, and he did not hesitate to QSY down to 80M when conditions would not cooperate.  His log has 51% of its QSOs on 80M, with an almost even balance overall between CW/SSB.    Brian also lead the low power category for both QSOs and multipliers, which made him pretty hard to beat.

Not that the second place finisher, John, AD8J, didn’t give it a real good try.  John, (shown at right) whose home QTH is in western PA, operated portable from a vacation home in Leelanau county not far from N8TC.  John’s log heavily favors CW and while he almost matched N8TC on that mode, he spotted him over 100 SSB QSOs.  With QSOs come multipliers and while John actually worked more different MI counties, Brian held the lead in overall multipliers.

In third place was Dale, K8RO operating from Oakland county.  Dale came within 2 QSOs of second place with a similar CW/SSB ratio, however he had less luck finding multipliers, particularly in-state counties, which proved to be the difference.

All of the top three single-op low power entries operated the entire contest

QRP

Call Cty QSOs Mults Score  Club

N8NM

OCEA

190

83

29,714

 Cherryland ARA

N8XI

WAYN

137

44

12,056

 Mad River RC

N8UO

MACO

71

37

5,254

 USECA

The station at the top of the QRP single-op standings is no stranger to the position.  Steve Murphy, N8NM won the MI single-op QRP plaque last year from his home QTH in Oakland county, but this year operated from a portable location in Oceana county.  The poor conditions on 40M really affected Steve’s score, which is about half of last year.  This shows in the N8NM log; 65% of Steve’s QSOs were on 80M, and only 12% were on SSB.  He was on the air for 11 of the twelve hour of the contest period.

The second place station is no stranger to the QRP high score box either.  Finishing behind N8NM was Rick, N8XI operating from Wayne county.  Rick is a former winner, taking the MI QRP Single-Op plaque in 2000.  The N8XI log is all CW, and shows 132 of 137 QSOs on 40 meters with the remaining five on 20 meters.  He operated slightly less than nine hours of the contest.  The missing operating time and a lack of SSB QSOs (with the mults they bring) were Rick’s margin behind winner N8NM.

In third place MI QRP single-op was Ken, N8UO.  Ken was part of a cluster of activity from the USECA club involving their club station, K8UO and several other stations.  The N8UO log is all CW, with QSOs almost evenly spread between 80, 40 and 20 meters.  Ken operated about four hours of the contest period.

Non-Michigan Single Operator 

Eastern Region

Call State QSOs Mults Score  Club

K5OT

TX

306

126

67,914

 CTDXCC

KU8E

GA

272

117

55,522

 South East Contest Club

N2CU

NY

256

117

49,491

 Western NY DX Assoc

MiQP rules define the “eastern” USA as those areas in the Eastern and Central time zones.  While Texas seems far away from MI to be defined “eastern, it did not stop Larry Hammel, K5OT from putting the W5KFT contest station near Austin into the top spot under his callsign.  Larry is very familiar with MiQP, having recently lived in neighboring northern Wisconsin from which he would venture out on MiQP mobile trips into counties in the Upper Peninnsula.  The K5OT log is biased heavily towards CW (76%) and while the majority of the QSO are on 40/20 meters (as you would expect from Texas), Larry still put 53 Michiganders in log on 80M as well.  He was active the entire contest period.

Second place eastern region single op goes to another operator very familiar to the MiQP, former Ohioan Jeff, KU8E, operating from his Georgia QTH.  Jeff holds the non-MI single op record from his former QTH near Cincinnati, and has mobiled in Michigan for MiQP on several occasions.  Like K5OT, KU8E preferred CW (71%) and had essentially the same band breakdowns.  40M was good for Jeff, with slightly less than half of his QSOs occurring there.  He was active the entire contest period.

Third place eastern region single-op goes to another familiar callsign, that of Tom, N2CU operating from western New York state.  The N2CU log is about 2/3 CW, with the major focus on 80/40 meters and only a few QSOs on 20, probably a result of being much closer to Michigan then either of the stations that finished ahead of him. Tom matched multipliers with KU8E and had more QSOs on SSB; but Jeff’s extra 27 CW QSOs made the difference.

Western Region

Call State QSOs Mults Score  Club

KØRI

CO

225

99

38,313

 Grand Mesa Contesters

K7QQ

WA

183

74

27,084

 Western WA DX Club

N6MU

CA

147

88

22,440

 

The “western” USA region has a much more difficult time of it in MiQP.  They are further away, and darkness falls for them two to three hours later than here in MI, lessening the amount of time the low bands are useful for them.  Indeed there are some times during the contest period when MI stations are inaudible at their QTH.

Nonetheless, Larry Lewis KØRI operating from Colorado was able to claim the top spot western region single op with a score that would have been fourth overall amongst all non-MI single-ops.  In doing so, he repeats his win in this category from 2004.  His QTH in CO might be considered “near western” and so his band breakdowns look similar to those of K5OT and the top eastern guys, but with smaller numbers on 80M. It is interesting to note that Larry made his first 80M MiQP QSO at 0014Z vs. 0049Z for K5OT, 2357Z for KU8E and 2325Z for N2CU.  Larry operated for slightly more than ten hours of the contest period.

Moving further west, we find the second place western region single-op finisher, Rex, K7QQ operating from Washington state.  The K7QQ log is all CW and for him there was “no meters like 20 meters”, the band providing him with almost half of his QSOs.  While Rex made 42 fewer QSOs than the winner, the fact that all were on CW meant that the QSO point counts were very close, and so K0RI’s extra multipliers from SSB made the difference.  To illustrate the impact that the later W7 nightfall has, Rex made his first 80M QSO at 0211Z.  He operated all but about 40 minutes of the contest period.

In third place western region we find another former winner, John, N6MU.  John only had 08:41 in operating time, and while he had a competitive multiplier total, he just couldn't make up the 3+ hours of operating time he spotted the leaders.

Michigan Mobiles

For 2005, the MiQP category was split into two; one for mobile operators participating solo in MiQP, and the other for the traditional MiQP mobile with multiplier operator/drivers.  The purpose was to increase activity by making it easier for solo operators to compete.  While the number of Michigan Mobiles increased only slightly from last year, the number of contacts made (and hence the competition) was much greater.

Mobile entries account for a large number of the rare counties activated in MiQP.  Their willingness to “get out and drive” to these places is appreciated by every MiQP participant.

Solo Operator

Call Ctys QSOs Mults Score  Club

W1NN/m

12

591

109

118,701

 Mad River RC

N9NE/m

7

383

91

64,883

 M&M ARC

WI9WI/m

4

153

44

13,444

 

Winning the Michigan Mobile Solo Operator category in its inaugural year was Hal Offutt, W1NN/m.  Hal has participated in MiQP Michigan Mobile competitions before while operating by himself, so he knew what to expect.  He operated from twelve counties this time, with clear leads in both QSOs and multipliers.  In fact, Hal had the most multipliers of any mobile entry, regardless of number of operators.  498 of his 591 QSOs were on CW, not surprising with the poor in-state conditions on 40M which are the bread and butter of the mobiles.

Second place in the mobile solo operator category is another op who has done this by himself before and now has a category to call his own; that is, Todd, N9NE/m.  Todd’s MiQP route took him through seven counties in the Upper Peninsula.  Todd and W1NN has essentially identical band totals on 40M; it was on 20M and 80M where he fell behind.

Third place in the mobile solo operator category is a operator perhaps new to MiQP mobiling, but not to QSO parties in general; that is, Jim, WI9WI/m.  Jim’s MiQP operation was a quick trip over the border from his home near Madison, WI, taking him to four counties in the Upper Peninsula from 17Z to 00Z.  All of Jim’s contacts were CW on either 20 or 40 meters, with the emphasis on the latter.

Multi Operator

The Michigan Mobile Multi-operator class is the “traditional” MiQP mobile category since the “modern era” of MiQP rules began in 1999.  Other than the number of operators, everything else is the same: single transmitter, and 100W power level.

Call Ctys QSOs Mults Score  Club

K8MR/m

19

835

106

164,618

 Mad River RC

WT9U/m

27

718

95

124,545

 Goshen ARC

K8IR/m

17

644

88

111,144

 M&M ARC

The winning team of the Michigan Mobile Multi-operator category for 2005 are no strangers to the top score listings, having won twice (most recently in 2004) and placed several other times; that is the K8MR/m entry, operated by Jim, K8MR and Jim, W8DRZ who operated from 19 counties in the northeastern Lower Peninsula.  The K8MR log shows a preference for CW (86%); the team made as many QSOs on CW as the second place team had QSOs.  The team lead the category in both QSOs and multipliers, but a comparison with their 2004 score (where they had 1052 QSOs and 104 mults) shows the impact that the poor 40M conditions had on the mobiles.

Second place in the mobile multi-operator category is another team who “has been there before”; that is the WT9U/m entry operated by Jim, WT9U and Ian, WA9PQN.  This team activated the most counties of any MiQP mobile this year, 27, which is a record for an MiQP team in the modern era twelve hour format.  In comparison with the winner’s log, WT9U traded off more QSOs on 20M for fewer QSOs on 40M and less on 80M as well.

In third place in the mobile multi-operator category we find another team that has been in the hunt several times in recent years: that is, K8IR/m operated by Jim, K8IR and Ed, KG8CX, operating from 17 counties including the entire Upper Peninsula!  The team posed a serious challenge for second place, with more CW QSOs but a very small SSB total.  While K8IR worked more different multiplier areas than WT9U, their shortfall on SSB caused them to come up short on overall multipliers.

Michigan Multi-Operator

Similar to the mobile category, where the solo operator class was created for 2005 to spur activity by giving entrants two different levels of complexity to compete in, the MiQP multi-operator single-transmitter category was added to allow groups (particularly club stations) to compete with simpler setups.  And just like the mobile category, the number of multi-op entries grew only slightly from 2004. This is not surprising when you consider that the top two multi-teams of 2005 were comprised of ops that were on five teams from 2004.  But the real benefit of the change is seen in the number of new MiQP multi-ops, and in the competitive improvement of many entries (based on the number of QSOS made).

Single Transmitter

Call Cty QSOs Mults Score  Club

W8PIF

MENO

476

131

109,385

 M&M ARC

WD8S

OGEM

388

126

80,640

 IWPROC

W8VS

LIVI

527

125

78,375

 

The W8PIF crew focused entirely on the three lower bands (making no QSOs on 15M/10M)and made 75% of their QSOs on CW, netting 100 more than the second place team.  The latter advantage, coupled with a small lead in multipliers proved to be their margin of victory.

In second place multi-single, we have another group experienced in the MiQP multi-op wars.  The team at WD8S has competed in previous years from various locations under the W8HP and K8MHO callsigns., while this year they operated from a cabin in Ogemaw county running 100W.  Like W8PIF, the WD8S crew focused on the low bands and on CW.  They actually made more SSB QSOs than W8PIF, but could not overcome the margin of two-point CW QSOs logged by the M&M  crew.

And now for something completely different: in third place multi-single, we have the team at W8VS operating from Livingston county.  This group is different from the first two teams in that they are new to the MiQP multi-op wars.  They also followed a different operating strategy, making 81% of their QSOs on SSB.  Their band choices were also different, with big QSOs totals on 80M and 20M, and only a very small number of 40M.  It must have worked - they had the biggest QSO total of any multi-single entry.

Multi Transmitter

This is the goliath category of MiQP.  No limits on operators, no limits on radios, just light the filaments and have at it.

Call Cty QSOs Mults Score  Club

K8XXX

BARR

1557

199

431,631

 Eastern MI Contest Club

K8MQP

CHEB

1339

195

360,360

 Mad River RC

N9FN

BERR

527

125

78,375

 

Leading this category of giants was K8XXX, operating from the N8CC QTH in Barry county.  This station was manned by a very experienced team from the K8AQM, K8AA and K8JM multi-ops of 2004. The team spent the week before MiQP at the location, installing temporary antennas for several bands so that they could be everywhere at once.  While they struggled with some inter-station interference problems, this did not stop them from making a whole pile of QSOs.

The big band for K8XXX was 40M SSB led by MiQP veteran KT8X, where even with the poor in-state conditions they made 634 QSOs alone!  Led by this great total, the K8XXX log is biased mildly towards SSB (61%).  Their 199 multipliers leads all entries for 2005.

Finishing in second place multi-multi was the team at K8MichiganQsoParty, operating portable from a summer home on Burt Lake in Cheboygan county.  The team (shown at right) was a combination of ops from the W8MJ and N8OS multis in 2004.  All portable operations should be like this: three legal limit stations and a portable 48’ trailer-mounted tower to hold up monoband beams.  The MQP CW/SSB breakdown was almost identical to K8XXX, and while 40M was their biggest band with 547 QSOs, 20M was not far behind with 499.

The third place multi-multi team is another group new to the MiQP multi-op wars.  The N9FN team operated portable from Berrien county, where their site’s biggest asset was a 300’ commercial tower from which they could hang their antennas.  Being new to MiQP, the team spotted a lot of experience and ERP (they only ran 100W) to the XXX and MQP crews.  They also struggled with equipment problems in their first time portable from this location, but their efforts ensured that  BERR made it into many MiQP logs this year.

DX Stations

DX stations have a hard time of it in MiQP, because their distance from Michigan offers propagation only at certain times and on certain bands.  For many DX stations, success in MiQP depends heavily on how long the bands are open at their QTH.

Nevertheless, 2005 saw a record turnout of DX entries received for MiQP: 8 single-ops and one multi-op.  With the exception of CU2JT in the Azores, all of the other entries were from mainland Europe.  All but one DX station were high power entries.

Call Cty QSOs Mults Score  Club

DL3GA

DL

72

49

7,154

 

SP4JWR

SP

70

48

6,720

 

I4IKW

I

49

33

3,234

 

Leading the single-op DX entries was Andreas Gille, DL3GA from Germany.  All of Andreas’ QSOs were on 20 meters, where he found enough activity for 6:49 of operating time.  All of his 73 QSOs were on CW, and 49 were with mobiles - perhaps not difficult if you are operating from Ohio on 40M, but a fine performance on 20M from Germany!

Only two QSOs and a multiplier behind DL3GA was Ted, SP4JWR from Poland, who is no stranger to MiQP.  The SP4JWR log is also all CW, and while most were on 20M, he made some QSOs on 40M and even one MiQP QSO on 80M (with KK8I).  Ted worked 40 MiQP mobiles, but even with the activity on the low bands, he was only QRV for 05:49.

In third place for DX stations was Marco, I4IKW from Italy which is even further away from Michigan than either Germany or Poland.  Marco could only find MiQP activity for 04:17.  All of Marco’s activity was on CW, mostly 20M, and 28 of his 49 QSOs were with MiQP mobiles.

Club Competition

In-State

In many years, the MiQP Club Competition has been won by a landslide, with one club or another relying on one or two huge multi-ops scores to anchor it’s total.  This year’s competition was much closer, even though a familiar name appears at the top.

Club Name

Score

Entries

Marinette & Menominee ARC

289,822

4

SE Mich DX Association

262,556

3

Cherryland ARC

203,839

7

And that name is the Marinette and Menominee ARC, who has won the club competition four times out of the seven years of the modern MiQP era.  M&M put together the winning total of 289,822 through a balanced mix of fixed, mobile, and multi-op scores.

Repeating their second place finish from 2004 is the Southeastern MI DX Association with 262,556 points.  SEMDXA combined KK8I’s winning SOHP score with two other scores to get their total, losing out to M&M by less than 10%.

The third place club, the Cherryland ARC, also combined a winning score (SOLP winner N8TC) with six other scores for their total of 203,839. One way to ensure success: they collected entries from several club members and submitted these together to ensure meeting the deadline.

Out-Of-State

Club Name

Score

Entries

Florida Contest Group

96,257

7

Yankee Clipper Contest Club

90,320

5

South East Contest Club

78,554

6

Showing that they can operate a QSO party just as well as they throw one, the Florida Contest Group put together seven entries led by K9OM to increase their score almost 50% over 2004 when they finished third.  Still, it was not an easy victory as their margin over second place was less than 7%.

In second place was the Yankee Clipper Contest Club who put together five entries led by N1IW  to give FCG a run for their win.  YCCC increased their score eleven times over their 2004 total to get the second spot.

In third place was the South East Contest Club.  Their score, combining KU8E’s second place eastern region S/O score along with five other entries more than doubled their 2004 total.

Remember that for the MiQP Club Competition it takes at least two scores to count as a Combined Club entry.  There were a lot of big scores that went “orphaned” and did not count for any club because they were the only one.

Most MI Counties Worked

The MiQP Most Counties Worked competition is intended to offer an alternative for those single operators who like to focus on “working them all”, but everyone gets to compete.  In past years, this was a competition for non-MI entries only.  For 2005 a separate competition was added for in-state entries as well.

Among MI entries, the most counties were worked by Uli, KK8I with 54 counties, proving once again that a good MiQP operator doesn’t just go for rate.  In second place was the station who also was second in the single-op high power competition, N8SS with 53 counties.  In third place, was low power station AA8SN with 52.

Among the non-MI entries, the story was even more the same.  Larry, K5OT took the category crown and also had the most counties with 78.  Close behind were the second and third place single-op high power stations, KU8E with 77 and N2CU with 73.

Records

Despite the less-than-favorable radio propagation conditions, there was no shortage of records set in the 2005 MiQP.

Among the single-operators, in the MI single-op high-power category, Uli, KK8I scored 175,612 to break the record set by KT8X at 167,291 in 2004.  Uli now owns both the single-op high power and low power records (the latter set under his former callsign AB8QV).  Will he go QRP next year and try for a sweep?

Speaking of QRP, Jerry, N4JF from Alabama managed 32472 points to get past the old out-of-state QRP record set by K5IID in 2003.

The only other single-op record set this year was for high power DX stations by Andreas, DL3GA whose score of 7,154 more than doubled the old mark of 3,220 set by SP4JWR.

Among the multi-operator entries, a new record was set for the MI multi-operator/multi-transmitter category where the K8XXX score of 431,631 put away the old K8AQM record of 375,875 from last year.  The 1557 QSOs made by the ‘XXX team represents the most QSOs ever made by a single station in MiQP.

The DX multi-op category typically does not have many entries.  Nonetheless, the crew at RK2FWA tripled their score from 2004, and tripled their record as well.

Besides these overall category records, 38 fixed station and 12 mobile station records were set at the county level this year.  This is impressive when you consider that the largest number of counties ever represented by fixed station logs prior to this year was only 34 and that none of the mobile records were “first time”.  This illustrates the breadth to which MiQP activity grew in 2005.

Acknowledgements

Producing these MiQP results is not a one man show.  Our thanks go to Ron, W8RU who transcribes the paper logs received, and to Mike, WD8S who manages the MiQP awards program.

The MiQP committee would also like to thank several people who contributed in ways behind the scenes to father the MiQP for 2005.  Hope Franscisco, AA8SN helped collect logs from members of the Cherryland ARC and made sure they got in on time.  Dave Edenfield, W8RIT helped to organize the K8UO USECA multi-op operation, and then collected logs from USECA members to build their club total.  And finally Mike Rudzki, N8MR, who undertook numerous actions to encourage MiQP within the Motor City Radio Club and hosted a MiQP presentation by K8CC to the club.

To volunteers like these (plus others we don’t know of), to the club newsletter editors who publish MiQP announcements, to MiQP Communications Manager Mark Hinkleman, NU8Z, to Michigan ARRL Section Manager Dale Williams, WA8EFK and Great Lakes Division Director Jim Weaver, K8JE who lent their support, and to the 2544 stations that appeared in one or more MiQP logs, we say thanks for helping to make MiQP 2005 the best MiQP ever.

As these results are coming out in early August, don’t forget to look for many familiar MiQP callsigns during the Ohio QSO Party, August 27, 2005, also sponsored by the Mad River Radio Club.  Come join in the fun!

MiQP 2005 Soapbox

QRM by EU-Contest - DL3GA  Nice contest! Thanks to the QSO partners and organizers!  The propagation was not on the top during the contest period.  Maybe next year… Rig TS-530SP 100W into a vertical rod - HA2MN/5  Great contest—CU next year. All my antennas were down except the 40 M inv-V - KØGSV  First time for MiQP.  Fun chasing up and down the bands for MI stations - KØMPH  First time in MiQP. Very friendly bunch. Nice to make some SSB QSOS with 5W - K2EKM  Had a great time. Couldn't get much going on 20M so I spent most of the time on 40M and 80M - K3BZ  Thanks to the mobile stations for activating the rare counties - K3TW  Enjoyed the contest. Lots of activity again this year - K4AMC  Ran a Yaesu FT-897D transceiver operated at 5W into an OCF 28-gauge insulated wire stealth antenna up 45’ in trees next to I-75 in downtown Atlanta industrial area. SGC SG-237 smartuner, Tigertonics SignalLink SG-1 sound card radio interface. MicroHam USB rig interface. WriteLog 10.53E. - K4AQ  Happy to make some Qs in the MiQP again this year - K8KFJ  K8BB’s 48’ trailer-mounted tower went up slick as a whistle and was the key to our portable antenna farm, holding up separate 3L monobanders for 20, 15, and 10 meters, plus our 40M dipole.  Our thanks to John, KN8S who allowed us to set up at his vacation home on Burt Lake - K8MQP  I finally got home around 2 PM and tied to set up for both modes. I had to get the manual out to figure out how to set the rig up for SSB. That was a waste of time, since I made only one Q on 40 SSB and that was with a local in Brighton.  He was giving 170 and I was sending number 1. After that, I went to 20 CW and ran some W6s and Europe. It was fun having EU call in on 20 CW.  I went  to 40M after that and could only work the U.P. and stations on the east coast and west of the Mississippi. I worked only 6 counties locally, with Hillsdale being Q2. I never heard a single mobile on 40 and never saw any spots for them either.  For the last couple of hours I was on 80 and had rates approaching 50 per hour. However, there were very few MI stations in the log.  I pulled the plug at 9 PM after wearing out the F1 key calling CQ with no answers - K8SIA  Thanks for a good time.  Nice activity level and good sigs into Virginia.  Looks for us in the VA and PA QSO parties - K8SYH  My first contest, it was a blast! - KA8EBI  Enjoyed the contest but had limited time to operate. - KD5TXL  MiQP weekend was my first ever QSO party, believe it or not, and the first contest  other than last Field Daythat I took semi-seriously (I've only had an HF ticket since last April) - KG2V  Great QSO party.  Too bad I had to QRT early.  Next year! - KG5U  Tons of fun! - KG8JK  Rig K2 running 5 watts.  Antenna 135’ doublet.  Thanks to everyone  - KW4JS  Great fun, as always, Even with conditions that made being geographically close very difficult! - NØIJ  Only ran 40M - and not too successful at that - NØWY  Equipment: Elecraft K1-4 & random wire, 5 watts - N2CQ  My first serious attempt in this contest. It was very frustrating not being able to work stations on 20M where guys down south/west were piling up the QSO points. 40M was terrible for the first half of the contest. Most stations were very weak. Surprisingly, some mobiles had better signals than fixed stations. K8IR was consistently the best mobile signal heard. Most mobiles did very well by signing the county after their callsign...good practice! However, at least one fixed stations was signing his call/county which led me to believe he was mobile. SHEESH! Very thankful most guys, including mobiles went down to 80/75M after 40M went real long. The last couple of hours kept me in the running. Congrats to KU8E, who I heard near the end of the contest with a couple dozen more Qs than me. 20M no doubt. Oh yeah, it was great fun with all the mobile activity - N2CU  Thank you for the interesting contest.  Hope to be back next year - N7VS   Not muc time and not great conditions this year - N8BJQ   A great mobile chase - N8NA  Forty meters was useless from my location.  Had lots of fun on eighty - N8PUG  This was 2 operators, 2 radios, 100W each.  This was a first effort for both of us in the MiQP - N9FN  It was a lot of fun. See you all next year - N9KS  Surpised at level of activity.  K8XXX was loud everywhere I found them! - NB1B  Our mobile transmitted from 26 counties.  20 meters was the "money band" early in the contest.  40 meters remained long the whole time, while 80 turned out some good runs after sunset.  Heavy hitters in the log with 12 or more contacts were K5OT (TX) 32, KU8E (GA) 23, K7QQ (WA) 22, K5WAF (TX) 19, K0RI (CO) 18, N6MU (CA) 16, K4LTA (TN) 14, N0ZA (CO) 14, W3BBO (PA) 14, N2CU (NY) 14, K4CC (FL) 12, K8XXX (BARR) 12, K8JQ (WV) 12 and K8MFO (OH) 12.  Also worthy to note was great DX activity in the contest.  These DX stations had 5 or more contacts: DL5MC 8. DL3GA 8, SP4JWR 7 and I4IKW 5.  Looking forward to running mobile again in the next MiQP - NU8Z/m  Great effort by both mobile and fixed stations.  Forty meters is the best band from NH but it is always a zoo.  Thanks to all. Rig was TS830X and Butternu HF6V vertical.  LOG-EQF software - W1END  Mainly 80/40M here. Did manage a few CW Qs on 20M. Nothing 15M. Still need Ionia; last one in MI. Good activity on both modes. Like the 12 hour format. Just wish I had more time to operate; maybe I would have worked Ionia! Thanks to the mobiles for a great effort. CU next year! 73 - W2UDT  We ran two stations and operated Field Day style on Johns Island near Charleston, SC with a ground mounted 40 meter vertical and a folded dipole at 60’ at the farm of Oscar, KG4MAF.  It was old (for us) at about 35° overnight.  Good FD practice except that in June it will be about 100° day and night!  Ops were KI4AOC, Vince; KF4GLE, Mac; WA4DAX, Tom; W4MEL, Mel; W4NSC, Ed; AA4TB, Tom; KG4YGP, Fred; AND K4QO, Randy - W4ANK  Nice to work some old friends again. Conditions were not that good - W4CEO  Poor propagation on on anything but 80/40 - W4NTI  Fun contest, looking forward to the next one - W5KDJ  Thanks for all the QSOs - W6RLL  Lots of fun working such great operators.  I hope to do it again next year. Band conditions rather noisy and signals mostly weak - W7DPW  Great time...if points were given for moments of enjoyment we would win! - W8EO  Spent the day in Pittsburgh, got home for a good hour and ran out of gas.  Hear you next year - W8KNO  Rippin' good fun, great first time experience for our group! - W8ZHO  I was manually tracking my sent serial number after I discovered that the software wasn’t storing it. Sent some duplicates and skipped some numbers.  As usual, one of the top QSO parties - WAØMHJ  This was my first time operating any contest, much less submitting logs. I had a lot of  fun, and after operating almost 11 hours, I've gained new respect for all serious contest operators. It's a lot harder than one would at first think. I look forward to tryting this again. My thanks for everyone involved getting this event together! - WB8NAB  Operated portable from Isabella county. Sure wish 40 had been ’kinder', but do did everybody else. 80 was fantastic! - WF5X

Plaques

The following individuals and organizations will receive a 2005 Michigan QSO Party plaque for winning their respective categories.  The remaining top three entries in each category will receive a MiQP Certificate of Accomplishment.  Congratulations to all of the winners!

Plaques and certificates will be going out in late August or early September.  If you’ve not received your award by the end of September 2005, drop an e-mail to our awards manager Mike, WD8S at his callsign "at" comcast.net.  At the end of this report, you’ll find a list of the MiQP plaques and the clubs and organizations that sponsored them.  The MiQP committee thanks these sponsors for their generosity.

The MiQP Committee would like to thank Everett Jackson, WZ8P and the team at Franklin Printing in Zanesville, OH for their assistance in creating the beautiful MiQP plaques.

 

High Score - Michigan Single Op - High Power

Sponsor: Hazel Park ARC

Winner: Uli Ann, KK8I

 

High Score - Michigan Single Op - Low Power

Sponsor: Eastern Michigan ARC

Winner: Brian Cox, N8TC

 

High Score - Michigan Single Op - QRP

Sponsor: Michigan QRP Club

Winner: Steve Murphy, N8NM

 

High Score - Michigan Multi-Op Single-Transmitter

Sponsor: Monroe County Radio Communications Association

Winner: Station W8PIF - Ops AA9PB, KØSN, KC8WJO, KC8WJN, KC8YZB, NS9B

 

High Score - Michigan Multi-Op Multi-Transmitter

Sponsor: Adrian Amateur Radio Club

Winner: Station K8XXX - Ops K8AQM, K8DD, K8JM, K8MV, KN8W, KT8X, N8CC, W8IQ, WD8SDW

 

High Score - Michigan Mobile, Solo-Operator

Sponsor: Utica Shelby Communications Association

Winner: Station W1NN/m

 

High Score - Michigan Mobile, Multi-Operator

Sponsor: Flying Beers International ARC

Winner: Station K8MR/m - Ops K8MR, W8DRZ

 

High Score - Michigan Club

Sponsor: Mad River Radio Club

Winner: Marinette & Menominee Amateur Radio Club

 

High Score - Out of State Single Operator, Eastern/Central

Sponsor: Cherryland Amateur Radio Club

Winner: Larry Hammel, K5OT

 

High Score - Out of State Single Operator, Mountain/Pacific

Sponsor: Southeastern Michigan DX Association

Winner: Larry Lewis, K0RI

 

 

It should be noted that the Most Counties Worked award in the cases of both In-State and Out-of-State entries were won by stations who also won their respective category plaques.  This achievement was identified on their single plaque, and multiple plaques were not awarded.

 

Stories and Photos From MiQP 2005

 

Portable In Kalkaska County
By Ron Majewski, W8RU

For the past couple years I have been running MiQP from my home station in Oakland County.  As MiQP 2005 approached, MiQP Chairman Dave (K8CC) put out a list of Michigan counties that were historically under-represented in the MiQP.  I noticed that Kalkaska County was one of these.  It happens that my brother has a summer cottage up that way, and a quick check of the county maps verified that his place was just inside Kalkaska County.  The cottage is about 160 miles north of where I live in SE Michigan, a comfortable drive.

I talked to some ham colleagues from work to gauge if their interest in a portable MiQP operation from the cottage, and three enthusiastically committed.  Our initial plan was to drive up after work on Friday, setup on Saturday, operate all 12 hours, then tear down on Sunday morning.  With 4 ops we figured that we could easily keep two stations on the air and maybe even a third.

As the MiQP weekend approached, real life intruded and our plans had to change.  One op dropped out and another had to be home on Sunday.  We started thinking in terms of driving up on Saturday morning, setting up two stations, operating 8 hours, then tearing down and driving back to SE Michigan on Saturday.  There were no further changes to the plan so the ops would be Ron (W8RU), Neil (NX8C), and Bill (KC8VGG).

MiQP Saturday dawned cool but sunny as the three of us met at our rendezvous point at 7am.  We got to the cottage at 10am and, after a quick tour, started setting up.  By this time it was clear that it was going to be a warm, sunny day in the Michigan north woods.  It was too early in the year for bugs, but a pair of loons were calling to each other from the lake. 

We set up two stations on the kitchen table.  It was a good thing that my sister-in-law wasn't there.  Station 1, an Icom 746, was dedicated to 20/15/10, 15/10 being a long shot given solar conditions at the time.  The antenna was the front half of a Force-12 C3SS.  This gave us a full-size dipole on the three high bands via a single feedline.  Better still, a single rope attached to the element-to-boom plate allowed us to haul it up into the tree canopy. 

Station 2, a Yaesu FT-847, would be on 40m with an inverted-vee.  We figured that 40m would be the money band for us.  We brought along an 80m dipole in case we had a chance to try that band before we shut down at 8pm.  Two old DOS laptops provided computer logging and some ICE bandpass filters were used to minimize the inter-station interference.

The two hours of setup time evaporated in what seemed to be an instant.  We struggled to get everything set up in time but managed to get only station 1 going on 20m about twenty minutes late.  There weren't many signals coming through.  In addition to questionable conditions, station 2 had an RF feedback problem on 40m when its transmit power was more than 20w.  Ugh! After a lot of frantic diagnosis, the 40m inverted-v was taken down and relocated farther away from the cottage.  This solved the problem and we were QRV on two bands by about 1715 UTC. 

Like 20m, conditions on 40m were not favorable. Signals were coming and going.  We could not generate a run to save our souls.  On 20m we could work the Gulf Coast and California, but nothing else.  On 40m we were working one hop out but could not sustain a run.  We could hear pile-ups on the mobile stations but not the mobiles.  We could hear Dave, K8CC at K8MQP up in Indian River but that was about it for in-state stations.  We kept plugging away but it felt like we were running QRP instead of 100w.

About 1900utc we took stock and ate lunch.  After some discussion about our situation and the vodka my brother left in the freezer, we decided to try to raise the 20m antenna and re-orient it a bit.  A lucky throw with the haul rope got us a higher lift point in a new tree and we were able to raise the dipoles up another 15ft.  We seemed to have a little more luck on 20m from that point on. 

At 2100utc we started working the Gulf Coast on 40m - a most peculiar situation.  Since 40m was going long early, we decided to take a look at 80m.  Sure enough, there was excellent activity on 80m and, better still, a lot of Michigan stations so we could finally start working some in-state mults.  An 80m inverted-v was hastily thrown up and we started pounding away on that band.

0000utc rolled around in a blink.  Bill (KC8VGG) had found his rhythm on 80m so Neil and I let him operate while we disassembled station 1.  In the end we had to forcibly take the microphone away from him over his complaints of "Just one more QSO!"

We had everything disassembled and loaded into the van by 0130utc and rolled back into SE Michigan by 0500utc.  The drive home was a bit challenging.  The day's warm weather brought out dozens of deer and they were grazing on the west size of the freeway shoulder. Fortunately none of them ventured out into the road.

We ended up with 102 CW QSOs, 105 SSB QSOs and 91 mults for a claimed score of 28k.  Not great, but we got to play radio for a day in the warm sun overlooking a lake in the woods.  We received over two-dozen QSL requests so it was clear that Kalkaska county was needed.

 

Portable, With The Comforts Of Home

K8MQP in Cheboygan County

By Dave Pruett, K8CC

After doing MiQP from the Jeep for five years, and a home-station multi-op with W8MJ last year, I was interested in going to some less-activated county and make some big noise.  I studied all the on-line info I could find from the Michigan DNR, mostly parks with cabins for rent and other camping facilities.

About a month before MiQP, fellow MRRCer Tim, KE8OC reminded me that one of our friends, John, KN8S had a vacation home on Burt Lake in Indian River.  My initial interest abated when I discovered the QTH was located in Cheboygan county, the same county that the KQ8J/N8OS multi-ops have so ably activated in past years.  However, the KQ8J/N8OS team leader Don, K8BB informed me that several members of their crew were not going to be available for MiQP so they would not be on.  At that point I had: 1) An uncommon county needing to be activated in 2005, 2) an available QTH and 3) willing accomplices in the form of KE8OC and K8BB.  With Ken, W8MJ we had four operators for the team.

The adventure began Friday morning as Tim, Ken and I left for the 4½ hour trip to Indian River.  Don, who is schoolteacher, could not leave until after noon.  The plan was for the three of us to start setting up the station inside until Don arrived by later afternoon with "Big Yellow", a boat trailer modified as a carrier and support platform for a portable aluminum tower which was the key to our antenna plans.

The three of us on the "first team" arrived shortly after lunch and in quick order had the furniture in the family room re-arranged to provide for three operating positions.  One position was 40M with K8CC's FT-1000MP and Titan amplifier, another position was 20M with W8MJ's FT-1000Field and AL-1200 amplifier, while the third position had 80M/15M/10M with KE8OC's TS-940 and SB-1000 amplifier.  Each position had its own logging computer, with all positions linked using serial ports and cables.

When Don arrived with the portable tower, the real work began to find a place to erect it.  The area around our QTH was not unlike a suburban subdivision, and the neighbor's houses on both sides were too close to allow pulling the trailer into the back yard.  After considering all options, we decided to erect the tower with the base on the front driveway, and assembling the tower across the front yard.  See the photo to the right.   The trailer is still hitched to K8BB's Jeep Cherokee off-camera to the right, which helps to counterweight it as the tower is being cranked up.  The tower was guyed to the outrigger arms which can be seen in the photo, but we had additional rope guys available if needed.  Fortunately, the wx was sunny and calm all weekend.

The tower wound up being 48' tall, with a mast sticking several feet out of the top to hold separate 3 element yagis for 20M, 15M, and 10M.  The yagis were turned together with a single rotator.  Its amazing, but the entire assembly, tower beams, rotator, mast, feedlines, etc. were all winched up by hand in a few minutes using a 2000 lb. rated boat winch.  See the photo at left of the tower and yagis in the air.  Besides the yagis, the tower also held up our 40M dipole at the 40' point on the tower. We were initially concerned with what the neighbors would think, but it turned it that very few were around, this being the vacation off season.  We had only a couple of polite queries and everyone was very cooperative.  Our only other antenna was an 80M inverted vee supported by a tree off to the right.

All the antenna work was done before dark, which included a lot of tuning on the wire dipoles to get the SWR minimums in the right spot.  This was particularly important on 80M because K8CC forgot to bring the coax antenna tuner we planned to use to match the antenna on CW and SSB.  Once the antennas were set, we headed into town for dinner and then returned to the QTH and were in the sack by midnight.

With the station already pretty much complete, there was no rush to get up on Saturday morning.  After a leisurely breakfast in town and a trip to the grocery store for food to keep us through the contest, we spent the rest of the morning debugging minor problems, marking amp tuning settings, etc.  We were in the operating chairs ready to go when the start rolled around at 16Z.

It did not take long to recognize that the band conditions on 40M were not good at all.  W8MJ on 20M was getting good rate, but K8CC on 40M was struggling.  All afternoon, in-state signals were very weak, including sigs from some good low power and high power stations.  Some stations acted like they were expecting that we were hearing them as well as they were hearing us, but that wasn't often the case, since we running 1500W.  Meanwhile, station #3 was CQing their brains out on 15M and 10M, hitting the mark on every published "activity time" for those bands with little to show for it.  Most of our QSOs on those bands where with K8MR/m from nearby counties.  Which points out that scatter and extended ground wave on 15M and 10M might have been valuable for a lot of in-state QSOs (and mults) had people gone there.

By late afternoon, 20M was getting worked out with over 340 QSOs in the log.  Out-state signals on 40M were getting louder, but in-state weren't.  The big excitement was on 80M where there were in-state signals to work.  Our first 80M QSO was at 2137Z on SSB with K8RO, and after that operator K8BB kept the multiplier bell dinging.

80M is a great MiQP band as long as the band is quiet.  From the first QSO on the band (in broad daylight) to the end of the contest signals were good.  We even had good luck working the mobiles with their shorty antennas.

Here are the totals:

Callsign: K8MQP    Location: CHEB

band   CW SSB Total
-------------------
80M   161 119   280
40M   209 338   547
20M   134 365   499
15M     3   4     7
10M     2   4     6
-------------------
Total 509 830  1339
Mults  95 100   195

Sunday morning was a repeat of Saturday, with casual wakeup and breakfast in town.  We started tearing down around 10:30 AM and by 1:00 PM we were on the road for home.  By 5:00 PM we were back at our homes in suburban Detroit.

All in all, a great weekend with a bunch of great guys.  The match-up of four ops to three radios worked out well; everybody got their chance to operate, but we also had a spare guy to do important things like go get pizza for supper around 23Z.

Our thanks go to John, KN8S for allowing us to use his vacation QTH.