|Contest Report By Dave Pruett, K8CC|
Links into this contest report:
After a successful, record-setting year in 2007, many observers did not know what to expect for the 2008 MiQP. Without an anniversary to celebrate with an achievement award like Mackinac50, would activity be down? The organizing committee was optimistic, as in preceding weeks we answered numerous enquiries about MiQP from Michigan hams new to the event.
When the dust settled, 2008 turned out to be another record setting year for the MiQP by all measures. Logs received were up 20% to 300 entries (a new record), reported QSOs up 25% to 41,666 (another new record) with 3,604 unique callsigns appearing in those logs (up 18% and yet another new record)!
2008 also provides an interesting historical viewpoint on the MiQP, in that this was the tenth year of running the event in the current format. The 1999 MiQP was the first under MRRC leadership, which heralded the creation of an organizing committee for the MiQP, consisting of both MRRC members and non-members. More significantly, 1999 bought the event a shorter contest period (12 hours over one day instead of 24 hours over two days) and simplified rules. The result is that MiQP has grown 455% over ten years, from an event with 66 entries in 1999 to 300 entries in 2008.
So what was it that allowed the 2008 MiQP to enjoy such an increase in activity? The table below shows the breakdown of QSOs from the contest. The table below reveals that 80M continues to close in on 40M for the title of "most important MiQP band". However, both 80M and 40M showed similar increases in reported QSOs while 20M showed a decline. Both 15M and 10M were down, but as the sunspot counts remain in the doldrums, the contributions of these bands to overall activity remains low.
|Pct of total||41%||44%||15%||0.06%||0.03%||-|
|vs. 2007||+ 44%||+ 33%||- 16%||-43%||- 37%||+ 25%|
One interesting observation from 2008 is that for the first time since we've been keeping detailed records, more QSOs were reported on phone than CW, by a margin of almost 18%! In 2007, the advantage was 10% in favor of CW. Some observations concerning this: the number of CW QSOs have not dropped off over the years; rather the number of phone QSOs have dramatically increased to cause the shift. It is interesting to note that phone's advantage is almost entirely due to 75 meters - CW still has the edge on 40 and 20 meters; the other MiQP bands with significant QSO volume. In the opinion of this author, this shift is also due to an evolution in the demographics of MiQP participants. A lot of amateurs who regularly participate in QSO parties are CW enthusiasts; also, the mobile stations generally find it easier to make QSOs on CW. However, as the MiQP continues to attract newer hams (who may tend to operate primarily on phone) it's likely that we'll see more activity on phone.
For the ninth year straight, we can report that all 83 MI counties were active during the contest. The five most active counties were Oakland, Washtenaw, Kent, Lenawee and Wayne. Oakland repeats it's top spot from 2007, while Washtenaw returns after a year's absence and Kent makes the list for the first time, replacing Macomb and St. Clair that just slipped outside of the "top 5" this year. The ops from Kent County are to be congratulated - the number of Kent county fixed stations in 2008 was greater than in the total of all the previous years combined! The five least active counties were Iosco, Oceana, Alcona, Mason, and Alpena. Oceana, Alcona and Mason are repeats from 2007, with Iosco and Alpena replacing Luce and Ionia. It is encouraging to note that the least reported county (Iosco) still showed up 13 times in entrant logs.
From the out-of-state areas, QSOs were reported with 60 of 64 geographic entities on CW, 61 of 64 on SSB and 62 of 64 overall. These numbers are slightly up from last year, narrowing the number of entities not showing up for MiQP. We're still looking for an out-of-state clean sweep. The five most active out-of-state areas were Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, California and Minnesota. Most of these are repeats from 2007, but in different order and with Minnesota displacing Indiana for #5. Only two entities had no reported QSOs: Nunavut and Newfoundland. Nunavut is typically difficult to get in MiQP, but Newfoundland is surprising. Two stations managed Yukon QSOs and two found Labrador stations to work.
MiQP set a another record this year in that 47 counties were represented by fixed station operations (the previous record was 46). Other milestones set this year included two Michigan counties that saw their first-ever recorded fixed station entries: N9FN operated by the two "FN Daves" (N9 and K9) from Cass County, and Dave, N8OC who operated from Chippewa County. Our thanks to these stations for making their rare counties easily workable this year. This leaves only four Michigan counties which have never had a fixed station MiQP entry reported: ALLE, LUCE, ONTO and SCHO.
With reasonable conditions and good activity, a whole bunch of major category records fell this year plus a new in-state Most Michigan Counties Worked record. In the Michigan Multi-Operator/Multi-Transmitter category, station K8XXX set a new record of 692,464 points, to beat the existing record of 512,120 points set just last year by K8MQP. Michigan single-operators scored a clean sweep of the record book in 2008: Earl, N8SS set a new high power record at 240,684, beating the KK8I record from 2005; Tim, K9TM set a new low power record at 183,098, beating the AB8QV record from 2003; and Ian, K8MM set a new QRP record at 68,591, beating the N8NM record from 2004. Among DX entries, Leslie, OM2VL set a new single-operator high power record of 22,140 points, to more than double the existing record of 10,976 points held by CU2JT in 2007. The new record for MI Counties Worked by an In-State Station was set by Earl, N8SS with 59, surpassing N8MS's record of 57 set just last year.
In addition, 40 fixed station and 27 mobile records were set at the county level. We congratulate all of the record setters for the effort they put into MiQP 2008.
Although not a unique MiQP category, we would be remiss not to recognize several entries from stations operated by young hams during the 2008 MiQP. Two stations are from around the Menominee area. The first is Nick, KC9MEA who actually is located in Wisconsin. Nick was 11 years old at the time of the MiQP and is a member of YACHT (Young Amateur Contest Ham Team - http://www.wd8dx.com/yacht.html). The second station is K8DAR, the Menominee DAR Radio Club which is a club for young hams. Unfortunately, the K8DAR MiQP log was lost in a computer glitch and could not be submitted. Still, the logcheckers found 52 K8DAR QSOs in the other submitted logs over a period of seven hours and N8M logged #70 from K8DAR at 0020Z so it would appear the young people spent some time and had some fun in MiQP.
Down in the southwest part of the state we find W8BYC from Berrien County. This is the club station of the Blossomland Youth ARC. Experienced MiQPer Matt, N8MS is their sponsor and W8BYC was set up in his classroom at Coloma Junior High School (see picture below). Matt and the crew put 100 QSOs and 51 multipliers in the log in seven hours on the air while running low power - Good Job!
Matt/N8MS, Sarah/KD8FFW and Ryan/KD8GKU at
W8BYC, the Blossomland Youth Radio Club
(Not shown is Chris/KD8DZZ)
Estimated Operating Time in the Contest Report
In the contest report, there are occasional references that a station had a particular amount of operating time. The MiQP rules define a twelve hour contest period, and all entries are allowed to operate all twelve hours of the contest. Recognizing that not everyone can devote all twelve hours to operating MiQP, an estimate of a station's operating time is provided in the results analysis, simply as a reference to allow entries to judge their efforts against others. This estimated operating time is calculated by our logchecking software by subtracting the time of the first QSO from the time of the last QSO, then deducting any gaps of 30 minutes or longer where no QSOs occurred. This estimate may vary from the actual time the operator spent on the air, and is provided solely for the interest of the reader. It does not affect the contest results.
As always, 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 certificates and plaques for the MiQP awards program, and to Everett Jackson, WZ8P and the team at Franklin Printing in Zanesville, OH for their assistance in creating the beautiful MiQP plaques.
To volunteers like these (plus others we donít 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 3,604 stations that appeared in one or more MiQP logs, we say thanks for your continuing support of the Michigan QSO Party.
At the end of this report, youíll find a list of the MiQP plaques and the clubs and organizations that sponsored them. The MiQP committee thanks these sponsors for their generous support of MiQP.
As these results are coming out in early August, donít forget to look for many familiar MiQP callsigns during the Ohio QSO Party, August 23-24, 2008, also sponsored by the Mad River Radio Club. Come join in the fun!
And now, on to the results.