Michigan QSO Party
Sponsored by The Mad River Radio Club
|Contest Report By Dave Pruett, K8CC|
Links into this contest report:
2012 was the fourteenth running of the Michigan QSO Party since the contest was revised and streamlined in 1999, and the 2012 event had a "comfortable" feel to it. Conditions continued better compared to what the entrants had to slog through as recently as a few years ago. While the 2012 MiQP saw a small drop in log entries (279 entries vs. 289 last year) and reported QSOs dropped from last year's record high (38,394 vs. 45,562 in 2011) but with a small uptick in the number of unique callsigns appearing in those logs (3,346, vs. 3,316 last year) which was the third highest in the history of the MiQP.
The table below shows the breakdown of QSOs from the contest. After last year's awakening, 40M maintains its title of "most important MiQP band" in a huge way by providing 60% of all QSOs in 2012. The three lower bands all suffered moderate drops in QSO totals vs. 2011 while 15M was close to even and 10M fared better than 2011
|Pct of total||22%||60%||17%||1.7%||0.2%||-|
|vs. 2010||- 15.0%||-17.3%||-12.6%||-0.9%||+276%||-16%|
Both CW and SSB were down this year by similar percentages. The modest amount of activity on 15M was a boon for many operators out west, providing QSOs on two additional band-modes which have been mostly barren wastelands in recent years.
It is interesting to view the overall contest in terms of QSOs by hour. The graph below shows the number of QSOs made by band for each hour of the contest. Nothing too surprising here, but its interesting to see how the bands ebb and flow with respect to each other. 40M starts out strong, but wanes to a dip in the 23Z hour before picking back up in the 00Z hour. 80M was pretty slow for the first four hours, but starts to come to life in the 20Z hour. 20M is productive up through 23Z. Note that 40M was the best band ten of the twelve hours of the contest, and when 40M isn't top dog, it's 80M. Some useful strategy clues here...
On again, we have to report that only 82 of the 83 MI counties were active during the contest, with the missing county being Keweenaw. Your author operated from Keweenaw as part of an upper peninsula mobile trip in 2001 and can attest that there is not much up there, so this county relies on mobile stations for activation. The five most active counties were Oakland, Berrien, Macomb, St. Clair and Ingham. The big difference from 2011 is that St. Clair replaced Wayne in the top five; the top two repeat from last year. The five least active counties were Cass, St. Joseph, Alcona, Shiawasee, and of course Keweenaw. None of these were repeats from last year. As in most years, none of these hard-to-find counties had fixed station operations this year, relying on transient mobile stations for their activity. Again, a strategic hint for 2013...
From the out-of-state areas, QSOs were reported with 53 of the 63 geographic entities on CW, 60 of 63 on SSB and 60 of 63 overall. Its remarkable that these numbers are identical to the last two years, except that CW was down a little. The five most active out-of-state areas were Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and California. Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are repeats for the third year in a row, while Illinois and California bumped Minnesota (6th) and DX (8th) from last year's top-five. No QSOs were reported with three entities: Nunavut, Yukon Territories and Northwest Territories. All of these are typically difficult to get in MiQP, although the latter was workable last year.
50 counties were represented by fixed station operations, down slightly from 54 in 2011. Our goal is to have fixed station entries on the air from all 83 counties. Overall, MiQP entries worked an average of 32.1 counties in 2012 vs. 35.7 in 2011 and 31.4 in 2010. Michigan stations on average worked 36.3 counties in 2012, down from 40.8 in 2011. The number of counties worked by non-Michigan stations also slipped slightly: from 30.9 in 2011 to 28.9 in 2012. No Michigan counties saw first-ever recorded fixed station entries in 2011 which so two Michigan counties remain which have never had a fixed station MiQP entry reported: Ontonagon and Schoolcraft.
2012 turned out to be a year where another number of records were seriously challenged, but few were broken. Nonetheless, the crew at K8XXX set a new record for the Michigan Multi-multi category at 741,406, squeezing past their previous mark set last year by approximately 4K points. The crew at K8MQP had a bigger margin as they raised the Michigan Multi-single record to 224,808 beating the K8EPV record from 2009 by 37K. Hal, W1NN/m bumped his existing record for Michigan Solo Mobile Operators to 154,290, a gain of over 35K.
In addition, 24 new fixed station and 10 new mobile records were set at the county level. We congratulate all of the record setters for the effort they put into the 2011 MiQP.
Improved Log Submittals
This year, we implemented a web page for submitting MiQP entries, based upon a page successfully implemented for the Ohio QSO Party last year. By requiring the entrant to enter the callsign used for the contest, their location, selecting a valid contest category, and club name, a lot of log problems were avoided. This year, only four logs needed manual correction by the logcheckers, versus dozens in years past. The MiQP Committee strongly recommends that entrants use a contest logging program which supports MiQP rather than a general purpose logging program. There is no rule against using a general purpose logger, but with such a program it is up to the entrant to make sure the log file contains the required log data. In 2012, one entrant sent a nice log with almost 200 QSOs from a popular general purpose logger, but for some reason all but the first QSO were missing the QSO number(s) from the stations worked. The logchecking team sent an e-mail to the entrant describing these problems and requesting he send a corrected log, but he did not reply. The unfortunate result is that his official score is one phone QSO and one multiplier for one point.
One apparent side effect of the web page submittal process is a reduction in paper logs. Over the past few years the number of paper logs received hovered right around 30, but in 2012 we received only nine.
Once again, this editor would like to acknowledge that producing these MiQP results is not a one man show. Our thanks go to Ron, W8RU who typed the 9 paper logs received into the computer for log checking and scoring. Also, much appreciation 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.
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 25-26, 2012, also sponsored by the Mad River Radio Club. Come join in the fun!
And now, on to the results.