Michigan QSO Party
Sponsored by The Mad River Radio Club
|Contest Report By Dave Pruett, K8CC|
Links into this contest report:
In many ways, 2016 felt like a routine year for the Michigan QSO Party. There were no new rules, no conflict with the Easter holiday, no solar or weather issues to hamper band conditions and no new members of the behind-the-scenes organizational staff. The MiQP weekend in Michigan was blessed with beautiful April weather, and this may have pulled some participants away from their radios. Many participants noted the apparent absence of the Cabinet Counties award for working the ten Michigan Counties named for members of then President Jackson's cabinet between 1829 and 1833 that was offered by a group from Lansing in 2015 that was very popular.
So these factors, positive or negative, taken together resulted in an MiQP that was without many surprises. Band conditions were somewhat of a mixed bag. 40M, the most active MiQP band, seemed to have truly excellent conditions from the perspective of Michigan stations, with low band noise, strong, clear signals, and skip short enough for in-state QSOs for most of the contest. 80M was also good in Michigan, with the clear weather providing low levels of atmospheric QRN to go with good signal strengths. On the other hand, the high bands were terrible - 20M was down a bit, but the bottom truly fell out of 15M and 10M was can be seen in the table below showing QSOs by band. The poor high band condx certainly had an impact on the scores of the participants out west.
In any case, here are the numbers. The 272 logs received this year was down 9% from the 296 logs received in 2015 but was still the eighth highest number of logs in MiQP history. Continuing a trend from 2015, in-state logs outnumbered out-of-state logs, 146 to 126.
The table below shows the breakdown of QSOs from the contest. Reported QSOs dropped 11% to 33,877 vs. 37,999 in 2015, however the number of unique callsigns appearing in the logs received rose 5%: 3,039 vs. 2,891 last year. Once again, 40M was the workhorse band, providing almost two out of every three MiQP QSOs. While phone QSOs continued to be roughly 2 out of every three MiQP QSOs in 2016, CW QSOs were only down 3% vs. 2015 while phone was down 14%.
|Pct of total||21.5%||65.0%||13.1%||0.3%||0.009%||-|
QSOs were made with 82 of the 83 Michigan counties during the contest - the one no-show being somewhat of a surprise: Hillsdale. In past years, HILL would usually be covered by a mobile, although in 2015 VHF contester Rus, KB8U dropped down to the HF bands and made 423 QSOs for 81Kpoints from HILL. This year, pre-contest planning had HILL being covered by solo mobile station W8UE/m, however Ted reports that during the contest, he got behind on his route and never made it to HILL. In any case, the five most active counties in 2016 were (the number of QSOs shown in parenthesis) Washtenaw (1245) Oakland (1171), Lapeer (980), Wayne (877) and Kent (804). Three of these five counties repeat from the 2015 list, with Washtenaw jumping from 3rd to 1st and with Lapeer and Kent replacing Berrien and Livingston. The five least active counties were Jackson (17), Calhoun (15), St Joseph (11), Clinton (5) and Hillsdale (0). None of these counties were repeats from last year, but it is interesting to note that two of these are Cabinet Counties which may have been to the benefit of their activity levels in 2015...
From the out-of-state areas, QSOs were reported with 52 of the 63 non-Michigan geographic entities on CW, 58 of 63 on SSB and 58 of 63 overall. Each of these counts were within one of the corresponding number from 2015. The five most active out-of-state areas were Ohio (1752), Wisconsin (981), Indiana (845), Illinois (820), and Ontario (710). Ohio and Wisconsin repeat as #1 and #2, while Indiana jumps in at #3 and Ontario drops to #5. No QSOs were reported with four non-Michigan entities: Nova Scotia, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon Territories and Newfoundland-Labrador. Prince Edward Island avoided repeating on this list with 2 QSOs and Saskatchewan with 5 QSOs while Nova Scotia disappeared for some reason and the appearance of the Northwest Territories in 2015 seems to have been short-lived...
60 counties were represented by fixed station operations in 2016, two more than the 58 in 2015. Every year, our goal is to have fixed station entries on the air from all 83 counties; a feat we've not accomplished thus far. Overall, MiQP entries worked an average of 32.3 counties in 2016 vs. 33.4 in 2015. Michigan stations on average worked 38.8 counties in 2016, down from 41.0 in 2015. The number of counties worked by non-Michigan stations rose slightly to 24.8 in 2016 vs. 23.9 in 2015. The last Michigan county without a recorded fixed station operation (Schoolcraft) saw not one, but two such entries in 2016, thanks to Hank, N8XX (operating N8I) and Bob, KD8HNF both with portable operations from SCHO. Our thanks to those two guys for putting their county on the air and crossing off the last Michigan county without a recorded fixed operation.
No major category records were broken in 2016. However, 32 new records were set at the county level. Many of these are new, initial records for the category from that county. In addition, although it is not a major category, it is significant that in 2016, K8BZ set a new record for the number of counties worked by a Michigan single-operator during MiQP with 74 counties, breaking the previous mark of 70 shared by KR8V and N8TC which stood for thirteen years!
In the 2016 records reporting, we corrected a long-standing oversight. In 2008, the Michigan Emergency Operations Center category was instituted and while at that time we began tracking the overall record for the category (currently 409,734 points, held by the Oakland County EOC, W8OAK from 2011), we neglected to start tracking local records by county for EOCs as we do for the other fixed station categories. We have now corrected this oversight so that when you use the Records by County and Category function on the MiQP Records page, the high EOC score for that county will appear in the pop-up tables.
The MiQP committee wishes to thank one of our web technologists, Tim Mitchell, K9TM for his contributions to improve our record reporting and adding the EOC records.
We congratulate all of the record setters for the effort they put into the 2016 MiQP.
Improved Log Submittals
The MiQP Log Submittal page implemented four years ago continues to pay dividends. Once again, when it was time to start the log checking, all 272 entries were checked into the log checking system without issue. This is a huge advantage for the log checking process, helps us to publish the contest results more promptly. It was not all that long ago, that simply getting ready to be checked required six or eight weeks of hand editing. We want to thank all of the entrants who made the effort to get us properly formatted Cabrillo-compliant logs, including those who used the Web2Cabrillo or MiQP Log Submittal sites.
There are a lot of people who contribute to making the Michigan QSO Party a success every year. This starts with pre-contest publicity, to whom thanks goes to our MiQP Publicity Manager, Mike Rudski, N8MR, and also the Michigan ARRL Section Manager, Larry Camp, WB8R. Helping us to receive MiQP logs in good shape and in a timely manner is Tim, K9TM who authors the MiQP Log Submittal web page which saves your editor oodles of time chasing down and fixing problem logs. We also thank Bruce, WA7BNM for supporting MiQP through hisWeb2Cabrillo page that allow entering paper logs for conversion to electronic Cabrillo logs. Also, kudos to Mike, WD8S who recruits sponsors and 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. Finally, our thanks to the members of the MiQP Organizing Committee for their support and the contributions they make to MiQP each year.
At the end of this report, you値l 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, including our two newest sponsors the Branch County ARC and the Gratiot County Amateur Radio Association. Not mentioned in this list, is the Mad River Radio Club who provides funding to support the Certificate awards and administrative costs.
If you enjoyed MiQP, you should turn on your radios Saturday, August 27, 2015 and jump into the Ohio QSO Party, starting at 1600Z (noon local time) just like MiQP. More info is available on the OhQP web site, with a link to it available on the bottom-left of the MiQP home page.
Mark your calendars now for the 2017 MiQP, April 15-16, 2017. Yes, Sunday April 16, 2017 is Easter, which even though the holiday is after the end of MiQP, historically has had a detrimental impact on MiQP activity as other Easter activities with family or church can often pull people away from their radios. The MiQP Organizing Committee will discuss this and reach a decision before January 1. Keep your eyes on the MiQP-Mail reflector for any news and updates on the schedule for the 2017 MiQP.
And now, on to the results: