2017 North Carolina QSO Party
Contest Rules

Updated 1/12/2017

PDF version

  • For amateur radio operators outside the state of North Carolina to make contact with North Carolina stations.
  • Amateur radio operators within North Carolina, activating as many NC counties as possible, making contact with everyone, including other NC stations.
  • 1500 UTC February 26, 2017 to 0059 UTC February 27, 2017.  (10 am to 8 pm EST on February 26, 2017).
  • All stations may operate the entire contest period.
  • One person performs all operating and logging functions operating from a fixed, permanent location set up for amateur radio operation.
  • This category allows only Low Power and QRP, see "Operating Details" below.
  • One or more persons perform operating and logging functions from a self contained vehicle capable of operating while in motion. Motion is optional.
  • All apparatus used must be wholly contained in or on the vehicle. Attention to driving and safety is top priority. Use of a separate driver (whether an amateur radio operator or not) is allowed and strongly encouraged.
  • Mobile stations that choose to move to a new county may work everyone again for QSO credit. 
  • If returning to a previously activated county, only new stations, respective of band and mode, not previously worked from there may be counted as QSO credit.  See County Hunter rules to determine the county border. 
  • This category allows only Low Power, see "Operating Details" below.
Mobile “Lone Ranger”
  • Same as Mobile, but WITHOUT the use of a separate driver. 
  • One individual performs all functions of operating, logging, and driving. 
  • Driving and safety are to be of top priority.
  • One or more persons operating from a temporary location using portable antennas and radios. 
  • No permanent antenna structures may be used.
  • Use of trees, buildings, etc to raise antennas is allowed as long as it is safe to do so and not originally intended for that purpose. 
  • Mobile radios, equipment, and antennas installed in and on a vehicle wholly for mobile operation are not permitted to be used in this category.
  • The vehicle may be used as part of the setup once stopped in the temporary location.  (i.e., a vertical base held under one wheel or a rope tied to the bumper) 
  • Expedition stations that choose to move to a new county may work everyone again for QSO credit. 
  • If returning to a previously activated county, only new stations, respective of band and mode, not previously worked from there may be counted as QSO credit.  See County Hunter rules to determine the county border. 
  • The purpose of the Expedition category is to deploy activity to less populous NC counties in a more complete fashion not attained by a mobile passing through. 
  • It is characterized more by portable or temporary operations, hence why no mobile installations are allowed. 
  • This category allows only Low Power and QRP, see "Operating Details" below.
  • Two or more persons using a valid FCC issued club call perform operating and logging functions. 
  • Operation may be from one permanent or portable location, and this location must remain fixed throughout the contest.  
  • One or more transmitted signals may be on the air simultaneously. 
  • Concerning a Mixed Mode entry, the transmitter running the highest power determines which category to enter (High or Low Power).
Plaques will be awarded for first place, and certificates for runners-up, in the following categories:
  • Single-Op / In-State / Phone (Low Power)
  • Single-Op / In-State / CW (Low Power)
  • Single-Op / In-State / Digital (Low Power)
  • Single-Op / In-State / Mixed Mode (Low Power)
  • Single-Op / In-State / Mixed Mode (High Power)
  • Single-Op / In-State / Mixed Mode (QRP)
  • Single-Op / Out-of-State / Phone (Low Power)
  • Single-Op / Out-of-State / CW (Low Power)
  • Single-Op / Out-of-State / Digital (Low Power)
  • Single-Op / Out-of-State / Mixed Mode (Low Power)
  • Single-Op / Out-of-State / Mixed Mode (High Power)
  • Single-Op / Out-of-State / Mixed Mode (QRP)
  • Mobile / In-State / Mixed Mode (Low Power)
  • Mobile / In-State / Mixed Mode Lone Ranger (Low Power)
  • Expedition / In-State / Mixed Mode (Low Power)
  • Expedition / In-State / Mixed Mode (QRP)
  • Club / In-State / Phone (Low Power)
  • Club / In-State / Mixed Mode (Low Power)
  • Club / In-State / Mixed Mode (High Power)
  • Top DX Score
  • Top Canada Score
North Carolina and South Carolina QSO Party Synergy Awards
  • The SC QSO Party is held the day proceeding this contest. In cooperation with that event, we are partnering with SC to offer three joint awards. 
  • A participant who makes 25 or more QSOs in both events, respectively, and submits their log to each, is eligible for a random prize drawing, 
  • The prize will be determined at the time of the drawing. Details will be announced on the website of each QSO Party.
  • Also two “Most Carolina Counties” awards will be offered. (BBQ Dinners)
  • One will be given to an “In-Carolina” (within NC/SC) participant, and one participant “Out-of-Carolina” (not within NC/SC) who submit their logs to the NCQP and also the SCQP.
  • In State Stations work everyone.  
  • Send call sign and NC county. 
  • Use the county abbreviations as needed. 
  • Out of State Stations work NC stations only. 
  • Send call sign and QTH (State, Province, or "DX".) 
  • Sending signal report (i.e., 59) is optional.
  • No cross-band QSOs are allowed. 
  • No repeater, satellite, or internet transponders may be used to complete a QSO for award credit.
  • 80/75, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, and 2 meters.
  • No 160, WARC, or above 2 meters.
Suggested operating frequencies (MHz)
  • CW: 3.540, 7.040, 14.040, 21.040, 28.040, 50.040, 144.040.
  • Phone:  3.860, 7.260, 14.260, 21.360, 28.360, 50.160 (SSB), 52.040 (FM), 144.260 (SSB), 146.520(FM). 
  • Digital:  (Use standard digital frequencies per band plan)
  • QRP - Per ARCI standard, 5 watts or less for CW/Digital, 10W-PEP for SSB/Phone.
  • Low  - 150 watts or less.
  • High  - Legal limit power.
  • Phone (Includes SSB, AM, FM voice)
  • All CW QSO's for award credit must take place in the CW sub portion of the band. 
  • Does not include any other digital mode.
  • Includes PSK31, RTTY and other digital modes (we expect PSK31 to be most popular).
Mixed Mode
  • Any two or more modes as described above. 
  • No cross mode QSOs are allowed for award credit.
QSO Points
  • Phone - 2 points for each phone QSO.
  • CW - 3 points for each CW QSO.
  • Digital - 3 points for each Digital QSO. 
  • All digital modes, except CW, count as “Digital” (so you may not work the same station on 20m on PSK31 and RTTY and JT65, for example).
  • It is permissible to work the same station on each mode (Phone, CW, Digital) on each band.
  • A valid QSO logged for award credit consists of date, time, mode, call sign, and location as described in Exchange above. 
  • Only one County/State/Province/DX can be included in a QSO at a time.
  • In-State stations: 100 North Carolina Counties, 49 US States (no NC) plus DC, 14 Canadian Provinces/Territories (AB, BC, LB, MB, NB, NF, NS, NU, NT, ON, PE, QC, SK, and YK), plus one DX as described below.  165 total possible.
  • Any location not listed is considered DX, including US Territories, Mexican provinces, and DXCC countries. 
  • No restriction on NC stations to work DX for QSO credit, but only one “DX” multiplier is applied in the calculation of the final score.
  • Out-of-state stations: 100 North Carolina Counties.
  • Count each multiplier worked only once across all modes or bands.
Bonus Points
  • 50 Points each for working the following bonus stations: NI4BK aboard the battleship North Carolina, W4DW RARS Club station, W1VOA located at Receiving Site "C" of The Voice of America, NC4QP the NC QSO Party hallmark station, and any QSO made with stations in Graham (GRM) or  Anson (ANS) county.
  • 200 additional points added if a sweep of all six bonus stations above are worked. (300+200=500 possible!)
  • For Mobiles and Expeditions only, 100 bonus points for each county activated where at least one QSO was worked.
Final Score
  • Multiply the total QSO points times the total multiplier value. 
  • Add bonus points to score (as applicable) after the multiplication.
  • Cabrillo format is required for all electronic logs submitted via the website. The category items that should be verified in the header with the valid selections to ensure proper scoring are:
                    CATEGORY-MODE:  CW, SSB, DIG or MIXED
                    CATEGORY-POWER:  HIGH, LOW or QRP
                    ARRL-SECTION:  NC or (anything else)
                    ADDRESS:  Address where awards should be mailed
                    ADDRESS: (Use as many lines as needed for address)
                    EMAIL:  Valid email address for submitter
                    OPERATORS:  For CLUB category, submit at least two participating operator call signs.
                    CLUB:  Indicate your club name for entering that category
  • All logs must be received by March 20, 2017  (Paper logs postmarked by this date).
  • Electronic submission via the website is encouraged.
  • Electronic logs should be submitted via the website.
  • Multiple mobile and club logs, if applicable, should be combined and submitted as one Cabrillo text (.LOG) file.
  • Paper logs submitted via US Mail are required to include the completed NCQP Summary Sheet.
  • Paper logs are still accepted. 
  • There is no QSO number limit for paper logs as of yet, please be aware these must be processed manually by a committee member.
Log Submission Methods
  • Web Page (Preferred): Go to ncqsoparty.org "Logs" tab and submit your log.
  • US Mail:  Send paper log together with the completed summary sheet to:
          NC QSO Party
          c/o Charles Swindell
          10809 Rondeau Woods Ct.
          Raleigh, NC 27614
  • All entrants competing for awards in all categories except Club are allowed only one transmitted signal to be on the air at a time. 
  • "Club" entries may have one or more.
  • There are no band or mode change limits.
  • Clarification on use of high power: Single-Op / Out-of-State / Mixed Mode (High Power), Single-Op / In-State / Mixed Mode (High Power), and Club / In-State / Mixed Mode (High Power) are the only three award categories where use of high power is allowed for an award.  All other categories are Low power or below (see Operating Details above for definitions)
  • Use of spotting networks, nets, Packet Cluster, Skimmer, and other assistance is allowed in all categories.
  • Use of remote radio equipment and antennas (via remote link) is permitted as long as the receive and transmit operation are located together in one location.
  • Final results will be posted on the NCQP web site.
  • Awards will be mailed to the recipients to the address provided in the Cabrillo log header, or summary sheet, as provided by the entrant. 
  • Members of the North Carolina QSO Party committee may participate but are not eligible for individual awards.
  • A committee member's participation within a club category activation does not disqualify that club from award eligibility. 
  • Bonus Club stations NI4BK aboard the battleship USS North Carolina, W1VOA Voice of America, NC4QP NC QSO Party hallmark station, and W4DW are not eligible for awards.
  • Entrants operating from Anson (ANS) and Graham (GRM) bonus counties are eligible for awards. 
  • All licensed amateur radio operators may participate and submit their log for awards except as noted in these rules.
  • Each entrant submitting a log for an award agrees to be bound by the provisions, as well as the intent, of these rules, the requirements of his or her amateur license, and the decisions of the North Carolina QSO Party committee.
Clarification on Joint NC/SC Awards
  •  A minimum of 25 QSOs in each of the QSO Parties must be made, and logs submitted, to be eligible for the Participation random drawing (50 total in both.)
  • Only entrants who submit logs to both NC and SC will be eligible for one of the joint “Worked Most Carolina Counties” awards. 
  •  NCQP and SCQP are sponsoring each a Worked Most Carolina Counties award. 




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