2015 Contest Rules

Updated 11/23/2014 (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. 

Contest Period

1500 UTC March 1, 2015 to 0059 UTC March 2, 2015.  (10 am to 8 pm EST on March 1, 2015).  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.


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 of top priority if operating while in motion.  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.

Mobile “Lone Ranger”

Same as Mobile, but WITHOUT the use of a separate driver.  One individual performs all functions of operating, logging, and driving.  We cannot stress enough that driving and safety are to be of top priority.  This is a new category in 2014 to make “lone ranger” operations more competitive.


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 class.

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 the less populous 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.


Two or more persons using a valid FCC issued club call perform operating and logging functions.  No band or mode change limit.  Operation may be from one permanent or portable location, but the location must remain fixed throughout the contest.


Plaques will be awarded for first place, and certificates for runners-up, in the following categories:

Single-Op / In-State / Phone
Single-Op / In-State / CW
Single-Op / In-State / Digital
Single-Op / In-State / Mixed Mode
Single-Op / In-State / QRP (Mixed Mode)
Single-Op / Out-of-State / Phone
Single-Op / Out-of-State / CW
Single-Op / Out-of-State / Digital
Single-Op / Out-of-State / Mixed Mode
Single-Op / Out-of-State / QRP (Mixed Mode)
Mobile / In-State / Mixed Mode
Mobile / In-State / Lone Ranger (Mixed Mode)
Expedition / In-State / Mixed Mode
Expedition / In-State / QRP (Mixed Mode)
Club / In-State / Phone
Club / In-State / Mixed Mode
Most NC Counties Worked / In-State
Most NC Counties Worked / Out-of-State
Top DX Score
Top Canada Score
EMCOMM Challenge Award


EMCOMM Challenge

North Carolina is divided into 15 Emergency Management Areas (Map here).  We urge Emergency Communications (EMCOMM) groups to activate ALL the counties in their home area.

EMCOMM officials (ARES EC, DEC, etc.) are to rally individuals or clubs to participate in the NCQP and activate all their home area counties.  Individual contest entrants or clubs within each group can pitch in together to form a team to activate the designated area, while still competing in their individual or club categories.   When submitting logs, use the “CLUB:” field in the Cabrillo header to designate affiliation.

Team leaders should pre-register their intent to form a team and report planned activations to emcomm@ncqsoparty.org.  Include your name, call, address, team name and Emergency Management Area for planned activation.  Address will be used to send the award for top team.

The winning team will be determined as follows:  

Number of logs submitted by individual team members X Total number of counties activated.  

The intent of this category is to encourage EMCOMM groups to get on the air and activate; not to generate the highest NCQP score.


Operating Details


In State Stations work everyone.  Send call sign and NC county.  County abbreviations help here.

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), 146.580(FM).

Digital:  (Use standard digital frequencies per band plan)

Mobile/Expedition Window 

5 kHz segment just below suggested frequencies for CW and 10 kHz segment just below suggested frequencies above for phone.  Single-Op and Club stations refrain from calling CQ within these windows in order to allow mobile/expedition operation there.  Allow courtesy and common sense to prevail!


QRP - 5 watts or less.

Low Power - 150 watts or less.  

All entrants competing for awards that are not QRP must operate low power.




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 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:  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: 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, RARS Club station W4DW, Bill McDowell K4CIA, any station in Person (PER) county, any station in Surry (SUR) county, and NCQP Special station NC4QP.  

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.


Submitting Logs


Cabrillo format is required for all electronic logs submitted via the website or e-mail.  The category items that should be verified in the header with the valid selections to ensure proper scoring are:

ARRL-SECTION:       NC or (anything else) 
EMAIL:    Valid email address for submitter
OPERATORS:    For CLUB category, please submit at least two participating operator call signs.
CLUB:     Indicate your EMCOMM affiliation if participating in the EMCOMM Challenge



All logs must be received by March 22, 2015 (Paper logs postmarked by this date). Electronic submission via the website is encouraged. Electronic logs submitted via the website (preferred!) or e-mail with proper Cabrillo header do not require summary sheet, but we do ask for the EMAIL header field to be complete in case of questions.

Multiple mobile 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, please be aware these must be processed manually by a committee member.

Log Submission Methods 

1) Web Page (Preferred):  Go to ncqsoparty.org "Logs" tab and submit your log.

2) E-Mail:  Send as a Cabrillo text (.LOG) attachment to logs@ncqsoparty.org.  Include your call sign and award category name in the Subject field of the e-mail.

3) US Mail:  Send paper log together with the completed summary sheet to: 

                    NC QSO Party

                    c/o Marc P. Sullivan, W4MPS

                    322 Windham Way

                    Clayton, North Carolina 27527

Misc. Rules

All entrants competing for awards, in all categories, only one transmitted signal is permitted to be on the air at a time.

There are no band or mode change limits.

Use of spotting networks, nets, PacketCluster, 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.

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 and W4DW are not eligible for awards. Entrants in 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.


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