2016 North Carolina QSO Party Contest Rules 

Updated 1/15/2016  (download .pdf here)



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 February 28, 2016 to 0059 UTC February 29, 2016.  (10 am to 8 pm EST on February 28, 2016).  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 class.  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)

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 only, and the location must remain fixed throughout the contest. More than one simultanous transmitted signals may be on the air if entering the Club / In-State / Mixed Mode Unlimited category only.  The "Unlimited" sub category here permits any legal power amount, otherwise, only QRP and Low Power are permitted.   See "Operating Details" below.


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 (Low Power)
Single-Op / In-State / Mixed Mode (High Power)
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 (Low Power)
Single-Op / Out-of-State / Mixed Mode (High Power)
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 
Club / In-State / Mixed Mode Unlimited
Most NC Counties Worked / In-State
Most NC Counties Worked / Out-of-State
Top DX Score
Top Canada Score

Chairman's Mobile Special Reimbursement

In order to encourage maximum QSO effort among all the mobiles, irrespective of category, W4MY is sponsoring a special prize to the in-state mobile making the most number of QSOs.  It is not a top total score award, but just raw (non-dupe) QSO count.

The award is reimbursement of fuel expenses expended during NCQP.  Each mobile entry save their fuel receipts and write the entry call sign on the back of each receipt.  The receipts with times/date of 8am-10pm EST on 2/28/16 should be mailed to "NCQP Fuel Reimbursement Award", 209 East D Street, Erwin, NC 28339.  The envelopes will be held until the winner is determined.  If the winner submitted an envelope, it will be opened and a check cut for the reimbursement amount.  Do not include any other correspondence in this envelope.

Vehicles eligible for fuel reimbursement are regular 4 wheel cars, pickups, passenger vans, and SUV's.  No RVs, motor homes, semi's, etc. are eligible.

The entry is due the same as the log deadline (postmarked by March 21, 2016.)  If receipts were not submitted by the highest QSO count mobile, the next highest that submitted receipts will get the check.

Note that this is a reimbursement, not a cash prize.  Good luck to the mobiles.

Operating Details


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. 



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:  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, W4DW RARS Club station, W1VOA located at Receiving Site "C" of The Voice of America, any station in Swain (SWA), and any station in Warren (WAR) county. 

200 additional points added if a sweep of all five bonus stations above are worked. (250+200=450 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.  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)
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 21, 2015 (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, 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) US Mail:  Send paper log together with the completed summary sheet to: 
                    NC QSO Party
                    c/o Marty Young, W4MY
                    209 East D Street
                    Erwin, NC 28339

Misc. Rules

All entrants competing for awards in all categories except Club / In-State / Mixed Mode Unlimited, only one transmitted signal is permitted to be on the air at a time.  "Club Unlimited"  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 Unlimited are the only three 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, 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 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, 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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