NC QSO Party News and Changes for 2020
See NCQSOPARTY.org for the source of this information.
2020 will be here before we know it and change is afoot for NCQP. Without beating around the bush I’ll just get right to it. The bonus stations W4DW, NI4BK, W1VOA, and NC4QP have been retired from their status as extra points in the scoring system. You will still hear these hallmark stations on the air, but they will be regular QSO points like all others. In addition, the two “bonus counties” will no longer be in play for any special scoring advantage. This is a big step we’re taking but we believe it’s the right direction in keeping NCQP vibrant and healthy for years to come.
Now for the exciting news. Replacing the old bonus system this year is a new “TARHEEL” Spelling Bee. Basically, seven special stations with 1×1 calls will be on the air during the entire 10 hour event. The letters in each of the call suffixes will spell out the word “TARHEEL”. The calls to look for are: N4T, W4A, N4R, N4H, N4E, W4E, and N4L.
Like the old bonus system, working these will get you an extra 50 points each (350 possible) plus an extra 200 for sweeping them all (550 total). This is added to your score after QSO’s and multipliers have been calculated.
Working a sweep will qualify you for a very nice personalized certificate that will be sent to you electronically. In addition, each op who achieves this will receive, free of charge, a commemorative coffee cup to celebrate their accomplishment. Kind of like the ARRL Sweepstakes clean sweep mug except NCQP picks up the tab. (Actually our great sponsors do that!)
The 1×1 bonus stations are already selected and have the special 1×1 calls assigned for March 1-2, 2020. We’ll let everyone know who they are after the event.
Good hunting, looking forward to hearing everyone on the air for NCQP 2020!
Marty / W4MY
PS: There’s no need to make a separate application if you achieve the TARHEEL sweep. Logbot will get that out of your log when you submit it. Be sure to have your address correct in the Cabrillo header so your cup will come to the right place! We will also probably list the folks who got the sweep in the 2020 results.
Since I’ve been NCQP chairman the second most asked question to me was, “…why doesn’t NCQP have (a) multi-op category(s)?” My answer has always been that that is taken care of by our club categories and expedition to a lessor extent.
Well, that’s changing. For In-State operators 2019 was the last year for all of the club categories. Essentially, they are being replaced by new multi-2 categories Mixed-LP, Mixed-HP, and SSB-LP. Any group, in or out of state, using any call can have up to two simultaneous signals now. Club groups can certainly enter one of these new categories as they always have done, but now they are sharing entry and competition with any group wishing to compete similarly.
In-State ops note there is no change to the expedition or mobile category. All the old rules are still intact. One transmitted signal maximum regardless of how many folks are in the group. This doesn’t mean a group wanting to do a multi-2 can’t go on an expedition and set up Field Day style. It’s just that they would enter as a Multi-2 and not have the benefits of an Expedition class (i.e., moving to a new county.) So its a strategy decision we’re leaving to the participants.
Check the 2020 rules if you have a group that wants to enter a multi-2 log in the next NCQP. I look forward to working many of the new groups next year.
Marty / W4MY
Working all 100 North Carolina counties in a 10 hour period is a very overwhelming and difficult task. In the past few years a couple ops have approached working 80% of them. Of course, all 100 counties must be activated and on the air in order for a sweep to even be possible. This is where our expeditions and mobiles play a critical roll. There are quite a few NC counties with almost no active hams residing in them.
We are ramping up our effort to get all 100 counties on the air and changing the county award. No more “Worked most counties” awards. We’re going for broke. The award is for a 100 county Sweep. To my knowledge, this has never been done since NCQP started in the early 70’s. The first person to achieve a full NC county sweep will receive a very fancy (read: expensive!) plaque with annotation it being THE FIRST EVER NC county sweep. Second, a $100 cash prize, and third, I will travel to anywhere in the continental USA to personally present your award before your peers at your local club meeting or time of your choosing.
This is a huge deal for us on the committee and we are all looking forward to the day this FIRST award is presented. To help this along, a few small, but important, rule changes are being made. Every In-State op can count the county they make their QSOs from as part of the sweep (only 99 more!) Expeditions, mobiles; same thing applies. Each county operated from checks off the sweep total regardless if you made a QSO to someone else in the county from which you were physically in operating.
Note these “county credits” only apply to adjudicating the status of your sweep. Score multiplier rules are unchanged. Mults are only posted and calculated in your points for your operating county if you actually work someone else who is there also.
Marty / W4MY
PS: In the rare situation we have more than one “sweep” next year, #1 will be given to the op who completes it first during the event. Lets hope we have that problem!