Michigan QSO Party
Sponsored by The Mad River Radio Club
|Contest Report By Dave Pruett, K8CC|
Links into this contest report:
For many Michigan hams, in April their thoughts turn to the Michigan QSO Party. 2013 was no different, and the morning of April 21, 2013 dawned saw Michigan hams getting ready in many different ways. Some hams wrapped up weekend or family chores to clear their calendar, some readied new/improved/bigger/portable station setups, and mobilers set out in their vehicles to reach their starting point. But for all the goal was the same: make QSOs, work multipliers and score points.
2013 was the fifteenth running of the Michigan QSO Party since the contest was revised and streamlined in 1999, and activity was significantly higher than 2012. Conditions were again favorable to the contest in 2013 (eg., decent skip within the state on 40M and reasonable QRN levels on 80M at night). The 2013 MiQP saw a moderate increase in log entries (298 entries vs. 279 last year or 6.5%) which is the 3rd highest number of entries in MiQP history. Reported QSOs rose to 44,606 (vs. 38,394 in 2012 and second only to the record count of 45,562 reported QSOs in 2011). The high number of reported QSOs is impressive considering that K8XXX, the usual MIQP multi-multi "QSO machine" was QRT this year. The number of unique callsigns appearing in the log entries dropped slightly (3,219, vs. 3,346 last year) but still 4th best ever.
The table below shows the breakdown of QSOs from the contest. 40M maintains its title of "most important MiQP band" in a huge way by providing 65% of all QSOs in 2013. Basically, QSO counts on 40M and 20M were up while the other three bands suffered moderate drops in QSO totals vs. 2012. 20M even squeezed past 80M for the title of "2nd most important MiQP band".
|Pct of total||16%||65%||18%||7.8%||0.04%||-|
|vs. 2012||- 12.0%||+26.5%||+23.4%||-45.9%||-79%||+16%|
SSB QSOs enjoyed a double-digit increase while CW QSOs were up by a healthy 8%. 15M still provided a modest amount of activity while 10M was essentially barren (both bands no doubt suffering from the absence of the K8XXX multi-multi).
It is interesting to view the overall contest in terms of QSOs by hour. The graph below shows the number of QSOs made by band for each hour of the contest. Compared to 2012, activity in 2013 was better in the first four hours, was about the same for the middle four hours, then peaked again earlier than 2012 with a smooth decrease to the end of the contest. 40M starts out steady with around 3,000 QSOs/hr for the first three hours, then tapers off but stays stronger in the waning hours vs. 2012. 80M was pretty slow for the first five hours, but rises to a peak of more than 2,000 QSOs in the 01Z hour. 20M produced 1,000 QSOs per hour steadily for the first four hours, then slowly tapered off to the end of the contest. Note that like last year, 40M was the best band ten of the twelve hours of the contest, and when 40M isn't top dog, it's 80M. Some useful strategy clues here...
We are pleased to report that all 83 Michigan counties were active during the contest. The five most active counties were Oakland, Washtenaw, Ingham, Kent and St. Clair. While Oakland is making a habit of occupying the top spot, the big difference from 2012 is that Washtenaw jumps onto the list in 2nd place and Kent in 4th. Ingham climbs to 3rd while St. Clair drops one spot to 5th. The five least active counties were Barry, Cheboygan, Cass, Montcalm, and Lapeer. Only Cass was a repeat from last year. The low QSO counts for two of these counties were probably the result of a couple of missing MiQP regulars: K8XXX in Barry county and WB8WKQ in Lapeer. Let's hope they're QRV again in 2014...
From the out-of-state areas, QSOs were reported with 57 of the 63 geographic entities on CW, 60 of 63 on SSB and 60 of 63 overall. Compared to 2012, CW was up by three, while phone and overall were identical to the last three years. The five most active out-of-state areas were Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. The only change from 2012 is Minnesota jumping onto the list in 3rd spot, thus bumping Illinois and Pennsylvania down one spot each. California drops from the list to make room for Minnesota. No QSOs were reported with three non-MI entities: Nunavut, Yukon Territories and Newfoundland-Labrador. All of these are typically difficult to get in MiQP, although the latter was workable last year.
58 counties were represented by fixed station operations, a nice increase from 50 in 2012. Every year, our goal is to have fixed station entries on the air from all 83 counties. Overall, MiQP entries worked an average of 34.2 counties in 2013 vs. 32.1 in 2012 and 35.7 in 2011. Michigan stations on average worked 41.4 counties in 2013, up from 36.3 in 2012. The number of counties worked by non-Michigan stations stayed essentially the same: 28.9 in 2013 vs. 28.9 in 2012. No Michigan counties saw first-ever recorded fixed station entries in 2012 which so two Michigan counties remain which have never had a fixed station MiQP entry reported: Ontonagon and Schoolcraft.
Three major category records were broken in 2013. The longest record broken was the mobile/multi-operator record of 234,090 set in 2003 by K8CC/m. The K8MR/m mobile team shattered that mark with their 311,160 total this year. Also, the crew at W8OAK obliterated their old EOC category record of 265,556 with this year's fine 409,734 point score. Finally, in the DX/single-op arena, former Michigander Uli, DL2HBX prevailed in an on-the-air duel with former record holder OM2VL and pushed Laci's 2011 category record of 34,338 up to 47,190 points.
In addition, 40 new fixed station and 16 new mobile records were set at the county level. We congratulate all of the record setters for the effort they put into the 2013 MiQP.
Improved Log Submittals
Last year, we implemented a web page for submitting MiQP entries, based upon a page now used successfully for three years by the Ohio QSO Party. With a year of experience under their belts, more and more entrants were able to successfully use the page to submit their entry. Like last year, the web page submittal process, a lot of log problems were avoided. This year, the only logs needing manual correction by the logcheckers were a couple of logs e-mailed directly which were not Cabrillo-compliant. The MiQP Committee strongly recommends that entrants use a contest logging program which supports MiQP rather than a general purpose logging program. There is no rule against using a general purpose logger, but with such a program it is up to the entrant to make sure the log file contains the required log data. In 2014, the log submittal web page will be sole route for submitting electronic logs. We will continue to accept paper logs and will be glad to assist entrants who have problems submitting electronic logs though the log submittal page, but we would like to continue to encourage the submittal of electronic logs instead as paper logs consume an inordinate amount of the logchecking team's time.
Once again, this editor would like to acknowledge that producing these MiQP results is not a one man show. Our thanks go to Ron, W8RU who typed the paper logs received into the computer for log checking and scoring. Also, kudos to Mike, WD8S who 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.
At the end of this report, you’ll 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.
Mark your calendars now for the 2014 MiQP, April 19-20, 2014. Come join in the fun!
And now, on to the results.