2015 Michigan QSO Party

Single-Operator Scores

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Michigan High Power

Call Cty QSOs Mults Score

 Club

K8BZ

GLAD

805

176

171,952

 Ogemaw-Arenac ARS

K8AO

DELT

518

154

101,024

 Delta County ARS

WA8Y

MIDL

444

152

84,968

 Midland ARC

Nobody can accuse Steve Wuelfing, K8BZ from Gladwin County of not knowing how to operate MiQP.  In 2013, Steve jumped into MiQP for the first time, and walked away with the combined plaque for high score for Michigan single operator high power, and also high score for a Michigan Rookie Single-Operator.  In 2014, he entered again as a high power single operator, and again he captured the plaque for high score for single operator high power.  In 2015, it was more of the same with K8BZ at the top of the Michigan single operator high power heap.  Three years, three wins.  Maybe we should convince Steve to teach a seminar for next year...

K8BZ's winning SOHP score looks very similar to 2014, only better. QSOs up 14%, mults up 5%, final score up 3%.  Like many MiQP entries, Steve saw his percentage of phone QSOs grow, from 60% in 2014 to 79% this year, thus reducing his average points per QSO.  His band breakdowns of 142/430/223/10/0 showed less reliance on 40M with better results on both 80M and 20M. His best hour for rate was the 18Z hour with 93 QSOs, but he also had a 90 hour at the start.  Even his worst hour (19Z) produced 36 QSOs.  Steve worked 68 Michigan counties and 51 non-Michigan entities while operating the entire contest period.

The second place SOHP station, Duane, K8AO from Delta County in the UP was QRT in the 2014 MiQP but he is no stranger to the SOHP top three box.  Duane got off to a fast start with 99 QSOs in the first hour, but could not maintain that furious pace.  His next best hour was 19Z with 64 QSOs, but he also had five hours in the 30s and two in the 20s.  Duane did a pretty good job collecting multipliers, coming within 12% of K8BZ, but QSOs were his Kryptonite, making only 64% of Steve's QSO total.  His breakdowns of 144/212/158/4/0 reveal he actually squeaked past his competition on 80M, was a little behind on 20M, but had only about half of the K8BZ QSO count on that most important MiQP band, 40M.   K8AO was a little more balanced mode-wise than K8BZ, with 73% of his QSOs on phone.  Duane operated essentially the entire contest period, and worked 60 Michigan counties along with 45 non-Michigan entities.

Finishing in third place SOHP in 2015 is Steve, WA8Y, operating from Midland County.  Steve is another who seems to have found his MiQP groove similar to K8BZ. He was MiQP Rookie of the Year in 2012, and since then has racked up three consecutive third place place finishes in the SOHP category.  His score this year rose 5% vs. 2014, with 15% more QSOs and 5% more multipliers, but like K8BZ this came with a higher dependence on phone QSOs (73% vs. 56% in 2014) with band breakdowns of 120/294/25/0/0.  He got off to a slow start with 24 QSOs in the first hour, followed by 19 QSOs then 17 QSOs, which put him behind his competition early before picking up to 64 QSOs in the 19Z hour for his best rate of the contest.  Even with a lower QSO count, Steve had a competitive multiplier of 152 (only two mults behind K8AO) and actually squeaked past K8BZ with 69 unique Michigan counties worked to go with 38 non-Michigan regions.  WA8Y operated the entire contest period.

The graph above shows the progress made by each of the top three high power single-ops as the contest ran on.  K8BZ jumped out to an early QSO lead which he never relinquished.  K8AO stayed close for the first four hours before the gap to K8BZ began to widen.  WA8Y got out to a slow start for the first three hours, but then matched rates with K8AO and actually narrowed the gap slightly over the rest of the contest.  There are no surprises in this graph; K8BZ has the most QSOs and multipliers and finished first despite his higher percentage of phone QSOs. K8AO and WA8Y, with almost identical multiplier counts and similar phone QSO percentages, finished second and third, based primarily on their QSO totals.

Michigan Low Power

Call

Cty

QSOs Mults Score

 Club

NA8V

STCL

606

188

167,132

 

N8SS

WAYN

540

160

136,214

 Blossomland ARA

K8BKM ®

OAKL

441

169

117,286

 Oakland County ARS

Similar to the single-op high power results, it's three in a row for the winning single-op low power entry for 2015, and that's Greg Chapoton, NA8V from St. Clair County. Greg made 13 fewer QSOs than last year, but picked up 12 more mults for about a 4% score increase.  But his band breakdowns of 149/359/97/1/1 show some shifts; about the same on 80M, significantly better on 40M, worse on 20M. His mode preference changed only slightly; making 53% of his QSOs on phone vs. 52% on phone in 2014.  His best hour for rate was the first with 78 QSOs and even in his worst hours (19Z & 21Z) still made 39 QSOs.  Greg led all single-ops with 188 total mults and had the third highest multiplier of the contest, behind only the KA8O and K8MQP category-winning multi-ops.  Greg worked 114 unique multipliers and led all Michigan entries in terms of Michigan counties worked with 70.  He operated the entire contest period.

This year's second place low power station move up from the third spot in 2014, and that is Earl, N8SS from Wayne County.  Earl's breakdowns were 139/359/32/9/1 and show trends similar to NA8V's: identical QSO count on 40M, similar QSO count on 80M but much less on 20M.  One thing working in Earl's favor was that his mode preference was only 51%/49% towards phone, giving him more points per QSO on average. His best hour of of the contest was the first, with 71 QSOs and his worst was 26 QSOs, and he still managed 26 QSOs in his worst hour at 22Z.  N8SS operated the entire contest period, and wound up working 107 unique multipliers and 69 Michigan counties (tying him with WA8Y abd K8BKM for the 2nd most counties worked by a Michigan single op.

Third place SOLP goes to an unfamiliar call who was also the highest scoring MiQP Rookie Single-O, and that's Tom, K8BKM from Oakland County.  Could this be the case of another MiQP Rookie turning into a consistent top single-op competitors in the mold of K8BZ and WA8Y?  In his soapbox comments, Tom credited his MiQP success to some good pre-contest advice he received from another anonymous "seasoned contester", and the result was a good, solid MiQP log.  The K8BKM band breakdowns of 109/264/68/0/0 reveal a focus on the "MiQP money bands".  Tom was one of the few leading entries that bucked the trend of more QSOs on phone: the K8BKM log has 57% CW QSOs and 56% CW multipliers.  The best hour for K8BKM was 01Z with 55 QSOs but even his worst hour had 26 QSOs (20Z).  Tom operated the entire contest period, and worked 69 different Michigan counties and 40 non-Michigan entities.

The graph above shows the progress made by each of the top three low power single-ops as the contest ran on.  The first half of the contest was quite a horse race, with NA8V and N8SS running similar rates and finding themselves only 16 QSOs apart at the half way point.  As darkness fell, NA8V gradually pulled away with generally better rates.  The rates for Rookie MiQPer K8BKM were consistent for the entire contest, just not as high as those of his more experienced competitors (perhaps because he spent more time on CW for double points).

Michigan QRP

Call

Cty

QSOs Mults Score

 Club

KT8K

WASH

304

130

61,620

 Mad River RC (Mich)

K8NWD

OAKL

280

122

54,900

 Oakland County ARS

N8F

(N8XX op.)

KENT

268

126

54,432

  

It seems that each year the Michigan QRP Single Op leader box showcases essentially the same set of operators, although occasionally running different callsigns.  For the op at the top of the QRP standings for 2015, this year was the culmination of a steady march to the front.  Tim Prosser, KT8K, operating from Washtenaw County, finished third in 2013, second in 2014 and this year grabbed the top spot!   While all three top QRP scores were significantly improved over 2014 (reflecting the improved activity levels from not being on Easter weekend), Tim's score showed a clear margin over his other two competitors, who finished the contest only about 1% apart.

The KT8K log has band breakdowns of 83/207/14/0/0, with a preference for CW (56% - not surprising for a QRP station).  His best hour of the contest was the second, with 58 QSOs, followed immediately by his worst hour which still produced 17 QSOs.  KT8K worked 65 different Michigan counties and 34 non-Michigan entities and he operated the entire contest period.

In second place was another Tim who is also one of the "MiQP Usual QRP Leaders" squad, and that's Tim K8NWD operating from Oakland County.  The K8NWD band breakdown was  very similar to KT8: 89/162/23/4/2 with 61% on CW.  His best hour of the contest was 01Z with 37 QSOs and his worst hour was 18Z with only 13 QSOs.  K8NWD worked 55 different Michigan counties and 32 non-Michigan entities, and operated the entire contest period.

The third place single operator QRP station was N8F from Kent County, operated by Hank, N8XX, operating MiQP under his third different callsign in three years,   Hank's entry had band breakdowns of 100/139/27/2/0, with 61% emphasis on CW.  Hank missed two hours of operating time, including the entire 23Z hour.  Surprisingly, his best hour was 00Z with 41 QSOs.  His worst hour had only 6 QSOs (02Z), but he was QRT for 42 minutes of the hour.  Hank worked 58 different Michigan counties and 31 non-Michigan entities.  N8F and second place QRP station K8NWD finished in a very close battle, ending up only about 1% apart.

The graph above shows the progress made by each of the top three QRP single-ops as the contest ran on.  KT8K grabbed the early QSO lead over K8NWD and N8F with his big hour during 17Z, and never looked back. From that point, K8NWD and N8F were neck-and-neck with N8F ahead until Hank went QRT during the entire 23Z hour.  After that, K8NWD and N8F traded the lead until 02Z when N8F went QRT for 42 minutes which let K8NWD pull ahead until the end of the contest.

Non-Michigan Eastern/Central Region

Call

State

QSOs Mults Score

 Club

WA3HAE

PA

289 111

48,063

 Weekend Warriors

N4PN

GA

309

110

45,980

 Georgia Contest Group

K8RYU

OH

269

113

43,731

 Marietta Amateur Radio Club

Topping the field of non-Michigan Eastern/Central Region stations in 2015 is a station who is no stranger to the MiQP top scores boxes but who has been absent for a few years, and that is Keith Pederson, WA3HAE operating from Pennsylvania.  The WA3HAE band breakdowns were 75/212/2/0/0 with an almost perfect balance between modes (144 QSOs on CW/ 145 QSOs on phone).  His best hour of the contest was 02Z with 35 QSOs, and his lowest was the 18Z hour with 16 QSOs.  Keith operated the entire contest period running low power and worked 70 different Michigan counties, the second best count of any station for 2015 (only K8RYU was better)

In second place is another station familiar to the top score boxes, and that is Paul, N4PN again operating from his QTH in Georgia.  Paul's band breakdowns were 31/142/136/0/0, with the majority (65%) on phone.  Although N4PN had more QSOs than WA3HAE, Keith's higher percentage of CW QSOs provided the margin of victory of less than 5%.    Paul's best hour of the contest was 23Z with 45 QSOs between 40M and 20M, and he was active during most of the contest period (11:02).  He ran high power had a slight preference for phone (65%) and worked 68 different Michigan counties.

In third place is a station making his third consecutive appearance in the top scores box, and that's Ralph, K8RYU, operating from the neighboring state of Ohio.  His QSOs/band breakdowns were 64/205/0/0/0 with a slight preference for phone (56%).  Ralph's CW percentage was much lower than Paul's (45%), but his mults were almost split evenly between modes.  Ralph's best hour of the contest was the first, with 38 QSOs all on 40M using both modes.  He was active the entire contest period running low power, and worked 75 different Michigan counties, to lead all entries in that statistic.

 

The graph above shows the progress made by each of the top three eastern region single-ops as the contest ran on.  It was quite a horse race for the first seven hours with all three stations only nine QSOs apart before Paul opened the gap a bit in the 23Z-00Z hours.  WA3HAE and K8RYU continued to pace each other, and actually closed the gap slightly before the end of the contest.  After twelve hours, all three stations finished within 40 QSOs of each other, a spread of only 14%!

Non-Michigan Mountain/Pacific Region

Call

State

QSOs Mults Score

 Club

K6DGW

CA

42

25

2,050

 Northern CA Contest Club 

K6WSC

AZ

41

23

1,541

 Arizona Outlaws Contest Club

K6KQV

CA

28

23

1,219

 Northern CA Contest Club

Grabbing the top spot over the field of non-Michigan stations in the Mountain/Pacific regions was Skip Jensen, K6DGW operating from California. Skip's band breakdowns were 2/12/24/1/0, all on CW.  His best hour of the contest was the last hour with 11 QSOs.  The MiQP log checking computer says that Skip had only 2:50 of operating time, but that number is deceiving as he made QSOs in ten of the twelve contest hours.  K6DGW ran low power and worked 25 different Michigan counties during the contest.

In second place from the Western region we find the 2013 winner, Bill, K6WSC operating from Arizona.  Bill's band totals of 1/39/75/1 were limited by the two hours of operating time he left on the table.  Bill's hourly QSO rates exhibited an unusual operating pattern; his first two and last two hours of the contest were in double digits, while the intervening eight hours were all single digits.  Roughly 2/3 of Bill's QSOs and multipliers were on CW.  He was another who ran low power, and worked 19 different Michigan counties.  Bill was another who spread out his operating time - he was only in the operating chair for 2:58, but he made QSOs in all but one hour of the contest.

Only 748 points behind W7GKF was the third place Mountain/Pacific region finisher, Bill, K6KQV also operating from California.  All of Bill's QSOs were made on 20M, and all but one were on CW.  Like his other two competitors, Bill spread out his 3:08 of operating time over eight of the twelve hours of the contest, and worked 21 different Michigan counties while also running low power.

The graph above shows the progress made by each of the top three western region single-ops as the contest ran on.  The mid-contest slow hours for W7GKF and WA6KHK can be clearly seen, as KØRI's determination to stay in the operating chair allowed him to widen his lead.  It is interesting to see that all three stations were running similar rates for the last three hours of the contest, while W7GKF and WA6KHK finished only one QSO apart.

DX Stations

Call

Ctry

QSOs Mults Score

 Club

SP9LJD

SP

61

44

5,928

  

If 2014 was a tough year to be a DX station participating in MiQP, 2015 must have been even tougher.  Even though a number of DX stations appear in the logs of MiQP entrants, only two submitted logs, and one of those ops used assistance so he was re-classified as a multi-op per the MiQP rules.

So, the one DX single-op who submitted a log was Leszek Czech, SP9LJD, operating as a high power entry from Poland.  Leszek focused entirely on 20M, making QSOs on both CW (70%) and phone (30%).   He operated slightly less than half of the contest period (5:25), but made QSOs in eight of the twelve hours of the contest.  His log was somewhat unusual in that while making his 61 QSOs, he worked exactly 43 different Michigan stations in 43 counties.

The graph above shows the progress made by SP9LJD as the contest ran on.  It's not a very interesting chart with only one line.  As to be expected for a 20M-only entry, Leszek made most of his QSOs during the daylight hours, except for a short spurt of 5 QSOs in the 01Z hour when it is just getting dark in Michigan during April.

Michigan Rookie Single-Op

Call Cty QSOs Mults Score

 Club

K8BKM ®

OAKL

441

169

117,286

 Oakland County ARS

AC8PI ®

CHIP

352

99

34,848

 Eastern Upper Peninsula ARC

KB8APS ®

MUSK

132

63

8,316

 

(Note: ® denotes Michigan Single-Op Rookie entries)

The top Michigan Rookie Single-Op is not an MiQP category, but rather is an award initiated in 2007 intended to recognize Michigan single-op entries who are participating in MiQP for their first time.  Interest in this award has been somewhat hit-or-miss, and in two years (2008 & 2014) there were no participants claiming rookie status at all.  After it was announced that the MiQP committee was considering discontinuing this award, we had a bumper crop of rookies this year with fifteen stations participating.  To put this in perspective, in the previous years that the MiQP Rookie Single-Op award has been in existence, there have only been nineteen rookie entries total.

For 2015, the top Michigan Rookie Single-Op was Tom Hammond, K8BKM operating from Oakland county.  Prior to the MiQP, he had coaching from a seasoned contester that he knew, and the advice paid off well enough to not only grab the MiQP Rookie Single-Op High score plaque, but also to finish in third place amongst all low power single-ops.  Band breakdowns of 109/264/68/0/0 with 57% of his QSOs and 56% of his mults on CW proved to be an operating strategy with excellent results.  His best hour for rate was 01Z with 55 QSOs and his worst was 20Z with 26.  Tom operated the entire contest period, and worked 69 different Michigan counties and 109 different multiplier regions.

Justin, AC8PI from often-rare Chippewa county finished as the second place Michigan Rookie single op.  Justin had nice QSO and multipliers totals with breakdowns of 50/287/15/0/0, but it was all on SSB.  He also left 4:19 of operating time on the table, putting him at a disadvantage vs. K8BKM that he could not overcome, despite working 65 different Michigan counties.   Scotty, KB8APS from Muskegon county finished third following an interesting strategy - all of his QSOs were on 40 SSB.  He must have spent the weekend sharing time between MiQP and other activities; his log shows QSOs in every hour of the contest, yet he only accumulated around 6-1/2 hours on the air.  Still, he managed to work 46 Michigan counties and 63 unique multiplier regions -  not a bad result for Scotty's first time in MiQP.

The graph above shows the progress made by the top three rookie single-ops as the contest ran on.  The graph clearly shows how the different operating strategies employed by the three stations impacted their progress.  K8BKM and AC8PI waged quite a battle early on, and were only 11 QSOs apart at the end of the 20Z hour.  With K8BKM switching back and for between CW and SSB, his rates continued steady while AC8SI was mostly QRT in the 21Z hour and had slow rates until the 00Z hour when he started running rates similar to K8BKM until the end of the contest.  Bbut by then K8BKM had built his margin for victory.  For KB8APS, his part-time operating style produced slow but steady results until 02Z, when a flurry of activity produced 33% of his total QSOs in just that one hour.

Let's hope that the Top Michigan Rookie Single-Op award continues to attract interest and bring new hams to the MiQP.  For now, we'll continue the award at least through the 2016 MiQP to see if the interest is sustainable.

Most MI Counties Worked

The MiQP Most Counties Worked competition is intended to offer an alternative for those single operators who like to focus on “working them all”.  There are separate competitions for in-state and out-of-state entries.

Among Michigan single-operators, Greg, NA8V led the way for the most counties worked with 70.  K8BKM, N8SS and WA8Y were close behind, tied for 2nd best with 69 counties, while K8BZ and WZ8T were tied for 3rd best with 68 counties.  30 Michigan single-ops (up from only 7 last year) along with 21 multi-op stations (up from only 4 last year) plus one mobile were able to work 50 or more different Michigan counties this year.  As noted on the lead page, Michigan entries overall worked 8 more counties on average than last year.

Among the non-Michigan entries, the top three Eastern/Central Region entries led in terms of counties worked.  Ralph, K8RYU worked 75 (more counties than any other single-op), followed by WA3HAE with 70 and N4PN with 58 SP9LJD showed what could be done from the DX side with 43 counties.  Non-Michigan entries worked one more county each on average this year vs. 2014.

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