QRP AField, September 18, 2021

NEQRP logoShirley Márquez Dúlcey, KE1L, writes on the NEQRP mailing list:

QRP Afield 2021 is TOMORROW! As always, it is held on the third Saturday of September, which is September 18 this year; as in the past few years, it runs from 1500-2100Z (11am-5pm EDT). You can read the rules here: https://www.newenglandqrp.org/qrp-afield-2018/ (still mostly correct).

Our weekend always has a number of other operating events going on, perhaps because it’s the final weekend of summer. Five QSO parties overlap some or all of our operating period: Iowa, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Texas, and Washington (the Salmon Run). There is also a major international contest, the Scandinavian Activity Contest (they were booming into NH last year; I worked a couple of them on 40 CW!), and this year we have Wisconsin Parks on the Air. There will surely also be some activations in programs including POTA, SOTA, and IOTA, and some special event stations. Here in MA there is one to commemorate the 100th anniversary of broadcast station WBZ; it will use the special call signs W1W, W1B, W1Z, and WB1Z. Also keep an ear out for the Chowdercon station, W1C; that will have NEQRP members operating portable from an island in Portsmouth NH.

This year, contacts with stations in other operating events are explicitly allowed. (If you can’t beat them join them!) You are not required to complete the full QRP Afield exchange with those stations; instead, you should use the exchange required by the other event. (Their logging software probably isn’t set up to record your power level or NEQRP number.) We encourage you to submit logs to any contests you make contacts in, even if you only make one or two contacts; the organizers use your data to check other logs.

I’m also introducing a new bonus. Any contact where both operators send a NEQRP number and submit logs that contain a matching contact is worth two points instead of the usual one. The normal power, location, and S/P/C multipliers still apply. That’s meant to encourage people to make some QRP Afield contacts. (Don’t have a member number? Membership in the New England QRP Club is free and open to all hams. Send email to kk1x@kk1x.net with the subject Join.)

You can work each station once per band per mode. For our purposes there are three modes: CW, voice (any voice mode including digital voice), and digital (everything else: RTTY, PSK31, JT65, FT8, SSTV, fax — if it’s not Morse Code and doesn’t involve a microphone it goes here). All bands other than WARC bands and 60 meters are allowed, but you’ll find most of the QRP Afield activity on 40 and 20 meter CW. (The only bands and modes that appeared in 2020 logs were 80, 40, and 20 meter CW.) Perhaps 15 will have an opening this year, and consider trying 80 to work some nearby stations, especially if you are in or near one of the states with a QSO party.

A field station must use non-permanent antennas and be powered by something other than the commercial power grid or a motor-driven generator. Usually that means batteries. No minimum distance from your house is required; operating from your porch or yard is fine. That said, we encourage you to get out and operate from a location away from home!

Chowdercon is also tomorrow! Carl recently sent out a message about that.  The weather forecast looks decent: mostly cloudy through 1 pm, clearing to partly cloudy after that, with high temperatures in the low 70s and a 15% chance of rain throughout the day. Showers are likely in the late evening but people will be off the island well before that.

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