Operating Awards from "Minor League Contesting"

Introduction I am the operator of a modestly equipped amateur station with modest (if not inferior) antennas, and I do not have exceptional operating skills. Nonetheless, I have received some nice operating awards in both state QSO parties and QRP contests. In these types of events those of us with modest stations can often find we are quite competitive. The awards are just the icing on the cake, while the experience of operating in these events to make a significant number of contacts is the real part of the experience! These events are to be enjoyed regardless of how the results turn out.

State QSO Parties

These small contests can be a lot of fun as you seek to work as many stations within the state(s) within as many counties as possible which are the multipliers. If you have travelled within that state, or have other connections there it adds to the interest. Often one is more competitive operating in nearby states as competitors often major on the lower frequency bands as they are trying to work as many stations within their state as possible, while also entertaining out-of-state QSO's as they generally count to them as both contacts and multipliers. I have received awards in both the West Virginia and Virginia QSO parties.

The plaque for the West Virginia QSO party in 2002 was my first contest award. I was the respeat out-of-state winner also in 2003. I received the plaque for being the first to work all 25 jurisdictions in the Maryland QSO party. In 2004 I was able to obtain the highest out-of-state QRP score in the Virginia QSO party.

QRP Contests

The ARCI and other groups host some really nice operating events for QRP operators. These events are a lot of fun, and typically pack a lot of activity in a small time period and a small slice of frequency spectrum.

The certificate below was for my highest finish so far in an ARCI event, 9th place overall.

International Contests

My biggest surprise was receiving this certificate in the mail for having the high QRP score in the 160 meter contest in 2004. I had actually scored higher the previous year, but obviously competition was less. So it makes sense to send in your scores any time you put in a reasonable effort. Have fun in your operating!

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