2019 Virginia QSO Party


Some comments.  (SOAPBOX below also.)

 QSO cards from WA4JUO and KA7HBH.


QSO Card from W4BUE showing nice ham shack.



19 March 2019, W4RBH wrote letter

 On 26 March, John KX4O, emailed:

80M was killer for in-Virginia QSOs this year.

On 18 March, John, KX4O, emailed:

Thanks to your advertising, the spotting network, while not the record number of users, made more spots for 2019. The details below are not perfect because they just accumulate all spots during the year, but VAQP is the only real event where this is used other than tests.

I had a feeling the spotting network got more of a workout and had more new folks than ever on board.  Slightly fewer spotters...

Screen Shot 2019-03-17 at 10.20.46 PM.png

...made a bit more spots...

Screen Shot 2019-03-17 at 10.17.06 PM.png

I still ponder the utility of the spotting system just for this, but some folks seem to like it.


17 March at 8:15 PM

First off, this was my first year I got serious about the VAQP, and I am glad I did; precious as my time is, I had a ball!  Thanks to you and SPARC for sponsoring the VAQP.  I'm going to submit my log shortly.

I see you published my email from this morning.  I had hoped you would;  I think a lot of operators are missing a golden opportunity to make easy multiplier contacts on the low bands. A lot of people have the misconception that 160 'eats your signal' during the day, but nothing could be farther from the truth.  I've run tests, and 160 phone during the day works fine with about 20 watts or more to a low dipole with solar weather as it presents today. 

One can expect D layer activity to be higher during sunspot peaks, but right now is a great time to be using short skip or NVIS as they call it these days, with daytime absorption as low as one can expect. CW is much more effective than SSB, with about 10 X to 25x or more more punch.  On 80 I have made contacts with 2 1/2 watts SSB and well under a watt CW;  I'd expect that 160 CW might take a watt, maybe two if it's really noisy.  The key is the antenna;  high enough to keep losses down, and low enough to reduce the noise.

As you may have seen, the FoF2 plot from Wallops was unusually low today, and as we continue through this solar minimum, those conditions are going to be common.

Perhaps next year, DV, I will sponsor a plaque for single operator on 160 and 80 only.

Thanks again,

Larry Wright  W8ANT

17 March at 7:21 AM
To all:
I spent about 9 or 10 hours yesterday operating in the Virginia QSO
party yesterday, CW QRP.  I did so for several reasons:
-with an eye towards looking at the practicality of NVIS;
-in remembrance of Don Baucom, K4YND (SK) who took top honors in 2017
for in-state CW QRP while he was in the terminal stages of pancreatic
cancer; -to polish my CW a bit; and of course for the love of the challenge.

I have a few observations I thought each of you might find of interest.

For those on my email who aren't familiar, for the VA QSO party your
overall score, if you are operating as an 'out-of-state' op, is the
number of VA cities and counties you work times your QSO score.  Phone
QSOs get 1 point, and CW/digital get 2.  Out-of-state stations can only
work VA stations for QSO credit, while VA stations can work anyone.

This leads to the VA stations mostly running upper HF during the day,
(lots of 40 and 20) and going to 80 meters (mostly phone)around dark.
As a QRP station located less than a mile from VA, I was surprised to be
able to hear a large number of stations (mostly faint signals S1 or S2)
from VA on 40 CW after about 1600 Z.  I could only hear them on 40 on my
dedicated low Vee fan dipole NVIS antenna (160/80/40); my higher dipoles
on 40 and 80 were so much noisier that *I* could not hear these stations
on the higher antennas, and also I expect that on 40 my higher dipole,
which is about 60' up, was nulling whatever high angle signals were
getting to my location.  I worked none of these faint signals, although
I could copy them, and have worked DX as weak or weaker.  The FoF2
peaked yesterday at Wallops around 6 mhz and bottomed just about 2 mHz,
as has been typical lately, so it is not surprising that only the
farthest stations were easy copy on 40

This really hammers home the point that higher is NOT better for HF
NVIS.  I made only 1 contact yesterday on 40 meter CW, from far SW
Virginia; this was one of the very few 40 meter VA stations that I heard
that was loud, around s7 or so, IIRC.

The next interesting point is that 160, which is wide open for CW QRP
NVIS during the day (I've tested it) was deserted until well after
sunset.  I've proven earlier this spring that NVIS on 160 phone is
easily workable with only 20 watts to a low NVIS antenna, and 5 watt CW
is doable during the day also, but there was *nothing* on 160 during the
day.  Crickets all day long.  With the reward for multipliers, and the
easy copy for even low power stations on 160, I am surprised at the lack
of activity on 160.  I checked from time to time, and daytime 160
operation was not happening. Anyone with an 80 meter dipole and a tuner
can get on 160 and a hundred watts would get you in the game.  This is a

Anyway, after dark, 80 CW, where I had spent most of the day, got very
crowded and started to go long.  I heard the LA QSO party on, as well as
a lot of DX and stateside stations calling CQ test, and for several
hours I felt a bit like a frog on a freeway;  my CQs got stepped on
repeatedly by big guns and 'tunas' but I made a few contacts, and
conditions remained workable for 80 NVIS up until I pulled the plug
around 11 pm ET.  The FoF2 stayed above 4 mhz until about 0200 Z when it
started to drop precipitously, and I noted some QSB starting on 80, so I
went down to 160, started calling CQ, worked one station, spotted them,
then stations started showing up.  I CQed and searched/pounced on 160
for a while, then had no more takers for almost an hour, and went back
to 80 for the rest of the night.  Again, 160 was WIDE OPEN, and just a
few VA stations on the band.

Which brings me to 80.  I had to cancel my PTO yesterday, so I was still
messing around the shack when the contest started, and did not get
things rolling till after lunch.  Even with only 5 watts, 80 CW was
doable for most stations that were loud to me, but again, VA stations
were thin on the ground for daytime CW, and thinned out after about 9 pm
ET to the point that most of the VA folks I heard I had already worked.
Again, my broadband 80 meter dipole was MUCH noisier than the NVIS
dipole.  Surprisingly, CQing was productive during the day;  sitting
near 3550 and calling CQ worked better than I had thought even for 5
watts.  I had a slow but steady flow of contacts most of the afternoon.

Anyhow, it will be interesting to see whether anyone new is on 80 or 160
during the day.  Assuming we get no CMEs or flares, conditions should be
perfect for 160 or 80 meter NVIS; it will be interesting to see what
today brings.

Larry Wright, W8ANT


NB3A/M   SOAPBOX: Thanks for another fun QSO party. Special thanks to SPARC and their
NB3A/M   SOAPBOX: team of tireless volunteers because without them the VAQP wouldn't
NB3A/M   SOAPBOX: be what it is!

AA8TA     SOAPBOX: As usual, it seems, lots of activity near the end.  Too bad many
AA8TA     SOAPBOX: were dupes.  Thanks for the Qs.
AB4YK     SOAPBOX: Generally a good run on 80m only because no VAQP signals
AB4YK     SOAPBOX: heard on 40m.  I called a few times on 80m but no stations
AB4YK     SOAPBOX: came back so gave up and stayed on search and pounce in the
AB4YK     SOAPBOX: range 3837 to 3870 - thanks to all who showed up with
AB4YK     SOAPBOX: reliable signals on 80.

K2BFY     SOAPBOX: Always the best contest
K3CCR     SOAPBOX: K3CCR is the club station at the Collington continuing-care
K3CCR     SOAPBOX: retirement community at FM 18OW in MD, just east of DC. N3UM and
K3CCR     SOAPBOX: W3GB operated Multi-Op 2-Tx HP in the 2019 VA QSO Party. Both of
K3CCR     SOAPBOX: us had non-ham commitments but did 20 hr. total BIC, 4 hrs. with
K3CCR     SOAPBOX: both of us on. Our 2016-2018 VAQP efforts taught us that most Qs
K3CCR     SOAPBOX: from MD will be 80m. SSB, with only a few available on CW and/or
K3CCR     SOAPBOX: 40m. Same story this year; 82% 80m. SSB, 10% 40m. both modes,
K3CCR     SOAPBOX: and 15% CW on both bands. This was clear from the start. In the
K3CCR     SOAPBOX: first 2.2 hr. W3GB made 64 Qs on 80m. SSB while N3UM scraped up
K3CCR     SOAPBOX: just 16 Qs on 40m, CW and SSB. N3UM ate lunch, got on 80 SSB for
K3CCR     SOAPBOX: 26 Qs while W3GB ate, then got 14 more Qs on 40m. W3GB got 60
K3CCR     SOAPBOX: more Qs on 80 SSB till 21Z. By then we had 180 QSOs and 80 mults
K3CCR     SOAPBOX: after 7 hr, 57% and 71% of final totals. We took offset supper
K3CCR     SOAPBOX: breaks, then did only 80m. till the end. N3UM got 41 Qs 23-01Z,
K3CCR     SOAPBOX: 21 on CW, and 8 mults. W3GB did the late shift 01-0330Z. It was
K3CCR     SOAPBOX: slow; he got 20 SSB Qs and 6 mults. Sun. daytime was also slow.
K3CCR     SOAPBOX: N3UM got 26 Qs and 9 mults in 2.3 hr. 1233-1453Z. W3GB then got
K3CCR     SOAPBOX: 39 Qs and 17 mults in 5 hrs. BIC spaced out over 1650-2330. We
K3CCR     SOAPBOX: were happy to claim 113 mults, 12 more than our 2018 previous
K3CCR     SOAPBOX: best, and claimed a 4.9K higher score despite 7 fewer Q points.
K3CCR     SOAPBOX: Fun to chase VA mobiles for 28 �hard� mults. Thanks W4GO/M,
K3CCR     SOAPBOX: KJ4OAP/M, AK2M/M, and AB4YK/M. Tnx also to W3JRD/P for 7 mults.

K3FRG     SOAPBOX: First licenced Jan/2018. VHF/UHF Only. Thank you SPARC! Go FARA!

K3ZGA     SOAPBOX: Didn't have much time, but, always enjoy your contest.

K4FOY     SOAPBOX: Operating portable from 2 miles south of Franklin, VA

K4G     SOAPBOX: Thanks SPARC for sponsoring!

K4GTF     SOAPBOX: Five dupes scored zero points.  Attempts at running were slow or
K4GTF     SOAPBOX: non exestant except last hour Sunday.

K4JTN-M     SOAPBOX: 1 or more contacts from: Essex, Westmoreland,  Total Mobile Bonus = 200
K4JTN-M     SOAPBOX: Contest should be 10am 8pm on sunday

K4LPQ-E     SOAPBOX: 1 or more contacts from: Grayson, Wise,  Total Mobile Bonus = 200

K4WY     SOAPBOX: King William County using a KX3

K4XL     SOAPBOX: This was my first ever state QSO party and I was happy to
K4XL     SOAPBOX: represent Amherst County which I understand had been
K4XL     SOAPBOX: underrepresented recently.  I obviously have a lot to learn about
K4XL     SOAPBOX: the VAQP and how to best use my time.  I thoroughly enjoyed the
K4XL     SOAPBOX: contest and plan to enter again at every opportunity.

K8DIU     SOAPBOX: All QSOs on phone.  FM on 146 (2M) and 440 MHz (0.7M), SSB on 50 MHz and below.

KA9GDW     SOAPBOX: 1 or more contacts from: , 02,  Total Mobile Bonus = 200

KC1PIA     SOAPBOX: 1 or more contacts from: Prince William, Manassas, Manassas Park,  Total Mobile Bonus = 300

KC3MWD     SOAPBOX: Have a nice day :)

KD5ILA     SOAPBOX: Props not the best and was in and out of radio most of the day.
KD5ILA     SOAPBOX: Thanks for all the contacts made and for letting me be part of your QSO Party.

KE0TT     SOAPBOX: K3/10 driving a Ten Tec 405 amp to 50 watts output. 
KE0TT     SOAPBOX: Wire antennas fed with ladder lines and Johnson Matchbox tuners. 
KE0TT     SOAPBOX: Thanks for the fun and all the CW activity ! 
KE0TT     SOAPBOX: Bands were weak so gave up on QRP op almost at the start,
KE0TT     SOAPBOX: but the 50 watts were enough to make Q's. 
KE0TT     SOAPBOX: C U next time, 73,  Dan  ke0tt   MN

KE8AE     SOAPBOX: Great party.  Thanks to all.

KF5YUB     SOAPBOX: I goofed and didn't record serial no sent.


KI4PW     SOAPBOX: about the station

KJ4OAP     SOAPBOX: Man, bad timing for band conditions to be tough!  It's tough
KJ4OAP     SOAPBOX: enough to do 80m mobile, but the ionosphere didn't help much
KJ4OAP     SOAPBOX: for this weekend.  Thank you to all of the stations that
KJ4OAP     SOAPBOX: worked with me in weak conditions, especially all of the QSOs
KJ4OAP     SOAPBOX: (21 of them!) from N4RP that were often very weak!  Certainly
KJ4OAP     SOAPBOX: enjoyed the much different route running up the I-81 corridor
KJ4OAP     SOAPBOX: hitting the independent cities.  Even though I got 3 more
KJ4OAP     SOAPBOX: QSOs in this year (and man was it a sprint at the finish to
KJ4OAP     SOAPBOX: achieve that!) I had significantly less (15) states, lowering
KJ4OAP     SOAPBOX: my score quite a bit.  Glad to see I was able to improve my
KJ4OAP     SOAPBOX: C&IC count by 1!  I hope I was able to fill in quite a bit of
KJ4OAP     SOAPBOX: the map and sorry I wasn't able to make it to Dickenson or
KJ4OAP     SOAPBOX: Buchanan, maybe next year's route will work out better.  I'll
KJ4OAP     SOAPBOX: be looking forward to this again next year and hopefully some
KJ4OAP     SOAPBOX: better band conditions!

KK4BZ-M     SOAPBOX: Radio Baofeng UV-5R, 2 meter and 440 MHz only. Thanks for the fun!

KK4ZUU-M     SOAPBOX: SPARC, thanks for the contest. This was my 5th year, 4th year as a mobile. See you next year (my son is studying). 73, David

KM4TOM-M     SOAPBOX: KM4TOM - operator is 13 years old.

KM4YC-M     SOAPBOX: 1 or more contacts from: Fairfax City, Prince William, Warren,  Total Mobile Bonus = 300


KN4Y     SOAPBOX: Screwed up serial numbers but time okay

KN9W     SOAPBOX: Enjoyed the neighbor state Qparty, Bands didn't like me much..

KW4GF     SOAPBOX: I enjoyed my very first VA QSO Party. I had quite a pileup at times even though band conditions were poor.
                   I appreciated all of the operators being patient with me. Even though I only operated for a short time,
                   I'm going to spend more time on this and other contests in the future.

KW4VA     SOAPBOX: Thanks again to Jim W4RX for the use of his station!

KX4KU_Fixed     SOAPBOX: I want to thank the folks at SPARC for all of thier hard work putting
KX4KU_Fixed     SOAPBOX: this fun contest together.  Each year I approach it a different
KX4KU_Fixed     SOAPBOX: way and learn something new.  73 Kevin KX4KU

KX4KU_Mobile     SOAPBOX: A few extra contacts on my way home - CUL to  FAU.
KX4KU_Mobile     SOAPBOX: Just a few on the way home from my station.  But three counties on my way
KX4KU_Mobile     SOAPBOX: home it was worth it!  Thanks SPARC.

N1GFV     SOAPBOX: Vienna Wireless Society


N4CWP     SOAPBOX: Very poor conditions

N5SMQ     SOAPBOX: Was still sick with FLU! Only lasted 30-40 minutes. Still had fun!

N6DW     SOAPBOX: This was my first chance to spend some time in the VQP. Not all
N6DW     SOAPBOX: went well.  As it was, I has to work around weekend activities,
N6DW     SOAPBOX: but Murphy reared its ugly  head early. The auto tuner kept going
N6DW     SOAPBOX: wacky on 80 while I was trying to run a few.  I gave up and went
N6DW     SOAPBOX: outside to check the antenna.  Seems the support rope had slipped
N6DW     SOAPBOX: and the dipole center drooped to within 10 ft of the ground and
N6DW     SOAPBOX: was swinging in the wind.  I got that sorted and decided to check
N6DW     SOAPBOX: 40 cw.  That's when I learned that I had selected some odd
N6DW     SOAPBOX: combination of cut numbers in N1MM+.  No wonder I kept getting
N6DW     SOAPBOX: requests for repeats.  Sorry if UU showed up instead of 22. It
N6DW     SOAPBOX: took a while to find the settings for cut numbers and fix it.  To
N6DW     SOAPBOX: add to the confusion, I had just finished a new keyboard keyer
N6DW     SOAPBOX: and put it inline without learning all the functions, which means
N6DW     SOAPBOX: I had a few unforseen kinks..  After a few abortive attempts, I
N6DW     SOAPBOX: got that sorted, and only forgot to match the keyboard speed to
N6DW     SOAPBOX: N1MM+ a couple of times.  Sunday went much better.....for the
N6DW     SOAPBOX: signals I could hear.  Thanks to all who stuck in there while I
N6DW     SOAPBOX: pulled you out of the noise. For all of you whose contact I may
N6DW     SOAPBOX: have lost mid-stream or made you work for, I apologize, and thank
N6DW     SOAPBOX: you for hanging with me.  Oh, and later in the afternoon the
N6DW     SOAPBOX: erratic tuner re-tuning came back and I called it quits.  I have
N6DW     SOAPBOX: more antenna work to do anyway.

N7QLK     SOAPBOX: Love the VA QSO Party!!

N8PSI-M     SOAPBOX: All QSOs were made with 5w transceivers (HF, VHF, UHF). Drove to each location
N8PSI-M     SOAPBOX: and setup stations.

NW3V-F     SOAPBOX: Especially enjoyed working KN4SYO/M. I used my FT-50RD and KX3.

NW3V-M     SOAPBOX: Used FT-50RD.

OM2VL     SOAPBOX: It was my first VAQP and it seems also the last!
OM2VL     SOAPBOX: called CQ continuesly 3 hours but no any one VA back - I made
OM2VL     SOAPBOX: only 3 LA station - so I went home and back to the QTH on Sunday.
OM2VL     SOAPBOX: 20 m was again bad, but I can work with some stations. 40m was
OM2VL     SOAPBOX: better and I found some stations on CW + I RUN SSB and
OM2VL     SOAPBOX: fortunatelly I had sometimes solid pileup. Unfortunatelly 99,9 %
OM2VL     SOAPBOX: of mobiles was only on 80m SSB + 40m SSB in part where I cant
OM2VL     SOAPBOX: transmitt, so  I am very disappointed ... 
OM2VL     SOAPBOX: counties I don't work any ... 
OM2VL     SOAPBOX: last hour I was on 80m CW and I can work with 23 !!!!! VA
OM2VL     SOAPBOX: stations. 
OM2VL     SOAPBOX: come on my frq and called me!

VE3PYJ     SOAPBOX: Could not find the bonus station?


W3TB     SOAPBOX: Set up QRP Field Day style from the Wyndham Resort in Nashville
W3TB     SOAPBOX: attaches to Williamsburg Area Amateur Radio Club.

W4AKO     SOAPBOX: Only operated on one band (80 m) antenna.Also,propagation was to some extent "lousy" at
W4AKO     SOAPBOX: times,to say at least.I operated the band only 8.5 hours over the two days, selectively.
W4AKO     SOAPBOX: Thanks to the "Mobiles",particulary, W4OG/M,(9) contacts. I hope it helped the club! I
W4AKO     SOAPBOX: will be "BACK" to NORMAL.

W4IOW     SOAPBOX: Best VA Contest ever. Had a great time!

W4IPC     SOAPBOX: Youth (16)

W4JTP     SOAPBOX: Hope condx have bottomed out. Antenna doesn't work on 160.

W4T     SOAPBOX: We Had a Great Time Operating From Tangier Island

W5ODJ     SOAPBOX: If you need to reach me you can send an e-mail to
W5ODJ     SOAPBOX: [email protected] or cell phone at 703-431-9148.

W5WJN     SOAPBOX: I heard the QSO Party stations while I was waiting for the 'Treatment Transport
W5WJN     SOAPBOX: Van' to come take me for my treatment and as usual they were late so had a
W5WJN     SOAPBOX: little time to make a few contacts. Maybe next year I can work the whole party.
W5WJN     SOAPBOX: Thanks much de Bill W5WJN ( da Gator )

WB4HRL     SOAPBOX: W4GO/M did a spectacular job.

WB8SDA     SOAPBOX: Wish had more time and heard more stations.  Still enjoyed the VaQP

WD4DCW-AG     SOAPBOX: this is my 1st weekend with my general privileges, not sure if I'm doing this
WD4DCW-AG     SOAPBOX: right so my apologies if its wrong.
WD4DCW-AG     SOAPBOX: wa4nuf sent contact #373, I sent back #001.

WF1L     SOAPBOX: Lousy Propagation into VA from Delmarva. Also surprised at the variety of moving
WF1L     SOAPBOX: station labels "Portable, Mobile, etc" instead of Rover