QCX Challenge - NEW RULES 2021 #qcx #poll-notice #contest #qcxmini


ON7DQ Luc
 

Hi folks,

Hans has asked me to be the ‘unofficial’ QCX Challenge Manager, which I gladly accepted.

It’s one less thing to worry for Hans, I think he can use his time better to ship out some more QCX- mini’s and other products!

Some time ago we had a Poll about the future of the QCX Challenge, and here is the result (see attached screenshot).


So with a majority of 33 votes, the decision is to have only ONE QCX Challenge each month, on the last Monday, with a mix of QRP and QRO, and a new scoring system.

I have asked Hans to make the necessary changes to the website but in the mean time, please find a copy of the new rules below (print or save to your computer).

The Chat function in this newsgroup is not the most practical, so please join us on this sked page:
QRP sked page (instructions below). It is very helpful to post your operating frequency in your Status field. Try it out before the start of the Challenge.

I hope to hear many QCX/QCX+/QCX-mini’s on the air next  Monday.

73,

Luc ON7DQ / KF0CR

 

QCX Challenge Rules

When: Last Monday of the month 1300z  to 1400z, 1900z to 2000z and 0300z to 0400z (note, this is the LAST session, it is technically Tuesday 0300-0400Z, but will be Monday evening local time in the Americas).

Bands: 20m 40m 80m

Frequencies:
When operating QRP, suggested frequencies are 1 to 3 kHz below the QRP calling frequencies (14.060, 7.030, 3.560 respectively*).
When operating QRO, suggested frequencies are 3 to 5 kHz below those frequencies.
   * If your region has other QRP calling frequencies, adjust accordingly.
Please spread out and use spotting aids (see below) to see where people are.
Of course, QSOs anywhere on the band can be counted.

Mode: CW

Focus: Worldwide

Eligibility:

·         Any QCX/QSX running without or with an external amplifier of up to 100W = a ‘QCX operator’

·         Any other radio (QRP up to legal max, but it is advised not to use more than 100W)

·         Only stations using a QCX/QSX can enter their scores on the 3830scores  website


Rules
:

·         Use of high gain antennas is allowed

·         Spotting is encouraged. QRP signals can be weak and it helps to know where to look.

    • The Reverse Beacon Network (RBN) is an excellent tool (http://beta.reversebeacon.net/main.php), and this interpretation of RBN data helps to see where people are on the band (https://dxcluster.ha8tks.hu/rbn_ct1boh/). Use the sliders to narrow down the frequency range.
    • To increase the chances of finding each other, it is advised to use this QRP sked page
      You can login to that page without a password, but it is better to use one, it protects your profile data (click the word Profile ).
      After logging in, click the word Back to become visible in the user list, and fill in the Status box (e.g. with the frequency where you’re calling CQ), and click the Set button

·         Any feature of the QCX/QSX is allowed – specifically for the avoidance of doubt this includes the use of message banks, keyer, the inbuilt decoder and any other standard functionality


Power
: to keep things fun, it is advised not to use more than 100W

Minimum Exchange: true RST, name, rig, power  ( optional info: QTH, antenna, WX, …)
                                   If signals are good enough; please specify your model of QCX :
                                   QCX, QCX Plus or QCX Mini (or QSX when it’s available).

 

Scoring:

·         Work a non-QCX operator – 1 point per QSO

·         Work a QCX operator, but one or both stations in the QSO are using an amplifier – 3 points per QSO

·         Work a QCX operator, and BOTH sides are using QRP power – 5 points per QSO.

Note: scoring is for fun, and to get an idea of who participated. This is a party, not intended to be a serious contest!

Scores: please submit your score to 3830scores.com , and give some detail of your station, power, antenna, etc. in the comment field.

Logs: Not required.

Remember, the important thing is to be active, explore the limits of your QCX and have fun on the bands.

 


Nigel Evans M0NDE
 

I do not get it. We build QRP our rigs then run a contest inviting QRO suggesting them not to use more than 100W. I use sometimes say 80w to get through on a sked but how can a QCX challenge be a challenge when not using QRP Labs kit or using QRP. Its like having a cycle race but inviting motorcycles to try and beat the cycles. 
Seems daft to me.
Nigel M0NDE

On Fri, 22 Jan 2021, 8:01 am ON7DQ Luc, <on7dq@...> wrote:

Hi folks,

Hans has asked me to be the ‘unofficial’ QCX Challenge Manager, which I gladly accepted.

It’s one less thing to worry for Hans, I think he can use his time better to ship out some more QCX- mini’s and other products!

Some time ago we had a Poll about the future of the QCX Challenge, and here is the result (see attached screenshot).


So with a majority of 33 votes, the decision is to have only ONE QCX Challenge each month, on the last Monday, with a mix of QRP and QRO, and a new scoring system.

I have asked Hans to make the necessary changes to the website but in the mean time, please find a copy of the new rules below (print or save to your computer).

The Chat function in this newsgroup is not the most practical, so please join us on this sked page:
QRP sked page (instructions below). It is very helpful to post your operating frequency in your Status field. Try it out before the start of the Challenge.

I hope to hear many QCX/QCX+/QCX-mini’s on the air next  Monday.

73,

Luc ON7DQ / KF0CR

 

QCX Challenge Rules

When: Last Monday of the month 1300z  to 1400z, 1900z to 2000z and 0300z to 0400z (note, this is the LAST session, it is technically Tuesday 0300-0400Z, but will be Monday evening local time in the Americas).

Bands: 20m 40m 80m

Frequencies:
When operating QRP, suggested frequencies are 1 to 3 kHz below the QRP calling frequencies (14.060, 7.030, 3.560 respectively*).
When operating QRO, suggested frequencies are 3 to 5 kHz below those frequencies.
   * If your region has other QRP calling frequencies, adjust accordingly.
Please spread out and use spotting aids (see below) to see where people are.
Of course, QSOs anywhere on the band can be counted.

Mode: CW

Focus: Worldwide

Eligibility:

·         Any QCX/QSX running without or with an external amplifier of up to 100W = a ‘QCX operator’

·         Any other radio (QRP up to legal max, but it is advised not to use more than 100W)

·         Only stations using a QCX/QSX can enter their scores on the 3830scores  website


Rules
:

·         Use of high gain antennas is allowed

·         Spotting is encouraged. QRP signals can be weak and it helps to know where to look.

    • The Reverse Beacon Network (RBN) is an excellent tool (http://beta.reversebeacon.net/main.php), and this interpretation of RBN data helps to see where people are on the band (https://dxcluster.ha8tks.hu/rbn_ct1boh/). Use the sliders to narrow down the frequency range.
    • To increase the chances of finding each other, it is advised to use this QRP sked page
      You can login to that page without a password, but it is better to use one, it protects your profile data (click the word Profile ).
      After logging in, click the word Back to become visible in the user list, and fill in the Status box (e.g. with the frequency where you’re calling CQ), and click the Set button

·         Any feature of the QCX/QSX is allowed – specifically for the avoidance of doubt this includes the use of message banks, keyer, the inbuilt decoder and any other standard functionality


Power
: to keep things fun, it is advised not to use more than 100W

Minimum Exchange: true RST, name, rig, power  ( optional info: QTH, antenna, WX, …)
                                   If signals are good enough; please specify your model of QCX :
                                   QCX, QCX Plus or QCX Mini (or QSX when it’s available).

 

Scoring:

·         Work a non-QCX operator – 1 point per QSO

·         Work a QCX operator, but one or both stations in the QSO are using an amplifier – 3 points per QSO

·         Work a QCX operator, and BOTH sides are using QRP power – 5 points per QSO.

Note: scoring is for fun, and to get an idea of who participated. This is a party, not intended to be a serious contest!

Scores: please submit your score to 3830scores.com , and give some detail of your station, power, antenna, etc. in the comment field.

Logs: Not required.

Remember, the important thing is to be active, explore the limits of your QCX and have fun on the bands.

 


Michael N6MST
 

You know Hans designed and sells a 50 watts amp specifically for the QCX, right? It's a QCX event, not a QRP event but the scoring does in fact incentivize QRP operating.

I think it's nice to include everyone, especially since a lot of people have spent time and money building their QCX amps.


Colin Weaving
 

First, thank you Luc, for stepping in and arranging the QCX challenge. It is great that there are volunteers to help our further enjoyment of the hobby, particularly our homebrew equipment. The monthly Challenge is a nice focal point and with the improving band conditions, the last Monday of the month can be eagerly anticipated.

Now the difficult part (sorry Luc). I too have reservations about the QRO aspect, particularly the 100W suggestion. My operating experience which is solely QRP has been sadly compromised by the suggested QRP frequencies being flooded with high power signals. In fact I no longer try to operate at weekends.

My experience was that initially the Challenge on the last Monday was QRP motivated, and the higher power aspect followed, albeit on a different day.

I do respect that the Challenge may have dwarfed into a QRP Labs rather than a QCX event, but that would limit power To 50 Watts.

I am reluctant to encourage a situation that suggests it is OK to intrude on the QRP frequencies with greater power, if only on the last Monday of the month.

I do not have a resolution, just my thoughts.


N3MNT
 

Mixed feelings on the 100W amp issue.   I am a strong believer in the principle of using the min power necessary to accomplish the task.  That is what makes Ham radio a fun challenge.  Even on my Ellecraft QRO radio I hardly ever use 100% power.  On the other hand allowing QRO operators should attract more operators and increase the possible number of contracts to a level that would attract more operators to the contest.  If I have any suggestions for a change, it would be to limit the max power to 50W ( max QRP-Labs product)..


Michael N6MST
 

On Fri, Jan 22, 2021 at 04:23 AM, Colin Weaving wrote:
intrude on the QRP frequencies
Without knowing your call it's hard to know if you are licensed and if so, where you are licensed, but one thing that should have been drilled into your head if you are an American ham is that NOBODY  owns any amateur frequencies.


Richard - N1RBD
 

Looks like those of us who work normal office hours for a living on the US Eastern Seaboard are still out of luck.  :(  First two sessions are during work hours and the last is getting ready for bed, especially during DST.


Peter GM0EUL
 

Excellent, thanks Luc.  I love that sked page.  I'm happy with mixing QRP and QRO, I voted for that option.  I can run 100 watts if necessary but I prefer the purity of a barefoot QCX.  

73
Peter GM0EUL


Ted 2E0THH
 

On Fri, Jan 22, 2021 at 02:04 PM, Michael N6MST wrote:
Without knowing your call it's hard to know if you are licensed and if so, where you are licensed, but one thing that should have been drilled into your head if you are an American ham is that NOBODY  owns any amateur frequencies.
Hi Michael
I think Colin was purely alluding to the band plan we have here in the UK, clearly it is different in the US.

 

73s Ted


Allen N4NN
 

Thank you for volunteering Luc! Please let me contribute some comments to yours and others.

Despite my callsign I am not a contester. Been a ham for 3.5 years now and I'm not a purist about anything when it comes to radio! Have enjoyed everything I've tried so far but the most fun and pride I get is making QRP contacts using one of my QCXs! Especially the QCXx2 ones! My comments - for what they're worth. 

- The QCX is all about QRP. The name of Han's company is QRPLabs after all
- I feel separate categories are need - not a handicapping system. Went to 3030 and randomly picked about a dozen or so scores to look at and didn't see any  QSO counts higher than 20. With a 100 watts one contact a minute seems quite doable. Interestingly I saw the one below. 
2019-DEC-30
Single Op HP 124 QSOs 121 Points
Single OP QRP 5 QSOs  11 Points
- Maybe use dB number difference between 5 and 100 watts as the differential multiplier?

I know things can get out of hand quickly - time on air, wire vs directional antennas, location, HOAs and on and on - but my opinion is this is not the event for QRO. That said I will be in party and cutting a rug! Good luck to all and thanks!


Michael N6MST
 

What an age we live in. The possession of a keyboard and an internet connection turns everyone into a "my opinion matters!" evangelist. The rules were posted. Deal with it. Join the fun or don't, your call, but why do some of you feel the need to complain about the hard work others are doing for you for free? Go start your own event if you don't like the rules, sheesh.

Can't please everyone, that's been true forever, but really with all the whining?


Chuck - K3FLN
 

On Fri, Jan 22, 2021 at 11:18 AM, Michael N6MST wrote:
of you feel the need to complain about the hard work others are doing for you for free? Go start your own event if you don't like the rules, sheesh.
Whining?  Really?  All I've seen is people politely expressing their opinions.  Mine is that I would prefer QRP with the exception of the QRP-Labs 50W amp only.
--
Cheers,
Chuck


Michael N6MST
 

On Fri, Jan 22, 2021 at 08:33 AM, Chuck - K3FLN wrote:
Whining?  Really?
Yes.


Colin Weaving
 

Sorry , I hit the send button too quickly. Like you Michael, I appreciate knowing the Ham identity of any commentator on the forum. For the record, I am M3WCK, Colin, located in the UK.

I do realise that nobody owns a frequency but certainly in the UK , (and I believe more widespread than that), there has been a concerted effort to designate band use so that we can all enjoy whatever aspect of the hobby that interests us. More eloquently than me - - Ted 2E0THH showed the suggested use of the 40 M Band.

It is solely for that reason that I question the encouragement of violating that guidance, when it is convenient to us ( our QCX Challenge.)

I am quite relaxed about combining QRP and QRP 50 watt linear in a monthly celebration of QRP equipment and users.. My only concern is doing that and violating a band use plan that is intended for the benefit of all. I do not have an answer, but possibly moving further away from QRP gathering spots may be considered.

Finally, I am concerned that my original posting has been interpreted as “whining”. Having reread what I wrote, I am surprised at that interpretation. Maybe I am wrong ? So to repeat. Thank you Luc for accepting that task and great success.

Just my opinion, others are entitled to disagree. Whatever, I will continue to enjoy the monthly Challenge under Lucas management.

Colin M3WCK


Al Sines
 

Richard,

That’s what vacation days are for!!🤣


On Jan 22, 2021, at 09:47, Richard <groups.io@...> wrote:

Looks like those of us who work normal office hours for a living on the US Eastern Seaboard are still out of luck.  :(  First two sessions are during work hours and the last is getting ready for bed, especially during DST.


Pat
 

On Fri, Jan 22, 2021 at 09:57 AM, Ted 2E0THH wrote:
I think Colin was purely alluding to the band plan we have here in the UK, clearly it is different in the US.
Right...Consider the following:

From the ARRL website (https://www.arrl.org/files/file/conop.pdf):  
The Considerate Operator’s Frequency Guide
The following frequencies are generally recognized for certain modes or activities (all frequencies are in MHz) during normal conditions. These are not regulations and occasionally a high level of activity, such as during a period of emergency response, DXpedition or contest, may result in stations operating outside these frequency ranges.  Nothing in the rules recognizes a net’s, group’s or any individual’s special privilege to any specific frequency. Section 97.101(b) of the Rules states that “Each station licensee and each control operator must cooperate in selecting transmitting channels and in making the most effective use of the amateur service frequencies. No frequency will be assigned for the exclusive use of any station.” No one “owns” a frequency. It’s good practice — and plain old common sense — for any operator, regardless of mode, to check to see if the frequency is in use prior to engaging operation. If you are there first, other operators should make an effort to protect you from interfere...7.030 QRP CW calling frequency, 14.060 QRP CW calling frequency, etc...
73
Pat
N0SHU


Ian G4GIR
 

It is a shame that 60m, 30m, and 17m have not been included in the eligible bands! After all it is a QSO Party NOT A CONTEST.
Not Whinging, just being practicable. Maybe those who only have those QCX bands would join in.
72
Ian G4GIR


ON7DQ Luc
 

Hi all,
 
First let me mention that Hans has updated the website today with these new rules, see https://www.qrp-labs.com/party.html
 
I will not go into a detailed response to each of the opinions/reactions above. As said, you can never please everyone, I'm fully aware of that.
But since I'm now the "manager", I'm supposed to say a few words, right ?
 
Now how did we come to these new rules?
 
- There is the result of the Poll (very topical these days ... democracy has to be respected, hi)
 
- We wanted to keep the time slots as they were, this means there is NO change needed to the 3830scores website
 
- One session a month means we have to include stations using an amplifier (QRP Labs or other), but it is no obligation to use one of course. 
As said, use the least power to make the contact, and if you can make it QRP, you get more points and of course your personal satisfaction.
 
- The suggested frequencies are by no means the only ones to use. If you feel you will upset your fellow QRP'ers, feel free to move away even further from the calling frequencies (but on 40m, also avoid the 'Pixie QRG' of 7024). Post your frequency on the sked page and we will find you.
As said, we don't 'own' a frequency, but we can still be courteous can't we?
I personally feel ashamed whenever I see a SOTA activator posting his frequency as exactly "7030" ... he may be operating QRP all right, but he's probably generating an enormous pile-up where many callers use kW amps these days.  
In any case, you know you should send QRL? a few times, before operating on ANY frequency, right?
 
- Why draw the line at 100W and not at 50W ? 
What if you build your own amplifier and it gives you 70W ?
It is the maximum power of most commercial rigs (set aside a few 200W rigs).
50W +/-3 dB is 25W to 100W. Simple math.
It's also the limit of the 'Low Power' category in several other contests or QSO parties, like those of the SKCC (where several of us are also members, like Hans, Peter, Mike, Ian and myself).
It's not in the rules, but read between the lines like this: "aim for 50W" when using the QRP Labs or other amplifier. 
 
Actually, the only people that really should be offended now, are those that are excluded of using their shiny expensive 1kW+ amplifier ... but we didn't want to make it even more complicated with a QRO+ category (like SKCC has).
 
And finally, don't misunderstand me, I am also 'pro QRP' (I built 3 QCX rigs, I am a member of the GQRP Club, EU QRP Foxhunt, etc), if you read the rules, you will see that QRP operation is actually encouraged ... only a 2 way QCX/QRP QSO is 5 points.
 
I hope to see lots of you on the air and on the sked page (even those five jokers that said they stuffed their QCX under a mattress, hi).
Let's make some noise .. and have some fun!
 
GL es 73,
Luc ON7DQ
 


morseoneuk
 

Good point Ian,  having built a 60m and a 30m QCX and this not being a contest , but more of a QCX party.   I will be calling on 60m and 30m anyway..
Luc you are doing a great, difficult job as manager, you will not be able to please everyone. But if this is a contest then call it a contest, or open it up to all Qcx bands as a QCX qso party. 
73  de Scotty Gi0bey