Software Updates, Winter Field Day, WAS / County QSO Party Update and More!

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Hi All,

Lots of good stuff happening! This e-mail includes information on:

- New versions of all contesting programs are now available!

- Winter Field Day password reminder.

- New E-mail group to help you work needed states.

- Update on Worked All States / Counties QSO Party.


New Versions of All Contesting Programs are Now Available!

I've added the new, larger, resizable, floating DX Spots list form, currently in Amateur Contact Log 5.2, to the rest of the contesting programs. With DX spotting enabled, just press Ctrl + Shift D to display the form.

Other enhancements in this round of releases include:

- Ability to save and load CW settings for easy transfer to other N3FJP logging programs.
- Ability to save and load phone wave settings for easy transfer to other N3FJP logging programs.
- Removed Tech + from frequency privilege form.

As always, upgrades are free to registered users, including all N3FJP Software package subscribers! You'll find all the latest versions of the software on their respective download pages here: www.n3fjp.com


Winter Field Day Password Reminder.

Winter Field Day is next weekend (January 24 - 25)! The Winter Field day software is a free, additional program for all N3FJP Software package customers. If you registered my software package before I released the program in October 2014, the password is not in your list. If you plan to operate the contest, please e-mail Kimberly and me for your password. Please don't wait until the day before the contest to e-mail us!

You'll find all the details on Winter Field Day here!


New E-mail Group to Help Work Needed States!

Joe, KJ8O and Dave, W0DR are running a new e-mail group to help you work needed states towards your multi band WAS awards! Any Amateur radio operator who would like to help complete the needed state contacts or who needs states is welcome to join WAS_USA! You'll find all the details here: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/WAS_USA/info


Update on Worked All States / Counties QSO Party.

Everyone, thanks so much for your enthusiasm, encouragement, thoughts and suggestions on the QSO Party we are brainstorming! Your excellent response leaves no doubt that there is great interest!

Several suggestions had clear consensus, strong support and we've modified the rules accordingly. The rules, detailed below, now include digital, eliminate the WARC bands (in addition to 60 meters) while adding the rest of the Amateur Radio bands.


More Suggestions:

A number of you suggested some really cool ideas including:

- Schedule an emphasis on specific states each week, similar to the Centennial. The schedule for each state may be close to the time of that state's QSO party weekend. Coordinators in that state would encourage activation of as many counties as possible.

- Create a web site of specific calls signs in counties to look for and when.

- Issue plaques, certificates to leaders in each state, overall, etc.

- Issue awards to stations who have the largest number of states with a "clean sweep". You earn a "clean sweep" for a state when you have worked all the counties in that state.


Help and Expectations:

I have to reign in some expectations for now, while opening the door to these and other possibilities. This project is something my son Chris, KB3KCN, friend Dave, N3HCN and I are working on in our "spare" time. I'm not planning to write a program for this project. AC Log will work fine, as it did for the Centennial.

With the volume of work I already have creating, supporting and maintaining N3FJP Software, my involvement in this QSO party is very enthusiastic, but limited to helping craft the rules and working with Chris to create the web site infrastructure for log scoring. Answering contest support e-mail, organizing on air scheduling, coordinating plaques, etc., simply isn't something we have the resources to do here.

I first thought we would simply create rules, build the web infrastructure and leave it on automatic pilot. If that is in fact what happens, that's fine and we will have a lot of fun!

That said, it's clearly possible this can become much more! In case you missed it last week, ARRL President Kay Craigie reflected on the success of the Centennial QSO Party and included these thoughts (President Craigie's full message is here.):

President Craigie said some have asked what the ARRL will do next. She said that while the League doesn't want to wear out the exuberance and goodwill the Centennial events engendered, "it's clear that operating challenges outside of the traditional menu of contests and awards have a great appeal." She expressed the hope that, in the months and years ahead, all hams will seek out other operating challenges sponsored by all sorts of ham radio groups and keep the bands alive with signals.

Together, we can help make that happen! This Worked All States / Counties QSO party came about solely because a group of us had a blast during the Centennial, we are missing the challenge / activity and are looking for an annual event to replace it. It's not tied to N3FJP Software and I couldn't be more pleased if an experienced organization or contesting group would like to take the lead on this idea and take it to the next level. Chris and I are having a lot of fun working on the scoring infrastructure, we are happy to continue with that part of the project as our schedules allow and if your group would like to support this event and make some the of these other suggestions happen, please e-mail me!


Updated Rules:

Here are the updated rules. These are getting close to being final:

[Note, you'll find an even more current, updated version of the rules here.]


Worked All States / Counties QSO Party

Draft (1/13/15):


Objective:

Create a fun operating event that will be engaging and encourage on air activity on multiple bands and modes for a long duration (12 months). This event will facilitate reaching personal, multi band Worked All States (WAS) goals and county hunter objectives.


Rules:

- Contest Period: This is a 12 month, annual contest, January 1 through December 31. Everyone starts fresh January 1st each year.

- Bands: Any Amateur Radio band except 12, 17, 30 and 60 Meters.

- Modes: CW, PH and DIG. PH includes any voice mode such as SSB, AM, FM, etc. DIG includes any digital mode such as RTTY, PSK31, etc.

- Choosing an Operating Frequency: In addition to FCC rules and regulations, please always be mindful of the Considerate Operator's Frequency Guide (http://www.arrl.org/files/file/conop.pdf) and be careful to choose a frequency that will not interfere with other QSOs and operating nets.

- Making Contacts: Call "CQ Counties" on phone and CQ CNTY on CW / Digital, similar to the ARRL Centennial QSO Party. All QSOs, including QSOs made during other contests, as well as casual operating, can be counted for points and multiplier credit.

- Exchange: Exchange of state and county is encouraged, but not required. The county and state do not actually have to be exchanged during the QSO, but must be included in your upload for multiplier credit. Using another data source to determine the state and county after the contact and adding it to the QSO record is fine.

- Score: Multiply the number of unique counties and DXCC entities worked on each band and mode (CW, PH and DIG) times the number of QSOs (QSOs are one point each). Your score will be calculated for you when you upload your log and we encourage you to do that often. Please see Reporting / Score Tracking for more details.

- Multipliers: 3,077 counties and 340 DX entities are counted for multiplier credit on each band and mode. For example, assuming you work Harford County MD on 5 different bands on CW, SSB and Digital, Harford County MD will be counted as a multiplier 15 times (5 CW, 5 PH and 5 Digital).

- Duplicates: The same station may be worked once on each band and mode for QSO points and multiplier credit (if applicable). There is no penalty for working the same station on the same band and mode again, but no additional points or multipliers will be earned. Exception - if the station worked is a rover and has activated a different county, the contact is eligible for QSO points and multiplier credit.

- County List: Counties and their spellings must match this list: http://countyhunter.com/counties1.htm. Missing or misspelled counties will not be counted for multiplier credit.

- Categories:

Power: High (1,500 watts or less), Low (150 watts or less) and QRP (5 watts or less).

Band: Single Band, Single Mode, All Band, All Mode.

Rover: There isn't a separate rover category, but rover operation is fine. Rovers may activate any county and apply QSOs made while rover to their yearly total. Rovers who work the same station on the same band and mode from a different county do not receive additional QSO points as defined by the duplicate rule.


Reporting / Score Tracking:

Participants are encouraged to upload their ADIF logs often throughout the year to see their score and leader board rank on line in near real time. Your final log file must be uploaded before January 7th of the following year.


Achievement Levels:

First Level:

10,000 points (Could be achieved with 100 QSOs with 100 unique multipliers)

Second Level:

150,000 points (Could be achieved with 500 QSOs with 300 unique multipliers)

Third Level:

500,000 points (Could be achieved with 1000 QSOs with 500 unique multipliers)

Fourth Level:

2,000,000 points (Could be achieved with 2000 QSOs with 1000 unique multipliers)

Top Level:

10,000,000 points (Could be achieved with 5000 QSOs with 2000 unique multipliers)

These QSO and unique multiplier values are just examples. Points can be earned with any QSO / multiplier combination.

Thanks for your interest in the Worked All States / Counties QSO party!


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And in response to the questions we always receive when we neglect to include the following in our e-mail announcements...


Package Upgrade Information...

If you have registered one or more individual programs and would like to upgrade to N3FJP's Software Package or N3FJP's Software Package and CD for full use of all our Amateur Radio software, we would be glad to apply the amount that you have registered so far as a credit towards that purchase. Please send us an e-mail directly and we'll let you know your balance.

N3FJP's Software Package includes approximately 50 programs for contesting, net management, general logging and other Amateur Radio related applications. In addition to full use of all these programs, registered package customers are also entitled to receive free passwords for any new software that is added to the package and free upgrades to existing programs. You'll find all the details on the Register Now page at www.n3fjp.com.


Donations are Gratefully Accepted!

And in response to the often asked question for which Kimberly and I are very grateful...

"I know your upgrades are free, but I also realize how much time and effort coding these enhancements and new programs take and that your pricing policy doesn't fully reflect that. Can I send you something to show my appreciation for your continued efforts?"

Yes, thanks so much, your continued support in any amount is very welcome and deeply appreciated! You can use this page:

http://www.n3fjp.com/donations.html

or send your contribution by mail, payable to Affirmatech Inc., to:

G. Scott Davis
118 Glenwood Road
Bel Air, MD 21014-5533

Thank you so much for your continued support!


Thanks!

As always, thanks for your kind words, support, linking to our web site and spreading the word about our software. Kimberly and I really appreciate it!

73, Scott
N3FJP
http://www.n3fjp.com

Serving the Amateur Radio community with contesting and general logging software since 1997.

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