Worked All States / Counties QSO Party

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How to play in the Annual Worked All States / Counties QSO Party:

The Annual Worked All States / Counties QSO Party is a fun, year long operating event that facilitates reaching your Worked All States (WAS) goals, county hunter objectives and DXCC achievements. Every new station you work on each band and mode is worth a point and each new county and DXCC entity is a multiplier. Just upload your log in ADIF here often! The web site will process your score for you and display your real time current standings.

Great ways to play in this contest are to participate in other contests throughout the year including the DX contests, state QSO party contests and any other contest or activity that puts Qs in your log. Contacts you make in those contests count for this one too!

When you aren't working contests or making rag chew QSOs, call "CQ Counties" ("CQ CNTY" on CW and digital) and work as many folks as you can!

In short, work as many stations as possible, seek out county and DXCC multipliers and upload your log often. That's all there is to it!

Here are all the details, with additional thoughts and future possibilities below.

Worked All States / Counties QSO Party Rules


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, county hunter objectives and DXCC achievements.


- Contest Period: This is a 12 month, annual contest, January 1, 00:00:00 UTC through December 31, 23:59:59 UTC. 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 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. It's fine to use another data source to determine the state and county after the contact and add it to your QSO record before uploading.

- Score: QSOs are one point each. Multiply the number of unique counties and DX entities worked on each band and mode (CW, PH and DIG) times the number of QSOs. 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.

- Country List: Country multipliers are the 340 DXCC entities documented here. The DX ADIF country code must be included in your ADIF file (most logging programs include the country code number in their ADIF export).

- County List: Counties and their spellings must match this list. Missing or misspelled counties will not be counted for multiplier credit. Stations in independent cities send their associated county as defined by USA-CA County Hunter rules here.

- Categories:

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

Operator: Single, Multi

Rover: A rover is any station, mobile or stationary, operating outside of their home county. 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:

Please upload your log in ADIF format often throughout the year! Track your current score and leader board rank on line here!

Please include your entire year's data with each upload, as your previous data is replaced. When you upload your log, any duplicates and ineligible bands are removed, so simply uploading your entire general log for the contest period is fine. Your final log file submission must be uploaded before January 7th, 23:59:59 UTC 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.

More Details and Back Story:

With the success of the 2014 ARRL Centennial QSO party fresh in our minds, my son Chris, KB3KCN, good friend Dave, N3HCN and I started brainstorming. We thought it would be great fun to develop an annual, year long, Worked All States / Counties QSO Party, with a similar flavor to the ARRL Centennial!

With lots of great input from other interested folks, we developed a set of rules to facilitate reaching personal, multi band Worked All States (WAS) goals, county hunter objectives and DXCC achievements. By making all counties multipliers, virtually all stations will be sought after when calling "CQ counties" on the air, encouraging lots of fun activity!

Simultaneously, in early January, 2015, ARRL President Kay Craigie reflected on the success of the Centennial QSO Party and included these thoughts:

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.

We'd like to think this contest fits in beautifully with President Craigie's hopes!

Future Suggestions:

This Worked All States / Counties QSO Party is now up and running as we originally envisioned. Meanwhile, we've received lots of additional suggestions to our basic rule set 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.

Current Status and Future Possibilities:

We have to reign in some expectations for now, while opening the door to these and other possibilities. This project is something Chris, Dave and I are working on in our "spare" time. I'm not planning to write a program for this project. AC Log (or any program that exports in ADIF) 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.

We've created the rules, built the basic web infrastructure and set it on automatic pilot, so we are are up and running! If we remain at this level, that's fine, we will have a lot of fun! Go make contacts, upload your log and see your current score!

That said, it's clearly possible this can become much more! I couldn't be more pleased if an experienced organization or contesting group would like to take the lead on this contest and take it to the next level. If your group would like to support this event and make some the of these other suggestions happen, please e-mail me!

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

73, Scott

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


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