2002 OQP Results

After the 2001 OQP, with the X5 class solar flare radio blackout 30 minutes into the contest that had many people checking their radios and antennas, who would have ever guessed we would get hit with such a solar event two years in a row?

2002 oqp x-ray flux2002 oqp proton fluxWell, we didn't get a blackout, but Mr. Murphy must have been talking to Ol' Sol, who arranged an almost-as-bad X3 class flare for August 24. Fortunately, Sol was so eager that he couldn't wait for the OQP to start, and sent the flare at 0112Z, 15 hours before OQP began. But the effects lingered on in the form of an S3 class solar storm, with subpar propagation to affect much of the 2002 OQP. The figures on the right are from the NOAA Space Environment Center and show the dramatic increase in x-ray flux and solar proton emissions. (Click on the graph to enlarge it.)

This resulted in the poor 20/40 meter conditions observed during the daylight hours of the contest. The skip zones on 40 meters made it much like 20 meters, with short skip qsos within Ohio or nearby states quite difficult. 20 was often long, with nearby states not easy. 15 opened to the very west coast and western Europe, but not to places like Texas or the Rocky Mountain states. And it was hard to tell whether 10 behaved like 6 meters or just like 10 meters during the summertime.

But despite all that, the hams in Ohio and elsewhere persevered and had a great time. Over 22,000 qsos were reported, nearly double the number from the 2001 OQP. 147 entries were received, also up sharply from 88 for the 2001 event. You can view more statistics, including breakdowns of activity by county and state, by clicking here.

The single operator, high power class was led by Don Chisholm, WX3M, operating at W8AV in Wayne county. Don drove down from Detroit to get in on the Ohio in state action while station owner W8AV was driving around Ohio as part of the AF8A mobile team. In second and third place were Tim Mitchell, K9TM, from Lucas County, and Pat Collins, N8VW, who operated from K8MK's station in Delaware county. All broke the 100K point barrier.

The medium power class was won by Mike Tessmer, K9NW. Mike operated from N8BJQ's QTH in Champaign county. In second was Dan Kovatch, W8CAR, from Erie County, with Ron Harps, K8NZ, in Lake County taking third. These three also broke the 100K mark.

The QRP class winner was Ethan Miller, K8GU, operating from home in rare Holmes county. Ethan, presently a senior at Ohio Northern University, is one of the area's top young contesters. Jim Criss, WB8RTJ came in second closely followed by last year's QRP winner Dan Shepherd, N8IE, in Montgomery county in third place.

The multi operator category was a runaway, with Pittsburgher John Getz, AD8J, coming across the border to operate with former Pennsylvanian Mike Zilvay, KC3MR, at Mike's new QTH in Jefferson County. They cleared over 1000 qsos, and nearly 300K points.

If you build a field, they will come. And for the mobile category, they came from just about everywhere. Mobile teams came from Michigan, Indiana, Tennessee, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, as well as 5 teams from right here in Ohio. In a very close finish, Jim Stahl, K8MR, along with "designated driver" Jim Snell, W8DRZ, edged out the Michigan team of Dave Pruett, K8CC, and Ken Meier, W8MJ. The difference amounted to less than 3 multipliers. Condolences in the mobile class go to Jim Walter, WT9U, who was very much in the running until his truck's water pump died in Logan county. The rarest counties in the contest were several WT9U would have activated if not for the car trouble.

The top club was the North Coast Contesters, led by the huge AD8J multiop score. Second place, with a great turnout of 9 entries was the Lake County ARA. The effort of LCARA is well reflected in the fact that Lake county was by a large margin the most worked county, with 941 qsos reported.

From outside Ohio, the top score was turned in by Mr. QSO Party, Keith Pederson, WA3HAE. Keith is one of the perennial top scorers in many of the state QSO parties, and we're delighted to have had him chasing us around the bands in this one. Second place was won by Mr. Ohio QSO Party, Jeff Clarke, KU8E, from Georgia. Jeff is the father of the current Ohio QSO Party, and was in charge for the first three years before he relocated from Columbus to Georgia last year. The closeness of the race was interesting, with the difference coming down to Keith's extra eight counties on CW.

In a relatively late addition, we included an out of state club competition this year. While there are no formal awards, the honor of victory goes to the Florida Contest Group, with 7 entries for an aggregate score of 93K points. KU8E led the Southeast Contest Club to second place with 77K points from just 4 entries.

While the out of state club competition included only out of state entries, we note the effort of the Society of Midwest Contesters, who in addition to their six entries for 55K points, had club member WT9U mobiling around Ohio for another 48K points.

It is no surprise that many of the out of state clubs represented also sponsor QSO parties for their own states. Keep that in mind when they run their contests, and get on the air and thank them for their OQP participation by passing out some qsos in their events.

Category Winner Sponsor
SOHP Don Chisholm, WX3M Findlay Radio Club
SOLP Mike Tessmer, K9NW Cincinnati Buckeye Netters
SOQRP Ethan Miller, K8GU Kanga USA
MultiOp John Getz, AD8J Wayne ARC
Mobile Jim Stahl, K8MR Lake County ARA
Outside OH Keith Pederson, WA3HAE Goose Steingass, W8AV
DX Harry VanEnckevort, PA3ARM Northern Ohio DX Association
Club North Coast Contesters Mad River Radio Club

2003 marks the 200th anniversary of Ohio's statehood, and with that we are looking to make the Bicentennial OQP a special one. Details, special awards, etc., are being worked on, but mark your calendars for Saturday, August 23, to join the celebration.

A good way to keep up on the latest OQP news is to subscribe to the OQP e-mail reflector. Click here OQP Mailing list subscription request (no subject or anything in the email body needed).

As our experience with OQP increases, a few minor rules adjustments will be made for 2003. The experiment with allowing out of state entries from counties contiguous to Ohio to count for Ohio club scores seems to have created little or no extra activity, so for 2003 only Ohio scores will count for the Ohio club competition. If you're just across the border, come on over to join us in Ohio where you can work everyone in the world! We are also adjusting the Canadian multipliers to recognize that Labrador and Newfoundland is a single province, and are making the northern territories of Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunuvut a single multiplier. Not an earth shattering change, but will it make possible a clean sweep of out of state multipliers?

A word on the OQP log checking. After the OQP logs are collected by the OQP team, any paper logs are entered into electronic format, and then all the logs are forwarded to Dave Pruett, K8CC, for checking. Dave is no stranger to log checking - he is one of the team that checks the logs for the ARRL 10 Meter and 160 Meter contests. The logs are all entered into a master data base where the logged qsos are cross checked for accuracy, and "busted" ones dropped. Unlike some contests, in the OQP there are no additional "penalty" qsos deducted for bad qsos.

Thanks to Dave for the log checking; to Pat Collins, N8VW, for his web lid work, including that of collecting electronic logs and publishing the results; to Everett Jackson, WZ8P, who starting this year is handling the awards; and to OQP committee members Gary Mitiken, AF8A, and Goose Steingass, W8AV, for all the usual gruntwork.

And above all, thanks to all who got on the air on August 24 to make the Ohio QSO Party one of the best state QSO parties around!

73 de Jim Stahl K8MR
OQP Chairman