[CQ-Contest] Band planning for MiQP this weekend

David Pruett k8cc at comcast.net
Tue Apr 17 23:28:08 EDT 2007

As announced yesterday, the Mad River Radio Club invites all amateurs to 
join in the Michigan QSO Party this coming weekend, April 21, 2007 from 
1600Z to 0400Z Sunday, April 22.

The key to maximizing the QSO count in most QSO parties is taking the 
greatest possible advantage of all the contest bands and modes.  MiQP 
rules allow for QSOs on 80-10 meters, on CW and phone.  A station may be 
worked once per band and mode, for a maximum of ten possible QSOs.  
(Mobiles count as a new station when they change counties, so they can 
be worked up to ten times PER COUNTY.)

Operating patterns and propagation realities at this point in the 
sunspot cycle render 40 and 20 meters the most active MiQP bands during 
the day, with 40 and 80 meters the most active at night.  There are 
certainly exceptions to these rules of thumb; last year, the K8MQP 
multi-multi made QSOs on 20 every hour of the contest up through the end 
at midnight, and started running stations on 80 as early as 4 PM local 
(that's 20Z, a good four hours before sunset).  Be that as it may, the 
rules of thumb are still true and most MiQPers don't find it hard to 
find people to work on 80/40/20.

15 and 10 meters are another story.  With low sunspots, catching 
propagation on these bands is generally a matter of luck.  Still, with 
four potential QSOs, it pays for the MiQPer to at least consider how he 
or she might take advantage of the two high bands.  And there are some 
really good reasons to try - for in-state stations, if 40 is 
persistently long and it's hard to work your fellow Michiganders for 
those valuable county multipliers, short-skip or scatter on 15/10 could 
pay off handsomely in the bottom line score.  For out-of-state stations, 
another band is another set of QSOs to work after you've milked the 
bottom three bands dry.  This can be really valuable for stations in the 
western USA.

Since nobody likes to waste time listening to receiver hiss and not 
making QSOs, the MiQP announcement provides recommended "activity times" 
for participants to listen for activity on 15/10 CW/SSB.  Again, these 
times are RECOMMENDED, meaning that you don't *HAVE* to go there, and 
certainly you can make QSOs on those band-modes at other times as well.  
The activity times are simply "focal points" to hopefully cause a number 
of participants to show up and see what's possible.

The recommended high band activity times are:

    10 meter SSB (~28.450) at 12:00, 2:00. 4:00 and 6:00

    10 meter CW  (~28.045) at 12:30, 2:30, 4:30 and 6:30

    15 meter SSB (~21.300) at 1:00. 3:00, 5:00 and 7:00

    15 meter CW  (~21.045) at 1:30, 3:30, 5:30 and 7:30

There is a logical pattern to these recommendations, so to make it 
easier to remember here is the pattern:

- 10 and 15 are daytime bands, and 16Z - 00Z (roughly) is daytime in 
Michigan in April
- Even hour (GMT) go to 10M (which is even).  Odd hour, go to 15M (which 
is odd)
- SSB on the hour, CW on the half hour

Speaking only for the K8MQP multi-multi team from Cheboygan county, we 
will have a station with legal limit power to 3L yagis 50 or more feet 
in the air near the frequencies shown at the times shown.  There should 
be a number of other multis and even some of the single-ops who will 
give it a go as well.

We hope these recommended times and frequencies will be useful and 
create opportunities for more MiQP QSOs.  CU this weekend!


MiQP Committee

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