[CQ-Contest] 2011 Mn QSO Party - new tools

Robert Chudek - K0RC robert.chudek at gmail.com
Tue Jan 25 17:52:58 PST 2011

The Minnesota QSO Party will be on the air the first Saturday, the 5th 
of February starting at 14:00 UTC.

The Minnesota Wireless Association members have been busy lining up 
mobile and rover stations, and pursuing fixed stations to operate again 
this year. We want to make 2011 another record year of participation. 
There are 14 mobile / rover stations and dozens of fixed stations signed 
up to make QSOs with you. We look forward to putting your call sign into 
our logs!

Attention potential MnQP "Sweepers"... The MWA has developed some new 
tools to make our QSO Party more fun. Here's a quick overview...

I can already tell you the Achilles heal of a MnQP 87-county sweep this 
year will be *Norman* county, a few wavelengths north of Fargo/Moorehead 
on the North Dakota / Minnesota border. That county will be visited by 
the *NØIJ/m* team at their traditional lightning speed! You definitely 
don't want to blink or you might miss the 19 minute "window of 
opportunity" to put "*NOR*" into your log!

"So... what time will the NØIJ/m team be there", you ask?

I'm really glad you asked that question! It would be easy for me to tell 
you in this message, but the MWA really wants you to check out the great 
tool that Pat KØPC has created on the website.

Follow this link:  

Then left click that red, northwestern county that shows the town of Ada 
near its center. Voila! A helper window will pop up and give you all the 

Next, look over to the menu of callsigns on the right side and click the 
NØIJ/m check box. The NØIJ/m route will paint onto the map. You can even 
determine which direction they're traveling by clicking one of the next 
counties on their route. Comparing its start time to the Norman county 
start time will answer that question! When you double left click onto 
the map it will zoom you in for a closer look of the route... right down 
to the specific highways that will be used.

So... how did I know Norman county will be a critical QSO for the MnQP 

The answer comes from another tool developed during the previous years. 
This is the Excel workbook I use to collect mobile routes and times, 
then generate different views of the information. The 2011 MnQP workbook 
has been redesigned to be more user friendly and is available for 
download from my web site, here:


Select the 2011 folder and you will find an XLS file. It's the actual 
Excel workbook I use. You can also download the PDF file which is a 
4-page table that you can print. The table lists the planned activity in 
chronological order and provides columns to "check off" the counties for 
CW or Phone QSOs.

You might not be going for an 87-county sweep, but you might be 
interested in filling in some missing counties for your County Hunter 
quest. The workbook will provide the call signs, times, and durations of 
all the mobile and rover stations, as well as the call signs of MN fixed 
stations who will be active.

The new workbook design includes "Sort" buttons that allow you to change 
to different views of the schedules. Use them to change from an 
alphabetic list of counties to a numeric list of stations that will 
visit counties. (This is where you will find Norman county will be 
visited for 19 minutes by NØIJ/m.)

NOTE: The sorting routines rely on macro coding so it is a requisite 
that VBA be enabled. The standard Microsoft installation has this 
advanced feature disabled to thwart malicious code from being executed 
by a hacker.

Turning the VBA feature "on" is buried within the TOOLS > OPTIONS > 
SECURITY > MACRO SECURITY > SECURITY LEVEL path. You will want to change 
this setting to "Medium" and "OK" your way back to the program.

If you have any questions or problems, send me an email. Your comments 
and ideas are also welcomed!

A couple final thoughts... please be aware these are estimated times at 
best. Any number of factors can influence the planned schedule of any 
station. You should also know the new MWA website will be tracking those 
stations who have APRS capability in their vehicles.

73 de Bob - KØRC in MN (CHS)

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