Virginia QSO Party QRPp Style - March 2003

Virgina Map

The 2003 VA QSO party in 2003 was just a fun event for me. I did not plan on winning any category. The plan was just to play in the contest as time permitted over the weekend. This is basically a two day event and the priorities did not justify spending all of that time playing in the contest. In addition the VA QSO in my experience has not had a large amount of activity over the past few years. So there was no expectation on my part to work a large number of counties in the contest. Of course I only play around on the CW side so there may well have been considerable activity on the phone side. If there was I missed it.

As I planned to run only 500 mWatts for the contest, operating from MD the only real expectation was that I would work the contest on 40 and 80 meters. As it turned out I ran strictly on 40 meters. So why did I run at 500 mWatts? I had already worked all the counties in the state for the second time around towards USA-CA and had already worked them all QRP. So the only thing left was to work them QRPp. In that regard I already had all but ten of the counties worked QRPp so I was hoping to reduce that number.

So how did it go? The final take was 36 QSO into 22 counties and 8 of the independent cities of Virginia. There were two new counties worked QRPp. Both came from mobiles. The first was from K4UK/M when he gave me Appomattox county early Sunday afternoon. The second came from W4YE/M when he gave me Madison county a half an hour later. I never heard anyone in any of the other eight counties I need QRPp. I have to give W4YE/M credit he managed to make it into the log ten time. He did tell me I was weak when he gave me Charlottesville City.

This is one contest that needs to get more mobiles out doing CW. I only worked four different mobiles the entire contest. For a state like VA with so many counties the only way to get most of the counties on the air if find a way to get the mobiles active in the contest.

The map at the top of the page shows the counties worked - as county hunters count the VA counties. You see the county hunter groups do not recognize the Virginia independent cities, but rather count them as being part of a neighboring county. I can't explain why. It does have a lot of logic to defend it in my mind. After all Virginia Beach City has a larger population than all but one of the counties in the state. And five of the top ten juridicitons in the state are cities, not counties. But just as DXCC has certain puzzling counties the counties hunters have managed to create one of their own. The bottom line is when you chase an award you follow the rules of the group the sponsors the award. The counties I worked are all colored in green.

How the State map was made

Making the map was very simple. I obtained the basic county outline map from with their permission. I then edited the image by changing the color of the counties I worked to green.

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