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58th Running Of The CQP!
1600 UTC October 7, 2023 to 2200 UTC October 8, 2023
CQP 2023 Begins:


Frequently Asked Questions

Last Update: 24-July-2022 at 1800 UTC

Send us your questions and we'll post the answers here!


Q:   Can I operate FT8, FT4 or RTTY in CQP?
A:   No. CQP QSOs can be made on CW and SSB.

Q:   Will you ever add FT8, FT4 or RTTY to CQP?
A:   Probably not. The CQP organizers have discussed this topic thoroughly and repeatedly. There are many considerations including county coverage on the digital modes, logging software, scoring, our log checking/scoring software, observations from other QSO Parties that support digital modes, and our volunteers' time. We enjoy making QSOs on digital modes outside of CQP, but we continue to conclude that CQP should remain a CW and SSB contest.

Q:   Is there a CW-only or SSB-only category in CQP?
A:   No. There are plaques offered for high scoring Single-Op/Single-Op Assisted stations that are only active on one mode, but there is no CW-only or SSB-only category in the CQP rules.

Q:   Will you ever add a CW or SSB category in CQP?
A:   Probably not. We performed an analysis of all logs received from CQP 2020. About 1/3 of participants made QSOs on both modes, 1/3 were only on CW and 1/3 were only on Phone. We believe this is a good distribution. For the most competitive single-mode operators, there are plaques awarded for the highest CW-only and SSB-only scores. For everyone else, we do not want to artifically erode the mixed-mode participant pool by creating a reason for stations to limit themselves to just one mode. Also, there would have to be significant additional effort by CQP volunteers to create new results and new records based on additional CW-only and SSB-only categories. Therefore, we do not intend to add CW-only and SSB-only operating categories in CQP.


Q:   Can I announce my own callsign and frequency on a spotting network during the contest so that stations can find me and contact me?
A:   No. This is called self-spotting and is not allowed in CQP.

Q:   Some other contests allow self-spotting. Will you ever allow self-spotting in CQP?
:   Probably not. We believe participants should focus on the skill of the operating itself, not on advertising themselves on spotting networks and live streaming platforms. There are many more effective ways to make more QSOs in CQP, such as improving station antennas and antenna height, reducing the station's receive noise floor, operating portable from a location with downsloping terrain toward the east, or increasing output power.


Q:   Should I delete duplicate QSOs to clean up my log before I submit it?
A:   No. Never delete duplicate QSOs out of your log. You are not penalized for having them. There may be a good reason why a duplicate station called you. Work the station, log the station and move on. Deleting duplicate QSOs out of your log makes our log checking process more difficult.

Q:   I made a QSO but didn't copy the other station's serial number or QTH because I couldn't type it fast enough into my logging software. Should I delete this QSO from my log before I submit it?
A:   No. Never delete these QSOs out of your log. If you made the QSO, then keep the QSO in your log. If you missed the serial number or QTH, either leave it blank or enter what you think you heard. Deleting the QSO from your log is the worst of all worlds: it ensures you get no partial credit for the contact, it ensures the other station will be penalized for a not-in-log (NIL) error, and it makes the log checking process more difficult. Leave these QSOs in your log.

Q:   How do I log a county-line QSO?
A:   It depends on which logging software you're using. See the CQP Software Page for details.

Q:   How do I deal with serial numbers for a county-line QSO?
A:   CA county-line stations send just one serial number per QSO. e.g. "W1UE number 10, Lake and Colusa County Line." All other stations send just one serial number to the county-line station.

Q:   What is the scoring for county line QSOs?
A:   For everyone contacting the county line station: think of it as if you are contacting a mobile station again in another county. If the county-line station sends two counties, it counts as two QSOs and two counties for you. If the county-line station sends three counties, it counts as three QSOs and three counties for you. For the county-line station: all your contacts count as one QSO, as if you are just operating from one county. You do not get double or triple the number of points and QSOs by being on a 2-county or 3-county line, respectively.

Q:   How should Multi-Operator/Multi-Transmitter stations deal with sending serial numbers?
A:   For M/M stations, our recommendation is to send serial numbers by band. Serial numbers on each band, 10m-160m, should start at 1 and progress for all CW & SSB QSOs made on that band. Serial numbers do not need to be separated by mode. N1MM+ Logger is already configured to send serial numbers by band when you create a log as a M/M station.

Q:   What if my M/M has separate stations and computers by mode? We plan to have one dedicated CW station and one dedicated SSB station, where either station could be on any band. How do we send serial numbers in this case?
A:   One option is to network your two computers together with your logging program so that you can share the same log. For logging programs that support this, you'll still send serial numbers by band. If you are unable to network your stations together, it is acceptable for each station to send serial numbers cumulatively, regardless of band, as if each station is its own independent Single-Operator station. Then merge the Cabrillo logs after the contest and do NOT renumber the serial numbers sent during the contest. It is also acceptable to configure each independent station as a M/M, so in effect, you will be starting at number 1 for each band/mode. The takeaway here is that any of these options are fine. Just make sure that the serial number that you sent on the air matches the serial number that is in your Cabrillo file, for every QSO on every band and mode. Don't try to create your own artificial serial number scheme (station 1 starts at #1, station 2 starts at #1000, etc.)

Multi-Single 10 Minute Transmitting Operator Rule

Q:   Could you please explain more about this rule?
A:   In other contests, M/S stations are limited to a certain number of band changes per hour. Other contests force M/S stations to stay on one band for at least 10 minutes at a time. We think this is overly restrictive for a contest like CQP. We also think it is not in the spirit of the CQP M/S station to have multiple operators sitting at multiple radios interleaving their transmissions on different bands through the use of a lockout device (octopus) to meet the requirement for only one signal to be transmitted at any time. Rick N6XI came up with a way to solve all of this through the M/S 10 minute transmitting operator rule. Within a given 10 minute period, the transmitting operator can make QSOs on as many band/modes as desired, including operating SO2R or even 2BSIQ style. After that 10 minute period, a new transmitting operator is allowed to take over, if desired. Other operators are fully allowed to listen with other radios at all times, looking for band openings, spotting new stations to contact, etc. The intent of this rule is to maintain the spirit of the M/S station where operators take turns making QSOs, while also allowing the M/S transmitting operator the freedom to change band/modes as often as desired and to operate just as competitively as if entering as a Single-Operator class.

Portable Operating

Q:   If I rent an Airbnb house, can I still be an Expedition station?
A:   Yes. It is perfectly acceptable to rent an Airbnb house, stay in a motel, or go to your mountain cabin. Being an Expedition station means operating from a temporary location, using temporary antennas, supported by trees or temporary masts/towers. The setup cannot start earlier than one week before CQP. You can either camp in the forest or you can set up from a house with all the amenities of electricity, running water and shelter.

Q:   Could you explain the rationale behind the One-Day Expedition award category?
A:   Several operators may be motivated to go on an expedition, but are unable or unwilling to operate both Saturday and Sunday from an expedition location. Examples include:
1. Stations may want to take a trip for the day and return home the same day, such as SOTA activators.
2. Stations may want to leave early on Sunday. They can travel to the expedition site on Friday, set up, operate on Saturday, get a good night's sleep, tear down antennas on Sunday morning, drive home and arrive home in daylight.
3. Stations may have to work on Friday. They can travel to the expedition site on Saturday, set up their antennas and station, go to bed early, camp overnight and start operating early on Sunday morning.
4. Stations may not have permission to run a generator at the expedition location. They can operate with batteries and portable solar panels to last one day.
5. Stations may not have permission to camp overnight.

The One-Day Expedition award category makes it possible for such operators to still be competitive and recognized without being compared to scores from expeditions that operate both days of the contest.

In 2022 we modified the allowed operating time for a One-Day Expedition to a maximum of any 12 hours on Saturday (Pacific Daylight Time) or a maximum of any 12 hours on Sunday (Pacific Daylight Time).

Two awards are given to One-Day Expedition stations:
1) To the top scoring Single-Operator or Single-Operated Assisted station, regardless of power level.
2) To the top scoring Multi-Single or Multi-Multi station, regardless of power level.

Q:   Do you have a Rover category?
A:   No. In CQP, we have Expedition and Mobile categories.

Q:   Do I have to make QSOs while in motion to be considered a Mobile station?
A:   No. Your setup (antenna, radio) just needs to be *capable* of being operated in motion. It needs to be street-legal (or Coast Guard legal if /MM Maritime Mobile). It is perfectly acceptable to drive your mobile setup to a good radio location, park and operate from there.

Q:   Do I have to operate from multiple counties/states/provinces to be considered a Mobile station?
A:   No. You can operate mobile from just one county/state/province if you wish. You will still be in the Mobile category.

Q:   Can I have a driver to drive me to multiple counties while I sit as a passenger and concentrate on operating Mobile?
A:   Yes. This is the preferred way to operate Mobile if you can have a friend or family member drive you.

Club Competition

Q:   If my club has 10 youth operators making 10 QSOs each with their callsigns, does that mean my club gets 500,000 bonus points? (50k * 10 youth)
A:   No. For each bonus point category, please read carefully for two different phrases we use:
1. "for at least one" : This means there is just one maximum 50k club bonus, regardless of whether you have one or more qualifying logs. "for at least one" applies to a YL S/O log, Youth S/O log, New Contester S/O log and non-CA Mobile log.
2. "for every" : This means that there is an unlimited number of 50k bonuses in these categories. If your club has five expedition stations operating in five different counties, then your club will receive 50k * 5 = 250,000 bonus points.

Q:   If my club found a YL Youth operator who is a New Contester, does that mean my club can claim all three bonuses by just one person?
A:   No. The YL, Youth and New Contester bonuses do not stack with the same callsign entry. The intent is for clubs to inspire three different people: a YL operator, a Youth operator and a New Contester.

Q:   Do the club bonuses apply for *contacting* these stations or for *being* these stations? Does the bonus apply to the station score or just the club score?
A:   Only clubs get bonuses. There are no bonuses to any individual station scores. All club bonuses are for their members actually *being* the station mentioned in the club bonus rules. There is no club bonus for *contacting* these stations.

Remote Operating

Q:   Are remote operations allowed in CQP?
A:   Yes. CQP allows the use of remotely operated stations. An entrant's remote station location is determined by the physical location of the transmitters, receivers, and antennas. A remote station must obey all station and category limitations stated in the rules.

a) For example, KA9IL operates a remote station located in Alameda County, CA from Chicago, IL. His entry will be an in state California entry in Alameda County. He would not be permitted to submit his log as an out of state Illinois entry.

b) WV6I operates CQP using a remote ham station in New Jersey from his QTH in Placer county. He must obey all the rules of an out of state station, in this case from New Jersey. (Although not required, it would probably benefit him to operate as WV6I/2)

The bottom line is that you must operate and submit your log as if you are sitting in the chair of the QTH of the station you are in remote control of. You must follow all the rules as if you were on site at that station.

Under no circumstances can you use a remote station as a remote listening device in another state or county outside of your station contained within a 500 meter diameter circle.


Q:   Why are you offering gift cards as awards?
A:   There is a saying, "Sorry doesn't pay the rent." Plaques don't pay the gasoline bill, electricity bill or food costs from CQP weekend. During these challenging economic times, some competitive stations may elect to skip CQP completely to save money on electricity and gasoline, especially expeditions and mobiles. Further, the chance to win a gift card and hand it to one's spouse for appreciation might present a unique opportunity to free up CQP weekend from the family calendar of events, trips and chores. Award recipients will have the option to select a Visa gift card for the full amount of the award sponsorship ($60) or to select a plaque.

Club gavels and plaques usually do not usually provide a tangible benefit to club members. Instead of a club award that gets stored away and possibly forgotten, we would like to provide club leadership with an award that can benefit club members. The intent of offering a $100 Visa gift card to clubs is to encourage club leadership to do something special for its membership. Examples we encourage would be to provide pizza or beverage to members at a club meeting, or to offer a door prize to a lucky club member attending a meeting, or to help defray the cost of a venue reservation or food truck at a club meeting.

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