APRIL 2008

April 19-29, 2008

   All Michigan amateurs are invited to mark their calendars for Saturday, April 19, 2008 for the 2008 Michigan QSO Party (MiQP). This is the one weekend a year when Michigan amateurs are in the limelight, as amateurs from across the USA and around the world are looking for QSOs with us. This is a  great opportunity develop HF operating skills, represent the great state of Michigan, and last but not least, have a bunch of fun.
   The operating period is a convenient twelve hours long, from noon local time (1600Z) until midnight local (0400Z) here in Michigan. Stations outside of Michigan may only work Michigan stations, while Michigan stations may work anybody.  Activity takes place on the 80 thru 10 meter bands, on both  phone and CW.  The exchange is simple: a sequential QSO number (starting with 001) and your location (county for Michigan stations, and state, province or "DX" for others).  A station may be worked once per band and mode, with CW QSOs counting two points and phone QSOs counting one point (just like Field Day).  Multipliers are states, provinces, and Michigan counties, counted once on phone and once on CW.  Final score is total QSO points times total multipliers.  See the MiQP website at for complete rules.
   MiQP offers an extensive awards program, with handsome plaques awarded for the in-state winners of the major categories.  Certificates are awarded for the top single-operator score in each Michigan county, and there is a simultaneous competition for Michigan clubs where scores of its members are combined into an aggregate score for that club.  There are also categories and awards for multi-operator stations.
   New for 2008 is a separate category for Emergency Operation Center (EOC) stations with a plaque awarded to the highest scoring EOC station and certificates for second and third. The MiQP rules defining an EOC station are essentially the same as for Field Day - "Michigan entries located at an established EOC site, activated by an individual or group, utilizing either permenant or temporary equipment and antennas".  This category was specifically created to encourage EOC stations to participate, and to recognize their contributions.  We hope to see many EOC stations on the air this year.
   We are also continuing the "MiQP Rookie Of The Year" plaque instituted in 2007, which is awarded to the top single-op score submitted by a Michigan station who has never participated in MiQP before.
   As mentioned before, there is a wealth of information about the Michigan QSO Party available on the MiQP website at, such as official log and summary sheets, results from past years, and free logging software.  Questions about MiQP can be directed via e-mail to:
There is also an e-mail reflector for those interested in MiQP - details are on the web site at
   We hope to see a great turnout of Michigan amateurs on the air on April 19th!  73, from the MiQP Organizing Committee.


The Michigan QSO party described in the next column will furnish many hams with an intensive activity on a coming weekend. This is an excellent chance to get feet wet in a heavy activity time. It will probably be somewhat different than previous MIQSOs in that there probably won't be the mobile teams moving as much as in previous years. We'll find out on the appropriate day though!
A fair amount of space is spent on ARES related activities.  Where to get the training necessary for valuable performance are listed as well as sources of information.  As has been noted  previously, being a ham is not all that is needed in times of trouble.  Knowing how to use the skills developed though proper study is the important factor.
We picked up an article from QRZ.COM comparing the radiation patterns of several different antennas.  Where all that RF is going is far more important than the SWR given by a meter.  The description of the takeoff angles for the radiation patterns should help in deciding which antenna would best serve our purposes. Do you want to reach out the farthest possible with your signal or perhaps you have a friend in Ontario that might best becontacted with a higher angle so that the reflected signal comes to earth a little closer.
Decisions, decisions, decisions!
This is the April issue and April Fools Day has passed by, but we're still in the humor mode and thus we have included more humor than usual. We' get back to the more serious stuff next time around.
Isn't it amazing (and welcome) how the women in our club have taken on the hard work and been so successful. In particular, I'd like to honor Stephanie W8AEZ and Rene KC8LSI for stepping in and doing work that other members were unwilling to do. Ladies, I thank you!


At the April meeting, Don, W8RVT will present a device that  will save countless hours of     effort for communicators.  He will present the MOUSEORPHONE!

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