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Hoosier DX and Contest Club... Revitalizing a State QSO Party
By Mel Crichton KJ9C (written in May 2003)
For years the Land O Lakes Radio Club had sponsored the annual Indiana QSO Party, mostly through the hard work of Sharon WD9DSP, with little help in her efforts. In lieu of letting the party die, HDXCC offered to take it over. After all, thereís nothing to running a state QSO party, right? Little did we know how much work had been done in the past and how much work it would take. Yet with a larger club and more bodies, we managed to increase entries threefold for the 2002 Indiana QSO Party, and we hope to do that again in 2003.
Our first task was to set up dates and rudimentary rules. Tim N9LF volunteered to chair the event, and with Steve W9TN created rules based on some of the bigger state parties. We opted to hold the event on the traditional first weekend in May, for only 16 hours on Saturday. It is fortunate that this weekend coincides with the MARAC County Hunters CW contest and the newly created New England QSO Party. (Many of us participated in all three events using just one log. See N9RVís soapbox comments.)
My simple job was publicity, assisted by Pat N9RV. We figured that contesters would recognize Patís call from the 2002 World Radiosport Team Championship, giving us some credibility. Since Pat was prepping for his WRTC appearance, he kept behind the scenes. But I used his call flagrantly in our announcements. Little did I know that there were more existing web links to INQP than just WA7BNMís contest page. It took 50 e-mails and yet more repeated requests to finally get all the major web pages and most of the minor web links changed to the HDXCC web site.
There was no logging software for INQP. W9TN created .DOM files to be used with TR; SMC member Steve N9OH created a module for Writelog, and Dave K8CC created an INQP version for NA. Many logs were accepted on paper, thanks to Mike N9NS for collecting and sorting them. But Mike missed the contest, being on yet another DXpedition (this time to Las Vegas!).
W9TN created a web page for the party, with rules and a list of counties to be activated and tied it to the clubís web page (www.hdxcc.org/inqp). One of our bigger discussions was deciding what county abbreviations to use in the party exchange.
We did not try to coordinate mobile activity (see the Illinois QSO Party for a good coordination effort), so we missed having a few counties on the air. But a number of Hoosier hams plan to go mobile in 2003, so we will get all 92 counties activated.
N9LF spent countless hours checking logs and printing and mailing certificates and Joe K8JP/V31JP donated plaques for the overall winners.
Plans are well underway for 2003, and the new rules have been posted on the web page. Please drop by for some Hoosier Hospitality and tell your ham friends.
Keeping it going (updated 2015, N9LF)
After the club's initial efforts at reinvigorating the INQP, we found that keeping things going required just as much effort. Here are just a few examples:
We annually consider adjustments to the rules. Some rule changes resulted from suggestions or requests from the various participants while others were merely utilitarian (e.g., to maintain fair competition).
Notable occurances and rule changes: