Thank you to everyone who helped make the 2020 Vermont QSO Party a huge success!


We were facing another year with subpar conditions and a sun spot number of 0. As an experienced contester, I know that you simply soldier on, hoping for the best. The only difference this time was a new program called the State QSO Party Challenge which came on board just before our activity. This program takes the aggregate score of each operator in the various State QSO Parties throughout the year. I suspected that this would kick activity up a notch, but I had no idea how much.

In past glory years, I would get on 20 meters phone and work DX all morning and then work stateside all afternoon until well into evening. That wasnt happening this time and I found myself frequently going to 40 meters or even going to CW to keep the QSOs coming. But a funny thing happened on CW. Instead of 5-10 QSOs and then nothing, typical of past years, I actually had a run going. Something had changed! In fact the CW activity was so good that my FT8 activity went down.

I could see that there were several stations who were serious about chasing me down wherever I would show up. One station got me on 4 bands (160, 80, 40, 20 meters) on both modes and several got me on 3 bands. Folks were out there!

Not only do we do the QSO Party, but W1NVT is also used for training new operators. Thank you to all of the patient folks who made contacts, albeit at a slower rate, during the 1700-1900 UTC block as we brought K1DXM and W3JEF up to speed. Theyre both pretty good now, and we expect to see more of them at Field Day! In all, our host station W1NVT cranked out just shy of 2000 QSO's on 4 bands and 3 modes. I hope we made everyone happy with the many QSO's!


This year, 23 Vermont stations submitted logs. This is down a bit from last year. However, we had a greater number of Vermont stations making contacts - just fewer submitted logs. The number of QSO's these stations made were WAY UP from 6377 to 9282 QSO's.

Not every Vermont operator elected to submit logs. Below is a list of other Vermont stations who we knew were active. While many only made a few contacts, there are some call signs in this list which were seen in many logs. With 23 stations submitting logs and another 36 not submitting logs, that results in total of 59 Vermont stations on the air. Note that Vermont only has around 1000 higher class (above Technician) licensees and many of those hams do not have HF stations.

Plenty of Vermont multipliers were available. All 14 Vermont counties were on the air on phone, mostly thanks to KI1P who operated as K1VIT mobile in all counties, and K1IB who put the southern counties on the air on CW and K1BIF who put rare Grand Isle county on the air. There were 10 out of 14 counties on the air on CW. We had 3 clubs on phone, 2 on CW and 1 on RTTY. On FT8, 4 Vermont grid squares were available for a possible total of 34 multipliers available.

It is notable that the number of CW contacts doubled this year. The good news about this is that it will help bring out more CW operators who previously stayed away due to the lack of activity. During the QSO Party we share the CW spectrum with the FOC contest during the weekend and the CW Sprint on Saturday night. FOC ops only work other FOC ops but we noticed that some of them worked the QSO Parties as well (Thanks!). And while it can be challenging to work the Sprint with its QSY rule, some operators stay clear of the activity by CQing high in the band.

Over on the digital side, the number of FT8/FT4 dropped, mainly because CW was busy. But, digital does give an another mode option for stations who do not operate CW. A total of 15 Vermont stations made nearly 1000 digital QSOs, and 8 stations were FT8/FT4 only, which means they would have likely not been on if not on digital. Outside of Vermont, 18 stations made contacts on digital. Only one station, W1JXN operated RTTY, as K1VMT was CW-only this time. The big problem with RTTY is that we run concurrent with the Mexican RTTY contest and participants in that evnet do NOT give out their state. So that means QSO's can get time consuming as one has to inquire about the other station's state. I'm hoping that we might be able to make the contests more compatible in the future.

Logs From VT

Year Logs QSOs
2020 23 9282
2019 28 6377
2018 22 7418
2017 18 6330
2016 21 7262
2015 17 7834
2014 24 7100
2013 17 5958
2012 18 4360

2019/2020 Comparison



Vermont Stations Not Submitting Logs

AB1WG   FN34 (CHI)    N1PDV   CHI
AF1N    CHI           N1RNJ   FN34 (WAS)
AG1W    BEN           N1UR    WAS
K1KRN   ORA           NJ1S    CHI
K1LJL   CHI           NW3Y/1  ORL
K4TT    FN44 (ESS)    W1AEA   FRA
KB1MDC  GRA           W1AIM   WAS
KC1IFK  CHI           W1ETV   CHI
KC1KZK  CHI           W1FNB   FN33 (WNS)
KC1LEB  CHI           W1GWS   FN32 (BEN)
KC1SS   WNS           W1IL    CHI
KE1AZ   CHI           W1MAD   CHI
KG6AJH  WAS           W1SMC   WNS
KR6FH   BEN           W1SSG   LAM
KT1J    FN34 (ADD)    W1VE    BEN
N1IRO   ORA           W3CFE   WNS
N1NRA   ADD           WB2WFJ  RUT



Top VT Stations

Single Op
KE1VT 270072
W1JXN 108311
AA1SU 89914
K1VMT 86100
N1JEZ 64464
KB1FRW 63977
N1GB 44574
W1SFR 27908
KIBIF 26811
W2HDI 17160
Multi Op
N1FS 129224
K1IB/M 33138

Kevin KE1VT (Addison) moved up to a first place finish of 270k after finishing third last year. He used a mixture of phone and CW and posted the highest QSO total while only running low power. Well done!

Zach W1JXN (Chittenden) repeated his second place finish with 108k, a slight increase from last year, running low power. He split time between phone, CW and RTTY. He managed this accomplishment even though his operating time was limited due to family activities.

Paul AA1SU (Chittenden) improved to a third place finish of 90k, running high power on two modes. He had the highest number of multipliers of all the Vermont entries.

Joe K1VMT (Lamoille) operated on CW only, running up a score of 86k running high power for a fourth place finish. He was part of the reason why CW was so popular this year.

Mike N1JEZ (Caledonia) ran up a fifth place score of 64464 mostly on high power phone with a few digital contacts. He had the highest number of phone QSO's and was a force to be reckoned with on 20 meters.

Bob KB1FRW (Chittenden) just missed the top five with 63977, a difference of only 484 points, or 1 multiplier. He ran low power on phone only, but added 13 digital contacts to pick up the score.

N1FS (Addison), operated by Rob N1TRK & Tom WB2BCD were the big winners in the multi-op category with an amazing score of 129k, setting a new record in this category. They did this with equal parts phone and FT8 with a good amount of multipliers.

Mill K1IB (Rover), put only 4 counties in Southern Vermont on the air, but did it in a big way, adding up to 33k while running some tremendous rates on CW while sitting on county lines.

Phone Leaders

Station QSOs Mults
W1NVT 1602 103
N1JEZ 928 66
KB1FRW651 61
KE1VT 648 61
AA1SU 503 72

CW Leaders

Station QSOs Mults
K1VMT 525 82
KE1VT 420 60
K1IB/M263 42
W1NVT 242 61
W1JXN 230 58

FT8 Leaders

Station QSOs Mults
N1FS 376 45
N1GB 323 46
W1NVT 146 26
K1BIF 72 15


The log entry system run by Bruce WA7BNM was a tremendous help to manage the tremendous number of logs. The "robot" did a basic check of logs to insure that we received logs which resembled a Cabrillo format and basic information such as location and power level were indicated. Still, some issues crept in but they were far less to deal with than in previous years.

We continue to actively check the accuracy of logs and still find a surprising number of errors. Errors included busted call signs, bad or missing exchanges (i.e. wrong county), wrong band or mode and the dreaded NIL (not in log). Amazingly, We often find our club station W1NVT logged as N1NVT. With calls like W1NVT, KE1VT, K1VIT and K1VMT in the mix, it can be easy to get confused. We know all 40 or so Vermont stations in the QSO Party, and their locations, so errors are quickly spotted. Thanks to Ron AD0DX, we also have log checking software to find mismatches between logs. The QSO Party rules require everyone to log a valid state, province country or county. If these are wrong or missing, the QSO is not counted. The proper abbreviation must be used. So if you put down NB instead of NE (Nebraska), AK instead of AR (Arkansas) MI instead of MN (Minnesota) or, like many, mixed up those two mind boggling southern Vermont counties WNH (Windham) or WNS (Windsor), unfortunately, you lost some QSO's. Another issue is that our county abbreviations are only 3 letters, which is different than the New England QSO Party which uses 5 letter abbreviations. This year, we allowed DX contacts with simply "DX" logged as the country. In the future, those will not count for credit, and you will have to properly show the country, i.e. DL (Germany), UA (Russia), etc. A rather large number of logs had the wrong band or wrong mode listed. Make doubly sure that you (or your computer) changes bands or modes when you change bands or modes. Logs from outside Vermont can only work Vermont stations for credit. Several logs included Minnesota and British Columbia QSO's (from those QSO Parties) which were not counted for credit.

I always find it intuitive to go back over the log and learn what mistakes were made so that they are not repeated in the future. Why is log checking important? We want to strive to be the best and most accurate operators we can be. That is part of the fun of all this. And one day we might find ourselves operating for real, like in an emergency, where accuracy could be extremely important for people's survival.


We received 253 logs representing 2167 QSOs from stations outside of Vermont. This absolutely blows away the 91 logs with 546 QSO's we observed last year. Overall, we received logs from 44 states, 6 provinces and 7 countries.

Logs From Outside VT

Year Stations QSOs
2020 253 2167
2019 91 546
2018 117 719
2017 107 921
2016 82 671
2015 61 386
2014 74 511
2013 65 363
2012 38 171

Outside Vermont
2019/2020 Comparison






Top Outside of VT Stations

Single Op
K1RO 2322
KS4X 1740
N8II 1701
W4UT 1539
KA6BIM 1512
N6AR 1449
K0FD 1377
KI6RRN 1340
AA4TI 1242
OM2VL 1156

Wow! It was like a different contest this year! Scores were way up as the top ten finishers scored higher than the highest finisher last year.

First place goes to Mark K1RO from New Hampshire. Mark ran up a score of 2322 points from an amazing 57 QSO's and 27 multipliers. To put this in perspective, only 34 multipliers from the various modes were possible this year. Mark was also able to horsepower his way to 20 QSO's on 20 meters even though the skip distance makes this difficult over the short hop from New Hampshire to Vermont. Super job!

Second and third place were a real horse race. When the dust had settled, Ken KS4X from Tennessee squeaked out a second place finish. Ken is no stranger to this position as he has finished in the top 10 for many years in this event.

Jeff N8II from West Virginia took third. Jeff is also no stranger to the top ten as he was the top finisher in 2018. The difference between second and third place was 1 miscopied county! The top three finishers will receive a 3.4 oz container of genuine Vermont maple syrup!

Fourth and fifth place were also tight. Ron W4UT from Tennessee was in fourth place on the strength of FT8 and RTTY contacts and extra multipliers. Ron took the top spot in 2016.

Fifth place goes to Dave KA6BIM who made more contacts than Ron, but ran high power which resulted in a lower multiplier.

Last year 17 stations outside of Vermont earned certificates by placing in the top 5 or working 10 Vermont stations. This year 76 stations outside of Vermont will receive certificates. I'll be busy for a while processing those!

Phone Leaders

Station QSOs Mults
K1RO 28 12
KA6BIM 23 11
N8II 23 10
AI4DB 22 10
K0FD 22 8

CW Leaders

Station QSOs Mults
K1RO 26 11
OM2VL 26 9
KI6RRN24 11
N8II 20 8
N6AR 19 9

Digital Leaders

Station QSOs Mults
W4UT 14 4
KS4X 13 5
K8RGI/46 3


In the Vermont competition, certificates will go out to the top 5 single op finishers and top multi op finisher. In addition, all Vermont stations making over 100 QSOs will also get a certificate.

In the Outside Vermont competition, the grand prize for the 2020 Vermont QSO Party is a souvenir 3.4 oz jug of genuine Vermont Maple Syrup which goes to the top 3 Outside Vermont Single Op finishers who are within the U.S. You guys worked hard for those contacts and we recognize you with a product which is uniquely Vermont. If youve never had Maple Syrup before, it is very sweet and very concentrated, so a little goes a long way! Here in Vermont it is the breakfast topping of choice on pancakes, waffles or jacked deer steak (!?). Enjoy!

Certificates will also go out to the top 10 stations outside Vermont and stations outside Vermont working 10 or more QSOs.

Details of Awards

Vermont Single Op: Certificate to Top 5 Scorers
Vermont Multi Op: Certificate to Top Scorer
Certificate to each Vermont station making 100 QSO's

Outside Vermont Single Op: Maple Syrup to Top 3 SO Scorers
Outside Vermont Single Op: Certificate to Top 10 Scorers
Certificate to each station outside Vermont making 10 QSO's


Working two QSO parties at the same time was fun. (K3GWK).
Rig: IC-756Pro and end fed wires. Bands rough but glad to work a few. (N8VWY).
Always nice to trade a Q with VT stations amid my BCQP pileups. (VA7ODX).
The WA7BNM tools did not like SNR signal reports for the two FT8 contacts so I entered 599. (K1RO).
Rig was FTDX5000 and Butternut vertical. Found a lot more than last year. For some reason 40m is poor to VT. (W1END).
KX3 to a dipole, 5w. Tough conditions and a lot of other competing (so to speak) contests. I worked almost everyone I heard! (KI4MZC).
My hope was to find Orleans county to complete VT on CW; but, no luck. Only heard six counties the entire weekend. Heard a few VT stations on 20 but they couldn't hear me. Rig: TenTec Eagle @ 100 watts. Antenna: Mag loop and an Isotron-80 in attic 12' above garage floor. (KV8Q).
I had the flu and it would have been better to stay at home (13 deg C / 55 deg F in the shack not good for flu) but I wanted to give some points to my friends in MN and VT QSO Parties. K1VMT, W1NVT and W1JXN did as good a job as last year and were QRV on several bands and modes. Thanks for 4,7,7 QSOs. But where are all other stations from VT? Also, the W1BD bonus station I never heard. Thanks also to KE1VT AND K1IB/R for 6 QSOs each. K1VIT/R was only on SSB on the parts of the 40 and 80 meter bands where EU stations can't transmit, so missed QSOs and multipliers. (OM2VL).
This was another disappointing WQ6X remote operation from NX6T in Fallbrook. What good does it do to hold a VT QSO Party if amateurs in Vermont don't participate? How can we work all counties in your state if no one in your state is on the air? Am I missing something? (WQ6X).
The VTQP Manager replies: Yes, you are certainly missing something - Vermont QSOs! Some 39 Vermont stations pumped out close to 10,000 QSO's from each of the 14 counties, with 2500 of those on CW. The first place finisher logged 57 Vermont QSO's. Two CA stations were in the top ten. The Vermont stations and QSO's were there, but only if one spends the time and effort to look for and work them. After all, Vermont IS a rare state! (W1SJ).

We had a tremendous turnout in the Vermont QSO Party for 2020, bolstered by the State QSO Party Challenge. And most everyone tells me they had a load of fun. We look forward to upcoming years of increased participation. And at some point, I'll have the good problem of having to find staff to help process the logs!

Vermont QSO Party
Updated: 3/22/20