What is the Kentucky QSO Party?
The Kentucky QSO Party is an annual event where many ham radio operators in Kentucky get on the air for 12 hours to make world-wide contacts with Kentucky. It is a great way to contact Kentucky on different bands and modes for awards like Worked All States (WAS) and County Hunters. Many rare counties in Kentucky will be activated during the event.
How Do I Participate?
Participating in the Kentucky QSO Party is fun and easy:
Stations outside KY
Amateurs outside of Kentucky will typically listen for Kentucky stations calling CQ KYQP on or near the suggested operating frequencies (see the Rules page). When you hear a KY station calling CQ, come back to them by sending or saying your call. If the KY station hears you, it will give your call, an RST report, and the county it is located. Kentucky stations send a three letter abbreviation for the county.
Once you receive the exchange from the KY station, it is your turn to send your exchange. For stations outside of KY, you send an RST report and your state or province (or if outside of the USA or Canada, you simply send DX). If the KY station receives your exchange, it will thank you and you are done. Log your contact using one of the many excellent logging programs that can be setup for the KY QSO Party (see the Log Submissions page). These logging programs automatically verify the three letter county abbreviations as you enter them, prevent duplicate contacts, and show your total score based on the KYQP rules. Note: Non-KY stations can only work stations in KY.
Stations within KY
Stations in Kentucky will typically call CQ KYQP on or near the suggested operating frequencies (see Rules page). When a station comes back to your CQ, you send your exchange: RST plus the three letter abbreviation for your county. Note: it is important to not just send or say the full name of your county. It is better operating practice to send the county abbreviation. For example, KY stations operating from McCracken county should simply say or send 599 MCC (if on SSB, 599 Mike, Charlie, Charlie). After you have sent your exchange, copy the other station’s response and enter their exchange per above. Once you have entered the correct exchange from the other station, simply say “Thank you” or TU and then call QRZ? or CQ KYQP to work other stations. Note: KY stations can work both stations outside of KY and other stations in KY.
K4KCG Bonus Station
In 2023, station K4KCG will be designated as a bonus station. Anyone inside or outside of Kentucky can work K4KCG once per band and mode and earn 100 bonus points for each completed contact. (See Rules) Logging programs need not track bonus points earned — after you submit your Cabrillo file, earned bonus points will be added to your final score posted on the KYQP website.
After the KYQP
Once the KY QSO Party is over, we encourage all participants to submit their logs. See the Log Submissions page for more detail. We will post the results once all logs are checked and verified (see the Results and Awards page). Everyone sending in a log will receive a Certificate of Participation.
See You on the Air!
We hope this brief tutorial will help new ham radio operators understand how easy and fun it can be to participate. Like other QSO Parties, the Kentucky QSO Party is a relaxed and welcoming event. If you are new to QSO parties, we hope that you try to make a few contacts in the KYQP. Once you’ve made a few, you will quickly get the hang of it.