Getting Started

What is the Kentucky QSO Party?

The Kentucky QSO Party is an annual event in which many ham radio operators in Kentucky get on the air for 12 hours so that others from around the world can make 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 of 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 and then an RST report and the county in which it is located.  Kentucky stations should send a three letter abbreviation for the county (see the Counties page for a complete list of all of the counties in the state and the proper three letter abbreviation).

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 will automatically verify the three letter county abbreviations as you enter them, keep track of and prevent duplicate contacts and provide a running total of the number of contacts and your total score based on the KYQP rules.

Note: Non-KY stations can only work stations in KY.

Stations in 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 (see Counties page).  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, listen for the other station’s response and enter their exchange as noted 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.

Bonus KY Stations

Each year a few Kentucky Club Stations will be designed before the contest as bonus stations.  Anyone inside or outside of Kentucky can work all the bonus stations once per band and mode and earn 100 bonus points for each completed contact.  The bonus stations for the 2021 KYQP will be W4NJA, KY4KY, K4KCG and K4MSU.  (See Rules)  Logging programs do not need to track the bonus points earned in each log.  After you submit your Cabrillo file, the KYQP contest committee will calculate the bonus points earned and add those points to each submitted log.  The final results posted on the KYQP website will include the bonus points earned as part of each station’s final score.

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.