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The Illinois QSO Party Frequently Asked Questions   Hints and Tips For The ILQP


Many of the most frequently asked about issues are covered below. If you cannot find the specific issue covered below, feel free to post a question to the ILQP reflector.

Q:  I want to operate from a three or four county corner.  I think I know the exact location of the corner (from a map or posted signs), but how close do I have to park to this spot to qualify?

A: The traditional answer to this has been: “As close as possible, keeping safety uppermost in mind.”  To claim three or four counties, the operator should 1) As nearly as possible, locate the exact corner; 2) Find a safe spot as close as possible to the corner to set up the station; 3) Obtain permission from land-owners if at all possible; 4) Arrange portions of the antenna system to be physically placed in all three (or four) counties if possible.

Q: What rules for awards from the Mobile Amateur Radio Awards Club (MARAC) apply to multiple-county operations?

A:  MARAC does not recognize more than two counties credited per contact.  If you receive a Mobile Reply Card (MRC) or a QSL from a station asking for confirmation of one or two counties of the three (or four) at your corner, do NOT add the other counties to the card.

Q: May I operate from a bridge or other structure and claim two counties separated by a river or stream?

A:  No.  This is generally not a safe practice and the ruling has been issued assuming that it is never a good idea.  Some awards programs do not allow credit for “wet county lines”.

Q: My home station is located very close to a county corner.  Can I claim more than one county? 

A:  This question will be handled on a case-by-case basis.  The usual answer for this is “No”.  The reason for this is that home antennas do not meet the criteria for a “portable station” (erected specifically for the contest) and a home station receiving two, three or four times the credit for each contact would have a substantial advantage over any other fixed station.

Q: I logged on paper.  Can I send in a paper log?  What information must be included in my log?

A: Paper logs are acceptable if you logged on paper during the contest.  Mail these logs to WIARC POB 3132 Quincy IL 62306.  Paper log submissions MUST be accompanied by a paper summary sheet or they will be classified as “check logs”. Information required is your call, your location (for each contact if you moved during the contest), the band, mode, time, station worked and exchange received and a notation of new multipliers worked.

Q: I logged on paper and scanned my paper log.  Can I send the scanned log as an electronic log?

A: No.  There is no way currently for the log checkers to treat this as anything but a paper log.  Any scanned file, .pdf file or similar inserted or attached cannot be processed.  If you logged on paper, mail the log to WIARC.

Q: I used a computer to log the contest and printed out my log.  Is it OK to send mail this as a paper log?

A:  In most cases, if a paper log is received and it appears that the file was computer-generated, you will be asked for the original file electronically so your log can be processed as an electronic log.  If you logged on computer, send a file as an e-mail attachment.  You’ll be notified if modifications need to be made.

Q:  Somebody sent me a “579” report, but I’ve forgotten who it was.  Will I be penalized for having the wrong RST in my log?

A:  While RST is currently a required portion of the exchange, all RSTs will be assumed to be 59/599 by the log checkers. You may enter other reports as sent or received but there is no penalty if they do not match in the other station’s log.

Q:  Somebody sent me a county abbreviation in an exchange that does not match ANY of the abbreviations on the summary sheet.   I logged it just as it was sent but don’t know what to claim for a multiplier.  Help?!?

A:  Log what was sent and claim what you think is right.  Non-standard abbreviations will be examined by a real person and assigned credit accordingly as long as what you logged was close enough to what was sent to be appropriate. I.e., if you logged “DWIT” and the sending station was in DeWitt County (should be DEWT), you’ll get credit.  If you logged MCON (non-standard)  and the station was in Macoupin County  (should be MCPN) or Macon County (should be MCON)  you’ll get credit.  If you logged MCON (standard for Macon) and claimed Macoupin, you probably won’t. 

Q:  I logged in Excel.  How do I create a “Cabrillo file” for submission?

A:  You don’t.  Send the Excel file.  As long as it contains all the required information, you’re good to go.

Q:  Are there penalties for miscopied callsigns or exchanges?

A:  At present, there are no penalties beyond loss of the QSO and multiplier credit that would have been given had the contact not been “busted”.

Q:  What about sending a summary sheet with an electronic submission?  Do I HAVE to fill out that text file?

A:  Any reasonably facsimile of the summary sheet is acceptable.  You may create it in Excel if you wish. 

Q:  What the heck is a “Cabrillo format”?

A:  Cabrillo is a format that ensures that all required information is entered for each contact.  Most contest logging programs will create a Cabrillo-format report for submission of your log.  Not a Cabrillo formats are identical.  As long as your log shows your callsign, your location, the date, time, band, mode, station worked and exchange received for each contact, it will probably be acceptable.

Q:  What if my electronic log is not in an “acceptable format”?

A:  The log checkers will attempt to contact you and request your log in a different format.  If this is not forthcoming, your log may be classified as a check log.

Q:  Should I attach my log to an e-mail or copy it into the body of the e-mail?

A:  Attach.  Always.

Q:  How will I know if my electronic log as been received?

A:  All electronic logs e-mailed to n9jf@arrl.net will receive an e-mail response to the address from which they were sent.  If you do not receive such a response within 72 hours, resend your log.

Q:  How will I know if my paper log as been received?

A:  The list of all received logs will be posted to the ILQP reflector prior to the log submission deadline.  If you wish, you may ask for the status of your log via e-mail at  n9jf@arrl.net.

Q:  When I looked at the published results, my score wasn’t the same as what I had calculated and submitted on the summary sheet.  Can I find out why?

A:  While the decisions of the contest committee are final, such requests will be answered as time permits.  E-mail your questions to n9jf@arrl.net.   Note that one reason for requiring a summary sheet is to be able to check your claimed score against the score calculated by the log checkers.

Q:  I’d like to propose a new entry class or a new ILQP achievement award.  How do I go about this?

A:  Such proposals are advanced occasionally on the ILQP Reflector.  The WIARC ILQP committee considers potential changes to the rules and awards.  

Q:  What is an “Illinois Edible Award”?

A:  As an incentive to non-Illinois stations to work as many Illinois stations as possible during ILQP, an Illinois-produced food item is awarded to non-Illinois stations who work some minimum number of Illinois stations (currently 200) or Illinois counties (currently 75) during ILQP.

Q:  How do I make sure my score counts toward my local club’s aggregate score?

A:  Be sure to list your local club on the summary sheet.  Only “local clubs” are eligible; i.e., the Society of Midwest Contesters, while a great contesting club, is not an “Illinois Local Club” and cannot be awarded the club aggregate plaque.  If you are a member of both SMC and a local club, list the local club on the summary.

Q:  I’d like to work some PSK31 along with other modes in ILQP.  How do I score these contacts?

A:  All digital modes other than CW count two points per contact.  You may not work a station on the same band on both CW and another digital mode for additional contact credit.

Q:  Which Canadian provinces count as multipliers?

A:  Consult the list on the summary sheet on the ILQP web page.


© Copyright 2017
Western Illinois Amateur Radio Club, Inc.


When calling CQ or running a frequency, stand by often for mobiles and rovers who may be burried under the fixed station signals.

Many years the ILQP coincides with the Jamborie On The Air. Please be courteous to our future contesters. Give them space and make contacts with them as well.

QSO's must be logged using the long standing four letter abbreviations for Illinois counties. These abbreviations are shown on the summary sheet. The accepted abbreviations for US states and Canadian provinces are also shown. Using ambiguous abbreviations may result in busted contacts.

Remember, there is a minimum data set that constitutes a valid QSO log entry. Missing or incomplete QSO data may result in a busted contact. See the current year rules sheet for details.

Operators should log contacts using GMT time and date. Submissions in other time and date standard may be returned to the entrant for correction.

Electronic logs must be submitted in either cabrillo or excel format. Any other format may be used if prior approval is given by the ILQP Committee.

A paper printout from a computer logging program submitted without the electronic log file or cabrillo file will be considered a check log and not entered into competition.


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