First Class CW Operators' Club


The FOC QSO Party

The next QSO Party is:

Saturday Sept. 9

0000z to 2359z

* Note: Starts Friday in the U.S.

(Click here  to go directly to the most recent FOCQP report)

The FOC QSO Party (FOCQP), formerly known as the Bill Windle QSO Party (BWQP), is held twice a year and is open to all radio amateurs world-wide.

It's not a contest but, rather, an activity day in memory of Bill Windle, G8VG (SK), a past Chairman of FOC who was very keen that we should all be as active as possible on the bands. Stations participating in the FOCQP should call "CQ BW" in memory of Bill.

Participants have often reported this is one of their favourite operating events!

The idea behind the FOCQP is to offer some stress-free opportunity for FOC Members to meet and greet both other members and non-members.

Each one of us can make this event what you want it to be – some get on for a few casual QSOs, others spend several hours on different bands and still others treat it like a "mini-marathon".

The basic concept is just to work as many stations as you can over a 24-hour period, from:

Just call "CQ BW" from 015 to 040kHz on all bands, excluding the WARC bands. The exchange is: RST, name, and FOC number (non-members send RST and name).

Many people also take the opportunity to engage in longer QSOs; this is definitely encouraged but it is entirely up to you! However, please note, we still call "CQ BW" to initiate a QSO, a tribute to Bill Windle who did so much to foster activity in our Club.

2023 FOCQPs

- Saturday March 25

- Saturday Sept. 9

0000z to 2359z

* Note: Starts Friday in the U.S.

How to Report Your Results

If you are interested in reporting your results during a FOCQP, simply log onto this website page and fill out the form: . It's as simple as that. No logs are required because we work on the honour system.

When reporting scores we separate according to: Europe, North America, North America “West Coast”, Asia, Africa and South America, and this is done automatically for you when you enter your information on the web form.

Reports are due 7 days after the event. A complete list of the stations who report, and their totals, will be included here on our public website. Handsome certificates are awarded to members and non-members on each continent reporting the highest number of QSOs.

Solar Storm Steals Propagation During 25 March FOCQP

 By Art, KZ5D

(Click here to download all the March. 2023 scores)

(Click here to read all the March 2023 Soapbox comments)


In mid-March, it appeared that the March FOC QP would have record breaking conditions, until…that dratted solar flare showed up!  Red, DL1BUG, summed it up this way, “It has probably never been so difficult to do a few QSOs as during this solar storm.” These sentiments were shared by many, particularly in complaints about how few, if any, QSOS were available on 10m. But persistence often pays off as witnessed by Armin, DK9PY.  “Sunday afternoon tried 10m and surprisingly some stateside stations could be heard at noise level. By pointing the antenna towards South America (side of the beam towards USA), signals increased dramatically. At the end, 43 NA stations were in the log.”   

Our club holds 3 major operating events each year and the two FOC QPs offer members the opportunity to work non-members. It’s one of the ways that our club encourages interest in CW operating. The comments from KI5SXE were of particular interest. “I just learned CW and have only done the SST. This was a wonderful event because I did not feel intimidated by the format. It was crazy to hear so many CW stations! It was wonderful to listen and practice copying and sending a little bit more. I look forward to many, many years of CW fun so thank you for this opportunity.” M0KTZ offered, “I am not a keen contester, so I was happy to exchange more than the minimum with many stations, and to have a few longer rag-chews as well.” WO9B said, “Very nice event. Having a CW preference, this alternative to the competing SSB contest was most welcome. FOC members were out in abundance for easy Qs, armchair copy and legitimate 599 signals. This was my Saturday de-stress event.”

From the very first FOC QSO Party, members have always been encouraged to make this event whatever they wish. Use the time to find plenty of members to re-connect with, add new Auggies or Windles, try out new antennas or gear, or make it a full blown contest type event. K5KV reported managing to hold a 4-way rag chew with all participants using bugs. Many of us were very time limited due to other duties. But we also acknowledge that several of our members were very passionate about their participation, logging in excess of 15 hours of operating time. These include N5RZ and DK9PY. Whatever your preference, please spend some time on the air with your fellow club members in each future FOC QP.

Mark your calendars for the next FOCQP: 9 Sept, 2023.

There were 199 members who filed reports and 77 non-members. Overall activity seemed quite good. Here’s hoping that the 9 September event will be blessed with outstanding propagation. You can read all of the comments received from members and non-members at this link:

John, W8FJ, chalked up the overall highest score with 665 total contacts, of which 535 were with members. But Gator, N5RZ, was just 5 QSOs behind him with 660/514. Once again Riki, K7NJ, led the West Coast members with 543/414 that was almost identical to his score last September. Europe’s top score was reported by Armin, DK9PY, with an impressive 609/506. Andy, 5Z4VJ, racked up 585 contacts but less than half were with members (250). Oceania was well represented by Lloyd, KH6LC, who reported 245/188. Only one member in Asia filed a report. Moto, JA1GZV, struggled to reach 21/16. No reports received from South America.

Non-member participation continued to grow in this QP and the highest reported score was from KY4GS with 274. G3SJJ led all the participants from Europe with 252. The West Coast leader was W7ZDX with 55. The Oceania award goes to VK5GG with 28 Qs while JJ1YHC took top honors from Asia with 11. There were no non-member entries from Africa or South America.

The table below shows the top two participants from each continent.


FOCQP Results by year

2022    March 26th
   September 10th  
2021    March 27th
   September 11th


  March 28th
  September 12th
2019   March 23th   September 14th  
2018   March 24th   September 22nd  
2017   March 25th   September 9th  
2016   March 26th   September 10th  
2015   March 28th   September 12th  
2014   March 22nd   September 13th  
2013   March 23rd   September 14th  
2012   May 31st   September 22nd  
2011   May 14th   October 22nd  

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