First Class CW Operators' Club


The FOC QSO Party

The 2024 QSO Party dates are:

Saturday March 23

Saturday September 14

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.

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.


(Click here to download all Sept. 2023 member scores)

(Click here to download all Sept. 2023 non-member scores)

By Art, KZ5D

The 9 September 2023 FOC QP markd the 20th year for this club event!

Where were you on 9 September, 2023?

More than 250 of our members were very QRL in the FOC QP. Were you in that number? If not, you should give it a try for the next one on 23 March, 2024. Reports are not required, but 188 members filed reports and 80 non-members added theirs to account for a total of 268 reports received. This event has proven to be extremely popular with our members as well as non-members. Some members got on to make just a handful of contacts, while many spent several hours to rack up hundreds of QSOs.

How did your score compare with others?

The highest score reported was from N3RS. Sig racked up 896 total contacts including 675 with members. Second highest report came from Europe as Armin, DK9PY, posted 802 and 627 of those with members. While K4XU took top honors from the West Coast USA, Dick mentioned that Europe was non-existent in his log of 331/286. Allan, VK2GR, had the highest score from Oceania with 225/147. Asia honors go to Prasad, VU2PTT, with 66/56. There were no member reports from Africa or South America.

Non-members were paced by W1SOC with 430. 9A1AA made 425 to capture top spot in Europe. USA West Coast winner was NG7M with 52. VK5GG had 38 FOC Qs for the highest report from Oceania and LU1AW made 26 Qs and earned the award from South America. No non-member reports were received from Africa.

Download the complete score listings here to see where you stand.

How did these members manage to put so many contacts in their logs?

According to Sig, N3RS, who reported the highest number of contacts, “I spent more time than I should have at my age. I was on for 18.5 hours. For my time on the air I only averaged around 48.5 QSOs per hour, with the best hour being the first one at 100/Hr.  I had a good time greeting old friends that I have had many contest QSOs and casual chats with over the years as well as some new members that I had not contacted before. The station is set up for SO2R and I use 2 monitors for logging, antenna selection, and rotation of the antennas. Everything in the station is automated and all band-switching, antenna selection and direction is computer controlled from the screen via mouse clicks or keyboard entry.” Sig’s well-equipped station includes more aluminum and towers than most of us can even dream about.

The second highest QSO total was from Armin, DK9PY. “I ran the FOC QP from my contest station, with a good setup for SO2R operation as well as a couple of antenna systems as shown on  I consider the QP not as a real contest, however many do so and therefore it depended whether it was a short (contest style) or a longer chat with friends especially those met at the various gatherings in Orlando, Guildford or the Condins in Germany. Although I didn’t plan to stay that long on the radios, finally it was more than 18 hours, which then resulted in more than 800 contacts. Luckily this year 10m was open and many stateside members could be worked.”

“FOC QP is one of my favorites because it is so laid back,” said Dick, K4XU, who was the high scorer from the U.S. West Coast.  “No pressure at all, “ Dick admits. “As long as N9RV or K7NJ are not going full tilt, I can do relatively well from the west with my modest station on 1.5 acres within the city limits of Bend, OR. The FOC QP is an easy contest. It starts at 5 p.m. local time Friday evening. You can plan on hectic activity for the first couple hours. This year conditions were pretty good. I did not have any other engagements and my XYL Chris simply said "When and where do you want dinner?" I ate at the rig. But by 11 p.m. the rate goes to zip and I can get seven hours of sleep. The high bands were quite active but it only took a few 30 minute sessions to work out the bands. Endless CQing is not for me. N1MM says I operated for 7.5 hours.”

Allan, VK2GR, who had the top score from Oceania, commented, “I enjoy the slow pace of the FOC QP where there is ample time to exchange friendly words, request a band QSY or have a short CW chat. N1MM+ compiled my total that include QSOs to 37 DXCC entities. Most of the FOCQP QSOs were on the 20m band to NA. All told, I had 147 member QSOs out of a total of 225 QSOs.” Allan accomplished this from his radio quiet rural QTH 250 Km south of Sydney. This is his retirement QTH that is a small sheep farm where he and his XYL, Josette, raise Wiltshire sheep and chickens. “Apart from radio, my time is spent with property maintenance, gardening and the animal care,” he explains.

Unfortunately, several attempts to contact Prasad, VU2PTT, the high scorer from Asia have been unsuccessful. But he did offer these comments with his activity report. “Great to say hi to old friends - conditions were not so great on 20 and 40 for my tiny 100w signal to get through. 15m was the best band and really happy to meet some of you for the first time.

What did others think about the QP?

Here are some comments from members and non-members that reflect what an enjoyable event this was.

KD2FSH - I want to thank the FOC for this event. These are really professional CW operators. Members of FOC were very respectful to other members and non-members. I am a member of CWOPs 1918. A lot of FOC members are CWOPs members. Band condx were horrible but made the best of it. 

N4LSJ - Fun event! I like its "laid backness." Bands were better behaved this time.

K5RC - Always great to exchange greetings with great old friends and the newcomers.

OE5TXF - Fun operating event. Was QRV about 10 hours, using simple low-strung wire dipoles.

K2ZR - I thought conditions in this year's FOC QP were quite good. I was happy to log QSOs on every band. My must productive band was 15M.

W1AO - Thanks for the contacts and another enjoyable FOC QP. There were a large number of non-member participants, providing a great introduction to the Club.

G4BSW - An enjoyable few hours spent. A few rag chews. Loads of Windle points and 3 Augies worked. Conditions pretty good here. A notable QSO was Aki JA5DQH on 15m. 

OH2BH - As a former FOC member, #1166 from 50 years ago, it was nice to meet many old pals with numbers even smaller than mine from those ancient times!

Did the FOC QP really get started 20 years ago?

Yes and no! The first QP was held on Saturday 16 October, 2004. It was originally named the Bill Windle QSO Party in honor of our Windle Award namesake, Bill Windle. Bill was a very active member who constantly encouraged club members to get on the air more frequently. The concept was developed to offer members a second major operating event besides the Marathon. It was also decided to include non-members as a way to promote goodwill between club members and the general ham population.  In 2007 the name was changed to the FOC QP; however, all participants still called CQBW to solicit contacts in the event. It was also in 2007 that the club decided to hold the QP twice a year.

(Click here to download all Sept. 2023 member scores)

(Click here to download all Sept. 2023 non-member scores)


FOCQP Results by year

2023  March 25
  September 9th
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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