Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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1. Is there a formal partnership between QcPOTA and parks for this event?

We have no formal partnership with parks for this event and no Memorandum of Understanding exists between QcPOTA and parks.

2. Are activators able to use the QcPOTA logos on QSL cards?

Yes, logos are available for download from this website. The art work is free to use.

3. Why isn't this part of LOTW?

The estimates were very high and way beyond what we could afford with no budget

4. Why didn’t you make this a North American event with the Canada, USA and Mexico?

QcPOTA - stands for «Quebec parks on the air». Amateurs from Canada, USA, Mexico and anywhere else in the world are welcome to come in Quebec and be an activator and operate from the parks we list. Anyone from anywhere in the world can be a chaser. In Canada there have been CNPOTA and in the United States there have been NPOTA

5. Why does QcPOTA have its own web site?

We had no budget for LOTW, so in mid-2020 we struck out on our own. A number of us have been working on the programming and web development. Just because we love Ham Radio and feel Quebec deserves an event like the USA had with NPOTA or Canada with CNPOTA.

6. How much does it cost to use the QCPOTA web site?

The site is free to use. Registration is free.

We do not offer technical support for any logging program, or for any other computer software or operating system.

7. Do activators or chasers have to upload logs?

Yes. This website is the only clearing house for QcPOTA QSOs. If activators do not email log files, their QSOs will not be included in the Leader Boards. Chasers don’t upload logs.

1. How were the eligible parks for QcPOTA determined?

We decided to use the official list of SEPAQ and regionals parks. You can see a map of these parks provided by SEPAQ on its web site. A park must be on our QcPOTA parks list to be considered for QcPOTA.

2. Can the number of eligible parks change in 2021?

Yes, it is possible, but it is highly unlikely. If they are added to the official parks list in 2021, they will immediately be eligible for inclusion in the QcPOTA program from their date of official inclusion.

It is theoretically possible that a park could be removed from the official list, but it is highly unlikely. Should that event occur, the park will be removed from the QcPOTA list effective on the date provided by SEPAQ. All QSOs made with that park before deactivation would count as valid QSOs for Activator and Chaser Certificate totals.

3. Why is it just SEPAQ and regional parks in Quebec?

There are too many parks.

4. Why didn’t you include the Parks Canada too?

Trying to include other entities such as Parks Canada and conservation areas would have meant too many parks. Parks Canada have been activated with CNPOTA.

1. What bands may I use?

All amateur bands are permitted.

Cross-band QSOs, QSOs made through repeaters, digipeaters, Echolink, IRLP or any communications network that relays inter-station communication by non-amateur means do not count.

A specific exemption is granted for QSOs made through the Amateur Radio satellites, the International Space Station and EME (earth moon earth).

2. What modes may I use?

Any mode may be used. There is 3 categories - CW, PH (analog or digital voice) and DIG (digital). PH mode will include any analog or digital voice mode such as SSB (USB, LSB), AM, DSTAR, FM. DIG will be any digital mode FT8, RTTY etc. Simplex only.

1. Can I activate a QcPOTA park from a Visitor Center?

QcPOTA Rule 7 (i):
The Activator and all components of the Activator’s Amateur Radio station must be physically present on the property of the claimed park, or if it’s impossible like Marine park within 100 yards / meters from the water's edge. Activations from parking lots, visitor’s centres and other property of the specific park are acceptable. Operations from public sidewalks are not permitted.

2. Can I activate two parks at the same time?

Yes, we believe this is physically possible. We call these "dual-activations" (2-fer).

At the time of activation, you must be in a location that allows you to be physically present on the property of both claimed parks at the same time as outlined in the Rules section. Your over-the-air exchange must include both parks identifiers.

Chasers will not have to do anything special to get credit for both your reported parks. Once their contact with you is confirmed they will receive credit for both parks!

3. What about activating three parks at the same time?

There are not any.

4. How do I prove I was actually at the parks I activate?

We reserve the right to ask for verification of any claimed operation from a park. As an Activator, you should secure as much documentation as possible to verify your operation was legitimate. Some ways to do this are:

  • A photo of yourself (and maybe station) in front of the park main sign or distinguishing landmark.
  • Image of GPS latitude/longitude coordinates.
5. Would more than one activation at a park site be permissible such as along a Canal from different areas (i.e. Locks) or would it be restricted to one activation along the full route?

More than one activation can take place simultaneously. This applies to all parks. Each simultaneous activation must have a completely separate station set up including radio and antenna. We expect this to happen in the larger national parks and other sites such as along canals. Some sites will be very popular since they will be easy to access near population centers.

6. Do I Need a Special Use Permit to operate my Amateur Radio station in a park?

This will vary from park to park. A lot will depend on your operating style. If you plan on operating strictly from your vehicle with a mobile antenna on the roof, or with a small station in a campground, you may not need a special use permit. If you are planning a large operation with big antennas or want to operate from a park deemed as “sensitive”, the odds you will need a special use permit increase dramatically. If you have any doubts, ask the park staff in advance.

7. How can I promote my activation, so people know I’ll be at a park?

You can promote your activity in several ways:

  • The QcPOTA “On the Air” page lists activations planned for the next 15 days; add yours there.
  • Post your plans on the ’QcPOTA’ Facebook page.
  • Post your plans on the ’Parks on the Air’ (POTA) Facebook page
  • Post your plans on the ’World Wide Flora & Fauna in amateur radio’ (WWFF, KFF, VEFF). Facebook page.
  • Post on https://dxheat.com/dxc/ and include the park designator in the comments: "QcPOTA QC01," etc.
  • • Tweet your plans using the hashtag #qcpota and include @qcpota @pota. Be sure to mention the parks numbers you will be activating and your schedule if known.
  • • Include information about your activation on your QRZ.com page. Many active hams look up a station on QRZ after working them; it’s the perfect place to list information about your QcPOTA activation. Be sure to include the name of the unit you will activate, the QcPOTA number for the park (i.e. "QC01"). If all that information is on your QRZ page, you can refer stations there for complete information.
8. What does "as soon as practical" mean?

The Chasers you work will be waiting for you to email your log, so they can earn confirmation for the park you activate. Please don't make them wait long - a week or so at most from when you return home. If you are travelling and won't be able to email your log for an extended period of time, it's best to set expectations ahead of time. You can announce on the air if your log email will be delayed, or post information about your activation on your QRZ.com profile.

1. My QSO did not get confirmed.

It's only the activator logs that need to be sent

2. What if the time reported by operators is different?

All times must be in UTC.

3. How do chasers confirm the QSOs?

Activators (not hunters) send log files by email. If the hunter does not have their confirmed contact, they send a message to the activator.

The results of this matching process are fed to the leader boards. Initially these results are updated every day.

You can find more information on the ADIF file formats and what is required under the Logs menu on the web site; along with examples.

4. I'm activating a park. What happens if I make a contact with someone activating a different park?

First off, congratulations! We’re excited to see radio amateurs adventuring out to enjoy the magnificent diversity of Quebec parks!

You should just record the contact like any other. We will take care of everything to insure both activators get proper credit.

5. I'm using a prefix. Should it be added to the beginning or the end of my home call sign?

We will remove any prefixes and portable designators from your call sign to determine your home call sign for use in comparisons with other QSOs.

Prefixes and other designators must be separated from your home call sign with a slash character. Whether the prefix is added to the beginning or end of your home call depends on the requirements of the specific licensing authorities. Anyone operating under the authority of CEPT T/R 61-01 is required to place the prefix before their home call. In the case of the Canada-United States reciprocal operating agreement, the regulations in both countries require the prefix to follow the home call sign.

We accept call signs with one or two slashes. If you include a second slash it must be /A, /M, /P or /AM or /MM at the end of the call sign. For example: VE8XXX/VE2 or VE8XXX/VE2/P.

Self-signing with text such as /QRP, /PARK etc. is discouraged.

1. Can I submit my logs to LOTW?

You can, of course, submit your log files to LOTW for other purposes. However, the «Quebec parks on the air» event will only be administered through the QcPOTA web site. Only logs submitted to this site will be considered in the leader boards and for QcPOTA awards and certificates.

2. Will my logging program work with your QcPOTA site?

Probably! We don’t require a lot from your file and will ignore anything we don’t need. Your file will have to be in a valid ADIF format.

For ADIF files, you may provide the park number as QSO fields.

For ADIF files, we'll identify the correct parks number(s) when we match your QSO with a QSO reported by the activator.

Example programs:

  • ADIFMaster
  • DX4WIN
  • DXKeeper
  • FLE
  • GENLOG
  • Ham Radio Deluxe
  • Log4OM
  • MacLoggerDX
  • N1MM LOGGER+
  • N3FJP's Amateur Contact Log
  • QRZLogbook
  • WINLOG32
  • XMLog
3. Will you accept paper logs or paper QSL cards for QcPOTA Certificates?

No. QSO credit for the QcPOTA will only be accepted through logs submitted by email.

4. What if I don’t use a computer logging program?

You’ll need to create a text file (using a program like notepad) and format it in ADIF format. You can find more information on the ADIF file format and what’s required under the Logs menu on the QcPOTA web site; along with examples.

5. Should I send just my QcPOTA contacts or can I send you everything

We really do require that you separate your QcPOTA QSOs park by park and send them!

1. For purposes of awards and certificates, what is a confirmed contact?

When the activator send by email its log, the QSO is confirmed.

2. For purposes of awards and certificates, what is a confirmed Activation?

A confirmed activation requires a minimum of ten (10) QSOs completed during a visit to a park. Complete requirements are detailed in Rules 7(i) through 7(xiv).

3. What Certificates are available?

There are three certificates available:

  • Activator Award,
  • Chaser Award,
  • “Five Star Activator”.
For more information on these certificates, see the Certificates page on the QcPOTA web site.
4. When will Certificates be available?

Certificates will be available after the final deadline for uploading logs on January 31, 2022.

Certificates will be sent out electronically.

5. Are there plaques offered?

QcPOTA is in discussion with RAQI for the plaque.

6. Will I be able to see parks I've activated or worked in my User Account?

We will not have this capability at launch but hope to add it to the QcPOTA web site soon.

On the leader boards you can see your total score which includes a count of the parks you’ve confirmed in various combinations of band and mode.

7. Do I have to pay for QSO credits?

No.

8. Can I get QcPOTA Certificates if I don’t use the QcPOTA web site?

No. All QcPOTA Certificates are based on the QcPOTA Leader Board.

The Leader Board uses only data from confirmed QSOs logged on the QcPOTA web site. You will need to register to submit QSOs for QcPOTA and to see your progress on the QcPOTA activity pages.

1. Do QSO's I make while away from my home QTH count for QcPOTA Certificate credit?

As long as all QSOs are made in Canada or from your home DXCC country they will count towards your QcPOTA Chaser total.

2. Can I use a remote station?

Use of a remote station is permitted for Chasers but not Activators. Remote station must be in your country.

3. Do QSO's I make with a club call count toward my personal QcPOTA Chaser Certificate totals?

No. QSOs made with a club call count only toward the club's Chaser Certificate totals.

QSOs made with a club call count toward the club’s activator and the operator Certificate totals.

1. How can I find out what’s allowed/required in a park?

We are not in the position to interpret parks rules or regulations. In addition, each park will have its own rules and regulations. QcPOTA Activators should review a park’s rules and regulations and contact the park directly with questions before your visit.

2. Can parks provide power outlets?

We’ve been asked parks to remind Activators that “they must operate independently. Parks cannot provide power sources for their equipment nor be expected to allow them to do any kind of formal interpretation at any of park’ Sites.

Parks has already received these kinds of requests.

3. Can we use trees to hang our antenna and guy line?

Most parks do not allow you to touch trees, or hang the antenna or guy wire on trees, use an extendable pole attached to your car.

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