U.S. Counties QSO Party Rules

MARAC 2024 United States Counties QSO Party
Sponsored by Mobile Amateur Radio Awards Club


00:00Z July 27, 2024 to 23:59Z July 28, 2024


To establish radio contact with as many U.S. Counties as possible in all 50 U.S. states with the emphasis on maximum scoring of mobile entries.
Contacts are good towards the various MARAC awards including the initial “Worked All Counties Award.”

Modes and Categories:

Eligible Modes: CW and Phone. See digital modes for permitted contacts.
All logs submitted shall be for Single Operators.
Multiple operators can participate from one station, but each operator submits an individual entry.

Fixed Categories:

CW/Digital - May be Home or Portable

Phone - May be Home or Portable

Mixed - CW/Digital and Phone Fixed - May be Home or Portable

If a portable station operates from more than one fixed location in more than one county, multiple logs may be submitted.

Portable station are required to package equipment or stow antennas for travel.

Portable stations shall be set-up less than 3 days before the qso party starts, and removed within 5 days of the end of the qso party

USA Mobile:

CW/Digital - Single Operator Mobile

Phone - Single Operator Mobile

Mixed - CW/Digital and Phone Mobile


Mixed CW/Phone Overall Single Operator.

A qualified DX exchange shall be between USA and the DX station. No DX-to-DX contacts are allowed.

Contest Exchanges:

USA stations send RS(T), State and County abbreviation.   All logs shall indicate the proper abbreviations for scoring.
Hawaii stations use state/county.     Alaskan stations use Judicial Districts 1 through 4.

DX stations shall send RS(T) and “DX” for their exchange, and must indicate USA state/county abbreviations worked in their received log exchange.

A list of recognized State/County abbreviations are available in either PDF or DOC format:

CountyAbbrev-V4.PDF            CountyAbbrev-V4.DOC

Thanks to Larry, W0QE for Creating the original lists.

Hawaii stations use state/county, and Alaskan stations use Judicial Districts 1 through 4.

Operational Guidelines:

Fixed - One individual performs all radio operating and logging functions from a single locationas defined by the ARRL Contest Guidelines.
A few fixed stations’ footprint straddle a county line and must select one of the counties to exchange for the duration of the QSO Party. See MARAC General Rules for details.

Mobile - A station which is either in motion, or capable of immediately being in motion.
This includes transmitter, receiver, power source, antenna(s), and logging equipment.
Mobile stations may be moving or, if safely stopped, be capable of drive-a-way without lowering antennas or loading equipment.

Mobile class entrants shall use “Mobile” or “/M” appended to the call sign.
Drivers are allowed.

Digital Modes: - Only digital modes that allow full 2 way exchanges between both stations are allowed, such as FT-4 with proper setup.
FT-8 is NOT an allowable mode since a grid square cannot define the county of operation.
Allowable digital modes shall count as CW contacts for scoring and duplicate calculations.


160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, and 2m are used in this contest.
Phone qso’s only in the Phone sub bands, CW/Digital qso’s only in the CW/Digital sub bands.
No cross mode, cross band, repeater, or satellite qso’s permitted.

Suggested Freq’s:

CW 50khz up from bottom of band
Phone 1850, 3850, 7250, 14341, 21341, 28341, 50135, 144.200 or 146.550 (FM) are suggested.
Mobile windows: 5 khz down from the suggested freq on HF. If you are a fixed station, please keep these freqs clear for mobile operations.
Saturday’s contest period overlaps RSGB IOTA Contest, but their rules prohibit operation above 14.300 Mhz on 20 Meters SSB.


1 point for U.S. Fixed, 2 Points for outside U.S., and 15 points for U.S. Mobile.


Total of U. S. Counties worked once per mode, regardless of band.
A CW or Phone only station has a maximum of 3077 mults. A mixed mode station has a maximum of 6154 mults.

Spotting and Planning:

Mobile Operators are encouraged to post their plans for operation on the K3IMC WEBSITE Planned Trips page

During the QSO Party one will find most county hunters follow the “Mobile Spot Page” at

When posting on W6RK, please include the entire county name and the state abbreviation as mobiles change counties, bands or modes

Examples: single county     Houston, TX     county lines    Cook/Lake, IL    or     Hitchcock, NE/Rawlins, KS

Since mostly written and mailed QSLs are required for a first time Worked All Counties Award,
please be courteous and return SASE QSLs and Mobile Reply Cards (MRC’s).


  1. Connecticut eliminated counties in favor of eight “Planning Districts.” For 2024 use the old county lines as guides using maps, gps, or remaining signs to determine location.

  2. Self-spotting as a fixed station is not allowed. Self-spotting as a mobile is permitted.

  3. Drivers for Single Operator Mobile stations are permitted, provided they do not assist in any way with the contest on-air operations. Two people may transmit from a single vehicle and both shall enter individual logs.

  4. County Line operations: As defined by MARAC, a stationary mobile may operate from one county line, and contacts with that mobile shall count as one qso, and 2 counties worked. Some part of the vehicle must be in both counties for the duration of the qso. Operation from more than a double county line is not allowed under MARAC General Rules. If a safe stopped position at a county line isn’t possible, or if traffic is being slowed or blocked, operators should transmit from each county.

  5. Independent city-a station must use only one county for use in the contest exchange, for the duration of the contest. If mobile in an independent city, the entrant may not use the adjoining county listed in the same independent city as a new county without actually moving to the new county.

  6. Parks-On-The-Air and other award program stations are encouraged to participate. The basic information for MARAC must be exchanged to count towards MARAC scoring. The station shall enter the appropriate Mobile or Fixed and Portable class. Stations shall indicate in “Comments” if they are operating POTA, IOTA, US Islands, or other award programs. Each Portable log file shall be for a single county with WARC-band QSOs and mults removed from the log.


Certificates will be awarded to top scoring entrant in each Category.
One certificate each for mobile, CW, SSB and Mixed.
One certificate each for fixed or portable CW, SSB and Mixed.
One certificate to the leading DX station.

Log submission:

Please note that the contest committee Will Not score your log. Un-scored logs will be considered check logs only.

Please use this Summary Sheet and enclose a printed copy of it with your log, ONLY if you have a Mobile-Class paper log.

Fixed-Class logs and if possible, Mobile-Class logs, shall be emailed using Cabrillo (preferred), ADIF, pdf or MS Word/Excel. MARAC contest header is located Here

Logs must be received by September 1, 2024 to qualify for awards. Logs may be sent via email or USPS if using a Mobile paper log.
USPS: Lee Hallin - N7NU, 3413 Walton Ln., Eugene, OR 97408-4673

Please watch the contest section of the MARAC website for updated information.
including Certificate sponsors, contest records, and planned trips for the contest. There are plenty of sponsorships available.
Please contact the Contest Coordinator (WA4JA) before the contest for details or for rule questions,

2024-V3 - 19 April 2024