Bruce Kelley 1929 QSO Party Details

The Bruce Kelly Memorial QSO Party for 2020
By Dave Parker, WB7WHG

The Bruce Kelley 1929 QSO Party is an annual AWA-sponsored event where participants either have acquired or have built their own transmitters using 1929 or earlier designs, techniques, and tubes from 1929 or earlier.  Straight Keys or Bug’s should be used. Non-AWA members with 1929 or earlier style rigs are welcome to join in!  All AWA “On Air” events are open to everyone, member or not.  Rig building information is available at the Transmitter Build Info page.

The objective is to contact as many other 1929 stations as possible. Since we use early designs, it is a cacophony of whooping, chirping, buzzing, clicking, drifting, swishing, swaying, warbling, and other interesting signals. This is what Ham Radio sounded like in 1929 and for two weekends in November, it’s 1929 again on the Ham Bands!  The 1929 QSO Party was started in 1991 and was championed for several years by Bruce Kelley, W2ICE, an AWA co-founder.    

Special Event Station W2ICE – This year, our Special Event Station, W2ICE, will again be on the air! Stations completing a 1929 QSO with W2ICE can get a special QSL card by sending a QSL card of their W2ICE contact along with an SASE, to Ed Gable c/o AWA Museum, P.O. Box 421, Bloomfield, NY 14469-0421.

New this Year – The 20 Meter band has been added this year to allow more long-distance contacts. I’m using a new email address this year, but the old one will also work. Finally, the log submission deadline has been moved forward to December 20, 2020. Particularly with the additional band being added, emailed logs using the Bruce Kelley Log as a Word doc, or a text-file log with the contacts listed in the same order as the AWA doc is encouraged, if possible – please contact me if you have questions…

Dates:  Sat. Nov. 7 2300 UTC to Sun. Nov. 8 2300 UTC, and Sat. Nov. 14 2300 UTC to Sun. Nov. 15 2300 UTC. 

Bands: 160, 80, 40 and 20 Meters

Objective: Contact as many 1929 stations as possible. Contact exchange consists of RST, Name, QTH (example, ME, MN or NY), last two digits of the year of the transmitter design or publication, such as 29, 27, 23 or pick a year if you’re not sure, type of transmitter such as TNT, TPTG, MOPA or COLPITTS and the input power such as 6W or 25W. Those participants who use a 1929-era Regen receiver for a majority of their contacts, along with their 29-era transmitter will be recognized in the results listing. A 29-era Regen Receiver would utilize 1929 or earlier tubes, and would have a Regen detector with 1 or 2 audio stages.

Rules:  To be scored, transmitters must be 1929 or earlier types of self-excited oscillators such as the Hartley, TNT, TPTG, MOPA, Colpitts, etc. No crystal oscillators. Tubes must have been available during or before 1929. Typical tubes often used are Type 10, 45, 27, 211, 71A, 01A. Individual stations can be worked only once on each band over the course of two weekends. You can use any vintage or modern receiver that you wish. The event is open to all 1929 and earlier stations, AWA member or not.  You can submit your greatest miles-per-watt number, (i.e. 500 Miles, 2 Watts Input Power, equals 250 MPW).  Enter your highest miles-per-watt contact, using Input Power, on the bottom of the log form, if you wish.  There will be an Honorable Mention for the greatest MPW contact. If you used a 1929 Regen Receiver for a majority of your contacts, mention that at the bottom of your log form.

Input Power:  Transmitters are limited to a power INPUT of 25 Watts or less.  Note that this is INPUT power. Power input is calculated by multiplying PA plate voltage x total PA plate current. Example: my plate voltage is 300 VDC, and plate current is 30 mA, so total input power is 300 x 0.030 = 9 Watts Input. Don’t forget, the power limit is 25 Watts Input.

Frequencies: The QSO Party typically operates between 1800 to 1810 KC, 3555 to 3570 KC, 7100 to 7125 KC, and 14060 TO 14070 KC. 40 Meters works well because it offers both nighttime AND daytime propagation!

Logs: Please submit your log (using UTC!) so we can see who you worked and acknowledge your effort. Logs must be in UTC time, and be in the 1929 QSO Party log format to be scored. The total number of contacts should be shown on the last page (28 contacts per page). Each page should have totals, per band, for that page. You can list the grand totals on the last page. If you are making a LOT of contacts, you could use one page per band. Mark pages 1 of 2, 2 of 2, etc. An official 1929 log sheet (a Word document) will be available for download from the AWA website, or I can mail a printed one to you if you don’t have a computer.  If you can email a filled-in Word document to me, that will help a lot!  Another option can be a Text document, with the fields in the correct order. As a last resort, a scanned paper log.  My email address is wb7whg [at]  I will acknowledge receipt of all email logs.  For mail in logs, if you include your email address, I will acknowledge receipt. If you don’t have email and mail in a paper log, if you want an acknowledgment, please include an SASE. My mail address is Dave Parker, 1107 NW 15th St, Bend, OR  97703, and my phone number is 608-515-3466.

Photos and Soapbox comments:   Please email me your soapbox comments and photos along with your log. Please don’t insert your station photos or Soapbox comments in your log sheet. Use a separate jpg file for station pictures.  High resolution photos are required for the AWA Website and AWA Journal. Preferable, Soapbox comments are best sent as a doc or compatible file.     

Scoring:  Remember that contacts with modern or high-power stations do not count.  If you are contacted by a modern or high-power station, be polite, mention the AWA QSO Party and point them to the web-page for more information, then move on, or have a QSO with them if you wish.  Scoring is simple, just add up the number of legitimate 1929 QSO’s that you had.  The results will be published in the AWA Journal, AWA website, AWA Facebook page and Electric Radio. This year’s deadline for logs is December 20, 2020.

73, Dave WB7WHG