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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?

(RS177889) on November 23, 2003
View comments about this article!

I'm fairly new to being a licensed amateur getting both my foundation license and then full license in the first quarter half of this year. I am regularly operating now on about 20 watt maximum; often much lower, and that includes some decent DX. I'm not a major QRP enthusiast but the power levels being used by some on the bands seem to be far more than necessary to maintain a QSO and stop others even getting close to the frequencies they are using. Mode doesn't seem to matter so much as the effect is the same SSB or CW.

Last week I had a QSO with a chap running 1500 watts against my 20 watts on 20-meters! He was in Norway, my signal report (before I told him my power out was 5/8) his signal was 59+40db at least, I asked why he wouldn't lower his power and he said it wasn't necessary! You couldn't hear anyone but him (QRM from him) for at least 3 KHz either side of him either. This sort of operating isn't rare.

Good operating (in all the books, at the club, in the license, in the courses and exams even and when you hear it being nattered about on air) say you should drop to a level of power that is sufficient to maintain a QSO... and not hammer away with maximum power once contact is established.

So why do some operators insist on always running full legal power all the time even on local nets and not listening and adjusting power levels for the band conditions? It doesn't make sense when everything seems to imply that we shouldn't be doing this.

Just curious...

73's

Dom M1KTA

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Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Congrats on your accomplishment, getting your full license.

Best answer is to ask them.

I doubt if you’ll be concerned about this if you stay with ham radio long enough to see the start of the next sun spot cycle.

It is rare that I run more than 100 watts. Don't need much on CW.

If this really bothers you, hang out on 30 meters.

Have FUN
Bob
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by N6AJR on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I used to have a couple of legal limit amps, and then a couple of KW amps, but now all I have here are a couple of 500 watter solid state amps. I usually try it at 100 wattss, and if the noise level is high I usually run 250 to 300 watts. if I need a kw or more.. I really don't need that contact that bad..

the real key is in a killer antenna.. a couple of db of gain is the same as going from 100 watts to a kw.. but cheeper, using a better antenna....
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by AH6RR on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with N6AGR a good antenna system is the way to go. I dont even own a amp I'm thinking about building one but for now I am getting the antenna system better. I do get tired of the guys on 40 saying "I cant hear you, you dont have a amp" even though they are hitting me with 20+
I know my 100 watts and Double Bazooka is hitting them with at least a S8+. I commend you on getting your full license. I just upgraded to Extra in Sept. and love working DX of course everything from here is DX.
I hope someday we can work each other.
73
Roland AH6RR
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by K0QV on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
You gotta be kidding me. QRP is only fun for the guy running the 5 or 10 watts. The rest of us all have to try digging their crappy signal out of the mud. I am not advocating a KW at all times, but for goodness sake crank up the full 100 watts most radios support.

Barry in Mmissouri
K0QV
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by G4HZV on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Well put!

There's much to be said for running modest power. My amplifier needs about 25 Watts to drive it to the full UK 400 Watt level. When I do quick band hops to chase multipliers, I often disable the amplifier, use just the 25 Watts drive and usually complete the contact without any problem at all.

I agree with the other correspondent that the hero of a QRP QSO is he guy at the receiving end, who's pulling the weak signal out of the noise, but, with 20 - 50 Watts (10dB up on fundamentalist QRP levels), you can have a lot of fun, work plenty of DX and avoid TVI.

 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by N1JAO on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Yeah but...... Ok, I sold my AL-811 in order to put up a Mosley 4 element yagi up 52 feet, and it is a great antenna, I work tons of stations all the time with 100-200 watts out of my MKV. However, if I had the money to blow, a purdy Alpha amp would be sitting right next to me right now! I would LOVE a big amp because...... well, just because!

Robert
N1JAO
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by KA5N on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The regs say to run the minimum power necessary for the QSO, however if we actually did that most contacts would consist of "can you hear me now?"
Allen KA5N
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by NI0C on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
While the contact you made certainly could have been made with low power both ways, the width of the transmitted signal should be the same regardless of power. At the receiving end, it could be overloading or wide filter skirts that make the signal appear wider at higher power levels. (Then again, the transmitted signal could have been distorted either in the exciter or by improper amplifier adjustment.)
There are many competitive situations calling for the advantages of higher power. Certainly I've made many contacts that simply would have been impossible without the extra 9 dB I get from my amplifier. Then again, I operated for many years 100 watts or less.

Congrats on your license, and happy operating!

73 de Chuck NI0C
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by N8UZE on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Why some people run legal limit ALL the time is a mystery. Maybe he gets some kind of an ego boost out of the +40db signal reports. While there are indeed times when it is necessary, those are rare even at the bottom of the sunspot cycle.

When propagation is good, generally you don't need an amp. When propagation is poor, a good beam antenna is a better investment.

About the only time you really need an amp, is when the noise floor is high at the receiving end. Then increasing power can make the difference. Or some people switch to either CW or one of the other digital modes rather than increasing power.

If this fellow was splattering a full 3kc on either side of the frequency though, he probably had some problem other than using excessive and unnecessary power. He may have had his mic gain set too high or speech processor set too high. Or something may be wrong with the radio or amplifier.

If he was using full legal limit all the time, then he's a jerk.
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by KD7EFQ on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
If there wasn't a place for legal limit power, the FCC would not have granted us a 1500 watt PEP limit. It's up to good amateur practice to only use what's necessary. At times on the low bands under crappy conditions, it's good to have the power available. And with BPL coming down the pike, well, enuff said. I like QRP...Quite Respectable Power. 73.
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by NA4IT on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Well, I run 100W or less all the time, talk anywhere I want to, don't have to put up with the light flickering or the neighbors griping. Sure an amp would be nice, but try cutting back a little and see what you can really do. Oh yea, antenna has tons to do with how you get out to the rest of the world!
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by KR2Q on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Dom:

Welcome to a great hobby...congrats on the FULL class.

It is really tough (impossible?) to answer your question (why?). It is probably almost as tough to convince "them" to lower their power level.

My advice is to LEAD BY EXAMPLE...which you are ostensibly doing.

One commenter sez that an Alpha would be "purdy" on his desk. That is the type of opinion that is hard to change.

Personally, I love qrp. I've worked the world with 5 watts (1 away from honor roll) and nearly 300 DXCC with 300 milliwatts. It was EASY! I have many friends who have weekly skeds all around the world while using only qrp power.

Sometimes you do need (emphasis on NEED) more power. Then 100 watts or even a KW is appropriate. Despite being a qrper, I have rarely had much luck working DX on 160m - so I run a KW when called for (often).

I think a lot of guys are simply impatient and for DXing, don't want to be bothered waiting the extra few minutes to get through. For those who stay in a pileup for 30 minutes or more w/o success, theirs is a different problem....lack of skill...either in "how to time your calls" or in "hey...the propagation doesn't favor you yet...stop wasting your time." As a qprer, I have never "called" DX for more than 3 or 4 times to "get through." I know that the at some point, the BAND will favor my location...worth many fold more db than an amp.

For those who want to just rag chew on a totally clear channel (yes, I mean channel), they get some security in running a KW - "king of the road" type of mentality. Who cares.... ignorance is bliss.

So please continue as you have...lead by example but don't get flustered when they laugh in your face....it doesn't matter.

de Doug KR2Q
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by W4LGH on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Well I have to JUMP into this one, with both feet! I do not own an amplifier, and I have 2 HF radios. One is an FT-847, which will do the modist 100Watts and the other is an FT-817 which will peak out @ a wopping 5watts! I will say that I have much more FUN running QRP at 5 or less watts using a 70' random wire antenna up about 35 feet. In a 2 day period I have confirmed 15 countries, all with 57 /58 & 59 signal reports. To QUOTE someone in an earlier post, I don't think any of these contacts were working HARD to DIG-OUT my crappy signal, as there is nothing "crappy" about a 57 to 59 signal.

I do not consider myself a hardcore "QRP'er" nor am I into "QRO" either. I do have fun running QRP and getting good reports from around the world. I guess there is this certain mindset in this country, "Bigger is Better" You see even though Hams have to take and pass a test to get their ticket, that doesn't mean they really know what they are doing or how it really works! They do not understand "NEAR FIELD" and "FAR FIELD" or things like signal saturation. And then there are thoses who want to be "KING of the HILL" and have EVERYBODY hear them.

I am not going to say that running more power doesn't get your signal out farther or better, because it does, but if your path to whom you are in QSO with is saturated @ lets say 100 watts, running 1500 watts will do very little, if anything @ all to sound better to that person. What it will do is scatter your signal into other paths so that 1000 other people in different paths hear you. It also totally tears up the "NEAR FIELD" so god help anyone living close to these QRO'er.

To each their own I guess, If you feel the need to run QRO, so be it, if you like and enjoy running QRP so be it too. Thats the fun of the hobby. The new digital modes are coming soon and require very little power to maintain a 59 signal, but I am sure there will be those who feel the need to run full legal limit in that mode too.

Read up on what signals do in the "NEAR" and "FAR" Fields and you'll get a pretty good understanding of how it all works. Unless you live out in the country on 500+ acres, you'll also have happier neighboors and less banging on your door, running normal power levels then you will running QRO!!

There's nothing wrong with running legal limit to call CQ, then once contact is made to cut back to min power necessary to maintain that QSO.

Enjoy your new fould hobby, as many of us have for many years. 73 to all.

de W4LGH - Alan
www.w4lgh.com

PS: remember there are 6 main factors in getting great QSO's, they are... ANTENNA ANTENNA ANTENNA and RECEIVER RECEIVER RECEIVER!!
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by W4LGH on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Well I have to JUMP into this one, with both feet! I do not own an amplifier, and I have 2 HF radios. One is an FT-847, which will do the modist 100Watts and the other is an FT-817 which will peak out @ a wopping 5watts! I will say that I have much more FUN running QRP at 5 or less watts using a 70' random wire antenna up about 35 feet. In a 2 day period I have confirmed 15 countries, all with 57 /58 & 59 signal reports. To QUOTE someone in an earlier post, I don't think any of these contacts were working HARD to DIG-OUT my crappy signal, as there is nothing "crappy" about a 57 to 59 signal.

I do not consider myself a hardcore "QRP'er" nor am I into "QRO" either. I do have fun running QRP and getting good reports from around the world. I guess there is this certain mindset in this country, "Bigger is Better" You see even though Hams have to take and pass a test to get their ticket, that doesn't mean they really know what they are doing or how it really works! They do not understand "NEAR FIELD" and "FAR FIELD" or things like signal saturation. And then there are thoses who want to be "KING of the HILL" and have EVERYBODY hear them.

I am not going to say that running more power doesn't get your signal out farther or better, because it does, but if your path to whom you are in QSO with is saturated @ lets say 100 watts, running 1500 watts will do very little, if anything @ all to sound better to that person. What it will do is scatter your signal into other paths so that 1000 other people in different paths hear you. It also totally tears up the "NEAR FIELD" so god help anyone living close to these QRO'er.

To each their own I guess, If you feel the need to run QRO, so be it, if you like and enjoy running QRP so be it too. Thats the fun of the hobby. The new digital modes are coming soon and require very little power to maintain a 59 signal, but I am sure there will be those who feel the need to run full legal limit in that mode too.

Read up on what signals do in the "NEAR" and "FAR" Fields and you'll get a pretty good understanding of how it all works. Unless you live out in the country on 500+ acres, you'll also have happier neighboors and less banging on your door, running normal power levels then you will running QRO!!

There's nothing wrong with running legal limit to call CQ, then once contact is made to cut back to min power necessary to maintain that QSO.

Enjoy your new fould hobby, as many of us have for many years. 73 to all.

de W4LGH - Alan
www.w4lgh.com

PS: remember there are 6 main factors in getting great QSO's, they are... ANTENNA ANTENNA ANTENNA and RECEIVER RECEIVER RECEIVER!!
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by ZS6AN on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Life is too short for QRP...73
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by N8FVJ on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I use 100 watts SSB from 20 meters to 6 meters. I just do not seem to need more power as my beam antennas work well.

I have a Heathkit SB-200 600 watt output amplifier I have not used in a long time. I sold it a few days ago. I would require 600 watts SSB on 75 meters at night, however I do not transmit voice on 75 meters any longer. 75 & 40 meters is great for 100 watts CW.

I also have some interference issues at my QTH with power over 100 watts anyways. I believe the best set up is to use beam antennas whenever possible.
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by CURMUDGEON on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
"a couple of db of gain is the same as going from 100 watts to a KW."

Hardly, I think. It takes 10 db of gain to raise your effective radiated power from 100 watts to a KW.
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by LB1LF on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
First of all: If he was running 1500W from Norway, he was in violation of his licence. If he TOLD you he was running 1500W on the air, he was stupid in addition... :-)

(Full legal limit is 1kW delivered to the aerial)

Being a Norwegian myself, I'd like to add that when DX conditions to Europe is favourable, sitting close to the arctic circle running 100W is a rather futile exercise - being heard among the "crocodiles" (All mouth, no ears) on the continent can be next to impossible, unless you pack a solid kW yourself.

Of course, the same goes for any operator on the continent. We just use our QTH in the middle of nowhere to justify running high power. :-)

Also, in winter, the rather low efficiency of tube PAs has heated more than one shack I've inhabited :-)

Tongue in cheek aside - most of the time, 100W to a decent aerial is more than adequate. The 10dB extra provided by the PA won't help me _hear_ the op at the other end. Another few dB's of aerial gain, on the other hand... :-)
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by KG6AMW on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Your right Tom. In almost every case, if 100 watts doesn't do it, 300-400 watts would.

KG6AMW
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by G0GQK on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
There are always ham radio operators who feel that they must always go to the full legal power limit, or produce as much power as they are able to muster. As you point out Dom, most of them mess up the band by producing QRM 3 kHZ either side of their frequency,and for some of them this is quite moderate. They ignore appeals from adjacent users and most often it ends in nasty words and bad tempers and an accusation that "its your crappy rig"!

Quite recently I checked one well known Spanish "Big Gun" splattering 6 Khz either side of his operating frequency. He consistently gives and receives signal reports of 5/9 + 40 dB which makes him a really happy bunny ! He has replaced another Spanish "Big Gun" who did the same thing years ago, he used to speak to W6's from a massive 120 ft high mast with 6 element monobanders at 90 ft and 120 ft. when nobody else could even detect them. He would never speak to anyone in Europe, his antenna's could not detect lesser mortals, all they heard was his rubbish QRM.

These are the hams who always say "life is too short for QRP", but life is also too short for having to waste time searching for frequencies for hours where the QRM from these pests cannot be heard. These operators not only have multiples of transmitters, they also have huge antenna systems with huge amplifiers. They also have a large ego to maintain with a need to overpower other band users to make space for themselves. This attitude is not in the true spirit of amateur radio.
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by VE3WMB on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Dom :

There are many others who feel the same way as you do.

However there are those who pride themselves in always being the loudest signal on the band and won't settle for anything less. There is not much you can do to convince them otherwise and technically they are not doing anything wrong so long as they stay below the maximum power that they are authorized for. Needless to say they "don't get QRP" so its not even worth it to try to explain.

The reality today is that few of us live on ranches in the desert, miles from any other neighbours and many of us are forced to use compromise antennas, often indoors. Under these conditions running Kilowatts is not only impractical it is also unsafe.
With indoor antennas I wouldn't even run 100W.

The good news is that you don't need to be runnning stacked Yagis at 100ft and a Kilowatt to enjoy HF Amateur Radio.

At 5W CW and 20 to 25W SSB with a modest antenna (ie wires)
there are lots of contacts to be had, even DX and with some care you can manage this without interfering with every piece of electronics that your neighbours have. Running digital modes like
PSK31 you can very good success with little more than a couple of watts. With a decent antenna system (ie something with gain) you can still have a good signal with power out in the millwatt range.

As they say "to each his own" but also lets not forget that this is just a hobby. The important thing is having fun in whatever aspect of ham radio you choose to pursue.

As someone else suggested, give the WARC bands a try, I'm sure that you will find more like-minded individuals there who are willing to actually talk to you rather than give you an RST and a
WX report.

Best of Luck.

Michael
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by K4AXX on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Heck, at 8AM eastern time I was in QSO with VK6JDW running a Yaesu FT-817 @ 5 watts into a ground mounted vertical. Long Live QRP! Just had to get that one in!. :)
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by N8CP on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I use the amount of power i need to do what i want to do. I have an amplifier that hasn't been turned on in a year or more, my only gripe is with qrpers who feel they should have priority because they are running qrp.
Frank N8CP
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by AE4X on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
To each his own. The FCC allows us to run 1500 watts. So be it. If QRO is your thing, enjoy. If QRP is more your speed, that's great, too.
Ham radio's interests and options are diverse. Revel in it.
Now, running full power to talk to your next door neighbor is probably a little overboard but if you can provide a "punch" to your signal for overseas copy then more power (literally) to you.
The sum of this: Do what you want within the regulations. It's a hobby.
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by AA8X on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
In the old days low power was fine and I run 100 watts for years. Today CC&R restrictions are forcing amateurs to use inefficient antenna systems. Now days, in order to communicate efficiency you obligated to run high power into marginal antenna installations.
de Bob, AA8X
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by N4VNV on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Isn't it funny that the guys posted here, don't use their amps? Anyway, be that as it may, the people using amps don't seem to understand they are splattering people twice as far away in frequency compared to us 100 watters. Amp runners need to check 5 khz on either side of where they are going to tx. 100 watters need to check 2.5 khz.
While I'm on my soapbox, you guys with the "fancy audio", you sound like s---! I get off on listening to you tell other people how to get audio like yours. "NO THANKS"!
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by W8MW on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Congratulations on your entry into amateur radio! You bring up an interesting question. In the US our regulation is worded this way: An amateur station must use the minimum transmitter power necessary to carry out the desired communications.

Exactly what is the desired communications? A contact across town? A talk with your brother on the other side of the world? Transmission of SSTV picures where signal to noise determines picture quality? Participation in a net where propagation paths vary greatly between multiple stations? Of course there are many other examples of desired communications.

Most of us get our start in HF by making random, unplanned radio contacts. Favorable propagation allows one to do amazing things with minimal power. It has been said you can work the world with a watt and many ops do it with less.

At some point you may wish to achieve contact with a specific station at a predetermined time. Mother nature may be cooperative and give you a good path. Or give you a marginal path, or no path at all. Marginal propagation and/or high noise receiving conditions often requires running legal limit power if the contact is going to be made.

We are fortunate to be in a radio service that permits so much flexibility in power levels, modes and available frequencies. One size does not fit all. Amateur radio is sufficiently diverse to support a wide variety of interests and desired communications. That's a thing of beauty!

73, Mike W8MW
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by W7HV on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Life is too short to ONLY run QRP. I often run QRP from home and from hotel rooms on business trips. QRP was great a couple of years ago at the solar max when it was easy to carry out solid QSOs around the world at 5W or less. And it IS fun to eek out contacts with minimalist gear and antennas. But so is a good, solid QRQ ragchew, something that's more difficult at QRP powers with current cndx. That being said, I find 100W completely adequate for CW. I do have a legal limit amp but rarely turn it on, and when I do, it's not out of necessity but for just for the fun of doing it.

Lou W7HV
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by W7HV on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Life is too short to ONLY run QRP. I often run QRP from home and from hotel rooms on business trips. QRP was great a couple of years ago at the solar max when it was easy to carry out solid QSOs around the world at 5W or less. And it IS fun to eek out contacts with minimalist gear and antennas. But so is a good, solid QRQ ragchew, something that's more difficult at QRP powers with current cndx. That being said, I find 100W completely adequate for CW. I do have a legal limit amp but rarely turn it on, and when I do, it's not out of necessity but for just for the fun of doing it.

Lou W7HV
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by WR8D on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Guys i swear...it looks like another issue for us to down one another on these stupid threads. If you can afford an amp and want to run legal limit then go for it. If you're living in an area where you cant then do what you can do. Lets stop more or less running each other down. I own five amps...sometimes i run 1.5kw sometimes i run 500 watts its just up to the band conditions. I dont let my eyes roll up into the top of my head because someone on one of the dx bands has a 50 over signal from spain or for that matter any other country in the world. On the other hand when i work an apartment dweller thats using 5 watts and i have to strain my ears to hear him i dont insult his signal either. He's just doing all he can do in the situation he's living in.

This is a wonderful hobby ...use it ! get off these threads and on the airwaves. Or like the nice gent said on echolink..talk to someone somewhere and you'll be amazed at how good it makes you feel.

73
John WR8D
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by WILLY on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
" by K4SFC on November 23, 2003
Isn't it funny that the guys posted here, don't use their amps? Anyway, be that as it may, the people using amps don't seem to understand they are splattering people twice as far away in frequency compared to us 100 watters."

Why?
Where did you ever get that idea?
It seems that you are saying that ALL users of amplifiers are splattering and using more bandwidth than those that use 100W.
You have an Advanced Class license. Surely you know better.


"
Amp runners need to check 5 khz on either side of where they are going to tx. "

Why?

A proper LINEAR amplifier won't distort the signal, and won't use more banwidth than the non-amplified signal - near proximity front end overloading excluded.


"100 watters need to check 2.5 khz.
While I'm on my soapbox, you guys with the "fancy audio", you sound like s---! I get off on listening to you tell other people how to get audio like yours. "NO THANKS"! "

No comment on the fancy audio.
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by HAMDUDE on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
This ones easy. If the fellow on the other end tells you your weak and buried in the noise, turn on the amp. If your 40+ over and slamming his S-meter on the pin, then back the juice down, whats the debate about? Band conditions dictate how much or how little power you need. There are times that even full legal power isnt good enough to make up for a dead band, or a big flare thats flattened it out.
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by W6EZ on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
It all depends on the conditions.

I usually work with no more than 60 - 75 watts and in most cases, this is fine.

There are times when I run an amp. And there are times when I wish I had a bigger amp. (And I intend to get a bigger amp just as soon as I can, before they are outlawed.)

If I had a bigger amp, I would use it when needed and leave it off when I didn't need it.

Congratulations on the full license! Just don't fall into the habit of worrying too much about how the 'other' guy is running his/her station. Take care of your own and everything else will work out fine.

Believe me, it is more fun that way.
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by AA4PB on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
a couple of db of gain is the same as going from 100 watts to a kw.
-------------------

3dB gain is like going from 100 watts to 200 watts. To do the same thing as going from 100 watts to a KW you need 10dB gain. Of course the benefit of gain at the antenna is that it works in receive as well as transmit.

 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by AA4PB on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
To each his own. The FCC allows us to run 1500 watts
---------------------

Actually the FCC regs state that you must use the minimum power necessary to maintain communications (but never more than 1500 watts).
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by LA4YKA on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I hear very often that they use their PA's to clear the frequency. For information: the chap in Norway running 1500 Watts did something illegal. Here in Norway it's 1KW max. I guess he had a lot of QRM?

73
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by AM5ATEUR on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!


FCC part 97 rules say that an amateur station must use the minimum transmitter power necessary to carry out a desired communication. [79.313(a)]

Most amateurs never even read an FCC rule book and base their information from hearsay. The amateur radio service rules are something every amateur should know and be current with, including new licensees,
but most amateurs are not.
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by K5RJP on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Have you ever tried to detune (lower) power incrementally in a DX QSO? I don't run legal limit, but I do run 800 PEP. My policy is if I hear a station 59 I leave the amp on standby unless he says he has trouble copying. My bottom line is 100 or 800 as the situation requires. No, I don't have a fancy beam. Just a simple G5RV at 50 feet. Why? Because I don't have megabucks to pay for a 120' tower which would be required at my QTH.
 
1500 W? Ridiculous!!  
by RADIOWIENER on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
YES. We should all move toward QRP. It is very frustrating to not be able to hold a QSO because of a lid on the the 20m band running 1500 W (and very possibly more than that) when such power is absolutely unnecessary. Perhaps the US should bring its maximum power in line with most other nations, which is 400 W. Even this would be much more than ample. I have had QSOs all over the the world on 25 W. It was difficult at times, yes, but that is the challenge. The most powerful radio I own is 50 W. If a radio has more power than 50 W, I will not buy it because not only do I not need it, I do not want to pay for it. Think about it. How many people do you know who run more than 100 W? Personally I know of only one. And he is running 500 W with a Henry Radio Amplifier. I say drop the legal limit down to 400 W. It would greatly improve Ham Radio.
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by WA9SVD on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
QUOTE "by AA4PB on November 23, 2003
To each his own. The FCC allows us to run 1500 watts "

=========================================

Quite true, and quite the wrong answer and attitude.
The FCC "allows" us to use up to 1500 Watts. It also REQUIRES us to use the MINIMUM amount of power to allow reliable communication. There's NOT even a fine line (usually) between the two.
No offense, but when you get a report of "40 over" you can easily reduce power and still maintain contact.
If you're using an Amplifier, going "barefoot" in such a case would likely net a report of 20-30 over. So even barefoot, you would be using TOO MUCH power, but TOO many operators insist on using am Amplifier ALL the time, simply because "it's there" or "because I can." THAT is not "GOOD Amateur Practice."



IMHO, this seems to be an HF phenomenon. A signal HAS to be "40 over S9" or it's an insult. (No matter that the receiving station may be operating a dummy load!) On VHF and above, it's the challenge to work the weak signal, and often a signal report of "you're not even moving the meter" is considered a compliment, rather than an insult!

 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by WA9SVD on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Life's too long for QRO.
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by WA9SVD on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
John,
With all due respect, it's NOT "If you have (or can afford) an amp "GO FOR IT!"

The FCC rules state that we are to use the MINIMUM amount of power to accomodate a QSO. And while that doesn't require the "can you hear me now?" level, it also does not indicate or approve the "40 dB over S9" type of communication that many operators aspire to.
Use of an amp when not necessary IS a violation of FCC rules, but it's also inconsiderate to other operators. Whether "splatter" is caused by an improperly adjusted amp or a deficiency in another station's receiver, the fact is that interference DOES occur, and if reduced power were used, the other station would experience less interference.

Here on the West Coast, I try to communicate with a station on 20M in Texas on Saturday mornings. Nearby frequencies ARE quite crowded. But other stations from Florida, etc. get on a net on a nearby frequency, and wipe out everything. The stations brag that they are running amps, or if not, (and still a wail of a signal in my part of the woods) if they detect any sign of other signals already on frequency, they will say "I'll kick in the amp to get rid of the QRM."
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by KZ9G on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
N6AJR has it right. The antenna is the key factor. If this is taken care of, the KW isn't usually necessary (with the exception of my operating experiences from living and operating for years above the 60th parallel in Alaska).

Run the power level that makes the QSO enjoyable! Sometimes this requires less than 100 watts, other times it requires an amp -- be it 500 watts or legal limit. A key factor in their operation is learning how to properly operate the radio and amplifier combination.

Personal Responsibility:

YOU are responsible for the correct operation of YOUR station. That means learning a modest amount of electronics and developing the ability to determine if your operation is above board. In other words, act responsibly. Properly used, the additional amplification stage can faithfully reproduce its input signal, producing little additional distortion.

IMHO, amplifiers make the hobby more enjoyable! Again, pleases use them responsibly.

73.
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by K5RJP on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Right, let's drop the power limit to 400 watts. While we are at it let's drop the speed limit to 35 mph.
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by W3JXP on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Hi all:

I'm an amp user and proud of it. Some of my best friends use amps. Its been pointed out that going from a 100w to a 1.5Kw is about 10db, not true its 11.8db. 1.8 db is a good bit on a log scale. I would love to get 1.8db more out of my antenna on 80m. The old saw about FCC requiring us to use miminum power has also be pointed out. I would add the FCC never defined what a miminum signal level is. They left it up to the operator to decide. So if I decide that S-9 +40db is what I think a miminum signal should be, I'm with in the rules. Also there has been some mention of better antennas. Better antennas is the way to go, but it is NOT cheaper than an amplifer, not by a long shot. I put up a tower and 6 el Log about 2 years ago and I could have bought 5 of the amplifers I have for what that cost. My only regret is that I didn't put up a bigger antenna, so with my amp I would realy be LOUD!


 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by NO9E on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Often 10-12 and even 15m seem dead. But some stations come through quite nicely. For example JA stations during the recent AA contest were heard on 10 and 15m when these bands seemed otherwise dead. 10-12-15 and even 20m often are often not dead, they are dead for QRP stations.

Often QRP contacts are enjoyable. If one waits long enough, one can work VK on 160m with 10W! If one wants to enjoy the hobby everyday, one needs resources appropriate for good and bad propagation. When during a QSO the conditions change and a signal is barely heard with 10-100W, unless there is an extra 6-10 db available, QSO becomes QRT in one over.

I want stations having good antennas and QRO capability. These are the stations I am hearing and working when QRP portable using K2 with 10W.

What everyone want here is not to use extra power when this power is unneeded and causes unnecessary QRM. What I think is helpful is when the extra power is available if needed.

73,
Ignacy, NO9E

 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by W9JCM on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I love my amp and always rocking and rolling with it. Amplifiers are part of ham radio now you people want to ban the use or lower the limit? Get real. The person that wrote the article is a M call. I guess thats the UK right? I am pretty sure they have strict restrictions on there power use and antennas.
Furthermore allot of the people running low power that rip on QRO most of the time have there own restrictions be it CCR's or can't afford a amplifier. I am not saying qrp is bad. I run it sometimes, but again we are at the I am better than you crap that goes on. You critics need to use your energy to do something more constructive. Like get a life other than ham radio.
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by KK7AC on November 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Sorry.... I enjoy using my Alpha 99 thank you.
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by WA9SVD on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
by KZ9G on November 23, 2003
Mail this to a friend!
N6AJR has it right. The antenna is the key factor. If this is taken care of, the KW isn't usually necessary (with the exception
of my operating experiences from living and operating for years above the 60th parallel in Alaska).

Run the power level that makes the QSO enjoyable! Sometimes this requires less than 100 watts, other times it requires an
amp -- be it 500 watts or legal limit. A key factor in their operation is learning how to properly operate the radio and
amplifier combination.

Personal Responsibility:

YOU are responsible for the correct operation of YOUR station. That means learning a modest amount of electronics and
developing the ability to determine if your operation is above board. In other words, act responsibly. Properly used, the
additional amplification stage can faithfully reproduce its input signal, producing little additional distortion.

IMHO, amplifiers make the hobby more enjoyable! Again, pleases use them responsibly.

73.
==========================

I'm not saying amps are bad. It's the inappropriate (or unnecessary) use of amps that's the issue. If you have an S2 signal at a particular station, then an amp would help. And so would a better antenna! But if all you can put up is a dipole antenna, then yes, an AMP may be a benefit. But it's NOT always necessary. (I think that's the real point here.) If you are already putting an S9 or better signal, what will the use of the amp provide? (Other than increased interference and a larger electric bill?)
TOO MANY stations run their amps whether they need to or not.
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by KC0LBZ on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
'"Amp runners need to check 5 khz on either side of where they are going to tx. "'

"Why?

A proper LINEAR amplifier won't distort the signal, and won't use more banwidth than the non-amplified signal - near proximity front end overloading excluded."

Correct. However, if the signal is 20dB down at +/-5Khz and the amp boosts it by 15dB, it ends up only -5dB compared to a comparable xmtr without the amp--likely to disrupt communication at +/- 5kHz at both ends of the link.

Every ham is responsible for his (or her) own signal quality, but IMO the higher the power, the cleaner the signal needs to be.

All that said, I'd certainly use an amp if I had one, when conditions require it.

- Sam
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by KG4PFO on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Better question would be........Why do some run five or ten thousand watts.
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by N0TONE on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Another equestrian flogging is afoot.

Of late, the HF bands have been horrible, because of the recent solar flare activity.

Yet, there is still traffic to get to its destination, and there are a few fires (political and literal) being fought, so it is imperative for the possibility of emergency communications.

With the HF absorption as high as it has been lately, reliable communications very often does require amplifiers.

Most of the time, as a casual operator, you can hear and work many stations without you or the other ham requiring an amplifier.

However, this can be highly misleading. You are simply taking advantage of wherever the propatation happens to be good.

For traffic handling and emergencies, it is not adequate to simply contact those stations which are easy to contact. You must be able to make contact with a specific station or a specific location. If propagation is on edge, you'll need an amplifier on each end.

There's another point that many don't seem to quite realize.

For most of us, an amplifier is far less expensive than a beam. Used old glass amps run $400 or less. I just helped a ham install a minimalist beam. A used tribander, used rotor, rebuild cost for the rotor, new roof mount, and 10 feet of heavy enough mast for the Yagi were nearly $600. To nobody's surprise, his Yagi at 30 feet does not perform as well as his dipole at 50 feet, most of the time. So, to the $600 he's already spent, you can now add $300 for concrete, plus a used tower and guys and guy anchors.

I have an amp, but rarely use it. It's always here, and if I hear a DX station on that I need, I may hit the switch, to make sure I get the station on the first go-round. If the argument here is about QRM, then I'm QRMing LESS by getting the DX station on the first try with 600 watts, than by trying over and over at 100 watts.

The arguments presented are sometime ridiculous, too.

Notice how many on here talk about an S9+40dB station using WAY too much power. Then the same guy says "an antenna is a better idea, anyway". He never bothered to indicate why he felt the S9+40dB station was running an amplifier. There's been more than one occasion that someone has told me to shut off the amplifier, there's no reason for me to run that much power - when I was only running 20W. Yes, generally I run about 20W - it's all I've found I need on CW for anything but pile-up breaking. Or the conditions of late.

Today, I worked some DX on 15 meter CW. On both ends, we were barely copying. We were both running amps. I had my modest wire beam (at 65 feet in the trees) pointed at him, and he had 5 elements pointed at me. THAT is why one uses legal limit on HF - sometimes it is absolutely needed. Like today, when the bands were so bad.

AM
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by WA9SVD on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I'm sorry John, but you seem to miss the point. QRO is not an issue of "what you can afford." It's all in what's necessary to make the contact. And if an amp is needed to make that contact, that's fine. But if the amp is NOT needed, then using it IS not only a violation of the Amateur rules, it's also inconsiderate to others. It's fine to have an amp if you can afford it. (But I'd still look to improving an antenna system first!) But making the contact WITHOUT the amplifier should be the first priority.
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by K1OU on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
What is hard about this? If you want to put a good signal on the bands, put up the best antenna system possible. Optimize the antenna system, THEN add the amp. Why use legal limit? Because it is fun, just like QRP is fun for another bunch.
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by M1KTA on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Wow... didn't expect all the comments. Thanks everyone. The eham admin changed my login for me so this is using my callsign now BTW.

I'm not bashing anyone that goes QRO just wanted to ask what seemed to be completely against the 'rules' and advised operating practice.

Just for info (read my log again last night).. the Norway Op was running 1500 Watts leaving the shack to his multi ele beam and the run length from shack to antenna was 120m. Comment he made was something to do with feeder losses over that length meant he was 'legal'. I thought 400w was the limit as in UK.

My antenna was (not up now) two parallel dipole setups for 20m and 40m lying N-S with each dipole on either side of the garden and so max gain (3-4dB??) E-W on TX or RX. Both fed in phase with parallel feeder lines. (XYL was out so could cobweb the garden that w/e since gone back to dipole and OCFD on one side)

72/3
Dom
M3KTA(Foundation) & M1KTA(Full)
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by W8JI on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
There are a few common misperceptions I see repeated over and over.

First, the GAIN of a transmitting antenna is purported to have a similar effect on receive. While it is true that the **gain** is the same, that does not by any stretch of the imagination mean the receiver S/N ratio and ability to hear weak signals changes a similar amount!!! That's just an old wive's tale that makes everyone think in oversimplified terms.

S/n ratio, unless you have a very very poor HF receiver, is set entirely by the antenna response to noise compared to response to the signals direction and angle.

http://www.w8ji.com/receiving.htm

Gain is not a factor, a +15dB gain antenna can be worse than a -20dB gain antenna for receiving.

Some people use the argument they "can work anything they can hear". That may be true, but they also might not be able to hear very much!! They can be so "deaf" (without knowing it) that they actually are causing more interference to long distance communications than the people running 1500 watts! The statement "I can work anything I can hear" is meaningless. I run 1500 watts to antennas with at LEAST 7dB gain, and I CAN'T work everything I can hear by any stretch of the imagination. If you can work everything you can hear, than maybe you just don't hear very much!

Antennas with GAIN are NOT a good investment, once you get beyond a certain point. The truth is at higher frequencies (like ten meters) a modest "gain" antenna (something around 7dBd) can be a worthwhile investment. On bands below 40 meters it isn't! The cost vs performance trade-off is terrible on 40 meters and lower when the antenna has dual transmitting and receiving use. A 5-20dB improvement in receiving can cost as little as $100 on 160 through 10, while the same improvement in transmitting would be many thousands of dollars over a simple basic 0dBd gain antenna.

Another factor is local noise. A rural station typically has a 10-20dB noise advantage over a urban station. Of course it can be less or it can be more, but that is an general average. If you have high local noise and poor receiving, it certainly makes no sense to run high power working rural stations. Run 100 watts and let the other guy do the work. Stations in noisy locations need to pay very particular attention to what is on, and be careful where they operate, even when they run QRP. They often cause as much or more QRM than the fellows with high power!

A final factor people don't consider when they sniffle and whine about the other guy (like the example in the original article) is the other guy may NOT be trying or intending to work some close distance low power pee-weak station on a band good for 12000 mile contacts. He, as difficult as this might be to believe, actually may have been trying to work further distances since it was a "DX band"!

He also may have been trying to discourage people who have poor receiving capabilities (even WITH low power) from migrating onto the frequency he was using.

Let me give a specific example of when I do this. I often run 1500 watts into an OMNI pattern antenna while receiving on a very directive (but very low gain)antenna just to keep guys with horrible splattering low power rigs who are working point-to-point first hop skip from starting up on the frequency and "plugging my ears". If I were to run even 1500 watts to a directive antenna beamed away from them, they would start right up. That happens with regularity on bands like 20 meters where 100 watt W4's have skeds with W2's, and care less if someone is already using the frequency to work DX.

This is so important to me that I have an omnidirectional vertical mounted ABOVE my stack of Yagi antennas. I very often use that omni antenna just for transmitting, and use the stack of Yagi's only for receive. Otherwise, just sure as blazes, some 100 watt station with a tribander is going to work some other 100w station with a dipole at a distance of 1000 miles on the same frequency where I am trying to work 12000 miles. Rudeness, poor operating, and QRM is NOT a funtion of power, and running dog-gnat power does not guarantee placement of a Golden halo on anyone's head.

I'm sure a similar situation exists in Europe, where low power poor receiving capability stations simply would pile on the poor LA station's frequency if he ran 20 watts.

It would be a good idea if, instead of using non-factual information (like the myth that a dollar spent on an antenna for more GAIN results in an equal advantage on receive), people worked to make other people understand NONE of use should use more power than necessary to make our transmitting equal the capabilities of out own receiving. None of us should transmit on a frequency that is being used, no matter how weak the other guy is and how low our own power is.

There is a lot of misinformation being posted in the replys here because people are oversimplifying a problem that has MANY complex aspects. I'm amazed that so many people actually think a 3dB improvement in transmitting from an antenna change would result in a 3dB receiving improvement, or that the only station the rest of the world wants or needs to work is them!!

Rude or poor operating behavior comes at all power levels, let's not think just because we run 20 watts we deserve a free pass to Ham-heaven. It doesn't take skill or effort to be weak.

73 Tom
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by KB1GMX on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
QRO or QRP makes no difference to me.

HOWEVER..

The abundance of poor signals I've heard that generally represent overdrive and excessive audio
on SSB signals suggests other problems.

The issue as I see it is not QRO, it's that the 10-11DB power increase usually is added to the already dirty signal.

Consider:

Assume your carrier and unwanted sideband is 60db down.
Fyi not all transmitters meet this level of performance and can be as poor as 40 to 50db down. Remember to that good amps amplify everything uniformly if used correctly and worse if not.

If your 100W radio has carrier -60db down from 100w, that .1W of carrier getting out. Add 10db to that and your a QRP whistler of 1W.

If your opposite sideband is 60DB down that means your a mere .1W of opposite sideband noise. Add 10db to that and that 1.0+ watt may annoy a few people.

Some of the best amps only do IMD of less than
40DB (many only 30db). From 1.0KW -40db means a whopping 10W of noise that falls outside the ~3khz intended bandwidth.

Gain is good no matter how you get it but, recognize that you must be clean to start with or your going to degrade your unwanted outputs by 10DB(maybe more). When you consider that this excess stuff can not only carry but is well into the QRP power range running clean is very desireable. I may add that I've heard QRO legal limit signals that were indeed clean and you can hear it on frequency and not adjacent to it.

Allison
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by K0BG on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Personally, I don't give a hoot how much power the other guy is running. What I care about is how clean a signal he has.

Turning up the mic gain, always running too much compression, no ALC, overly hot mics, and the like all add to the general noise floor we all have to live with.


Alan, KØBG
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by WR8D on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
RE WA9SVD: Just like i said and i did'nt miss the point. Just another issue on an ignorant thread for some to look down their noses at others. Why has hamradio come to this? In years gone by if someone enjoyed qrp that was fine. It was just another aspect of the hobby. Now we're all at each others throats if say i like rtty and you dont well then its a sin to run rtty. I've been amazed at what i could do with 5 watts into a good antenna system. I dont run qrp though..but i dont think bad of folks that do. If your station is clean running an amp will be just fine. If your station is wide running an amp will only magnify the problem. I see guys taking out the psk31 part of 20 meters with a 5 watt signal because they dont know or wont adjust their audio out properly. For the audio buffs its the same thing. They think they have to have their tx width as wide as their transmitter will allow. The guy on the receiving end has to have his receiver as wide as it will go so he can hear all the crap the dude on the other end is trying to put on his ssb signal. Again just another mess and terribly wide signals. It all gets back to "know how". I've ran 500 watts working dx in the psk31 window of 20 meters. My imd was 35 and i had stations right on top of me on each side working other folks.

Now for "the rest of the story" as the man says! This is a wonderful hobby. Run what ever mode on any band that you want. Remember there's many aspects to this great hobby we enjoy..but dont fuss at others because they enjoy a differant mode of operation than you. Or they run some power and you dont. Just have fun and just because someone is in an apartment with qrp power and a piece of wire all twisted around in the attic doesnt mean the rest of us have to operate that way. We dont pick on you folks so return the favor.

Lets just all get along like we used to do!

73
John WR8D
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by W9WHE on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The author asks:

"Why Use [clean] Legal Limit Power at All on HF"

1) because life is too short for QRP;
2) because I want the other guy to hear me;
3) because propigation has been very poor lately;
4) because having a good signal increases the number of stations with whom you can communicate;
5) so rude contesters won't "squash me like a bug";
6) the amp warms the cold room in the winter;
7) because I like the pretty green lights!

 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
W8JI
Great prose Tom.
73
Bob
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by W8JI on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
K0BG makes a good point. If you look at radios, some radios are 10-15dB better than other radios. There has never been a push to improve radio transmitter performance, as a matter of fact it is sliding backwards.

For example, a FT1000D is about 10dB better than a TS2000 for HF 3rd order transmitter IM.

A FT100 has about 7dB higher worse case third-order than a FT1000, so a 400w FT1000 might put out about the same trash on the next voice channel up or down as a 100W FT100.

And all of that uses the ARRL's very forgiving two-tone test that is not only a poor simulation of voice (lacking dynamics), but is 6dB better than typical commercial tests becuase it is referenced to PEP and not one tone of two equal tones.

As for amplifiers, most grounded grid triode amplifiers are 15dB or more cleaner than the average radio. Tetrodes, despite all the false advertising, are generally on par with the radios, as are solid state amps.

Enhanced audio, even if the radio is not overdriven, increases the level of off-channel spurious.

It would be better to work on something constructive like motivating manufacturers to clean up all these key-clicking splattering radios and the ARRL and RSGB to quit being so "kind" with reviews of transmitter performance than to discuss useless personal (and technically inaccurate) opinions of what people should be doing.

If we want to preach about cleaning up operating, how about NOT wasting a long distance band like 20-meters to work 600 miles?

73 Tom
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by N8IWK on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!

All that's missing are Roger beeps and noise makers.................
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by WA1AW on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
To keep employees at Henry Radio gainfully employed as well as my local power company.
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by W4VR on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The FCC rules are very clear on the use of high power. Only use the power necessary to maintain communications. There are certain individuals that break this rule all the time; some even run more than that permitted (over 1500 watts).
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by NI0C on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
W8JI:
Good technical info as usual-- I always learn something new from your posts, Tom!

W9WHE:
Good combination of truth and humor!

I would only add to what has already been said that using an amplifier makes one's signal and operating habits more conspicuous on the bands-- so more care needs to be taken. To those who quote the FCC regulations regarding using the "minimum power" required to mainatain communications, we need to abide by the spirit of this particular law while recognizing that, in a technical sense, we all violate the letter of the law quite regularly. This is an example of a badly written regulation, because it is simply impractical to comply with. Who among us, including QRP operators, can say they always use the MINIMUM power necessary for every qso?

73 de Chuck NI0C
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by KK7WN on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
In general there will always be a tendency for operators to use more power than technically necessary. The necessary, but not sufficient, condition is that they "can do it". That is, they can legally get away with it and have the technical capacity to use high power. The sufficient condition is that once someone feels that they need the power( for whatever reason, good, bad or indifferent) and uses it, others will follow suit out of a perceived need to maintain their status. That is, a cascade " to the bottom" develops in which most everyone ends up worse off.

This is the same type of behavior and process that creates traffic jams on busy roads,longer waits in lines, etc.
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by K5UJ on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Ah, another thread that has brought out the amp haters. This is another example of the underlying class warfare taking place in ham radio.

Most ops live in countries where some version of the capitalist free market economy is in place. This means some folks ride around in Hummers; others ride bicycles. Some bike riders resent this. They want energy wasting SUVs banned because they aren't really necessary and they want everyone to be forced to do what they do.

People with this mentality who have ham licenses would like for all hams to be forced to operate QRP or at most, 100 w. This is what I call socialist radio.

While I don't have a SUV, I do have a 1200 watt amp which I bought because that was how I chose to spend my money, and I use it. A lot. I like to ragchew on the low HF bands with friends. We cut out our preamps to cut the band noise way down but we still have good enough signals to put on speakers for arm chair copy. For that, 100 w. doesn't cut it. You need around 600 p.e.p. or so. By the way, we have a lot of fun; try it sometime.

This is what I enjoy. Don't like it? Want to control everyone? Move to North Korea.

73,
Rob Atkinson
K5UJ
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by ON4MGY on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?

Can make a lot of difference in working some rare DXCC-countries!!
I did started as a QRP-only station on HF. I had lots of fun but it was most of the time frustrating. A lot of new countries just couldn't be worked because they didn't hear me. When I changed to 100 Watts life became much more easy. I don't have the space and money to put up a tower with beams. I'm just limited to a vertical antenna. Of course I would prefer a beam, which would give me the extra gain also in receiving, but it's impossible for me.
I'm sure that when I can buy an amplifier that I can afford, I will do it. And I will use the amp.
And yes, I still use my QRP transceiver and I enjoy QRP. Just not when I'm trying to work a new one for me!! Then I would run to the Moon and back for an amplifier(hi)

73 de ON4MGY Nic
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by K2WH on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Get real here. Life is too short for low power. Low power advocates are simply people who could never have or use an amp (in their location) so they started numerous support groups for the power challenged.

Personally, I love the smell of RF in the morning. I believe that the power limit of 1.5kw is way too low and should be raised to at least 5kw, 10kw would be better. That way, I can make the contact right away and not have to pollute the bands with useless RF with constant calling. Of course I would want to be the first kid on the block with the amp so I could do this all the time, the very first time.

The Anti-Amp groups and the whiners who don't have amps are simply jealous of the ones who do. Jumping in on rare DX is not a gentlemens sport or for the weak at heart (or signal).

High power forever.

K2WH
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by VE2DC on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Well, one comment to the original poster... if you you have a 3KC wide signal, it is normal to hear it + or - 3KHz... Also, 1000W is less power than you use to toast your bread in the morning... Broad signals are not a result of 10db additional power, they are a result of improperly driven amps or defective or misadjusted exciters. BTW, if the station was +40db with the amp, he still would have been +30db without it... which, come to think of it, would have been a good reason to save the wear and tear on the amp!
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by K0RGR on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Using high power when not needed is poor practice. But, we need to maintain the capability of putting a mximum signal on the air when needed.

I virtually never run over 100 watts, except on VHF. However, I have an amplifier standing by if needed. If I get away from my postage stamp sized urban lot some day, I will once again have real antennas, too. Right now, I get nervous running over 100 W due to the proximity of neighbors with RF-unfriendly consumer devices. But in an emergency, the linear will be in use. If their stereos can't hack it, too bad...
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by KB0GU on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I own a Henry amp, driven by Kenwood TS870. The amp has a standby switch that gets used a lot. If the additional power is needed, the amp comes off standby, then back to standby until required. I thought this was the rule book way of doing things. This particular radio also permits setting transmit width which is a nice feature. Compression in SSB mode is minimized when used, less than 10db.
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by WB2WIK on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I run legal limit to QRPp depending upon conditions, the mode and my mood. If I have limited time to operate ("one quick QSO before dinner, dear"), I'll call CQ with a kilowatt in an attempt to get an answer quickly. If I have all the time in the world (Sunday morning, and the whole family's out shopping except me, since I hate shopping!), I'll play QRP or QRPp (<5W) and usually stick to only CW, since 1W of CW power seems to do about as well for me as 100W of SSB.

I don't believe in the "minimum power necessary to maintain communications" lingo very well, because it's simply silly and doesn't allow for operating strategy.

Here's an example: On a completely dead 17m band, my neighbor Dave WA6DKN (6 miles away) and I often chit-chat while running kilowatts to beams, leaving long pauses between transmissions, hoping somebody else will break in. It works. Sometimes, a VK or ZL (or other DX station) does break in, and they're weak, and they would not have heard us if we were using low power.

Each to his own. If a high powered station has proper mike gain and good voice-to-background noise ratio, I really don't care how much power he's running.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by N7QF on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Those who use more than 100 Watts RF out are those who need to feel POWERful, and have not learned to use good op skills. They not only waste energy but do it for all the wrong reasons !
73,
John
N7QF
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by KL7IPV on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Okay, the other guy was running a full 1500 watts out. I haven't seen one posting that suggested that the ham on the receiving end ask the other ham to turn the power down "just to see the affect". Why not ask to reduce the power and if the QSO can be maintained, leave the power down. Ask and enjoy, that seems pretty simple to me. BTW, over the past 37 years I can count on my fingers the number of times I tried to reach another station using only 100 watts and failed to make the contact. That is why I have never owned an amp. I am not down on those that do, I just never felt the need.
73
Frank
KL7IPV
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by KA1BQJ on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
huh? wha? sorry, om....can't copy you..."73"
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by KZ9G on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Like usual, W8JI and others have made decent and rather long comments. Quite nice...

Remember, the ionosphere is a great leveler of signals. The kilowatt gives many of us the few extra dB's needed to complete communications with other stations. They really do provide a greater chance of communications. Those few extra dB's equate to between a 20 and 30 dB greater signal. It can mean the difference between being more than 10 dB above the noise, or being buried beneath the noise and/or interference level.

Why should I or anyone else care if you're running a kilowatt or more, as long as your station is correctly driving an amplifier by a low distortion transmitter. If done correctly, the kilowatt signal can be just as clean, spectrally speaking, as a low power station.

With spectrum pollution ever increasing, and BPL on its way, QRO stations may be the only ones to get through the crud in the near future. Long live QRO.

Chow.
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by NI0C on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
According to N7QF: "Those who use more than 100 Watts RF out are those who need to feel POWERful, and have not learned to use good op skills. They not only waste energy but do it for all the wrong reasons ! "

How do you come to such sweeping generalizations? How do you presume to know the motivations of amateurs who choose to run more than 100 watts? What qualifications do you have to judge the operating skills of "those who use more than 100 watts" ?

In fact, some (perhaps most) of the best ops in the world use amplifiers when conditions and competition call for it. Using an amplifier can augment an otherwise good operator, but it will seldom compensate for lack of skill.
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by K5RJP on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
What is all this magic about 100 watts? Could it be that 100 watts is what most transceivers put out by manufacturer design? They could just as easily build them to put out 50, 300, 500, or whatever watts they wanted. I think what they are wanting us to do is spend $7,000 for their fancy amps that just happen to need 100 watts of drive. Seems to me that these "I'm more of a ham than you are" old goats are hung up on 100 watts because that is what their fancy new transistor, DSP equiped, no-needle LCD readout, $2000 trnsceivers put out. Personally, when I really want to work some DX I use my 23-year old Kenwood TS430-S connected to my 30 plus year old Heathkit SB220. Plug me into the big hole baby, I want to talk to everybody!
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by N2ERN on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Here's why.

Today I turned on my rig and amp, turned my beam North to Asia and called a general CQ on 17.

Several W4s answered. I turned the beam, switched the linear off and worked a bunch of Southern states and had a couple for really nice rag chews barefoot.

IF an Asian or Pacific station had responded, I would have left the amp on.

QRP vs. QRO. It all depends. I have what's needed, when I need it.

That's why I have the ability to do what's necessary, when I need it.

There's no RULE. It just depends on the moment.

N2ERN
 
Here's why  
by N2ERN on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Today I turned on my rig and amp, turned my beam North to Asia and called a general CQ on 17.

Several W4s answered. I turned the beam, switched the linear off and worked a bunch of Southern states and had a couple for really nice rag chews barefoot.

IF an Asian or Pacific station had responded, I would have left the amp on.

QRP vs. QRO. It all depends. I have what's needed, when I need it.

That's why I have the ability to do what's necessary, when I need it.

There's no RULE. It just depends on the moment.

N2ERN
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by K8AG on November 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
First of all bandwidth is not something we are going to use up. We are not going to damage things by using too much power. I have been a ham over 30 years and never had an amplifier. I have always worked "barefoot" between a few hundred milliwats and 100 watts. I personally have never used full legal power, but I can see times when an op might want to.

Instead of trying to limit power used, I think it is more important to work together, QRO and QRPp alike. In this way we show ourselves as more skilled ops and deserving of the bandwidth we use. If we limit ourselves to less power, we lose those who work with 500, 1000 or more watts and we lose those capabilities.

73,

John PAwlicki, K8AG
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by M1KTA on November 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
So it is on record...

FAO KL7IPV... as you asked the question....

It was 20m right up near the qrp calling freq 14.295.

But as I was on 20W the QRP freq 14.285 is off limits unless I lowered to 10w and a qso was already in progress, I was gong to tail end when I scanned a little higher and heard the cq call from OK1??? (just once).

Anyway I responded and we had just started an exchange, and we were still confirming call signs when the LA1 station blasted a repeated CQ call (with no DX in it I might add) right over us. An exchange with the OK1 was impossible so I changed to his calling freq 14.300 and replied to his CQ and I asked him to please move up 5KHz or more or lower his power as he had just stomped over a qso exchange that was according to my freq read about c3-5kHz below his freq and QRM from him was causing us problems but he refused as he said he did not have a problem as there wasn't a call on his freq and we should shift freq! It wasn't like I had to change my power output to call him as I didn't so I can't see why he hadn't heard us. Selective checking above and below his calling freq perhaps?

OK1 station had gone by time I tried him again ... and noone else responded to the LA1 station who evaporated into the ether .... I then posted the eham article.

We do all have to work together but this was just so rude. I'd have done the same thing had it been another station and I'm sure anyone who was subject to bad operating practice on my part will be apologised to in the future.

I'm not bashing QRO as I understand that some OP's obviously need the extra power to make up for ineffcient antennas or band conditions possibly. OR for DX operation. (Another poster stated 1KW for a 6 mile rag chew QSO ! I bet they are popular amongst local OP's, even though I understand the reasoning behind trying to pull in a DX station!) I just wanted to know why some seemed to use it all the time when it really didn't seem necessary and didn't always check above or below their freq due to the splatter (correct term?) qro use could cause. Because they can use the power seems to be the answer I can't answer the other one.

72/3

Dom
M1KTA
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by W8JI on November 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
How do you come to such sweeping generalizations? How do you presume to know the motivations of amateurs who choose to run more than 100 watts? What qualifications do you have to judge the operating skills of "those who use more than 100 watts" ?>>>

When you run low power, it is generally the skill and operating ability of the guy you work who makes or breaks the contact.

The "skill" on the end of the caller mainly consists of calling in the right spot (good skill, he has learned where to set the VFO) and calling long enough and often enough (good skill, he can send his own call) that he eventually peeps through.

The sad part about this is the low power guy who pushes the SAME key pressure as the high power guy somehow thinks the same key-pushing or lip flapping skill shows he somehow has "more skill" because he did it longer. The less antenna he has and the less signal he has, the more he imagines the mud he splashes in is actually like walking on water, when all the work is really on the other end.

They ought to really give QRP rewards only to the receiving end of the contact. I can't honestly imagine the validity of a reward for "intentionally being the weakest signal possible".

This really is a simple engineering problem. If you run low power, you will be weaker and range will be shorter. Communications will depend on the OTHER guy having the skill and equipment to dig you out.

Like my good friend from NASA Wiley Bunn used to say when weak stations checked in to our roundtables, "Why do you intentionally want to make me miserable?"

Unless you've contributed something meaningful to the hobby beside making others miserable listening to a weak signal, spare us all the dribble about how skillfull you are..especially when it includes insults to others.

73 Tom
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by W8JI on November 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Dom,

<<But as I was on 20W the QRP freq 14.285 is off limits unless I lowered to 10w and a qso was already in progress, I was gong to tail end when I scanned a little higher and heard the cq call from OK1??? (just once).>>

So without knowing what was actually going on, you blindly called a station with an incomplete call. Spastic operating Dom!! Learn what is going on and who it is first, before calling.

<<Anyway I responded and we had just started an exchange, and we were still confirming call signs when the LA1 station blasted a repeated CQ call (with no DX in it I might add) right over us.>>>

So you had a QSO that wasn't really a QSO, tying up a long distance band like 20 meters for who knows how long to try and work unsucessfully a thousand miles or so distance?

<<An exchange with the OK1 was impossible so I changed to his calling freq 14.300 and replied to his CQ and I asked him to please move up 5KHz or more or lower his power as he had just stomped over a qso exchange that was according to my freq read about c3-5kHz below his freq and QRM from him was causing us problems but he refused as he said he did not have a problem as there wasn't a call on his freq and we should shift freq! >>

Maybe you have a less-than-perfect receiver or operating Dom? Maybe you had a NB on? Maybe you had the preamplifier ON or maybe too much RF gain? Maybe the receiver you have is no good at close spacing?

<<It wasn't like I had to change my power output to call him as I didn't so I can't see why he hadn't heard us. Selective checking above and below his calling freq perhaps?>>

Dom, if the guy was 5kHz up he was far enough. Either he or you had an equipment problem. Everything you have said indicates you are as much at fault as he was, if not more.

1.) You somehow expect to tie up 13kHz of absolutely clear channel (please don't work within 5 up or 8 down of Dom's frequency folks, no matter how weak Dom is!) 5kHz up was not good enough for the poor LA station.

2.) You seem to think you have a perfect receiver and know perfectly how to use it, and all of the blame is on the guy who was an acceptable distance away!

3.) You want to have clear-channel AND adjacent channels on a long distance crowded band like 20 meters.

4.) You can barely hear an OK1 on 20 meters, and he can barely hear you, yet you call him and start before you even get the callsign or know what else is going on.

5.) When you get QRM from a guy 3-5kHz away, you run to E-ham to write a big article about other people's skills and operating.

If you think whining on E-ham is going to get you a 13kHz wide clear channel so you can almost have a QSO 1000 miles long on 20 meter phone, you'd better rethink it!!

Instead of demanding everyone else change operating styles to suit your need for a 10-15kHz wide clear channel on 20 meters so you can work a half-way QSO with a common OK1 staion at a distance of 1000 miles or so on a band good for 12,000 or more, why not clean up your own operating a tad?

I'm disappointed in you Dom. You are complaining about nothing at best, and at worse complaining about things that might actually be YOUR fault.

73 Tom
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by N2ERN on November 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
When Scarborough Reef or North Korea comes on again, I will crank my tower all the way up, and use my AL-1500 to its fullest, just HOPING to be heard through all those Europeans.

 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by M1KTA on November 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Tom,

Thanks for the comments.

<<from OK1??? (just once).>>

>So without knowing what was actually going on, you blindly called a station with an incomplete call. Spastic operating Dom!! Learn what is going on and who it is first, before calling.

No I got the call sign alright. He called cq just once. I'm just not quoting it in full here (confirmed who he was through qrz and emailed an exchange) as for the rest of your responses no comment.

Dom
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by K0DD on November 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
You walk into the liquor store, 7-11 or local bank to make a withdrawal… Which is going to get results? A finger in your pocket… or a 44 MAGNUM MAKING A BLACK RING ON HIS NOSE?

This power BS has been making racket for 100 years. Hiram ran 1KW of spark, and if he coulda figgered out how to build a 5KW one he would have. Get over it guys.

The problem with ham radio is… Every time I turn on the rig, there is nothing but hams on it. It’s a collection of haves and have-nots… You guys that have get through the pile ups, the guys that have-not bitch about the guys with bigger scwantzes. Spend the bucks and you too can bitch about more meaningful stuff like your prostate being the size of a honeydew.

Have a nice day.

Bob KØDD NAQRO
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by W8JI on November 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Dom,

You clearly said you never confirmed the callsigns with the OK1, now you say you did. Which is it?

You clearly said the guy came "right on your frequency" and then clearly said "he was c3 to 5kHz up", which is it?

It seems the only thing that came out of this is you had "problems" with a station up 3-5kHz from you during a very marginal "QSO" either because of a poor receiver, poor receiver operation, or the other guys signal.

Proposing people everywhere modify their operating so you can (in your own words) "barely" make a QSO at 1000 miles with another station on a band good for 12,000 miles on a regular basis without having someone else come on the air within 5kHz of you isn't really reasonable Dom.

Asking for three kHz for your transmission, plus a 5kHz guard band on either side of you, or asking that others reduce their power to a level that doesn't bother your receiver in some unknown operating condition isn't reasonable either.

If you want to work short distances with marginal copy signals on long-skip bands without QRM problems, have you tried CW? There is a lot less QRM using CW than SSB, especially when you have poor antennas or marignal equipment.

The last place I'd go to expect a clear channel would be twenty meter SSB!

73 Tom
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by M1KTA on November 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Tom,

Thanks once again for all your comments.

>You clearly said you never confirmed the callsigns with the OK1, now you say you did. Which is it?
I believe I said I had his call (how else would I have answered his CQ?) he was confirming mine.

>You clearly said the guy came "right on your frequency" and then clearly said "he was c3 to 5kHz up", which is it?
I hope I can explain this right.
What I said was... He had blasted right over us. I said he was centered 5kHz up, even gave the freq's. I also said that you couldn't hear anyone but him for at least 3khz either side of the central freq he was using. My limited experience says this sort of operating wasn't rare. The +/-3khz band width (so 6KHz in total) would be twice the legal band width here (2700Hz) in the UK on that band but from my observation over the months and it would seem other posters QRO stations sometimes seem to far exceed this. (And that is with the RF gain turned right down). But the fact he could be heard even outside this was more than a little excessive was it not?

>It seems the only thing that came out of this is you had "problems" with a station up 3-5kHz from you during a very marginal "QSO" either because of a poor receiver, poor receiver operation, or the other guys signal.
That could be a fair comment but I originally asked why do OP's feel they need to always use full legal power when conditions don't need it. Or do you think I asked some other question? Maybe I should have asked... 'Why do OP's run full legal power on setups that don't confine their output to the bandwidth they should...'

>Proposing people everywhere modify their operating so you can (in your own words) "barely" make a QSO at 1000 miles with another station on a band good for 12,000 miles on a regular basis without having someone else come on the air within 5kHz of you isn't really reasonable.
I didn't ask for modification I asked why OP's went for QRO operation all the time there is a difference. If this is viewed as a snip at QRO operators it wasn't just a question about why? I don't apologise for asking the question as I've read more about why that sort of operating occurs than ever before. It just isn't for me.

>Asking for three kHz for your transmission, plus a 5kHz guard band on either side of you, or asking that others reduce their power to a level that doesn't bother your receiver in some unknown operating condition isn't reasonable either.
Perhaps we need to not take this so literally. As amateurs we are supposed to 'get along' with each other in what is a hobby afteral. Given this op's signals for whatever reason were so wide I felt I was entitled to make the request, he didn't have to do anything about it and he didn't. Maybe if some official had it would have been more interesting. If the roles had reversed I would probably have been ok about it but then that's me. He was calling CQ and was not in some sked after all.

As for guard bands I'd expect that with the advent of digital radio it will possibly not be too long before the chanellisation of HF might occur IMHO and I personally don't see that as an advance but qro vs qrp etc al will probably get dragged into discussions to make this happen.

>If you want to work short distances with marginal copy signals on long-skip bands without QRM problems, have you tried CW? There is a lot less QRM using CW than SSB, especially when you have poor antennas or marignal equipment.
I probably have what is US terms would be classified as a small lot. But I manage to put up my simple 1/2 wave wire dipoles on the HF bands. My longest calls at sub 20w so far are about 3000km on 20m so a lot has to do with antennas. CW.. yes learning that fast too.

>The last place I'd go to expect a clear channel would be twenty meter SSB!
Try living in the UK and use 40m and you would see 20m a lot quieter and not so packed. Most early evenings the 20m band doesn't seem very busy. 17m is even quieter. But then I'm not operating at an optimal time for either here I think morning would be better but I have to obviously learn a lot about propogation too.

73's

Dom
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by WB2WIK on November 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Dom, one thing that perhaps you haven't learned as yet (nor have many long-time amateurs) is that you cannot measure another station's bandwidth using your receiver. You also cannot measure it using someone else's receiver! It doesn't matter if your RF gain is turned down, or not. Your receiver characteristics play as much a role in this measurement as the other station's transmitting characteristics do -- probably more.

You also cannot legitimately compare the bandwidth of one station against another, using an amateur receiver as your test system.

So, it's usually best not to judge this using amateur equipment.

I've operated lots of HF-DX contests from large stations with very large antennas, and trust me, half the signals on every band are S9+50dB (on any receiver), if there's propagation. Yep, the signals are just that strong, and there's hundreds, maybe thousands of them. It matters not if the 50/S9 signals are generated by huge amplifiers or by QRP stations using great antennas. What makes good signals easy to copy and sloppy signals difficult is how they're adjusted, not how strong they are.

Problem with a lot of ops, including some contesters and also some non-contesters, and especially on SSB, is that they're signal-to-crap ratio is lousy: With "signal" defined as desired modulation, and "crap" defined as everything else, including blower noise, the dishwasher running, breathing sounds, other operators running other stations in the background, etc.

When I sit down to operate, I key the footswitch (which keys everything) and if a Wattmeter on its most sensitive scale (usually 10W) indicates anything at all, that's too much background noise. I lower gain until the background noise measures "nothing," and then close-talk the mike to produce output power.

Anyone who thinks they can operate SSB while sitting a foot back from the microphone and actually sound good on the air hasn't listened to his own station.

WB2WIK/6

 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by W9WHE on November 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Do I detect some "amplifier envy"?
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by WA9SVD on November 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
John, (WR8D:)

I don't condemn anyone who owns or uses an amp. (And ownership of that piece of equipment is by each operator's personal choice) But many operators are already putting out a strong enough signal, and still insist on using maximum power.

Really; think about it: If an operator is getting an S9+40, or even an S9+10 signal report (assuming the S Meter at the other end is anywhere near accurate) how much difference will there be whether or not an amp is used? Will a difference from 40+ to a tad less than 30+ be noticed? Or even going from 10+ to S9 or so? Maybe in that case, depending upon noise, etc. at the receiving end. If the contact can't be made without the amp. then I have no problem with someone using an amp. But some operators will gladly say they are using an amp. when it's clearly not necessary.
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by NN6EE on November 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
QRP would be great if everybody else was mandated to used it, but anyone with any intelligence knows that's never going to be the case!!!


So what's the point of even talking about it???

EE
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on November 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
“It wasn't like I had to change my power output to call him as I didn't so I can't see why he hadn't heard us.”

With more experience on crowded bands, you’ll understand why a 20 watt signal doesn’t get noticed as much as 100 watt, and 400 watt ones.

Plus, you’ll understand that if someone has a beam aiming at you (or a dipole), that people on the sides of the beam might not hear the person you hear.

If you play around on 160 or 80 meters, you’ll encounter ops that you hear way over the noise, but they NEVER hear you, even if you are running 400 watts (they are using a receiving antenna that isn’t picking you up).

You’ll run into problems on 40 also; EU BC stations will be much louder to you than to us. Ours louder to us than to you.

30-50 over S9 sigs are ALWAYS wide in my receiver. But, it isn’t the other op’s fault. It is the way my receiver reacts to such a strong signal. If I knock the sig down with attenuation, normal band width.

Expecting other people to play radio, the way you want them to, is a path that leads to frustration.

Have FUN
73
Bob
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by K5RJP on November 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
QRP? Isn't that what CB was supposed to be? 3.5 watts and you could talk across town with a good antenna. Jump up to 75-100 watts and you could talk across the state. Kick that up to 1000 watts and you could talk around the world if the "skip" was right. Point is, radio operators are going to do what is required to communicate, legal or illegal. I have never heard an operator, ham or CB, brag about how many watts he was running. All anyone wants is a good report!
QRP? Anyone heavy into it is also into self abuse and needs to see a shrink. If for no other reason to relieve those trying to copy their whimpy signals!
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by W8JI on November 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Dom,

This space would be better spent leaning how a receiver works than picking at some poor LA1 station based on what you assume his signal is like.

<<said he was centered 5kHz up, even gave the freq's. I also said that you couldn't hear anyone but him for at least 3khz either side of the central freq he was using. My limited experience says this sort of operating wasn't rare. The +/-3khz band width (so 6KHz in total) would be twice the legal band width here (2700Hz) in the UK on that band but from my>>>

Before invoking UK law, it would be best to know how to make a simple BW measurement.

Let's just assume a signal from perfect radio using a normal SSB filter of 2.7kHz at -3dB is on 15.000MHz USB and has "full audio". If you tune your 2.7kHZ -3dB receiver with 300Hz carrier offset across that signal, you will hear it up to 15.0027 before you even have 6dB rolloff. When you tune down, you will have to go to 14.9973 before you hear the other 6dB. So that's 5.4 kHz (2x filter BW) before you hear a not-so-significant 6dB drop.

To get to a 30dB point it would be a lot wider, even without any transmitter flaw!!!

The reason we aren't bothered by the pee-weak signals is because most of the signal is already buried in noise. We are darned lucky to hear it when the entire weak thing is centered in the passband.

<< observation over the months and it would seem other posters QRO stations sometimes seem to far exceed this. (And that is with the RF gain turned right down). But the fact he could be heard even outside this was more than a little excessive was it not?>>>

Nope. Not at all. Sounds to me like he was perfectly fine.

<<power when conditions don't need it. Or do you think I asked some other question? Maybe I should have asked... 'Why do OP's run full legal power on setups that don't confine their output to the bandwidth they should...'>>

No, but I think it would be good to ask "Why do we not require people operating SSB to understand system BW?". That would stop people from operating outside bands, and perhaps make people understand how far they need to stay away from others.

By the way, I disagree with WB2WIK. A receiver does make a very good BW measurement if used *correctly*. A receiver is a poor tool when used incorrectly.

Use a good narrow CW filter near the front end of the receiver, know the limits of the receiver, and make sure the signal has adequate but not excessive S/N ratio. You can't measure BW of a pee-weak signal, but you can a strong one. An amateur receiver of reasonable design has about 50dB or more close-spaced dynamic range. As long as you don't try to measure beyond that or have a "bad" radio, you are set.

What isn't useful are band scopes, or checking with SSB filters (unless you remember to deduct ~3kHz or so and allow for less than perfect skirts).

73 Tom
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by KO6UJ on November 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Q: Why use legal power?
A: If the current proposed implemenation of BPL is allowed, then everyone will need legal limit power, plus a very high gain antenna, plus DSP to filter QRN.

In addition, we will lobby the government to increase the legal limit to overcome the noise floor. Russian submarine amplifiers will be in high demand.

73
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by KB0ZUC on November 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I think we need to bicker about our privileges some more. I can remember growing up in a foreign country. If you bickered about something, your parents or the goverment would take away your privilege.

Lets be happy to have the privilege, live and lets live our "free" life.
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by W8JI on November 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Receivers work fine for checking bandwidth if you know the characteristics of the receiver. If I have a receiver with a 2.7kHz SSB filter at -3dB, then it will add 2.7kHz at -3dB to whatever the shape of the signal I'm measuring is.

That's why bandscopes, that people like to use to report BW, are useless.

Since the author of the article "thinks" all 6kHz wide signals, as seen on his SSB receiver, are "illegal"....he quite obviously doesn't know how to measure BW with a receiver.

6kHZ would be normal. It is impossible to measure BW of a signal that isn't 40 dB or more out of noise, so weak signals no matter how trashy (and illegal) might sound great.

73 Tom
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by WA2JJH on November 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Pure and simple for me. I used to run only 100W for many years. Sold my SB-230 20 years ago.

However, I just rebuilt an HL-2200 legal limit amp.
In pile-ups using 100W, I would be number 20 or not at all. I find that 600-900W P.E.P. out makes me number 3 or 4 in a pile ups. I am using the amp on 110VAC, so I cannot even approach 1500W PEP.

True, many hams just keep the AMP on all the time.
This is not good operating practice. A little too much compression with an amp will take up extra bandwidth.

Just for me speaking, I never had much luck with QRP.
I guess if you have an excellent antenna, you can do OK
with QRP. Location counts for something too.

Legal limit has it's place, just as QRP has it's place too.

73 MIKE
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by W9WHE on November 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
G0GQK (whom has no QRZ listing)writes:

"These operators not only have multiples of transmitters, they also have huge antenna systems with huge amplifiers. They also have a large ego to maintain with a need to overpower other band users to make space for themselves. This attitude is not in the true spirit of amateur radio"

In this country....we call those guys CONTESTERS!

 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by K9RQ on November 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I've recently gone to 10 watts output all the time, cw, digital, and ssb. Really haven't noticed the difference between ten and 100 watts. (Of course the guy on the other end might :-) Anyway, I've always thought the legal limit should be more like 500 watts in the U.S. Then those 'real big contest guns' would only have to run 2 kilowatts or so to be Kings of the Band.
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by PHINEAS on November 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I am always a sucker for these troll threads...lol

I have never had a base setup. I have always been remote or mobile but have setup bases for others. I have found that the better the antenna system, the less power you need to hear or make a contact. When I first started experimenting with HF in the mobile, I would run on average 300 to 500 watts to be heard. After I isolated my power leads to the radio, Grounded the radio and tuner, and started using more efficient antennas, I could get the same results with half the power. In fact, get rid of the tuner, and I could get the results I want just running the power out of the radio.

I have a brother that use to run on a badly installed Hustler Vertical(No Radials). On the average he use to run about 800 to 1000 watts to get out. Now that he has changed to a wire antenna, he gets the same results as 300 watts. Now I only hear him run more when the conditions are really bad.

One more thing I would like to bring up and ask. What happened to the "If I cant hear them I cant work them"
rule. This is what I mean.

Station1 is Calling CQ with 1500 watts.

Station2 keeps trying to answer Station1 with 100 watts, but conditions are not good.

Station3 answers station 1 with 5 watts cause station3 is in the right spot.

Station4 is a QRP station running on a G5RV.(Why some people would run QRP on this antenna I would never know!!!)

Station2 becomes a victim of Kilowatt ears cause station1 is broadcasting way farther than they can hear. As a Result, Station2 starts boosting their power. Now because station2 cannot hear station3, station2's signal strength over takes station3's

Station1 can hears station4, but ignores them cause his signal is only S2.

As you see, noone is really wrong, but the power kick started with the first station. Is the first station running full power because he has it, or because he did not make a contact at a lower power setting? Does Station1 have something against weaker signals(Station4), or are they hard of hearing?

I like to see some more commentary on this.

Phineas
K0KMA
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by W7STA on November 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
conformity + experimentation = oxymoron
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by K8DIT on November 28, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
If when speaking about QRO you include human ego, there is no formula that can work. I have known ops who use their skills at one watt and below to amazing results in the face of daunting challenge. It's doable.
I also understand that if whatever allowable maximum is set, some ops will always use it, call it a freedom of choice. Knowing this, and understanding these parameters, why hit your head against the wall fighting known parameters?
You can set your own parameters using the same info as all the others. We all love radio and all that it brings. Your patience threshhold and need to express yourself seem to be the limiting factors. Common sense is the last variable in this equation and some folks are going to set this at Zero. Hope springs eternal that half of whoever you come in contact with have their commonsense dialed up to a higher number, and then proceed to do whatever hamming is available at the time.
There are lots of strange creatures on the air. Their
arrogance and lack of consideration should be neither stifled nor encouraged. You can only wait for opportunity. Set your own limits but dont expect others to agree with your choices.
Your success will be rewarded in direct propotion to your patience and op skills, no matter what power level you operate.
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by N5RMQ on November 28, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Who cares if they feel the need to Blow It Out with 1500 watts. I have been picked out of MANY pileups running 75 - 100 watts while the BIG GUNS are'nt even getting acknowleged. I LOVE IT !!!!! IF YOU DO'NT NEED IT DO'NT USE IT !!!!
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by G4ILO on November 28, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I only run QRP, using my K2. I never noticed any difference between 10W and 100W which other radios I've owned have run. I'm not too bothered about people who run high power though, as long as they don't overdrive their linear. It's only frustrating because these guys can walk over me in pileups. But it's not just their power but their antennas that are responsible for that.

Yes, it's frustrating that some folks can afford to spend thousands of dollars on their station and I can't. So I choose not to go in for contests or chase DX awards. Running QRP means I only compare my efforts with other QRPers, which is a more level playing field. The high power guys have their ball game, and I have mine. There's more to radio than ticking countries off a list, anyway.

Truth is, though, on those occasions I do work some DX, it usually isn't a station like mine at the other end. It's usually someone with a beam and a fair bit of power. I think even QRP operators benefit from the presence of big gun stations.

But every time I work a distant station I know I experience something the QRO guys can't. The feeling of wonder that a few watts of power can convey intelligence over thousands of kilometres, half way round the world. QRPers have more fun: it's a fact!
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by OLDFART13 on November 28, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I run anywhere from 500mW to 1.3Kw. It depends on the conditions, and the situation. If it's a RTTY contest then I usually run about 100-500Watts. CW is run between 500mw and 200 watts (barefoot). If there is a SSB DX pileup then I may run the amp and get the DX in one call. I never use the amp for CW since the mode is so efficient and I can run 200watts barefoot.
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by NR1SS on November 28, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I guess your question is, "... why do some operators insist on always running full legal power (all the time even on local nets and not listening and adjusting power levels for the band conditions)?" Where did you get your data that says the above is true? Do you have the name of one of these operators? If so, have you asked that operator? What was the answer? The reason operators use 'full legal power' is because they can.
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by NJ6F on November 29, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
First of all like QRP, using the legal limit is also a desireable mode for me. On 17 for instance when the QSB gets extreme, you can be understood and not have to babble something about actually understanding what the underpowered station said as he fads below the noise like a sinking ship. Or on 160 meters where 500 watts is the rule to be heard.

Second, running power helps keep the conversation understood and also attracts others to call you after an interesting chat. It's the quality of the chat that is enhanced by using some power.

QRP is great, I like it also on 60 meters and on HF Pack frequencies, amazing myself at what can be done from a bicycle or a backpack.

When we all get a digital audio box like the AOR box and power is not a direct relation to being understood or affecting quality will I lower my power for good.

Last of all the power insures that the FCC will hear you and count you as a user of the band vs hearing noise and thinking the bands are under-utilized :-)




 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by VR2AX on November 29, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting thread and no doubt an infinite number of possible replies. My first operation was in the 60s predominantly on 160 when the Uk legal limit was 10 watts. I did have many great dx contacts using just that (and some others besides) but it was obvious to many people that higher power could be used to great advantage without causing any interference to essential public services (Loran). Having now metamorphosed to being one of the dx stations I coveted in my youth I look on things from a rather different angle. Basic 100 watt transceivers (in my youth, that was QRO according to some, enough to send you to hades and certainly get you shunned on the Sunday evening nets) do give me contacts but as I can only use simple antennas on a permanent basis (a TA31 trap dipole on my antenna balcony), I am grateful for , as some would say, an extra few db. It makes the difference between a qso and my XYL saying, are you still trying that thing.. or whatever. More people come back to my call if I have my amp in line (currently a 91B) and that must mean something, as being a 'dx' station people tend to listen harder for you, if they are having difficulty copying you, there is an important lesson to be learned. If someone did tell me I wa too loud I should turn the amp off, I would. It has not happened yet. But, I would turn it on again straight after that qso and assume that particular op had some exceptional propagation, whereas others I would also like to hear my signal and make contact with, might not.

Best

Wyn
VR2AX
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by VE9VIC on November 29, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I REALLY LOVE DX SO FAR 185 DXCC WITH 100 WATTS
AND ABOUT 70 WITH 5 WATTS,I AM SURE THAT IN SOME
OCCASION A LITTLE BIT MORE POWER WOULD HAVE GET ME
A FEW MORE DXCC,BUT THAT'S LIFE I CAN FIND OTHERS
THINGS TO HELP ME LIKE BETTER ANTENNA,BETTER SKILL
I THINK MOST OF HAM WILL JUDGE IF THEY NEED MORE
POWER OR NOT OFTEN QRO STATION HAD ANSWER MY QRP
SIGNAL WITH RESPECT OF MY GOAL AS A HAM OPERATOR
AND I HAVE WORKED MANY DX EXPEDITION WORKING
100 W AND 5 WATTS ,DX EXPEDITION OPERATOR ARE
GENERALY REALY GOOD AND CAN PICK UP WEAK OR LESS
POWERFULL SIGNAL QUIT OFTEN,ALSO GOOD SKILL
IS A GOOD THING TO HAVE WHEN WORKING DX,IT'S
THE FIRST TIME I HAVE HEARD OF SOMEONE WITH
CLOSE TO 300 DXCC WITH 300 MILLIWATTS
HEARD SOME QRP OPERATOR HAVE REACHED HIGH ON THE DXCC
WITH 5 WATTS BUT QRPp THAT SOMETHING,CONGRUALATION
FOR YOUR SKILL .HOPE I CAN DO JUST AS GOOD WITH MY 100 WATTS...73 VE9VIC
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by N9WQ on November 30, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
the realitys of the situation are that if the station was calling over you or on your freq it was probobly because he couldnt hear you... which is why I like to run the amp so if nothing else but to keep other amateurs aware of the fact that there is a qso going on... most hams that "talk over other qso's" are doing it because they cannot hear the stations there talking over .thats why alot of us use what we have... I dont mind doing qrp or low power but I cannot expect all the other stations to be able to hear me and yeild the freq if they cannot hear me.and then there is the constant band changes....... need I say more...
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by G0CJM on November 30, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I have, for the last 20yrs used nowt but qrp power and this means a max of 5w out. It can be frustrating but just thinks how elated i am when i chat cw with stations all over europe and beyond. Only the other day i had a long chat with a lad in southern Italy who gave me a 569 report!

73s
Reb G0CJM
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by KC8VWM on November 30, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The author is describing one instance of a particular situation whereas a station operated full output power in what was considered good band conditions.

What happens when the bands are not so good?

1K is not a lot of output power when you compare it with a full blown SW international broadcasting station.

So then why don't SW broadcaters only use 100 watts? After all if the conditions are good.. then we should be able to hear them too... right?

Simply put, on HF.. some days are better than others.
Sometimes you use only 20 watts, other times you may have to use 1.5K... Conditions change, power output changes.

I fail to see what the problem is with that.

KC8VWM
 
RE: Why Use QRP All on HF?  
by W9WHE on December 1, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
WHY, WHY......WHY?

1) So contesters don't "squash you like a bug"

2) So the other station can hear you over the QSB/QRN/QRM;

3) So somebody will hear you call CQ;

4) So another ham won't innocently start a QSO over the top of you because he could not hear you;

5) Because life is too short for QRP!

6) Because I like the pretty green lights.

THE REAL QUESTION IS, WHY GO QRP?
 
RE: Why Use QRP All on HF?  
by NI0C on December 1, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Why use QRP? I can think of a few reasons:

1.) I'm backpacking and I can only carry a few alkaline batteries (or a solar panel).

2.) I can't afford an amplifier because I put all my money in my receiving system and antennas.

3.) I'm pursuing a QRP award or contest of some kind.

4.) I want to demonstrate what a great operator the person on the other end is.

I agree with the previous poster who said that QRP awards really ought to go to the person who takes the trouble to dig out the QRP signal (unless, of course, the QSO is two-way QRP!).


73 de Chuck NI0C
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by W0IPL on December 2, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Dom ......

Good question. One I have also asked more than once.

I believe that there are those who cannot divest themselves of the "kilowatt alley" syndrome. That is unfortunate. I think it is a cary-over from 11M where the popular approach is "when I wanna talk, I wanna talk".

I believe that most that use *far* more power than necessary, do so because they are simply too lazy to find out what power level will maintain communications for that day/band/props. They start high enough that if there is any propagation at all, their signal will be heard. Far too many ignore the fact that an S-9 signal from a 100 watt radio, under any given set of conditions is less than two "S" units above a 10 watt signal in those same conditions.

Do I advocate QRP? Only if you happen to like the challenge. Do I advocate QRO? Only if you like paying more to the utility company than is necessary. I believe that some where in the middle works most of the time.

The discussion on power levels is similar to the discussion on CW. No matter what you say or ask, someone *will* take it as a personal affront. I suggest you take those noisy ramblings and put them in perspective. Anyone can get mad and rant and rave about any subject. It takes a thinking, careing person to discuss the same subject.

That's the really neat part about computers, they have a "bit-bucket" that does a superb job of handling comments from those that attempt to prove there was need for more chlorie at their end of the gene pool.

Thanks!
Pat
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by KC8VWM on December 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!

>>>>It takes a thinking, careing person to discuss the same subject.

That's the really neat part about computers, they have a "bit-bucket" that does a superb job of handling comments from those that attempt to prove there was need for more chlorie at their end of the gene pool<<<<<


It also takes a person with an open mind to consider and diseminate what is being said by other individuals even though you might personally disagree with opinions expressed.

73

Charles - KC8VWM

 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by KA2DDX on December 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting thread guys. Somewhat analogous to the SUV vs. MiniCoopers types of discussions I hear occasionally.

HF is fun whether or not power is high or low. But, the point of running too much power is well taken. Most high powered operations can be done at lower power levels. I'm not criticising anyone for using high power. My observation is that it is not always obvious when low power will do just fine. We should encourage each other to try it more often, and I don't mean five watts or less. I'm really talking about levels at 100 watts or less. I've witnessed times when high power was necessary to cover 500 miles and I've witnessed times when low power could work half a world away. That's the beauty of HF. Enjoy!
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by G4ILO on December 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Why go QRP?

1) Because I like to build gear, and building QRO is harder.

2) Because QRP gear is cheaper, and I have other things to spend my money on.

3) Because I don't want to interfere with the family or neighbours TVs, stereos and computers.

4) Because it's only a hobby, so it isn't that important whether I make that contact.

5) Because every contact gives me a thrill that I wouldn't get operating a megabuck, kilowatt station

6) who needs any more reasons?
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by WA2JJH on December 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
In the ""old days""...Hams used to have an HF phone patch. Many times when a country, nation, or state was hit by a natural disaster, hams would use HF to allow relatives to speak to those hit.

I do not think QRP is a good application for this.
When you have to make contact with a particular station
thousands of miles away, with a good signal Qrp is not the way.

I can look at the other side of the fence. Good for the enviorment, more of an acheivement, ect.

The older tube rigs used to output 200W or more. Maybe they were right about a little more than todays
100Watt defacto standard.

I mostly use 100W. However in a pile up, I punch up
to 900W. The FCC says I can go up to 1500W.

Yes, I do agree some hams abuse the power. Henry export amps that have a 4KW input power are used.
Do they keep the 4KW loafing at 1500W out?
Do many not use the proper ALC? Too much mic gain?
too much compression? YES, some do.
Someone eluded to a CB background for running an amp.
That is a CHEAP SHOT! TOTAL STEREOTYPE!

There must be some thing as to why the FCC allows us to run up to 1500W out. I remember when the legal limit was less.

I Had an original ten-tec ARGONAUT-509 BACK IN 1978.
Had maybe 4 local CW QSO's and not one single SSB QSO!
It still sits in my soapy sales closet of stuff.
I intend to redesign it using todays cheapo multioctive VCO's.

I had a ball when 2M simplex was hot. I just ran 1.5W
and a whip. Had hundreds of QSO's.

IF QRP floats your boat, great! Enjoy! I would not mind buiding that ELCRAFT-2. Many have said it's rcvr is as good as a $2000 rig from japan.

However do not put all hams that do have an AMP in one boat! No, it is not a money/class thing either!
You can buy(at your own risk)1 kilowatt Dentrons on ebay for $150bux.
Not all of us have those $6000 amps with the fancy HYPERSIL transformers. Many like me, own Heathkits.
Good AMPS, if you put a little work into them.

 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by KC8VWM on December 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!

>>>>Someone eluded to a CB background for running an amp.
That is a CHEAP SHOT! TOTAL STEREOTYPE!<<<<


Why must we alway be somehow compelled to equate Amateur Radio Operators in some sort of pissing contest comparison with CB radio operators?

Pretty soon we will all be viewed and labeled as nothing more than glorified CB operators using amps...

Have a little respect for the hobby huh?

CB has nothing to do with this argument. There is no comparing an Amateur Operators improper usage of an amp to what occurs on CB with an 11m bootlegging stereotype.

Never has, never will be any comparison between CB and Amateur Radio...

Unless, that is ..you want it to be compared that way... That my friend, would be a sad day indeed.


73

KC8VWM


 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by N6KD on December 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The only reason to use high power is to break the pile ups. As you get up in the DXCC numbers, the stations get harder and harder to get. I worked a station in Africa and he asked my why I was running hi power. I told him I called him 10 times at 200 watts and he didn't come back to me. He came back on the first call at 1500 watts.

PS: I run QRP most of the time <5 watts and worked DXCC in three months. I have 329 worked of the 335 DXCC countries on the current list and believe me, I would not get some or all of the remaining 6 running low power.
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by K8LQ on December 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
W8MW: "Transmission of SSTV picures where signal to noise determines picture quality? ... Of course there are many other examples of desired communications".

And there is S/N which determines listener quality as well.....that is.. I desire to have noise free communications. I don't prefer S-8 signals to listen to for extended periods

....In a roundtable 20+ for openers is preferred for consistent, reliable S/N ratios connsidering adjacent noise etc.

Thats MY desired communications.

Good Troll


3,s Brian K8LQ
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by TECH2003 on December 4, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
My VX-5R only puts out 5watts so that is why I work QRP exclusively.
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by LA3ZA on December 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
>Last week I had a QSO with a chap running 1500 watts against my 20 watts on 20-meters! He was in Norway

Too bad about the LA, the legal limit in Norway is only 1000 Watts ...
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by AB8RU on December 12, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
TECH 2003 you have a 2 Meter HT everyone here is talking ABT HF ! I run a 25 Watt 10 Meter Mobile on SSB I give a call and If they acknowledge me ok If not oh well.

Thing is If a person wants to Run Legal Limit in his own country OK thats his or her own decision, so long as they have it designed in mind to keep a clean enough signal. and they have the money to burn to the Power company thats their decision.

I wired my house to accept anything I want at 200 Amps my specification, If I need to wire something, I have a roll of Romex wire, put a breaker in or attach off a metal box I am all set.

I believe the reason the FCC decided on this use the minimal power theory is because the CB craze had opened a pandoras box of Illeagle RF Amplifiers radiating TVI and other kinds of interference, those people who never had any electronics experience on installing a ground and a TVI filter, I really read this stuff and still like that area of feild of supressing RF so it really caused some planning and unfortunately we the Amateur Community between the Conservation, and all this latest stuff has came up with a plan that we maintain here in the US all of these power charts & Records measurements, etc..

So on with the QSO !
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by WA9SVD on December 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
AB8RU:

I believe the Amateur regulation REQUIRING the use of the minimum amount of power necessary to allow communication was a part of the rules LONG before there was ever a "CB" service. (And note the word MUST, not "Shall" or "should.")


§97.313(a) "An Amateur station must use the minimum transmitter power necessary to carry out the desired communication."
 
Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by WA2JJH on July 20, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Why legal limit.......Because the FCC says you can!!!!!!

However remember that most of our electricity comes from OIL. If you can use less power, please do.

NO,I am in no way saying that running 3KW in supports terrorism!

HOWEVER.... If you run 1500W all the time, please try to throttle down a bit.
 
RE: Why Use Legal Limit Power at All on HF?  
by KI4CYB on September 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I usually try 5 times (amp in stand-by) to make a contact with a station working a big pileup. At the Flip the switch contact is made 1st attempt.

I love my legal limit amp. And its always on stand-by, just in-case...


73 - KI4CYB
 
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