Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 3 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?  (Read 13548 times)
N4QCV
Member

Posts: 1




Ignore
« on: April 18, 2013, 11:03:40 AM »

OK I HAVE BEEN READING A LOT ABOUT QRP IT SOUNDS FUN AND I EVENTUALLY WANT TO GET A QRP RADIO NOW HERE IS THE DELEMMA.......THE ELECCRAFT K3 ASSEMBLED IS 999.00 THE YAESU 957 D IS 850.00 THE YAESU 817 IS 699.99.

NOW IM THINKING TRUE QRP WOULD BE RUNNING A 10 WATT OR LOWER HF RADIO LIOKE THE ELECRAFT K3 QRP OR THE YAESU 817 QRP......BUT!!!! IF YOUR RUNNING A YAESU 857 D AT 10 WATTS ALL DAY IN A REMOTE LOCATION LIKE A STATE PARK OR OUT IN A PARK FIELD OR A MOUNTIAN TOP WITH A SMALL LOW AMPERE HOUR BATTERY WHICH WOULD KEEP YOU FROM RUNNNING HIGH POWER AND KEEP IT ON 10 WATTS WOULD THIS BE CONSIDERED TRUE QRP TO THE PURISTS?

WHAT I AM GETTING AT YOU CAN BUY THE K3 QRP RADIO WHICH IS 10 WATTS FOR 999.00 OR A YAESU 857 D FOR 869.00 WHICH GIVES YOU THE POWER OF 100 WATTS OUT FOR LESS MONEY.

DENNIS
N4QCV
Logged
AA4PB
Member

Posts: 12899




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2013, 11:21:57 AM »

QRP is generally considered 5W or less, although some consider 10W PEP SSB to be equivalent. If you take a 100W radio and reduce the output to 5W then you are running QRP. However, a 100W radio reduced to 5W is generally not as efficient as a 5W radio running 5W. That means that the 5W radio will be easier on batteries for field work.
Logged
K4IA
Member

Posts: 66




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2013, 05:08:29 PM »

QRP is 5 watts or less.  Having said that, your next question is, "What do I look for in a rig to do QRP?"  You could take any 100w rig and just turn it down.  But transmitting power is not the whole story.  If you plan on operating in the field, you want low current draw on receive and light weight.  Next question is how minimalistic do you want to go?  The Elecraft KX3 is an excellent rig with top notch performance that can do SSB.  The KX1 is smaller and CW only.  Other rigs will fit in an Altoids tin.  IMHO the Ic 703 and Yaesu 817 are not anywhere near the same ballpark. 
Logged
W7KB
Member

Posts: 57




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2013, 06:24:53 PM »

My understanding is that qrp is 5w in CW mode and 10w PEP in SSB mode.If contest rules specifically state that one must use a 5w qrp power level,then 5w is your max output level.I own an Icom 703+ qrp rig that has a max output level of 10w.It is a qrp radio.So is the Elecraft KX3 which puts out a whopping 12w!..Believe me,my 703+ is not a qro rig and I do not bust pileups with it.To qrp purists,I am not operating @ a 5w qrp level,but I am certainly not running a qro radio either!...If this is the case,then please tell where a qro level output begins..Is it 10w?.. 25w?...50w?...100w?...or is it 500w?...It was a good question originally asked,but a 5w output difference to 10w certainly does not boost your signal to qro level.See you @ 10w qrp on the bands.Or is that qro?..73...Dennis W7KB.
Logged
F8WBD
Member

Posts: 73




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2013, 08:59:26 PM »

As stated, 5-watts is CW QRP.  When I used a QRO transceiver, I reduced power to 5 watts. Not being an outdoor operator, a big rig posed no problem. However, it was tempting to go QRO having that power available.

When, for a number of reasons,  I made a commitment to QRP I decided to put the big rig away. Now the operating desk consists of an FT-817, OHR100A, and a HW-8.

I also re-defined what DX mean't to me on a personal level. It isn't of the "rare" variety. From France, working NA is DX as far as I am concerned. Hardly rare but my 2-5 watts crosses salt-water which, for me, is very sastisfying. Same from the opposite direction when I am operating from my USA QTH.

Something about pea-shooter rig power crossing salt-water....

72/73

 

Logged
WB0FDJ
Member

Posts: 144




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2013, 09:49:13 PM »

Well you have your technical answer. If you want to qualify for various QRP awards, such as WAS or DXCC, you have to run 5 watts, CW or less.

But I think F8WBD touched on a central issue for many of us. Satisfaction on a personal level. This is what keeps a lot of us in QRP operating. I have a very average station and antenna. From the midwest, with decent band openings, working Europe, Central and South America with 100 watts isn't really very much of a challenge. I constantly read reviews in the antenna section here on eHam that say things like, "I worked Italy running ONLY barefoot at 100 watts". Jeeze I hope so. Anyone with a radio and a few operating skills should be able to do that. But....working other continents with a couple or three watts starts to be, I dunno, interesting, fun and yes challenging. I really don't remember many of 100 watt contacts but many of the QRP ones really stand out in my memory. Like the day I fired up my DC20B at barely 1 watt, crystalled you know, and worked another ham in Maine who was running one watt portable. Hey at one watt, Maine is DX!  Grin

Getting to the original posters questions: what do you want to do with your radio? If you want to sit in a tent out in the wilds running off a battery you'll want to look for one set of technical specs: weight, size, power consumption among others. I'd probably take my FT-817 or a couple of my kit built SWR rigs. If you want to be a QRP contester, showing up in the big events there's a whole other list of concerns (such as filtering for example). For that I'd fire up the Flex 1500.  And, for what it's worth, decent reliable QRP rigs don't have to cost nearly $1000.

72 de WB0FDJ Doc
Logged
W1JKA
Member

Posts: 1773




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2013, 02:53:52 AM »

  Re: Dennis
       
     Your OP "reading a lot and sounds like fun"indicates that you have not actually tried QRP.You did not specify CW,SSB,PSK etc. preferences if any.As WB0FDJ above says why spend a +- $1,000.00 to test drive as of yet an untried mode which in truth is not for everybody. I often visit my daughter in Saratoga Springs,N.Y, I take my $100 MFJ 20 meter Cub/20m dipole ant/jump start battery and have no problem working 2x QRP into Europe and W.Coast CONUS.If you do not have a decent antenna and do not have a good basic understanding of band propagation QRP is not for you.
Logged
AA4PB
Member

Posts: 12899




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2013, 07:23:52 AM »

I sencond W1JKA.  Unless you have exess $$$, there's no need to invest $1000+ to give QRP a try. The CUB is a good choice as is the Elecraft K1 and KX1. These smaller rigs will also be a whole lot easier on batteries during receive. Personally, I also find that running a very basic radio (especially one that I have built) adds additional enjoyment to the fact that it is 5W.
Logged
WB6BYU
Member

Posts: 13341




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2013, 08:34:32 AM »

The definition of QRP depends what you want out of it.  It used to be that the QRP
category in ARRL contests had a 100 or 200 watt limit - it meant "turn off the amp."
The technical definition is "reduce power" (or "shall I reduce power?" if followed by
a question mark.)  Thus it is relative.

Many QRP awards and contests have a 5W limit (sometimes 10W PEP on SSB).
But that doesn't mean that the QRP police are going to arrest you if you exceed
that for casual operating, or that you can't use a higher power rig with the output
turned down.  In fact, that's a great way to see how well low power can work
without having to make any additional investment.  How far you decide to turn
it down is a personal decision (and depends on the capabilities of the rig as well.)
If you are in an interesting QSO and signals fade, you can always crank the power
back up to finish it.


There appear to be three aspects of operating that are associated with QRP operation,
but they can be practiced in any combination.

1)  Low power operation, for whatever value of "low" you choose.

2) Building your own equipment and/or assembling it from a kit.  This can be fun
at any power level.

3) Operating in the field.  This doesn't require QRP, but running low power with
a rig requiring minimal current certainly extends battery life.

I've done my share of operating out of a backpack from a number of places
including KL7 / KH6 / VK / ZL / VE1 and at least 8 States in the lower 48.  But
that isn't for everybody, and isn't a requirement to be a QRP operator.  I've
also designed and built my own equipment, but there's nothing against using
a commercial rig.  I've made a lot of QRP contacts using my TS-450.  And, if
you want to go to the field, it doesn't matter if you use a 100W rig and a
generator, as long as you have fun doing it.

And that is the key:  find what you enjoy doing and do it, while ignoring what
anyone who tells you how you SHOULD be doing it.  You can try 10W or 20W
if that works better in your circumstances.  You can operate from the "field" by
running an extension cord out to the back yard.  As you find what aspects you
really enjoy then you can optimize your equipment accordingly, but it needn't
involve any additional expense to try QRP to see how well it can work.
Logged
KU7PDX
Member

Posts: 54


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2013, 09:52:23 AM »

Pretty much all contests and awards I've looked into define how many watts qualifies as QRP. I never assume how many watts QRP qualifies as, since the broad definition is completely up for interpretation.

Personally, I only own a Icom IC-735, so when I had some repairs done and an alignment completed, I requested that the low power level be set at 5 watts instead of the spec. of 10 watts. For events like Field Day, this will allow me to operate 1B Battery (though I think it's kinda silly to mandate a power level AND restrict the power source to something other than mains or a motor-driven generator).
Logged

73,
Chris - KU7PDX
W5ESE
Member

Posts: 550


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2013, 10:07:47 AM »

For ARRL contests, the rule for QRP is 5w on CW or 5W PEP on SSB. In some other contests, 10W PEP on SSB is considered QRP. Think you'll find that for portable operating a dedicated QRP rig will provide dramatically longer battery life than a "dialed down" 100W radio (QRP rigs tend to use much less current when receiving than 100W radios).
Logged
W1JKA
Member

Posts: 1773




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2013, 11:03:07 AM »

  Dennis,your eham bio indicates that you now have access to an HF rig.If you have not done so you may want check out[QRP SPOTS.com]where you will find current QRP freqs.and paths in use by portable,pedistrian mobile and SOTA ops.especially on weekends.Tune in,dial down your power level to whatever your definition of QRP is and join the fun.
Logged
KB1GMX
Member

Posts: 783




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2013, 11:09:12 AM »

the whole designation of QRP is concerned with output power.

Back in the day a two tube TX (CW) might run nearly 2W heating the tubes (filaments).
Your were 5W or less (input) if the product of the plate voltage and plate current of
the final was 5W or less.  With the right tubes and all it could be done with batteries
and it was!

Now we do QRP with all manor of radios and we look at output power.  

The only time it makes a difference what radio is used is if the whole show runs off battery,
especially if the battery is carried there with all the other gear.  IF I have a short hike
I can bring a 100W Eagle set to 5W and run a few hours on a 25AH gell.  Or I can use
a KX3 and a 3.2Ah LiPo and run the same number of hours and carry 30 pounds less up
the hill. In the end its still 5W and QRP.  And its all good fun.

Oh, and QRP never meant you must use a poor receiver.  So if your willing to carry
a big enough battery almost anything is game, at 5W or less TX power.  Use what
you have or pick what you will use most.   It may make sense to get a 100W radio
for QRP if the trips to the field intermittently and run from the house a lot.  If your
a hiker or  over night pack op maybe a ligheter radio and LiPo batteries are the ticket
for less weight.

In the end and even with 100W no one ever said you have to use it all.


Allison

Logged
AA4PB
Member

Posts: 12899




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2013, 12:32:33 PM »

"Oh, and QRP never meant you must use a poor receiver"

True, and it never meant you must use a poor antenna either  Grin

In addition, low power consumption doesn't necessarily equate to a "poor receiver" either. Elecraft has done an excellent job of getting good receiver performance with low battery consumption. Things like DSP, synthesized VFOs, and lots of speaker-driving audio power generally equate to more power consumption but, while nice, aren't an absolute necessity for good receiver performance.
Logged
KB1GMX
Member

Posts: 783




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2013, 05:31:16 PM »

AA4PB,

I do agree.  However many of the low cost QRP SSB radios have crystal filters
that are tepid at best with 4 crystals and 2.5khz and a shape in the 2.5:1 range
they are only ok at best.  A lot of other rigs deal with this and the receiver does
show that.  The K2 was proof of that, QRP and a killer receiver. 

I've also used the uR2 and uT2 pair with power amp enough to get the basic
boards 1mW up to (4W) it's gobs of fun.  RX is about 75ma, TX well under an amp.
Analog phasing, not a KX3 but still very good.

Then again I have a TenTec Triton (m540) and its your basic 100W solid state but RX
is very good and it only wants 250ma on receive.  Throttled back its' not half bad
QRP radio.

As to antenna, I was asked once if a K1 on a Tribander at 100Ft is QRP?  Of course
and it could both hear and be heard very well.   Regardless of the power you have
or use the very best antenna you can do makes it better.

Of course for run I run QRP mobile 40M using a KNQ7A and a homemade 7.5ft center
loaded whip.  That's doing it the hard way.  It's fun.  That and it's a good minimalist
battery operated 40M radio.

Allison
 
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!