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Author Topic: To QRP or not to QRP  (Read 25546 times)
W1JKA
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Posts: 1616




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« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2013, 03:13:07 AM »

Re:pmraiders,reply #14
    The  KX3 with amp will work as well as any other 100w modern rig especially the rcv.side.This is according to most reviews (for what their worth).Easiest way to find out is try one out.

Your second paragraph indicates that you have already found the answere to your "ideal situation" with KX3/amp combo.

Your( Edit) paragraph: As you previously stated " a more fluid budget",then I fail to see what your problem is,Go For It.
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GILGSN
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Posts: 199




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« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2013, 08:46:26 PM »

Quote
With well over 200 A/B on air test with the same antenna over a 3 year period I could continue CW QSOs with my K-1 at 4-5 watts just as well as with 90 watts on my IC-7200 about 73% of the time

Very interesting! I bet with 12W it would be even more..

Gil.
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1616




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« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2013, 03:12:43 AM »

Re:GILGSN

No doubt,but I'm not interested in QRO  Wink
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pmraiders

Posts: 47




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« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2013, 09:37:38 PM »

I purchased an ic-7000 for the time being. Perhaps a KX3 will become a part of my arsenal in the future. I wanted more power for 2m/70cm anyways Smiley

Thanks for the input guys!
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K1WJ
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Posts: 450




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« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2013, 02:19:08 PM »

Glad to see you got a 100w radio - wise choice for starting out.
Last week contacted a QRP station that answered my cq call - after 3 replies I got his call, 3 more times to get his name & state.....after that stated 73's & hope next time we contact I hope you have a 100w radio......
Contacts can be difficult at times on 100watts especially if your antenna is not ideal for the band in use. Next time you make some contacts with 100 watts, at some point in the QSO turn down to 5watts & ask the other station to do the same, you will see what your missing.......73 K1WJ David
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K8AG
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Posts: 345




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« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2013, 08:31:16 AM »

To use a fishing analogy, deciding to go QRP as a first foray into ham radio is like deciding to go on your first ever fishing trip but you're only going to use a fly rod.  Even if you buy the best fly rod off the rack there's only so much you're going to be able to do with it.
I agree with Mark.  I do pretty much 100% QRP now.  But remember that FT857 can be turned down to experiment with QRP.  100W is a good workable power level that you can use to hone yore operating skills.  Then crank the power down and see if you can work with 10W then 5W.  I am a BIG fan of QRP rigs now.  But I have been a ham for nearly 40 years.

My 2 cents.

73, JP, K8AG
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GILGSN
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Posts: 199




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« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2013, 10:23:53 AM »

Quote
To use a fishing analogy, deciding to go QRP as a first foray into ham radio is like deciding to go on your first ever fishing trip but you're only going to use a fly rod.

Well, yes and no.. I started QRP and had no problem at all. It might be true for SSB, but not CW. CW goes through most of the time.

Gil.
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K8AXW
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Posts: 3602




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« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2013, 06:34:40 PM »

Quote
I started QRP and had no problem at all

GILGSN:  I mean no offense but I'm wondering if this isn't a case of ignorance being bliss?  "Ignorance" not in a derogatory sense.....

The reason I say or question this is because I did just the reverse with the opposite observation.

I started out QRO.... approximately 250w output..... settled at 100w for 3 decades and then tried QRP.  My results with QRP was frustration and a hellova lotta time looking, listening and trying to make contacts.  My results were very much like David's.

Quote
Last week contacted a QRP station that answered my cq call - after 3 replies I got his call, 3 more times to get his name & state.....after that stated 73's

In between this type of "contact" I had some very nice rag chews, you understand.... but for the most part it was only the patience and good operating abilities of the other station that made the contact possible.

I presently have three QRP transceivers that are pretty much idle....except when I use the 50w linear with one of them.

Obviously, your mileage may vary.

Al - K8AXW
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GILGSN
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Posts: 199




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« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2013, 08:00:45 PM »

Hello Al and all,

Frustration depends on expectations. If I expected to make contact all the time, I might be frustrated too.. Since I don't, I am perfectly happy with my results, which are actually quite good, in my opinion. I like QSOs of about 20mins to half an hour, not the RST-73 type. One or two conversations a day is all I expect.

That said, I get an answer 90% of the time when responding to a CQ. I have had no problem reaching Eastern Europe using from 1.3 to 5W. QRP requires a bit of thinking about propagation, band choice and timing. It's not like using 250W. You can spend a lot of time looking if you look at the wrong time on the wrong band. I am sure you know that. You say you tried QRP, how long did you try? How many times? I just came back from a week-long camping trip and made contact with a friend 830 miles away twice a day, every day, once in the morning and once in the evening, with a radio the size of a pack of cigarettes and an output of 4W. Not once did we not make contact. I even had a couple QSOs with Hams in France and Italy, and of course, a bunch of others in the U.S.

Anyone wanting to fill their logbook with 30 seconds-long QSOs won't like QRP. Contesters won't like QRP, though there are QRP contests... Anyone with enough patience to experiment and find the best combination of rig and antenna system will succeed, and quite well. A station that works well using 250 or 100W might not be efficient. When you reduce power, that's when you'll notice. When you start with QRP, you won't make contact until you get the antenna system right. Once you do, you will get repeatable results. If you have to use a tuner, you are already setting yourself up for failure.

I am not boasting here, but simply saying that QRP works for me, and it works for anyone willing to try hard enough. It's not "plug & play" like buying an off-the shelf 100W rig, and expensive antenna, checking your SWR and go.. But that's what's so interesting about it. You can do what a $5K station does with $200 worth of gear, most of the time, and that is awesome to me. My most powerful radio outputs 12W, and I'll never need more than that. My level of frustration: ZERO.

To anyone who has "tried" QRP and got frustrated, I urge you to try again and spend more time experimenting. Even if in the end you decide it's not for you, if you were successful, you will have learned enough to make your next QRO operations even better. You might even save a few thousands by selling your big amp, not to mention lower your electricity bill!

Gil.
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pmraiders

Posts: 47




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« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2013, 12:01:50 AM »

Just an update for you guys. I ended up returning the IC-7000, it was not going to fit my needs.

I bit the bullet and ordered a KX3 from elecraft. I assembled it yesterday evening and was able to get on 40 meters this evening. I have had several successful net checkins and QSOs up and down the west coast. It is obvious that 12 watts is less than ideal, but I am already satisfied with the performance of the radio. Maybe in the next few days I will find another way to hang my dipole so I am east-west oriented instead of north-south Cheesy

I am looking forward to adding a 100 watt linear amp to my little radio, but for now this is great!

Jordan
KG7DBM
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GILGSN
Member

Posts: 199




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« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2013, 12:48:26 AM »

Hello Jordan,

You might want to experiment with your antenna and maybe other ones. Try a bit longer with 12W. You might find that you don't need an amp at all after all....

Gil.
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K5LXP
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« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2013, 05:46:31 AM »

I ended up returning the IC-7000, it was not going to fit my needs.

I'm curious - in what way?

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM

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LA9XSA
Member

Posts: 376




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« Reply #27 on: May 16, 2013, 04:48:35 PM »

The 7000 is a great radio, I've used it myself, but the user interface is pretty complicated, which is perhaps to be expected from such a feature rich radio in form factor that's made to be put in a car. The KX3 user interface on the face of it seems much more intuitive.
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pmraiders

Posts: 47




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« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2013, 01:08:15 AM »

I ended up returning the IC-7000, it was not going to fit my needs.

I'm curious - in what way?

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM



I wanted something portable too, and if I am getting something portable I might as well have a full sized base unit.

Instead I got a KX3 and planning on an amp so I can power through the noise at home.
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WB0CJB
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Posts: 38




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« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2013, 12:08:06 PM »

Like the others i agree that you should look for a good 100W radio, be it a recent model or an older one. Whatever your budget will allow. 100 watts will get you lots of contacts, both CW and SSB. When you want to play with QRP turn the power down and see what the QRP can do.

I have run 100W rigs for many years and in the past few months gotten the itch to turn the power down and see what I could do with QRP. I use either a TS-520S or a Drake TR-4C and both rigs work great , even for their age. There will be days where the QRP is tough to hear, even on CW. On SSB you might think you're shouting over the noise of a jet engine with all the kilowatt and beam stations out there. But other times QRP will shine and you will feel guilty when you're running 100W. I have worked hams running 2 watts on SSB and some do have a beam for an antenna (I use a vertical).

Good luck and hope to see you on the bands!
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