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Author Topic: Anyone in the CQWW with a simple QRP kit?  (Read 10856 times)
K0OD
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« on: November 23, 2013, 09:59:21 AM »

Since my previous DX contest effort, I upgraded my OHR-100A with the 10 turn pot, Digital Dial and outboard Timewave DSP unit.... all quite worthwhile.  I'm knocking down Qs at a decent rate on 40. But what I'd give for AGC in primetime! 

The test is almost half over. Conditions seem good. Worked 5 or 6 JAs this morning. 

Anyone else working this, or do I have the honor of being "The Weakest Contest Station in the World?"
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W1JKA
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2013, 11:07:04 AM »

Tried it this morning for an hour with my K-1 on 20m with my Hex, just way to many overlapping QRO boys even above 14.060-.068. Gave up and went back to 30m.
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K0OD
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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2013, 10:00:23 AM »

A problem in contests is that basic QRP radios don't cover the tops of CW bands. On 20 meters years ago, I recall finding great DX even above 14.100. On ten, DX can extend forever when propagation is at its best.

The OHR100 is better than most kits in going to 7.078 MHz, but even that minor restriction can be costly. Offhand, I recall working goodies ZD8M and 3D2R near the top of my frequency range. 3V8BB in Tunisia was loud, but sitting just 300 Hz above my reach.

I'm at 177 Qs and 70 countries now which I would have never expected. Best contact had to be a UA9 in scarce zone 18. Toughest oddly was a loud 9Y4 that took most of an hour!

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AA4GA
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2013, 11:53:05 AM »

I've been on some, but not seriously, as I'm recovering from the flu.  Using the KX3 at 5 watts into an 80m doublet I've been mostly looking for a few new band-countries.  I've worked 57 Qs so far.  Last year with the same setup (hey, I've had the KX3 for a year now!) I had 3x the Qs, but it was still a very casual effort.  The year before, with the FT817, I made 273 Qs, so for my three years of QRP CQWW I'm in a steady decline!  ;-)

Maybe next year I'll get serious!
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WD4ELG
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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2013, 09:22:07 PM »

Lee, I have the FT817ND and it is pretty neat for general use.  But I am thinking of getting something more capable (XYL looking for a gift for me).  I am wondering about the KX3, but I don't want to be restricted to just RTTY and PSK digital...would like to do JT65 also (currently I do that with FT817ND and SignaLink USB).  Are you "thrilled" with the KX3, or is it just kinda neat?
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AA5TB
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« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2013, 07:50:15 PM »

I didn't this time but I've ran the contest before with just my SW-40+ and solar power on 40 m. The rig had no problems with the big signals since all of the gain is controlled in front of the receiver and no AGC to get pumped by signals out of the passband. However, sometimes I can't turn the gain down fast enough for my ears when a kW station pops on.

It is a blast to operate big contest with such a simple rig though. It really gives me a feel for how little you really need for CW contests.

73,
Steve - AA5TB
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AA4GA
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« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2013, 08:17:22 PM »

Are you "thrilled" with the KX3, or is it just kinda neat?
I don't do any of the non-CW digital modes to speak of, but the KX3 is a superb radio - it is much better than the FT817 in every way - unless you want to operate 2m and/or 432 MHz.  You can read my comparison of the Yaesu and Elecraft rigs here:  http://www.aa4ga.com/2012/12/elecraft-kx3.html

GL!

73 de Lee
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KE7TMA
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« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2013, 09:24:54 PM »

Lee, I have the FT817ND and it is pretty neat for general use.  But I am thinking of getting something more capable (XYL looking for a gift for me).  I am wondering about the KX3, but I don't want to be restricted to just RTTY and PSK digital...would like to do JT65 also (currently I do that with FT817ND and SignaLink USB).  Are you "thrilled" with the KX3, or is it just kinda neat?

You can do any sound card digital mode with the KX3.  It does PSK31 and RTTY without a computer, but any sound card mode will work fine with it too.
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K0OD
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« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2013, 10:34:23 PM »

I've ran the contest before with just my SW-40+ and solar power on 40 m...
It is a blast to operate big contest with such a simple rig though. It really gives me a feel for how little you really need for CW contests.

No kidding Steve. I was just looking at the CQWW Contest database and see that my final score of 47,940  (183q/23z/71c) ranks 5th all time in the U.S. single band 40 QRP category. Antenna was just a DXE 43' vertical a long way from any ocean. Guarantee that none of the 4 stations ahead of me used a cheap kit transceiver.

My secret? For one thing I ignored the possibility that I might go deaf from the blasting in the headphones! 
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NU4B
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« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2013, 10:52:34 AM »

I've ran the contest before with just my SW-40+ and solar power on 40 m...
It is a blast to operate big contest with such a simple rig though. It really gives me a feel for how little you really need for CW contests.

 I was just looking at the CQWW Contest database and see that my final score of 47,940  (183q/23z/71c) ranks 5th all time in the U.S. single band 40 QRP category. Antenna was just a DXE 43' vertical a long way from any ocean. Guarantee that none of the 4 stations ahead of me used a cheap kit transceiver.

 

189 Qs?!?! 23 zones?!?!  71 countries?!?! Wow! Nice job! Very nice job!
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K0OD
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2013, 09:23:11 PM »

Larry, gotta wonder how necessary high end radios are to successful contesting. Wouldn't it be fun to equip a top multi-multi station with simple kit radios for a major DX contest?

How much better could I have done using a $10,000 radio with power reduced to 5 Watts? I know I could have worked 3V8BB and a couple more above 7.078. I surely would have taken fewer breaks caused by fatigue from kit radio audio. 

How about a contest class where ops build their radio from standardized kits starting 48 hours before the gun? (like Pinewood Derby in Cub Scouts)

Anyway, I'm in first place AND last place in the 40-m QRP category from the scores I've seen come in. 
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NU4B
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« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2013, 02:19:34 PM »

Yep, if I had 10 grand to spend on a new rig, I think I would spend it on antennas instead. (Not that I need $10000 worth of antennas.  Grin)
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KB2FCV
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« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2013, 12:19:41 PM »

This year I had some different goals for CQWW but next year I'm thinking a QRP effort with either my KX1 or Pixie II..
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WD4ELG
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2013, 09:04:50 PM »

NU4B, you nailed it.  Maximize the antennas as much as possible before putting more $$ into the rig.  It's all about the antenna.  Just ask WG5G who is Honor Roll with 5 watts and a LOVELY quad that he bought and later customized/expanded.  I am green with envy for his antenna.
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