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Author Topic: 160 meters QRP  (Read 8755 times)
WA9CFK
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Posts: 87




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« on: December 16, 2013, 01:09:48 PM »

I have had a bit of luck on 80 meter CW QRP. But I was wondering if anyone has tried CW QRP on 160 meters.

The band is a bit noisy but my QRO rig seems to work, however before I try it, I wondered if others have had much success? 

I have a inverted "L" antenna.
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1619




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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2013, 02:01:45 PM »

My limited experience, tried it  several times over a weekend 3 years ago at a nearby friends QTH (Maine) who had the antenna. Noisier than I was used to and not much CW activity anyway (day time/fall). I made no contacts. There is no interest among my QRP friends in this area due to the nature of operation i.e. small scale, portable, HOA, stealth etc. which limits long antennas. Give it a shot, activity and interest in your QTH area may be different.
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NO2A
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Posts: 760




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« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2013, 04:32:19 PM »

I`ve actually heard qrp stations,including beacons from Europe on 160. I never knew beacons even existed until then. For me 100 watts on 160 would be qrp...... Wink
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WD4ELG
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Posts: 863




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« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2013, 08:50:20 PM »

Try the Stew Perry contest Dec 28-29.  Low power ops will be quite frequent.  The key is a low noise receiving antenna.
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K5MQ
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2013, 12:33:00 PM »

I was on 160m last night for the first time in many years.  Made 3 QSO's on JT65 with 5 watts last night.  I am in LA and worked CO, TX, and MI.  Using a 150ft sloping random wire with the high end at about 50ft. Using a large MFJ tuner that I have had for over 20 years. I put a couple of counterpoise wires connected to the ground lug of the tuner on the ground, they are approximately 15ft and 40ft (I did not measure them).  I am able to tune the wire on all bands 160-10.  Worked many DX contacts on 10m cw last weekend running QRP here. 

The wire seems to be pretty poor on 160m but better than nothing.  Running JT65 seemed to work well with 5 watts.  I also made 6-8 qso's on 80m JT65 last night, 80m seems to work much better than 160m.

My old house was on 2 city lots (about .4 acres) and the new house sits on almost 4 acres so I will be getting some nice large wire antennas up soon.  Just got moved last week.

So try JT65 or maybe PSK31 on 160 while QRP.
K5MQ
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KB4QAA
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Posts: 2295




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« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2013, 01:46:38 PM »

QRP on 160m doesn't mean you can get away with casual/sloppy antennas.  Even at QRO, experienced operators know the key to even routine operations is good antennas.   

QRN is a significant force on the band to be contended with, typically with directional antennas (horizontal) for receive, and omnidirectional (vertical) for transmitting.  Given the physical dimensions of the wavelength it is rarely possible to have 'true' gain antennas.

ON4UN's "Low Band DXing" (not just about DXing, however) is the most up to date book available about 160m-40m and an enjoyable and easy read.  He has numerous antenna examples.
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WB8YYY
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Posts: 159


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« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2013, 05:31:33 PM »

One can make qsos on top band with qrp but if your antenna is not ideal of course its a double handicap.  I used to run the arrl contest qrp with a low wire and did ok.  A few days before this the qrp arci sponsors a 160m sprint.  The better stations in Europe can often hear my 5 watt signal into a small vertical from here on the east coast.  But often my 100 watt signal will not be heard.  160 would be an easy band for homebrewing a qrp transmitter. 73 Curt
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W8GP
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Posts: 192




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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2013, 11:28:04 AM »

QRP on 160 requires a good antenna and lots of patience! And separate receiving antennas will help a lot even when running QRP, it seem there are a lot of low power stations that actually hear quite well so being able to hear into the noise always helps. If you have the space, an inverted "L" is a great antenna.  Just a 1/4 wave wire run hap-hazzardly through the trees can work great, but you will need an effective ground system. My own antenna is more of an inverted "J", it is about 75' vertical into some tree branches and then just loops back down toward the ground. I have about 30 1/4 wave radials and with this set-up I have worked WAS several times and can work into Europe when conditions are optimum. I often participate in the CQWW 160 CW contest and usually manage to work 400-500 stations and 60 or so multipliers. There's not too much activity on a normal night but don't be afraid to call CQ.Have fun and I hope to work you in the contest.
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AE5X
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Posts: 367


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« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2013, 12:13:52 PM »

KT5X has worked all continents QRP on 160m:
http://www.ae5x.com/blog/2012/01/18/lowband-dxing-and-qrp/

John AE5X
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KU7I
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Posts: 122




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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2013, 03:39:14 AM »

About 18 years ago when I was still an ET while we were in port San Diego I did some QRP while on a slow duty day or two from the USS Peleliu LHA-5. I used the their main HF transmit fan which was attached towards the top of one of the masts and slanted down about 45 degrees to a much lower part of the superstructure. I do not know how long the fan was but the Navy designed it to work 2 - 30 mhz on xmit. I used an ICOM 735 at about 5 watts out on a few nights on 160 ssb. It worked like a flame thrower. I made contacts all up and down the west coast and into AZ and NV with those 5 watts. Of course having the Pacific Ocean as a ground plane did not hurt. So yes, it can be done with the right antenna, that is key.

Lane Ku7i
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W1VT
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Posts: 811




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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2013, 07:26:02 PM »

I have a 1985 card from Howie W2QHH, who ran 20 watts on 1.8MHz with a 264 ft End Fed Hertz.  He wrote on the card that he is up to 97 countries with QRP.

I heard him work Israel with good copy on both stations!  It was the last continent he needed for WAC on 160.

Zack W1VT
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N4DSP
Member

Posts: 124




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« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2013, 03:01:06 PM »

Hello. When you state you have had a bit of luck on 80 meter CW QRP what specifically do you mean?
QRP DXCC 80 Mtrs?   Worked 5 countries?  Worked 4 states?
"Bit of luck" doesn't tell us much.

Noisy? At this time of the year the band is quiet. Wait till the spring and summer.
Before you try your QRO rig in a noisy band which seems to work you wonder if other's
have had much success? I suggest you go to the ARRL DXCC standings for 160 and
that will answer your question. Better yet join a 160 mtr reflector and read the archives
and post your questions there. There is a lack of experience here on eHam and your questions
will be better answered with the REAL 160 MTR DXER's.



I have had a bit of luck on 80 meter CW QRP. But I was wondering if anyone has tried CW QRP on 160 meters.

The band is a bit noisy but my QRO rig seems to work, however before I try it, I wondered if others have had much success? 

I have a inverted "L" antenna.

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NO9E
Member

Posts: 383




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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2014, 06:21:29 PM »

I think that compromise antennas and QRP do not work together on 160m.

The key to an efficient antenna on 160m is the length of wires.  A short vertical with too few radials has very low efficiency, does not have enough high angle radiation to work close stations, and not enough punch to work DX. I had good luck with 2 x 150ft thin wires (Ga 30) just 20ft high. Cloud warmer but with high efficiency.

Ignacy, NO9E
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KL7CW
Member

Posts: 50




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« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2014, 11:54:55 AM »

Yes it is possible to make QRP CW QSO's on 160 meters, even some QSO's at well over 1500 miles.  I have done this with an inverted L with the vertical portion about 60 ft. and the "horizontal" portion very approximately 80 feet which actually slopes down significantly.  My radial system is very "casual" with perhaps 25 wires from 25 to 50 feet long where I could put them.  I live in rural Alaska, so rx noise is not a problem.  Nearly 100 percent of my QSO's are over 1500 miles since that is the nearest population center.  I am over 25 miles from the nearest saltwater body. 
Most QSO's are during contests, when the band is loaded with strong or very strong signals.  Unless conditions are quite good, even QSO's with my 100 watt rig are difficult or even impossible (remember nearly all stations are over 1500 miles). However when conditions are excellent (sometimes after midnight), QRP will get through.  On 80 and 160 meters if the path is mostly over water.....like Los Angeles, Hawaii, etc for me, that is a TREMENDOUS advantage.  It is easier to work a 5000 mile station over water than a 1500 mile station over land.
Also when I call "average" (possibly 100 W without separate low noise rx antennas) stations I have a very poor reply percentage.  However if I call the very strong stations "running" QSO's at high speed near the bottom of the band, they often come back to me.  The only disadvantage of this tactic is that I may need to call them after each QSO, until they work down the pile up.....possibly something like 20 tries in 10 minutes !!!!  This is not my normal QRP key to success on the other HF bands !!
    Good Luck,   it will not be easy !!!    Rick   KL7CW   Palmer, Alaska
If DX (lets say over 1000 miles) is not your object, you may find it MUCH easier to make QSO's if you set up dipole even if it is somewhat shortened (with coils),is at a low height (even less than 25 feet). it should yield many good QSO's within several hundred miles, and sometimes much further.  You will sometimes have good or very good QRP signals (S-9 ??) at several  hundred miles.  A vertical or inverted L will probably be rather poor at these distances. (Yes the horizontal portion of the L will give you some radiation). 
Do some research on low noise rx antennas such as loops, etc.  In my situation (with QRP) I rx much better than I tx, so have not yet bothered to set up a rx antenna.  I do turn off some of the lights and other electronics in my own home when I operate on 160 meters !!
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KU7I
Member

Posts: 122




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« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2014, 06:46:20 PM »

My Lightning Bolt 4 element 5 band quad was a fantastic receive only ant for 160-80-40. I accidently transmitted through it one time on 40 ssb with 400 watts and fried the balun...oops. Miss that company.

Lane
Ku7i
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