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Author Topic: High power or nothing...  (Read 7471 times)
KF7PCL
Member

Posts: 5




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« on: January 08, 2014, 05:13:58 PM »

There seems to be a certain crowd that believes that you MUST run an amplifier to make any contacts at all.
This thread over at QRZ started off already to a bad start discussing an known LID op but it got worse from there

http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php?412644-Ten-Ten-Finally-Took-A-Stand/page24

I took a stand to one poster that seems to grasp the concept that you don't need kilowatts to make contacts and then
a bunch of KW defenders came out of the woodwork.

Don't get me wrong. I am not against amplifiers and I have used every power level from 1w to 500w
and been on the receiving end of QRP signals as well.
It makes sense just to use the power level right for conditions.

Some of the posters are even advocating NO power limits. It is sad that so many operators are inconsiderate for others
and they can ignore good practice or even rules at will.

This might be the wrong section, but I thought it might be the best place to get some differing opinions
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KE7TMA
Member

Posts: 471




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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2014, 05:49:28 PM »

I regularly get QRMed by DXers who hear a contact in progress.  Reverse beacons and DXMaps makes it very easy for people to see a DX station that's active on a given frequency and then just start hammering away with the CQs, and they seem to do this without noticing that there is a QSO in progress.
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W7ASA
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Posts: 226




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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2014, 06:34:56 PM »

Unfortunately, all those technical questions about dB , power and received signal strength required to pass the ham test is quickly forgotten by many.  Power is handy on occasion to overcome noise at the receive end, or if you're in a marginal propagation path and not going to change to a more favorable band/time, but only a little.

Many hams do not realize that increasing power from 100 to 1000 Watts is only a receive gain of 10dB : slightly less than 2 S-units of difference for a ten fold increase in power. If a KW station is received S-9, at 100 Watts the same station will be slightly over S7. Not a lot of difference. If he's S-1 at 100 Watts, then the KW will make the same situation just under S-3: not a lot of difference - really, because there is a poor path between the two stations on that band and that time.

I'd rather head them brag about excellent receivers, which is MY favortie place for low noise, high gain and selectivity.


73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._  ._

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N4OI
Member

Posts: 208




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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2014, 07:48:12 PM »

Unfortunately, all those technical questions about dB , power and received signal strength required to pass the ham test is quickly forgotten by many.  Power is handy on occasion to overcome noise at the receive end, or if you're in a marginal propagation path and not going to change to a more favorable band/time, but only a little.
Many hams do not realize that increasing power from 100 to 1000 Watts is only a receive gain of 10dB : slightly less than 2 S-units of difference for a ten fold increase in power. If a KW station is received S-9, at 100 Watts the same station will be slightly over S7. Not a lot of difference. If he's S-1 at 100 Watts, then the KW will make the same situation just under S-3: not a lot of difference - really, because there is a poor path between the two stations on that band and that time.
I'd rather head them brag about excellent receivers, which is MY favortie place for low noise, high gain and selectivity.
73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._  ._


This truth can be easily proven by monitoring one's S/N db on the RBN… Amazing that there is often very little difference from my 100w K3 to my 20w Century 21 down to QRP at 5w or less…   But as Ray says, there are a few occasions when more power is needed to get the job done…

73
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AF5CC
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Posts: 862




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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2014, 08:16:16 PM »

And switching from SSB to CW is like going from 100 to a 1KW, and a whole lot cheaper!

John AF5CC
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KF7PCL
Member

Posts: 5




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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2014, 09:34:56 PM »

Quote
I regularly get QRMed by DXers who hear a contact in progress.  Reverse beacons and DXMaps makes it very easy for people to see a DX station that's active on a given frequency and then just start hammering away with the CQs, and they seem to do this without noticing that there is a QSO in progress.
Exactly ... Too many hams use high power without using a receiver to listen
 Cry

Quote
Unfortunately, all those technical questions about dB , power and received signal strength required to pass the ham test is quickly forgotten by many.  Power is handy on occasion to overcome noise at the receive end, or if you're in a marginal propagation path and not going to change to a more favorable band/time, but only a little.

Many hams do not realize that increasing power from 100 to 1000 Watts is only a receive gain of 10dB : slightly less than 2 S-units of difference for a ten fold increase in power. If a KW station is received S-9, at 100 Watts the same station will be slightly over S7. Not a lot of difference. If he's S-1 at 100 Watts, then the KW will make the same situation just under S-3: not a lot of difference - really, because there is a poor path between the two stations on that band and that time.
Agreed. But they just seem to be ignorant to the truth.
Of course power helps if you are right at the edge of the noise, but what is the point using high power if you are already out of the noise?
Quote
I'd rather head them brag about excellent receivers, which is MY favortie place for low noise, high gain and selectivity.
At my location I usually have S0 noise from 40-6m on multiple antennas and rigs.
I know some people don't have as good of locations, but still you should always work on improving your receive as at least as much as you work at improving transmit performance.
Quote
And switching from SSB to CW is like going from 100 to a 1KW, and a whole lot cheaper!
I have worked Japan on 6m CW with 100w and 4 ele @ only 12 ft
Obviously that would not have happened on SSB

It is worth your time to learn CW if you haven't already

From the linked thread:
Quote
Motto: Never run QRP when a kilowatt will do.
Very sad to have mentality like this


I
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N4DSP
Member

Posts: 148




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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2014, 01:53:00 AM »

N4OI's comment would make an excellent Topic not only on the QRP Forum but also
the AMP Forum.


Unfortunately, all those technical questions about dB , power and received signal strength required to pass the ham test is quickly forgotten by many.  Power is handy on occasion to overcome noise at the receive end, or if you're in a marginal propagation path and not going to change to a more favorable band/time, but only a little.
Many hams do not realize that increasing power from 100 to 1000 Watts is only a receive gain of 10dB : slightly less than 2 S-units of difference for a ten fold increase in power. If a KW station is received S-9, at 100 Watts the same station will be slightly over S7. Not a lot of difference. If he's S-1 at 100 Watts, then the KW will make the same situation just under S-3: not a lot of difference - really, because there is a poor path between the two stations on that band and that time.
I'd rather head them brag about excellent receivers, which is MY favortie place for low noise, high gain and selectivity.
73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._  ._


This truth can be easily proven by monitoring one's S/N db on the RBN… Amazing that there is often very little difference from my 100w K3 to my 20w Century 21 down to QRP at 5w or less…   But as Ray says, there are a few occasions when more power is needed to get the job done…

73
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WB0FDJ
Member

Posts: 141




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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2014, 04:29:16 PM »

Funny that this topic came up.

Two days ago I worked a guy in Colorado on CW from here in frosty Minnesota. He was running 700 watts and I was running a Rockmite at 700 milliwatts.
We both had a good laugh. Oh, he gave me a 539 but "solid copy" report.
I too have nothing against guys with amps, but heck, as long as Rocky can get me through, I'll stay with it. If the power ever goes out I'll still be making Qs.

Doc WB0FDJ









q
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W4KYR
Member

Posts: 537




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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2014, 05:24:09 PM »

There seems to be a certain crowd that believes that you MUST run an amplifier to make any contacts at all.


If people want to run amplifiers, so be it. But it isn't required unless maybe a ham is trying to get Japan from the East Coast on 160 meters. Even then, they are better off spending money on a really good antenna system.
 
Anyone could make contacts without using an amplifier, without using 100 watts, 50 watts, 25 watts or 5 watts.  There are ham ops using PSK31 running a few watts into an indoor antenna mounted to the kitchen table making contacts all over the world.

A small trail ready Henricks, Elecraft or Youkits CW transceiver running a few watts can work the world, and run all day on a Gel Cell battery in the park (or all week with an addition of a small solar panel) and everything could fit in a small computer bag, along with a couple of dipole antennas..




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Still using Windows XP Pro.
NO2A
Member

Posts: 779




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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2014, 08:29:11 PM »

It really depends on your antenna situation. If you`re used to getting s9+ signal reports with 100 watts or less,then no reason to run qro. If on the other hand,you`re used to getting 559 or less reports,nothing wrong with using qro. I`ll respond to anyone I can hear,but many don`t want to deal with a 339 signal. I do respect both sides.
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NO2A
Member

Posts: 779




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« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2014, 08:42:10 PM »

I often hear European dx comment on the high qrn level over there. They`re glad when a signal isn`t buried in the noise!b]
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W1VT
Member

Posts: 825




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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2014, 09:00:44 AM »

I've heard that the noise level is really high in China--which is why they can be so hard to work--unless they are on a DX-pedition to zone 23.  One of the operators reported that they heard really well when they were operating from Tibet.   Grin
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W1JKA
Member

Posts: 1658




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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2014, 12:48:36 PM »

Four schools of thought and four sets of relative opinions on this Topic

1) QRO only ops.

2) Mainly QRO ops who dabble in QRP.

3) Mainly QRP ops who have an amp and use them when they think needed.

4) QRP only ops who have no amp (limited to 5/10 w) and are happy with the situation.

Which make TWO topic choices moot.
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KF7PCL
Member

Posts: 5




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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2014, 11:52:43 PM »

It really depends on your antenna situation. If you`re used to getting s9+ signal reports with 100 watts or less,then no reason to run qro. If on the other hand,you`re used to getting 559 or less reports,nothing wrong with using qro. I`ll respond to anyone I can hear,but many don`t want to deal with a 339 signal. I do respect both sides.
Exactly. There is nothing wrong with using an amp. But there is something wrong with using it just to do it
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KB1GMX
Member

Posts: 770




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« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2014, 10:26:10 AM »

For me QRP was never religion.  It was convenient as transistors (or MOSFETs)
to do 5W were easy to get, higher power not so much.   So many of my radios
were built with/as 1-5W radios.  That said I have amps for ALL of them to get to
40/100/200W range depending on band and needs.  I also have nominal 100W
radios in the mix as well.  I use what I feel like using at the moment and no
regrets on the power chosen.

That said... I've put more of my time into antennas and good feed lines
because whatever the power, I plan to deliver it all.  There is no harm, foul,
or rule saying that QRP requires a crappy antenna.  I had a lot of fun on 20
and 10M using a few watts SSB into a Mosley TA33jr.  Got me a lot of people
saying I was lying about the power.  There is no difference between radiating
25W ERP from a crappy antenna using a 100W radio and 25W ERP from a 4W
radio and a tribander.  Actually there is as the tribander made it easier to
hear in that direction as well.

Last year the club did field day as QRP and alternate power and for the HF
antenna we had 40m and 20M 2 element wire beams and a TH3 tribander
all about the same height.  Everyone wanted to use the tribander!  Likely
as not if the club goes QRP or 100W I can bet I'll be asked to bring the beam.

Short or compromised antennas often have a place but they all have the
same problem.  They are inefficient or have gain below that of a dipole.
If site or situation means that is the best possible do it as well as you can.

To that VE7CA wrote a few articles on simple to make 2 element triband wire
antennas.. (QST November 2001).  If you can get 45 foot wide space and
maybe 25-30ft up this will be an improvement over a simple dipole.

I cheat, I use gain at the antenna as none of the contests even talk about
antennas.  Ok,  there is one exception I know of where the antennas must
not be made of the usual materials!  Lookup the K0S Strange Antenna Challenge,
Note they don't care about power used. Wink


Allison/kb1gmx
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