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eHam Forums => QRP => Topic started by: KE7WAV on September 13, 2010, 09:34:34 AM



Title: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: KE7WAV on September 13, 2010, 09:34:34 AM
I know this is old hat for most of you, but I finally got a QSO on 40M that was +1000 miles on 1 Watt of Power!  Making the story better was that my dipole was up only 11 feet and the other op was QRP as well, running a huge...4 Watts.  When I think of how little power that is-- I just have to smile. 
As I said old hat for QRP guys and especially the QRPp guys but I want to share with somebody who understands the thrill of such a feat. 


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: W5FYI on September 13, 2010, 09:51:15 AM
QRP-ARCI has an award for that, and you both qualify!

Ain't QRP fun?


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: KE3WD on September 13, 2010, 11:38:14 AM
Mode? 

Did it all the time on the CW bands. 

With real good antennas. 

If you did it using SSB phone, that would be exceptional. 



Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: KE7WAV on September 13, 2010, 12:10:54 PM
I forgot.  This contact was made using the CW.  As I said, this is something most of you have done numerous times.  Just the thrill of the first time for me making a 40M contact like this.


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: N3PDT on September 13, 2010, 10:08:56 PM
That WAS awesome! I'm new to QRP too, and am just amazed with what we can do with <5 watts.


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: AA4PB on September 14, 2010, 04:55:56 AM
If you think its good now, just wait until the higher bands open up. I've worked Va to Siberia on PSK31 more than once while running 0.75W output with about 2dB feed line loss to a Yagi.


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: W5ESE on September 14, 2010, 10:40:15 AM
As I said, this is something most of you have done numerous times.  Just the thrill of the first time for me making a 40M contact like this.

Congratulations!  :)

Hope you continue to have fun with it.

73
Scott W5ESE


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: KB9BVN on September 14, 2010, 04:29:56 PM
KE7WAV,

AWESOME dude!  Seriously, there is not much out there that can compare to a QRP to QRP CW QSO for excitement, especially when you get some distance.  Just stick around, if we ever start getting a few more sun spots things will be even better.

Nice job!

See the awards section at  http://www.qrparci.org



Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: N6EY on September 14, 2010, 09:55:38 PM
That is awesome!

Just the other night I was testing a new tuner and had a similar Q - worked KH6-land with 2.5W on a speaker wire dipole - at 8 feet on 30M CW. 

What a blast!  This QRP thing is addictive...  :-)


 


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: AD6KA on September 15, 2010, 11:35:56 AM
I was far, far from an "old hat at QRP" when I
accomplished this and go the award. I had just finished
building my Small Wonder Labs PSK-20. (The older version
like the one on the cover of QST so many years ago).
The smoke test & alignment went fine.
I hooked up my HF6V and heard VK2CA calling CQ
on 20m PSK31. So I called back to him with 3 watts
(from my CA QTH) never expecting a reply....
and he came right back to me.
My first ever QSO with that kit rig, and it's over 1,000 miles/watt!


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: W3JJH on September 16, 2010, 03:46:25 AM
Congratulations!  My first 1000 mi/W QSO was on 6 m SSB, 438 mi with 250 mw.

When a band is open, you can work the whole world on 20/17/15/12/10/6 m SSB with 5 W or less.


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: AURICH on September 16, 2010, 07:20:02 AM
I'm pretty new to HF and they say if you're new you should stay away from QRP because you'll get frustrated - what a joke! QRP is a ton of fun! Until they make a 100w rig the size of a paperback book and that runs for 12 hours from a small battery, QRP will be my choice. The first time I strung up my Par End Fed antenna to tune it, using my Yaesu 817 and AA batteries @ 1w, I checked into a SSB phone net in Oregon from my parents backyard in Denver, CO. This last weekend I worked Austria and Portugal from the same location with 2.5w SSB phone on 20m. You can read more about my QRP ventures on my blog: http://kd0fin.wordpress.com/


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: N3OX on September 17, 2010, 07:13:33 AM
I'm pretty new to HF and they say if you're new you should stay away from QRP because you'll get frustrated

Some people run antennas that are so bad that it turns a 100W signal into a QRP signal.  If they turn their power down to 5W, then maybe they're running 250mW effective radiated power.

Other people don't like to do much in ham radio besides yak with their buddies on 75m SSB.   That tends to require a fair margin of radiated power beyond what will "make the contact" to make long listening comfortable for everyone.

It's all about expectations and the activities you like to do.  20m DXing and domestic work with a decent antenna will let you work a bunch of stuff.  Trying to have long conversations on 40m or 80m in the summer with a poorly designed $79.95 all-band-wonder-wire from a company that doesn't know a thing about antenna design will make you tear your hair out.

So sometimes "QRP can be frustrating."

If you're willing to work to understand antennas and how they can be made better, though, 5W is plenty of power for many, many contacts on the higher ham bands. 


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: AA4PB on September 17, 2010, 08:17:11 AM
Most mobile HF operators are running QRP and don't even know it  ;D


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: IZ4KBS on October 05, 2010, 12:29:07 AM
Let me just throw my own experience into the pool. The other day I had a contact on 20m CW with G4UZN, some 800 mi away, with the meager 500mW of my Ramsey QRP-20 TX. The nice part of it is that we were both using wire antennas. The other side was running abt 10watts, into a low wire in the back-yard, while I was using my homebrew OCF dipole at 30', so probably a slightly better setup but certainly not a killer ant. Considering that I have 65' of feedline, an AH-4 ATU and a balun, I guess that by the time those 500mW had been across all that stuff my ERP must have been significantly less than that. I gave G4UNZ a respectable 569, while I was 559 on him. So much for those who say that running less than one KW into a beam isn't much fun  ;)


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: VE3PLO on November 03, 2010, 08:52:16 PM
Amps are for loosers ;) Their just like Viagra ;P


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: KD7KGX on December 02, 2010, 09:31:40 PM
Congrats on your contact.

I've worked Tanzania from here in a Seattle suburb on 5 watts (CW) and have also worked the South Pole on 5w using PSK31.

Think about whether you could see a 5w lightbulb on a satellite that was 10,000 miles away... I don't think you could. THAT is pretty amazing, isn't it?


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: N2EY on December 03, 2010, 03:06:10 AM

Think about whether you could see a 5w lightbulb on a satellite that was 10,000 miles away... I don't think you could.

Depends on what you're using for a receiver and what the background looks like.

Also consider that regular incandescent light bulbs are incredibly inefficient at converting electricity into visible light - about 5 to 10%, depending on the lamp size and other factors.

So to get 5 watts of light output, you need about 50 to 100 watts of input. And we rate lamps by input.

73 de Jim, N2EY


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: ZENKI on December 04, 2010, 01:20:59 AM
Send the bank check and flowers to the guys who do the receiving!!

QRP operators are "legends in their own minds""

If the operator who receives these  QRP operators turn their power down to the same level 99% of the time there would no contact, and that says it all.

I regularly test contest operators using QRP power,  there are a lot of alligator stations out there. Over the last 10 years in numerous
contests K3LR, W3LPL KC1XX and NQ4I have regularly received my 10 milliwatts on the first call. The rest with similar big signals  to mentioned  stations just cant hear as well. I could call K3LR with 5 milliwatts on 15 meters and get 5/9 so they have an exceptional receiving station even when conditions are bad.

Nobody on any simple wire antenna is going to hear me end of story.  I dont believe in QRP power, but I do believe in minimum communications power which I find is in the range of 20 to 50 watts. You can have a QSO  if you running a decent antenna.

A practical communication circuit needs a minimum amount of gain to complete the circuit, qrp power does not satisfy this requirement most of the time. Why beat your head against a brick wall when its just as easy running 20 watts?



Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: NU4B on December 04, 2010, 03:53:16 PM
Send the bank check and flowers to the guys who do the receiving!!

QRP operators are "legends in their own minds""

If the operator who receives these  QRP operators turn their power down to the same level 99% of the time there would no contact, and that says it all.

I regularly test contest operators using QRP power,  there are a lot of alligator stations out there. Over the last 10 years in numerous
contests K3LR, W3LPL KC1XX and NQ4I have regularly received my 10 milliwatts on the first call. The rest with similar big signals  to mentioned  stations just cant hear as well. I could call K3LR with 5 milliwatts on 15 meters and get 5/9 so they have an exceptional receiving station even when conditions are bad.

Nobody on any simple wire antenna is going to hear me end of story.  I dont believe in QRP power, but I do believe in minimum communications power which I find is in the range of 20 to 50 watts. You can have a QSO  if you running a decent antenna.

A practical communication circuit needs a minimum amount of gain to complete the circuit, qrp power does not satisfy this requirement most of the time. Why beat your head against a brick wall when its just as easy running 20 watts?



Is "ZENKI" a callsign? I don't think you know what QRP operation is all about. Any QRPer that doesn't recognize the receiving capabilities and operating abilities of the operator of the receiving station isn't much of a QRPer. My station doesn't much care what you believe - it operates quite effectively at 5 watts and under. It appears to me (at least in this topic) the only one beating their head against the wall is you. If your not interested - go do something that does interest you.

Practical communications also requires more than an electrical circuit - see if you can figure it out.

In the meantime congratulations to KE7WAV for the excellent work!

Also you will notice I don't post anonymously.


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: KH6AQ on December 05, 2010, 12:45:04 PM
On 15 meter CW I once worked Japan with 150 mW to a vertical. With 569 on a quiet band I beleive I could have dropped to (if the rig had that capability) to 5 mW and made the QSO. Rather than 40,000 miles per watt it would have exceeded 1 million miles per watt.

I regularly exceed 1000 miles per watt on 160 meters when running a good antenna.


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: AB9NZ on December 05, 2010, 05:04:28 PM
"Zenki", I work QRPers on a regular basis with my dipole, and it isn't charity, the joy is as much mine as theirs. I'm curious what mode you're working that no one can hear you. Very best of 73, de Tom AB9NZ  http://radiotelegrapher.posterous.com/


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: ZENKI on December 06, 2010, 01:17:46 AM
I work CW and I just find QRP work very frustrating. Its okay for low band interstate work, however it requires patience.
I like working 40 meter CW QRP within Europe or the states and its successful, however DXing is just  very difficult. Thats why I prefer minimum power communications which is usually around 20 to 50 watts. Most stations when not asked never notice the difference when I reduce my power from 100 watts to 20 watts.

I would like to see contest rules cater for this category  and set the upper limit of power at 25 watts MCP(minimum communications power) class. Have you every wondered why most military manpack HF radios are 20 watts, besides the issues of battery power? They do this for good reason because  on just about all HF bands 20 watts  can get the message through. 5 watts is a waste of space on SSB and trying even on CW for intercontinental  work.

I have a K2 and SGC2020 and I have taken my SGC all over the world  and it works great on SSB with simple antennas.

My  point was not really a criticism of people who choose to operate QRP, but the over simplification of how effective it is. Little credit is given to
the stations who  are doing the "receiving" and whose excellent stations and antennas contribute to much of the claimed success by QRP ops.

When I hear of a QRP station who can pick a frequency  and call CQ with 1 watt  and get many takers then I might believer. Invariably every QRP operator chooses the strongest possible stations to call  which automatically ensures  success. You will never hear of a QRP stations bragging that they just worked or called a station running a G5RV at 10 meters.

QRP has its place  on the ham bands just like any mode. However I dont rate it as an effective reliable means of communication. 20 watts of CW on any band is a reliable effective communications mode, even on SSB with simple antennas.


I have worked the East coast USA  and the West coast USA with a miracle whip and 5 watts,,,,,, so I dont need convincing that it can be done!
I just find with a  SGC 2020 and a end fed half wave wire I can just about exchange names and when conditions are good have a ragchew.

Anyway we all know life is too short for QRP, over over !


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: NU4B on December 06, 2010, 05:44:19 AM
Zenki,
 It seems your frustration led you to some generalizations that aren't true. You can't pick some QRPp power level and make general statements. QRP operation is not for everybody. The difference between operating at 1 watt and 5 watts can be dramatic. Just like the difference between operating at 5 and 25 watts. If your comfortable operating at 25 watts out - do it. QRP has been defined for clubs, awards, and contests at 5 watts (10 wats PEP), but that doesn't mean 25 watts compared to 1000 watts isn't QRP.

If your going to DX at standard QRP levels (or lower) you have build a fairly efficient station and learn to know what to do. I think most QRP DX'ers wouldn't say DX'ing is too difficult to do. (If were too easy everybody would do it.) Once you understand that the difficult part is overcoming the competition, not that you can't put a signal into a particular DX location, half the battle is won. Listen to the pileups on any DX'pedition and you will hear many QRP'ers working the DX station. They know what they are doing. Blasting your way through a pileup doesn't work.

There are QRP DX'ers on the DXCC Honor Roll. I have called CQ with 5 watts and generated a pile up. To be honest I have never tried it at 1 watt or 5 milliwatts. (I have worked DX contests with 500 mW.) 2 way QRP contacts happen all the time. Many of these QSO's are made using simple wire antennas. "Great receiving" antennas aren't always on the other side. Did you ever consider a well built, well placed dipole and a couple operators paying attention to propagation will result in a succesfull 2 way QRP QSO?

So if your happy with 25 watts and it works for you that's great. But don't dismiss QRP'ers because YOU find it too difficult. Instead I would suggest you revisit your expectations and mental attitude when trying to work DX, revisit those lessons on how to work DX, antennas, and propagation. I've made over 14,000 QRP QSO's in the last 9.5 years - over 90% of these QSO's were DX contacts. There are many others that have been more successful than me. I've been doing this (operating QRP) for 25 years - if it couldn't be done, I and others would have given up long ago.

When I hear or see someone use the phrase "life's too short for QRP", that tells me all I need to know. I don't mean it to be insulting but phrases like that usually indicate someone that finds it easier to be dismissive rather than take the time to learn how. I hope you take the time to learn how because there's lots of DX out there to work and doing it with 5 watts or 1 watt or 500 mW is great fun and very satisfying - and you learn alot in the process.


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: AA4PB on December 06, 2010, 06:01:04 AM
"Most stations when not asked never notice the difference when I reduce my power from 100 watts to 20 watts."

20W to 100W is 7dB
5W to 20W is 6db

If they can't tell the difference between 100W and 20W then they shouldn't be able to tell the difference between 20W and 5W because its approximately the same amount of difference.





Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: ZENKI on January 01, 2011, 03:40:08 AM
When I hear you working a pileup of  QRP stations and simple antennas I will believe you. Again its nice taking the credit for the hard work that the  other station is doing the work with big antennas.

At least with 100 watts and a small tribander at low height you can can call CQ on SSB and get a replay and hold a conversation. You cant do this on QRP, when the other station is using simple antennas. Its hard doing this with 100 watts vertical to vertical antenna. Believe me I have gone through this when I was poor student, and I have been licensed for 5 decades. I own a K2 and do a lot of portable operating, but I am not delusional and want to be a sucker for punishment all my ham life.

I am happy that you enjoy QRP work and  thats the great thing about ham radio, we all can have the fun that we want. However if I was going to encourage newcomers to ham radio I would not be encouraging them doing it with QRP. I would encourage them to get a 1 kw amplifier and a 70 ft high tower that makes ham radio as much fun as sitting in front of the fire sipping fine wine and smoking a cigar, or whatever you think is the ultimate experience.

FRANKLY  I dont see how its fun repeating your name 10 times and and trying 15 times to get  your report through! You need  equipment that gets the job done and if that means 10kw ERP so bet it. Propagation is about the laws of physics and trying to bend them   by telling people that 5 watts does the job of a 1kw ERP station  is preaching physics voodoo. Reminds me of EME, i dont hear many EME QRP stations for very good reasons! However sometimes they get lucky when someone fires up a monster dish to make up for their ERP inabilities. Who is doing work  and who takes the credit? I vote for the big  gun who completes the circuit not the guy running on torch batteries on a buddy pole. If the big gun and his antennas were not there most QRP operators would just be part of the noise floor that nobody hears!




Zenki,
 It seems your frustration led you to some generalizations that aren't true. You can't pick some QRPp power level and make general statements. QRP operation is not for everybody. The difference between operating at 1 watt and 5 watts can be dramatic. Just like the difference between operating at 5 and 25 watts. If your comfortable operating at 25 watts out - do it. QRP has been defined for clubs, awards, and contests at 5 watts (10 wats PEP), but that doesn't mean 25 watts compared to 1000 watts isn't QRP.

If your going to DX at standard QRP levels (or lower) you have build a fairly efficient station and learn to know what to do. I think most QRP DX'ers wouldn't say DX'ing is too difficult to do. (If were too easy everybody would do it.) Once you understand that the difficult part is overcoming the competition, not that you can't put a signal into a particular DX location, half the battle is won. Listen to the pileups on any DX'pedition and you will hear many QRP'ers working the DX station. They know what they are doing. Blasting your way through a pileup doesn't work.

There are QRP DX'ers on the DXCC Honor Roll. I have called CQ with 5 watts and generated a pile up. To be honest I have never tried it at 1 watt or 5 milliwatts. (I have worked DX contests with 500 mW.) 2 way QRP contacts happen all the time. Many of these QSO's are made using simple wire antennas. "Great receiving" antennas aren't always on the other side. Did you ever consider a well built, well placed dipole and a couple operators paying attention to propagation will result in a succesfull 2 way QRP QSO?

So if your happy with 25 watts and it works for you that's great. But don't dismiss QRP'ers because YOU find it too difficult. Instead I would suggest you revisit your expectations and mental attitude when trying to work DX, revisit those lessons on how to work DX, antennas, and propagation. I've made over 14,000 QRP QSO's in the last 9.5 years - over 90% of these QSO's were DX contacts. There are many others that have been more successful than me. I've been doing this (operating QRP) for 25 years - if it couldn't be done, I and others would have given up long ago.

When I hear or see someone use the phrase "life's too short for QRP", that tells me all I need to know. I don't mean it to be insulting but phrases like that usually indicate someone that finds it easier to be dismissive rather than take the time to learn how. I hope you take the time to learn how because there's lots of DX out there to work and doing it with 5 watts or 1 watt or 500 mW is great fun and very satisfying - and you learn alot in the process.


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: KB2FCV on January 05, 2011, 08:07:30 AM
I recently made my 1000 mile per watt QRP QSO. We BOTH were running QRP, but I was running 500mw. From NJ to Atlanta GA, the calculation worked out to about 1400 miles per watt. I was running into a dipole about 70 ft up on 40 meters.

QRP does take a lot of patience but it's rewarding when you make a QSO. I don't find I need to repeat 10-15 times to get a name or a report. Not everyone is running towers and beams, especially on the lower bands where I tend to do most of my qrp work.

Yes, there are situations where one station is doing most of the work, especially today in EME where you have single yagi stations operating JT-65 working the 'big guns'. In that respect I am striving to be a 'medium gun' with a 4 yagi array and full legal limit on 2 meters (hopefully QRV in the spring.. FINALLY). Other stations are also doing most of the work when I take a QRP radio out in the field with some sort of antenna tossed haphazardly into the trees.

When I operate QRP I tend to hang out in the QRP frequencies where I run into other people running QRP. Each of us are there because we want to be there. We're having fun.




Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: NU4B on January 05, 2011, 03:22:27 PM
When I hear you working a pileup of  QRP stations and simple antennas I will believe you. Again its nice taking the credit for the hard work that the  other station is doing the work with big antennas.

At least with 100 watts and a small tribander at low height you can can call CQ on SSB and get a replay and hold a conversation. You cant do this on QRP, when the other station is using simple antennas. Its hard doing this with 100 watts vertical to vertical antenna. Believe me I have gone through this when I was poor student, and I have been licensed for 5 decades. I own a K2 and do a lot of portable operating, but I am not delusional and want to be a sucker for punishment all my ham life.

I am happy that you enjoy QRP work and  thats the great thing about ham radio, we all can have the fun that we want. However if I was going to encourage newcomers to ham radio I would not be encouraging them doing it with QRP. I would encourage them to get a 1 kw amplifier and a 70 ft high tower that makes ham radio as much fun as sitting in front of the fire sipping fine wine and smoking a cigar, or whatever you think is the ultimate experience.

FRANKLY  I dont see how its fun repeating your name 10 times and and trying 15 times to get  your report through! You need  equipment that gets the job done and if that means 10kw ERP so bet it. Propagation is about the laws of physics and trying to bend them   by telling people that 5 watts does the job of a 1kw ERP station  is preaching physics voodoo. Reminds me of EME, i dont hear many EME QRP stations for very good reasons! However sometimes they get lucky when someone fires up a monster dish to make up for their ERP inabilities. Who is doing work  and who takes the credit? I vote for the big  gun who completes the circuit not the guy running on torch batteries on a buddy pole. If the big gun and his antennas were not there most QRP operators would just be part of the noise floor that nobody hears!

Well in my first post here I said that a QRPer that doesn't credit the receiving station with alot of the work is not much of a QRPer. And I never said anything about 5 watts doing the job of 1000 watts. As far as simple antennas - if I need a yagi to work a new one - I'll use it. I'm like Dxing and contests - I don't spend much time ragchewing. But it doesn't mean I don't ever chat with someone. If there's nothing going on DX wise - I'll call CQ and 99% of the time I'll call CQ QRP. In fact just recently I was calling CQ QRP and worked ZF2SC running QRP also. I was using a windom antenna. We had a nice little chat and didn't repeat anything 10 or 15 times. (And I got an awesome QSL card!) Also recently I called CQ QRP and worked a guy in Maine and we talked about HW-9s for awhile.

I also know that if you have been a ham for 50 years - you know better than some of the points you were attempting to make throughout this topic. haha.

My first rig was a HW-8 which I built waiting for my novice ticket so trying to tell me what can and can't be done with QRP is a bit useless. You can work the world with 5 watts.

Does that mean I think amps are useless? No. They have legit uses. But encouraging a newcomer to get an amp and tower? Your just substituting power for skill and knowledge. Any loser can key a transmitter. I would encourage newcomers to use very low power and help them learn about radios, operating skills, propagation, the rules and regs, learn about antennas, etc.. Then when they knew what they were doing I would let them loose with higher power - oh, wait a minute, we used to do that when we valued learning and education over the profits of big electronic manufacturers.


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: KE3W on January 05, 2011, 10:29:04 PM
Wow ZENKI - we hear you load and clear.  It is apparent you just don't understand the thrill of making a contact on low power.  The great thing about Amateur Radio is all the flavor's available.  You prefer high power - other's prefer low power - so be it.  Now, relax and have another cup of coffee.  You sure have a way of making a thread interesting! ;D


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: W7WIK on January 06, 2011, 07:26:15 AM
Wait til the solar cycle opens up... you'll be able to work the world with 5 watts into a wet string.  ;)



Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: KE3W on January 06, 2011, 10:22:33 PM
 ;D Bring it on! ;D

Wait til the solar cycle opens up... you'll be able to work the world with 5 watts into a wet string.  ;)




Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: KA4DQJ on January 11, 2011, 05:52:05 PM
Fun huh!?! Reminds me of my first QRP experience! 

23-years ago, 73 Magazine published a two-part article on how to build a "Pee Wee Thirty", a high performance one-watt 30-meter CW superhet transceiver.  No kit... the thing was built from scratch and involved drawing, etching and drilling the PC board, cutting up BIC pencils for use as coil forms, and re-winding mini-transformer cans to resonate at 10mhz. As a plus, the little rig even had an AM mode and tuned the entire 30-meter broadcast band.  The audio stage would even drive a speaker in addition to the headphone jack.  The entire rig was built in a Radio Shack project box.

I don't know how many hams built the Pee Wee Thirty, but I did.  The novelty of the rig too is that it worked on one of the new WARC bands... most hams were still using 5-band only HF rigs and only the newest and most expensive hardware had the new 30, 17 and 12-meter bands.  I know that the QRP rig I was building was the only WARC radio I owned!

It took over a year for me to build the radio.  It was after midnight on March 27, 1989 when I used it for the first time.  Running my puny 1-watt into a balun-less dipole at 40-feet, I called a short CQ on 10.105 with a straight key with no real expecation of a reply.  Surprise!   CT3FT, Cedric on Madeira Island replied and gave me a 569 signal into Tennessee. 

I have Cedric's QSL card on my wall.  Along with my very first QSO card, it's the most valuable one I have.

Sorry for getting long winded.  :)


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: KE3W on January 11, 2011, 08:01:53 PM
Great memories KA4DQJ - thanks for sharing them with us.


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: NU4B on January 12, 2011, 05:25:05 AM
Fun huh!?! Reminds me of my first QRP experience! 

23-years ago, 73 Magazine published a two-part article on how to build a "Pee Wee Thirty", a high performance one-watt 30-meter CW superhet transceiver.  No kit... the thing was built from scratch and involved drawing, etching and drilling the PC board, cutting up BIC pencils for use as coil forms, and re-winding mini-transformer cans to resonate at 10mhz. As a plus, the little rig even had an AM mode and tuned the entire 30-meter broadcast band.  The audio stage would even drive a speaker in addition to the headphone jack.  The entire rig was built in a Radio Shack project box.

I don't know how many hams built the Pee Wee Thirty, but I did.  The novelty of the rig too is that it worked on one of the new WARC bands... most hams were still using 5-band only HF rigs and only the newest and most expensive hardware had the new 30, 17 and 12-meter bands.  I know that the QRP rig I was building was the only WARC radio I owned!

It took over a year for me to build the radio.  It was after midnight on March 27, 1989 when I used it for the first time.  Running my puny 1-watt into a balun-less dipole at 40-feet, I called a short CQ on 10.105 with a straight key with no real expecation of a reply.  Surprise!   CT3FT, Cedric on Madeira Island replied and gave me a 569 signal into Tennessee. 

I have Cedric's QSL card on my wall.  Along with my very first QSO card, it's the most valuable one I have.

Sorry for getting long winded.  :)

Great story - thanks!


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: KA4DQJ on January 12, 2011, 11:51:08 AM
Thank you, guys.  The original paperwork for the Pee Wee Thirty has turned yellow and fell apart.  The ham who submitted the two-part article was AC9E, Dan Eggert.  I even sent Dan photos of my finished rig and communicated with him via snail mail for sometime (there was no email in those days).  

73 Magazine reproduced the PCB backwards, published a retraction, but never would print the correct image.  Anyone building the rig had to etch, drill and mount componets from a reversed diagram!  Also, the two-part article was published in September and October of 1988.  I remembered the first of 1988... funny what the mind will remember that isn't so.  So it took me 7 months instead of a year to complete the project.

I usd the rig for 5 years until I dropped it, making hundreds of contacts. I'd love to build another one if I could find a those old 73 magazines which haven't decayed from the acid-based paper they were printed on.  The little rig was a superhet instead of the direct conversion receivers we are more likely to build for for QRP work.  When it came to weak signal sensitivity, the Pee Wee was right up there with my Yaesu FT-401B and TS-520 which had not yet become anchors.


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: KC9TNH on January 14, 2011, 06:29:49 AM
Thanks for that great story! Too great not to go lookin'....

September '88, issue 336.  Now to actually find one, sounds like the 1st crystal radio I built in Jr High elec shop when I was 12, but on steroids in terms of functionality.



Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: M3FLP on January 17, 2011, 03:54:07 PM
I managed 1380 miles, 5W SSB, 20M into a Hamstick on a magmount with my 817 and I thought that was good lol?


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: N5XTR on January 18, 2011, 11:36:26 AM
My best qso was to West Virginia on .5w on CW.  I was camping and had ft817 in the tent with a hustler mobile antenna on 40m ground mounted with four speaker wire radials.  The best part is that KS8T was running a Heathkit HW8 at 2 watts.  We had a 45 minute chat til the band dropped.

That is excellent watts per mile for either station. 
1100 miles!


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: K7GLM on January 20, 2011, 11:54:29 AM
During the NAQP/Phone segment, I worked Hawaii on 200 mW on SSB. That's about 13,000 miles per watt from my QTH. Had a nice chat too, so it wasn't just a fabricated contest I-almost-heard-something qso. The radio power meter is calibrated with my HP432A, so I'm pretty confident about the low power level.

Having a well-wired tower & beam shooting over the ocean for most of the trip sure helps, along with a beach-mounted vertical at the other end. Hawaii, Alaska and Japan are all like local calls from here.

It may be a new personal best - need to check the old logs.   :)


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: KA4DQJ on January 28, 2011, 12:22:03 PM
I also bought an MFJ CW 30m "peanut whistle" transceiver many years ago.  The thing had a problem in that the frequency drifted worse than a politician's views.  I sent it back to MFJ 3-4 times but they never fixed it.  On the last shipout I got the rig back with a letter saying they had sent me a new rig as a replacement.  Well, that was nice of 'em!  Uh oh!... how come the "new" rig still has the same scratches on the underside of the case as my old one?  Well... maybe MFJ replaced the board.  Yeah, that would qualify as a new rig.  Sure.  I put the thing back on the air and the "new" rig drifted just like the old one.  I didn't sent it back after that; it reckon it's laying around in the junk barn somewhere, I probably haven't seen it in 15-years.


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: KA4DQJ on January 28, 2011, 12:25:26 PM
My best qso was to West Virginia on .5w on CW.  I was camping and had ft817 in the tent with a hustler mobile antenna on 40m ground mounted with four speaker wire radials.  The best part is that KS8T was running a Heathkit HW8 at 2 watts.  We had a 45 minute chat til the band dropped.

That is excellent watts per mile for either station. 
1100 miles!
 

I built an HW-8 over the summer of 1978.  It was a great little radio, and a whopping improvement over the HW-7 which had terrible microphonics.  If you rapped the case with the headphones one the thing would ring like the Liberty Bell.


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: KA4DQJ on January 28, 2011, 12:30:21 PM
Thanks for that great story! Too great not to go lookin'....

September '88, issue 336.  Now to actually find one, sounds like the 1st crystal radio I built in Jr High elec shop when I was 12, but on steroids in terms of functionality.



If you decide to build it remember that 73 Magazine published the PC board backwards. They acknowleged their error in a later magazine, but never reprinted the correct image even after I begged them to.  I was lucky in that Dan the author sent me a page with the correct orientation.  He said he never did get his original artwork returned so I received a copy of a copy.  I don't know if you could build the thing using the backwards PCB diagram as a guide.


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: KJ4EZX on January 29, 2013, 08:17:29 AM
YES! one watt 1,042 miles phone  kj4ezx to ne5v  during the fireside 2013 contest ... as I  am new to qrp and  I was very excited to do this .
hope to do much more next using cw ....I am still working on my cw
Terry kj4ezx


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: W4OP on January 29, 2013, 11:14:51 AM
Before I upgraded my 23cM EME station I worked  a lot of guys around the world with 100W at the dish- that works out to over 5000 miles/watt via the moon.

Dale W4OP


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: KU4UV on February 05, 2013, 09:22:37 AM
I consistently made contacts to the west coast during Field Day last year running about 4 Watts output from a Youkits 4-band transceiver into an inverted L about 50 feet up in the trees.  The whole setup I used, including the fan, was battery-powered.  This was west coast from southern Kentucky.  I even had a nice QSO on 30 meters on the Saturday evening of Field Day with a guy in Oregon.  I had a lot of fun running QRP CW during Field Day last year, now I am hooked!

73,
Mike KU4UV


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: K5BEZ on February 05, 2013, 01:41:43 PM
Congrats!


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: WA2TPU on February 05, 2013, 06:52:19 PM
To All who posted.....

What GREAT STUFF!! Congrats to ALL of you!! Isn't being a Qrper just a TON OF FUN!!?? I think so and obviously so do all of you who posted. Thanks for sharing your wonderful and memorable experiences. May the DX and Propagation Gods smile upon ALL of us in 2013.

Best regards and many 72/73.
Don sr. --WA2TPU --


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: W1VT on February 08, 2013, 05:27:11 AM
I've been able to work and confirm via paper QSL, WAS and WAC, as well as 50 countries 2 way QRP.

Last year I put up a 20 ft Flagpole vertical and was able to work two Japanese stations on JT65 running 5 watts!  It  is actually easier to work them on CW, but I wanted to see if I could do it. They aren't as far away as the VKs I worked, but they have more interference on their end, making it a tougher contact to make.  ;D

Zack W1VT


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: AK4YH on February 08, 2013, 01:36:56 PM
Yesterday I was chatting with a friend 830 miles away on 20m CW. We both had a good signal so he asked me to turn down power to 500mW. I set it to 100mW. No problem! That's more than 8000 miles per Watt! I was using my KX3 and a PAR End-Fed. We regularly try down to 1W or 500mW and 100mW was a good surprise. 1W is a good QRP power. Works almost every time.. I've never crossed the Atlantic with it, but 600 to 1300 miles is no problem.

QRP doesn't work? Yeah, right!

Gil.


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: W1VT on February 08, 2013, 03:54:55 PM
I just exchanged QSLs with MI6GTY, who runs 5 watts from his 817 to a wire antenna.  I was running 100 watts to an 80M wire vertical in a tree--so I've worked a QRP station across the pond on 80.  ;D
I've been running 100W to work 5BDXCC--takes so long to work DX on 80M QRP that it wouldn't be any fun...


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: G7DIE on February 27, 2013, 06:37:51 AM
My best 80m QRP contact was with a 7' antenna on the roof of my car, 10W SSB from NW England to Prince Edward Island, I wish I'd tried less power because I made it though the myriad of people calling  :)


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: K3CXG on February 28, 2013, 01:39:44 PM
Today, I worked Kiev, Ukraine from my car in the Washington, DC area with my FT-817 and hamstick clone on 17 meters - a very positive experience!  QRPers, if you're having a ball with the hobby, then pay no heed to the trolls, nay-sayers and haters.  Just enjoy!
73 de K3CXG/qrp


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: AE2K on March 13, 2013, 01:42:19 PM
Just got a great DX SSB contact from New York City to Croatia (9A3KS) on 15 meters, 21.292 @ 2.5 watts (4207 miles)

Band is open and I received a 57 report on my Yaesu FT-817ND with Buddistick portable antenna.

You don't need the big towers and amplifiers.

Eric (N2MVV)


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: NU4B on March 14, 2013, 03:33:40 AM
--takes so long to work DX on 80M QRP that it wouldn't be any fun...

You were joking.... weren't you?


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: MI6OTW on March 14, 2013, 01:54:11 PM
Recently I've worked v44kao on 17m, k2tqc and N0bui on 20m,all with 5watts from my ft817 and dipoles in the roof space. Its amazing where 5 watts will get you.
73 de paul .


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: W1VT on March 16, 2013, 03:00:54 AM
--takes so long to work DX on 80M QRP that it wouldn't be any fun...

You were joking.... weren't you?

No, part of keeping ham radio fun is balance.  You know, turning the radio when you have other obligations?

I'd often hear a juicy band opening and have to turn off the radio before working anything.  Not fun at all.

For me, the most practical solution was to buy a 100 watt radio--the first one I've owned in 34 years as a ham, replacing a long line of QRP radios.

I had blast this winter, not only finishing up my 40M DXCC, but actually working 105 countries on 80M  in just 7 weeks, and boosting my QSL total from under 20 to 100 in just 10 weeks.  Yes--I now have 5B-DXCC!

Many thanks to W9DX who went above and beyond to confirm my 80M QSO with K5LZO/KP5 way back in 1985--I was running just 0.65 watts, or 2400 miles per watt!

Zack W1VT








Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: W1JKA on March 16, 2013, 03:46:22 AM
Re: W1VT   " takes so long to work DX on 80M QRP that it wouldn't be any fun"

Please consider this: One ham's fun might be another ham's drudgery.


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: W7ASA on March 16, 2013, 12:50:13 PM
'...takes so long to work DX ... in QRP...'

Hmmmm, so just to confirm this: you're suggesting that as you increase transmitter power, the signal travels faster, thus requiring less time to travel to the distant station?  I seem to achieve the same result with low powered transmitters, but I do cheat by pressing down on the Morse key VERY HARD to increase my antenna pressure, causing RF to radiate just as rapidly as from a high powered station. Of course, there is a down side: my arm gets tired and I can damage a key by bursting one of the RF 'o-ring' seals and RF sprays all over the room, if I am not careful. I received a nasty burn on my knuckle that way & more than once too!   :o

(Is it April fools day yet?)


>73 de Ray
W7ASA
 


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: NU4B on March 16, 2013, 01:33:13 PM
--takes so long to work DX on 80M QRP that it wouldn't be any fun...

You were joking.... weren't you?

No, part of keeping ham radio fun is balance.  You know, turning the radio when you have other obligations?

I'd often hear a juicy band opening and have to turn off the radio before working anything.  Not fun at all.

For me, the most practical solution was to buy a 100 watt radio--the first one I've owned in 34 years as a ham, replacing a long line of QRP radios.

I had blast this winter, not only finishing up my 40M DXCC, but actually working 105 countries on 80M  in just 7 weeks, and boosting my QSL total from under 20 to 100 in just 10 weeks.  Yes--I now have 5B-DXCC!

Many thanks to W9DX who went above and beyond to confirm my 80M QSO with K5LZO/KP5 way back in 1985--I was running just 0.65 watts, or 2400 miles per watt!

Zack W1VT








Zach,
 I remember working you several times back in your QRP days. Remember the 80"s?  ;D

 It took me a long time to work 80M DXCC - about 25 years. But the problem was the antenna I was using. I had a HF2V. It a good antenna but its a rough go with 5 watts on 80. When I got the windom the world opened up on 80 and I was able to knock it out fairly quickly.

 I do understand where your coming from, you got to work with what you got. For along time the place I lived would only support a vertical and there was no room for a lengthy antenna. So the vertical was sort of a compromise on 80. It got me on the band but that was about it. My "reach" was to the western part of western EU, western west Africa, to the eastern part of the Pacific. On 40 and 30 the antenna performed a lot better - no surprise. At that point 5B DXCC was really never in the cards unless I went with more power.

 When I moved I bought the windom really to just get the vertical out of the yard. I was pleasantly shocked when I started to work some good stuff on 80. Then I started concentrating on 80 since that was the last band left to work 100 countries. (excluding 160  ;D). So during the winter I would get up past midnight and work what I could. I hit the big DX contests and then during the week I found much less competition as most people were asleep after midnight. (Obviously I didn't get up every night, but a night or 2 a week during the winter. If there was nothing new there I quickly got back in bed.  ;D)


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: W1VT on March 16, 2013, 03:35:50 PM
QRP 5B-DXCC is quite the achievement!

While Larry NU4B and Randy AA2U have done it, I'm not certain it is still achievable--unless you are willing to put up a serious antenna--like a four-square or vertical array of four 80M verticals.

The changes I see are more low band interference, spotting via the Internet, and more emphasis on working a DX station on every single band and mode.  And, I almost forgot, the Leader Board, so the big guns need to work you on every single band and mode you have available on your DX-pedition!

In the good old days, one could work some really rare DX-peditions rather easily once the pileups disappeared.  Nowadays, with many stations trying to work a DX-pedition 27 times, those times are becoming much harder to find. 9 bands x 3 modes = 27 QSOs.

Maybe it is just me, but it took a really long time to work 2 way QRP WAC--two of those contacts were 5000+ miles.  It also took a long time to work 1000 QRP ARCI members, all 2-way QRP CW.

Zack W1VT


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: W1JKA on March 17, 2013, 05:40:25 AM
  Perhaps it is time for a new forum: QRO-the world of 5 watts and above. Where TIME and EASE of doing so is the main priority of those wishing to collect all available wallpaper and DX entities.


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: W1VT on March 17, 2013, 06:29:45 AM
 Perhaps it is time for a new forum: QRO-the world of 5 watts and above. Where TIME and EASE of doing so is the main priority of those wishing to collect all available wallpaper and DX entities.

My idea for a new forum would be for those of us who are more interested in working QRPers than running QRP!  I get a big kick out of working QRP stations!

If you visit the QRP ARCI's award page that their DXing Awards they cleverly avoid the need for 80M DX contacts--folks are getting their 7Band WAC certificates by working all the higher HF bands, 40M through 10M.  It is quite the bummer to have your application returned because the award isn't offered!

In talking with my wife this morning, I realized that my perspective is different from most hams --I've had a stroke with severe ataxia, so I consider it to be quite the accomplishment to be able to do CW again, just as well as I did it before the stroke, after many years of slow  but steady rehab.   A big mistake made by many older adults in rehab is being too proud to do the very basics--it is actually true that you need to walk before you can run--I  had to learn how to walk as well.  Back when I had the stroke, many people mistakenly believed that you only had about 6 months to regain what you lost--after than you could expect little, if any, improvement.

Zack W1VT


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: W7ASA on March 17, 2013, 07:59:24 PM
Hi Zack,

All the best to you with your continuing recovery from that stroke.  Not to hijack this topic, but I had a 'minor' stroke last year and while almost all signs of it are now gone, I occasionally discover odd things, which showed-up afterward. For decades I routinely sent code with either hand on a straight key at good speed, switching hands mid-traffic as needed to write , eat & etc. without a break in tempo.  A few months ago when I began using a straight key again rather than my bug, I would switch hands as usual , but my right hand had a noticable 'studder' compared to my left.  Hmmmm, that was a shock.  So, just as you suggested, I had to return to the basics and in my case re-learn the fine motor control of the right hand at higher speeds in CW. Interestingly; my right hand on a Vibroplex did not change at all - the change was only when using a straight key right handed; is THAT strange or what?

Looking forward to working you on the air QRP, QRO or in between.


73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._





Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: W1VT on March 18, 2013, 04:20:53 AM
That is quite typical--while you can form new neural pathways to compensate for the stroke--they aren't hardwired like the original ones--you need constant use to keep them from being used for other purposes.

For me, finishing up 5B-DXCC when I did was great because it allows me to move on to outside activities--I keep in shape by growing 200+ rose bushes!  The neighbors love them!

Zack W1VT


Title: RE: 1000+ Miles on 1 Watt
Post by: K8AXW on March 18, 2013, 09:53:02 AM
Zack:  Found that 2 + 2 still equals 4.......finally dawned on me who you are.  We've emailed before at ARRL.  Don't know if you're still with them but at any rate, I wish you the best with your recovery.

Al - K8AXW