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eHam Forums => QRP => Topic started by: KB3YLQ on May 06, 2012, 05:10:01 AM



Title: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: KB3YLQ on May 06, 2012, 05:10:01 AM
True or false?


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: KCJ9091 on May 06, 2012, 05:42:17 AM
It can be done.


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: KB3YLQ on May 06, 2012, 06:06:23 AM
That's what I've heard! I may spend the rest of my life trying to accomplish that. :)


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: G7DIE on May 06, 2012, 10:34:28 AM
I try my best to do just that, 25,000km with 500mW being my best, and just this morning I worked a number of VK stations with 5W and a home brew telescopic whip on my FT817, that's with SSB, I'd venture the possibilities are endless with CW ;)


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: AA4PB on May 06, 2012, 11:36:10 AM
It depends on the band and the antenna. I'd say that someone running 5W to a 3ele Yagi at 75 feet is probably putting out a stronger signal than someone with 100W and a dipole in the attic (depending on the attic).  ;D

Propogation is the "great equalizer". Someone with 5W and great propogation can be S9+10dB while someone with 1500W and poor propogation is only S2 (or not even heard).



Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: KJ6MSG on May 06, 2012, 11:40:35 AM
My second HF contact ever was to Russia with 5W SSB to a speaker wire dipole. Over 5000 miles on a crappy antenna! It can be done :)


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: G7DIE on May 06, 2012, 11:49:40 AM
If you really want big bang from little bucks, a vertical by the sea will give you a very low angle of radiation, that will give your signal the extra legs it needs to work the other side of the World, propagation not withstanding  ;)
My 500mW LP contact with VK6MV was made with a home brew vertical antenna mounted on my backpack, and yes I was by the sea shore, of course that's not much help if you live inland  :D


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: KB3YLQ on May 06, 2012, 01:26:56 PM
My second HF contact ever was to Russia with 5W SSB to a speaker wire dipole. Over 5000 miles on a crappy antenna! It can be done :)

Wow that's pretty good! And yes, the three most important words in ham radio are antenna, antenna, and antenna.


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: KB3YLQ on May 06, 2012, 01:28:53 PM
I try my best to do just that, 25,000km with 500mW being my best, and just this morning I worked a number of VK stations with 5W and a home brew telescopic whip on my FT817, that's with SSB, I'd venture the possibilities are endless with CW ;)

Wow, that's awesome! 25,000km on 1/2 watt!


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: N2RRA on May 06, 2012, 09:19:24 PM
Instead of me explaining ,or claiming distances and QSO's around the world with 1/2 watt up to 5 watts I rather show you it could be done and none of it from home on a 3el. mono banded at 75 feet.

Go to YouTube and search "N2RRAny" to see how I work the world with wires, verticals, yagi's and from the mobile. All QRP from 2m SSB to 20m SSB and CW. Best part is breaking pile ups on both modes against QRO 100 watt'ers to kilowatt stations during contests, expeditions or casual operating. Excites me to think so many state it's either impossible or a waste of time.

I just love QRP!


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: G7DIE on May 07, 2012, 01:36:04 AM
Indeed, let the videos speak for themselves  ;)

G7DIE Youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/northern35s?feature=mhee)

I'll see if I can make and upload some more whilst here in Spain as EA3/G7DIE/P, wifi service dependent, it would be great to work any other QRP forum users.


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: AA4PB on May 07, 2012, 07:27:57 AM
Mobile ops do it all the time. 100W to a Hamstick = 5W ERP.  ;D


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: N2RRA on May 07, 2012, 08:27:30 PM
Mobile ops do it all the time. 100W to a Hamstick = 5W ERP.  ;D


That would mean if us QRP guys are running 5 watts we're breaking 100 watt'er pile up's and the world with 5 Mw ERP through a ham stick. WOW! :)

Working the world QRP is awesome! ;)


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: AA4GA on May 08, 2012, 07:03:32 AM
True or false?
True.  Go to aa4ga.com and click on "QRP DXCC" and see some pretty impressive totals (not mine!)...and be sure to submit your totals.

73 de Lee, AA4GA


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: W1JKA on May 09, 2012, 01:31:54 AM
TRUE, Plenty of operators out there with their QRP DXCC award with cw.


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: AE4RV on May 09, 2012, 07:24:25 AM
Of course it's true.


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: WB2WIK on May 09, 2012, 03:15:49 PM
It may be true, but "Why run QRP when a kilowatt will do?"


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: N2RRA on May 09, 2012, 05:27:20 PM
It may be true, but "Why run QRP when a kilowatt will do?"

The answer......

When you've gotten used to running a kilowatt working DX around the world isn't a thrill any longer QRP will bring the thrill back.


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: AA4PB on May 09, 2012, 06:14:41 PM
It may be true, but "Why run QRP when a kilowatt will do?"

Part 97.013(a) An amateur station must use the minimum transmitter power necessary to carry out the desired communications


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: KB3YLQ on May 09, 2012, 06:17:49 PM
True, lighting up my whole neighborhood with RF would make things much easier, but I love a good challenge. And my neighbors will appreciate not glowing in the dark! :)


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: N2RRA on May 09, 2012, 11:27:34 PM
True, lighting up my whole neighborhood with RF would make things much easier, but I love a good challenge. And my neighbors will appreciate not glowing in the dark! :)

Like the last sentence. LOL!


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: K0YHV on May 10, 2012, 08:19:58 AM
I am up to 86 countries on QRP, with either wire antennas or simple 2 element beams that are below 30 feet in height.  Still a thrill to work someone using 5 watts.  Haven't got 7O6T from Yemen on QRP yet, but did get them with 100 watts and a low dipole.  As others have said, CW works much better than SSB when you are running low power or compromise antennas.  PSK and RTTY aren't too bad either at QRP levels.

John AF5CC


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: NU4B on May 10, 2012, 10:02:57 AM
It may be true, but "Why run QRP when a kilowatt will do?"

Just goes to the mindset out there.

The vast majority of the time the only time you need a kilowatt to work DX is to break through the other DXers using amps to break through other DXers using amps to break through the other DXers using amps to ............

Many QRPers have worked 7O6T. I worked them last night  - I called up a QRP buddy down the road and he worked them also. I was running a K2 @ 5 watts to a HF5B and he was running a K3 @ 5 watts to a windom.

For DXing a efficient 100 watt station should be all you need 90% of the time. You might actually need some knowledge of propagation.

I haven't run over 5 watts since 1985. I work plenty of DX and have 16,000 DX QSO's since 06/2001. I'm at 293 DXCC countries and 39 zones (5B WAZ count - 162) and have 5B DXCC (with 30, 17, 12 meter endorsements) with 800 individual DX call signs. (If I worked 1 call sign on a particular band I didn't count it on any other band) I'm not using any huge antenna systems. A HF5B, a windom, a HF2V and some homemade 2 element vertical wire yagis.

There are 3 entities I worked with a 100 watts in the early 80's that I haven't worked QRP - Heard Island, Crozet Island, and Navassa Island.

I'm not trying to brag - others have done much better than me. I'm just trying to point out that this "I need an amp to work DX" myth is so wrong. What you need is an efficient station and a knowledgeable op.

The way I see it you can take that amp money and build an great DXing station without an amp - or make the amp suppliers happy and give them your money. (Are there reasons to run a kilowatt - sure - I'm not convinced DX'ing is one of them.)

Of course telling everybody you own an "x" company amp is good for the ego. :>)


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: KH6DC on May 10, 2012, 01:53:46 PM
What's the definition of QRP?? Is it less than 100w?  Less than 10W?? or Less than 5W??  I've heard different stories from ham buddies on QRP.

73 de Delwyn KH6DC


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: N2RRA on May 10, 2012, 02:14:30 PM
What's the definition of QRP?? Is it less than 100w?  Less than 10W?? or Less than 5W??  I've heard different stories from ham buddies on QRP.

73 de Delwyn KH6DC

On SSB a 10w rig is considered QRP because voice average is only about 5 watts. On CW ,or any other digital mode would be 5w or less. Running QRP 5w SSB voice your actually only getting about 3 watts or so out.


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: ZENKI on May 22, 2012, 01:17:32 AM
A technically ignorant comment, really. RF at ham power levels causes no harm. You neighbors are glowing in the dark from having their cell phones stuck to their ears!

The last thing we need is hams contributing  to the fear mongering surrounding RF radiation.


. And my neighbors will appreciate not glowing in the dark! :)


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: ZENKI on May 22, 2012, 01:30:06 AM
QRP, is a waste of time in the real world. Try calling CQ running QRP and see how far you get. IF QRP was so easy and effective  you would certainly have people answering you especially DX.

 I subscribe more to the  minimum necessary power for communications philosophy, this to me is 20 watts of output.   It would be nice of  all the various contests organizers introduced such a category. 20 watts  is the power level that other hams  will respond to your calls because they can actually hear you and not rely on ESP. You  can  easily work DX on 20 meters by calling CQ on SSB, you cant do this with 5 watts or less. A horizontal dipole at 30 ft and 20 watts is a lot of fun.  Most military forces around the world have chosen this power level for their manpack HF radios for the reason of effectiveness and battery life. IF they  wanted more power  they would have demanded it a long time ago. I have  HF manpack and have worked the world with the whip from 30 meters to 10 meters on 20 watts. If I reduce my power to 5 watts, its a total waste of time.

Its darn shame no ham manufacturer makes a decent 20 watt HF manpack style radio like the mil manpack radios for ham use.  Try 20 watts instead of 5, its still QRP even thought its not techically legal QRP, you will have far more enjoyment at 20 watts. SGC  had the right idea with the SGC2020 transceiver.


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: W8JX on May 22, 2012, 05:33:04 AM
Running QRP 5w SSB voice your actually only getting about 3 watts or so out.

When you take a average reading this may be true but most of the "intelligence" in a SSB signal is in PEP peaks so this claim is misleading.


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: G7DIE on May 22, 2012, 06:46:04 AM
QRP, is a waste of time in the real world. Try calling CQ running QRP and see how far you get. IF QRP was so easy and effective  you would certainly have people answering you especially DX.

 I subscribe more to the  minimum necessary power for communications philosophy, this to me is 20 watts of output.   It would be nice of  all the various contests organizers introduced such a category. 20 watts  is the power level that other hams  will respond to your calls because they can actually hear you and not rely on ESP. You  can  easily work DX on 20 meters by calling CQ on SSB, you cant do this with 5 watts or less. A horizontal dipole at 30 ft and 20 watts is a lot of fun.  Most military forces around the world have chosen this power level for their manpack HF radios for the reason of effectiveness and battery life. IF they  wanted more power  they would have demanded it a long time ago. I have  HF manpack and have worked the world with the whip from 30 meters to 10 meters on 20 watts. If I reduce my power to 5 watts, its a total waste of time.

Its darn shame no ham manufacturer makes a decent 20 watt HF manpack style radio like the mil manpack radios for ham use.  Try 20 watts instead of 5, its still QRP even thought its not techically legal QRP, you will have far more enjoyment at 20 watts. SGC  had the right idea with the SGC2020 transceiver.

I'm not sure of the reasons behind your posting, this is the QRP section, the challenge is to work the DX with as little as possible, if it wasn't we might as well call it the QRO section and try and work the World with 1kW.

I've said it before in other threads, I've worked 25,000km with 500mW SSB, and no I don't expect to do this every day, and on every band, that's why it's a challenge, it's like fishing with minimum equipment rather than a deep sea trawler, it's in the challenge, not the certainty, that excites ;)

I'm currently working in Spain and using the callsign EA3/G7DIE/P and I'm still able to work VK6 long path from NE Spain with 5W and a home brew six foot whip, if such things take your fancy, there's a photo on my QRZ page.



Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: NU4B on May 22, 2012, 10:41:24 AM
QRP, is a waste of time in the real world. Try calling CQ running QRP and see how far you get. IF QRP was so easy and effective  you would certainly have people answering you especially DX.

 I subscribe more to the  minimum necessary power for communications philosophy, this to me is 20 watts of output.   It would be nice of  all the various contests organizers introduced such a category. 20 watts  is the power level that other hams  will respond to your calls because they can actually hear you and not rely on ESP. You  can  easily work DX on 20 meters by calling CQ on SSB, you cant do this with 5 watts or less. A horizontal dipole at 30 ft and 20 watts is a lot of fun.  Most military forces around the world have chosen this power level for their manpack HF radios for the reason of effectiveness and battery life. IF they  wanted more power  they would have demanded it a long time ago. I have  HF manpack and have worked the world with the whip from 30 meters to 10 meters on 20 watts. If I reduce my power to 5 watts, its a total waste of time.

Its darn shame no ham manufacturer makes a decent 20 watt HF manpack style radio like the mil manpack radios for ham use.  Try 20 watts instead of 5, its still QRP even thought its not techically legal QRP, you will have far more enjoyment at 20 watts. SGC  had the right idea with the SGC2020 transceiver.

If you know what your doing, its not a problem. I can call CQ and get a little pileup going. Does it happen all the time? No. But then again, I've heard power stations call CQ until they give up. So I don't know how calling CQ is an indicator of anything.

There is no legal QRP power level. If you like operating at 20 watts go for it.


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: KE4YOG on May 22, 2012, 11:13:20 AM
I have worked Namibia with 5 watts through a pile up. It was on SSB also with a G5RV through a tuner. Don't want to hear it cant be done because it can. I have also worked Australia with 5 watts. No pile up this time but I will be in the pile and trow out QRP and often I will be worked because of that. Going through the log and I see the 3 Baltic countries, the Balkan countries such as Serbia. Also Ukraine and Russia also worked on 5 watts on SSB. It can be done. I have many more contacts with 10 watts SSB. Give it a try. The worst that happens is you have to turn up the power. There is so many ways to enjoy radio.


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: W2NFL on May 22, 2012, 06:25:58 PM

I have an ICOM IC 703 +
Using 10 watts or less with a 135 foot wire fed with ladder line, up in the trees at 35 feet I have worked the world.
Usually If I can hear a  contact I can work them with 10 watts or less. Patience is a virtue to break a pile up----- With good conditions I can work the world. Even with decent conditions I can work most  US stations using 10 watts. 
My antenna is nothing special............but it is very good and efficient and I have about $75.00 in wire and parts in the antenna.

I get a kick out of  working the world with the same power as my 2 meter HT.

I hear guys bragging about running 1500 watts when running 40 watts would give them a 5/9 copy. QRO is the way to go etc.

Once worked a guy 5000 miles away using a $5000.00 tower/antenna, 500 watt amp and a $4000.00 Icom . Power out was 10 watts on my Icom IC 703+.    I was 5/7 Copy.
Had about  10% what he had invested in his equipment.............I think the guy was shocked and almost embarrassed that I sounded so good with my basic/efficient equipment.

When I need to--- I will run higher wattage, but most of the time it is not necessary.

With 100 watts with a good antenna I can break most pile ups.

Ham radio still amazes me when I can take a small radio running on a small battery using a cheap wire and talk to someone around the world independent of anyone else.




Mike
K8MJM


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: KB3YLQ on May 22, 2012, 07:34:10 PM
A technically ignorant comment, really. RF at ham power levels causes no harm. You neighbors are glowing in the dark from having their cell phones stuck to their ears!

The last thing we need is hams contributing  to the fear mongering surrounding RF radiation.


. And my neighbors will appreciate not glowing in the dark! :)

It was a joke. :)


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: KB2FCV on May 23, 2012, 08:23:14 AM
I have a couple of friends who would work DXCC at QRP levels using their K2's during CQWW in November. At the time they were doing that, I had a temporary antenna tossed in the trees with my K2 and managed to work 30-40 myself during the contest. All QRP.

These days I am enjoying using my KX-1 with alkalines out on my deck with a small end fed wire/counterpoise (as suggested in the manual) tossed in the trees and see what I can get. I work easily into europe and the carribean so far as well as the US/Canada. I think on Alkaline I'm maybe getting a watt and a half out.


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: AA4GA on May 23, 2012, 06:47:22 PM
Speaking of ignorant comments....
QRP, is a waste of time in the real world.

Quote
Try calling CQ running QRP and see how far you get. IF QRP was so easy and effective  you would certainly have people answering you especially DX.
Happens all the time.  5 watts and an 80m doublet.

You do what you want and let me decide what is a waste of time for me.  Like SSB.  I don't enjoy it, but I don't go around bad-mouthing those that do...sheesh!


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: KB3YLQ on May 24, 2012, 04:22:03 AM
QRP, is a waste of time in the real world. Try calling CQ running QRP and see how far you get. IF QRP was so easy and effective  you would certainly have people answering you especially DX.

 

Going from 100 to 5 watts is a reduction of 13 dB. One S number on the meter is 6dB, so you're talking going from a 9 to a 7.

*edited for a typo*


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: AA4PB on May 24, 2012, 05:46:07 AM
My experience on 20M:
10W PEP SSB Va to Slovakia answered on first call.
700mW PSK31 Va to Ukraine solid copy (contacts with two stations).
Loads of other DX QSOs running 5W CW.

You may not do so well with a dipole in the attic, but I've still made plenty of 40M CW contacts out to 1000 miles running 5W to a low dipole (10 feet off the ground in some cases).


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: ZENKI on May 26, 2012, 04:16:00 PM
Well East Coast USA towards Europe you can do on a dummy load. What about longpath, or into the middle east  or any other hard path? On balance 20 watts makes more sense. We wont go on   about "only 3 db" this issues of only X db has been settled on many many threads. You try and  build an antenna with 3db of gain over a dipole then  you will change your appreciation of what 3 db is! Nobody is saying you cant make contacts with 5 or 10 watts, thats not the issue. The issue is that 20 watts a far more effective portable power limit.  Lithium iron batteries are everywhere these days. 20 watts on battery power  can be done easily.  I would like some company to bring out HF manpack radio that takes standard Dewalt 3 and 4 amp hour Dewalt drill batteries. You can find them anywhere in the world. Dewalts new slide in batteries could easily be attached to a manpack radio design.

Bottom line is that I would prefer a radio of 20 watts whose power can be reduced rather than a 5 or 10 watt radio whose power cant be increased so easily. I mean look at all these silly threads about using dirty and cheap CB amps on QRP radios. If 5 watt QRP was so effective why are so many people looking for cheap amps to boost their QRP radios. I am sure if these radios had 20  watts of output power nobody would  be asking for  or using cheap and nasty CB amps. The same  thing can be said for the power output of 200 watts. I used to run a 600 watt linear in my mobile. Now that I use a 200 WATT TS480HX radio, i have not used the linear in the mobile for 2 years.  20 watts can have same effectiveness as a 100 watt radio to the point where most people wont notice difference. There is  not ham radio transceiver on the market that has 1db accurate S-meter , most AGC circuits blur 6db into nothing.

I can buy a FT857 100 watt radio for not much more money than a FT817. Considering that you get a 100 watt amp why people bother with all these messy CB amp/QRP radios is beyond me. The same comments could be directed at
the Elecraft KX3, I am supposed to buy a KX3 and then use their clumsy 100 watt amplifier? I would rather use a FT857 and use the receiver attenuator for more dynamic range. Dynamic range is not a issue on small portable antennas.

We really need to put everything into the correct perspective before rushing out and buying cutsy radios and then  find  that they are as good as useless. Buy a radio that has the power to do the job be it QRP or QRO.


My experience on 20M:
10W PEP SSB Va to Slovakia answered on first call.
700mW PSK31 Va to Ukraine solid copy (contacts with two stations).
Loads of other DX QSOs running 5W CW.

You may not do so well with a dipole in the attic, but I've still made plenty of 40M CW contacts out to 1000 miles running 5W to a low dipole (10 feet off the ground in some cases).



Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: ZENKI on May 26, 2012, 04:55:21 PM
Well the problem is that  all  your well intentioned comments about QRP is misplaced and builds up a  lot hype that  you can enjoy  ham radio by screaming all day and not get any answer.

As hams we operate within the laws physics not within in the laws  of voodoo. I operate QRP/portable, however I am honest enough to know I would not chose this mode for daily enjoyment of HF ham radio. Now if  this  is how you enjoy ham thats fine,  all I am trying to do is not  promote QRP   as  money making industry selling  small antennas, cute radios and gadgets that cant work most of the time.  When  new hams buy this stuff it reminds  them  of when they were a kid, when their parents bought them a new walkie talkie for  xmas. All that they remember is screaming into  a radio, hearing people and not getting a reply. QRP is no different! Ask any foundation licence holder if he or she is impressed with  10 watts on HF! That should really answer your question.

We all make choices in our life and its free world, however in general we know that QRP operation is a lot of hard work. I would prefer to introduce people to ham radio with effective antennas, radios and an effective power limit. True legal QRP power does not  represent a practical  power limit for enjoying effective communications. The other point is that most QRP ops brag endlessly about who they contact however they never give credit to the guys who erected the big antennas and towers that enables them to complete the QSO. I dont read about QRP operators contacting stations with indoor attic dipoles using 1 watt. QRP operation works on the laws of physics and all QRP operations when making a declaration of contacts should also  mention the callsigns of who they contacted, because 80% of their success is the receiving station not the QRP stations effort! Why is the bragging rights all the QRP stations effort in all these forums?

When you think back when homebrewing  was the norm in ham radio in the good old tube days. Most people were running homebrew transmitters in the 20 to 30 watt  area. That was considered to be the normal every day limit not 100 watts. If all these people started and were legally  required to use less power like less than 5 watts most would not be in ham radio today. The same could be said for the American Novice power limit.  The novices in the USA never turned green or got killed by high voltage. Having such a silly limit as 10 watts for foundation license  holders in the UK is good  way to make people leave ham radio especially on HF. 50 watts on HF would have been a practical limit if you wanted such a limit.

I am realist not a suck for punishment and I will adapt my power and antennas to the conditions and not be bloody minded  about my power limit. Yes I do enjoy running  100 milliwatts and making SSB QSO to the other side of the world. However I would not recommend  QRP power to new hams. I see more smiles on kids faces sitting on my 20 meter stack running a 1kilowatt during JOTA than them struggling with a FT817 with a piece of wire running into tent.




I'm not sure of the reasons behind your posting, this is the QRP section, the challenge is to work the DX with as little as possible, if it wasn't we might as well call it the QRO section and try and work the World with 1kW.

I've said it before in other threads, I've worked 25,000km with 500mW SSB, and no I don't expect to do this every day, and on every band, that's why it's a challenge, it's like fishing with minimum equipment rather than a deep sea trawler, it's in the challenge, not the certainty, that excites ;)

I'm currently working in Spain and using the callsign EA3/G7DIE/P and I'm still able to work VK6 long path from NE Spain with 5W and a home brew six foot whip, if such things take your fancy, there's a photo on my QRZ page.




Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: AA4PB on May 26, 2012, 05:14:38 PM
"Well East Coast USA towards Europe you can do on a dummy load"

So what's the problem with working them using 5W if that's what you like to do? If you want to run a KW then go ahead. I have an Icom 756PRO that I often use but I also enjoy running QRP with a transceiver that I constructed myself. To each his own. Just don't tell people that running QRP will "result in screaming all day and not get any answer" because it just isn't true. Many interesting contacts can be made while running QRP if you choose to do it. Many people find it a lot of fun to run low power.


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: KE4YOG on May 26, 2012, 06:05:28 PM
As I have stated I have worked a fair amount of QRP. I also have a Kenwood TS480HX. It can be turned down to qrp levels unless that has changed since yesterday. I do not run QRP exclusively. I do run all my qrp on SSB. I am noted bashing CW users. I am trying to get good enough that I can use it. I have about 20 countries on QRP. From Northern Europe, Central Europe, Southern Africa and Australia. I do much better on 17 and up on QRP but I have also got Belize with 5 watts on 160. I just got my 817 so I will be able to try to go lower. I will try anything once or twice and if I like it I will try it more. I want to get better with code so I can work more DX. I have heard station running 1kw in contact that would could be handle with 100 or dare I say less.


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: K5MF on May 26, 2012, 07:28:06 PM
Yes you can work the world on 5 watts.  No argument there, but the fact remains that you can work the more often with 100 watts.  And you can still work the work the world more often with 1000 watts.  That is just a fact.  I think QRP is a lot of fun, but it is fun.  If I feel a high sense of urgency to make a contact, I prefer more power.  For example, we made a SOTA trip last year and it was my first.  I have the 817 and thought about taking it.  I am sure I could have made some contacts.  But then I decided I needed to be sure and took my 100 watt rig.  Yes we had to haul more weight up the mountain and I am sure thankful it wasn't one of those Colorado 14K mountains.  But I wasn't going to walk to the top wondering if I could make QRP contacts.  So yes QRP is good, QRP is fun, QRP is challenging, but it is not as reliable as higher power.  It simply isn't.  And that is OK, QRP for QRP's sake is great.  Have at it and enjoy.  Life is too short to be arguing about such things.

Tom


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: AA4GA on May 26, 2012, 09:11:18 PM
Well the problem is that  all  your well intentioned comments about QRP is misplaced and builds up a  lot hype that  you can enjoy  ham radio by screaming all day and not get any answer.
I don't scream all day and not get an answer...no, that would not be much fun.

Quote
I operate QRP/portable, however I am honest enough to know I would not chose this mode for daily enjoyment of HF ham radio.
And I'm honest enough to know that I have made this choice.  At least the 5w limit.  I do operate from home using an 80m doublet.  I have also operated using stacked yagis and legal limit.  And I am having more fun now at the QRP power level using simple antennas than I've ever had in over 35 years of radio.

Can I work everything with my 5 watts and simple antennas I could work when I used a kW and a 40m yagi?  No, of course not.  But I'm easily able to work enough to have fun.  Almost 130 countries in 35 zones in 15 months with less than outstanding band conditions.  And that's with a fairly limited operating schedule.       

Quote
True legal QRP power does not  represent a practical  power limit for enjoying effective communications.
If by "true legal QRP power" you mean the generally accepted limit of 5 watts, then you are absolutely incorrect.

Quote
The other point is that most QRP ops brag endlessly about who they contact however they never give credit to the guys who erected the big antennas and towers that enables them to complete the QSO. I dont read about QRP operators contacting stations with indoor attic dipoles using 1 watt.
Here's a reason I don't think you are at all in the QRP mainstream.  Many, if not most, QRPers like to work other QRPers and actively seek them out.  So, if you're not reading about QRPers contacting stations that are using small antennas, you're not reading the same forums I am.  You might want to check out QRP-L.  Or qrpspots.com.  Or qrpfoxhunt.org.  Or naqcc.info.  Or arsqrp.blogspot.com.  Or.....etc.



Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: AA4GA on May 26, 2012, 09:17:21 PM
Nobody is saying you cant make contacts with 5 or 10 watts, thats not the issue. The issue is that 20 watts a far more effective portable power limit. 

No, that is *your* issue.  The OP asked if one could work the world on 5 watts.  Nothing was ever mentioned about an "effective portable power limit" except by you.  1.5 kW is a more effective power limit than 20 watts.  So what?

The answer to the OP's question, as already proven, is "yes". 


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on May 27, 2012, 03:08:23 AM
Have you ever noticed that some people like to do things, and some like to say it cannot be done.

The Wright brothers were flying their qrp aircraft for two years before the newspapers and general public would believe it.
Even newspaper reporters who went and reported the flights, were reprimanded by their editors on their return, for making up stories.

The type of person who will spend endless energy on saying something cannot be done, or should not be done, is not capable of seeing beyond their own limitations.
If someone believes that 20W or 100W or 1000W are required for the enjoyment of ham radio, that person is a prisoner of their personal boundaries.

Some people who spend a lot of money on a high power radio, with massive antennas, will defend this expenditure with all sorts of superfluous and irrational arguments.
Science and mathematics will not be a factor in their arguments because their ego is on the chopping block.

To have a qrp station with a wire antenna work the same station that they do for a fraction of the price and power, they see as an attack on their purchasing decision.
They simply will ignore the fact that if they are using 1KW and get an s9+20db report, the 5W qrp station (with the same antenna), will get an S8 report.

If the 1KW gets an S8, the 5W will get an S4 - and 100W will get you an S6.
The difference is 23dB - this is not hearsay, or superstition, or the other station doing the work - that is science.
Of course, they will say that their 1KW will only be just above the noise floor, so the bar will be moved to placate their opinion.
Another old chestnut pulled from that dusty old drawer is that newcomers will become frustrated by qrp and leave the hobby.
Of course this is the much used "straw man" defence, where you set up a mythical newcomer who is fickle and will leave at the first hurdle.

But science seems a stranger to those QRO stations who insist the other station is doing the work, simply because they run QRO.
The fact that the antenna is used in receiving, not the linear amplifier seems lost in translation somewhere.

Like uncle Abner who complains about all those kids on his grass having fun, some people see complaining as problem solving.
They don't understand the concept of challenges being fun, and having your ham station in a backpack to set up in some isolated
stretch of wilderness as being exhilarating.
They would rather complain, about those qrp upstarts doing what he does, but with a power supply for a flashlight.

The good thing about the people who complain about QRP is that we will almost never find them far from their houses.
This is unlike other hams, who know the science, and use whatever power they consider necessary, whether 5W or 1KW,
and recognise that QRP is just another exciting facet of ham radio.

So let the complainers have their cliched mantra - the receiving station does all the work - life is too short for qrp - and the many
other sayings they repeat from other forums like sheep.

When wit is missing, repetition suffices.

73 - Rob


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: W1JKA on May 27, 2012, 03:38:01 AM
   I never quite understood the mantra"life is to SHORT for qrp".One of my ambitions is to stretch out life as LONG as possible especially at my age(over 60) which is one of the main reasons that I only work qrp.


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: AA4PB on May 27, 2012, 05:38:50 AM
QRP Operator's common sense rules:

1) If you hear a DX station at S2 and a 1000 station pile up calling him, your odds of a contact are not so good if you are running 5W. On the other hand, if he is S9 and few (or no) stations are calling him then your odds of a contact using 5W are very good.

2) A little strategy can help QRP DXing. If you discover his listening pattern and can manage to be where he is listening and few others are calling then your odds go up significantly. You don't always have to blast through the pile up with 1500W, you just need to be in the right place at the right time.

3) If you are running 75M QRP using a heavily loaded attic dipole then your odds of being a "big gun" 75M DXer are not good. If you are running 20M QRP using a Yagi at 60 feet then your odds of working DX go up significantly. Effective antennas are important when running QRP. If you loose 3dB of your 100W signal then you are still radiating 50W. If you loose 3dB of a 5W signal then you are down to 2.5W.

So the answer to the original question is YES. Given the right propagation and a decent antenna you can talk anywhere in the world on 5W.


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: KB3YLQ on May 27, 2012, 09:25:30 AM
Interesting discussion!

I'm not interested in contests or awards. Rather, I'm just interested in the fun of amateur radio! :) To me, QRP just seems like the equivalent of a treasure hunt, where you have to work and dig to find what you're after, but it's very rewarding when you do.

I know I won't limit myself. Eventually I'll turn up the power and work that end of things, too. I sure do like the idea of setting up a little portable rig out in a field under a nice shade tree with a wire thrown up over it, though! Even when you get no bites, fishing is still a lot of fun. :)


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: LA9XSA on May 29, 2012, 09:33:18 AM
It seems this part of the solar cycle I can work most of Europe from Norway all day and night with 5 watts SSB and a ZS6BKW doublet 6 meters up strung from east to west. Sometimes a little indoor dipole is enough. It helps that I'm just south of the Arctic Circle, so I'm near the grey line much of the night in summer.

That doesn't mean I have a reliable communications link to any chosen point 24/7 - it just means I can almost always talk to somebody somewhere. I go where the ionosphere takes me.

For DXing on QRP, it's digital modes and CW that work best. Even so I've worked a few DX contacts on SSB and 5 watts, all the way to southern Africa actually, but that was also helped by propagation and probably a good antenna in the other end. It was also helped by a good operator who asked if the frequency was in use and QSY'd when I said "Yes, it's being used to talk to southern Africa!"  :)

Reliable ragchewing and emcomm on local HF NVIS will require a 1000W amplifier, from my experience here. And even with that, we can get wiped out by aurora activity or other arctic effects, making even legal limit power insufficient for a point-to-point path - in those cases we have to use relays or linked repeaters.


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: N4EES on May 31, 2012, 07:28:17 PM
I live in an apartment building, surrounded by mountains. Three months ago, my landlord allowed me to put up a hex-beam, about 25 ft up.  The antenna is nice, but I am limited to 5 watts...anything higher causes RFI/TVI problems.  I can't seem to work the Japanese and other Asian stations the big guns can reach... but I have worked 62 countries in these three months.  My best, so far, have been Palestine, Yemen, Senegal, Algeria, Morocco, and Israel.

So, yes it can be done.  In my case, the nearby mountains have proven to be limiting, but the directional hex-beam certainly helps.  73,

James Garrison
N4EES


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: NU4B on June 02, 2012, 11:32:05 AM
I live in an apartment building, surrounded by mountains. Three months ago, my landlord allowed me to put up a hex-beam, about 25 ft up.  The antenna is nice, but I am limited to 5 watts...anything higher causes RFI/TVI problems.  I can't seem to work the Japanese and other Asian stations the big guns can reach... but I have worked 62 countries in these three months.  My best, so far, have been Palestine, Yemen, Senegal, Algeria, Morocco, and Israel.

So, yes it can be done.  In my case, the nearby mountains have proven to be limiting, but the directional hex-beam certainly helps.  73,

James Garrison
N4EES

Congrats on the great contacts. 7O is (was) one of the top 5 most wanted countries! I worked them with a K2 @ 5 watts and a HW-9 running 4 watts. My buddy NV4G worked them running a K3 @ 5 watts to a windom. I've seen many QRPers work them and also E40VB.

Wait.... that can't happen on a regular basis... can it?  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Good luck DXing - sounds like your off to a great start. By the way I'm in Knoxville, NV4G is in Seymour.  And good for your landlord! About 25 years ago I was renting a 4plex. Quite randomly I chose one that was in the back of the complex. The way it was built I was able to stick a HF5B (HF4B back then) on the balcony and a HF2V in my little yard and nobody ever saw either of them. I lived there for 7 years (before I bought a house) and worked the world with those antennas and my HW-9. 80 meters was shaky - didn't work much past the Caribbean, but the other bands worked well.


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on June 03, 2012, 02:39:21 PM
I have worked a Japanese ham who uses QRP with a fishing rod antenna (lowers wire down) out of his apartment block window at night.
Where there is a will, there is a way.

73 - Rob



Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: K5UNX on June 04, 2012, 07:07:16 PM
I have worked a Japanese ham who uses QRP with a fishing rod antenna (lowers wire down) out of his apartment block window at night.
Where there is a will, there is a way.

73 - Rob



Is this just a wire hanging out the window? Isn't there another "leg" somewhere? Counterpoise or something? Sorry I am not very knowledgable yet, just now studying for General test.

wayne


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on June 07, 2012, 03:51:27 AM
I have worked a Japanese ham who uses QRP with a fishing rod antenna (lowers wire down) out of his apartment block window at night.
Where there is a will, there is a way.

73 - Rob



Is this just a wire hanging out the window? Isn't there another "leg" somewhere? Counterpoise or something? Sorry I am not very knowledgable yet, just now studying for General test.

wayne


Hi Wayne,

Good question - I have not asked him about the other end - but I am sure he has a counterpoise in the apartment or some earth somewhere.
R.F. needs a return path and if you don't provide one, the coax will be used.
At 5W there is not much of a problem with RFI but for efficiency a good length of counterpoise wire is needed.
Also, he only works at night when the wire will not be seen, so he is what you call determined.
I have worked this guy on PSK31 from 20m to 10m, and he is sometimes S9 when conditions are good.

Other QRP stations I have heard regularly are a Ukrainian station on a ship who uses a sloping wire on 20m and he is most always a
great signal even when near Japan. I suspect the salt water has a lot to do with that.
There is also an Italian qrp station with a big log periodic who roars in on the gray line regularly.
I have also worked a german qrp station with an attic dipole.
I do, however, work a lot of PSK31 so these stations are mostly that.
Many PSK31 stations work around 30W and 5W is really not that much different in signal strength compared to that - around 8dB or about 1.5 S-points weaker.

Some digital modes such as olivia are even better for qrp - I worked one guy over 7000 miles who forgot to turn on his small linear and we were having a perfect copy with him running 1.5W.
SSB/Voice requires a pretty good overhead for comfortable copy, which is not impossible, but the conditions need to be good.
But with CW and particularly digital modes, qrp is not much of a handicap.

I have to emphasise again - when using qrp, you need to optimise the antenna/feedline system - this is the difference between a good and bad experience.
But the options on qrp are wider than when using high power.
For example - when I experiment with different antennas, I bring the two ends of the antenna down to the shack, clamp them with plastic bag bar ties to make a quick open wire line, and put this directly into the tuner on the desk.
This way the ATU makes tuning easy, and the open wire line makes the system efficient.

Doing this with high power is not impossible, but you need to take the high local energy field into account in your calculations.
So qrp, with its lower power, just makes some things easier - particularly for ad-hoc experiments.
I use a little LDG Z100+ ATU with an adaptor from PL259 to a set of banana/screw posts for connecting the open wire line.
I know the tuner is not a balanced type, but it seems to work fine for qrp.

By the way, I have just bought a new compact fold out solar panel, so my next project is to go completely solar powered for my ham radio.
I am using an old PDA circa 2006 with digital software for CW, rtty, and most other digimodes - so it takes very little power,
and I should be able to operate off the grid indefinitely.  
The whole setup fits in a backpack (or laptop case, if you strap the solar cells to the side).
So I am ready for the zombie apocalypse (hi).

73 - Rob


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: WB6THE on June 07, 2012, 06:36:16 PM
You can work the world on less than 5W. I just worked I5CDF in Florence on 20M CW
and got a 579 report. Rig in use was an SW20 running something between 1 and 2.5 Watts
into an OFC dipole that isn't resonant on 20M, not using an antenna tuner, and its
about 25 feet AGL in the attic. Rick was using a 2 element loop at about 85 feet
which I'm sure helped. But, yes, it certainly can be done.

Alan
WB6THE


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: KE4YOG on June 22, 2012, 09:19:40 PM
Yes you can scream all day and not get answered but that would get old. Just for S and G I turned to 40 meters. 7.150 to be exact. Called CQ and got PA0LEG. I know only The Netherlands. That works out to around 800 miles per watt. I thought the idea was to make the contact with the least amount of power needed. I must have missed something.

That being said QRP is not for every one. It is not always for me. That is the reason I have an TS-480HX. I enjoy trying. Every once in a while it works. And yes I have received stations on my dummy load. I called and called but they never answered. The point is that ham radio has so many facets. I am not a digital mode fan but I dont knock those that are. Try QRP. It is fun. Yes 20 watts is more power but that does not ensure that you will get the contact before I do or even that I cant get it at all. Just think all of my QRP tonight has been into a double length G5RV. I have heard them called dummy loads. The idea is to have FUN! This is a hobby until the stuff hits the rotating air moving system AKA the fan. Dont knock my parts of this great hobby and I will not knock yours.


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: G7DIE on June 25, 2012, 05:43:02 AM
In a moment of QRO madness I was using 100W whilst on my way home from work on Saturday morning around 04:00 UTC, a nice little pile up into NA ensued with plenty of West Coast returning to my call, one station that replied was WQ7X, using just 5W from his KX3, what is impressive with this contact is the fact that I have no gain to speak of on my mobile antenna, even though it is quite an efficient homebrew centre load, the solar data was dreadful, solar flux index around 89 and sunspot number 13, he was a respectable 55 with me ;)


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: KF7DS on June 28, 2012, 10:27:58 PM
In a moment of QRO madness I was using 100W whilst on my way home from work on Saturday morning around 04:00 UTC, a nice little pile up into NA ensued with plenty of West Coast returning to my call, one station that replied was WQ7X, using just 5W from his KX3, what is impressive with this contact is the fact that I have no gain to speak of on my mobile antenna, even though it is quite an efficient homebrew centre load, the solar data was dreadful, solar flux index around 89 and sunspot number 13, he was a respectable 55 with me ;)

Fabulous! I am in 7 land and that IS a long way

Don KF7DS


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: W8JX on June 29, 2012, 04:01:30 PM
In a moment of QRO madness I was using 100W whilst on my way home from work on Saturday morning around 04:00 UTC, a nice little pile up into NA ensued with plenty of West Coast returning to my call, one station that replied was WQ7X, using just 5W from his KX3, what is impressive with this contact is the fact that I have no gain to speak of on my mobile antenna, even though it is quite an efficient homebrew centre load, the solar data was dreadful, solar flux index around 89 and sunspot number 13, he was a respectable 55 with me ;)

Fabulous! I am in 7 land and that IS a long way

Don KF7DS

I am guessing this was 20 or 17 which makes a big difference here


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: G7DIE on July 01, 2012, 07:45:20 AM
Yes indeed it was 20m, it's the only band open to the West, from the car, at that time of day ;)


Title: RE: You can work the world on 5 watts
Post by: ND1W on July 03, 2012, 03:51:35 AM
Interesting discussion!

I'm not interested in contests or awards. Rather, I'm just interested in the fun of amateur radio! :) To me, QRP just seems like the equivalent of a treasure hunt, where you have to work and dig to find what you're after, but it's very rewarding when you do.

I know I won't limit myself. Eventually I'll turn up the power and work that end of things, too. I sure do like the idea of setting up a little portable rig out in a field under a nice shade tree with a wire thrown up over it, though! Even when you get no bites, fishing is still a lot of fun. :)

My sentiments exactly!!
I just got back from a week long camping trip, had my 817 set up on the picnic table with a 3 band dipole (10-15-20m) hanging vertically about 25 feet in a tree. Although the elevation of the campsite was only about 250' and it is heavily forested I still managed to contact the Ukraine, Belgium, France, and Italy as well as many states. It wasn't easy but making those contacts under far less than ideal conditions was AWESOME!!
Needless to say I had a lot more luck QRP'ing than fishing!