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eHam Forums => QRP => Topic started by: N4QCV on April 18, 2013, 11:03:40 AM



Title: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: N4QCV on April 18, 2013, 11:03:40 AM
OK I HAVE BEEN READING A LOT ABOUT QRP IT SOUNDS FUN AND I EVENTUALLY WANT TO GET A QRP RADIO NOW HERE IS THE DELEMMA.......THE ELECCRAFT K3 ASSEMBLED IS 999.00 THE YAESU 957 D IS 850.00 THE YAESU 817 IS 699.99.

NOW IM THINKING TRUE QRP WOULD BE RUNNING A 10 WATT OR LOWER HF RADIO LIOKE THE ELECRAFT K3 QRP OR THE YAESU 817 QRP......BUT!!!! IF YOUR RUNNING A YAESU 857 D AT 10 WATTS ALL DAY IN A REMOTE LOCATION LIKE A STATE PARK OR OUT IN A PARK FIELD OR A MOUNTIAN TOP WITH A SMALL LOW AMPERE HOUR BATTERY WHICH WOULD KEEP YOU FROM RUNNNING HIGH POWER AND KEEP IT ON 10 WATTS WOULD THIS BE CONSIDERED TRUE QRP TO THE PURISTS?

WHAT I AM GETTING AT YOU CAN BUY THE K3 QRP RADIO WHICH IS 10 WATTS FOR 999.00 OR A YAESU 857 D FOR 869.00 WHICH GIVES YOU THE POWER OF 100 WATTS OUT FOR LESS MONEY.

DENNIS
N4QCV


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: AA4PB on April 18, 2013, 11:21:57 AM
QRP is generally considered 5W or less, although some consider 10W PEP SSB to be equivalent. If you take a 100W radio and reduce the output to 5W then you are running QRP. However, a 100W radio reduced to 5W is generally not as efficient as a 5W radio running 5W. That means that the 5W radio will be easier on batteries for field work.


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: K4IA on April 18, 2013, 05:08:29 PM
QRP is 5 watts or less.  Having said that, your next question is, "What do I look for in a rig to do QRP?"  You could take any 100w rig and just turn it down.  But transmitting power is not the whole story.  If you plan on operating in the field, you want low current draw on receive and light weight.  Next question is how minimalistic do you want to go?  The Elecraft KX3 is an excellent rig with top notch performance that can do SSB.  The KX1 is smaller and CW only.  Other rigs will fit in an Altoids tin.  IMHO the Ic 703 and Yaesu 817 are not anywhere near the same ballpark. 


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: W7KB on April 18, 2013, 06:24:53 PM
My understanding is that qrp is 5w in CW mode and 10w PEP in SSB mode.If contest rules specifically state that one must use a 5w qrp power level,then 5w is your max output level.I own an Icom 703+ qrp rig that has a max output level of 10w.It is a qrp radio.So is the Elecraft KX3 which puts out a whopping 12w!..Believe me,my 703+ is not a qro rig and I do not bust pileups with it.To qrp purists,I am not operating @ a 5w qrp level,but I am certainly not running a qro radio either!...If this is the case,then please tell where a qro level output begins..Is it 10w?.. 25w?...50w?...100w?...or is it 500w?...It was a good question originally asked,but a 5w output difference to 10w certainly does not boost your signal to qro level.See you @ 10w qrp on the bands.Or is that qro?..73...Dennis W7KB.


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: F8WBD on April 18, 2013, 08:59:26 PM
As stated, 5-watts is CW QRP.  When I used a QRO transceiver, I reduced power to 5 watts. Not being an outdoor operator, a big rig posed no problem. However, it was tempting to go QRO having that power available.

When, for a number of reasons,  I made a commitment to QRP I decided to put the big rig away. Now the operating desk consists of an FT-817, OHR100A, and a HW-8.

I also re-defined what DX mean't to me on a personal level. It isn't of the "rare" variety. From France, working NA is DX as far as I am concerned. Hardly rare but my 2-5 watts crosses salt-water which, for me, is very sastisfying. Same from the opposite direction when I am operating from my USA QTH.

Something about pea-shooter rig power crossing salt-water....

72/73

 



Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: WB0FDJ on April 18, 2013, 09:49:13 PM
Well you have your technical answer. If you want to qualify for various QRP awards, such as WAS or DXCC, you have to run 5 watts, CW or less.

But I think F8WBD touched on a central issue for many of us. Satisfaction on a personal level. This is what keeps a lot of us in QRP operating. I have a very average station and antenna. From the midwest, with decent band openings, working Europe, Central and South America with 100 watts isn't really very much of a challenge. I constantly read reviews in the antenna section here on eHam that say things like, "I worked Italy running ONLY barefoot at 100 watts". Jeeze I hope so. Anyone with a radio and a few operating skills should be able to do that. But....working other continents with a couple or three watts starts to be, I dunno, interesting, fun and yes challenging. I really don't remember many of 100 watt contacts but many of the QRP ones really stand out in my memory. Like the day I fired up my DC20B at barely 1 watt, crystalled you know, and worked another ham in Maine who was running one watt portable. Hey at one watt, Maine is DX!  ;D

Getting to the original posters questions: what do you want to do with your radio? If you want to sit in a tent out in the wilds running off a battery you'll want to look for one set of technical specs: weight, size, power consumption among others. I'd probably take my FT-817 or a couple of my kit built SWR rigs. If you want to be a QRP contester, showing up in the big events there's a whole other list of concerns (such as filtering for example). For that I'd fire up the Flex 1500.  And, for what it's worth, decent reliable QRP rigs don't have to cost nearly $1000.

72 de WB0FDJ Doc


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: W1JKA on April 19, 2013, 02:53:52 AM
  Re: Dennis
       
     Your OP "reading a lot and sounds like fun"indicates that you have not actually tried QRP.You did not specify CW,SSB,PSK etc. preferences if any.As WB0FDJ above says why spend a +- $1,000.00 to test drive as of yet an untried mode which in truth is not for everybody. I often visit my daughter in Saratoga Springs,N.Y, I take my $100 MFJ 20 meter Cub/20m dipole ant/jump start battery and have no problem working 2x QRP into Europe and W.Coast CONUS.If you do not have a decent antenna and do not have a good basic understanding of band propagation QRP is not for you.


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: AA4PB on April 19, 2013, 07:23:52 AM
I sencond W1JKA.  Unless you have exess $$$, there's no need to invest $1000+ to give QRP a try. The CUB is a good choice as is the Elecraft K1 and KX1. These smaller rigs will also be a whole lot easier on batteries during receive. Personally, I also find that running a very basic radio (especially one that I have built) adds additional enjoyment to the fact that it is 5W.


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: WB6BYU on April 19, 2013, 08:34:32 AM
The definition of QRP depends what you want out of it.  It used to be that the QRP
category in ARRL contests had a 100 or 200 watt limit - it meant "turn off the amp."
The technical definition is "reduce power" (or "shall I reduce power?" if followed by
a question mark.)  Thus it is relative.

Many QRP awards and contests have a 5W limit (sometimes 10W PEP on SSB).
But that doesn't mean that the QRP police are going to arrest you if you exceed
that for casual operating, or that you can't use a higher power rig with the output
turned down.  In fact, that's a great way to see how well low power can work
without having to make any additional investment.  How far you decide to turn
it down is a personal decision (and depends on the capabilities of the rig as well.)
If you are in an interesting QSO and signals fade, you can always crank the power
back up to finish it.


There appear to be three aspects of operating that are associated with QRP operation,
but they can be practiced in any combination.

1)  Low power operation, for whatever value of "low" you choose.

2) Building your own equipment and/or assembling it from a kit.  This can be fun
at any power level.

3) Operating in the field.  This doesn't require QRP, but running low power with
a rig requiring minimal current certainly extends battery life.

I've done my share of operating out of a backpack from a number of places
including KL7 / KH6 / VK / ZL / VE1 and at least 8 States in the lower 48.  But
that isn't for everybody, and isn't a requirement to be a QRP operator.  I've
also designed and built my own equipment, but there's nothing against using
a commercial rig.  I've made a lot of QRP contacts using my TS-450.  And, if
you want to go to the field, it doesn't matter if you use a 100W rig and a
generator, as long as you have fun doing it.

And that is the key:  find what you enjoy doing and do it, while ignoring what
anyone who tells you how you SHOULD be doing it.  You can try 10W or 20W
if that works better in your circumstances.  You can operate from the "field" by
running an extension cord out to the back yard.  As you find what aspects you
really enjoy then you can optimize your equipment accordingly, but it needn't
involve any additional expense to try QRP to see how well it can work.


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: KU7PDX on April 19, 2013, 09:52:23 AM
Pretty much all contests and awards I've looked into define how many watts qualifies as QRP. I never assume how many watts QRP qualifies as, since the broad definition is completely up for interpretation.

Personally, I only own a Icom IC-735, so when I had some repairs done and an alignment completed, I requested that the low power level be set at 5 watts instead of the spec. of 10 watts. For events like Field Day, this will allow me to operate 1B Battery (though I think it's kinda silly to mandate a power level AND restrict the power source to something other than mains or a motor-driven generator).


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: W5ESE on April 19, 2013, 10:07:47 AM
For ARRL contests, the rule for QRP is 5w on CW or 5W PEP on SSB. In some other contests, 10W PEP on SSB is considered QRP. Think you'll find that for portable operating a dedicated QRP rig will provide dramatically longer battery life than a "dialed down" 100W radio (QRP rigs tend to use much less current when receiving than 100W radios).


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: W1JKA on April 19, 2013, 11:03:07 AM
  Dennis,your eham bio indicates that you now have access to an HF rig.If you have not done so you may want check out[QRP SPOTS.com]where you will find current QRP freqs.and paths in use by portable,pedistrian mobile and SOTA ops.especially on weekends.Tune in,dial down your power level to whatever your definition of QRP is and join the fun.


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: KB1GMX on April 19, 2013, 11:09:12 AM
the whole designation of QRP is concerned with output power.

Back in the day a two tube TX (CW) might run nearly 2W heating the tubes (filaments).
Your were 5W or less (input) if the product of the plate voltage and plate current of
the final was 5W or less.  With the right tubes and all it could be done with batteries
and it was!

Now we do QRP with all manor of radios and we look at output power.  

The only time it makes a difference what radio is used is if the whole show runs off battery,
especially if the battery is carried there with all the other gear.  IF I have a short hike
I can bring a 100W Eagle set to 5W and run a few hours on a 25AH gell.  Or I can use
a KX3 and a 3.2Ah LiPo and run the same number of hours and carry 30 pounds less up
the hill. In the end its still 5W and QRP.  And its all good fun.

Oh, and QRP never meant you must use a poor receiver.  So if your willing to carry
a big enough battery almost anything is game, at 5W or less TX power.  Use what
you have or pick what you will use most.   It may make sense to get a 100W radio
for QRP if the trips to the field intermittently and run from the house a lot.  If your
a hiker or  over night pack op maybe a ligheter radio and LiPo batteries are the ticket
for less weight.

In the end and even with 100W no one ever said you have to use it all.


Allison



Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: AA4PB on April 19, 2013, 12:32:33 PM
"Oh, and QRP never meant you must use a poor receiver"

True, and it never meant you must use a poor antenna either  ;D

In addition, low power consumption doesn't necessarily equate to a "poor receiver" either. Elecraft has done an excellent job of getting good receiver performance with low battery consumption. Things like DSP, synthesized VFOs, and lots of speaker-driving audio power generally equate to more power consumption but, while nice, aren't an absolute necessity for good receiver performance.


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: KB1GMX on April 19, 2013, 05:31:16 PM
AA4PB,

I do agree.  However many of the low cost QRP SSB radios have crystal filters
that are tepid at best with 4 crystals and 2.5khz and a shape in the 2.5:1 range
they are only ok at best.  A lot of other rigs deal with this and the receiver does
show that.  The K2 was proof of that, QRP and a killer receiver. 

I've also used the uR2 and uT2 pair with power amp enough to get the basic
boards 1mW up to (4W) it's gobs of fun.  RX is about 75ma, TX well under an amp.
Analog phasing, not a KX3 but still very good.

Then again I have a TenTec Triton (m540) and its your basic 100W solid state but RX
is very good and it only wants 250ma on receive.  Throttled back its' not half bad
QRP radio.

As to antenna, I was asked once if a K1 on a Tribander at 100Ft is QRP?  Of course
and it could both hear and be heard very well.   Regardless of the power you have
or use the very best antenna you can do makes it better.

Of course for run I run QRP mobile 40M using a KNQ7A and a homemade 7.5ft center
loaded whip.  That's doing it the hard way.  It's fun.  That and it's a good minimalist
battery operated 40M radio.

Allison
 


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: ZENKI on April 20, 2013, 08:05:56 PM
5 watts is adequate  for QRP CW
20 to 25 watts is adequate for  SSB QRP. If you use anything less than this on SSB you are really asking for frustration.

Its ridiculous that contest rules set the QRP power limit for CW and SSB at the same level considering the advantage that CW has over SSB. The contest SSB power level should be at least 25 watts.
I call this power level minimum necessary  communication power.  Minimum necessary power on CW is 5 watts and on SSB its 20 watts. Just arbitrarily setting the power level  in contesting  rules is
a flawed concept. Contesting was supposed to be about testing the effectiveness of antennas and modes of operation. Without applying some kind of weighting to the advantage of one mode over the other
shows how ridiculous the whole QRP operating bandwagon is. The objective should be to use the lowest effective power that allows communication, not just selecting a power level in some arbitrary manner.
Just like moon bounce requires a minimum ERP that depends on TX power and antenna gain, HF is no different. You require a certain level of power based upon mode and SNR to complete the hf circuit.

If the objective is to put yourself  through as much frustration by communicating with the lowest possible power and you enjoy doing so, thats another argument. Then why pick 5 watts  why not just set the power level down to say 1 milliwatt and  be a real QRP hero? We dont do this because that makes it too  hard, that will be the argument. So if it 1 milliwatt is  ineffective or too hard why not set the power on SSB or any mode for that matter to something that produces results. On SSB the QRP power level should be set at 20 to 25 watts not  something ridiculous like 5 watts  which assume 5 watts on SSB is as effective as CW. The 5 watt QRP argument is  flawed the moment you change the mode. What about digital and models like WSPR and PSK?  WSPR can achieve communications with  milliwatts   so 5 watts is excessive power for that mode.

We need to move into modern era of HF communication planning and adjust our ham radio notions, rules and pragmatism  about effective communications power  and not be stubborn  5 watt zealots trying to be supermen. The argument  that also is forgotten is that signal to noise ratio is getting worst and worst and worst in modern cities. The romantic image of  a ham or SWL listener running a end fed wire through the wooden house window frame and pulling in DX signals from all over the world is long lost. If you do this today in a modern house or city, all you will ever hear is S9  of noise. The same goes for  areas like the tropics. The low bands are covered with S9 static year round and we have some arrogant NA or European QRP purist that will tell you  that 5 watts is enough for SSB based on only what they know, not on the  real reality of  getting the message through to any place on the earth. I am not  a QRP hater. I enjoy QRP operations as well, but  anything  that I do I want to be effective at.  If this means  selecting the appropriate power level so be it. I consider power levels up to the power level of 25 watts to be QRP in this modern day and age when you consider all factors.   We all remember bygone sunspot cycles where you could work DX on 10 meters 24 hours a day with 5 watts, they gone and today we dealing with many challenges. We should change with the times  and be pragmatic. If i hear anyone with 25 watts or less saying they are QRP, I dont give them lectures about how QRP only starts at  5 watts. Same goes for HF mobile operators on the low bands. They are dealing with antenna efficiencies of less than 2 % with 100 watts of power they are QRP operators, do we give them a pat on the back say good job you doing amazingly well?  Most hams dont! The NTIA rules on  5mhz about effective radiated power and transmitter power is how we should determine power levels for all band for so called QRP operation. This is how professionals work out effective communications power  based on the requirements of the HF circuit and antenna gain. For hams  setting a limit like 25 watts is simple way of achieving this based  on what the average ham uses for antennas both mobile, portable and from a home station.

 The Military guys have known  for years that 20 to 30 watts on HF is all that you need even when using short tactical whips on HF manpack radios.  If  the military could have used 5 watts and make more battery space or light radios they would  have have done so a long time ago. They experts at what they do and 20 watts today is  considered effective communications power even when special forces operators have to get the message from 1 continent to the other. When the Falklands war was happening I could hear military HF clansman manpack communications all day and all night  long . If they were running 5 watts  I would have never have heard them from another continent.

5 watts Booooooooooo!


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: F8WBD on April 20, 2013, 11:28:03 PM
When a signal is not readable, it's not readable; five watts or five-hundred. If my QRP
signal is too weak to be copied, I don't expect to be answered.

Not complicated.

Depends what you want from the QRP hobby. I've lost contact with other QRPers and they with me. I'm not offended and hope they aren't, either. The nature of that type of operating is that QSB, QRN, QRM is undeniably more of a factor.

When it's rough, I pick up my Kindle, or listen to Chopin, or go for a walk with the YL, or crack a beer.

When I want to talk to friends, family members,  or a doctor, I pick up the phone.

When I am operating 2X QRP CW on 14.060, I am initially interested in basic exchanges of operating info. The usual thing. I'm not a particularly chatty type so I don't need 599+ everytime I am on the air. Nice but not necessary. If conditions are good, then further conversation is a possibility.

I always felt that QRP operating was a way of experiencing very early radio-operating.

When a contact wasn't guaranteed. And, a thrill when it occured.

72


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: AF6WL on April 21, 2013, 12:44:16 AM
I agree, the big thing with the manpack operation is the use of less than optimal antennas - short whips or improvised dipoles.
As an apartment dweller, I emphasize with them : an FT817 into a 12' whip or magnetic loop is not a recipe for reliable communications.

To level the playing field, perhaps QRP should be 5W ERP.


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: W1JKA on April 21, 2013, 03:53:26 AM
F8WBD defines it best for devout QRP'ers ,the only thing I can personally add is that it lets me as an ageing boomer to regress to my young teenage years when a lot of us experimented,made our own one tube 6L6 xtmrs,put up a piece of wire,made contacts and had a ball, QRP at its best and we didn't even know of the term.


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: WB6BYU on April 21, 2013, 06:55:34 AM
Quote from: WB6BYU

There appear to be three aspects of operating that are associated with QRP operation,
but they can be practiced in any combination.

1)  Low power operation, for whatever value of "low" you choose.

2) Building your own equipment and/or assembling it from a kit.  This can be fun
at any power level.

3) Operating in the field.  This doesn't require QRP, but running low power with
a rig requiring minimal current certainly extends battery life.




Actually I forgot a fourth one, that probably is most important:  attitude.

Obviously this varies from one QRPer to the next, but generally it involves wanting
to do more with less; finesse rather than brute force power; understanding the
technical aspects to choose effective antennas, reduce losses, make best use
of propagation, etc.;  and having operating be relaxing fun rather than a
furious quest to be top dog.

So when someone says "life is too short for QRP", they may actually be correct
for themselves.  Others of us would rather relax and enjoy life, and quite
possibly live longer because of that, so life ISN'T too short for QRP.


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: WB0FDJ on April 21, 2013, 12:18:02 PM

[/quote]



Actually I forgot a fourth one, that probably is most important:  attitude.

Obviously this varies from one QRPer to the next, but generally it involves wanting
to do more with less; finesse rather than brute force power; understanding the
technical aspects to choose effective antennas, reduce losses, make best use
of propagation, etc.;  and having operating be relaxing fun rather than a
furious quest to be top dog.

[/quote]

Very well put! A lot of whats written about QRP operating is appropriately focused on the technical issues. At the end of day, however, I think that it's these values that fuels our interest in low power communications. It's an old trusim: Less is More.

Doc


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: KB1GMX on April 21, 2013, 12:43:46 PM
Zenki is only half right.

The manpack boys use power to assure communication between two points.
This is military and lives.  Also the radio that can do 20W is a squad radio,
the rest of the guys may have an VHF/UHF HT in the 5W range.  Also they
are trained to keep it short and to the point even with encryption.

Amateur QRP operation is not based on the idea that contact with HQ from any distance is imperative.
We are amateurs and hobby.  Its fun to play.  Sometime the emergency need occurs and we do
what we have to with what we have often not a KW maybe not even 100W but it gets done.  

So what the military ops do with antennas that look cool but are often very inefficient wideband
without auto tune may or may not apply to hams.  Not to take we can't take a page from them
but our communications are usually to someone/anyone and rarely HQ. I have used PRCs, and
have a PRC1099 (5/20W SSB) and the radio is about 30 pounds with battery and antenna.  Its
heavy and fun.  But I'm not Army humping a 75 pound pack.   It is however worth reading
marine handbook MCRP 3-40.3B (can be found via Google or your favorite search engine)
for field expedient antennas.

If you don't like low power, thanks for playing.  

Seriously, QRP means a weak signal.  I know QRO ops that shun QRP and qrp ops but
willingly chase a rare island into the noise even when the island is less than 100W into a
makeshift antennas. Whats the difference besides attitude.

The 5W number is for contests to level the field so someone that thinks 20W is QRP enough
is not qualified as 5W.  Also 5 W is a convenient point where easily carried low cost batteries
with reasonable lifetimes (hours).  Of course you can run a 100W radio at 20-30W using
very expensive 4s2p Lipo but at some point watthours in the battery will collide with
power out and limit available transmitting time. Also most contests are a day or longer
with field day being a good example.

For some out in the grass, hills, or a picnic bench with a radio its all about what you can
or are willing to carry.  For others its how many QSOs you can run on a lantern battery.  
There are more than a few that do QRP due to conditions at the home
(RFI/HOA/CCR/Line noise) make portable operation a way to play.  

I have no problems working a pileup with 4-5W, good antenna and I just work the the
flow of the pileup and get the contact.  What I can't do even with power is wake a
dead band.


Allison







Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: KC9TNH on May 09, 2013, 12:27:33 PM
Something about pea-shooter rig power crossing salt-water....

72/73
;D Brings back memories of an "accident." Back after getting my civ license all I had as an 817, Elecraft T-1 tuner, and some wire w/counterpoise thrown up into a tree. Then I got a THP 45w amp but was tuning up at 1/2 power one day not to hurt the T1 and forgot to kick in the THP. The result was a short but pleasant QSO with a straight-key to the Seychelles on 2.5w. I don't chase DX, I don't live & breathe QRP, but you can be darned sure that QSO is still remembered & at the top of the list.

Continuing to balance the radio life with QRP (CW) has fostered alot of enrichment in researching antennas & propagation, which has enriched everything else. As Allison intimated, I'd rather put a small gel-cell & QRP radio in the ruck and haul more food & water, or just save my back.
Grand-kids have an expression, something like "s'all good"  8)


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: AK4YH on May 20, 2013, 01:13:05 PM
Most has been said already, but I'll add my $0.02... QRP is often confused with portable. There is no logical reason to limit oneself at 5W outside of a contest. I hate contests, so QRP has a different meaning to me. I operate portable... The power limitation in portable operations comes from weight and size. Weight of the batteries mainly. When I say portable, I mean having to carry your gear in a backpack and hike, for miles, not to the camping table ten feet away.. If I could get 100W out of a radio the size of a pack of cigarettes and use it all week on eight AA cells, I would go for that. Of course, that's impossible at this time. Not only that, but it's not needed. I operate my radios at maximum power, and for me it means 12W/KX3, 6W/K1 and 5W/MTR. For CW, you rarely need more than that.

I don't bother with SSB because you need 20-25W and that drains batteries way too fast. I also don't like finding myself screaming in a microphone.. I know it doesn't help much, but that's easy to forget. The only reason I have a KX3 is to allow people with me to call in an emergency if I am the victim. That and short wave listening.

Ultimately, your radiating power will depend on your antenna system, so 5W out of your transmitter is an arbitrary number. It's a "legal" limit for contests, and nothing else. It's more interesting to go for miles-per-Watt..

I don't have a shack, but if I did and owned a 100W radio, it would make no sense to me to turn it down to 5W. I would set it to 25W and forget about the setting, unless conditions were really bad, and then, I'd probably turn the radio off and go do something more entertaining. I would also not carry that same radio out in the woods and be left with a flat battery that same day after draining it at 1.5A/Hr listening, not to mention transmit current. My back wouldn't like it much either. When I hear people say that will do portable ops with an IC-7200, I roll my eyes.. Sure, if you can use your truck battery for power.. Not "portable," which definition reads: "Carried or moved with ease." This is portable: http://keskydee.com/images/HFCW.jpg (http://keskydee.com/images/HFCW.jpg).

The question is, do you want to be QRP or portable, or both? If you don't do contests, forget about the definition...

Gil.


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: W1JKA on May 21, 2013, 04:04:11 AM
Re:GILGSN

You hit the nail on the head with PORTABLE definitions.There IS a big difference between back packing or canoeing my MFJ Cubs into the wilderness and using my fragile K1 from my back yard patio table or the picnic table at the local parks but no noticeable difference between amount of contacts between the 2 1/2 and 5 watts of the two.


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: AK4YH on May 21, 2013, 09:23:47 AM
Quote
no noticeable difference between amount of contacts between the 2 1/2 and 5 watts of the two.

I have noticed the same thing... 2W seems to be the lower limit. Though I have done 5200 miles with 1.3W and 830 miles with 100mW. Those are flukes though. With my MTR and a half gone battery my output may be 2.5W and that seems to always go through. I have had good results with my K1 and a Buddistick on 20m, and I know that antenna radiates much less power than the 6W I feed it! I prefer end-fed half-waves, but you need a tree... When I use my K1 at 6W, I do announce myself as QRP sometimes, but not when I use my KX3 at 12W. Most of the time I just give my output power and antenna. Sometimes saying "QRP" does get you an answer faster. People are curious about what you're using..

Gil.


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: K8AXW on May 21, 2013, 09:26:10 AM
Quote
Actually I forgot a fourth one, that probably is most important:  attitude.


Of all the back and forth I've been involved with on the QRP forum, this is one thing that was never mentioned, or perhaps forthcoming would be a better description.  Attitude!

This coincides with what JKA said:
Quote
the only thing I can personally add is that it lets me as an ageing boomer to regress to my young teenage years when a lot of us experimented,made our own one tube 6L6 xtmrs,put up a piece of wire,made contacts and had a ball, QRP at its best and we didn't even know of the term.

Since I went through that state and this is when I fell in love with ham radio, I can also relate to this. I think this is what is meant by the term, "ignorance is bliss."

HOWEVER..... most of the time, after going through this early stage and then getting one's snout into the QRO "trough", it's extremely hard to go back to using low power. This is where the attitude is changed.

As for what constitutes QRP?  Personally I think that it should be considered QRP when the power level is the aforementioned 5w AND with a wire antenna.  No directional antennas.  This is just my opinion of course.

I have a 4w CW transceiver for 20m.  When I hook it up to my 9db gain antenna my ERP jumps to approximately 32w, which gives me the feeling of "cheating." Again, my opinion.



Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: W1JKA on May 21, 2013, 10:33:38 AM
The "cheating" syndrome seems to be a common thread among QRP operators.For me every time I occasionally fire up my IC-7200 or Johnson Adventurer to see if they still work at QRP levels,I get that cheating feeling just knowing that extra wattage is available.Weird aint it?


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: AA4PB on May 21, 2013, 11:41:55 AM
It sounds like some of the PSK31 guys - no fair using a real antenna  :D


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: LA9XSA on May 22, 2013, 06:59:18 PM
Gil, I agree with everything in your post except for the comment about what portable means. Maybe I'm colored by the fact that I've taken part in portable multi-multi contest stations carried in freight trucks and powered by several generators. ;D

If your whole station, including power source, antennas, masts, etc. can be moved around and set up elsewhere in a few hours, and it's away from its usual operating position, then that's portable enough for me for the /P designator.  Even if it's a bigger station than most fixed amateur or even professional stations, and it took 20 people to set it up.  :)  

Even though my little QRP station is easily moved around, and usually used from a lawn chair in the garden and running from a battery, I'm not truly portable unless I'm away from home and outdoors.

As for the /M mobile designator, I think it's not enough to be sitting in a car or bicycle to earn that designator - you have to be able to operate the station while somebody's driving the car or while the bike is moving down the road. Let's hear it for the pedestrian mobile HF guys who walk along trailing a long counterpoise wire. Wouldn't want to do that in traffic.  ;D


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: W7ASA on May 22, 2013, 07:39:14 PM
... perhaps a difference between 'portable' and 'transportable'?  I can 'portage' an unloaded canoe along a foot path & I can pay a shipping company 'transport' a 10 meter motor boat on a truck bed.   :^)


>Ray



Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: AK4YH on May 22, 2013, 10:13:58 PM
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... perhaps a difference between 'portable' and 'transportable'?

Yes! That makes it clear... Transportable would imply the use of some sort of vehicle... Anything is transportable, really, but a station that would be ready and meant to be transported regularly would fall under that definition...

Gil.


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: LA9XSA on May 23, 2013, 01:26:05 PM
Yeah, the current definition of /P actually is transPortable. Maybe we should have "pedestrian portable" to go along with "pedestrian mobile". Please no more CW suffixes though, /P /PP /PM /PP/QRP etc. becomes just too much for for me when you add the call area portable designators, and it would be a nightmare for QSL checking.  :P


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: WA2TPU on May 23, 2013, 03:06:02 PM
To LA9XSA and everyone viewing...
    Its simple....keep it simple.....just add QRP to the end of your call....if you want to add any other designation as to portable or whatever....do so on your Qsl card. To me....stating you are Qrp is enough information unless the party at the other end of the QSO wants to know exactly what you're doing. Its like SOTA....once you mention SOTA....most everyone knows you're on the air atop some summit somewhere.
     Anyway....that's my take on adding more information other than being QRP.
       Enjoy Summer Dxing.
         Best regards with many 72...73.
            Don sr.--WA2TPU/Qrp --


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: W7ASA on May 23, 2013, 05:50:33 PM
/BPP             =   Back Pack Portable - not /PM because you're not actually moving at the time of QSO.

/HPP            =   Hip Pocket Portable

/SPP             =   Shirt Pocket Portable

/PWCSIT       =   Portable while camping and sitting in tent.

/PWCesNSIT = Portable while camping and NOT sitting in the tent.  
(Note: did NOT use /PWCesSOS (sitting outside) for fear of having someone think it was a distress signal.

/PM             = Pedestrian mobile.

/VFPMWRFWA(s)  
= Very Fast Pedestrian Mobile While Running From Wild Animal(s)

/POOH            =  Portable Operating from Out House (Likely from bad water or food...)   :o


Gee - I can just see the contests,  have certificates for "Worked All Portable Configurations" with points and committees to judge the point systems ... and ...    ???


or - as suggested - let's keep it simple.  


72 de Ray
W7ASA/NOTAWSAC
(Not On The Air While Sitting At Computer)







Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: LA9XSA on June 10, 2013, 03:51:14 AM
Yup. Just think about all those extra LotW certificates one would have to juggle, and all those duplicate QSO records; that's why I don't even use /QRP in my callsign but rather reveal my power output when exchanging working conditions (antenna, transciever etc).


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: W1JKA on June 10, 2013, 06:54:40 AM
Re:LA9SXA  [give output during exchange]

I agree as that is what the majority of QRPers do,plus it's fun to to hear the resulting oohs,aahs and I don't believe it responses.


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: N6PG on June 10, 2013, 10:15:57 AM
Re:LA9SXA  [give output during exchange]

I agree as that is what the majority of QRPers do,plus it's fun to to hear the resulting oohs,aahs and I don't believe it responses.

That was new for me! I was in a QSO from Germany to Boston and after I gave my info the response was. "Your pwr agn? Your pwr? 10? T E N? Watts?" It's a lot more fun than I expected!
Scott N6PG


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: WB4TJH on June 12, 2013, 07:36:39 PM
The 5 watt CW and 10 watt SSB QRP limitations really only apply in contests or for awards. I routinely run my Elecraft K2 at 10 to 12 watts cw OR ssb. I just enjoy ragchewing, especially when operating portable. So unless you are out for operating awards or contests, don' worry about so called 5/10 watt limitations. Originally qrp just meant "low power" and how you define that is anyone's guess. 200 watts is qrp compared to a kilowatt. So just go operate, have fun, and don't worry about some silly "rule" that only applies in contests or award chasing. A gel cel and my K2 at 12 watts can operate for many hours of satisfying contacts.


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: W1AJO on June 13, 2013, 09:24:19 PM

...... The Military guys have known  for years that 20 to 30 watts on HF is all that you need even when using short tactical whips on HF manpack radios.  If  the military could have used 5 watts and make more battery space or light radios they would  have have done so a long time ago. They experts at what they do and 20 watts today is  considered effective communications power even when special forces operators have to get the message from 1 continent to the other. When the Falklands war was happening I could hear military HF clansman manpack communications all day and all night  long . If they were running 5 watts  I would have never have heard them from another continent.......


Quite right.  I’ve been doing QRP since 1980 when I was on a Special Forces A team.   We used AN/PRC-74B HF radios that were rated at 15 watts PEP.  Mind you that was for a radio that was powered by a regulated bench power supply and measured with a perfect 50 ohm load in a laboratory.   The real power was a lot less in the field with old nicad batteries, especially in the winter time.  My guess we got about 6-8 watts out of them on a good day; less on a normal day. And we did 700 mile shots to our base station day in and day out.  Some A teams did 1200 miles no issues.  And yes, 8 watts is QRP!

We would walk at least 5 kilometers, more like 10 from our base camp to the radio broadcast site, set up the dipole and since we were in Europe, we would tune to RWN (Russia) to check our watches.  We would then catch the blind broadcast at 13 WPM  Morse from our base station in England.  We would then decrypt our frequency from the blind broadcast, drop the antenna, ‘cut’ the dipole to frequency (the number 468 was used all the time!), and get it back up so we could burst out our encrypted Morse messages 15 minutes later.  Miss the blind broadcast and you were screwed as you had no idea what frequency to broadcast on.  No tune ups, no antenna tuners, no SWR meters, just one shot so you had to do it right.  Missing a transmission was bad, very bad.  Missing two in a row would cause a lot of people to panic.  Missing 3 in a row and emergency resupply air drops would be flown to our E&E DZ. 

After we were done we would pack up and walk the 5 kilometers back.  Lots of times it was 10 kilometers. The next day we would get our messages in the morning blind broadcast at 13 WPM.  The radio operators could copy code at 21 wpm or faster.

Pop Quiz: Why did our base station transmit at 13 WPM when our radio operators could copy at 21 WPM plus?

To me, QRP power levels are relative.  If everyone in your net is using 1500 watts and you have only 100 watts you are QRP.  If you have 5 watts and everyone else has 1 watt (GMRS for example) you are QRO.

Now a days I just use my FT-817 at 5 watts.  If I need to, I kick in the THP 50 watt amp.  For me it’s the QSO that matters not the power level.


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: W1JKA on June 14, 2013, 03:56:38 AM
Re: W1AJO

Very interesting and to the point.Probably the reason why marketing,brain washing,lack of experience plus 100 watt minimum go hand and hand.


Title: RE: WHEN IS QRP NOT QRP?
Post by: WA2TPU on June 14, 2013, 11:10:23 AM
To W1JKA and all.

Indeed!! Period!!

Best regards with many 72....73.
Don sr. -- WA2TPU --