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Author Topic: QRP DXCC  (Read 9131 times)
KY6R
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« on: July 08, 2008, 12:36:01 PM »

The issue of power and the "kilowatt curtain" came up in a preceding thread.

I just visited the ARRL QRP DXCC page, and wonder if anyone has gotten over 300 entities - all QRP toward DXCC? There used to be a guy in Denville, NJ who broke all kinds of QRP records - his name was Randy, but I forget his call.

I know a few of the guys on the QRP DXCC list, and they do have very good antenna systems. They are also seasoned DX-ers who have "done it all".

The best thing about QRP DXCC is that the award speaks volumes of the operator - the achievement is the award.
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NU4B
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2008, 04:07:39 PM »

You maybe referring to Randy Rand, AA2U.

Well I have 273 confirmed/275 worked with 5 watts or less. The antennas I have used are a Butternut HF2V with a 30 meter add on, a Butternut HF5B, and a Carolina Windom 80 short. My HF5B is on a mast on the roof.

So I have a ways to go before I break 300 and the new ones are more difficult to find. With no towers and only 5 watts, I really don't have to worry about curtains over here or curtains over there. Heck, everybody's a curtain. I have enough to do to figure out how to work the rare ones without worrying about what everybody else has got. But its a hell of alot of fun and keeps me interested in working DX.

My advice is instead of complaining about everybody else, spend the time making YOUR station as efficeint as possible and the same with your operatng. That way no matter what power level you have (or what power the competition is running), you'll have a leg up on 95% of the others calling.
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SCUBA
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2008, 04:51:09 PM »

Hi KY6R and N4UB,

Thanks much for posting your messages.

My Yaesu 897 cranks down to 5 watts; I have a MA5B antenna on delayed order; when it arrives I want my first use of it (and my 3rd HF contact) to be 5 watts.  My personal goal is overseas contacts with the lowest possible power.  Guess this is contrary to the mindset of most hams.  

If I miss a contact, so what?  I'm sitting here doing other things with the radio behind me.  If I do it with 5 watts, then hats off to Cushcraft. And, it'll be hats off to whoever has the patience to answer a slow CW.  

Cheers and all the best,
Jack
(Novice with a Gen class license)  
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NU4B
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2008, 05:00:39 PM »

Hi Jack,
 
  Good luck with the QRP contacts. You will be amazed at the operators on the other side of the QSO. The listening skills of these people are absolutely phenomenal.

 Good DX'ing, Larry
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KY6R
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2008, 05:04:59 PM »

NU4B - your accomplishment(s) speak volumes.

Life surely isn't too short for QRP (unless you are a member of the OOOTC and just starting out) - but yes, you do need to have patience. 5 watts during a DX contest is a great way to start out with a bang.

I have 2 teenagers (meaning I am learning patience), so maybe its time to get serious about QRP DXCC!

Before I was "derailed" by trying to get to Honor Roll (at whatever power level I can - where I only use the minimum power necessary - and sometimes that was 1.5KW), I was a died in the wool QRP-er. I had built the HW-7, 8, 9, SST, K1 and KX1.

Cycle 24 - here I come with 5 watts towards QRP DXCC. This time I will do it!
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KY6R
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2008, 05:16:24 PM »

Here's just about the best "secret".

Usually, big DX-pedition pileups have ops that move up and down within some spread. Sometimes they move up and back down, sometimes they give a range and then camp out for 3 or 4 Q's and move up and down. The really tricky one's "ping pong" between 3 or 4 frequencies within a spread. Some even ping pong between the high end and low end of the spread.

Then there are the wacky guys who just jump all over the place. There is nothing sweeter than being "at the right place at the right time". Sometimes you know you just timed it better than anyone else - and sometimes it just seemed like luck.

On the VERY rare occasion, I was right on the frequency when the DX fired up, and within the first 3 - 5 to get that new one.

Even better yet, I worked stations during the grey line (best always seems to be the morning grey line on 40M). I would sit and listen to the East Coast work the rare one, then the Mid West, then I was soooo ready when the sun was up over the rockies and it was the West Coasts turn.

I did an evaluation of my logbook and found that 50% of my all time new ones were with 200 watts or less and a non gain antenna on 40M. And believe me, we have some super stations on the West Coast, and I never had a problem competing with them, at a fraction of their power and gain.

I did, however, have to wait until those guys bagged the DX, and then I jumped in and worked the DX.
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N3OX
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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2008, 09:57:22 PM »

"On the VERY rare occasion, I was right on the frequency when the DX fired up"

So it's January 1999, I'm tuning across a decently open 10m, little 2 element yagi pointed west, leaning back in the operating chair, spinning the dial listening for decent DX.

All of a sudden, *crack!*, chair breaks.  Some screw worked loose or something.

So I sit down on the floor and get out some tools to fix the chair, radio's sitting there wherever I left it when I nearly fell over.   Few minutes later VP6TY on Pitcairn throws out a SSB CQ within a few hundred Hz of where I left the dial.

That was my first QSO ever with Pitcairn, sitting there on the floor ;-)

73,
Dan

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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
NU4B
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2008, 08:15:20 AM »

There's no better place to start working on QRP DXCC than in a contest. And there's one this weekend. Even though conditions look pretty dreary, the IARU has alot of participation.
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KY6R
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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2008, 09:30:14 AM »

N3OX - by far, the best "I was right on the guys frequency when they sent their first CQ" story I've ever heard. Talk about making lemonade when you are given a lemon!
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NU4B
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2008, 03:27:02 PM »

 I thought I would follow up on the IARU contest. I found conditions horrible. With a flux of 65 or 66 and the A index heading towards 20, it was rough going for QRPers. I used a HW-9 and a windom. I ended up with around 130+ QSOs before I gave it up. (It has to be uphill from here.)

 I did work 32 countries (nothing that would stir this crowd). But if I was starting out on QRP DXCC I would have been a third of the way there after one day of operating.

 Anyway, just an observation. But from all of us - somebody, please, send us some sunspots!!!!!!!!!!!!
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W0RSP
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2011, 03:22:54 PM »

The Milliwatt: National Journal of QRPp created the original QRPp (5 watts) and Milliwatt (< 1 watt) DXCC Trophy and Plaque award. The ARRL DXCC rules were strictly applied to every
applicant. The first 5-watt QRPp Trophy was awarded (12/1971) to  Robert Rosier K4OCE who at present stands at 329 confirmed (but 11 deleted along the way). Ronald Moorefield W8ILC had TenTec engineering staff modify an Argonaut 505 to less than one-watt output, won the first MILLIWATT DXCC Trophy (6/1978) endorsed for "All S.S.B.", then the DXCC 200 MILLIWATT Plaque was awarded to him 4/80, the DXCC 300 MILLIWATT Trophy was awarded to him on 2/84. All were for the factory-modified Argonaut 505. At present, W8ILC stands at 327 confirmed. For the complete list (over 110 trophies 1970-1990), see 
www.QRPdxPropagationAntennas.com

Note that the ARRL "QRP DXCC" award is a "gentleman's agreement" type without the strict requirement of QSL proof of all contacts submitted for the award.

I have the regular ARRL DXCC award for 207 of 217 endorsed for CW-30 meters.

AA2U Randy Rand was awarded the 5-Band QRP DXCC Trophy 5/1989, but worked DXCC on all bands quite a while back.  However, knowing thousands of QRP'rs across the years since I started THE MILLIWATT: NATIONAL JOURNAL OF QRPP with Mike Czuhajewski WA8MCQ back in 1969, with the first issue for February 1970. 
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NU4B
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2011, 05:50:47 AM »

The Milliwatt: National Journal of QRPp created the original QRPp (5 watts) and Milliwatt (< 1 watt) DXCC Trophy and Plaque award. The ARRL DXCC rules were strictly applied to every
applicant. The first 5-watt QRPp Trophy was awarded (12/1971) to  Robert Rosier K4OCE who at present stands at 329 confirmed (but 11 deleted along the way). Ronald Moorefield W8ILC had TenTec engineering staff modify an Argonaut 505 to less than one-watt output, won the first MILLIWATT DXCC Trophy (6/1978) endorsed for "All S.S.B.", then the DXCC 200 MILLIWATT Plaque was awarded to him 4/80, the DXCC 300 MILLIWATT Trophy was awarded to him on 2/84. All were for the factory-modified Argonaut 505. At present, W8ILC stands at 327 confirmed. For the complete list (over 110 trophies 1970-1990), see 
www.QRPdxPropagationAntennas.com

Note that the ARRL "QRP DXCC" award is a "gentleman's agreement" type without the strict requirement of QSL proof of all contacts submitted for the award.

I have the regular ARRL DXCC award for 207 of 217 endorsed for CW-30 meters.

AA2U Randy Rand was awarded the 5-Band QRP DXCC Trophy 5/1989, but worked DXCC on all bands quite a while back.  However, knowing thousands of QRP'rs across the years since I started THE MILLIWATT: NATIONAL JOURNAL OF QRPP with Mike Czuhajewski WA8MCQ back in 1969, with the first issue for February 1970. 

Hello Adrian,
 How are you doing? Interesting info on QRP and QRPp DXCC. Working DXCC with 5 watts has given me years of fun. I'm up to 289 (including deleted) confirmed with 5 watts. Most of the ones I need are rare ones so in the meantime I started working DXCC all over again running around 850 milliwatts last fall. I'm using a Sierra and a windom and just worked my 60th country yesterday. At some point I'm going to put my beam back up.
 There's alot of interest in QRP contesting also. Back in the 80's you could enter the QRP section of a major contest and not really have to worry about much competition. Now days those sections have grown and many times people run their  (or someone else's) superstation in the QRP sections. Its great to see the increased interest and its amazing the scores and number of QSOs they make. Five watts into a big antenna farm can do alot!
 I got my 5BDXCC last year (finally) and endorsed for all the WARC bands. So the last big award I'm working on is WAZ. I still need zone 26. That's been a rough one for me. I thought I had it about 3 years ago as I heard a XU station on 20 with a fairly loud signal calling CQ over and over. I tried and tried but he could never pick me up. One of these days the stars will all line up and my 5 watts will punch through.
 All the best and good DX'ing -

 Larry, NU4B
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W8JI
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2011, 07:16:40 AM »

The issue of power and the "kilowatt curtain" came up in a preceding thread.

I just visited the ARRL QRP DXCC page, and wonder if anyone has gotten over 300 entities - all QRP toward DXCC? There used to be a guy in Denville, NJ who broke all kinds of QRP records - his name was Randy, but I forget his call.

I know a few of the guys on the QRP DXCC list, and they do have very good antenna systems. They are also seasoned DX-ers who have "done it all".

The best thing about QRP DXCC is that the award speaks volumes of the operator - the achievement is the award.

QRP DXCC speaks volumes about the ability of the other operators to receive well, and to pull the QRP station out of the mess if there are pileups. It also speaks to the patience of the QRP operator, but most of the skill and technical effort is in hearing a weak signal....not generating it.

:-)

73 Tom
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NU4B
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« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2011, 09:52:30 AM »

The issue of power and the "kilowatt curtain" came up in a preceding thread.

I just visited the ARRL QRP DXCC page, and wonder if anyone has gotten over 300 entities - all QRP toward DXCC? There used to be a guy in Denville, NJ who broke all kinds of QRP records - his name was Randy, but I forget his call.

I know a few of the guys on the QRP DXCC list, and they do have very good antenna systems. They are also seasoned DX-ers who have "done it all".

The best thing about QRP DXCC is that the award speaks volumes of the operator - the achievement is the award.

QRP DXCC speaks volumes about the ability of the other operators to receive well, and to pull the QRP station out of the mess if there are pileups. It also speaks to the patience of the QRP operator, but most of the skill and technical effort is in hearing a weak signal....not generating it.

:-)

73 Tom


Your assuming all QRP signals are weak signals. There is alot of "skill and technical effort" in producing a good QRP signal, not to mention breaking a pileup where everyone else is running from 100 to 1500 watts. I've seen where people can't handle it with 100 watts. Bottom line is it takes both sides - the transmitting side and the receiving side. (Of which I am eternally grateful and have much respect for their skill)

73. Larry
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N5UD
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« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2011, 04:02:02 AM »

Just some thoughts here. I have been licensed since 1965. During this time I have seen the power the typical amateur uses continually go up. I can recall when few linear amplifiers were in use. When you did run across them, they were 900 watts input. Of the DX on the other end they did not have an amp either. So a lot of DX was worked by all with 50 - 200 watt rigs. Today it seems if the pile up is big, it is just tough for a low power op to get through. This despite at what strength the DX is being received. Isn't their some rule about using the power level to maintain communication ?

I only operate a 100 watt mobile station in my pickup. There are times when the DX is S7-S9 yet I can not contact him. There are times when they are at my noise floor and can get through with 1 call. Why is this ? I can offer up the following:
1    The KW pileup is too deep for my signal to crack
2    The DX is running a KW and the signal difference of his to mine is too great
3    The DX station has noisy receiving conditions
4    The DX op has trouble hearing/copying weak signals, or elects not to try and dig them out

As to QRP and DX, if you have good antennas, a good location, and time what's the big deal ? As one poster noted, even 40 meters, I assume CW, can provide good DX at the grayline with low power and a vertical. I do agree with the effort in amateur radio to get back down to using low power rigs again.

I got the #1 slot in the 90's. I had to wait for the banned radio operation countries to come on the air for #1. I had good antennas then, and had an amp available. I certainly did not use the amp all the time. Today I have no HF antennas up. So for fun I have tried HF mobile. At first working DX was not even a consideration. Then I found out on 40 phone I could work DX. Even work 100 watt rigs and dipoles in Africa. Hmmm.... maybe I should try some DXing ?

So the first of this year I decided to keep track of what DXing I was doing. Semi actively persue some mobile DX. I had to go to CW mobile too. I have worked 200 countries. Heard another 15-20 I could not QSO. Worked some I could barely hear. Busted some pileups on first call. I have definitely run across some good ops on the other end. All mobile in my pickup down here in HOT Texas using 100 watts and the short vertical.

In closing, I don't know if a #1 or Honor Roll can be made with true QRP, but a lot of DX can be worked.
Viva QRP, and good DX to all.

73 Tony N5UD /M

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