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Author Topic: QRP on 160 meters  (Read 8235 times)
KB2HSH
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« on: October 06, 2011, 05:30:57 AM »

Good morning.

Is there anyone here that does QRP on 160 consistently??  I have been toying around with 160 lately and have made a few contacts using JT65.  What successes have any of YOU guys had with 160...and what modes???  Is it a difficult QRP band, or is it just another band to operate low power on?

Thanks!

John KB2HSH
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WX7G
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2011, 06:43:17 AM »

For everyday operation I don't run QRP on 160 meters. But I often run QRP in the ARRL 160 meter contest and can snag 300-400 QSO's.

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KB2HSH
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2011, 06:47:05 AM »

WOW!  You must have one hell of an antenna for THAT MANY Qs.
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W5ESE
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2011, 09:42:31 AM »

I usually run QRP in the ARRL 160m contest (a CW contest). Worked
GM3POI, in the Orkneys (a long way from Texas). Most of that was
owing to his antenna. It would be untruthful to say that it's as easy
as DXing on the higher bands, though. Gray Line openings on 160m
tend to be brief.
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AA5TB
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2011, 10:35:06 AM »

Hi John,

I work QRP occasionally on 160 m CW.  My antenna is relatively poor with an estimated gain of about -12 dBi.  It is a 1/8 wave length inverted-L with a poor ground system.  I've worked as far as Gal├ípagos Islands with 5 W CW and all over the U.S. but my reliable range is only about a 300 miles radius for Fort Worth, TX.

Given my experience I suspect with a good transmit antenna and a low noise receive antenna your QRP results will be close to what you experience on the higher bands.  However, things are different.  Like Scott mentions, the gray line openings are shorter and everything seems to come in waves.  That is, no matter what the distance is there seems to be a slow fade and if you time things right on a peak you can work about anything.  It's almost like the ionosphere on 160 m was made out of a wandering piece of Swiss cheese.  Smiley
73,
Steve - AA5TB
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WX7G
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2011, 11:49:42 AM »

WOW!  You must have one hell of an antenna for THAT MANY Qs.

In the ARRL 160 meter contest and the Stew Perry I sometimes run a 130' balloon vertical over the Great Salt Lake of Utah. The shot to the east is 10 miles over salt water. This is arguably the best top band transmitting antenna in the continental US.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2011, 11:51:44 AM by WX7G » Logged
NI0C
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2011, 03:30:01 PM »

Don't miss the QRPARCI Top Band Sprint scheduled for 1 December 2011: http://www.qrparci.org/content/view/5267/118/

Two way QRP QSO's are fun, especially on Top Band!

73,
Chuck  NI0C
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N3OX
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« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2011, 09:24:47 PM »

I don't work QRP on 160 CONSISTENTLY but I've tried it now and again and had fun. I have no problem working East of the Mississippi on 160m CW when I've played around as a QRP station in the Stew Perry contest.

On really good nights on 160 I'll crank the power down to 5W and call a loud EU station and see what happens.  I've worked S59A, DF2PY and LA7THA on 5W I believe.

My antenna isn't even that great.  By my estimates I'm probably radiating about 1.5W or so when I apply 5W to my antenna.  The EU stations I've worked have amazing receiving capability.  I ran 100W for several seasons and worked about 116 countries, and that's with about 25W radiated power.  'Course out here in Maryland you can work 160m DX with a wet noodle.. don't know what it's like in your location.  I used to live in Erie PA but never really did 160 there (foolishly, I could have had Beverages all over the place)

N1BUG has a really great large vertical and I remember for a while he was sniping at DX on QRP when he didn't have some difficult DX to chase.  Last I remember he was around 50 countries worked, and I expect he's got more.

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

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
KB2HSH
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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2011, 05:13:54 PM »

Thanks for all the responses, guys.  I appreciate the input!

John KB2HSH
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W8GP
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« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2011, 06:54:12 PM »

I've been operating QRP on 160 on and off since about 1971, my first contacts were with a crystal controlled 50L6 running about 7W input. I got a little more serious in the late 70's when I acquired a Yaesu FT-301SD(still have it) and managed to work all 50 states with a dipole at 50ft. I still operate QRP in the contests, especially the CQWW160 CW. The most important thing to remember when running QRP is to believe that you can do it, attitude is everything.Call every station the same as you would if you were  running high power. Receiving is always important on 160 and just because a station is weak doesn't mean they won't hear you, maybe they're QRP too! Don't be too concerned about not having a big antenna, just put up what you can and start making contacts.An inverted L with 20 or so radials will work wonders.When I look back over the last 41 years,I still consider some of my 160m QRP contacts to be among my best all-time DX .Have fun and see you on 160!
                                              73, Greg  W8GP
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AB7KT
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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2011, 08:05:13 AM »

I have only run QRP on 160 a couple times. I don't do well on 160 running 400 watts, so QRP is a stretch. My only antenna is an 80 meter dipole fed with twinlead through a tuner and is at the height of 30 feet in the center.
That being said, one of the few times I ever tried QRP on 160 was last winter. I was running my Yeasu 817, and decided to call CQ on 160 (CW). Within about 10 or 15 minutes I worked Mexico, Ireland, and Hawaii. It was incredible. I have no idea what to attribute this to. I called CQ and they all answered me bang, bang, and bang one after the other. The Ireland contact was very tough. Not because he couldn't hear me, I couldn't hear him. Again,  for me in the South Western US with a relatively poor antenna, working Europe typically isn't real easy at any power level. This was a magical evening.
I guess the moral to the story is, if you arn't in there trying, you arn't going to work anything. I would imagine that QRP on 160 would require a lot of patience and perserverance. But what a thrill when it works out.
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I thought you said this was a weak signal mode ? I HAVE a weak signal and he still didn't hear me.

FWIW: My callsign is AB8KT
NU4B
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2011, 09:13:05 AM »

Interesting stories about 160 QRP. I have never operated on 160 because I figured it was useless. And I've never had a 160 antenna. But it is interesting to hear about 160 QRP successes. Maybe someday because as with all QRP  - you just never know what you can work until you do.
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AB7KT
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« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2011, 09:35:26 AM »

I was just having a discussion with a friend of mine who only has indoor antennas. He is fairly successful on 160 (all bands, including 160). I  say successful relative to his antenna situation. The fact that he works anything on any band amazes me, let alone 160. He doesn't run QRP, he runs about 50 watts. But, if he can do it, anyone with an outside antenna should be able to do at least as well as he does.
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I thought you said this was a weak signal mode ? I HAVE a weak signal and he still didn't hear me.

FWIW: My callsign is AB8KT
W8JI
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« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2011, 03:35:38 PM »

Most of the problems on 160 are noise at the receiving end.

In the 1960's many people worked trans-Atlantic on 160 with 5 watts or so. The power limit in the USA was, at times, 25 watts plate input power and in England 10 watts plate input power.

I've worked dozens of QRP Japanese stations on 160 CW from here, some with very small antennas and one QRP mobile from Japan.

I've consistently work mobiles in VK running 100 watts or less to 1% efficiency antennas or less. That's puts them at the 1 watt or less ERP range, and a path of 10,000 miles or so.

I've worked, from my mobile which is well under 1% efficiency, Europe on 160 SSB on several occasions, and from my home I've worked several Europe 160 SSB mobiles.

Probably 99% of results depend on conditions, and on having a good receiving noise floor and good ability to hear weak signals at the other end.

73 Tom
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N3OX
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« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2011, 06:31:57 PM »

Probably 99% of results depend on conditions, and on having a good receiving noise floor and good ability to hear weak signals at the other end.

Yep ... one night when EUs were really loud here I turned the power down to 5W and called LA7THA.  I only got a 339 but he heard me and I estimate that my antenna isn't more than 25% efficient with respect to a good quarter wave.

I think DF2PY and S59A at least have also heard my 5W.

But I've also dabbled as a QRP station in Stew Perry several times and not even managed to get a ?? or QRZ? from even an EU station. 

And I sure can't hear a QRP ERP station from EU Smiley Smiley  Not on 160 anyway. I heard G3ROO quite well on 80m one night when he was running a 3W WWII transmitter of some kind.    Given my noise situation I feel that I've reasonably beaten back the noise on TB when I can make a two-way 100W QSO with good copy on the EU guy.
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
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