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Author Topic: FT817 rocks  (Read 9203 times)
VA3ZOL
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Posts: 3




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« on: April 13, 2012, 07:32:51 PM »

Well I finally had time to play with my 817 in the park with a home made dipole. I called CQ and got a response from Venezuela. It's interesting how he managed to pick me up but I was not heard by many US stations. I was running 2.5W on AA batteries Grin
I'm hooked on QRP for life I think. I love the fact that I can run it all day and them some from a 10Amp lithium battery.
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ZENKI
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Posts: 906




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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2012, 03:09:01 PM »

QRP works well with crap antennas and short skip. You can work  South America on dummy load if you wanted  to do that! Even 1 milliwatt works on 1 hop short skip,  Just remember the other stations system gain especially on RX makes up for your lack of power. You need to send the YV station a bottle of Whiskey for pain and suffering for having to listen to a weak signal in the noise!

Try working long path or short path into South Africa  or some other difficult path like into Asia, you wont be so impressed with QRP power and simple low antennas.

For effective communications without headaches you need at least 20 watts on SSB. 5 watts and under works well for CW. Angle of radiation is the best amplifier you can have!



Well I finally had time to play with my 817 in the park with a home made dipole. I called CQ and got a response from Venezuela. It's interesting how he managed to pick me up but I was not heard by many US stations. I was running 2.5W on AA batteries Grin
I'm hooked on QRP for life I think. I love the fact that I can run it all day and them some from a 10Amp lithium battery.
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KCJ9091
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2012, 04:00:20 PM »

Why didn't you tell him he is fat and ugly while you were at it?

Congrats on the introduction to the low power world.  Don't let Bubba get you down.  While he is sitting in the dark when the lights go out for what ever reason, those of us with an 817 and 7 ah gel cell will be operating away for at least a week.
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WB0FDJ
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Posts: 132




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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2012, 10:10:30 PM »

Hey, welcome to the world of QRP.

Several years ago I lived in an apartment and my only recourse was to buy a FT817 and go to the local park for my hamming. That was a hoot! First day out I had a couple of fairly long ragchews with stateside hams, then the last contact (from MN) was Greece and he gave me a decent report. When I moved into my home the old '817 was my only rig for almost a year. It's still in the shack, with the W4RT battery pack charged, for back up.

Anyway hang in there with it. Check out some of the QRP clubs, like QRP ARCI, which sponsors some nice on the air events and puts out a decent publication. Don't be afraid to try some different modes. I've known guys to take their netbooks out with them, portable, to do PSK and JT65.

72 de WB0FDJ Doc.

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VA3ZOL
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Posts: 3




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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2012, 12:01:44 AM »

Well I am in europe at the moment for work but the 817 came with me. Wondering whether I'll be able to shoot back into north America from the Austrian alps from 5000 feet Smiley
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KA3NXN
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2012, 07:53:11 PM »

Just wait till 6 meters opens up for you. I had the 817 and a loop antenna on the top of a mountain. With 5 watts from VA worked every state on the east coast, and then into northern South America. HK's & YV's It's like a drug once you try it the first time you're hooked for life. I'm always experimenting with better portable antennas to take into rural places with me. I also have a collection of portable rigs.  Icom's IC-202, IC-502, IC-402, IC-505. Yaesu FT-817ND, FT-690, FT-290. Santec LS-202A. I'm always in the market for any portable SSB/CW rigs especially the old AEA's or Mizuho stuff. I even have a rare National/Panasonic RJX-610 portable 6 meter rig. Betcha didn't know Panasonic made 6 meter rigs!!

Enjoy Grin

Jaime-KA3NXN
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N2RRA
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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2012, 10:09:19 PM »

Why didn't you tell him he is fat and ugly while you were at it?

Congrats on the introduction to the low power world.  Don't let Bubba get you down.  While he is sitting in the dark when the lights go out for what ever reason, those of us with an 817 and 7 ah gel cell will be operating away for at least a week.


LMAO! Pretty harsh, hah!

Cangrats on discovering the FT-817 and QRP. I got hooked to the FT-817 almost 2 years ago and I hate YAESU radios, but I love my FT-817ND.

Go to YouTube and search "N2RRAny" for my channel. With all the vids I have running QRP under various propagation conditions from good to worst it'll shut the QRO guys right up and put them to shame. I even show various antennas utilized along with different locations and while mobile which is quite difficult to do at times but still fun for me.

In my vids I've worked all over the world and the propagation is no where near hot conditions as some would claim to need to bust pile ups and such. My vids show contacts with S. Africa on 500mw breaking pile ups while guys are running kilowatts. Smiley

From Asia, S. Pacific, S. America to Europe and all over the U.S. my QRP rig rocks. Most of SSB from 250mw to 5watts.

Enjoy QRP and 73!
« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 10:15:23 PM by N2RRA » Logged
N2RRA
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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2012, 10:12:17 PM »

Well I am in europe at the moment for work but the 817 came with me. Wondering whether I'll be able to shoot back into north America from the Austrian alps from 5000 feet Smiley

I know it's possible and if you wanna sched I'll be more than happy to do so while making a vid of it.

Good Luck!
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AD4U
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Posts: 2152




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« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2012, 07:09:31 AM »

As the owner of a FT-817 you CAN work South America with a crappy antenna, but you (and the poor guy on the other end who is trying to pull you out of the mud) will be much happier if you use a decent antenna.  Success and QRP do not usually go hand-in-hand with a crappy antenna.

Dick  AD4U
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K8YSV
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Posts: 26




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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2012, 03:59:40 AM »

I must have missed something... When did a homemade dipole become a "crappy antenna"?
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N4MJR
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Posts: 7




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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2012, 11:03:00 AM »

Fine business on working Venezuela!  I run QRP probably 98% of the time.  I bought an 817 just after they were released (and kept it totally stock) and have worked all over Europe, the Americas, and Caribbean.  I've worked a couple in Russia and the Canary Islands.  I think my record is 5000 miles on 1 watt and the other ham had armchair copy.  I even busted a couple of pile ups.  I don't have a clue how that happened, I just called because I figured it wouldn't hurt to try. 

A full size dipole, in my opinion isn't a crap antenna.  I kind of stick with the mindset that I shouldn't use cute little antennas with my cute little radio.  Still, I have friends that have done quite well with Hamsticks.  I've used a NORCAL type doublet, a G5RV Jr., and a homebrew Buddipole.  The doublet works well down to 40 and the other 2 work well for 20 and up.  I use SSB and PSK31 on 20 to 10 and PSK31 on 30 for most of the contacts.  I just can't get the antenna high enough to be effective for 40 meter DX.

I check the propagation with something like www.hamqsl.com.  If conditions are bad I find something else to do.  I also use PSK31 and a way to monitor propagation. You can run an audio cable to your computer to monitor.  Be sure to turn the volume on the rig way down.   Check out K7AGE on you tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQpBGh9RMEQ.   I look at the signal strength, the quality of the signal on the waterfall, and the location of the various transmitting stations as a guide.  Also, if another station is 40 over 9 I don't care how much power they are running, or how far away they are, I can usually work them.

Most people don't know I'm running QRP, sometimes as little as 1/2 watt, until I tell them.  Other times, when conditions aren't good, they don't know I'm running QRP because they can't hear me.  Though I'm not a contester I do operate during contests even when conditions aren't good.  A lot of contesters have serious receive capability and they want to talk to everyone possible.  So, its a win win situation.  When another ham goes the extra mile to work me I always thank them either on the air, by email, or on the QSL.

QRP isn't for everyone.  Just like digital, QRO, satellites, weak signal, EME, microwaves, and on and on and on aren't for everyone.  We have a lot of choices and they are all good.  It can be very frustrating when I operate for hours and don't make a single contact.  Still, it is what I like to do.

Welcome to QRP.  If can be of any help email me, the address is good on QRZ.com.  Michael N4MJR 
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STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 854




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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2012, 04:39:14 PM »

Why didn't you tell him he is fat and ugly while you were at it?

Congrats on the introduction to the low power world.  Don't let Bubba get you down.  While he is sitting in the dark when the lights go out for what ever reason, those of us with an 817 and 7 ah gel cell will be operating away for at least a week.


LOL!

Thats why I try not to make stupid comments on forums, there is always someone smarter and more elequent who will give you a smackdown.
But I still find it amazing that there are people about who try to pull people down for no good reason.

I would like to add another tick to the capabilities of qrp.
Sure, more power will give you a stronger signal, all other things being equal, but frequently they are not.
A qrp guy knows he has to not give up power easily to losses, and will generally maximise where possible.
For example using an open wire line with an in shack tuner is no danger from RF exposure beyond limits, whereas if you were
using qro, you would have to consider this.

My little FT817ND is just fantastic, and with a vertical or dipole I routinely work around the world on HF CW and PSK31.
And with the rubber ducky I am on 50/144/432 at the press of a button - what is not to like about this rig.

My 160m-70cm voice/cw/digital ham station gets stuck in my laptop bag with a few extra batteries, ldg z100+ tuner and a roll of wire.
Apart from high transmit power I am as well equipped as the qro guys who drag their stations around on the back of a flatbed truck.

Leave the naysayers to their self imposed doom and gloom, and enjoy the fun of QRP.

73 - Rob
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 05:40:18 PM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged
W8JX
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Posts: 5443




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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2012, 04:55:28 PM »

When conditions are good, 5 watts can do well but when they are not it is another matter. I normally run 50 watts barefoot and 800 to 1100 with amp in line. There are times on 40 that I need QRO to be solid and 5 watts would be a lost cause then.

QRP can be fun but I think some take exception to the claim that 5 watts is all you ever need and this is misleading. I have worked a few SSB QRP guys on 40 and with the exception off one with a several element phased vertical array they were a very light copy and not arm chair copy. Honestly the ataboys goes to guy fighting to receive you at times more than the guy using the 5 watts.
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STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 854




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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2012, 05:22:03 PM »

As surely as night follows day, the qro guys will roast the same old overdone chestnut about the receiving station getting the credit for receiving the qrp station.
It reminds me of the saying "methinks they do protest too much".

After all in the words of Scotty of star trek " you canna change the laws of physics".
Lets examine the reality, qrp is 5 watts, and lets say you are running 50 watts in comparison.
That is a 10 decibel difference, which equates (roughly) to a 1.5 S-point difference in received strength - all other things being equal.
So if the 50 watt station is S8, the qrp station will be s6 or s6 and a half.
If the 50 watt signal is s5, the qrp signal will be s3 or a  bit higher.

Lets assume the 50 watt station is running an in-shack coax fed tuner to the same multiband antenna as the qrp station.
But assume the qrp station is using an in shack tuner feeding open wire line - then it is not inconceivable that the 50w station
may have coax losses on some bands of 3db or more, which the qrp station would not have.

This brings the effective transmitter power down to 25 watts, and the received signal strength difference is even less.

I have worked many QRP stations internationally who were s9 or better.
QRP and low received signal strength is not a law of physics, but mainly a psychological quirk of those who generally don't work qrp.

QRO stations, by mentality, tend to have large power and large antennas, while many qrp stations, by necessity or choice have restricted antennas and space.
Typically, the large antenna arrays are what give qro stations their big signals, not the qro.
An example is an italian station who has a multi-element log periodic and plasters his big 5 watt qrp signal onto 20m.

So open your mind, do the math, and realise that every S point (nominally) on your receiver is a quadrupling of power.

1000 Watts - S9
250   Watts - S8
62.5  Watts - S7
15.0  Watts - S6  
3.12  Watts - S5

Some guys need to be S9 or S9+40dB to be happy, others are ok with S5, either way its your choice.

73 - Rob
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 05:41:42 PM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged
W8JX
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Posts: 5443




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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2012, 07:31:59 PM »

The problem is is that it is not always that simple or linear in results of power changes. On lower band were absorption can be a factor at times, power is important. When conditions are bad and back ground might be S3 or S4It you play heck copying a S3 or S4 signal but add 10 db and it stands out. CW has more merit QRP and it will do better on higher bands (14 and above) but can be a big handicap on lower bands. BTW you can by a "normal" 100 watt rig and run it at 5 watts anytime if you want to do QRP and get a better receiver than in a 817 too.
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