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Author Topic: You can work the world on 5 watts  (Read 27928 times)
KE4YOG
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Posts: 182




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« Reply #30 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.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2012, 01:20:12 PM by KE4YOG » Logged
W2NFL
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« Reply #31 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
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KB3YLQ
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Posts: 57




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« Reply #32 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! Smiley

It was a joke. Smiley
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KB2FCV
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« Reply #33 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.
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AA4GA
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« Reply #34 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!
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KB3YLQ
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« Reply #35 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*
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 05:30:16 AM by KB3YLQ » Logged
AA4PB
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Posts: 12905




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« Reply #36 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).
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ZENKI
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« Reply #37 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).

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ZENKI
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« Reply #38 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 Wink

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.


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AA4PB
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« Reply #39 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.
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KE4YOG
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« Reply #40 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.
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AE5QB
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« Reply #41 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
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AA4GA
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« Reply #42 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.

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AA4GA
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« Reply #43 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". 
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STAYVERTICAL
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« Reply #44 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
« Last Edit: May 27, 2012, 03:37:18 AM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged
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