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Author Topic: You can work the world on 5 watts  (Read 25545 times)
W1JKA
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Posts: 1619




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« Reply #45 on: May 27, 2012, 03:38:01 AM »

   I never quite understood the mantra"life is to SHORT for qrp".One of my ambitions is to stretch out life as LONG as possible especially at my age(over 60) which is one of the main reasons that I only work qrp.
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12685




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« Reply #46 on: May 27, 2012, 05:38:50 AM »

QRP Operator's common sense rules:

1) If you hear a DX station at S2 and a 1000 station pile up calling him, your odds of a contact are not so good if you are running 5W. On the other hand, if he is S9 and few (or no) stations are calling him then your odds of a contact using 5W are very good.

2) A little strategy can help QRP DXing. If you discover his listening pattern and can manage to be where he is listening and few others are calling then your odds go up significantly. You don't always have to blast through the pile up with 1500W, you just need to be in the right place at the right time.

3) If you are running 75M QRP using a heavily loaded attic dipole then your odds of being a "big gun" 75M DXer are not good. If you are running 20M QRP using a Yagi at 60 feet then your odds of working DX go up significantly. Effective antennas are important when running QRP. If you loose 3dB of your 100W signal then you are still radiating 50W. If you loose 3dB of a 5W signal then you are down to 2.5W.

So the answer to the original question is YES. Given the right propagation and a decent antenna you can talk anywhere in the world on 5W.
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KB3YLQ
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Posts: 57




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« Reply #47 on: May 27, 2012, 09:25:30 AM »

Interesting discussion!

I'm not interested in contests or awards. Rather, I'm just interested in the fun of amateur radio! Smiley To me, QRP just seems like the equivalent of a treasure hunt, where you have to work and dig to find what you're after, but it's very rewarding when you do.

I know I won't limit myself. Eventually I'll turn up the power and work that end of things, too. I sure do like the idea of setting up a little portable rig out in a field under a nice shade tree with a wire thrown up over it, though! Even when you get no bites, fishing is still a lot of fun. Smiley
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LA9XSA
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Posts: 376




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« Reply #48 on: May 29, 2012, 09:33:18 AM »

It seems this part of the solar cycle I can work most of Europe from Norway all day and night with 5 watts SSB and a ZS6BKW doublet 6 meters up strung from east to west. Sometimes a little indoor dipole is enough. It helps that I'm just south of the Arctic Circle, so I'm near the grey line much of the night in summer.

That doesn't mean I have a reliable communications link to any chosen point 24/7 - it just means I can almost always talk to somebody somewhere. I go where the ionosphere takes me.

For DXing on QRP, it's digital modes and CW that work best. Even so I've worked a few DX contacts on SSB and 5 watts, all the way to southern Africa actually, but that was also helped by propagation and probably a good antenna in the other end. It was also helped by a good operator who asked if the frequency was in use and QSY'd when I said "Yes, it's being used to talk to southern Africa!"  Smiley

Reliable ragchewing and emcomm on local HF NVIS will require a 1000W amplifier, from my experience here. And even with that, we can get wiped out by aurora activity or other arctic effects, making even legal limit power insufficient for a point-to-point path - in those cases we have to use relays or linked repeaters.
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N4EES
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #49 on: May 31, 2012, 07:28:17 PM »

I live in an apartment building, surrounded by mountains. Three months ago, my landlord allowed me to put up a hex-beam, about 25 ft up.  The antenna is nice, but I am limited to 5 watts...anything higher causes RFI/TVI problems.  I can't seem to work the Japanese and other Asian stations the big guns can reach... but I have worked 62 countries in these three months.  My best, so far, have been Palestine, Yemen, Senegal, Algeria, Morocco, and Israel.

So, yes it can be done.  In my case, the nearby mountains have proven to be limiting, but the directional hex-beam certainly helps.  73,

James Garrison
N4EES
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NU4B
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Posts: 2162




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« Reply #50 on: June 02, 2012, 11:32:05 AM »

I live in an apartment building, surrounded by mountains. Three months ago, my landlord allowed me to put up a hex-beam, about 25 ft up.  The antenna is nice, but I am limited to 5 watts...anything higher causes RFI/TVI problems.  I can't seem to work the Japanese and other Asian stations the big guns can reach... but I have worked 62 countries in these three months.  My best, so far, have been Palestine, Yemen, Senegal, Algeria, Morocco, and Israel.

So, yes it can be done.  In my case, the nearby mountains have proven to be limiting, but the directional hex-beam certainly helps.  73,

James Garrison
N4EES

Congrats on the great contacts. 7O is (was) one of the top 5 most wanted countries! I worked them with a K2 @ 5 watts and a HW-9 running 4 watts. My buddy NV4G worked them running a K3 @ 5 watts to a windom. I've seen many QRPers work them and also E40VB.

Wait.... that can't happen on a regular basis... can it?  Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin

Good luck DXing - sounds like your off to a great start. By the way I'm in Knoxville, NV4G is in Seymour.  And good for your landlord! About 25 years ago I was renting a 4plex. Quite randomly I chose one that was in the back of the complex. The way it was built I was able to stick a HF5B (HF4B back then) on the balcony and a HF2V in my little yard and nobody ever saw either of them. I lived there for 7 years (before I bought a house) and worked the world with those antennas and my HW-9. 80 meters was shaky - didn't work much past the Caribbean, but the other bands worked well.
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STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 854




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« Reply #51 on: June 03, 2012, 02:39:21 PM »

I have worked a Japanese ham who uses QRP with a fishing rod antenna (lowers wire down) out of his apartment block window at night.
Where there is a will, there is a way.

73 - Rob

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K5UNX
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Posts: 227


WWW

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« Reply #52 on: June 04, 2012, 07:07:16 PM »

I have worked a Japanese ham who uses QRP with a fishing rod antenna (lowers wire down) out of his apartment block window at night.
Where there is a will, there is a way.

73 - Rob



Is this just a wire hanging out the window? Isn't there another "leg" somewhere? Counterpoise or something? Sorry I am not very knowledgable yet, just now studying for General test.

wayne
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STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 854




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« Reply #53 on: June 07, 2012, 03:51:27 AM »

I have worked a Japanese ham who uses QRP with a fishing rod antenna (lowers wire down) out of his apartment block window at night.
Where there is a will, there is a way.

73 - Rob



Is this just a wire hanging out the window? Isn't there another "leg" somewhere? Counterpoise or something? Sorry I am not very knowledgable yet, just now studying for General test.

wayne


Hi Wayne,

Good question - I have not asked him about the other end - but I am sure he has a counterpoise in the apartment or some earth somewhere.
R.F. needs a return path and if you don't provide one, the coax will be used.
At 5W there is not much of a problem with RFI but for efficiency a good length of counterpoise wire is needed.
Also, he only works at night when the wire will not be seen, so he is what you call determined.
I have worked this guy on PSK31 from 20m to 10m, and he is sometimes S9 when conditions are good.

Other QRP stations I have heard regularly are a Ukrainian station on a ship who uses a sloping wire on 20m and he is most always a
great signal even when near Japan. I suspect the salt water has a lot to do with that.
There is also an Italian qrp station with a big log periodic who roars in on the gray line regularly.
I have also worked a german qrp station with an attic dipole.
I do, however, work a lot of PSK31 so these stations are mostly that.
Many PSK31 stations work around 30W and 5W is really not that much different in signal strength compared to that - around 8dB or about 1.5 S-points weaker.

Some digital modes such as olivia are even better for qrp - I worked one guy over 7000 miles who forgot to turn on his small linear and we were having a perfect copy with him running 1.5W.
SSB/Voice requires a pretty good overhead for comfortable copy, which is not impossible, but the conditions need to be good.
But with CW and particularly digital modes, qrp is not much of a handicap.

I have to emphasise again - when using qrp, you need to optimise the antenna/feedline system - this is the difference between a good and bad experience.
But the options on qrp are wider than when using high power.
For example - when I experiment with different antennas, I bring the two ends of the antenna down to the shack, clamp them with plastic bag bar ties to make a quick open wire line, and put this directly into the tuner on the desk.
This way the ATU makes tuning easy, and the open wire line makes the system efficient.

Doing this with high power is not impossible, but you need to take the high local energy field into account in your calculations.
So qrp, with its lower power, just makes some things easier - particularly for ad-hoc experiments.
I use a little LDG Z100+ ATU with an adaptor from PL259 to a set of banana/screw posts for connecting the open wire line.
I know the tuner is not a balanced type, but it seems to work fine for qrp.

By the way, I have just bought a new compact fold out solar panel, so my next project is to go completely solar powered for my ham radio.
I am using an old PDA circa 2006 with digital software for CW, rtty, and most other digimodes - so it takes very little power,
and I should be able to operate off the grid indefinitely.  
The whole setup fits in a backpack (or laptop case, if you strap the solar cells to the side).
So I am ready for the zombie apocalypse (hi).

73 - Rob
« Last Edit: June 07, 2012, 04:23:13 AM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged
WB6THE
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Posts: 128




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« Reply #54 on: June 07, 2012, 06:36:16 PM »

You can work the world on less than 5W. I just worked I5CDF in Florence on 20M CW
and got a 579 report. Rig in use was an SW20 running something between 1 and 2.5 Watts
into an OFC dipole that isn't resonant on 20M, not using an antenna tuner, and its
about 25 feet AGL in the attic. Rick was using a 2 element loop at about 85 feet
which I'm sure helped. But, yes, it certainly can be done.

Alan
WB6THE
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KE4YOG
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Posts: 182




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« Reply #55 on: June 22, 2012, 09:19:40 PM »

Yes you can scream all day and not get answered but that would get old. Just for S and G I turned to 40 meters. 7.150 to be exact. Called CQ and got PA0LEG. I know only The Netherlands. That works out to around 800 miles per watt. I thought the idea was to make the contact with the least amount of power needed. I must have missed something.

That being said QRP is not for every one. It is not always for me. That is the reason I have an TS-480HX. I enjoy trying. Every once in a while it works. And yes I have received stations on my dummy load. I called and called but they never answered. The point is that ham radio has so many facets. I am not a digital mode fan but I dont knock those that are. Try QRP. It is fun. Yes 20 watts is more power but that does not ensure that you will get the contact before I do or even that I cant get it at all. Just think all of my QRP tonight has been into a double length G5RV. I have heard them called dummy loads. The idea is to have FUN! This is a hobby until the stuff hits the rotating air moving system AKA the fan. Dont knock my parts of this great hobby and I will not knock yours.
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G7DIE
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Posts: 65




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« Reply #56 on: June 25, 2012, 05:43:02 AM »

In a moment of QRO madness I was using 100W whilst on my way home from work on Saturday morning around 04:00 UTC, a nice little pile up into NA ensued with plenty of West Coast returning to my call, one station that replied was WQ7X, using just 5W from his KX3, what is impressive with this contact is the fact that I have no gain to speak of on my mobile antenna, even though it is quite an efficient homebrew centre load, the solar data was dreadful, solar flux index around 89 and sunspot number 13, he was a respectable 55 with me Wink
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KF7DS
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Posts: 181




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« Reply #57 on: June 28, 2012, 10:27:58 PM »

In a moment of QRO madness I was using 100W whilst on my way home from work on Saturday morning around 04:00 UTC, a nice little pile up into NA ensued with plenty of West Coast returning to my call, one station that replied was WQ7X, using just 5W from his KX3, what is impressive with this contact is the fact that I have no gain to speak of on my mobile antenna, even though it is quite an efficient homebrew centre load, the solar data was dreadful, solar flux index around 89 and sunspot number 13, he was a respectable 55 with me Wink

Fabulous! I am in 7 land and that IS a long way

Don KF7DS
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W8JX
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Posts: 5474




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« Reply #58 on: June 29, 2012, 04:01:30 PM »

In a moment of QRO madness I was using 100W whilst on my way home from work on Saturday morning around 04:00 UTC, a nice little pile up into NA ensued with plenty of West Coast returning to my call, one station that replied was WQ7X, using just 5W from his KX3, what is impressive with this contact is the fact that I have no gain to speak of on my mobile antenna, even though it is quite an efficient homebrew centre load, the solar data was dreadful, solar flux index around 89 and sunspot number 13, he was a respectable 55 with me Wink

Fabulous! I am in 7 land and that IS a long way

Don KF7DS

I am guessing this was 20 or 17 which makes a big difference here
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G7DIE
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Posts: 65




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« Reply #59 on: July 01, 2012, 07:45:20 AM »

Yes indeed it was 20m, it's the only band open to the West, from the car, at that time of day Wink
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