The military manpack has a mission requirement entirely different from the average ham QRP'er. I can't remember the last time that I called in naval guns using a battery powered ham radio, but who knows? I did 'call for extraction' using an SW40+ QRP rig once, but that was to get the bush pilot on-scene a day early so that my pals and I could go enjoy a well deserved steak and MUCH tequila
after two weeks in the bush!
Military manpacks are fun to use (and a pain to carry if you are carrying anything else for any distance at all. ). I enjoyed green/black radios , manpack and other, as a hobby a couple of decades. I also hated the extra weight and etc. when I HAD TO carry them for a living; and therein lies the difference. The best suited military HF transceiver I ever saw for tossing into a rucksack & carrying long range to keep in touch outside of VHF relay in a manner similar
to what an outdoor QRP'er would do, was the old PRC-64a which came to life during the Vietnam war as a radio for SF guys and spooks. It was small, "light" by Army standards (very heavy by QRP standards) ;^) 5 Watts , built-in ATU and even had a little key right on the top of the rig under the cover. Put your dipole in the tree and you're on the air.
Now, go look up my call sign
and look at the picture of my repackaged Elecraft KX-1. It has Elecraft's great electronics and light weight in addition to being very, very self contained inside of a water tight (when closed) kayaker's case. No scattered bits to forget, crunch or shred in the field. The wire antenna - a dipole is in the cloth case. The dipole = an efficient antenna as far as it's abililty to efficiently radiate energy. If I need long range/low angle comms on 30/20m, I generally use the same wire to make a half square and feed it from the ATU - it works.
>>> If the team at Elecraft would package the KX-3 in a similar manner and I'll think that I've died and gone to Heaven!
(but they would also probably loose some customers who have other needs. They're smart people & know their market, as proven by their waiting list!)
As for the 3dB thing - as we stated "it's only 3 dB". If you put up any field expedient antenna
where 3dB is going to make a noticable difference, then you're outside of the laws of physics. Same antenna - right? 3dB.
If you personally want to carry QRO, then do so. It's your life. Remember though: if you're carrying a radio in a rucksack which is going to be your home on your back, or just your picnic for the day, all that extra battery & heatsink for 20 Watts instead of the designed 10 Watt >>> is only 3 dB ;^)
73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._
Ps. Time to go twist the dial and tap some CW.