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Author Topic: Entering the world of QRP  (Read 4087 times)
KD8HAM
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Posts: 15




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« on: July 02, 2012, 09:01:05 AM »

After much thought and looking at different radios, I finally settled on the Yaesu FT-817ND as my new GOTA rig. I have worked QRP before on my FT-450, but got rid of the station last year. Now, it's time to get back on the air.

Ham-city.com has a good deal on a new one of these for 649.

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K5TED
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Posts: 699




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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2012, 02:48:25 PM »

Will you actually use the rig in a field setting? Will you be using all the bands or just HF?
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KD8HAM
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2012, 04:54:44 PM »

Yessir!

I live in an apartment; so am kinda limited to what I can do from here. Some family lives out in the country - and I will be using the rig from there, while sitting out by the lake!

Will be using all bands - even though my home shack is relatively VHF/HF quiet. Would like to try SSB on the VHF/UHF side.
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K5TED
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Posts: 699




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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2012, 07:17:02 PM »

You'll get fair to good results on 15m, 17m and 20m out at the lake, providing you can string up 30' of wire and use some sort of tuner. I suggest the LDG Z, either 100 or 817 or te Elecraft T1.

VHF/UHF not so much on SSB without some serious antenna structure or an amp. For the apartment, a 3 stack of vhf and uhf halos might get you some contacts. You will be able to work some easy satellites with a bit of effort.
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AD6KA
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Posts: 2232




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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2012, 03:04:30 PM »

Quote
I have worked QRP before on my FT-450,
 but got rid of the station last year. 

IF the FT-817 is going to be your ONLY HF
rig
(this wasn't clear from you post)...I would
get a 100w HF rig and dial it down to 5 watts
for QRP use when needed.


If you're concerned about size for use in the
field, then chose the FT-857 or 897. Or even
a K2/100. You could leave the "Amp Option" at home
for QRP ops, and the QRP K2 ATU will match just about
anything.

Just my $.02.
Quote
Now, it's time to get back on the air.

Great to hear it!
Hope to hear you on the bands!!
73, Ken  AD6KA
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WB0FDJ
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Posts: 134




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« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2012, 09:37:01 AM »

Welcome to the world of QRP.

About 7 years ago I was in the same boat: living in an apartment and wanting to get back on the air. I had decades of QRP experience so bought an FT-817ND to operate portable. I have never once regretted the decision. Once I moved into my present home I actually used the 817 daily for a year as my main rig, running CW, PSK and JT65a. It's got it's warts but as a mini-station-in-a-box it's hard to beat. The rig, the antenna and all the extras fit in a cheap over-the-shoulder bag.

I would recommend that you do some research in two areas: batteries and antennas. I went to the HFPack website (they're the folks that love operating such things as pedestrian and bicycle mobile) 
  http://hfpack.com/antennas/shootoutvertical2002.html   
and looked at their data on antennas: they've done "shootouts" for both vertical and horizontal lightweight/portable antennas. The data is worth a look. Based on their results I decided to buy a Super Antenna MP-1 and an additional 57" base rod (from Hustler). My particular reasons were: I didn't know that I'd always have decent trees around for wire support and this thing C clamps onto a picnic table. First day out I worked Greece at 2.5 W on 17 meters.

The battery issues have to do with the relatively high current needs of the rig. There's plenty written about what works. I have the newest W4RT 2700 mAh battery inside and it's good for several hours of QSOs or better than 4 hrs of listening. The basic 7 aH gel cell seems to be a popular option.

If you've already done QRP you know all the "you'll need more power" doesn't hold water. I hope you enjoy your new rig!

73 de WB0FDJ  Doc
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N2RRA
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Posts: 646


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« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2012, 05:13:29 PM »

Problem with getting a 100 watt rig is they all consume to much power on standby so it'll be a waste because typically if your doing field work a 12v 7ah battery (Weighs 5 lbs, but a LiPo weighs half at 2.5 lbs) would normally be the choice of power. They typically last maybe 2-3 hours or less on an FT897 ,FT100 ,706mk2g, IC-7000 and TS-480.

On the likes of an FT-817ND, Elecraft K1, KX3 or others you can get up too 8 hours of rag chew time from an external battery and internal batt serveral more hours. Its a no brainer!!

There's no other radio like the Yeasu FT-817ND that will last as long and still give you 160m through 70cm including 60m all mode on all bands for the price. Like anything else there are pro's and con's with everything, but myself having some of the most advanced small radios like the IC-7000 I own which I own two of them I use my Yeasu FT-817ND radio more than any other because I'm an outdoors men. I Love it!! Ironic thing is I've always hated the Yeasu line and for a good reason ,but not this little guy. It'll be probably the only Yeasu rig to enter my Icom shack and stay a long time.

I have tons of videos on YouTube that may give you some idea how to make the most out of QRP because in all my videos I've worked the world. From all over Europe, Asia, South Pacific to the South Atlantic from the beach, mobile, mountain top (SOTA) to the park bench SSB and CW.

New vids real soon running digital modes. Antenna setup varies from wires too portable yagis, and verticals.

All your gonna need is patience and good undertsanding when time is right and effort in the most efficient antenna you can put up. Just a month ago I used a Hustler coil vertical with four ground radials about 20 ft. off the ground from a home in a valley and was working Europe and the Caribbean. Next day from 3,650 ft. ASL barely anyone, but neither could guys with yagis so who knows, but the challenge is what's fun about QRP.

What ever you do just have fun with it and have patience.

73!
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