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Author Topic: Starting HF with QRP?  (Read 32150 times)
N2RRA
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« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2012, 10:19:07 PM »

Dude,

You need advice from real QRP operators! Dedicated QRP operators that actually run QRP rigs rigorously. I'm one of those guys and my recommendation if your stuck between the FT-817ND and FT-857 is go with the FT-817ND for QRP. If your gonna stay mobile 100 watt then I'm gonna say ICOM 7000, or 706Mk2G hands down. You won't and can't go wrong!

Now if you have the money and willing to wait 8 months for a Elecraft KX3 then now we're talking some what superior QRP ,but depends on how hard core your gonna utilize the KX3's technology.

One guy said that making contacts "successes are much rarer" is total B.S.!

I know because if you take a look at my videos on YouTube I make QSO's very frequent each day. Sure there is a bit more complexity running QRP, but doesn't mean you won't be able to break pile up's ,or make an 11,000 mile contact mobile or not on 5 watts which really can have an ERP rating of 3 watts. I know because I've done it many times under great conditions and the poorest conditions that even high power QRO guys had trouble with.

Running QRP you'll be able to do that from your apartment ,or condo with very little of an antenna, but 100 watts you'll have problems for sure. Running QRP for hikes will "DEFINITELY" be a plus and the luxury of yanking the QRP rig out the car unto your hike ,or home will serve very well and convenient. You won't have the flexibility with the FT-857 due to draining battery power significantly as apposed to the FT-817ND, or a ICOM 703+.

Basically, if your on a budget then diversity will be your best friend till you get another radio. You won't be restricted going with a QRP radio so things won't get boring and you'll be able to pull out your FT-817ND and enjoy radio on your hikes. Put the radio back in the mobile and still will be able to make QSO's. I do it all the time!

You can always for the same amount of an FT-857 still purchase a FT817ND and a Tokyo High Power Amp that has been matched for QRP radios like the FT-817ND. The amp stays in the car hidden and now you have high power when your mobile and can run QRP from the apartment, or on your next hike. DIVERSITY!

You can even run the internal battery of the FT-817 and have fun. Can't do that with the FT-857. Again...Diversity will equal more fun!

So there's my two cents worth.  Wink

73!
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AD5X
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« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2012, 04:50:57 AM »

... Now if you have the money and willing to wait 8 months for a Elecraft KX3 then now we're talking some what superior QRP ,but depends on how hard core your gonna utilize the KX3's technology. ...

Elecraft is now saying 60 days for the KX3.  I ordered mine the week after Dayton, and just got the shipping notice.  So it was right around 90 days for me, but that's what they were quoting then.

Phil - AD5X
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AA4PB
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« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2012, 08:19:03 AM »

QRP + SSB + poor antenna = 11000 mile QSOs on a regular basis during poor conditions and busting pileups with 1.5KW competition. Dude, you must be the luckiest ham I've ever heard of  Grin
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2012, 08:53:35 AM »

QRP + SSB + poor antenna = 11000 mile QSOs on a regular basis during poor conditions and busting pileups with 1.5KW competition. Dude, you must be the luckiest ham I've ever heard of  Grin


Or perhaps the biggest liar...  Wink Cheesy Cheesy

QRP has it's place and it can be fun but not for a newbie ham.  QRP is for experienced hams only unless you like frustration.

Stan K9IUQ
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2012, 08:58:13 AM »

If your gonna stay mobile 100 watt then I'm gonna say ICOM 7000, or 706Mk2G hands down. You won't and can't go wrong!

Excellent advice. I have owned the FT-897D and the Icom 7000 and Icom 706mkIIG and the Icom 7000 is a much better radio.

Stan K9IUQ
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N2RRA
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« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2012, 09:34:20 AM »

QRP + SSB + poor antenna = 11000 mile QSOs on a regular basis during poor conditions and busting pileups with 1.5KW competition. Dude, you must be the luckiest ham I've ever heard of  Grin


Or perhaps the biggest liar...  Wink Cheesy Cheesy

QRP has it's place and it can be fun but not for a newbie ham.  QRP is for experienced hams only unless you like frustration.

Stan K9IUQ

Like I said.....watch my videos and the proof is in the putting. From the mobile ,or stationary in the field operating SSB/CW the videos don't lie. There is truth to maybe QRP being frustrating to a new ham, but now at days I see new hams frustrated with 100 watts because they think operating radio is like linking into SKYPE. New generation whoa's!  Roll Eyes

I show the full setup with no cut and editing in my videos proving there are no amplifiers in line and not using a Steppir.

Watch it and reap QRO boys!!! LOL!  Tongue

73!
« Last Edit: August 26, 2012, 09:41:26 AM by N2RRA » Logged
N2RRA
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« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2012, 09:37:07 AM »

If your gonna stay mobile 100 watt then I'm gonna say ICOM 7000, or 706Mk2G hands down. You won't and can't go wrong!

Excellent advice. I have owned the FT-897D and the Icom 7000 and Icom 706mkIIG and the Icom 7000 is a much better radio.

Stan K9IUQ

By the way I have a few ICOM 7000 vids there also.
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GILGSN
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« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2012, 09:59:25 PM »

Hello,

I am new at Ham Radio, and going QRP from the get go, with CW to boot! I know I won't get frustrated because making many contacts does not matter to me. I have zero interest in contests, awards or "busting pileups." If someone else wants the QSO and has more power than my few watts, they can have it. I also read a lot and watch videos about QRP operators having great success with good antennas, even bad ones. Hams using Rock-Mites make QSOs of 1000-2000+ miles on 500mW. I think that if you want a QSO every three minutes, yes, you will get frustrated. One per hour would make me very happy. Some people cross oceans aboard cruise ships, some on 14' plywood boats. The motivations are different. A cruise ship lover would be quite frustrated on a pocket cruiser bobbing along at 4Kts, without any room to stretch... Sure, you can get frustrated, if you want to...

Gil.
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K5LXP
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« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2012, 06:06:18 AM »

I have zero interest in contests, awards or "busting pileups."

Actually, QRP and contests/events go well together.  In a contest, it doesn't matter if you're in the noise or 40 over 9, a Q is a Q.  Especially on CW, QRP is not a big liability.  The skills you learn by participating in contests, even just for fun, you can use for all types of operating.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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AC4RD
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« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2012, 09:24:17 AM »

...going QRP from the get go, with CW to boot! I know I won't get frustrated because making many contacts does not matter to me. I have zero interest in contests, awards or "busting pileups.".

Gil, with that attitude, you're very likely to have a world of fun with QRP.  I'm certainly enjoying it--not as many contacts as with 100w, but the ones I *do* make are lots of fun!

Mark is right about contests, by the way--they're a GREAT chance to work lots of stations a lot more easily than usual.  In contests, those other guys WANT each contact, and they'll work harder to hear you.   I've done a lot of my DXing during contests.  :-)  And contesting can be fun, too.  :-)  GL 73!   --ken ac4rd
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ZENKI
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« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2012, 05:47:40 PM »

You also maximizing your success because contesters  are using big gun stations that can copy QRP stations.  If we had a QRP only  DX contest, you would soon know the real effectiveness of QRP power.  You never read about QRP too QRP contacts  running with powers less than 5 watts and simple antennas.  Antenna size, height and power makes a huge difference. QRP power and the antenna systems that most hams use are really ineffective
for enjoyable consistent ham radio fun.

I can call K3LR and W3LPL regularly from across the Atlantic  with 5mw of power. This happens only because of my beam and their super stacked yagis. You soon find out who the real big guns are with big antennas versus the big  alligators with all mouth, big amplifiers and no antennas. Thats what QRP is really useful for.

5 watts is a ridiculous  QRP legal limit power for modes like SSB, its ok for CW. SSB QRP power legal limit should be set at greater than  10 watts, because CW is roughly 3db more effective. In the real world of signal to noise ratio, a 5 watt SSB signal is really a 2.5watt signal. QRP power legal limit should be be set by the effective bandwidth of the signal rather than a one size fits all modes.   

It would be far better to adjust the QRP  power limit to the mode used for effective communications rather than endless emotional hype about how effective  some arbitrary chosen power level is. Its very easy these days with propagation modeling software to establish what is an effective power level for the mode and band used. Setting QRP power at some fixed level is ridiculous as having one speed limit for all roads and road conditions, this is not a reality for driving nor is having  a fixed power level for QRP operation. We need to think more of effective communications power rather than some arbitrary grand standing power limit.  We dont have QRP operation for moonbounce   for obvious reasons, HF propagation and circuits are no different we can calculate  the real power needed to complete the circuit very easily these days! This could also be done for contest scoring.

A calibrated S-meter on a receiver and realistic power levels that matches the mode could bringing more technical meaning to the real effectiveness of QRP operation. Endless bragging about what DX you worked on one set of solar numbers in  1 year tells us nothing about the effectiveness of low power.



I have zero interest in contests, awards or "busting pileups."

Actually, QRP and contests/events go well together.  In a contest, it doesn't matter if you're in the noise or 40 over 9, a Q is a Q.  Especially on CW, QRP is not a big liability.  The skills you learn by participating in contests, even just for fun, you can use for all types of operating.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM

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N2RRA
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« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2012, 05:36:10 PM »

You also maximizing your success because contesters  are using big gun stations that can copy QRP stations.  If we had a QRP only  DX contest, you would soon know the real effectiveness of QRP power.  You never read about QRP too QRP contacts  running with powers less than 5 watts and simple antennas.  Antenna size, height and power makes a huge difference. QRP power and the antenna systems that most hams use are really ineffective
for enjoyable consistent ham radio fun.

I can call K3LR and W3LPL regularly from across the Atlantic  with 5mw of power. This happens only because of my beam and their super stacked yagis. You soon find out who the real big guns are with big antennas versus the big  alligators with all mouth, big amplifiers and no antennas. Thats what QRP is really useful for.

5 watts is a ridiculous  QRP legal limit power for modes like SSB, its ok for CW. SSB QRP power legal limit should be set at greater than  10 watts, because CW is roughly 3db more effective. In the real world of signal to noise ratio, a 5 watt SSB signal is really a 2.5watt signal. QRP power legal limit should be be set by the effective bandwidth of the signal rather than a one size fits all modes.  

It would be far better to adjust the QRP  power limit to the mode used for effective communications rather than endless emotional hype about how effective  some arbitrary chosen power level is. Its very easy these days with propagation modeling software to establish what is an effective power level for the mode and band used. Setting QRP power at some fixed level is ridiculous as having one speed limit for all roads and road conditions, this is not a reality for driving nor is having  a fixed power level for QRP operation. We need to think more of effective communications power rather than some arbitrary grand standing power limit.  We dont have QRP operation for moonbounce   for obvious reasons, HF propagation and circuits are no different we can calculate  the real power needed to complete the circuit very easily these days! This could also be done for contest scoring.

A calibrated S-meter on a receiver and realistic power levels that matches the mode could bringing more technical meaning to the real effectiveness of QRP operation. Endless bragging about what DX you worked on one set of solar numbers in  1 year tells us nothing about the effectiveness of low power.



I have zero interest in contests, awards or "busting pileups."

Actually, QRP and contests/events go well together.  In a contest, it doesn't matter if you're in the noise or 40 over 9, a Q is a Q.  Especially on CW, QRP is not a big liability.  The skills you learn by participating in contests, even just for fun, you can use for all types of operating.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM


Don't know how they do it across the Atlantic ,but here in the U.S. Legal QRP output for SSB is 10 watts peak, and legal QRP maximum for CW is 5 watts avg. QRP is defined as 5 watts or less ,but as Zenki did state the AVG power of 5 watts on SSB is about 2 1/2 watts so 10 watts should give you full 5 watts give or take. Believe me, 10 watts makes a difference and running an ICOM 703+ ,or dropping your QRO rig down to it is fun and surprising. That's for SSB, but running CW will double your fun.

Gil,

Most hams buy various radios over the years and for good reason. Even though there's a base line review of suggestions from hams that are valid really you should just go with what works for you and what your happy with in the end. There is a lot of prejudice in peoples opinions. Meaning.....opinions are like _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _. Everyone has one!

Right now the Elecraft KX3 and ICOM 703+ are the perfect choice of radios for QRP. Their both loaded with bands 10 watts output for SSB adjustable of course and features. Next a YEASU FT817ND.

Just pick one of a thousand QRP radios out there tha suit you and have fun. If you're interested in one QSO an hour then how much a radio do you really need?

73!  



« Last Edit: September 01, 2012, 05:37:49 PM by N2RRA » Logged
WA2TPU
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« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2012, 12:19:41 AM »

To W1STU....I wish you my very best in trying Qrp. You might be pleasingly surprised on what a modest Qrp set-up will bring you as far as contacts.. Be both patient and persistent in your pursuit. Here's some thoughts to muse upon.The antenna you use is to me the most important part of any station whether its a Qrp station or one using 100 watts or more power . I have always been blessed that I've been able to install fairly high gain antennas at my Qth which truly enhances my Qrp signal. Another item you might consider when performing your Qrp operations is when calling cq is that you identify yourself as a Qrp station after stating your call letters. I do this quite often and I find it helps in making contacts- especially DX. In part, I believe that being a successful Qrp station is the ham operator on the other end of the Qso. In my opinion the receiving station, his or her abilities as an operator(good or bad) has as much to do with you making contact as you sending a transmission. Lastly, your knowledge of what the band conditions are during the time of day you're attempting to make a contact is another key to full-filling Qrp quest. Again, I wish you my very best. Good luck and enjoy Qrp. Its a TON OF FUN.
Regards and many 73-- Don sr. - WA2TPU. REAL QRP HERE!
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AA4GA
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« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2012, 02:57:55 PM »

You never read about QRP too QRP contacts  running with powers less than 5 watts and simple antennas.
I will refer you to this organization, specifically their monthly contests that promote both QRP and simple antennas:  http://naqcc.info/contests.html

Here's what you never read:  "Zenki" indentifying himself with his callsign.   Roll Eyes

It is certainly true that having a station with big antennas on one end of the path makes life easier for everyone involved - I've never heard anyone dispute that.  It's also very true that propagation is the "great equalizer", and that at times intercontinental QSOs can be made with less-than-optimum antennas at established QRP levels. 

I've operated exclusively at 5w or less for about a year and a half now, and sometimes go several weeks without even turning on the radio.  I've been able to work over 140 countries in 35 CQ Zones using nothing larger than an 80m doublet up 45' or so.  Have most of the contacts been with stations with large antennas?  Quite probably, although certainly not all of them.  So what?

I've operated from some large-ish multi-operator stations and have been an operator at three separate multi-ops that came in first place in the world in the ARRL DX contest as well as CQWW.  I've dug out my share of weak signal, poor antenna, QRP stations and never once complained about it:  we were happy to have the contact!  And I'm having as much fun operating at 5w or less with my doublet as I ever had when running legal limit and stacked yagis.  Would I like better antennas?  Yes.  Do I need better antennas to have fun?  No!  Do I need more than 5 watts to have fun?  No!

The accepted QRP level has become 5 watts output.  It's just a fact of life (well, I suppose some accept 10 watts on SSB - whatever).  Why come into a QRP forum and constantly whine about that definition being arbitrary?  Yes, it is - but that's what it is.  Live with it. 

We dont have QRP operation for moonbounce
Again, "Zenki" is wrong.

I had some friends in the '70s and '80s who were involved in EME.  Back then, a multi-Yagi (8+) array or equivalent was required, along with 1,000 to 1,500 watts.  Almost every QSO was the result of a pre-arranged schedule.  I never heard a QSO, but I have heard echos coming off the moon while testing with my friends.  It was pretty neat.

Fast forward to the present, and, largely due to signal processing software, there are many single-yagi stations running relatively lower power (I've read of as low as 100 watts) and making contacts via EME.  And these are not necessarily scheduled contacts, but randoms!  If one were to use one of the larger EME arrays that exist, it could be possible to make a QSO at the accepted 5 watt QRP level.  Whether or not someone has done that, I don't know, I kind of doubt it.  But there are a lot of 4-Yagi 400 watt stations operating EME today, and 30 years ago no one thought that would be possible.  And a single-Yagi 100-watt station is definitely considered QRP in EME circles!

I'm glad I got to operate with more power and better antennas before I became exclusively a QRP operator - I'm sure the experience I gained over the years better prepared me for understanding propagation, etc., such that I don't get frustrated when I'm not able to make a QSO.  But I also don't necessarily think that someone who starts out QRP is absolutely setting themselves up for frustration and doomed to failure either.  Realistic expectations and the proper attitude are what is important.
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WA2TPU
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« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2012, 10:45:02 PM »

to AA4GA......What an honest and sincere reply you made above in this forum. Truly I tip my hat to you and hope that someday we will run across each other on the bands. I know Qrp isn't for everyone but I really enjoy it. 5 watts or less is all I ever use.
Best regards and many 73.
Don sr. - WA2TPU. A REAL QRP GREEN STATION.
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