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Author Topic: Let's get something straight about QRP!  (Read 24450 times)
KC0OBI
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Posts: 9




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« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2012, 05:12:47 PM »

Hi Allison
I have 4 10w solar panels I got from work that I would like to
use to keep my 12ah and 55ah AGM batterys charged. Can you
recommend a good quiet rf wise charge controller? The panels
are rated for about 650 ma each.  I like my Ft-817 good little radio
trying to get the apt manager to let me put a ripple on the roof.

N2RRA
 I really like your vids .  To me doing QRP is like fly fishing, takes patience
skill and a little luck. Now if I could get my CW up to speed..

Michael KC0OBI
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N2RRA
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Posts: 645


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« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2012, 06:16:56 PM »

N2RRA: RE: panels,  A pair of solar cynergy 80W from solarbvld.com.  At the time they were
about 120$ each.  I also have a 50W and a 20W.  Thats arraged so at peak thers about 230W of charge and two smaller are offset to extend the usable charge (sun) time.

I also have a bunch of the 3W "volkswagon" panels as they were cheap
and do a great job charging 7AH gells and other batteries.

The 150AH nicads were a find and makes it easy to pull 100W power without worry.
The discharge curve is flatter than lead acid [agm/sla]. 

I'm fairly green.  My old Heathkit and Tempo One need the 110Vac and would suck down
the battery  fast.  But being battery powered makes its nice when others are in the dark.
that and its electronically different.  That and it gives me an excuse to build another radio
that runs on "12V".


Allison

Good Stuff Allison!

I also read your QRZ.com page bio and it's very impressive. Thanks for the info and input. I really need to go solar both packing and at my cabin upstate NY where I could put solar to more use. Like Don I'd like to also use a wind generator. Both are very cool and the wave of the future as it was in the past. Got some planing to do and money to spend now. Geez! It never ends  Roll Eyes

73!
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N2RRA
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Posts: 645


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« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2012, 06:32:59 PM »

Hi Allison
I have 4 10w solar panels I got from work that I would like to
use to keep my 12ah and 55ah AGM batterys charged. Can you
recommend a good quiet rf wise charge controller? The panels
are rated for about 650 ma each.  I like my Ft-817 good little radio
trying to get the apt manager to let me put a ripple on the roof.

N2RRA
 I really like your vids .  To me doing QRP is like fly fishing, takes patience
skill and a little luck. Now if I could get my CW up to speed..

Michael KC0OBI

Thanks Michael! I really appreciate it.  Grin

I was never one too take pictures ,or be video'ed till recently when I started making vids. Think it's a great way to share the good times. Maybe also encourage more hams to not just sit at home. More importantly I dig working the world QRP. In my earlier vids I'm literally working the world and cutting in through pile ups out of many running high power or QRO.

Love it!!

Just uploaded some new vids so keep watching for many more to come with various types of antenna designs. You don't need a hundreds of dollars in antennas. Just ambition!

Fly fishing is a perfect analogy!

73!
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W7ASA
Member

Posts: 252




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« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2012, 08:44:08 AM »

Well said !

I have done a LOT of wilderness radio on the mountain West and some crazy places in the world - decades of it.  QRP was the only option 'out there' because keeping a radio filled with electrons is not easy when the nearest power plug is 4 - 5  days hike away. Low power consumption on receive, is critically important because that's where most of your time on-air is spent. The transmit power of 5 Watts or less is happening for one simple reason - it works. Nobody would question working from base camp with 50 Watts CW  - sure, no problem, but 5 Watts is only 10dB down from that  i/e less than two S-units. That 'S9' signal from 50 Watts only dropped to S7+.  not a problem but MUCH easier to keep on the air and to carry in your rucksack because of the lack of heat sink. fewer/smaller batteries and etc.  My main 'no compromise' was that I always carried a full sized dipole.  It was usually made from lite but 'field survivable' materials, but as low loss and efficient as possible. With 'little radios' you want 'BIG antennas' ha ha Being able to recharge in the field was a major plus. A small solar panel laid in the grass by a stream is still a source of wonder to me. I used an old mil surplus Arco folding panel for years and still have it around - somewhere.

These days I am not doing the heavy wilderness work/play anymore but I can still enjoy the occasional QRP portable on my bike trips. When we loose commercial power at home, as happens often, the QRP rigs are ready on a moment's notice. If I ever run out of internal capacity, the QRP rigs can run for a month on the car's battery!


73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._


Ps. Have a look at my QRZ.com page for a pic of my water tight version of the KX-1.
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GILGSN
Member

Posts: 207




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« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2012, 09:19:32 AM »

Awesome KX1 Ray!

I went the easy way and got a Pelican case for my K1.

Cutting square holes in front panels is not something I enjoy...

Gil.
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N2RRA
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Posts: 645


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« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2012, 11:25:32 AM »

Well said !

I have done a LOT of wilderness radio on the mountain West and some crazy places in the world - decades of it.  QRP was the only option 'out there' because keeping a radio filled with electrons is not easy when the nearest power plug is 4 - 5  days hike away. Low power consumption on receive, is critically important because that's where most of your time on-air is spent. The transmit power of 5 Watts or less is happening for one simple reason - it works. Nobody would question working from base camp with 50 Watts CW  - sure, no problem, but 5 Watts is only 10dB down from that  i/e less than two S-units. That 'S9' signal from 50 Watts only dropped to S7+.  not a problem but MUCH easier to keep on the air and to carry in your rucksack because of the lack of heat sink. fewer/smaller batteries and etc.  My main 'no compromise' was that I always carried a full sized dipole.  It was usually made from lite but 'field survivable' materials, but as low loss and efficient as possible. With 'little radios' you want 'BIG antennas' ha ha Being able to recharge in the field was a major plus. A small solar panel laid in the grass by a stream is still a source of wonder to me. I used an old mil surplus Arco folding panel for years and still have it around - somewhere.

These days I am not doing the heavy wilderness work/play anymore but I can still enjoy the occasional QRP portable on my bike trips. When we loose commercial power at home, as happens often, the QRP rigs are ready on a moment's notice. If I ever run out of internal capacity, the QRP rigs can run for a month on the car's battery!


73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._


Ps. Have a look at my QRZ.com page for a pic of my water tight version of the KX-1.


Hello Ray,

Your QRZ bio is cool and your water tight version of the KX-1 is, Sick! Love it!

How long does that small solar panel on top take to charge the battery inside? What battery is inside?

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NO2A
Member

Posts: 800




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« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2012, 01:21:46 PM »

Maybe what we need is a contest using the worst possible antenna at the lowest possible height using qrp and still making contacts. Imagine the possibilities! A 40m dipole 5 ft off the ground,etc. Maybe its already been done?   Cheesy
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N2RRA
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Posts: 645


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« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2012, 03:07:16 PM »

Maybe what we need is a contest using the worst possible antenna at the lowest possible height using qrp and still making contacts. Imagine the possibilities! A 40m dipole 5 ft off the ground,etc. Maybe its already been done?   Cheesy

40 meter dipole is not the worst possible antenna.

Maybe not the worst antenna ,but certainly right up there is an ICOM AH-703 with two ground radials out of my back pack with 5 watts on a 12v 7ah battery that I've been experimenting with and making videos for. I really like the antenna and it surprised the Hell outta me when I made a contact with it. It's quality is mil-spec quality.

Now, it's not the worst per say as in quality, but as per efficiency so it's not the wisest choice for a base ,or lengthy temporary operation under fair and of course poor band conditions, but if conditions were great it would do fine.

So thats pretty much damn near close to working with a wet noodle as they say and I still have made contacts with some surprising results. Not many people I don't think know about the antenna, but I've so far tested it out in a very wooded area with no clearing and I've had QSO's. It's under my YouTube channel under my call sign N2RRA, or N2RRAny

What I'm going to try next is at a beach tomorrow and at higher altitudes on my next 2000ft.+ ASL for S.O.T.A. (Summits On The Air) operations.

It would make for a descent pedestrian mobile ,or prepper survival communications where a super quick deployment is needed. 

I am going to perform further tests with multiple radials and heights above ground to see if I can improve efficiency and radiation patterns to give it more than a fair shake.

Can it get any worse than that?? LOL!
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KB1GMX
Member

Posts: 780




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« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2012, 04:16:41 PM »

KC0OBI:

40W will charge big batteries slowly.  The desired charge current is around 1/10th the battery capacity so for the 12AH you need a controller but the larger 55ah AGM battery the charge current would be a lot higher and a charge controller is not quite required.

However I use two different ones.  The MicroM+ was featured in a older issue of QST and may still be available, it is quiet.  None of the MPPT controllers will be quiet as most all are boost/buck switchers essentially.  I also have a MorningStar SunGuard I just got and that seems to work ok and I haven't detected any noise
at least on VHF though I need to check on HF more closely.

I also use the "volkwagon" panels to keep the PRC1099 battery going as one of the panels are about 170ma and the RX is around 140ma making for a slightly positive power budget in full sun but no so much as to cook the 7ah battery
even when the radio is off.

RE:  >>contest using the worst possible antenna at the lowest possible height using qrp and still making contacts.<<

Try a dipole on the dirt tuned for that case (much shorter) and running QRP.
I've done that and it works better than you would expect out to about 1000 miles.  There is also the "KØS Strange Antenna Challenge Special Event".

You can catch me on 14.285 or around that running 4W SSB mobile.
The antenna is a Jetstream loaded whip that is about 7ft long on the truck.
Seems to make contacts and I can check into the Maritime Mobile Net and the Intercontinental nets with that affair.  Though I'd say pedestrian mobile
appears harder than that I've found the 10ft whip on the PRC plenty effective
even on 75M.


Allison
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AC4RD
Member

Posts: 1235




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« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2012, 09:14:53 AM »

Maybe what we need is a contest using the worst possible antenna at the lowest possible height using qrp and still making contacts. Imagine the possibilities! A 40m dipole 5 ft off the ground,etc. Maybe its already been done?   Cheesy

The last few evenings, I've been outside in my yard with the 817, running the RF to an old 3el yagi for 10 meters, about 8' above the ground.  The antenna is on those mil-surplus fiberglass poles, and the base is tied to a handcart in the back yard.  The handcart is weighted with concrete blocks to hold it down.  It is DEFINITELY an improvised antenna setup.  Wink  It works great, though, and have a beam, even a small old one, makes a big difference over a dipole when running 5 watts.  Smiley
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WA2TPU
Member

Posts: 209




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« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2012, 11:52:27 AM »

Indeed. Sometime if you can....make-up a 10/15 meter 3 or 4 element Delta loop or Quad and you'll really see a huge difference in the ability to improve your "fun capacity". If you want to get real creative...try having 2 driven elements on the above mentioned antennas...one being horizontal the other being vertical polarization....antennas are where one can really "shine" when it comes to getting 5 watts or 200 mill-watts out on the air-waves. Enjoy your Qrp adventures. I sure do. Its a BLAST and I STILL LOVE IT AFTER 40 YEARS.
My BEST regards and many 73.
Don sr. - WA2TPU- A TRUE 5 WATT GREEN QRP STATION.
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N2RRA
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« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2012, 08:32:07 PM »

Indeed. Sometime if you can....make-up a 10/15 meter 3 or 4 element Delta loop or Quad and you'll really see a huge difference in the ability to improve your "fun capacity". If you want to get real creative...try having 2 driven elements on the above mentioned antennas...one being horizontal the other being vertical polarization....antennas are where one can really "shine" when it comes to getting 5 watts or 200 mill-watts out on the air-waves. Enjoy your Qrp adventures. I sure do. Its a BLAST and I STILL LOVE IT AFTER 40 YEARS.
My BEST regards and many 73.
Don sr. - WA2TPU- A TRUE 5 WATT GREEN QRP STATION.

Don,

That is some awesome advice. Delta loop beams are amazing.

Try it folks!
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WA2TPU
Member

Posts: 209




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« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2012, 09:43:47 PM »

to N2RRA...
Thanks.
Another one of my favorite antennas which has been real good performer for me is the Half Square configuration. Some scoff at these antennas because they only have about 3DB gain. What I like about this antenna is that its simple to make, rolls-up nicely to put in a pack-basket with the coax already attached in one upper corner. Plus, it can be hung fairly quickly/easily in lower height trees with just nylon twine or some heavy weight fishing line. Good simple antenna for Field Day Rover applications?? Maybe an antenna to seriously consider? We didn't have Field Day Rovering back when I got into this wonderful hobby......

Example- A 20 meter Half Square has two 17 feet dangling vertical wires separated by 34 feet between them. By design the antenna is bi-directional(broadside)vertically polarized with a decent take off angles.Thus, if you have one up running from N to S it will radiate E and W. Conversely, if its running from E to W it will radiate N and S. Some folks refer to the Half Square as "phased verticals without the radials". What I really like is with just 2 Half Square antennas you can cover N,S, E and W.  Also, I've found that during "gray-line" propagation (dusk/dawn) that a vertically polarized antenna works better than does a horizontally polarized one(diploe)up off the ground at the same height. This is just my opinion and I do not pretend to know or have all the computer modeling that some folks have to design this or that. I'm just stating herein that in  my past adventures trekking here and there( at times in some pretty remote wilderness areas on this planet) the Half Square has really worked well for me.
Well....that's.
I hope ALL of you will enjoy your own Qrp exploits and quests. Enjoy!
Best regards and many 73.
Don sr. - WA2TPU - A TRUE 5 WATT GREEN QRP STATION.
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K8AG
Member

Posts: 352




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« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2012, 09:32:52 AM »

Life IS too short, but for QRO.  Completing a QSO with a ham in a nearby state, a non-ham friend watched and mused that he could do the same thing with his cell phone.  He promptly took his phone and called his brother out of state.  His cell phone was free.  I had a thousand dollars or more invested in my station at the time.

I would rather have a QSO with low power, battery power, wire antennas or all of the above than simply blast a signal through my Yagi on a 50 foot tower.

It's not that we communicate, its how we communicate.

My 2 cents.

72, JP, K8AG
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LA9XSA
Member

Posts: 376




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« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2012, 09:52:40 AM »

His cell phone was not free. Even if it's his parents, somebody's paying for it - both his terminal and the infrastructure that makes it work.
QRO is fine too; just because we enjoy one niche of ham radio doesn't mean we should look down on those who enjoy other niches, should we?
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