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Author Topic: Let's get something straight about QRP!  (Read 26067 times)
N2RRA
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« Reply #30 on: September 12, 2012, 08:21:53 PM »

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

Next time a cell tower goes down, or he can't get a signal in a rural area ask him if he could get anybody.  Wink
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AG6WT
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« Reply #31 on: September 13, 2012, 08:23:35 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

Next time this comes up with your friend, ask him if he can have a round robin rag chew with 3 or more friends on his phone. Or if he can meet a total stranger on the phone and strike up a conversation. Phones are go for point-to-point communication if you know who to call, radios are great for casting a net to meet new people.

Also, regarding the cost. Sure the equipment in the shack costs more...to start. BUT you don't have to pay a monthly fee. A very basic no frills phone will cost $30 with a $30/month no contract plan. At that rate, 1 year of cell phone could pay for a multi-band CW QRP rig which could potentially last for your entire life. 2 or 3 years of cell phone service would pay for an all mode, all band radio like a FT-817.

Ray KJ6AMF
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AC4RD
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« Reply #32 on: September 13, 2012, 09:18:07 AM »

... ask him if he can have a round robin rag chew with 3 or more friends on his phone. Or if he can meet a total stranger on the phone and strike up a conversation. Phones are go for point-to-point communication if you know who to call, radios are great for casting a net to meet new people.

Yep, Ray, you nailed it!  And for having fun, too!  Oh, not everybody thinks ham radio is fun, and not all hams think QRP (or DXing, or RTTY, or moonbounce, or whatever) is fun.   But mostly we do it because it IS fun.  :-)   Yesterday afternoon the SFI was 103 and the propagation summary said "poor" for 10meters .... but I sat in my back yard (on the east coast) with a drink and 817 and my ugly homebrewed portable paddles, and worked KH6 on 5 watts.  No doubt about it, in my book that's FUN!  Smiley
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AE4RV
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« Reply #33 on: September 13, 2012, 09:31:59 AM »

You either got the radio bug or you don't.
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F8WBD
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« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2012, 03:06:51 AM »

Excellent responses from all! There are many good reasons 5-watts or less is used and every one has been covered. RFI, apartment dwelling, senior housing, "green" reasons, etc. It isn't only portable or "challenge" operating. And, I suggest QRPers spread themselves around the band, not just a few hertz +/- from the QRP watering holes. In fact most of my CW QRP contacts, with other QRP operators, have been away from those frequencies.

Choose your reason and enjoy QRP. By the way, don't feel guilty if conditions become un-favorable and a two-way QRP QSO must be terminated.  The same thing happens at QRO levels.

72 Rich
« Last Edit: September 14, 2012, 03:09:57 AM by F8WBD » Logged
N1NQC
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« Reply #35 on: September 15, 2012, 01:30:45 PM »

Hey All,

I have only had a BIT of experience w/ QRP on HF CW around 7040 Kc. But I have had TONS of QSO's on V/UHF at SUPER low power levels (as low as single digit mW levels on 2 M ssb and low double digit mW's on FM) and had a BLAST doing it.

But since  most of the  QRP action is  on HF, using the  established BAND PLANS is critical ! Please give QRP'er's some space to work (ie around 7040, et al). There is plenty of room for QRO, digital, etc. The same goes for AM, they only need a BIT of spectrum, but it  must be CLEAR  of other modes .

FWIW, my latest (maybe  silly) QRP "experiment" is running an FT-60 at .5 W on UHF with a ludicrous 120 + ft of RG-8X, a diplexer and connectors/adapters inline  to an SO-239 gnd plane ant (we all know what they are like re pattern- dismal).

 I figure it's around 30 mW out. I am around 80% quieting into my buddy's  REPEATER (yes , I know I said the "R" word) about 25 mi away.

I intend to limbo even LOWER by (hopefully) finding a small Yagi and slapping even MORE coax  inline just to gobble up the gain and still get the same 80 % quieting. Ideally I'd like to get things down to the  single mW range (albeit WITH the Yagi's gain) , which would  be a first for me on UHF.Anybody know where I can buy long lengths  of  small  cheap crumby coax ? (hi, hi)

The other thing I want to try is using a 50 ohm resistor as an antenna to see what IT will do.

QRP is FUN.The advantage I see to doing it on V/UHF is the lack of QRM  from QRO stations.

K
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N2RRA
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« Reply #36 on: September 18, 2012, 08:59:53 PM »

Hey All,

I have only had a BIT of experience w/ QRP on HF CW around 7040 Kc. But I have had TONS of QSO's on V/UHF at SUPER low power levels (as low as single digit mW levels on 2 M ssb and low double digit mW's on FM) and had a BLAST doing it.

But since  most of the  QRP action is  on HF, using the  established BAND PLANS is critical ! Please give QRP'er's some space to work (ie around 7040, et al). There is plenty of room for QRO, digital, etc. The same goes for AM, they only need a BIT of spectrum, but it  must be CLEAR  of other modes .

FWIW, my latest (maybe  silly) QRP "experiment" is running an FT-60 at .5 W on UHF with a ludicrous 120 + ft of RG-8X, a diplexer and connectors/adapters inline  to an SO-239 gnd plane ant (we all know what they are like re pattern- dismal).

 I figure it's around 30 mW out. I am around 80% quieting into my buddy's  REPEATER (yes , I know I said the "R" word) about 25 mi away.

I intend to limbo even LOWER by (hopefully) finding a small Yagi and slapping even MORE coax  inline just to gobble up the gain and still get the same 80 % quieting. Ideally I'd like to get things down to the  single mW range (albeit WITH the Yagi's gain) , which would  be a first for me on UHF.Anybody know where I can buy long lengths  of  small  cheap crumby coax ? (hi, hi)

The other thing I want to try is using a 50 ohm resistor as an antenna to see what IT will do.

QRP is FUN.The advantage I see to doing it on V/UHF is the lack of QRM  from QRO stations.

K

All I can say is if you use cheap crummy coax then you're setting yourself up for failure and many bad experiences. Especially on VHF/UHF!

Good Luck!

73!
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KC8VWM
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« Reply #37 on: September 20, 2012, 08:49:48 PM »

You hear and read terms like "Life's too Short for QRP".

People ask "why run QRP when you can run QRO ,or low power"? They make negative comments when a QRP operator wants to join a QSO

73!


Just tell them, life's too short for QRO...  Grin

I mean, why run QRO when you can make a simple telephone call to someone instead?

So, if they tell you life's too short for QRP, I would ask them why do they bother running QRO to have a conversation with someone when they could easily achieve this objective using an ordinary smart phone instead.




« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 08:55:26 PM by KC8VWM » Logged
N2RRA
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« Reply #38 on: September 28, 2012, 03:28:28 PM »

You hear and read terms like "Life's too Short for QRP".

People ask "why run QRP when you can run QRO ,or low power"? They make negative comments when a QRP operator wants to join a QSO

73!


Just tell them, life's too short for QRO...  Grin

I mean, why run QRO when you can make a simple telephone call to someone instead?

So, if they tell you life's too short for QRP, I would ask them why do they bother running QRO to have a conversation with someone when they could easily achieve this objective using an ordinary smart phone instead.






If need to know whats really going on in a state ,or country and you don't have a cell number for a particular person who else ya gonna call?

Why not just pluck any signal out the ionosphere to get the info you want. Can't really do that with a cell phone!  Wink
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KA3NXN
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« Reply #39 on: October 07, 2012, 09:30:07 AM »

To me there is nothing more satisfying than working the world with a home made antenna and 2 watts. This tells me that my antenna designs WORK!!! And in case of an emergency I can get a signal out with the minimum of power sources. Unlike some folks who need 2KW to works across the street. What happens when you can't power your amp? and you have to turn your rig down to only a few watts to conserve battery power if you have battery back up. Better hope that you know how to work the world with a few watts and that your lossy antennas are up to the task.

Just my opinion.

Jaime-KA3NXN
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N2RRA
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« Reply #40 on: October 18, 2012, 09:13:16 PM »

To me there is nothing more satisfying than working the world with a home made antenna and 2 watts. This tells me that my antenna designs WORK!!! And in case of an emergency I can get a signal out with the minimum of power sources. Unlike some folks who need 2KW to works across the street. What happens when you can't power your amp? and you have to turn your rig down to only a few watts to conserve battery power if you have battery back up. Better hope that you know how to work the world with a few watts and that your lossy antennas are up to the task.

Just my opinion.

Jaime-KA3NXN

So true!!!

73!
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N4OI
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« Reply #41 on: October 19, 2012, 05:38:48 AM »

To me there is nothing more satisfying than working the world with a home made antenna and 2 watts. [...] Jaime-KA3NXN

Not only satisfying, but AMAZING!  Think of it -- a signal travels around the world, alternately bouncing off some electrical "mirror" and lands/oceans, dissipating less than a COUPLE OF WATTS along the way!  I think I could generate a couple of watts rubbing my hands together!  The universe with its awesome physical properties is truly a wonderous creation!!!

73 ES GOD BLESS U ES URS DE KEN N4OI  Grin
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W5DQ
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« Reply #42 on: October 19, 2012, 07:08:02 AM »

To me there is nothing more satisfying than working the world with a home made antenna and 2 watts. [...] Jaime-KA3NXN

Not only satisfying, but AMAZING!  Think of it -- a signal travels around the world, alternately bouncing off some electrical "mirror" and lands/oceans, dissipating less than a COUPLE OF WATTS along the way!  I think I could generate a couple of watts rubbing my hands together!  The universe with its awesome physical properties is truly a wonderous creation!!!

73 ES GOD BLESS U ES URS DE KEN N4OI  Grin

----------------
In the beginning God created Ham, and God was pleased.
Then God created QRP and God was pleased.
Ham said unto God, "God why has thou limited me to QRP. God replied, "Soest thou could see the futility of it". Then God created QRO and EVERYONE was pleased.

From the Book on Operating, ALPHA 1:1

Gene W5DQ

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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
WA6MJE
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« Reply #43 on: October 29, 2012, 09:54:27 PM »

I loved reading these posts.  I am an old timer, 55 years a ham, but always wanting to learn something new.  I live in an HOA restricted community, but a few years ago started fooling with hidden antennas and digital modes, and managed to get great success after tweaking the antenna for everything it is worth.  Then discovered how JT65 needs so little power, that I dialed the rig back to 10 or 20 watts.

Ok, so I just bought a 5 watt Flexradio this weekend so I am hooked on QRP.  It just seems great to maximize less by paying attention to detail.  I have more success now than back in the "good old days" when I had a California kilowatt melting a tribander.

I will enjoy the next few years making the best of basics, and finesse.  Maybe that is what old age teaches.  I can't wait until my new rig gets here.  And, yes I have a 70 watt foldable, portable solar panel I spread out on a picnic table.  I can have fun all day on a couple of lipo batteries, and some wire in a tree.   
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AD6KA
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« Reply #44 on: October 30, 2012, 04:12:04 PM »

Quote
N2RRA Said:
People ask "why run QRP when you can run QRO ,or low power"? They make negative comments when a QRP operator wants to join a QSO ,or just make a contact. I hate that!!

So let's get something straight before the arrogance comes out of someone's mouth and is too into themselves before giving a thought that maybe a person is running QRP for a reason. Maybe this will play a role in the back of your anti-QRP mentality before dismissing a QRP caller , CQ'er ,or even one trying to make the same DX-pedition contact you QRO guys are making before you crush thier hopes with your low power to high power signals

I have been a ham for 26 years, and first got into QRP
about 15 years ago. All of my QRP gear has been built from
kits by myself. K2, MKARS80, BITX20A, SW40+, PSK Series
and White Mountain Series rigs from SWL, among other,,,,

In 15 years of operating QRP I have never encountered
any negative comments about it, either on or off the air.
I have never been refused a QSO. (I've had guys try
to copy me and fail, but that is a different thing). They
said (or say/send)"Sorry no copy" and NOT "Go away, I
don't a QSO with a QRP station".


I also enjoy operating QRO as well.

Where do you hang out (bands & modes) that
you experience such enmity towards QRP operation?
73, Ken  AD6KA
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