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Author Topic: QRP is Great!  (Read 1848 times)
N6PG
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Posts: 55




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« on: June 07, 2013, 02:05:33 AM »

I made a trip to Germany a few years ago and I brought my FT-857 and a big battery. I had a great time, but it wasn't an easy setup to bring along. Fast forward to this year... I brought the Elecraft KX3 and some 28 gauge speaker wire.  I've made contact after contact... In fact, last night I made it from Munich to Boston in 20 meters (wire thrown out the window on second floor). This was the first year I've ever tried QRP. it never sounded like fun before.  I expected it to be very frustrating, but it hasn't been.

Would I recommend it to a new ham? Probably not to start. When I was 15 I could jump on the novice bands and find slow CW. Now I think most QSOs are a bit fast, but they'll slow down for me. I don't think QRP on SSB would have the same results I've had with CW. BUT... If you're bored with the hobby, or travel... This is a great area to explore. The KX3 is awesome, and if you're on a budget.. The Ten-Tec R4040 is only $300... It's easy to bring along a light and easy to set up HF station.

I should post this elsewhere... Since everyone here already knows how great QRP is...
73,
Scott N6PG
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K2CMH
Member

Posts: 275




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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2013, 04:40:32 AM »

Can you elaborate more on your antenna such as length, any counterpoise or matchboxes you used?   I have never had much
success in operating with an antenna hanging out the window, but it sure sounds like you have and I would like to know what you had to do to make that work.

Thanks,
Carlton
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N6PG
Member

Posts: 55




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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2013, 05:31:10 AM »

Can you elaborate more on your antenna such as length, any counterpoise or matchboxes you used?   I have never had much
success in operating with an antenna hanging out the window, but it sure sounds like you have and I would like to know what you had to do to make that work.

Thanks,
Carlton


I started using 28'. I chose the length after reading this... randomwireantennalengths.html then in reading Elecrafts recommendations in their tuner manual I used a 16' counterpoise. I have 25' of RG8 mini from the radio to the window, then I throw the wires out right and left. It's 28 guage speaker wire, so I weighted the ends. The RG8 is so I can op in the field and raise the antenna up. I'm using the tuner in the KX3.

In the field I'm using an arborist canvas throw weight 10oz to launch the line. Similar to this http://www.wesspur.com/throw-line/throw-bags.html but I found it on amazon... Canvas.
Scott N6PG
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K2CMH
Member

Posts: 275




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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2013, 05:48:16 AM »

Thanks for the reply.    Do you have the random wires connected directly to the coax or are you using
some kind of balun/transformer?   Can you clarify what you mean by "throwing the wires out right and left", I'm
having a hard time visualizing what the means in context of an open window.

One other thing, are you just using this on 20m or does it work on other bands?

Thanks again for the info.

Carlton
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N6PG
Member

Posts: 55




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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2013, 05:59:26 AM »

Thanks for the reply.    Do you have the random wires connected directly to the coax or are you using
some kind of balun/transformer?   Can you clarify what you mean by "throwing the wires out right and left", I'm
having a hard time visualizing what the means in context of an open window.

One other thing, are you just using this on 20m or does it work on other bands?

Thanks again for the info.

Carlton


In the field I was planning on using the 28' like a vertical with the 16' counterpoise. But for the window I set it up more like a dipole. I tied a nail clipper to one end and got it to land on the roof line. The 16' side I threw the other direction and it hooked on something, though not fully extended. I have an LDG 1:1 balun that probably isn't needed. I also have a BNC connector to attach the wires to if I forgo the balun. I did that in the field. I've made many contacts on 40m and 20m. The KX3 tuner will tune just about anything.

With the R4040 I found that I was bringing my LDG Z100 tuner and extra batteries... So in the end, it seemed like a lot to piece together with jumpers. Still great, and I'll do that for trips where I don't want to worry about an expensive radio... BUT... The KX3 is as close to plug in and play as I've seen. My new favorite thing is sitting in bed with the radio. Simple setup and good results.

I've found little luck in calling CQ, but I've answered a lot of calls and tail ended on other QSOs. There was a pileup and I threw my call out there. The code was WAY to fast for me and I regretted it when the station answered. Thank goodness the KX3 decoder helped me.
Scott N6PG
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WX7G
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Posts: 5949




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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2013, 06:08:54 AM »

The KX3 is amazing at 12 watts. I've been using mine with a 30' wire into a tree and the counterpoise is my travel trailer. Even SSB works well running speech compression.

QRP is easy if you answer stations that are at least 2 S-units stronger than what you would be comfortable copying. Two S-units for 100 watt stations and four S-units for kW stations. If you can barely copy the other station he will probably not be able to copy you, unless he too is QRP.

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K2CMH
Member

Posts: 275




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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2013, 06:12:57 AM »

I have a KX3 and definitely agree, it is a great radio and the built-in tuner will tune just about anything.
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