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Author Topic: QRP and SSB  (Read 20541 times)
KJ4RQV
Member

Posts: 130




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« on: April 27, 2013, 07:56:17 PM »

Just to encourage anyone just starting with QRP.
On 15 meters this afternoon I worked the following three countries plus US stations with 10 watts SSB: Belgium, Slovenia and Guyana. This was from south TN with an IC 703+ fed into a 132' dipole at 40 feet and just the internal tuner. It was a little noisy and it took a little patience but I received 5/3 and 5/9 reports.

If you are thinking about doing QRP, just do it, it is fun. Especially when you contact some mega dollar station that gives you a strong signal report and you tell him you are QRP. The comments and disbelief are often priceless.
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N2MVV
Member

Posts: 16




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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2013, 08:35:28 AM »

I love to work QRP SSB and will start to do PSK-31 as well at 5 watts and below.

My best contact so far was on 15 Meters SSB @ 2.5 watts on my Yaesu FT-817ND from New York City to Croatia (4200 miles) with a 57 report on a Buddistick portable antenna. The antenna was 5 foot tall up about 20 feet off the ground.

Looking forward to PSK-31 as it is more efficient than phone. I do not do CW but you should read the forum 1000 miles per watt.

73's and good DX! 

Eric (N2MVV)

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KE4YOG
Member

Posts: 182




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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2013, 10:29:47 AM »

I have work VK, Zl and others with my FT-817 and a double length G5RV. Last year's Field I worked several California stations on 15 meters. It us worth a try and very fun. I hope to get to the coast in October with my 817 and see what fun I can have. I also hope to get to the NC Mountains in August to see what kind of fun I can have with a SOTA activation.
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KB1GMX
Member

Posts: 761




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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2013, 11:18:02 AM »

I have HB SSB radios for 40, 20, 10 and 6M and have worked a lot of DX (even on 6!)
at power levels of 4W and below.

Its doable and can be a lot of fun.  The trick if any is use the best antenna possible.
For example back then It was a 3 element yagi for 6M 18feet up.  When I was working
loads of 10M contacts in early 2011 I used a K6STI rectangle.  A good dipole 30ft up is
a good 20M antenna.

A short vertical with minimal ground plane is not a good antenna its a compromise
and maybe more portable.

In the end its about radiated power, if people can work mobile with 100W with
inefficient (most mobile antennas are) antennas then 5W into a good one is better.

Allison
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W2NFL
Member

Posts: 3




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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2013, 04:33:02 PM »

I use pretty much the same set up and antenna . Last week on 20 meters I busted a few pile-ups from the QTH here in Cincinnati to London and a few other stations in Europe. One was using a beam and 400 watts. He took the time to let me and a few other QRP stations check in. I normally run a 100 watts but for fun bust out the Icom 703plus. Just when I think about getting an Amp---- and make a few contacts around the world on 5 watts I put my money aside for other things and forget about it.

Mike
Now K8MJM
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WA2TPU
Member

Posts: 208




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« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2013, 03:13:29 PM »

To Mike
Now K8MJM.

Good for you Mike.....a well stated posting.....Yep! Running Qrp with a decent beam can break pile-ups often with ease. Put your money well saved into more antennas with higher gains....You've already proven to yourself that you don't really need an amplifier if your antenna is efficient and has good gain.

Enjoy Summer Dxing Mike.
Best regards with many 72...73.
Don sr. -- WA2TPU/Qrp --
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W1JKA
Member

Posts: 1625




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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2013, 03:34:41 AM »

QRPer's defininition of AMP=Another Monthly Payment
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KATEKEBO
Member

Posts: 116




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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2013, 05:56:44 AM »

QRP SSB is a lot of fun.  I have 60+ confirmed entities on 10W or less (most of them on 5W with an FT-817), using modest antennas (Miracle Whip or Hamsticks).  My longest distance QSO on 5W is ~6000 miles (Nigeria), and ~8500 miles on 10W (Australia).  Even with the Miracle Whip, which many consider just an expensive dummy load, I have made several 5000+ miles QSOs with 5W only.

Never used more than 20W in my whole life, never used a beam antenna.  When conditions are right, you have patience and good timing, and the receiving station has good ears, there are no limits for QRP.

I love QRP because I can operate from anywhere, anytime.  No need for big antennas, power supplies, etc.  I can set up my station in 5 mins, get on the air, pack-up everything in 5 mins and keep moving.  Don't have to worry about antenna restrictions, pesky neighbors, exposure limits.




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KB1GMX
Member

Posts: 761




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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2013, 01:54:15 PM »

What WA2TPU said.

Ban a few years I had a TA33jr flying at 33ft and with 4w on 20M I was doing very well and
was told I'm lying untill I add QRP 4W and a TA33jr.   A 3 element beam is good for 5-7db of
gain and that puts my ERP in the 20-25W region.. All of a sudden I got heard.  Same for 10M
as well, Since the only thing for 15M at that time was the HW101 I will not count that.

So QRP or no, a good beam (wire beam, loop with gain) at decent height is worth more than
100W, you can hear them better and they will hear you better.

You can do it with less and one should try as any antenna is always better than none.
I say that being a mobile SSB 40M op at 10w (MY KNQ7a).  Sometimes compromise
antennas are a must do due to many reasons portability being one but if you can get
a decent dipole (or better) at decent height by all means do so.   Operating QRP is one
area where efficient antennas pay dividends.


Allison
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W1JKA
Member

Posts: 1625




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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2013, 03:53:40 PM »

A little off topic: I am still curious as to why hex beams,cobwebs,spider beams and Moxons are so popular with overseas Qrp operators (even those with large lots) but have not caught on very fast here in the states.I know price does not have to be a big concern because a Hex anyway can be home brewed for $0- 80.00 depending on parts on hand.
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ZENKI
Member

Posts: 916




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« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2013, 03:07:28 AM »

QRP SSB works in an enjoyable way with 20 to 30 watts. On SSB thats what the Legal QRP SSB level should be.

Picking a arbitrary power like 5 watts for all modes is a  ridiculous and flawed way of setting QRP power levels. 5watts is appropriate for CW.
I am not saying it cant cant be done. But we have to be realistic about the signal to noise ratio that most hams have to put up with in the big cities.
20 to 30 watts produces adequate signal to noise ratio with average/portable antennas. Its then no surprise that most of the military HF manpacks operate at this power level.
I have worked DX with my HF manpack whip stuck out of my cars window. If I did the same thing with a FT817 I fail miserably on SSB because the TX power is so low. 6db gain
is a massive gain that cannot be obtained with antennas in most mobile and portable situations.

Its a darn shame no ham company produces a moderate power radio that suits QRP/portable operation.  A radio that is optimised for  battery operation at the 25 watt level would be ideal.
This would be easy to achieve these days with lithium  battery technology. Its also a darn shame that no ham company has produced the equivalent of the HF manpack radio.
That is a 25 watt HF radio with a built in battery back and antenna tuner. A ham extension would be  to build in a DC to DC converter that operates from 10 to 50 volts DC and 90 to 260 volts AC.

All the QRP radios like the FT817 and KX3 and messy clumsy radios that are inconvenient to grab when you rushing out of the door with the xyl screaming at you to forget your radio crap and lets go.
A go grab radio like a HF manpack makes more sens to  me. A radio like this would also be convenient for say operating from a cruise ship or even aeronautical mobile. Not having to put together 100 accessories
every time you  want to operate is a real time saver and encourages more operating time. I can just imagine if a soldier had to emulate the way most hams operate portable. It would take them a 1 day to get their HF QRP kit together its so awkward and bothersome. My AEG HF manpack can be grabbed in 5 minutes and I can be operating it in 5 minutes flat   working DX.
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KI4ENS
Member

Posts: 79




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« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2013, 08:06:26 AM »

Its a darn shame no ham company produces a moderate power radio that suits QRP/portable operation.  A radio that is optimised for  battery operation at the 25 watt level would be ideal.
This would be easy to achieve these days with lithium  battery technology. Its also a darn shame that no ham company has produced the equivalent of the HF manpack radio.
That is a 25 watt HF radio with a built in battery back and antenna tuner. A ham extension would be  to build in a DC to DC converter that operates from 10 to 50 volts DC and 90 to 260 volts AC.

Perhaps I am missing something,  but is that not what a FT-897D with internal batteries and the FC-30 bolt-on tuner?  Just missing the antenna.  Batteries are NiMH instead of lithium.  It gives 20 watts on the internal batteries.  Might not be the best optimized but there is indeed an option for a self contained (less antenna) 20 watt portable rig.  The charging circuit leaves something to be desired.
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WX7G
Member

Posts: 5977




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« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2013, 02:15:05 PM »

The 'secret' to successfully calling 100 watt stations when you are QRP is to only call stations who are 2 S-units stronger than you would be comfortable copying. At 5 watts you will usually be 2 S-units weaker at their QTH than they are at your QTH.
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WA2TPU
Member

Posts: 208




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« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2013, 03:37:08 PM »

To WX7G and all...
You are absolutely correct on what you stated in your previous posting about 2 db stronger. I find that to be a good "rule of thumb" and I've used that for decades now....honestly, that really works. However, something I've found recently,especially on 40 meters night-time propagation-at least here at my Qth is to call stations who are well over S9 too. A good example of this was last night and last Thursday night on 7.163 Mhz. Tom-DF2BO--Yes! Tom the owner of Opti-Beam in Germany was 5by9 +30 to 40 Db here on my vertical array. He kept asking for DX from North America..."DELTA FOX TWO BLUE OCEAN With Company calling Cq Dx North America"....the usual kilo-watt stations were answering but the longer I listened to Tom stating that it was already daylight there in Germany and had been for an hour or so....I kept hearing stations farther West of me here in Upstate NY answering him and Tom giving them 5 by 6...7 reports. after hearing DF2BO for over a half hour here at my Qth  I decided to give him a call. Tom came right back to me giving me a 5 by 7...8...he was still 5by9 +20....Tom was totally shocked to work a 5 watt Qrp station on 40 meter LSB. On frequency he had I5ZSS- Pat near Florence and GM2YSN-Ian in Scottland. I had worked Pat and Ian many times B4 and they both knew of my Qrp exploits. Pat gave me a 5by7 and Ian gave me a 5by8....Again, this 3 way with DF2BO, I5ZSS and GM2YSN happened last night and last Thursday night with the same conditions being well after sunrise in Germany and Italy.
And NO!! NO!! NO!! I AM NOT BRAGGING ABOUT MAKING THESE CONTACTS!!! SO DON'T TAKE IT THAT WAY PLEASE!!! PERIOD!! What I'm trying to put forth to ALL of you reading this QRP and SSB postings...is don't be afraid to call an S9+whatever station who's calling CQ DX outside of the country you live in. You may very well be pleasingly surprised that S9+++ station just might answer you because conditions are highly favorable between you two. The point I'm really trying to make is LISTEN to what the DX station is saying...I was TOTALLY SURPRISED when DF2BO- Tom stated that he had been in daylight there in Germany for well over an hour. I would have thought as in my past experiences on 40 meters that the DX Window usually closes shortly after sunrise for the DX station you might be working. Bottom-line is...as far as I'm concerned .....is to LISTEN to what the band conditions are currently when you're on the air. Propagation/conditions are NOT set in stone...I know I learned something from the 2 contacts with DF2BO and company ....LISTEN MORE.....OPEN YOUR MIND A BIT....THE SOLAR INDEX/NUMBERS DO NOT ALWAYS TELL WHAT BAND CONDITIONS TRULY ARE.
Anyway....I'm rambling....
My BEST regards with many 72...73...
Don sr. --WA2TPU --
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KJ4RQV
Member

Posts: 130




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« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2013, 12:22:50 PM »

That's really fun.
I have tried to talk to Tom before with 10 watts but never quite made it but I will continue to try.

My self imposed rule for me is whoever, wherever and no matter what the wattage the other station is using, I will try to talk to them. You just never know, you might make a new friend.
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