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Author Topic: Just a note to perk up your spirits for the Holidays.  (Read 6925 times)
WA9CFK
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Posts: 87




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« on: December 19, 2013, 08:19:58 AM »

I live in northern Indiana. Unfortunately my QRO rig is down, so rather than waste a quite night on the band, I fired up my homebrew 80 meter CW rig; a mighty 3 watts into a loop antenna.

I answered a CQ and had a nice chat with a ham in Maine.  Smiley  Now I know that is in nothing record breaking, or earth shattering but it was a nice holiday treat and more than made up for those frustrating QRP evening.

And, it goes to show you never know what lurks beyond the horizon.

Merry Christmas to all.     
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WB0FDJ
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Posts: 134




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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2013, 09:04:39 AM »

"And, it goes to show you never know what lurks beyond the horizon"

Well said. That could easily be a QRP motto! Lately I've been using an old Ten Tec Argonaut 509, running 3 watts output and having a blast. Something about using simpler equipment and making a contact to anywhere that is hard to beat. Just had the Flex 1500 out this morning and it's like something from Starwars with bells and whistles galore. Still, the appeal of the basic stuff appeals to the novice in me.

Happy holidays
Doc WB0FDJ
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1619




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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2013, 10:34:42 AM »

As often stated, the original amateur radio pioneers from 1900 -1920s only had 5 watts and worked the world.
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K8AXW
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Posts: 3683




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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2013, 06:25:42 AM »

Yea Jim, you're right but it's easy to forget that there was less competition and I think better operators!!  Much of the gear was homebrew which includes amplifiers.  Now anyone with a buck can buy whatever he wants.

Al - K8AXW
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1619




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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2013, 07:01:43 AM »

Re: K8AXW

For sure, as for your last two sentences I think the new age term for both is Progress??
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WA9CFK
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Posts: 87




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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2013, 08:25:52 AM »

I was looking at a new rig and I wonder if all the bells and whistles account for all that many new contacts. I realized I have been a ham for a long time and do not chase much DX but five figures for a new radio seems a bit much.  Roll Eyes

Of course if money was not a problem; I would probably own one but I think I would invest in a good antenna farm first.

Still, there is a lot to be said for the fun factor and for me that includes the challenge of QRP.
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NU4B
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Posts: 2165




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« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2013, 10:36:50 AM »

I was looking at a new rig and I wonder if all the bells and whistles account for all that many new contacts. I realized I have been a ham for a long time and do not chase much DX but five figures for a new radio seems a bit much.  Roll Eyes

Of course if money was not a problem; I would probably own one but I think I would invest in a good antenna farm first.

Still, there is a lot to be said for the fun factor and for me that includes the challenge of QRP.


FIVE FIGURESHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuh

Are you counting the figures after the dot?  Grin
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K8AXW
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Posts: 3683




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« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2013, 05:43:47 PM »

Quote
I think I would invest in a good antenna farm first.

That would be money well spent! 

"5 figures?"  Yes, those are 5 (read five) before the dot!  I was looking at the transceiver ads in QST and checking some of the prices. Some transceivers cost over 10 grand!  That's $10,000.00+ !

As I went to the shack to light off my modest 30 year old transceiver, I was wondering who in the hell would spend 10 big ones on a transceiver?  Would you believe the first guy I contacted was using the exact same one I just priced 5 minutes before? 

I couldn't believe it!!  What really got me was he was hearing me just as well as I heard him.  But as the OM said, "If I had the bucks, guess I'd have one."  Money should be spent, not hoarded!

Al - K8AXW
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VK3DWZ
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Posts: 37




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« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2013, 11:50:38 PM »

Hello, W8CFK.  I don't wish to be rude but how far is it from Indiana to Maine (in Km please).  You must remember that this forum is read all over the world and references to places in the U.S. mean nothing to us here in Australia.  For instance, if I told the forum that I had a QSO on 160 with a station in Tamworth, and I lived in Melbourne, you would not have a clue what I was talking about, or the distance covered.
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W0WCA
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Posts: 33




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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2013, 02:55:11 AM »

But if curious, I would look at a map of Australia . . .
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WA9CFK
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Posts: 87




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« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2013, 12:12:10 PM »

VK3 you are not being rude at all. On the contrary I should have stated the distance.

The distance was about 1500 Km or approx. 900 miles. As I said, nothing earth shattering or record breaking by any means, just a pleasant holiday experience after several days of heavy 80 meter QRN. It is the kind of thing that lifts the QRP spirit. 

Concerning the five figure rig, a was looking for something in the 1K range when I sorted highest to lowest and up popped the 10 K plus models.  Shocked  I did a double take but yes it was in excess of $10,000.00.

It is like knowing they still make Rolls Royce autos but I probably will not be trading my F-150 pick up truck any time soon.  Wink
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NU4B
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Posts: 2165




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« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2013, 12:54:29 PM »

VK3 you are not being rude at all. On the contrary I should have stated the distance.

The distance was about 1500 Km or approx. 900 miles. As I said, nothing earth shattering or record breaking by any means, just a pleasant holiday experience after several days of heavy 80 meter QRN. It is the kind of thing that lifts the QRP spirit. 

Concerning the five figure rig, a was looking for something in the 1K range when I sorted highest to lowest and up popped the 10 K plus models.  Shocked  I did a double take but yes it was in excess of $10,000.00.

It is like knowing they still make Rolls Royce autos but I probably will not be trading my F-150 pick up truck any time soon.  Wink


I know they are out there. I was playing with you.  Grin

I'm still trying to remember if I paid over 1000 for a rig new. I think my K2 crossed it when I bought the DSP filter. I originally bought it back in 2001 (I think) so I may have to add up the receipts.
For 10 grand it better be a workin' DX while I'm asleep.  Grin
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KB1WSY
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Posts: 684




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« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2013, 02:52:41 PM »

"5 figures?"  Yes, those are 5 (read five) before the dot!  I was looking at the transceiver ads in QST and checking some of the prices. Some transceivers cost over 10 grand!  That's $10,000.00+ !

For some historical perspective, $10,000 in today's money is equal to $1,270 in 1960 according to this handy inflation calculator: http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/.

The price of a new Collins KWM-2 transceiver in 1961 was $1,150 (source: http://rigreference.com/en/rig/2528-Collins_KWM_2).

So at the "top end" prices are not much different from 50 years ago. At the mid-range and lower, however, prices are much lower in real terms than they were back then.
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WA9CFK
Member

Posts: 87




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« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2013, 09:36:46 AM »

KB1
Yes the inflation thing crossed my mind also; back when I was first married a new pick-up truck cost a little over $2500.00 and I could only dream of a Collins.

Not to drift too far from the subject but I think the big advantage to the new rigs is the ability to QSY with 100 watts up or down the band or across the bands with minimal effort except to tweak the antenna tuner.

My little Yaesu serves me well for QRO. Still for QRP I like to home brew. A hold over from my novice days I guess. It is hard to explain why a contact with 3 watts feels good no matter what the distance and in this case it was a personal best on 80 meters. A holiday treat if you will.

Enjoy the new year.

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KB1GMX
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Posts: 714




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« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2013, 11:40:32 AM »

The thing about QRP is that homebrewing is common.  They joy I  always
have is no matter the band and power is someone hearing me.  It doesn't
matter if its across the street or halfway round the world, someone heard
my radio.  I continue to build radios for that reason.

While my ham license only goes back to 2001, my experience with radio began
in the early 60s leading to a commercial ticket.  Ham buddies with  6AQ5
and 6l6 based transmitters were often running watts and working around
the world.  It wan't power, it was skill and a functional antenna.  Years of
VHF land mobile and 11M CB before the craze only reinforced that a good
receiver and a few watts were enough.  Back then a simple receiver was
a regen or maybe a superhet, now we have DC rigs that beat those and
simple superhets with NE602s and crystal filters that beat those old radios,
we can hear well enough now. 

So QRP is not a new thing, if anything QRO was what everyone aspired to
and most didn't have. That and commercial radios make the pair of 6146s
(100W) the defacto standard for power.  Ask any old timer what QRP is and
likely they will imply or outright say anything less than a pair of 205TLs or
pair of 813s maybe two 4X250s glowing orange.  They used power in the
range of 30-100W as "exciters".  I've helped with a few of those rack
transmitters and they were and still are impressive.

Remember its all fun.

Enjoy and have a good holiday.

Allison
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