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Author Topic: Why do we QRP?  (Read 31278 times)
ONAIR
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« Reply #45 on: August 19, 2016, 06:34:28 PM »

Back in 1976 I had set up a Starduster Omni being powered by the cheapest Midland 23 channel base station modified to use Channel 22A for my father.  On a whim I turned the radio on one day when the skip was running thick but heard nothing on 22A.  I called out and got a response from Yuma AZ to the home QTH of North Bend OR that was so clear and powerful that it was like the other operator was down the street.  He heard me the same way.

Unfortunately for our QSO, so did other people and we got swamped out by the Big Guns...LOL!  I would also go on to make a contact with Sitka AK with this station setup.  That is what got me interested in QRP.  All I had to work with was 4 watts, AM mode and a low end CB base station although the antenna and coax were first rate, so now I am looking at the KX-2 as it has so much more to work with as a radio, then combine it with my Alpha EZ Military kit to see how I do since that antenna performed so well on Field Day using a 50W output on SSB.  Then I'll see what happens with one of the telescopic antennas I see being offered for the KX-2, which will be an even bigger challenge as QRP really does emphasize antenna quality.

QRP is like hunting and fishing while QRO is going to the store for a hunk of meat and a can of tunafish.  If you want to eat for sure, bring on da' power!  For on-air fun times, low and slow is the way to go.  Having digital capability built into the KX-2 and that mode being amenable to low power levels intrigues me.  Any QSO will be thrill even if I am not on Blueberry Hill! 

On top of that, I love to assemble radio systems.  There is a lot of thought going into the process before I get to the Buy It part of the deal.  As I read about the various accessories, it is easy to go into dream mode and see what I can create in an imaginary world.  Mulling over those thoughts while collecting new information is every bit as enjoyable as actually operating for me. 

This year's Field Day goal was to use my portable HF emcomm gear in the worst location for radio signals in my area.  That went very well.  Next year's Field Day goal, assuming the Cascadia Subduction Zone does not gobble up the equipment and me is to have that KX-2 with all the trimmings so I can see what shakes and bakes. 

Now watch the band conditions go totally into the tank as Murphy's Law kicks in...LOL!    

Rick
   In the 1960s, my uncle had a Latayette Comstat 25 in in NYC with a "H.E.L.P." channel that few other CBers had (22B).  One day he started asking for a radio check on it, and a station in San Diego began chatting with him!   (They were both using 5 watts on AM and "Super Magnum" half wave CB antennas!!  Roll Eyes
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N4MU
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« Reply #46 on: August 21, 2016, 12:00:48 PM »

The same reason as in hunting.  You KNOW that with a modern rifle with a scope you can kill whatever you're hunting by just putting the crosshair on the target and squeezing the trigger.  It's a given.

So many are going back in time and using muzzle loaders with open sights.  Or bows for that matter.  The challenge is returned and the outcome depends on the amount of patience and basic abilities.

Great analogy! I loved it. May I equate throwing out "deer corn" with waiting until you see the spot on the web...and sprinkling "deer pee" with using the 6 element beam and 1500 watts? I don't want to even start with using assault weapons for hunting. I'm not a hunter (can you tell?) but my Dad was a great one, huge one even...it just didn't jibe with me...again, your analogy is priceless! Thanks!

BTW, I'm just getting [back] into QRP...have to say for the simplicity and the challange. Not to mention the reward you feel. Careful though- my "B-B gun" might just shoot your eye out!
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N4OI
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« Reply #47 on: August 22, 2016, 06:22:11 AM »

The same reason as in hunting.  You KNOW that with a modern rifle with a scope you can kill whatever you're hunting by just putting the crosshair on the target and squeezing the trigger.  It's a given.

So many are going back in time and using muzzle loaders with open sights.  Or bows for that matter.  The challenge is returned and the outcome depends on the amount of patience and basic abilities.

Great analogy! I loved it. May I equate throwing out "deer corn" with waiting until you see the spot on the web...and sprinkling "deer pee" with using the 6 element beam and 1500 watts? I don't want to even start with using assault weapons for hunting. I'm not a hunter (can you tell?) but my Dad was a great one, huge one even...it just didn't jibe with me...again, your analogy is priceless! Thanks!

BTW, I'm just getting [back] into QRP...have to say for the simplicity and the challange. Not to mention the reward you feel. Careful though- my "B-B gun" might just shoot your eye out!

I love QRP, but you could take the analogy a bit further...   I would not go deer hunting with a 22 rifle (illegal in most, if not all, states) because you are almost promising the deer will have a long, slow death...  (BTW, I am not a deer hunter, but will advocate hunters' rights all day long.)  Similarly, the poor DX contester who wants to do the right thing and dig the QRP out of the pileup has to request multiple repeats, ask others to stand by, and everyone endures the pain of waiting through it all while everyone's scores suffer....  Sometimes we need to just "shoot" the DX with some QRO to minimize the suffering!

Just sayin'   73  Grin
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 06:32:21 AM by N4OI » Logged
LONESTRANGER
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« Reply #48 on: August 23, 2016, 09:02:08 AM »

 "Similarly, the poor DX contester who wants to do the right thing and dig the QRP out of the pileup has to request multiple repeats, ask others to stand by, and everyone endures the pain of waiting through it all while everyone's scores suffer....  Sometimes we need to just "shoot" the DX with some QRO to minimize the suffering!"

Yet another uninformed ham who believes QRP means a 229 signal.  I've worked many QRP stations with good signals and have received good signal reports running 5W or less.
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NU4B
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« Reply #49 on: August 29, 2016, 05:36:17 AM »

So the QRP op has a good enough signal to be heard by the DX contester in a pile up. Hmmm...maybe the problem is the other ops who won't shut the **** up when their call isn't the call sign requested.

Just sayin...  Smiley  Smiley
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W3ATT
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« Reply #50 on: October 04, 2016, 07:14:31 AM »

For me, it's also the simplicity. And I love to tell QRO guys how I worked DX with only 5 watts.. When I rattle off the countries that I worked the previous evening with QRP, they don't know what to say!!! Love it!

I also love packing a small radio, battery, and dipole or end-fed into the mountains and having great rag chews while sitting on a rocky outlook. I used to do SOTA, but I have found that just getting to a nice mountain top (even if it's not a designated SOTA summit) is rewarding and relaxing.
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HIPPO
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« Reply #51 on: October 06, 2016, 06:52:52 PM »

The line between

1) Low Power,
2) Homebrew, and
3) Portable

has never been very bright.  All three seem to fit nicely under the QRP banner as if they were related, but a cursory inspection reveals they are not as intertwined as they want you to believe.  They should be drawn in a misleading diagram like this:

Homebrew Equipment ==v

Low Power Radio =====>      QRP

Portable Operation ====^

(I hope that formatting doesn't get messed up after this is posted)

The reason that is misleading is that the only one of those options that actually means you should limit yourself to QRP is if you want to work with low power.

Homebrew equipment is fun, especially when it actually works, but there is nothing about the discipline of building your own radio that says it *has to* be severely limited in power, and if you really have no desire to work low power, start planning out how you're going to build your high power station - because if you can build a complete station that operates QRP, you have the skillset to build a more powerful one.  And if you don't want to endure the limitations of QRP, just having built your radio yourself is not going to make up for lost power.

Portable work is also fun, especially when it doesn't rain on you after you've hiked three hours to your perfect spot.  A 20 watt rig doesn't weigh so much more, and if you just bite the bullet and do it, a suitable power source isn't *that* difficult to carry either, and 5 watts to 20 watts is about a 6Db signal improvement through an equal antenna.  6Db is a clearly noticeable difference in signal strength, despite all the claims about 5 watts to 100 watts being only 2 bars on your S-meter.  From 5 watts to 100 is over 12Db - compares to the difference between an electric drill being operated and a skillsaw cutting, if converted to audio frequencies.

All of this is not to say that QRP is a bad idea or to be avoided.  My station maxes out at 5 and is most convenient to run at 2.5 watts, and I *love* it.  But the reason I love it is that I want the challenge of using a weak signal, to see how far I can make it go, to see how low I can run it and still make contacts, to measure mW/miles.  This doesn't make me better than anyone; it's just the part of this hobby that appeals to me.

But if you think that QRP is the "answer" to homebrew success or portable operation, you will be disappointed.  There are higher power homebrew options, and portable does not have to mean low power unless you want it to.

Just a thought.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #52 on: October 07, 2016, 07:29:56 AM »

Quote
I've worked many QRP stations with good signals and have received good signal reports running 5W or less. I've worked many QRP stations with good signals and have received good signal reports running 5W or less.

Sorry to bust your bubble OM but all stations receive a 5-9 from DX stations.  The fact that you did work them is the bottom line though.  What and how you did it could fall into one of many catagories. 

I don't involve myself in "pileups" because they remind of of a Roman orgy.  Sure you "worked them" but so what?  Everyone else did too.
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WB5LFV
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« Reply #53 on: October 14, 2016, 12:04:59 PM »

well I now own two ft-817's one is the first generation non ND model and the other is the ND model! I love both of them and next year I hope to have one more just in case yeasu discontinue's them! plus I am going to order two or three finals boards and put them in a waterproof fireproof safe for furture parts and going to buy a couple of parts radios so I will have a way to keep these going for years!! I love this radio and I don't think they can make a better qrp radio as this is the finest radio made! I also use mine for shortwave receive as it s a great receiver!! I hope even thos its been out over 16 years it continues bein made for many more years but time will tell and i'm gonna be prepared just in case!!
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W4KYR
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« Reply #54 on: October 14, 2016, 02:22:39 PM »

well I now own two ft-817's one is the first generation non ND model and the other is the ND model! I love both of them and next year I hope to have one more just in case yeasu discontinue's them! plus I am going to order two or three finals boards and put them in a waterproof fireproof safe for furture parts and going to buy a couple of parts radios so I will have a way to keep these going for years!! I love this radio and I don't think they can make a better qrp radio as this is the finest radio made! I also use mine for shortwave receive as it s a great receiver!! I hope even thos its been out over 16 years it continues bein made for many more years but time will tell and i'm gonna be prepared just in case!!

How much are the finals boards and are they interchangeable with ND and non ND models?
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