Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

donate to eham
   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 3 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: QRP?? Maybe not much longer.  (Read 3026 times)
K3UIM
Member

Posts: 396




Ignore
« on: December 09, 2018, 10:35:59 PM »

I am having one heck of a time trying to get an answer to my CQ's. I'm wondering if it's my slow sending speed or the 40 meter band.
I've been "away" for about 25 years and just trying to get back into it again.
Back in the early 90's I was working at about 20 to 25 wpm and I'm beginning to think I'll not get "back up to speed" by working on the air but by copying taped(?) etc code. Yuck! I'd much rather make QSO contacts. (RCC member from those days.)
Any suggestions??
Charlie, K3UIM
Logged

Where you are: I was!
Where I am: You will be!
So be nice to us old fogies!!
DJ1YFK
Member

Posts: 279


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2018, 11:13:47 PM »

Hi Charlie,

40m is probably one of the best places to operate with QRP, and with QRS.
With the Reverse Beacon Network you can check where your signal can be heard by simply sending CQ a few times... but as it seems you have not been heard by the RBN yet:

http://reversebeacon.net/dxsd1/dxsd1.php?f=0&c=k3ium&t=dx
https://foc.dj1yfk.de/activity/K3IUM

If you're slow and looking for sparring partners, maybe the SKCC (http://skccgroup.com/) is for you. They also have a online sked page which may be helpful in arranging your first contacts: https://sked.skccgroup.com/

73
Fabian
Logged

DJ1YFK
Member

Posts: 279


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2018, 12:35:49 AM »


My apologies, I was clearly not fully awake yet, so I mixed up two letters in your call (K3IUM vs K3UIM). This looks better:

https://foc.dj1yfk.de/activity/K3UIM
Logged

W4FID
Member

Posts: 230




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2018, 04:37:47 AM »

We are at the bottom of the sun cycle. Yes there are QSOs going on but QRP is even harder with weak propagation. The better your antenna is the better your odds are but QRP will still be less QSOs per hour than bigger signal. That's part of the fun of it -- that's one reason people do it -- seeing what you can do with minimalist stuff. You value each QSO even more. But set your expectations realistic.

CW isn't as popular as it once was. There are still lots who enjoy it but maybe they tend to be the "hard core" guys who do have higher speed skills. 20 meters has higher speed CW most of the time the band is open. Or the QRP/portable guys who also have lessor signals and will be harder for you to work. Many have gone digital. FT8 is thriving and suitable for QRP. I prefer the old fashioned QSO -- bee a ham 57+ years -- but QRP and portable with simple antennas I do have lots of QSOs on that mode and few on CW.
Logged
K3UIM
Member

Posts: 396




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2018, 06:18:31 AM »

YFK: It's Usless…. I mean; United In Marriage! Hi.

RBN? Judas Priest! What in the world has happened to CW?? (I have to look that up!)
(Boy! You leave hamming for a few years and they turn it upside down! Life was so simple when you only needed to know things like how to properly neutralize your amplifier without killing yourself with RF burns and now you need computerized radios to see if there's someone out there to hear your signal!! HI) I shoudda took the Extra test back when I knew what I was doing! Whooyee!!

And I thought, (at my advanced age,) that just getting to tomorrow was my greatest hope! giggle, snort, guffaw!

Charlie
Logged

Where you are: I was!
Where I am: You will be!
So be nice to us old fogies!!
K3UIM
Member

Posts: 396




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2018, 06:40:11 AM »

Holy crap! It looks like I have to hook up the computer to the xcvr somehow. Can anyone tell me, in as few words as possible, where to look to find info on setting up for it?? Or is it much too complicated to be starting at age 85? Hi.
Is there already a thread on it in this forum?
Charlie, K3UIM
Logged

Where you are: I was!
Where I am: You will be!
So be nice to us old fogies!!
KM1H
Member

Posts: 5239




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2018, 01:49:56 PM »

Try a couple of CW contests to get your speed up and most will work anyone they can copy at any speed.

Carl
Ham since 1955
30 wpm ARRL certficate in 56
Extra in 68
Logged
K3UIM
Member

Posts: 396




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2018, 03:36:29 PM »

Carl
Ham since 1955
30 wpm ARRL certficate in 56
Extra in 68
Sure, sure! Rub it in! Hi.& Congrats!
Charlie, K3UIM

Logged

Where you are: I was!
Where I am: You will be!
So be nice to us old fogies!!
KE6EE
Member

Posts: 2803




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2018, 04:25:45 PM »

I'm wondering if it's my slow sending speed or the 40 meter band.

QRP can be a challenge. I think it's most appropriate for portable operation where a tiny rig is all that one wants to carry. And RFI is most likely to be at a very low level.

Your antenna is critical. Put up a dipole as high as you can. Even if it's very low you will be able to make many contacts although DX may not be easy. If your current antenna is very inefficient, it is no doubt a barrier.

Last, get yourself at least 30 to 50 watts. That's all the power I usually use with my not-very-high doublet. I can usually get a response from any station I can hear.

Many, if not most, CW ops are happy to communicate at slower speeds. After all we are, as brass pounders, soon to go extinct.
Logged
N1RND
Member

Posts: 57




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2018, 05:44:28 AM »

Charlie
You never what power level, rig, and antenna.  That info would help.
I kind of have the same problem you have. I was off the air for a while and now my CW speed is down also.  I haven't had the ambition to work it.
I'm just curious about your set up.
Dave
Logged
N5CM
Member

Posts: 274




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2018, 12:04:19 PM »

Charlie, I too will recommend the Straight Key Century Club (SKCC).  Back in the day, I operated mostly CW, but I was QRT for a little over 10 years.  Got back on the air in February of this year.  I signed up with SKCC, and I'm glad I did.  They're a very welcoming and friendly bunch.  It helped help me to get my speed, such as it was and is, on the way back up.

KM1H has a good point about contests.  Exchanges are typically short and have predictable content.  They will help you get your copy speed back up.

Welcome back and good luck.

73,

John KA5GEX

Logged
K3UIM
Member

Posts: 396




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2018, 12:34:12 PM »

Charlie
You never said what power level, rig, and antenna.  That info would help.
Dave, I have 2 QRP rigs and love both of them. The Ten-Tec R4020 and the KD1JV Tri-Bander on 40, 20 and 17.

The antenna is a multi band dipole that has pre-measured marks (color coded) that you open up at whichever band you're wanting to work.

I use a trans-match to couple the antenna to the rig. I get an almost perfect SWR match across 40.

I believe the bulk of my night time operating problem may be a sodium street light about 100 yards from my QTH. I get a "timed" (intermittent) buzzing that just about blocks out any signals I might be receiving.

As far as the transmitting goes, I'm thinking that I may be in the market for a low power amplifier, in the area of 30 to 50 watts. Time will tell. (And perhaps a BB gun for the receiving. Hi) I will check further on the sodium light with the city department as soon as I can. Both rigs are portable so I can go to the light pole and see what happens to the noise problem.

Charlie, K3UIM
Logged

Where you are: I was!
Where I am: You will be!
So be nice to us old fogies!!
N1RND
Member

Posts: 57




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2018, 07:43:23 AM »

R on the rigs. From the description of the antenna it sounds like you need access to it regularly? If so is really low to the ground?  If so that would be making things have d for you, especially on 40.
How much of that noise is on the S meter?  2 or 3 units or

 10db over S 9?
Logged
N1RND
Member

Posts: 57




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2018, 07:49:45 AM »

You said you have a perfect match across all of 40 because of the tuner, but what is the antenna's swr without the tuner?  If it's real high your basically transmitting into a random piece of wire instead of a resonant antenna.
Logged
K3UIM
Member

Posts: 396




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2018, 08:08:02 AM »

RND: I unrolled it to the 40 meter tags and will leave it there. (My favorite band.) I have no s meter so can't tell.
I'll have to check the swr w/o the transmatch to see. (Never thought of that.) I'll get back to you on it. Thanks.
Charlie, K3UIM
Logged

Where you are: I was!
Where I am: You will be!
So be nice to us old fogies!!
Pages: [1] 2 3 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!