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QRP to QRP does work


#1

Before I get to the meat of this, I need to stress that I’m neither pro-QRP, anti-QRP, pro-QRO or anti-QRO. I find there is fun and enjoyment to be had no matter how you operate. Currently I’m playing QRP HF on SOTA and the contest group I play with tends to be a bit to a lot QRO when we play on VHF/UHF etc.

A commonly heard comment is that QRP only works because the other guy is QRO or has a big antenna. Well I was in conversation with Rich N4EX over some database issues and just happened to ask him what equipment he uses for SOTA chasing. Now Rich is a regular of my 20m and 17m operations. I think I’ve worked him on all bar one of my SOTA activations on these bands. He’s also a good enough signal to be heard when there are a few closer by European/Russian stations calling at the same time. No he doesn’t get over the top but I know there’s something there along with the strong stuff.

So I was well impressed when he said he only uses 5W from a K2 when chasing SOTA. He’s always around 529-539 when I hear him. So what’s the antenna then? On 20m he has a 3ele beam which will be 5-6dBd. But on 17m he’s only using a rotary dipole and he’s still a respectable signal with a 0dBd antenna. Yes, louder on 20m than 17m but it shows QRP to QRP can and does work on contacts over 5000km. I suppose it also shows the loaded 3.5m vertical antenna I use on 20m & 17m works OK. I must try a dipole for those bands to get a benchmark to compare it with.

If anyone wants the dimensions for my 20/17 antenna then let me know and I’ll write something about it.

Andy
MM0FMF


#2

In reply to MM0FMF:

Hi Andy,

completely agree with your comment. It’s very satisfying to work Rich in similar working conditions. I did it twice so far and it’s great to feel the QRP->QRP with him.

Just wanted to take your offer: do you mind sending me some details of your short HF antenna?
I’m working to build some short loaded monoband for 30m for a really compact pack and I’m interested on what you have for comparison. Thanks a lot!

Cheerio
Ignacio ea2bd(at)yahoo.com


#3

In reply to MM0FMF:

Put it on the reflector, Andy, with a title that will show up easily on search, I’m sure quite a few of us will be interested.

73

Brian G8ADD


#4

In reply to MM0FMF:

Wow! That makes my efforts on ssb with 20W look QRO. For the record, the antenna is a 7M vertical wire, fed against a 4M counterpoise laid along the ground and anchored at the far end with a metal tent peg and tuned with a Z11-Pro auto tuner. Have worked Rich a couple of times on 20M with this arrangement recently.

Looks like the wet string season is on its way!

Regards, Dave, G6DTN


#5

In reply to M0DFA:
Hi Andy

I have worked Rich on 20m CW using 5w from the FT-817 into my linked dipole.

The linked dipole does 20/30/40 & 60m and is fine on summits with plenty of space.

It can however be difficult on some summits finding an appropriate space when there are many Muggles around. Love to see your plans for the vertical which might be more suitable on some activations.

Regards

Dave


#6

In reply to MM0FMF:

I’ve worked Rich on a right assortment of antennas, and on the 10, 15, 17 and 20m bands, Andy.

I’ve called CQ on the higher frequencies and even when the bands were in poor shape, I’ve suddenly heard …N4EX!

It wouldn’t surprise me one bit, if he popped up on the 2m fm band during a lift :wink:

Fantastic operator, who never ceases to amaze me.

73 Mike
2E0YYY


#7

In reply to M0TUB:

I have worked Rich on 20m CW using 5w from the FT-817 into my linked
dipole.

Would that be the FT-817, I sold you ;-)))

The linked dipole does 20/30/40 & 60m and is fine on summits with
plenty of space.

It can however be difficult on some summits finding an appropriate
space when there are many Muggles around. Love to see your plans for
the vertical which might be more suitable on some activations.

If you want to try out a vertical, I’ll lend you my Antron-99. Getting that up on 3 x 5ft poles should keep you amused for half an hour :wink:

73 Mike


#8

In reply to G8ADD:

Put it on the reflector, Andy

Done. See http://www.sotawatch.org/reflector.php?topic=6742#55770

Andy
MM0FMF


#9

Rich hardly ever misses any of my 20m CW SOTA activations - so I assumed he was QRO. This is good stuff!

On a similar theme, I have often been called by stations in other continents on 20m CW, but who are not known SOTA chasers. We exchange genuine 599 x 599 reports. The caller then enthusiastically tells me that they are running 5w QRP.

I am surprised. But not as astounded as the caller when I tell them that I have the same wkg condx my side!

Tom M1EYP

Note:

Just back home from Majorca. We have now had a family holiday in each of Ibiza, Menorca and Majorca, over the last 9 years or so. EA6 would be a fabulous SOTA association! There is everything from easy trail walks up low hills, some with roads almost to the top, some super-technical mountaineering/rock climbing, lofty ridges, all grades of scrambling, island summits (on small islands that is!) and a distribution of hills from 150m to around 1400m. Fingers crossed…


#10

In reply to MM0FMF:
I regularly work from the home qth at qrp levels, at one time my only rig was an ft-817, so you’re preaching to the converted Andy. When I moved to cw I found it was all about picking the band, using a resonant antenna and calling at the right time.

I’ve worked Rich with 1.5 watts, it was a thrill for sure. He normally gets a 559 from me. Lifes too short for QRO!

I use higher power too though, now I’ve acquired a qro rig. It’s certainly very satisfying when everything comes together successfully and you make that dx qrp qso.

73, Ian M0GYX/A