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Least power ever on an HF activation

I think this is more interesting than the other thread. What is the least power someone has managed a successful activation with?

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I’ll start as it will quickly become far less than me.

Ive activated with my ft817 so 5w.

I have also activated with a VHF Baofeng HT which is only around 3 or 4W.

0.5W on 29MHz-FM from EA8/LP-003 on 10-04-14, to Italy (Franco I5KAP) with 80mW at the Italian end. He was 52 to me and he gave my half Watt 57.

Also 0.5W quite often in 2002-03 for local 2m-FM contacts from summits in England.

I too am getting in early because I know for a fact that SOTA QSO’s exist that make my 500mW look like a broadcast station. There was a period when quite a few ops used a PP3 (PP3 challenge) for the power supply and worked multiple stations with it. They must have been outputting 100mW or less?
73, John.


500mw is lowest, usually 4w or 5w depending on radio.

Have to smile to myself though when a non SOTA contact thinks he is doing great with his 80+ watts only to find out you are pushing a fraction and the signal reports are the same. :stuck_out_tongue:

Oh and Antarctica is the furthest on 5w.

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I’m sure we can do better than 500mW! But how much of this was done with 0 sunspots?

Hopefully Colin M1BUU will weigh in. I know I’ve worked him across the pond when he was running well under 500mW using his RockMite from a summit.

73, Barry N1EU

Not sure. I was putting 4.5W (the measured output of my 817) into my 12m 1/4wave GP antenna but on 10m. The match is abysmal. But I head a VU2 (or VU4) tuning up and then call CQ so I did the minimum to get the contact. Probably no more than 30sec of TX. The 817 was not happy but I got a 59 from him which was fine for a new country on that band. What was the power out? Not much.

We, Roger F5LKW and me Gerald F6HBI have activated few summits
with the pixie 0.300mw and managed some QSO.
At 2300m asl the condx a fine! Lets see the photo here:

73 from Gerald


While I was working a local station on 10 m SSB his signal dropped dramatically during the QSO. I then changed bands to 20 m, spotted, had some euro contacts, and everything seemed normal. I then tuned through the band and heard a VK6 portable station (stroke or slash? :face_with_monocle:). I called him over and over again but he couldn’t hear though he was 59 with me. I wondered if he had no receiver but kept calling until I finally got my 57 report.

When I got home I realised that my antenna was broken. So I reckon I used a handful of milliwatts ERP.


Rockmite packaged with SCAF filter, 0.4 watts, good enough for Japan on 40 meters after many repeats requested by him.

Elliott, K6EL


Yes this is more interesting. In the context of the thread is “successful” 4 QSOs or just one?

Sooner or later somebody is bound to chip in with the comment that it is the chasers stations that make these flea power contacts possible, so I thought I’ll get in first! Annoying, isn’t it? :wink:

So you’re saying this thread should be the chasers bragging about the stations they pulled out of the noise, not the other way around?

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Some years ago there was something in Tech Topics (a series in Rad Com) whereby a low power Tx was run on power derived from a ferrite rod and capacitor tuned to the BBC long wave transmitter on 198kHz. I no longer have the article, but I do recall a comment wondering whether it was morally correct to obtain power courtesy of the BBC.


I remember it well… Pat Hawker’s (G3VA) column was the highlight of the magazine! Compendiums of the articles were published as books, always worth looking out for.

Don’t recall a transmitter being powered, but do seem to recollect a tale (which may have been from another source) of a wartime inhabitant of Wychbold (location of the 2MW 200kc/s BBC Home Service, as it was then, transmitter) who used a bicycle lamp powered by an “absorption wavemeter” :slight_smile:

Can I claim the prize for VHF? It was the January VHF/UHF ARRL contest and I was supposed to be running 5w to a 3 element yagi on 2m SSB, but apparently never connected the coax to the rig. That was no problem for a super vhf contestor, K1TEO. I only figured it out AFTER I worked him.

I’m not sure what the ERP of a BNC connector on an 817 is when fed with 2m at 5w but apparently its enough sometimes :slight_smile:


Incidentally the FT-817 survived 5-10 min of calling with no antenna before that contact while being driven by a voice keyer at 5w. Iv’e had that rig for more than a decade and haven’t been able to burn it out despite my worst efforts!


200 or 300 mW CW with a Pixie.

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There was a ham (now SK) who lived almost directly under the BBC transmitter site at Burghead - 810 KHz (Radio Scotland) and 198 KHz (Radio 4’s other TX) - and he claimed he could light his shack with fluorescents from the radiated power.
I have no reason to doubt him

Longest contact to date on 2.5 watts is with N1GB at 3,029 miles on 1st May 2017 from the summit of Gummer’s How at the South end of Lake Windermere (making greater than 1000 miles/watt).

Lots of summits activated on 2.5 watts HF, but with mostly European contacts.