[QRP-L] Some QRPTTF Musings

I’m reposting NA5N’s post from QRP-L below…in case any of you have comments
he’s listening! I suggested Paul consider moving QRPTTF to the first Saturday
in May to coincide with the International SOTA Weekend. I know this doesn’t get
much (i.e. any?) publicity from our UK brethren but I think combining QRPTTF
with it would solve that issue. I also suggested Paul consider moving the
timeframe from 1500-0300z to 1200-0000z. This would give Europeans a better
daylight/weather window than the current times and I don’t think it would hurt
any Western NA folks. I seldom see much NA SOTA activity past 2300z for the
same reasons and few Western activators overnight to utilize the 0300z end of
the QRPTTF. If you have any comments please send them to Paul at na5n at

QRPTTF was so much fun I want to do it again! BTW who is the keeper of the
rules/publicity for the September NASOTA day?

73, Bill W4ZV

[QRP-L] Some QRPTTF Musings

From the emails and summary sheets received so far, it appears everyone had
fun during QRPTTF. Weather was good most places, except some lingering rain
in a few places in eastern U.S.

My biggest surprise is how many QRP and SOTA stations participated in QRPTTF
in Europe. Many managed to make some U.S. contacts, giving us all some DX
to work, in spite of the soft to poor band conditions. Some European and
U.S. SOTA stations reported the greatest number of contacts ever worked from
a summit due to QRPTTF, including breaking records for summit-to-summit
(S2S) contacts. And, many QRPTTF ops racked up some nice scores with
working quite a few SOTA stations to add to their SPC counts. It was good
to hear so much activity even with the soft bands. If we can just figure
out how to schedule QRPTTF on a Saturday with good propagation!

I’ve also received summary sheets from several that made their first CW
contacts on QRPTTF or participated in their first CW contest ever. The CW
requirement has been long gone; these are new hams who learned the code on
their own to get on the air and have fun with QRP. Our hats off to all of
you, and welcome aboard.

Years ago, our friend N4BP encouraged QRPTTF to be held the same Saturday as
the Florida QSO Party (FQP) to boost both of our activities. FQP has turned
into a major state QSO party making QRP, especially on 40M, next to
impossible. I am considering moving QRPTTF next year to a week earlier, the
3rd Saturday of April, to avoid FQP. Your comments on this proposed change
are welcome.

I have received a number of QRPTTF photos, including some YouTube videos.
I’m building the RESULTS webpage now at
mostly with links to the photos and videos. No scores or results yet, but
will start compiling that and adding to the above webpages shortly.

Thanks to all who participated and hope you all had as much fun as I did
just getting out of the house and enjoying QRP from the quiet country, and
shaking hands over the air with my QRP friends.

72, Paul NA5N

In reply to W4ZV:

In order to make this QRPTTF event international and not US centric one I would like to see the the operating window moved significantly earlier. I see no reason to limit the daylight hours in EU so 24 hours on Saturday like 0000 UTC Sat - 0000 UTC Sun. The proposal above limits the EU daylight hours and is not fixing the issue.

Sounded like a great event, but the propagation up here after 1500 utc did not favor partipating to the fun.

In reply to OH3T:

Please send your comments to NA5N, but I doubt he will go for 24 hours. I noticed you spotted on SSB but heard nothing here. BTW LA1ENA did work several NA on 15m during the event.

73, Bill

In reply to W4ZV:

Answering your first post.

When we started NASOTA day in 2009, there was no specific rules. To my knowledge, it was the same last fall, despite I couldnt take part. Its just an operating event in fact.

Question on this could be asked at the nasota yahoo gang.

PS My QRPTTF went pretty dull. Went to a mountain and realised there was still 4 foot of snow…I’m a bit fed up of snow at this time of the year… Got back home to operate as VE2TLH, and you got a big sig here :wink:

In reply to OH3T:

Sounded like a great event, but the propagation up here after 1500 utc
did not favor partipating to the fun.

FYI here are some QRPTTF results from Scandinavia:

From N1EU’s log on 27 April:

15:06z LA8BCA 14MHz CW
15:24z LA1ENA 21MHz CW

From my log on 27 April:

15:08z SM6DER 21MHz CW
16:24z LA1ENA 21MHz CW

I believe moving the window 3 hours earlier to 1200z should give you a good window for OH<>NA. I could also argue moving the window to 1100-2300z would not harm Western NA activators.

73, Bill W4ZV

In reply to W4ZV:

Nordic-US propagation is dominated by auroral oval.

For comparison I made quick voacap predictions for two QTH, mine and Aage’s (just picked his QTH address from QRZ.com). Same transmitter, same receive antenna, etc.

(I hope the links work)

LA1ENA: http://www.voacap.com/predictions/517fc178ea19f/

OH3T: http://www.voacap.com/predictions/517fbf295288e/

During auroral events the difference between two locations is even greater. Unfortunately, during last Saturday there was mild aurora present. Some very watery cw signals coming through from kw stations, but nothing else.

In reply to OH3T:

The conclusion I draw from both graphs is that 1200z would be a very good starting time (for propagation to NA). Of course how good will always be a function of the geomagnetic field on any given day. But overall 1200-2400z looks like a good time for propagation to NA on 15/20m.

I don’t see much advantage to extending the event to 24 hours, especially since 99% of SOTA participants are in EU and NA.

73, Bill W4ZV

P.S. VOACAP is a very nice website! I’ve been using HamCAP but this one looks just as good.

In reply to W4ZV:

That simulation was of course only between Scandinavia (North EU) and NA.

As I wrote earlier should this become an international SOTA - QRPTTF event favoring also intra-EU contacts then the starting time needs to be advanced even further.

73, Toni OH3T

The more I think about this, the more I favour the idea of merging it with International SOTA Weekend. With the expansion and growth of SOTA over the past 2 years in particular, ISW has lost its novelty and focus. But QRPTTF certainly appealed to EU activators as well as those in NA.

So I think Toni’s suggestion above is excellent. Hold the QRPTTF on the weekend preceding the first Monday in May every year, and have it run for 48 (or 72 or 24) hours.


In reply to W4ZV:

NA5N is now thinking one week later…first weekend in May…which will also
coincide with International SOTA Weekend. Ignore what he says about Mother’s
Day being the first Sunday below…it’s actually the 2nd Sunday.

73, Bill W4ZV

[QRP-L] QRPTTF date change

I have received quite a bit of very constructive feedback regarding moving
QRPTTF a weekend or two next year. By a large margin, most would prefer to
see it moved UP to early May (not to earlier in April), not only to avoid
the now popular Fla. QSO party, but for slightly warmer weather in the
northern states and New England. A very valid point.

I did TTF in a short sleeved shirt in the 85 degree New Mexico sun. How
easy one can forget it’s not quite spring like that for everyone. Sorry.
Until I started getting your TTF photos. Some of you are all bundled up and
look chilly. Like heading for the ski lift.

Therefore, moving QRPTTF to early May for a little milder weather is the
direction we’ll take. Early 2014, we’ll see which weekend looks best for
other on the air activities, and being mindful of Mother’s Day (1st Sunday
in May) and Memorial Day (last weekend in May).

And, maybe, just maybe, May will also bring us a little better propagation.
It’s been lousy past few years.

Thanks to all for your comments. Us NM QRPers would be glad to send you a
little warm air in exchange for a little rain! :frowning:

72, Paul NA5N

In reply to W4ZV:

I don’t see much advantage to extending the event to 24 hours, especially since 99%
of SOTA participants are in EU and NA.

The VK* associations seem to be getting mor activity of late. If the idea is to encourage participation then it might be nice to pick a time slot which doesn’t exclude them. Here in Perth the sun has been gone for about an hour, and the eastern states are an hour or three ahead of Perth.

73, Rick M0LEP/VK(6)