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How many of you operate cw with high wattage???

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KB4MNG, Jan 22, 2017.

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  1. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just curious, I have an al 80 a I'm considering putting in line with my cw rig. I run an amp on 40 ssb and it pretty much the norm or hams to run the higher watts there to get a little more punch. I've always heard with cw less is more.

    With the decline in conditions and my lack luster antenna (cannot improve it), i figure about 600 watts will help.

    Any of you guys run higher watts on a regular basis?

  2. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't, but here are my thoughts...

    You may become an 'alligator', all mouth and no ears.

    While tuning the bands I sometimes hear guys calling CQ getting replies that they apparently do not hear. My presumption is that they may be running amps and are getting out farther than they can hear.

    Other possibilities are that they have high local noise levels, maybe not skilled in using their receivers to dig out signals, or maybe they are ignoring the weaker sigs and waiting for armchair copy..

    I think many don't do this, but remember that we are supposed to use the minimum power required to carry out communications.

    So use the amp if you NEED to.
    WA7PRC likes this.
  3. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    My CW is strictly in PIleups, so I ONLY use the KILLERWATT tuned up to the last Millerwatt out to give me a chance. I have an automatic 60db loss in signal due to being in 6 land, so It is indeed a JOYOUS CELEBRATION when I finally make t through!
  4. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    That seems to be a situation of NEEDING the amp!
  5. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    The rules require you to use the minimum power needed to carry out the DESIRED communication that could include up to the legal limit.

    Sec. 97.313 Transmitter power standards
    (a) An amateur station must use the minimum transmitter power necessary to carry out the desired communications.
    N3PDT likes this.
  6. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I ran 600 watts CW for many years. I definitely had less trouble being heard with my mediocre antennas than I do now with 100 watts. However, some of that is from people decoding CW with computers that can't copy a human fist, which has become a lot more common in the three years or so since my amp went offline (I'm going to fix it any day now - really) and it's difficult to say how much.
  7. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    All mouth and no ears is terrible on 17 meters. When there was activity on the bands last year, i would call with my amp and hex beam and be the center a pile up. The problem was guys running mobile and I could barley hear audio.
  8. W6OGC

    W6OGC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Years ago, I had a huge quad at ~65' and an L4b. I could talk to pretty much anyone I wanted.

    Now, for the last many years, I run 5 watts, CW only, simple wire antennas. I don't talk to everyone I might want to. I never heard Heard, and I'm pretty sure Heard never heard me, but I did contact South Georgia in a moderate pile up, and quite a few other lesser triumphs.

    It turns out, at least to me, that this is more exciting than the QRO big antenna operation. Even with modest antennas, it is a lot of fun, sort of like dating...... long spells of hopeless frustration with moments of intense excitement, and every now and then, payoff.

    You need patience, prowess and persistence, not bad qualities to stimulate in real life.
    K4EI, VE6NS, WB4WHJ and 2 others like this.
  9. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    SW USA (which includes you) has many more non-polar DX routes than where I am in NW USA. Yet, I often break pileups using only 100W. That happened a lot more often after I erected some better antennas.
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I usually call CQ with 100W and if I get answers, don't increase power. If I get answers from QRP stations, I reduce power and give it a go.

    But...I usually have a very low noise level (not always, depends on atmospherics...but my "manmade" noise is extremely low after a lot of work) and can usually hear better than others hear me; as such, I do note if I call CQ with 100W three times and get no answers, then call ONE CQ with a kilowatt, I get answers. I adjust my TX power based on RX noise level.

    If my noise level is running higher than normal, I stay with lower power. If it's really low, like it is right now (S1 on 20m, S2 on 40m), I feel okay running a kW and pretty confident I'll hear anyone who calls.

    Man-made noise is the enemy of many stations. I do note when running 100W with an S1 noise level here, I often give others 599 reports when they can barely hear me; difference is their noise level is higher. It takes a lot of work nowadays to reduce that, and it took me a few years, here.
    WA7PRC likes this.

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