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New General looking into QRP

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by W8MJL, Mar 21, 2019.

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  1. KB9BVN

    KB9BVN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I guess you missed the part where he said he can't have an antenna and he lives in an apartment.
    W7UUU likes this.
  2. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I know what you are saying...and if you have a good antenna you are absolutely correct.

    However, if you have noting but a 3rd rate stealth antenna at home operating portable opens new horizons for you with all kinds of portable antennas that will outperform your home base antenna.

    That being said one must remember that even a blind dog can find a bone! My very first SSB QRP contact since getting relicensed was made with a Florida Station using a Yaesu AT-25 in my back yard and my newly acquired FT-817NT. Less than 30 minutes later I made my second SSB QRP contact with a California station on the same rig and antenna. Both coasts and I was beginning to think QRP was a piece of cake! I should have gone out and bought a lottery ticket because I was extremely lucky.

    Since then I have had to work much harder for QRP SSB QSOs. Usually requires finding a good topological location to operate from and the best antenna I can erect. CW is quite a bit easier...but again operating portable in a good location is preferable.

    Lots of good recommendations here....but if I have to hike up a mountain my MTR3B gets the call. Otherwise my FT817 does just fine.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
  3. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    No, I didn't OM.
    I have worked many a ham with one using a B&W window sill antenna from ground floor, wire thrown out the apartment window, dipole tacked to ceilings and floor baseboards of apartments. One was 5w CW QRP in Columbia on 15m with dipole thumb tacked to the ceiling perimiter.
    These new magnetic loops work vy well inside structures. Theres lots of antennas that work besides the common outdoor ones.
    If one is willing to try whatever it takes to get on the air from the home QTH then there's no stopping him/her!
    Gotta try! Thars too much fun to be had to not make any attempts. Outdoors is great until it rains, no rain in my shack but FB CW QRP 24/7!
    BTW, See K3WWP web pages. He has simple wire antennas running part inside and out, and some others all inside his dwelling. John is a vy well know all QRP op with documented results.
    Give a look-see and get inspired!

    Learn Morse.
    Do CW.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
  4. KC7JNJ

    KC7JNJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    See if you have a local club. Then ask the guys to take a listen to a few rigs. SSB can be done with 5watts with not much of an antenna. At a 70 sfi you will benefit from a contest weekend. But you will end up wanting something with a good recever you can narrow your rx bandwidth. As the SFI starts to climb (come on 150 sfi) the game with change and the methods you use to make contacts will change. QRP does not have to be CW only.

    Good Luck
  5. K5VZD

    K5VZD Ham Member QRZ Page

    congrats on the upgrade... All good sugestions from from Dave.. however I'd personally shy away from the HW-7 as I found the receiver to be poor.
    Welcome aboard and look for me on the qrp frequencies.
    N8AFT likes this.
  6. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    Your choice for a QRP Portable radio is directly related to how much money you want to invest. I kind of have a little collection of them since when I set up portable that's all I use.....QRP.

    If your desire is not to run more than 5 or 10 watts, than DO NOT get a 100 watt type radio. The main reason is current drain. When you turn the power down to 5 or 10 watts, these type radio still draw way too much current. Why put yourself in a position that you have to carry a heavy battery with you if you don't have to?
    As far as a radio: A used Icom IC703+ is a great little radio. Don't rule out the FT817. If you are buying new the FT818 is pretty much the same radio.
    A KX2 w/atu built in is a perfect radio and these guys use good LiPo batteries, internal to the radio. A loaded KX3 will put you back around $1400.
    You can get a stripped down KX3 for a lot cheaper but I would at least make sure it has the on board ATU.
    MFJ now sells the Xiegu X5105, but it's not a good CW radio. The first character is truncated. Read the lasted issue of QST and you will see what I mean.

    As for an external battery for any of the above radios, go LiPo.

    You can get a reasonably price charger on the above web page. If you plan on operating for an extended period of time, just get a larger capacity LiPo battery or two medium sized LiPo's.

    One important avenue to address is the antenna. You are already down over 2 S units from 100 watts, don't go down even lower buy using a junk antenna, like a G5RV ! Use a good resonant antenna. Do your homework when it comes to antennas.

    Going portable QRP is loads of fun, that's mostly all I do during the summer hours.

    Good luck and I hope you enjoy operating QRP.

    Barry G. Kery, KU3X
    KC8VWM and W8MJL like this.
  7. N1OOQ

    N1OOQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think I wouldn't bother with QRP SSB until the sunspots come back. Digital should be fine, and CW works throughout the cycle. I turn the knob down once in a while, never have any trouble making contacts.
    N8AFT and KU3X like this.
  8. W8MJL

    W8MJL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Barry this i understand all too well. Been working with a SLA 7ah, it's all i have for now, and even turning my IC-718 down to 5 watts or less i can get about 3 CQ's before it's drained too far to work properly so if i want to use it at all i have to tote it out to my car. And yes lugging a big SLA around while hiking is NOT my idea of fun.
    I've been looking onto a 817 in the past, before i got my tech, and i think the KX3 is way out of my price range on a fixed income, unless i can sucker someone into buying my IC-718 for a cool grand HI HI! Something will come my way sooner or later so i can get to doing POTA and PSK31 while i stretch my legs.
    As far as antenna choices, i do own an MFJ 1899T but i still don't know if i really like it or not due to not being about to power my current rig properly....YET. I want to get into building a couple of antennas, one will be a wire dipole of course and i'm researching about portable Mag Loops now, at least this one a can use from my apartment window with some success.
    So for now i'll keep looking and researching what you all tell me about and good advice i get here.

    Thank you all for the replies, it gives me tons to ponder.

    Michael W8MJL/AG
    KU3X likes this.
  9. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I prefer to say they're "challenging and take some skill to get the most out of and are not for everyone"


    HW-7 was my very first radio as a Novice in the 70s - built it myself. By 1980 I had worked the world on it and still own and use it to this day.

    It's a very solid performer in the right hands, IMO. There are far worse receivers out there....

  10. K5VZD

    K5VZD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree Dave,,but I gathered he's a beginner (callsigns mean nothing since they added the you can have whatever you want)..
    I have had all of the hw's qrp over the years,,57 to be exact.. I was hoping to keep a new man to not become discouraged.. He also has limited antenna situation.

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