New to QRP, what else should I get?

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by W1SRR, Dec 14, 2017.

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  1. N3CI

    N3CI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I will add my welcome to the world of QRP. My first commercial QRP rig was the FT817 but I have since migrated to a pair of Elecrafts, a KX3 and a KX2. Like a previous poster, I use a basic end fed long wire about 60 feet long and I have worked the world with it. I am almost 100% CW on QRP now that digital is less attractive to me.

    Check out some of the QRP contests. They are a good way to add QSOs and meet like minded folks. 72/73 from Dave N3CI
  2. WB2HLM

    WB2HLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good luck with your 817 and CW. I love both. As a help starting out, you might want to try a CW reader to help while you are "perfecting" your CW ability. I use the "HotPaw" Morse Decoder to help out. It works well with my iPhone. The 500Hz filter for the 817 also makes a world of difference. Have fun.
  3. WN1MB

    WN1MB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Amen to both.
    N8AFT likes this.
  4. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    My first advice is get a good , big antenna up,
    The buddipole dipoles will kind of work but only if you carefully adjust them for the one freq you are going to spend your time on, away from that freq the efficiency,already iffy, drops off fast. Don't even bother trying to use a tuner.
    At least a halfwave dipole for the lower bands, a fan or trap dipole if you want more than one band. For the higher bands, a minimum of a QW vertical, a Yagi is better.
    My rule #1 for QRP; the smallest rig needs the biggest antenna !
    N8AFT, KD8ZM, KC8VWM and 1 other person like this.
  5. KD8ZM

    KD8ZM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I definitely agree with those who advise putting up some sort of wire antenna rather than some coil-loaded "gadget." Those gadgets are either efficient within a narrow bandwidth, or broad and inefficient. Something I have learned the hard way.
    The concern with wire antennas is sometimes "what will the neighbors think?" If that's also your concern (or XYL's concern) I might suggest using 22 gauge magnet wire, which is effectively invisible from the ground if you're using trees to support it. It's plenty able to efficiently conduct QRP levels of power - you can look up the effective resistance at HF frequencies - pretty small. It's also large enough to support itself physically in a storm without breaking, and birds can see it so they avoid running into 22 ga wire.
    I like large horizontal loops, personally. Put up as large a delta or quad loop as you have space for, using the 22 ga wire, which can be obtained economically from Remington Industries. If no room for a loop, run a doublet. Either of these can be fed with almost no transmission line losses using ladder line into a tuner, and set up as such can work multiple bands. Other people have mentioned dipoles, which is great, although if fed with a longer coax introduces line losses into the equation if you are working multiple bands from one dipole, something you won't have to worry about with a ladder line fed doublet or horizontal loop.
    If you don't have room for any of those options, run a random wire.
    I guess my point is that especially with low power levels, almost anything is better than a coil-loaded gadget!
    Remember to have fun - it's a hobby!
    US7IGN likes this.
  6. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sometimes a random wire could be only one available but rather good antenna!
    But if you want to do it multiband (for example 40-10 meters) it must be 7,5 meter long with at least one conterpose.
    In one of my TA4 trip I made on the wire many QRP QSO even with JA stations!
    KD8ZM likes this.
  7. ZL1UZM

    ZL1UZM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm a QRP portable minimalist.
    I use a FT817nd with internal lithium batteries, a tiny cw key and a mag loop optimized for 20m.
    That's all!
    Operating on a beach, I have no difficulties getting into Europe half way around the world.
    For my kind of operating, the mag loop is the best choice. I highly recommend it.
    KD8ZM and WD0BCT like this.
  8. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Have you ever tried 5 meters vertical on a fishing rod on the beach? It is very interesting to compare with the magloop.
  9. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Lets see...817ND...check
    internal batteries....check
    small CW key....check
    mag loop antenna tuned for 20M....check
    beach....?.....where can I get one of these? I did a search on HRO and got nada.
    KD8EDC and KD8ZM like this.
  10. KM4DYX

    KM4DYX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Beaches are overrated. Sandy, windy, often unbearably hot. Colorado has mountains!!!! I so wish to live in a place with mountains. 817s are just great little radios, aren't they?


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