QRP set-up for a newbie

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by 4G1AOC, Jul 23, 2017.

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  1. 4G1AOC

    4G1AOC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi guys, I am new to the HF band . I plan to do a HF set up . I am leaning to having a QRP set up with a Yaesu 817 which I can get on a sweet deal. I was wonder what else do I need to make a set-up . Primarily for field setup and emergency comma for our local Red Cross chapter.
  2. W6OGC

    W6OGC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good antenna(s) for the bands of interest.

    Some sort of emergency power. A clean power supply for commercial power. Spare fuses. Spare microphone, key, etc. external speaker and headset with spares. Patch cables between radio, SWR/watt meters.

    Some sort of organization scheme so that everything is with you when you go out. It is bad for morale when you get all set up somewhere and realize the little adapter plug essential to your set up is in a drawer back home, or a patch cable, etc.

    Whatever "office supplies" you need, paper, pens penciles, computer. TP.
  3. VK3YE

    VK3YE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Key items apart from the FT-817 and a good battery (better than supplied) include an L-match antenna coupler and telescoping pole (30 ft preferred but can get by with 15 ft).

    A few hints and tips on HF portable operating at http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/gateway/nofeb97.htm

    Couplers at http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/projects/projcoupler.htm

    Antenna supports at http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/projects/projmast.htm

    Other antenna ideas at http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/projant.htm

    Information on what's possible on various bands http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/qrp.htm
    KB2SMS likes this.
  4. KM4DYX

    KM4DYX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I run an FT817ND exclusively. Everything is geared toward portable operation. Take a look at my QRZ page. Here goes the list:

    PELICAN 1200 case contents:
    Signalink USB, cables X 2
    Elecraft T1 tuner
    Energizer XP8000 battery, cable
    Copy of License

    Additional items in rucksack:
    Lenovo Yoga laptop (replaced tiny pad pictured on QRZ page)
    Notepad, pencil
    QRP Ranger battery (depends on plan)
    Powerfilm R28 solar panel (depends on plan)
    817 Instructions - Nifty manual
    Antenna system - SOTABEAMS segment dipole and/or PAR Trail Friend EFHW, fishing pole, cordage

    That's about it. Enjoy.
    VA7CPC and KL7KN like this.
  5. VA3VF

    VA3VF Guest

    I see that good feedback has been provided, but I have a question for you. You said you are new to HF, are you aware of the extra challenges involved in QRP operations?

    The current solar cycle also does not help one bit. I'm not trying to discourage you, but the best way to lose interest in HF QRP is to have the wrong expectations, and start during bad propagation times.

    Also, emergency comms need some reliability to be effective.

    I'm a big fan of QRP, actually I really like milli and microwatting, so no QRP 'enemy' speaking here. ;)

    73 de Vince, VA3VF
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2017
    KI5WW likes this.
  6. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I run a FT-817, Z tuner and a NEUPSK modem. Photos on my QRZ page.
    Interconnect for power
    Jumper cable radio to tuner
    Mike, earbuds and sideswiper
    Coax for antenna and wire for counterpoise.
    carry a multi-tool and a small voltmeter.
    Write in Rain Paper and pencil
    (All the other outdoor stuff you think you need)

    QRP can be a great way to learn more about the nuances of radio communications.

    Best of luck.
  7. KO4LZ

    KO4LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you're not locked into an 817, could I suggest a KX2? I have both, and really prefer the KX2 for a number of reasons, including higher output power, internal antenna tuner, integrated (and adjustable) filters, and much better overall RF performance. The KX2 is a bit pricier than the 817, but after you add in all the other stuff you might need (like filters and a ATU), the cost difference isn't nearly as big. The biggest downsides to the KX2 are that it's not nearly as mechanically robust as the 817 (which is built like a brick) and that you have to remove the battery to recharge it.

    As a CW OP, I can travel with just the KX2 (with the optional attached paddles) and a simple dipole -- no need for tons of accessories, jumpers, tuners, etc.
    K8AI and 4G1AOC like this.
  8. KM4DYX

    KM4DYX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    WD0BCT and W6FYK like this.
  9. VA3VF

    VA3VF Guest

    The other differences are: the KX2/KX3 are much newer designs that allow software updates, and the KX3 (Sherwood has not tested the KX2) has a receiver that ranks up there with the best in the 'business'.
    K8AI and KO4LZ like this.
  10. AA4OO

    AA4OO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Antenna, antenna, antenna

    With QRP power levels you're gonna want the most efficient antenna system you can find.

    Try a simple Ladder line fed doublet with a balanced tuner. Get it up as high as you can and read up on good ladder line feed lengths.
    WD0BCT and K8AI like this.

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