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ready to give up on QRP

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by KI4QYI, Jul 24, 2019.

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  1. K0VOZ

    K0VOZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Tom,

    I use a Yaesu 817 and just purchased an 818. I now live in NY and have be talking to folks in Scotland and Italy for the last couple of weeks. Also been doing okay in US when high power guys will take the time to listen for me, lol. I use an inexpensive MFJ end fed antenna at a whooping 17 feet, and my Super antenna when I'm out and about. Patience will usually win the day if I'm willing, lol. I've owned and used full power rigs and 100 watt rigs, they have their place if you want to make "sure" someone hears you, like nets or talking to your friends. I have a lot of trouble hearing these days and can hook my rig directly to my hearing aids which keeps me in the game. For absolute pleasure I think QRP is the way to go. One of my best QRP stories was hitting E51DLD in Rarotonga and E5OA a few months later with 5 watts. Don't give up on QRP, you will regret selling your low power rigs.

    73
     
    K1CWB, KC7JNJ, F8WBD and 2 others like this.
  2. KA0USE

    KA0USE Ham Member QRZ Page

    don't you DARE give up on qrp!!
    who else am i not going to be able to contact?
     
    WD0BCT likes this.
  3. KD8ZM

    KD8ZM Ham Member QRZ Page

    The main thing I've noticed these days with QRP is not that I make fewer contacts, but that the contacts are generally at lower bands (30 and 40, mostly) and closer to home, on average. Yes, there is still the occasional European contact, but the key words here are "on average" the contacts are closer to home. I enjoy a good CW QSO (long, or short) no matter if it's a few hundred miles or a few thousand. Not even thinking of giving it up.

    I sometimes "splurge" and crank the KX3 all the way up to 15 watts, just to take it easy. :) QRP is a hobby, not a religion, so give yourself a break now and then.
     
    WD0BCT likes this.
  4. KJ5T

    KJ5T Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is an old thread, and I am not sure I am adding much to it that hasn't already been added. For me I find QRP to be both extremely frustrating and awarding at the time time. I do enjoy high rate contesting and big amps and have done so in guest op situations over the years, I also really do find joy in the fact that when propagation is just right you can make contacts hundreds or thousands of miles away with just a few watts. I have never personally don't much less than 3 Watts, of course with compromise antennas who knows how much is actually making it to the antenna.

    I first became semi-interested in QRP after attending one of the local QRP meet-ups back in 2011, I operated my first QRP contest with a Flex 1500 in the Texas QSO Party that same year, where I borrowed the tower and antenna of a friend (A3S at 40ft). Later I bought the KX2. Now that I am getting into CW I am really enjoying QRP even more.

    No doubt it isn't for everyone, and I wouldn't want to be 100% QRP at all times, I do plan to get the KXPA100 when I eventually build a real station and am not stuck running QRP in an apartment with balcony antennas.

    There is no question, the people that are in better locations for radio and perhaps have better antennas are going to do better with less power, on the same token there are those who run QRO power but don't really have the ears to pull out the weak signals.

    I do own a amp, an AL-80A that is currently on loan for station 4 at NX5M, as it isn't much of a contesting amp we only really use it on that mult station during multi-op events, the tube is old and it only puts out about ~600 watts or so. I do wonder when I build a station if I am going to make the AL-80A part of my station and how much QRP I will keep using when I am in a situation where I can run more power on a regular basis.

    I will admit I didn't read all 13 pages here to see what the OP ended up doing but I could see if you only have one radio that maybe it does make sense to have something that is capable of a little more power ,there is nothing to stop you from turning the power down to QRP levels to making QRP contacts (though some radios really don't let you go down under 5 watts).
     
  5. KI4POT

    KI4POT Ham Member QRZ Page

    My only HF radio is an FT-817nd. I've never owned anything else. Operating from my house is not worth the effort because it's a townhouse with aluminum siding surrounded by other TS also clad in aluminum siding (not to mention lots of QRM due to the population density). My backyard, the only place I could put an antenna, is boxed in on three sides by the THs I mentioned. Instead of fighting it, I focus on off-grid operating, SOTA, and that sort of thing. Every day is field day. :)

    Lately I've gotten into trying weird things. I have a VX-7r HT that does 6m...FM and AM. I built a dipole for it and will try a SOTA activation on 6m AM. QRP, quirky, and could be fun. :) Worst case I make no contacts but a spend a few hours hiking and relaxing on a mountaintop.

    Chris
     
    KD8ZM, WD0BCT and F8WBD like this.
  6. KC3MIO

    KC3MIO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I’m guessing by your post that you are allowed to put up an antenna. I found out about the Spiderbeam collapsible mast and I bought a 40’ model. I’ve attached it to my deck rails and also picnic tables and run a 65’ EFHW to my radio. If you can run an end to your house, you may be able to operate at home. I know it’s pleasant to operate outdoors, but winter and rain get in the way.
     
  7. KI4POT

    KI4POT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I can, the HOA doesn't mind as long as it isn't visible from the street. I've had a variety of antennas (4btv vert, EF random wire, inverted-V, etc) but I'm just not active enough from home to to leave them up for any length of time, though I do enjoy building different types to see how well they work. Next one is going to be a resonant 1/4 vertical wire with 9:1 unun. The Spiderbeam mast could be useful for that.

    I'm an avid Fall/Winter camper, hunter, cyclist (mountain and road), and trail runner. Outdoors operation in a variety of weather isn't a detractor, but part of the charm.

    Chris
     
  8. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I know of your condition! I'm in a similar situation but I do have a stealth 40/20M inverted vee antenna in my patio/backyard. However comparing operating from home to portable is like fishing in my bird feeder compared to an Ocean Charter!
    Actually operating from home isn't quite as bad as fishing in my bird feeder...it has it's days. But operating portable can be depended upon. It's all about location...location...location.
    Now that I'm getting older the hiking/camping is slowing down but I have a number of areas close to a parking spot that are still within my limits. And QRP equipment/batteries are much lighter than hauling equipment for 100W operation!
     
    KI4POT likes this.
  9. KC3MIO

    KC3MIO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Incidentally, 17 M i working very well from NE Pa. I just had a good QSO with AA7FV running 5 watts from my 7300. Also heard OK7PYA from Czech Republic but other stations were working him.
     
    KD8ZM likes this.
  10. KC7JNJ

    KC7JNJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I run a FT817 from my house lots of noise here. I could not do it except I had the BHI dsp installed into my radio. But I now see BHI has an external unit one can buy. https://www.bhi-ltd.com/noise-cancelling/dsp-noise-cancelling-in-line-modules/compact-in-line.html I have to say the BHI means the deferents between operating and not operating for me. Without it I am off the air at my house.
     

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