Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by KM4DYX, Aug 15, 2017.
Missed you today. That would have been #4 for us. Catch you next time.
CQ'd for a while on 40m near the end of whatever contest that was. Only made one contact to GA. Cheated a little... Putting out abt 15W on the homebrew amp. The new inv vee at 50 ft working pretty well... Hitting skimmers in AB Canada, CO, AZ from here in NH.
Not sure if you consider SSB under 20w QRP... I guess technically I don't, either, but...
I did finish my Elecraft K2 build (from 2010) by brushing the dust off and completing a 1/2 built SSB kit. The base radio worked as a CW rig before, with a couple bugs (that got worked out also the past few days), but the SSB kit got sidelined and so did the whole project. I'm happy it is together now the way I envisioned it from the start. Although - there are more kits to add to it.... It won't ever be a 100w rig, though I have thought about building a tube amp for it (and any other rig) to bump it to a couple hundred watts.
I worked SC from central Ohio on 40m LSB for my first completed QSO on the rig. The dial shows 15w, but I am not sure if I get full power there. So maybe 12-15 watts.
Then today I worked some FT8 with it at 5 watts on 40 also.
I have not decided yet if I want to run my bug for SKN (in my sig) or not. A buddy of mine has a big key collection and I'm thinking of borrowing a straight key. The rig will be the K2, for sure, running QRP though.
I think last years SKN I worked my KX3 and the bug... I can't recall the last year I ran more than QRP actually. Fun stuff. I also worked the ARRL 160 CW contest this year with the KX3 an QRP. It was easier than I expected.
Seems like a lot of home brewers operate in the under 50W range, but not necessarily under 5W. No shame in that at this point in the solar cycle.
I spent the past couple weeks trying to figure out the FT-818 and made my first QRP contact this weekend!
500+ miles from Cleveland to Montreal. I was operating SSB on 40 meters with an EFLW at 30 feet.
I got a 57 report! What fun!
Those are cool radios. I've always wanted one (the 817, model just before the 818 - almost the same radio). However, other rigs have crept in to my world. The first portable rig was an FT-857D (which I just resurrected today with a new crystal filter set), then I got on to the Elecraft radios from running a buddy's KX1. I was just about to pull the trigger on a KX1 then switched and got a K2. A couple years after that I ended up with a KX3 (with tuner and 2m - but 2m wasn't available for about a year and a half). Needless to say, the portable/QRP radio selection here is numerous and there isn't a "need" for an 817 or 818, but they certainly are cool radios!
I remember spending a lot of evenings with Jerry K8RA (sk) working on projects and working the bands. He had an 817 in his shack and of all the rigs (at the time including an FT-DX9000D, but it eventually went bye-bye and was replaced with an IC-7800) and amps I ran the FT-817ND - with a 4 element Steppir on a tower. No amp. Just an awesome antenna and QRP. We laughed about it and had a good time.
If you haven't done it yet - get a set of crystal filters for the rig. I can't recall if you can fit 2 in there or just one... I got a 2000hz SSB and 300hz CW Inrad set for my 857. The CW filter is awesome. The SSB filter is too narrow. If I could do it over again I'd stick to no less than a 2300hz. 2000 works, but the audio is "shallow" and the filter affects both TX and RX so receiving stations hear the same from you.
That brings up a point - I've been running my original IC-718 on FT8 for a while now (first ham rig I ever got, Christmas 2000). I had planned to get crystal filters for it also, but had upgraded radios over the years and never did. I would still like to put a set in it. They make a substantial difference on CW in my book.
Hey Jeff; Tell about the antenna setup you have there....
Nothing written in stone about power levels unless there are QRP critics out there and I don't think there are...
If there are then I disregard listening to them anyway...
Just run what you have and enjoy your time doing so...
After five years of neighborhood 10-over QRN, MS Power fixed their problem... and I can use my 817nd at home again! Oh, it wasn't that bad, it'd go away on rainy days, when I was stuck inside anyway, but it is nice to have S1-S3 background noise.
Anyway, got in a PSK-31 QSO from the northern Gulf coast to Indiana on 40m last night. I'll be on the 817 a lot more in 2020.