Category Archives: QRP

Michigan QSO party QRP style

This weekend there were several state QSO parties running — Michigan, Ontario and South Dakota, plus a DX contest centered in South America. Saturday night I came down to the shack to see what I could do in the three, but when I started messing with the K3, the AF gain (volume) knob broke. I was thinking about running the contests by using the shaft with no knob, but that looked like an exercise in pain so I turned on the KX1 QRP (low power) radio.

I heard a station calling from Bolivia on 40 meters, and thought “why not try” and worked him on the first call — with 4 watts and my Steppir vertical. Cool.

I switched to the Michigan QSO party and started working everyone I could find. It often took three or four calls, and a couple guys had to really work to hear my report, but I kept working stations. By the end of the evening I’d worked 30 stations in Michigan, 10 in Ontario, and 5 in South America, mostly on 40 meters with a few contacts on 20 and 80. For 80 I switched to the K2 at 5 watts, but most of my contacts were made with the KX1.

This is much different from my normal contesting mode of running 500 watts and seeing how high a rate — how many contacts per hour — I can reach. But it was just as much fun, I used a lot less power, and it was much lower key than most contests I run.

For any hams out there who think “life is too short for QRP,” you are missing a big part of the hobby. To work Boliva and Brazil with 4 watts — that is exciting.

So that was my hamming for the weekend. I’ll go into more detail on my broken knob on the K3 later.

 

QRP fun with the Elecraft KX1

Elecraft KX1 is a minimialist QRP radio with high performance.

When talking about my radios, I often overlook the QRP gear. I have several QRP — low power below 5 watts — radios that I used to be very active with, but in the past few years with bad band conditions I’ve gotten out of the QRP habit.

I’m spending a week in a cabin in North Carolina in a couple weeks, and am planning on taking a small radio and portable antenna. So today I got out the Elecraft KX1 and fired it up on 20 meters. I hadn’t had it on the air for a while, and after this afternoon, i wonder why I’ve forgotten QRP.

The Georgia QSO party was in full swing on 20 meters, so it was a good chance to see if the QRP signal would reach them. During the afternoon I worked 20 different Georgia stations with no problem.

Then I tuned down the band and heard W1VDE calling CQ from Oregon. I answered and talked to him for a while. He said my 4 watt signal was loud in Oregon — 20 db over S9 for you hams out there. That’s about as good as it gets.

Then I moved up to the QRP calling frequency, 14.060 and called CQ. On the first try N1DN came back to me, and he was operating QRP from Connecticut. So I basically worked coast to coast this afternoon with 4 watts. I’ve got the QRP bug again.

Here is a good review of the KX1 by another blogger.

 

QRP fun

This morning I spent some time running the QRPARCI QSO party. I had a great time and remembered why I like qrp so much. More details tomorrow.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Cloud logging

A question I’ve been asking myself is why there isn’t a “cloud” logging program — a logging program that exists on the Internet, and everyone can view real time. Logbook of the World is an awards database, not a real-time log.

Then this morning I stumbled on HamRadioDeluxe online log. This seems to be totally a beta and work in progress, but very interesting. I’ve uploaded a few logs to it, and it’s posted on the top corner of this site. It looks like someone else was thinking the same thing I was.