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.