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Author Topic: QRP Contesting  (Read 2946 times)

Matt285

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QRP Contesting
« on: May 23, 2019, 1729 UTC »
Hoping to get my Hendricks PFR-3 out and work the last part of the CQ WPX CW contest. I'm not big into contesting, but it might be a good way to make some QRP contacts. Wasn't sure if anyone else is participating?

Offline pinto vortando

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Re: QRP Contesting
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2019, 1140 UTC »
My experience with QRP is that during a normal day you may call and call and not even make a contact.
However, during, say, Field Day you can make many contacts with just 1 watt and a simple antenna.
So, go for it.   Just be aware of what is required in the exchange as it can be rather rapid fire. 
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Matt285

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Re: QRP Contesting
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2019, 1301 UTC »
Yes. I worked QRP exclusively for about five years during better band conditions. I typically don't even bother to call CQ. If I do decide to I have an external memory keyer I built years ago, so I can just push a button and sit back. I prefer a short exchange.

Offline Josh

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Re: QRP Contesting
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2019, 1645 UTC »
My experience with QRP is that during a normal day you may call and call and not even make a contact.
However, during, say, Field Day you can make many contacts with just 1 watt and a simple antenna.
So, go for it.   Just be aware of what is required in the exchange as it can be rather rapid fire.

It depends. I had a IC-703 (this rig highly underrated) feeding a two turn loop of wire wrapped around a window frame via a short run of coax/ferrites and it did ok on nvis 40m ssb with 10w out. Really wish Icom would make a sdr version of the 703. And yes, I learned to always call cq and not answer cq, even on jt65.
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Matt285

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Re: QRP Contesting
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2019, 1722 UTC »
That's interesting. I do call CQ with my 100 watt rig, but only occasionally when QRP. I can see your point though. If your the one calling then theres not as much competition in comparison to trying to work a station with multiple ops trying the same. I remember when the 703's came out and were $429.99. I seem to remember a problem with the early generation 703's, but cant quite remember. I wanna say the finals went out in them fairly often. They still hold their value pretty well on the used market when you can come across one.

Offline ThaDood

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Re: QRP Contesting
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2019, 1805 UTC »
Ever give the newer 60M band a try in QRP? Might not give you contest points, unless that is actually allowed, but with everyone here in the USA MAX'ed out to 100W ERP there, being being -10dB, or less, would give you a good chance to be heard. I wouldn't do it at night, this time of year with lightning crashes prevalent, but good regional coverage in daytime. And, afternoons are when I seem to hear and QSO with the most traffic on that band.  I like that band, since I'm on par power-wise, with everyone else there. That, and being channelized, I'm not going to have some douche +/-1kHz away keying on me.
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Offline Josh

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Re: QRP Contesting
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2019, 1814 UTC »
That's interesting. I do call CQ with my 100 watt rig, but only occasionally when QRP. I can see your point though. If your the one calling then theres not as much competition in comparison to trying to work a station with multiple ops trying the same. I remember when the 703's came out and were $429.99. I seem to remember a problem with the early generation 703's, but cant quite remember. I wanna say the finals went out in them fairly often. They still hold their value pretty well on the used market when you can come across one.

Yep, fragile finals, also suffered by the Yaesu version, the FT817. Do not run these rigs into a non resonant antenna, also do not yell at the radio or look ruefully at it or the finals may pop. Mine lost one of the final pair and I got rid of it after seeing this was a common occurrence. Fantastic on rx, unreliable on tx. I was contemplating replacing the finals with a bipolar pair I have on hand; the finals from a HR2510, very rugged, but I suppose I'd not have enough drive to max them out without serious redesign, something I try to avoid.
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Matt285

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Re: QRP Contesting
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2019, 1935 UTC »
I have never tried 60m and currently do not have the capability to do so. That's one of the reasons I like 30 meters. Lower power and most people are running wire antennas, however with the new growth in digital modes there is not near as much CW activity. It seems like now whenever I go onto a DX cluster and set it to show the lower portion of the HF bands the majority of the postings are FT8. I'm not really a fan, but to each their own and it does seem to be quite effective with low power and the current band conditions being what they are.

Matt285

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Re: QRP Contesting
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2019, 1936 UTC »
I had a lot of fun with my HR2510 back in the 90's. Great radio for what it was.

Offline Josh

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Re: QRP Contesting
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2019, 1947 UTC »
I had a lot of fun with my HR2510 back in the 90's. Great radio for what it was.

I liked mine too! That was back in the day when I'd spend as much or more for shit cb rigs and texas star amps like a fool when I could've had a truly worthy rig like a 751a or 757 or any other used HAM rig instead of the thousands wasted on cb crap. No evil intended towards cbers, just that most modern cb rigs output is so dirty they shouldn't be on the air.
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Matt285

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Re: QRP Contesting
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2019, 2237 UTC »
Yup. Could have bought a few Icom's or Yaesu's. Oh well didnt know any better, but in the end I had a blast and learned on my way

Matt285

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Re: QRP Contesting
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2019, 1851 UTC »
I got my PFR-3 all set up and realized my children have destroyed all the working headphones in the house. Off to the store.

Matt285

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Re: QRP Contesting
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2019, 1605 UTC »
Did have as much time as I had wanted, but I did get a chance to work some stations on my QRP rig. One of which was in Lithuania. Most others were state side. Also yesterday evening I heard several stations from the middle Eastern area working U.S stations on 20 meters including Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia. 20 meters has had some later band openings lately.

Offline Josh

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Re: QRP Contesting
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2019, 2151 UTC »
When I ran jt mode, used to fire up on a "dead" band all by myself and sometimes got a response from far away. Never worked Russia before voice or digital, or pretty much anyone east of Poland on hf before, but one night tuning a silent 20m jt decided to send a cq and my first and so far only Russian came back, just like that. If the band seems dead, slap it with some rf to make sure.
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Matt285

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Re: QRP Contesting
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2019, 1725 UTC »
This is true. I think this happens fairly often on 6 meters. A bunch of people listening and waiting for someone to throw out a call. Come to think of it 2m/440 is like that quite a bit too.

 

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