There are many blogs that apply to QRP that are helpful. One that I enjoy is that which is published by w5cyf.wordpress.com. He deals with antennas, cw, qrp, Elecraft kx1, Small Wonder Labs and many others. He also has many videos on You Tube that are very well done and very helpful. Just go to You Tube and type in W5CYF and select the ones you want to see. I have emailed John a few times about a video and he has always been quick to respond. 73, k4qq
QUESTIONS ABOUT QRP
Rich Arland, K7SZ, in his excellent ARRL book, “Low Power Communcation,” answers a number of questions about QRP. Let’s consider some of them here: 1) What is QRP? As you know, a number of “Q” signals are used in CW contacts. Originally, “QRP” meant “can you reduce power or shall I reduce power?”
2) How much power are we talking about? QRP has been around for a long time and there has been much disagreement over this. Now QRP is considered 5 watts or less for CW contacts
and 10 watts PEP for SSB. 3) Can one really work DX using
QRP power? Absolutely ! Many QRPers have DXCC certificates
to prove it. Of course antennas, band conditions and QRM
a big part in this. I will discuss more questions in the next
post. 73, John K4QQ
4) Will I have to buy a new rig? Not likely. I got started
in QRP simply by reducing my Kenwood TS-570 down to five watts. 5) If I want to buy a QRP rig how much do I have tB
spend? There are kit radios that cost under $50 and can go
up to over $1,000. There is something available to suit
everyone’s budget. 6) Is QRP a “CW only” type of operation?
Not at all. Many use SSB at 10 W PEP output. One of the
most interesting aspects of QRP is PSK31.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions about anything I post please contact me at: email@example.com.
MORE QRP BLOGS
I enjoy viewing the blogs of QRPers. One I highly recommend
is that of W1PID (www.w1pid.com). This has more than 100 QRP
adventures with stories and photos. The spectacular scenery mostly is in New Hampshire. Another good one is www.ac6v.com. He has lists of dozens of links that are of value to QRPers. Also, be sure to look up w2ljblogspots.com. He has
discussions on operating, morse code, portable antennas for
QRP, etc. His motto is:Do More With Less.
73, John K4QQ
QRP AND EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION
All hams should be interested in and prepared for emergency communication when needed. This should certainly be true of all WCARES members. There are many suggestions on the internet for preparing a “Jump Kit” or “Go Bag.” I found a camera carrying bag in almost new condition at Goodwill for around $6.00. There were several to select from. In this kit I carry an Elecraft K1 with 15, 20, 30 and 40 meter capability. For power I use a Gel Cell 12 volt, 7 amp. battery. I include a J38 key and/or an iambic paddle. I have two light weight antennas: 1) a 29 foot piece of speaker wire that loads perfectly on 15, 20, 30 and 40 meters, using the ATU in the K1. 2) A Pac 12 verticsl with 20 andd 40 meter coils. The Pac 12 breaks down into four 12 inch sections. This Jump Kit works well for me. I am interested in hearing from you QRPers as to what kind of Jump Kit you use. 73, John, K4QQ (firstname.lastname@example.org).
There are many QRP clubs. One of the oldest and largest is QRP Amateur Radio Club International. Among other things QRP ARCI sponsors contests and keeps it’s members informed of other contests. The club publishes a quarterly magazine devoted, of course, to things QRP. By going to the web site, a copy of the Winter, 2013 issue can be downloaded for free. This will give you an idea of what to expect each quarter. 73, John, K4QQ
ANOTHER QRP CLUB
One of the more interesting QRP clubs is:The Flying Pigs QRP Club, International W8PIG. Their motto is, “No Dues, No Rules, Just Fun—and if we don’t like it we fix it!” In addition to sponsoring a monthly Run for the Bacon CW Contest, the site includes a bacon bits newsletter, builders corner, flying pigs chatroom, pig gear and a weekly pig net. You may want to check this out. 73, John
SPECIALIIZED QRP MODES
Most people probably associate QRP with cw. This is most likely where most QRP activity can be found but certainly not all. Many hams enjoy operating QRP on SSB and the digital modes. Using a Yaesu FT817 at 5 watts, I had no difficulty making contacts on PSK31. Try it, you may like it. 73, John
CLASSIC QRP GEAR
With all the emphasis on QRP, one might think it is “the new kid on the block.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Rich Arland, K7SZ, in “Low Power Communication,” devotes quite a bit of discussion to classic QRP gear.
Ten Tec has been a leader in QRP gear for nearly 50 years. They released the Power Mite series of QRP transceivers in 1969. They offered a choice of band coverage, a direct conversion receiver and about 1 to 2 W output. The Argonaut series was very popular with QRPers. Model 505 was introduced in 1972, covered 80 to 10 meters on CW and SSB with a power output of 2.5 W. This was followed by model 509 in 1975 which sold several thousand rigs. They later brought out the Arbosy 525 and 525D models which were very popular.
Beginning in 1973 Heathkit produced three very popular QRP rigs. The first was the HW-7 covering 40, 20, and 15 meters at about 1.5 W output. This was replaced by the HW-8 which included 80 meters. This has been called “the most heavily modified QRP radio in he world.” Many of these are still in use and can be purchased for around $100.00 at hamfests and online. The HW-9 was the last of the series.
The Kenwood TS-120V/130V can be found occasionally at hamfests. They run 10W and can be reduced to 5W.
The Index Labs produced a QRP transceiver from 1994-1996. 73, John
I received my Summer issue of QRP quarterly yesterday. This is the Journal of the QRP Amateur Radio Club International.
It is published four times a year. As usual, this issue contained much of interest from builders, operators and contesters. If you are not a member of QRP ARCI it is easy to join. The cost is $25.00 a year. Send check or money order to: QRP ARCI, 1540 Stonehaven, Cumming, GA 30040