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QRP 365 Update 8

February 22, 2015 Leave a comment

It’s Sunday February 22nd 2015 and I have now completed week 8 of my QRP 365 Challenge.  For those who are new to this, this means that for the whole of the year, 2015, I shall use no more than 5W and just CW or Datamodes, no phone at all.  At least one QSO a day – hence 365.

So how did I do this week?

16/02/15: F6ECI, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 552mi (890km) / 110.4mi (178km) per Watt.

17/02/15: UR3ES, 5W PSK31 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 1503mi (2424km) / 300.6mi (484.8km) per Watt.

18/02/15: EA9/DL2RVL, 5w, PSK31 on 21.07015MHZ, a distance of 1192mi (1922km) / 238.4mi (384.4km) per Watt.

18/02/15: SP3PML/4, 5W, PSK63 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 843mi (1360km) / 168.6mi (272km) per Watt.

19/02/15: S56IPS, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 872mi (1406km) / 174.4mi (281.2km) per Watt.

19/02/15: R95RGA, 5W, PSK31 on 21.07015MHZ, a distance of 2428mi (3916km) / 485.6mi (783.2km) per Watt.

20/02/15: IZ2QDG, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 683mi (1102km) / 136.6mi (220.4km) per Watt.

21/02/15: LA2XNA, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHZ, a distance of 697mi (1125km) / 139.4mi (225km ) per Watt.

21/02/15: OK1USU, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHZ, a distance of 685mi (1105km) / 137mi (221km) per Watt.

21/02/15: HB9TRR, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHZ, a distance of 564mi (910km) / 112.8mi (182km) per Watt.

21/02/15: IN3TJO, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHZ, a distance of 953mi (1537km) / 190.6mi (307.4km) per Watt.

22/02/15: R4PU, 5W, PSK31 on 18.10015MHZ, a distance of 1851mi (2985km) / 370.2mi (597km) pe Watt.

As can be seen the best DX this week was R95RGA with a cracking 2428 miles (3916km) worked. This was also a special event station being operated by youngsters for the YOTA program.

Today was a challenge as there was both a CW contest and a PSK63 Contest (RU).  For this reason I changed to the 17m (18MHZ) band and, although scarcely populated, I did manage to make a contact and full QSO with R4PU for another bandslot.

I am still continuing to call CQ using CW for the first 1/2 hour of my daily session and still not getting replies most of the time .  If we do wish to keep this mode alive it really does need using.  People may consider it difficult and out of date or unnecessary but it is all part of the history of what is a fascinating hobby and means of communication.  It is also a much cleaner signal than many, taking up just a few hundred hertz as opposed to kilohertz and is much less likely to cause TVI or EMC.  Give it a try, you may be surprised at just how easy it is.  It is also much easier to build a CW transmitter and receiver than it is to build one for phone so if you fancy a go at homebrewing some kit, this is probably the first thing to look at – a crystal oscillator, a buffer, an amp and a key to turn it on or off (not forgetting harmonic filters after the final stage so as not to annoy other users).

Until next update..

Next update will be on Sunday 1st March 2015.

 

QRP 365 Update 7

February 15, 2015 Leave a comment

It’s Sunday February 15th 2015 and I have now completed week 7 of my QRP 365 Challenge.  For those who are new to this, this means that for the whole of the year, 2015, I shall use no more than 5W and just CW or Datamodes, no phone at all.  At least one QSO a day – hence 365.

So how did I do this week?

09/02/15: CT3IB, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHZ, a distance of 1612mi (2600km) / 322.4mi (520km) per Watt.

10/02/15: LA8OOA, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 484mi (780km) / 96.8mi (156km) per Watt.

10/02/15: DL1NCH, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHZ, a distance of 469mi (757km) / 93.8mi (151.4km) per Watt.

11/02/15: IZ0AYM, 5W, CW on 14.060MHZ, a distance of 999mi (1612km) / 199.8mi (322.4km) per Watt.

11/02/15: LY2EW, 5W, JT65 on 21.076MHZ, a distance of 1006mi (1622km) / 201.2mi (324.4km) per Watt.

11/02/15: EI1DG, 5W, JT65 on 7.076MHZ, a distance of 240mi (387km) / 48mi (77.4km) per Watt.

11/02/15: PD1HTW, 5W, JT65 on 7.076MHZ, a distance of 250mi (404km) / 50mi (80.8km) per Watt.

12/02/15: OH8JGG, 5W, PSK63 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 1167mi (1883km) / 233.4mi (376.6km) per Watt.

13/02/15: IK1LRY, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHZ, a distance of 671mi (1082km) / 134.2mi (216.4km) per Watt.

14/02/15: HF2015MARI, 5W, PSK63 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 717mi (1157km) / 143.4mi (231.4km) per Watt.

14/02/15: RX6DX, 5W, PSK31 on 21.07015MHZ, a distance of 1851mi (2985km) / 370.2mi (597km) per Watt.

15/02/15: SQ2JK, 5W, PSK125 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 843mi (1360km) / 168.6mi (272km) per Watt.

15/02/15: OM8CD, 5W, PSK125 on 21.07015MHZ, a distance of 942mi (1519km) / 188.4mi (303.8km) per Watt.

As can be seen the best DX this week was RX6DX with a cracking 1851 miles (2985km) worked.  Also worth a mention is HF2015MARI, a special event station that found me hidden beneath a pile up when using my low power digi modes – many stations were working him with 45W plus (one even said he was using 150W of PSK63).  Also, IZ0AYM has to be my best CW contact to date.  He did come back to my CQ call and we managed a complete exchange even with QSB and some QRM taken into account (why do folk have to start tuning up when there is a QSO in progress?).  Mind you he was a good 599 for most of the time and he managed to receive me at 529 – almost a thousand miles on 5W isn’t bad at all.

On the 13th, after calling CQ for a while using 5W into an OCFD (HW-20HP), and later using 4W into a loaded dipole (DBD-2040), I checked on the reverse beacon network to see if I was at least being heard.  The results of this are below:

Reverse Beacon 130215

I then set about constructing a 40m QRPp transceiver (Pixie) and fitting it into a case.  This gave a massive 500mW on 40m (7.035MHZ +/-).  I got around to testing this out on the 14th February and both the finished unit and results can be seen below:

B9t5vlYIAAAjDRg 40m PIXIE.

Capture 140215  Showing results from both days – the top four were obtained using the Pixie transceiver pictured above.

Obviously my signals are getting out there but seem to be getting lost in the ether on most days.  However, I do know that my challenge has encouraged others in our local radio club – South Kesteven ARS (SKARS) – to attempt similar themselves, mostly using data modes although a couple of members are looking at learning and using CW.  More power to the elbow!

I am still continuing to call CQ using CW for the first 1/2 hour of my daily session and still not getting replies most of the time .  If we do wish to keep this mode alive it really does need using.  People may consider it difficult and out of date or unnecessary but it is all part of the history of what is a fascinating hobby and means of communication.  It is also a much cleaner signal than many, taking up just a few hundred hertz as opposed to kilohertz and is much less likely to cause TVI or EMC.  Give it a try, you may be surprised at just how easy it is.  It is also much easier to build a CW transmitter and receiver than it is to build one for phone so if you fancy a go at homebrewing some kit, this is probably the first thing to look at – a crystal oscillator, a buffer, an amp and a key to turn it on or off (not forgetting harmonic filters after the final stage so as not to annoy other users).

Until next update..

Next update will be on Sunday 22nd February 2015.

 

Categories: QRP CHALLENGE 2015 Tags: ,

QRP 365 Update 6

February 8, 2015 Leave a comment

It’s Sunday February 8th 2015 and I have now completed week 6 of my QRP 365 Challenge.  For those who are new to this, this means that for the whole of the year, 2015, I shall use no more than 5W and just CW or Datamodes, no phone at all.  At least one QSO a day – hence 365.

So how did I do this week?

02/02/15: EB1RJ, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 676mi (1091km) / 135.2mi (218.2km) per Watt.

03/02/15: IN3GNV, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 953mi (1537km) / 190.6mi (307.4km) per Watt.

03/02/15: UR7EG, 5W, PSK31 on 24.92015MHZ, a distance of 1573mi (2537km) / 314.6mi (507.4km) per Watt.

04/02/15: DL6UNF, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 647mi (1044km) / 129.4mi (208.8km) per Watt.

04/02/15: EU1ACX, 5W, PSK31 on 21.07015MHZ, a distance of 1195mi (1927km) / 239mi (385.4km) per Watt.

05/02/15: M5CWT, 5W, CW on 14.060MHZ Not sure of distance here as he is not QTHR or on qrz.com.

05/02/15: OM3WBQ, 5W, PSK31 on 21.07015MHZ, a distance of 912mi (1471km) / 182.4mi (294.2km) per Watt.

05/02/15: YO2LDU, 5W, PSK31 on 21.07015MHZ, a distance of 1079mi (1772km) / 215.8mi (354.4km) per Watt.

06/02/15: EU1ACX, 5W, PSK63 on 21.07015MHZ, a distance of 1195mi (1927km) / 239mi (385.4km) per Watt.

06/02/15: IK1MTX, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 658mi (1062km) / 131.6mi (212.4km) per Watt.

07/02/15: OK/DH7WW/p, 5W, PSK63 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 589mi (950km) / 117.8mi (190km) per Watt.

07/02/15: ES3BR, 5W, PSK31 on 21.07015MHZ, a distance of 1056mi (1704km) / 211.2mi (340.8km) per Watt.

08/02/15: IN3GNV, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 953mi (1537km) / 190.6mi (307.4km) per Watt.

08/02/15: SQ7OWZ, 5W, PSK31 on 21.07015MHZ, a distance of 922mi (1487km) / 184.4mi (297.4km) per Watt.

08/02/15: HF85PZK, 5W, PSK63 on 21.07015MHZ, a distance of 843mi (1360km) / 168.6mi (272km) per Watt.

As can be seen the best DX this week was UR7EG with a cracking 1573 miles (2537km) worked. This one was a surprise when I found 12m to be open early in the morning (0814 UTC) and my best DX was on such a high band at this time of the year.  Also worthy of a mention is HF85PZK, a special event station running on digital modes (PSK) only.  I was pleased to hear and exchange RST with M5CWT but this was on 14MHz so, obviously ground wave between two “G / M” stations.  Unfortunately, the QSB was very bad and he had faded into the noise before I copied his QTH or locator.  I checked in the RSGB book and on qrz.com but he was not listed on either so I was unable to confirm distance worked here at all.  It was nice to have someone reply to my CQ call using CW though.  I have now upped my speed to about 18wpm which seems to go down better with other operators.

I think many have been listening out for the K1N station seeing as this is so rare.  I must admit, when I checked on a scope it looked more like the background from Matrix than a CW signal, I would hate to guess the number of stations in the pile up.  Needless to say I didn’t get through with my 5W, I was merely swamped by the 2KW+ stations and the DQRM that seems to follow anything of interest around.

I am still continuing to call CQ using CW for the first 1/2 hour of my daily session and still not getting replies most of the time (M5CWT being an exception).  If we do wish to keep this mode alive it really does need using.  People may consider it difficult and out of date or unnecessary but it is all part of the history of what is a fascinating hobby and means of communication.  It is also a much cleaner signal than many, taking up just a few hundred hertz as opposed to kilohertz and is much less likely to cause TVI or EMC.  Give it a try, you may be surprised at just how easy it is.  It is also much easier to build a CW transmitter and receiver than it is to build one for phone so if you fancy a go at homebrewing some kit, this is probably the first thing to look at – a crystal oscillator, a buffer, an amp and a key to turn it on or off (not forgetting harmonic filters after the final stage so as not to annoy other users).

Until next update..

Next update will be on Sunday 15th February 2015.

 

QRP 365 Update 5

February 1, 2015 Leave a comment

It’s Sunday February 1st 2015 and I have now completed week 5 of my QRP 365 Challenge.  For those who are new to this, this means that for the whole of the year, 2015, I shall use no more than 5W and just CW or Datamodes, no phone at all.  At least one QSO a day – hence 365.

So how did I do this week?

26/01/15: EB1RJ, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 676mi (1091km) / 135.2mi (218.2km) per Watt.

27/01/15: IC8DAK, 5W, PSK63 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 1081mi (1744km) / 216.2mi (348.8km) per Watt.

28/01/15: OM8GT, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 990mi (1596km) / 198mi (319.2km) per Watt.

28/01/15: OK2VNJ, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 1340mi (2162km) / 268mi (432.4km) per Watt.

29/01/15: IK2WAS, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 647mi (1044km) / 129.4mi (208.8km) per Watt.

30/01/15: OE8BEK, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 771mi (1244km) / 154.2mi (248.8km) per Watt.

31/01/15: SP9UNX, 5W, PSK31 on 21.07015MHZ, a distance of 862mi (1390km) / 172.4mi (278km) per Watt.

1/02/15: OM7CB, 5W, PSK31 on 21.07015MHZ, a distance of 909mi (1466km) / 181.8mi (293.2km) per Watt.

As can be seen the best DX this week was OK2VNJ with a cracking 1340 miles (2162km) worked. Not such a big log this week as work still has to take precedence and I have been rather busy, giving me less time to operate radio. It seems though that digital modes, such as PSK are taking over from CW as I spend the first 1/2 hour each session calling CQ in the CW portions of 40, 30, 20 and 15m with no replies, as can be seen whereas after 2 – 3 minutes of calling CQ in the digital modes portions of the bands I have a QSO.  I will continue to try for a CW QSO every day but will also use the digital modes if I get no reply to my calls.

Until next update..

Next update will be on Sunday 8th February 2015.