Author Topic: Let's talk QRP  (Read 437 times)

Offline fritz_monroe

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Let's talk QRP
« on: October 09, 2020, 06:43:58 PM »
So about a year ago, I tested for my technician and general and passed.  But I wasn't sure what I wanted to get out of ham radio, so I didn't set up my shack.

Now that I'm a year in, I think that I know what I want to do with ham radio.  The person that got me interested was a ham for many years.  He's in his 70's and started when he was a teen.  He always talked about building his own equipment and making contacts around the world.  That peaked my interest and I added ham radio to my bucket list.  That was 30 years ago and I just realized what interested me in ham radio.

I want to build my gear and make use of the lowest spec gear as I possibly can to make contact.  I may want to sit in my basement and make contact.  Or I may want to hike to the top of a mountain and do a SOTA contact.  Or just put a ham rig in my camper to use when I'm camping.

So that brings me to QRP.  I've read many articles and watched many videos.  They almost always say that QRP is not the recommended for a new ham. But that's what interest me in ham.

I am building my bench power supply.  I ran into some snags early on and put that on the back burner, but will be building more this winter.  I bought the uBitX version 5 kit and built that for the most part.  I've also purchased and built one of the QRP guys antennas.

Needless to say, I like building my equipment.

Anyone make use of QRP?  what gear are you using?  Any suggestions for gear that I should add to my "shack" or go bag?  It doesn't need to be DIY.

Offline armymars

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Re: Let's talk QRP
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2020, 09:53:42 AM »
  I own many QRP radios. Next to me is my Ten-Tec Argonaut V. If I had one radio it would have to have SSB and CW. SSB for digital and CW for portable. Two radios come to mind. The uBITX 6 and the QRPver SDR or DC. I'm sure they're are others, but the prices may be quite a bit higher. If I were to run CW only I might chose the
SW-3B. Three band, light weight and about $188 plus shipping.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Let's talk QRP
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2020, 10:57:46 AM »
I don't know CW yet, but that's on the agenda.

I have the uBitx v5 kit mostly built.  But thanks for the info on the other radios.  I'll check them out.

Offline armymars

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Re: Let's talk QRP
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2020, 11:15:57 AM »
  If the uBITX 5 has CW your good to go. A small tuner and a light battery covers about everything. My BITX 40 has a metal case and can be heavy. I like CW for portable use when back packing to save the weight of a computer. For batteries lithium batteries are much lighter then lead acid, but three times the price. If your running out of your car it doesn't mater. If your hiking, every pound maters. 73 and let us know what you chose and how it is working for you. 

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Let's talk QRP
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2020, 11:40:54 AM »
From what I've seen, v5 and v6 of the uBitx are pretty much the same.  Yes, there are some differences, but the biggest changes are the way it's built.

I have to wait for some bad weather to get back into building stuff.

Offline exSun

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Re: Let's talk QRP
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2020, 10:23:58 AM »
The reasons why QRP (on HF) is not recommended for inexperienced hams are the most succesful mode is CW and a lot of patience is required. CW can be learned and patience is gained through many, many attempts before contacts are made. But the contacts will come if you don't get discouraged. I made an SSB QSO from W7-land to Guam way back when the sunspot number was about 65 (it's now about 25) on 10 meters, in December. Just luck, and patience. If you opt for HF QRP, keep in mind you chose to do it the hard way. 73!

Offline armymars

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Re: Let's talk QRP
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2020, 03:13:50 PM »
  Thanks to fldigi we can now run digital modes. PSK 31, MT 63 and others will make contacts that not even CW can do because of the code written for them. I've copied people on MT 63 and PSK 31 I could not hear. You could just make them out on the water fall. Of course SSB is a different matter. It's like pulling teeth if the band is crowded but if things are quite I have made a number of contacts. Check out the K8MRD video's.  PS you'll see me in his first field day video in the last 6 minuets. I'm wearing a gray sweater. Grin