Yesterday (December 27 2022) on a HF Net I heard an operator stating that he was operating QRP when he checked in with the NCS (and no it was not me)
The NCS asked what power level he was using and he proudly replied “10w”. The NCS commented that he thought QRP was 5W and a short gruff debate followed with the NCS saying it was not worth arguing over and he then continued the net.
You might remember that I covered this before in a blog post:
Well its Sunday am and I’ve finally thawed out…. Strange thing this Canadian Weather…..
I got on the bus at 130pm Eastern and the weather was nice and sunny….. Got off the bus close to the Murney Tower at 230 pm eastern and the weather was nice and sunny…..
Walked from the bus stop to the Murney Tower and the weather was nice and sunny….Started to set up and the weather was starting to cloud over…. Called CQ POTA and the sun gave up and hid beside the clouds and the wind from Lake Ontario picked up….
The working conditions was my Xiegu X5101 with a Sota Beams Bandspringer antenna. My Shakesphere 20 foot Wonder Pole was being supported by the Heavy Duty Tripod I mentioned a few posts back….
As you probally noticed the graphics above have for the most part been recycled from my library. I did have my IPhone with me but the pics for the most part did not turn out…..
I started out on 40m and had managed to contact about 5(or so) parks when Martin VA3SIE arrived and set up his KX3 along with his ALEXLOOP antenna. He started calling on 20m CW and I kept on with 40SSB.
Martin posted an excellent Video (link below) on his part of the activation so check it out….
After a while I switched over to 20ssb and managed a contact before jumping back to 40m ssb
As the sun turned into sunset it really got cold and the wind really picked up. We packed up and moved closer to the Murney Tower to escape the wind but it still was goshdarn cold…. Martin continued to operate and I decided to leave the gear packed up….
I managed to give out Murney Tower VE4877 and the Kingston Fortifications VE4872 to 14 hunters making it a successful Two Park activation day.
Just before 6pm eastern I got my bus ride home and called it a day…. Martin decided to stay (those youngsters just don’t feel the cold) and he was making SSB contacts on 40m and 20m….. I was actually impressed seeing how easy he was pulling in the stations with the KX3 and the loop…
This will most likely be my last activation for a while. The sheer pleasure of operating portable was negated by the reality of freezing (ok the coldest I have been in quite a while) and at a certain time it just is no longer fun…. I’ll keep on hunting till things change a bit….. and if we get a warm afternoon who knows…
A Bit of POTA News….
On Friday evening the Pota Gawds determined that I had been confirmed and had make contacts with 2000 individual parks. BIG THANKYOU to the activators that made this possible. This was one of my goals and it happened earlier than I had expected….
As of the time of this post my attempts to complete the “Park A Day Challenge” continue and since Jan 1 2022 I have made at least 1 confirmed contact a day with a POTA Park. As of the end of October there were 24 of us still in the Challenge…
48 Days to go….Will I make it???
Thats it for now…. I’ll post more when I have something to talk about
The operators will be Martin VA3SIE (KX1 or KX3) and Bob VA3QV(Xiegu X5105). It is hoped that Bill VE3FI (KX3)will be with us as well if his earlier activation allows him to make it here. The activation was also talked about on our local QRP/POTA groups (VHF and HF) weekly net so I’m not really sure how many operators will show up.
We will be spotting ourselves on POTA Spots and hope to get you in the log.
This is also fitting with the Polar Bear Moonlight Madness (PBMME) event. The event takes place on the Saturday closest to a Full Moon and is a fairly popular event for the QRP Types
This will be the first time that my XIEGU X5105 will be playing outside with other radios in close proximity. Lets hope the little rig does not get overloaded
Well recently I have been shuffling gear around to take into consideration my new interests in our Amateur Radio hobby along with the retirees budget….
Yesterday this rig made it into my shack:
The Yaesu FT2DR is a dual band (2m and 70cm) dual mode (FM and C4FM) 5 watt handheld radio.
I bought it used from a ham in Ottawa and so far I am more than pleased with my purchase. It also has a built in GPS and an AX25 modem so eventually I will figure out how to access the APRS Network.
For now I have been able to program the memories with the limited frequencies needed for Kingston and as I also have the programming software and cable (not needed yet) eventually I will have it working to its full potential.
I still have my FT70D handheld and my FTDM7250 and plan to keep them both doing duty in the shack. The “70D” is currently monitoring my NNMDM Hot spot and the “7250” is connected to my 1/4 wave dual band groundplane giving me local VHF/UHF coverage
So for now I will be using the FT2DR for my daily use rig when not in the shack. Walks around the block or out to some POTA Activations should make use of the APRS Features and the ability to send SMS and APRS Text messages from areas where the cell service is limited could be important. Hopefully the GPS stuff along with the APRS stuff will be just as easy to set up as the memories were.
If you want to track the progress of this check out APRS.FI on line and search for VA3QV. Once I get it functioning the SSID for the FT2DR will be VA3QV-7
There will be a few more changes coming… I am looking for another portable hf rig (FT817 or 818 or even a KX3)to keep the XIEGU X5105 company and I will be sending one of my 100W HF rigs (FT950 or the FT450) on to a new home (but not quite ready to say goodbye yet)
Other stuff— Still hunting lots of POTA with just over 1200 Parks confirmed so far. Only done 2 activations so far but once the bands get stable then the Xiegu will be getting lots of fresh air
Recently I have seen a “boatload” of operators trying to break pileups and make contacts by adding /QRP to their calls. After careful listening after the fact I hear them telling the other station…. QRP 10 watts , QRP 20 watts and yesterday I heard on operator calling then claiming he was QRP 40 watts.
In reality most of them were trying for POTA Contacts where the power levels don’t matter so…. It was just a ploy to try and break the pile up but….
It did get me thinking about what the common opinion of QRP is and so here is what my research found:
That all the States/Provinces/Territories/ contests listed above (with the exception of Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and West Virginia) consider QRP to be 5watts or less in any mode.
Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and West Virginia consider QRP as 5w CW and 10w ssb
The ARRL, RAC and CQWW contests also consider 5w or less QRP for their respective contests.
Now where does this come into play that might affect some operators?
If a new operator believes the hype of his new Xiegu 6100 rig and decides to contest with it and suddenly they are competing with 10w output instead of the 5w of the other
The Xiegu G90 at its booming 20w output would fall into that catagory as well. Kind of an unfair advantage even though some dealers are marketing Xiegu as a QRP Line of radios.
The same of course could be said of those operators using the KX3 or IC 705 but I will assume (correctly I hope) that anyone who shells out the amt of cash needed for the KX3 or the IC705 already understands what the contest they are entering requires and would adjust their power levels accordingly.
Now before the flames come in…. I am not saying anything bad about the Xiegu (or any other ) line of radios. I know quite a few operators who are saying really nice things about the G90 and the X5105 (which strangely is an actual QRP 5W output radio). As soon as I can liquidate a couple of rigs here I plan to get either the X5105 or the 6100 for portable use. They are both great radios especially at their price point.
After many years of operating with the Yaesu FT817 and the Flex 1500 both of which were QRP radios (5w) I do have a good idea of what 5w will do as compared to even 100w.
To be honest there is not much of a difference. Operating with both radios I was able to qualify for my ARRL Triple Play and QRP DXCC awards. The proof is in the logs…
The above picture was taken in Feb 2006 when I operated for the FYBO event as CF3RCS (Canadians Freezing 3 Real Cold Spot. The Canadian Regulating Authority had allowed VA stations to use the special Prefix CF and my call at the time was VA3RCS( I still hold it) I became CF3RCS which worked out quite well in a contest that for operating in the cold…
Over the years with VA3PCJ Jose and other operators we did play radio in the great outdoors quite a few times and weather did not matter.
Some others joined us as well
The above pic was taken at the end of the RAC Canada Winter Contest when we operated outdoors in late December for 24 hours
And we always had fun
There were a couple of SOTA events as well but its hard to find anyplace with altitude near Ottawa.
Now we have POTA and there so much activity that you can’t not have fun…. all bands …. mostly all modes and with the bulk of the operations happening in North America its not hard to stay pumped about making contacts…
So just remember when you make all your contacts…. There’s a large group of old hams out there that was doing it before we knew POTA… but we did know QRP, we did know Portable operating and we did (and still) know fun.
Remember that Amateur Radio can be an outdoor sport…