Posts Tagged ‘QRP at home’

VA3QV operating QRP for the Canada Day Contest

July 2, 2010

Good Morning,
For those of you who were out there at the outdoor patio restaurant near my place…. Howz your head this morning???  Actually as you did keep me up with the fireworks you set up way after the Hill Spectacle you are getting no sympathy from me….

But enough of my venting about loud obnoxious people who could of been “overserved”….

The RAC Canada Day event was a GREAT SUCCESS…  I was able to participate for about (0000-0400) and (1200-2200)  14 hours or so which was more time than I had hoped for.  I had decided earlier that I would go QRP in this event and also I would forgo the comforts of the shack.  As I have been doing recently I disconnected the antennas at the baluns and ran new coax lines to the kitchen table.  When the WX was nice this allowed me to move outside to the patio table or move inside to the kitchen table to avoid wind, rain or “skitters…”

The radio system for this was fairly simple as I used my Yaesu FT817 (without the LDG tuner), the HF antenna was my W3EDP (10-160 no tuner needed at QRP Levels) hooked up to the rear antenna jack on the 817 and for the VHF Bands I used my 6m rotatable dipole on 6m and 2m hooked up to the front antenna jack.  Some quick work with the menus got the band selection and the antenna jack selection figured out with no problems and then all was good

In the above diagram you will see the W3EDP but in this case just ignore the radio, tuner and noise filter as I just ran from the 4:1 balun to the antenna jack on the 817 and it worked great.  QRP can be so forgiving…

Now lets get on the the interesting stuff…. How bad did I do???  Well to be honest I’m not sure but I will be submitting my score as I met all three of my basic requirement for a contest.  I have mentioned these before but here they are again…

Have fun–  This is a hobby and hobbies are supposed to be fun.  I will not sit at a radio screaming CQ Contest if there is no one there to talk to.  The bands seemed to be open and I was making contacts

Make contacts–  I figure that in any contest I should be able to work all the lower provinces and most of the lower 48 states if it is an international contest.  As this was the Canada Day Contest the lower 48 did not come into play but I did work across Canada with no problems.  As usual no contacts made in VO2, VY0, VE8 or VY1.  I have worked Labrador in the past but did not hear anyone this year,  I have worked VE8 and VY0 on 20m and I have never had a contact with VY1 although I have made a contact with an Alaska Station so I know that my signals have made it into the general area…

Respectable Score-  As you go through the contest you get to hear who is making the contacts.  For this contest I had decided to operate in the Single Operator QRP Catagory and although I do not use CW I would be competing against CW operators as well.  By Respectable Score I mean that I hope to finish in the top 50% of the submitted score.  I do not expect to win or even place but I should be in the top half..

With the 3 rules met I have decided to submit the following score and before you laugh too hard remember this was done with an 84 foot long antenna with a 17 foot counterpose and a 4:1 balun with no tuner.  The VHF antenna was a basic 1/4 w dipole for 6m.  The rig was operating QRP (5w) on HF and VHF and the whole mess was powered by a Canadian Tire Booster Pack. 

VA3QV- Single Operator QRP Catagory-

VE’s (no RAC’s)= 55

RAC Stations = 7

DX Contacts =15

Total Contacts = 77

Multipliers = 22

Total Score = 15,840

But now lets look at some boring but important stats:

2m- 2 contacts both in Ottawa (Ontario)- groundwave

6m- 3 contacts (Ontario and QC) all 3 were groundwave

10m-6 contacts (Ontario and Manitoba) some DX as well

15m-7 contacts (Ontario and Manitoba) some DX as well

20m-32 contacts (NF, NS, NB, PEI, ONT, MB, SK, AB and BC) several DX including Europe

40m- 7 contacts (NS, PE, ONT) with a couple of DX contacts

80m-20 contacts (PE, QC and ONT) with a couple of DX contacts

I made no contacts on 160m.  I heard no one participating (calling CQ Contest) either but I did hear a few stations ragchewing.  I had no luck trying to get a contact from them as its hard to compete with kilowats when you are QRP…

Now if you take a look you will notice that I made contacts on 2m to 80m with Ontario stations.  Not all of these were groundwave.  The bands were very strange in that I was able to work several North Western Ontario stations on several bands. When 20m started to fade on Sunday afternoon, 15 opened up and I worked the same stations again then 15 faded and I was able to work the same again on 10m.  Then 20 came back for a while and I actually worked stations on 20 that I normally work on 80 and I did it QRP.  Ask Bob Cooke VE3BDB who lives in Orillia as I worked him on 20m…

I have seen some QRP Scores already posted on several of the reflectors and so far I think I will be in the top half… Know I won’t be first but I also know I won’t be last… and I did have fun…

How was your Canada Day Radio activites?


Ottawa to Manitoba on 5w

July 12, 2009

Today I decided to play around a bit…  In anticipation of the family Sunday Night BBQ I installed my HyGain 18AVT in the back yard and tied it into the radial system for the Inverted L.


I then hooked up my Yaesu FT 817 along with a small SLA  pack.  I set the tap on the antenna for 20m and spun the dial.


When I found 14.140 I heard Grant VA4GD as the central controller for the Trans Canada Net.


Which is not too bad for 5w and a small vertical thats ground mounted…


Window Contractors….finally

May 7, 2009

Yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) I finally got the knock at the door…. Tomorrow (today now Thursday) morning the contractors will be in to correct the mistakes made when they replaced my basement window.  Its a bit of drainage issue and water pools just outside thte window everytime it rains….

General instructions were to move everything close to the window and make sure rear gate is unlocked so they can have access to the the back yard….

Well as all my feedlines go out that window and the main mast is beside that window everything has been disconnected and the masting removed so for the next few days…. We are almost antenna less…

I say almost because I can run a coax line out the back door and connect it to the HF antenna as its on the other side of the yard as compared to the window and so at the same time I can put a magmount out on the metal fence thats the balun is tied off on so….  The next few days will be VA3QV operating “QRP Kitchen table portable”

Keeping “Toby” out of the back yard could be more interesting as we will have to do walkies whenever he needs to “go” and I’m sure the contractors don’t want to meet him….  When the representive talked to me yesterday he noticed the beware of dog signs and asked if they were real….  I replied …. Is a 95 pound German Shepherd real???  He did ask me not to let the dog out in the backyard till they were finished….

Anyway due to portable radios and wireless internet I will be playing from the kitchen table today….  Not a big deal ….  Just 5w instead of 100w…. but given the weather today its warmer and dryer than the park….

LASA Stuff:

No new news to report….  Still a GO for Saturday…  WX is predicting (guessing) 68 deg F with scattered showers and 3mph winds heading south.  The Jetstream (once balloon gets high enough) is forcast to head due east….

More later