Tuesday, September 28, 2010

QRP spot

Now that I have my K2 connected again for computer control I have found that a few things in KComm that worked with the K3 don't work with the K2 because the control commands, though they may look the same, don't all work the same way on both radios. So I spent yesterday evening fixing the problems.

One of the things that didn't work was the auto-repeat option for CQ calling. I was testing it by sending a CQ on 30m with just 1W output into the magnetic loop in the attic. I didn't expect anyone to come back to me, and no-one did, but I was surprised that my signal was spotted in Northern Spain by EA1GFY. The effectiveness of that magnetic loop antenna never fails to amaze me.

I don't think many people use as little as 1W on PSK31 but it would be interesting to see what you could work with such low power. It seems to me that 1000 miles per watt should be perfectly achievable. I've made a few contacts using the K2 and 4 or 5 watts over similar distances to what I'd expect using the K3 and 40 watts. I think conditions, more than power, determine how far you can work. More power just makes it easier.


Paul Stam PAØK said...

Hello Julian, that makes QRP nice to do. Every time I am surprised what is possible. Programs like PSK reporter makes it's visible. Sometimes I just set my rig on automatic repeat with QRP to see where my signal is reported. With CW I call and call without knowing if I've been heard. The same with phone. And indeed I think that propagations is the most important thing, followed by a good antenna. 73 Paul

PE4BAS, Bas said...

Hello Julian, actually made a QSO once with Paul PC4T with 1W and less on 80m at our first sked. I was amazed by the signal. But it was pure a matter of propagation as 5 minutes before the QSO I didn't see him on screen. 73, Bas

Theodore said...

Just like the old real estate adage "location, location location", in ham radio it should be "conditions, conditions, conditions".
Conditions have been abysmal lately (will the sun ever wake up?), but yesterday under these "awful" conditions and feeling frustrated, I was surprised to tally up my days work - 9 countries over a minimum distance of 8000km, in a period of 2 hours.
I commonly hear qrp stations over a 15000km path calling cq, with no one coming back.
Is it that they cant hear them, or just that there just aren't that many hams willing to take the call?
I generally call them back eventually to let them know they are getting out fine, but as I don't want to be a pest, let them go quickly. Then its back to more calling cq without a reply!
I only run a vertical so its not like I have a big gun station, so why don't others call them?
And its not an abnormal abberation, it happens nearly every day the same way.
Perhaps we are all just too conditioned to to work S9+ signals and not adjust our thresholds below that.
It appears the same thing has happened to Julian, with his call being unanswered but being received by reporter.
I am talking about PSK31 for the above comments.