QRP Contesting

After much trial and error (mostly op related) I’ve got the FlexRadio 1500 working at 100 per cent with virtual audio cable and virtual port software all running perfectly.

So with all working well I headed into the ARRL CW contest on the weekend with great expectations.

And fortunately, by the end of 48 hours, I ended up with 468 QSOs including a VK on 40 meters just before dawn and a 6W (Senegal) on 15 who was calling CQ.

I find at 5 watts that the number of requests for repeats is about the same at QRP as at 100 watts.

One of the things with running 100 watts is if you drop a watt or two or even 10 watts nobody is going to notice. When you’re dealing with five watts, every watt counts.

So the next thing I am going to do is inventory the number of connectors and boxes of various sorts between my Flex and the antenna. This is an easy thing to do and will help me decide whether to replace my buried cable that runs from the antenna switch at the tower to the house with really really expensive cable or less expensive (but still not cheap) direct-bury cable.

Most amazing contact of the weekend was one Russian who I could barely hear in the noise and he managed to work me first call. I was running 5 watts and he was running a kilowatt. My jaw dropped.

Here’s the breakdown by band. I’ve got to get something better up on 80.

DXCC Countries:

 

80 Meters

TI

40 Meters

4U1I  6Y    8P    9A    C6    CM    CT    CT3   CX    DL    E7    EA    EA8

F     FM    G     GM    HA    HB    HC    HK    I     J3    J8    KH6   KP2

LX    OE    OH    OK    OM    ON    P4    PJ2   PJ4   PY    PZ    S5    SP

TI    UR    V2    V3    VK    VP9   XE    YU    ZF

20 Meters

8P    9A    C6    CN    CT    CT3   DL    E7    EA    EA8   EI    ER    ES

F     FM    G     GM    GW    HA    HB    HP    I     KP2   LA    LX    LY

LZ    OE    OH    OH0   OK    OM    ON    P4    PA    PJ2   PJ4   S5    SM

SP    TF    UA    UR    V3    YL    YO    YU    ZF

15 Meters

6W    9A    C6    CM    CN    CT    CT3   CU    DL    E7    EA    EA6   EA8

EI    ES    F     FM    FY    G     GI    GM    HA    HB    HC    I     IS

KH6   KP2   LX    LY    LZ    OE    OH    OH0   OK    OM    ON    OZ    P4

PA    PJ2   PJ4   PY    PZ    S5    SM    SP    SV    TF    TI    UA    UR

V3    V5    VP5   XE    YL    YO    YU    ZD8   ZF

10 Meters

6Y    CE    CX    HK    HP    KH6   KP2   KP4   LU    OA    P4    PJ2   PJ4

PY    TI    V3    VP2M  VP5   ZF

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This entry was posted in FlexRadio, QRP, SDR Radio by Peter West. Bookmark the permalink.

About Peter West

I am retired. I'm invested into bike riding, guitar playing, yoga and Ham Radio. I am a former photojournalist, newspaper and magazine editor and public relations practitioner with national, regional and local experience. A long-time member of Toastmasters International and an active Amateur Radio (Ham) operator here in Canada I am taking on new challenges.

One thought on “QRP Contesting

  1. Good show Peter, I am glad to hear you go everything sorted. I am guessing RTTY works just as well CW now?

    Yes, on QRP every bit of loss you can get rid of helps. Personally I prefer to use type N connectors for everything even to the point of replacing the so-239’s on my radios. One piece of coax from radio to antenna – no inline barrel connectors of any sort, good quality coax and as sort a run of coax as possible. Paying attention to details pays off not only in getting the most RF to the radiating part of the antenna but also in reliability but I am sure I am preaching to the choir on that.

    Unfortunately I wasn’t able to play in the ARRL DX CW affair, family has to come first. Perhaps I will play in the SSB test even though phone contests are not of much interest. If the weather is nice I may just go out and operate portable QRP for the day and work a single band. Portable QRP in a BIG DX contest can be lots of fun too.

    cheers, Graham ve3gtc

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