maandag 26 december 2011

ARRL 10 meter contest 2011

During the ARRL 10 meter contest the propagation and the activity was very good. This combination yielded in 72 QSO's. Most QSO's were made with the Lowest Possible Power. Because of family obligations, I only participated for for about 3 1/2 hours each day. Before 1200 utc, I could work only stations from the east and after 1200 utc from the west. All QSO's were made with a power of 2.7 W to 36 mW. Many of the QSO's with low power are good for more than 1000 Miles per Watt

I was very pleased to meet Steve NY3A over 3800 miles from PA. His signal was strong. I answered his CQ with just 80 mW. I was surprised that he could hear me, but no doubt, because the response was immediately correct. WOW.
But also QSO's with 2.7 Watts can be remarkable. I was thrilled by the Excellent Ears of KI1G, UA9FGJ and EA8OM. I answered their weak signal and they came back immediately with a correct response. WOW again.
In my log, I use EE to designate a station with Excellent Ears and IC in case of an unexpected Immediately Correct response.

The most difficult part of using the lowest possible power, is to choose the power. If I choose a power that is too low, I loose much time. When a station is time and again calling CQ, that is no problem. Then I use low power and increase the power every time I notice, that my signal is not heard.

By using low power, 53 of the 72 QSO's (74%) are made with more than
1000 Miles per Watt. All QSO's with 1.8 W or less are 1000 MPW QSO's.
And also all 23 QSO's with 2.7 W to the USA.

donderdag 15 december 2011

HB9STEVE with 1000 MPW

HB9STEVE is a special event station to commemorate the life of Steve Jobs.
The station was active during November 2011.
Check out the info of HB9STEVE on QRZ. (click)

I received the special QSL via eQSL. To check the locator, I have sent a e-mail to Fulvio HB9DHG, who quickly responded.

Fulvio wrote back, how he enjoyed operating with the special call HB9STEVE:
It was a fantastic experience. One month and more than 8200 QSO's,
especially the 3600 QSO's in just one weekend (the CQ WW CW).
I'm happy you're in the log.

When I heard HB9STEVE in the CQ WW DX CW contest on 14 MHz, it I took my a while to figure out the "long" Call. Since I try to use the lowest possible power in any QSO, I reduced to 360 mW, before answering. The border of Switzerland is only 330 miles away, but luckely Fulvio (HB9DHG) and his team were located in the southern part of Switzerland, so we breached the 1000 Miles per Watt boundary. With a distance of 446 miles and a power of 360 milliwatts, this QSO is good for 1240 MPW. Thank you, dear Fulvio and team.

vrijdag 2 december 2011

CQ WW DX CW 2011

I started Saturday morning at 0015 UTC and stayed on until 0140 UTC, to make 18 QSO's on 80 meters. It was terrible. I felt it for a few days and the next day I could not wake up. I should have gone to sleep before midnight, to start early Saturday morning.

On Saturday the 26th, I went back on the air, as late as 1100 UTC, to find good propagation on 21 MHz. I used the Lowest Possible Power in each QSO, with a power of 18 mW to 800 mW, with stations in Europe and later in North America. (See table 21MHZ 26th).
At first I used 360 mW, but later the S-meter went up and I was very pleased to work N2NT and VO1TA, with a QRPpp power of 80 mW.
I also made a few QSO's on 28 MHz.

When 21 MHz and 28 MHz closed, I went to 14 MHz, to make a few QSO's with 80 mW to 800 mW and then continued on 3.5 MHz. Most of the time, I use the maximum power of 2.7 watts on this band.
On Sunday morning I continued on this band and even made a QSO with KC1XX. The propagation on 7 MHz was bad, so all QSO's with Europe were made with full power. A few years ago it was possible to make QSO's with 100 mW or even less, on this band. After half an hour, I switch to 14 MHz, to work stations from Europe and a few stations from north America. Over time the propagation got better, so I could reduce the power gradually.
Later in the afternoon I shifted the emphasis from the Lowest Possible Power to the highest QSO rate.

On Saturday I had to glue myself to my chair. Many times I walked out of the the shack to go down stairs after a few QSO's. On Sunday I could stay on the air for long periods of time.

QSO's per continent

After making this analysis per continent, I realized that all QSO's to North America, South America and Asia are more then 1000 Miles per Watt QSO's.
A quick count revealled another 70 "1000 MPW"
QSO's in Europe, so I estimate that the total of 1000 MPW QSO's will be around 170.
Since I did not use the lowest possible power in each QSO this number would be lower, if my FT-817 could give 5 watts, instead of the current maximum of 2.7 watts. hi

Other 1000 Miles per Watt hunters
It is great to see, that other Bloggers also have used QRPp in the CQ WW DX CW contest. More FUN with lower power.
Steve MW0BBU hunted for new DXCC entities with just 500 mW. Click here to visit the QRP Pembrokeshire Blog. Steve noted in the Blog that he noticed that despite the low power, his call was copied immediately correct. hi
Mike VE3WDM also used 500 mW with an indoor attic fan dipole. Click here to check out the list of 1000 MPW QSO's, made with 500 mW.
Well done, gentlemen.

zondag 20 november 2011

9H1XT in LZ DX with 3.6 mW

The propagation on 10 m is getting very good. Earlier this morning the signals were S9 in the LZ DX contest. When I came back on 10 m, the signal of 9H1XT was S9 + 20 dB and sounded very strong. I repeatedly used 3.6 mW to answer. I had to force myself NOT to increase the power, every time John did not hear me, but answered an other stations. After 7 or more times my perseverance payed off and the QSO was made with 3.6 mW. Tnx John.
It is a long time ago that a power of 5 mW or less could be used. This reminds me of the propagation in 2001, when I could frequently work over thousand miles with 2.5 mW or 5 mW.

vrijdag 18 november 2011

OK-OM DX Contest

Last weekend I participated in the OK-OM DX contest. Saturday I started on 80 m and made 23 QSO with 2.7 W. Sunday morning I made just more than 10 QSO's on 40 m. The propagation was disappointing on 40 m. Often I can use just 80 mW on 40m in the morning. But in nearly all the QSO's, I had to use 2.7 W. Only one QSO could be made with 360 mW.

Then I went to 20 m. It was fabulous. I started with 360 mW and later I could reduce to 8 mW in a QSO with OM3IAG. The stronger the received signal, the further the power can be reduced.
I received OL2W and OK7T with 20 dB over S9. This is S9 through the 20 dB attenuator. I noticed that OL2W and OK7T are great listeners with Excellent Ears and both really took the time to answer my 8 mW signal.

The frequency must be absolutely clear, when I answer with this low power. I was hunting for OM3RRC, calling him more then 10 times in vane. Suddenly I was the only caller and he immediately answered to my 36 mW signal. hi

vrijdag 11 november 2011

NAQCC 1000 Miles per Watt Award

For years I am a member of the NAQCC. (#2038) The NAQCC club activities are dedicated to QRP and QRPp operation, using CW. When I visited the Award page in August 2011, I got excited by the extensive Award program for QRP and QRPp. Over the years I have made hundreds of confirmed QSO's with more than 1000 Miles per Watt, but untill now, I had not yet applied for an award.
So I decided to apply for the 1000 MPW Award. I choose to apply for the QSO with the highes Miles per Watt. This QSO with RT6A was made in the Russian DX contest in August 2007. A few days later, I recieved the beautifull NAQCC Simple wire antena 1000 Milies per Watt Award, sent by e-mail, from the Award manager, Rick AA4W.

NAQCC Awards Manager, Rick AA4W wrote in the NAQCC Newsletter 153:
Bert, PA1B (NAQCC # 2038), claimed our most popular award in August. The 1000 Mile Per Watt award. But Bert didn't stop at 1000 miles/watt or even 3000 miles/watt, he worked RT6A, from his home in the Netherlands, at a distance of 1584 miles while transmitting .000085 watts (0.85 mW). This calculates to 1,863,803 miles/watt! And he has the QSL card to confirm the contact. Bert has been experimenting and operating at the Milliwatt level for quite a few years. His motto is: "As the S-meter goes up, my power goes down". He uses step attenuators on the output of his Yaesu FT-817 transceiver to give him accurate stepped outputs from 5 watts down to 5 mW. His web page tells a wonderful story of his exploits at the Milliwatt power level and he has loads of information about his homebrew attenuators at
Bert has set the bar for any of us to try some Milliwatt operating.

zondag 6 november 2011

Ukrainian DX 2011

I had great fun in the Ukrainian DX contest with low power. The 20 m, 15 m and 10 m bands were doing very well. I used a power of 2.7 W down to 36 mW and an Inverted Vee. I used the lowest possible power in each QSO.
I love these DX contests, in which I can work any station that I want.

I found out that 20 meters is still the best band for milliwatting.

zaterdag 5 november 2011


I took part in a major contest for the first time with the microphone.
In my entire HAM career I made a few phone QSO's on HF.
As a 100% CW operator this was a big thrill for my.

When I started, I did not know what to expect. The power of my FT-817 is limited
to 2.7 W, but I still managed to make QSO's in SSB. It was hard work with a fixed power.
In CW QSO's I often use the very low power, so I can always increase the power with 3 dB,
when my signal is not heard.
In this CQ WW DX contest I worked 17 DXCC countries in 29 QSO's.
In total 15 European countries, Canada and the USA.

Despite the large power, the QSO's with Canada and the USA are good for more than 1000 Miles per Watt. hi

donderdag 20 oktober 2011

1000 MPW QSO's in the WAG-contest

On saturday, I started in the 20 m band and made 2 QSO with 180 mW and 36 mW.
The signals on 20 m were strong.
On sunday morning I started early on 80 m and later went to 40 m. On these bands I made a total of 26 QSO's all with 2.7 W. Signals were not so strong.

Then I went to 20 m. The signals were very strong. I started with 360 mW and reduced the power whenever possible. In a few hours I made another 16 QSO's, from 360 mW down to 3.6 mW, with the FT-817 and attenuators of 10 dB or 20 dB. I was suprised by the short skip distance.

In the next picture I plotted the location of the worked stations. You can follow the QSO sequence. Numbers 1 to 18. QSO 1 and 2 were made on saturday and QSO 3 to 18 were made on sunday.

Most of the worked stations are concentrated in 4 areas near large cities in the south and the east of the country. München (Munich), Dresden, Cottbus and Berlin. With a shortest distance of 329 miles.

On sunday I started with 360 mW in QSO #3. I don't count this QSO for a 1000 Miles per Watt QSO, with just 1001 MPW. It is just to close to the edge.
From QSO # 3 on I could reduce the power from 360 mW dowm to 3.6 mW, almost in a staight line. So nearly all QSO's on 20 meter gave more than 1000 MPW.

In this plot I give the QSO number and the power of the QSO for the QSO's around the city of München (Munich). QSO #10 and #16 were made with the same station, DL1A. QSO # 16 is a Dupe that was made with just a lower power.

dinsdag 4 oktober 2011

DL3PB Sputnik crosses the Atlantic

Unfortunitely my Sputnik transmitter was not ready for the Sputnik QSO party. After building the transmitter and the two power supplies, tests showed that the oscillator did not work. With no time left for serious trouble shooting, I decided to listen for other Sputniks.
I listened on 21.061 MHz and heard Paul WA4IUC answering the
400 milliwatt signal of the Sputnik Peter DL3PB.
I could copy the signal of Paul with much QSB. Paul used 5 watts into a 7 element Yagi. I could not hear Peter.

Although my Sputnik transmitter is not (yet) working, I feel connected by receiving the signals of Paul, showing that the Sputnik of Peter crossed the Atlantic. hi
If all is correct, the QSO of Peter is good for about 10000 miles per Watt.
A great achivement.

woensdag 28 september 2011

Спутник передатчик in SPRAT

It's great to see the Sputnik clone of Michael AA1TJ, on page 30, in the new SPRAT, that arrived today.
Last month I received the Russian tubes 1Ж24Б and 1П24Б to build the transmitter for the Sputnik QSO party, via Peter DL3PB.
Because I don't have any experience with transmitters with tubes, I first studied the proto type transmitter of Michael AA1TJ. Further I studied the excellent info on the page of Peter DL3JIN .
The last questions that I had, after reading those pages, were answered by
Cees PA0CKV and Peter PA0PJE, when I attended the anual meting of the Benelux QRP Club (BQC) in Apeldoorn .
A week ago I started to build the transmitter for the Sputnik QSO Party.
I progress slowly, because I am tired quickly. I also have to build a power supply. I still hope to be ready at the 4th of Oktober for the Sputnik QSO Party.

zondag 18 september 2011

Forgot to send in the IARU HF Cabrillo file

In June 2011 I participated in the IARU HF World Championship. As you remember, I made two entries in my Blog about this contest. Probably I was so busy with the Blog and the preparations for the holiday, that I did not send in my Cabrilllo file. When I found out, I sent the file today.
The robot gave the usual information about all the categories.
The robot even kindly thanked my for participation and for submitting the log and even pointed out an ignored line.

But what ever. I had great fun in the IARU HF.
In a long time, I made a QSO with 8 mW. Click here to read.
And made many QSO with the Lowest Possibe Power and a number of more than 1000 Miles per Watt QSO's. Click here to read.
I wonder if my log will be marked as check log or will be just simply ignored.

In the last line the robot stated:
Log received 40 days, 5 hours and 23 minutes after deadline. hi

vrijdag 9 september 2011

eQSL voor 50 mW QSO

Ik had al een tijdje niet meer in mijn eQSL inbox voor mijn vorige call gekeken. Er zaten een flink aantal eQSL's voor de OQRP-contest in. In deze contest doe ik vaak mee met mijn zelfgebouwde 7 MHz QRPp Transceiver met een vermogen van 500 mW. Dat is dus VLP.

Er zat ook een kaart in voor een 50 mW QSO met Wolf DL6JZ.

Het QSO is gemaakt in WAG contest in 2002.
Met een afstand va 369 mijl is dit QSO goed voor 7377 Mijl/Watt.

Het kan soms vreemd lopen.
Want met slechts 23 QSO's met 500mW (4), 50 mW (18) en 25 mW (1) bereikte ik de eerste plaats voor Nederland met QRP en ontving een prachtig Award.

zaterdag 3 september 2011

YO DX HF contest 2011

I participated in the YO DX HF contest.
The nice thing about a DX contest is that everyone can work with everyone, generating a lot of activity, so many QSO's can be made.
I used the Lowest Possible Power in each QSO. I adjust the power before I answer a CQ. The higher the S-meter reading, the lower the power can be.
I used a power of 80 mW to 2.7 W into an Inverted Vee.

Nearly all QSO's are made within Europe.
Outside of Europe I made a QSO's with Bud AA3B.
I was suprised that it could be made with just 360 mW.
Bud's station has Excellent Ears.
The second QSO outside Europa was Mongolia (JT), with 1,8 W.

This tabel shows the DXCC countries and the used power.

1000 MPW QSO's
All QSO's with 360 mW or less and the 3 QSO's with 800 mW with YO, are more than 1000 MPW QSO's, Considering the distance from my QTH to each of the DXCC countries. But that is not all. The QSO with JT over a distance of 4128 miles with a power of 1.8 W is good for 2293 Miles per Watt. Wow.

Over the years I developed a strong "more than 1000 Miles per Watt" awareness. I have made a list of DXCC countries, with the distance to their nearest border, from my QTH. Whit the list at hand, I can look up the distance to that DXCC country, to adjust the power accordingly. For exaple, the distance from here to to Romania is 800 miles.
So every QSO with 800 mW (or less) to Romania will be a QSO with more than 1000 Miles per Watt.

When we were on holiday in Portugal in 2007, I participated in the YO DX HF contest. I made 80 QSO's from the balcony of the hotelroom.
Later I received this (top of the page) beautiful Award, for the 1st place in Portugal SOSB 20m. hi

zondag 28 augustus 2011

Plas Middelwaard

Yesterday we took a walk around Plas Middelwaard.
We met horses and hooglanders (highlanders) or as the Scot's call them Highland Coooo's, according Mike VE3WDM.
Luckely the anaimals are very relaxed. But as you can see the horns have dangerous points.
It is adviced to keep a distance of 25 metres (27 yards) to the Highland Coo's.

Click to enlarge.

vrijdag 26 augustus 2011

PA1B CQWW CW 2010 Log Checking Report

This morning I received the
Log Checking Report ofthe CQ WW DX CW contest of 2010.

Contest: 2010 CQ WW DX CW CONTEST
Call: PA1B
Category: Single Op All Band QRP
************************** Summary ***************************

327 Final QSO after checking reductions
- - - 333 Claimed QSO (no duplicates)
375 Final QSO points - - - - - 399 Claimed QSO points
110 Final countries - - - - - - - - 110 Claimed countries
24 Final zones - - - - - - - - - - - - 24 Claimed zones
134 Final mults - - - - - - - - - - - 134 Claimed mults
50250 Final score - - - - - - 53466 Claimed score
-6.0% Score reduction
4 (1.2%) duplicates
3 (0.9%) calls copied incorrectly
3 (0.9%) not in log
0 (0.0%) band change violations - 0 (0.0%) calls unique to this log only (not removed)

Only 3 Calls I copied incorrectly. With the data of the report I can correct the calls in my log.
In 3 QSO's my call is not in the log of the other station (Not in Log).
All 3 QSO's made with 5 watts.

Stations Copying PA1B Incorrectly
From all QSO's (10), in which my call was reveived incorrectly, only 1 was made with QRPp. The rest (9) were made with 5 watt.
Since nearly all QSO's with an incorrect received Call for PA1B, were made with 5 watts, it clear that the power is not the cause. hi

The calls that were received for PA1B incorrectly are:
PA1BX - PA1D - JA1B - PA1H - PA3B -
PA0B - PA1G - PA1MR - PI1X - PA9B

In the contest I made just more than 250 QSO with 5 watts,
3 QSO's with 2.5 W,
about 74 with QRPp, thus less than 1 Watt
and 14 with less than 100 mW. (QRPpp)

zondag 21 augustus 2011

IOTA contest

We have been on holiday to the Azores. My wife and I were on the island Terceira. We were in a hotel with a beautifull swimming pool.
The FT-817 went with me in the suitcase and did a great job.
During the IOTA contest I used an end fed wire of 20 meters, fed via a 300 ohm ribbon like a Zepp. The ribbon ran from the balcony 3 meters up and from there the 20 mtr wire ran in to the garden. Only in the IOTA the antenne was out during day ligth hours. The antenna is matched by a homebrew light weight tuner. Further I used a homebrew light weight paddle.
I used the FT-817 with a power of 2.7 W, 1,8 W, 800 mW and 360 mW.
At 17.00 UTC I started in the IOTA contest.

After 5 QSO's I we went to see the bulls in a street near the hotel. We were standing on the back of an open truck. It was spectaculair to see. When the bull hitted the truck, I had heart rate over 180.
After diner I continued in the IOTA contest at 22:15 utc and continued until 02:00 utc. This was later then planned, but I did not want to mis the fun. In the days before I had noticed that the best propagation was in the evening. The next morning it was more difficult to make QSO's. So after 3 QSO's in one houre I stopped. The total of QSO's is 50. Not bad for a maximum power of 2.7 wats.

Before the holiday I was wondering wether my power would be enough.
On holiday I work on a 12V 4Ah battery. The maximum power, when fully charged, is about 2 watts and drops fast to 1 watt.
During the holiday we met Antonio CU3AC, who showed us the island and invided us at home for an excellent prepared Alcatre.
Antonio offered me to use a power supply. So I could unleash a maximum power of 2.7 watts. Thank you Antinio.

As a milliwatts enthusiast I have used QRPp when the S-meter indicated a very strong signal.
By doing so, I even made about 8 QSO's with more than "1000 Miles per Watt".

I even worked more islands then I expected and that is good for the multiplier. hi

I had great fun in the IOTA contest, during an unforgettable holiday.

zondag 17 juli 2011

IARU HF Worked DXCC Coutries

In the IARU HF World Championship, I used
the Lowest Possible Power in nearly every
QSO using a FT-817 that can be adjusted to:
360 mW, 800 mW, 1.8 W or 2.7 W and an
Inverted Vee.
For a power lower than 360 mW, I use
homebrew attenuators.

Worked DXCC Counties
In the IARU HF 2011 I worked 36 DXCC counties.

If I compare this overview of the IARU HF contest with similar overviews from 9 years ago, when the the number of sun spots was higher, the difference is that the UA stations that are worked with 8 to 80 mW now, in 2003 could be worked with 5 mW to 50 mW.
This influence of declining sun spots over the years is far less than the daily fluctuation.
In every contest it's still possible to work with QRPp and make more than 1000 Miles per watt QSO's

It is great to participate in a contest with "World Wide" activity.
This activity is almost as important as the propagation.
I met stations with Excellent Ears and many stations with very good operators.
As you can see, I had great fun with low power.
Thanks to all these fine operators.

vrijdag 15 juli 2011

TV tower in Hoogersmilde in the Netherlands collapsed

I live near the radio ad TV tower in Lopik, near the city of IJsselstein in the centre of the Netherlands. This tower can be seen on my QSL card. After a fire today in the tower, the radio and TV transmitters were shut down. The TV tower was built in the 60's. Aad PA0YA (SK) worked in the tower and tolt my how the tower was built.

As you can see in the Blog of Paul PC4T there was also a fire in the tower of Hoogersmilde, which was built to cover the northern part of the Netherlands.
This fire was much more dramatic, because it made the tower to collaps. This means that the northern part of the Netherlands is trown back in to the 50's with no TV and FM radio.

Aad PA0YA (SK) tolt me a story about the tower in Hoogersmilde.
Many years ago, a fighter jet almost hit the tower. At the last moment before the collision, the pilot turn the plane, but cutted one of the guy wires, with one of the wings. Luckely the tower did not collapes (then) and the plane landed savely at the base.

See the video in Paul's Blog

woensdag 13 juli 2011

IARU HF 2011 Lowest Possible Power

I did not use a fixed power, in the IARU HF World Championship, but I used the Lowest Possible Power in nearly every QSO.
After a destructive mismatch, a few months ago, the power of my FT-817 is reduced. So now the power can be adjusted to: 360 mW, 800 mW, 1.8 W or 2.7 W. The antenna is an Inverted Vee.
But notice that even with a power of 2.7 W, every QSO with Canada or the USA is good for more than 1000 Miles per Watt.
The stronger the received signal, the lower the power that I use.
When a station can hear me, but can not copy, I immediately double my power which is a step of 3 dB.
For a power lower than 360 mW, I use homebrew attenuators.
Click for info on attenuators.
Because I use the Lowest Possible Power in ech QSO, I search and pounce.
It's hard work, in which you need perseverence and patience.

From my contest notes on paper:
I worked YR1C with 36 mW on 14 MHz. His signal was very strong, still S+ through the 10 dB attenuator. After first working 5 other stations, he heard my call and immediately responded with my call (not correct) and my report. I corrected my call and gave my report. Now the frequecy was clear, so he received my signal with a good readability and the QSO could be completed easily.

An other station with a very strong signal was R3HQ, which I received with S+ + 20 dB. I first tried 8 mW, but I worked him with 18 mW.

The lowest power I used in this contest, was in a QSO with RU1A. I received his signal with S++ through the attenuator of 20 dB. I met the team of RU1A before with exteme low power. I knew that this station has Excellent Ears. So I went for the really lowest power. I started with 3.6 mW. They were very busy answering other stations which I could hear, but also that I could not hear. In the proces of answering the CQ's, I already increased to 8 mW and to 18 mW, after question marks, that were not for me. Then after 10 or more calls, I realised, that the signal that I received, was so ear shattering strong, that 3.6 mW could work. So I went back to 3.6 mW. By the 15th time I called, my signal was heard, but not copied, so I increased to 8 mW and made the QSO.

An other station with Excellent Ears is VY2ZM,
which I worked with only 360 mW. Outstanding!

Working with low power is not so difficult.
YU8HQ was S+ on 10 meters, so all I did was reduce to 360 mW.
S50HQ had so many callers, that he could not hear me with 800 mW. When I came back later, the frequency was clear and the QSO was made with 360 mW. Both QSO's are good for more than 1000 MPW.


In the contest 125 QSO's on 5 bands are made.
In this survey you can see the power that was used for each QSO, for each band.
Please notice that on 40 m 81% of the QSO's were made with 800 mW or less. On 20 m 54% of the QSO's.
The distrubution the number of QSO's over the power catagories is entirely determined by the propagation.

More than 1000 Miles per Watt QSO's

71 out of 125 QSO's (57%) are more than 1000 Miles per Watt QSO's.
Even with 2.7 W it's possible to break through the 1000 MPW boundary.
The most spectaculair results are found on the 20 m band.
* In every contest it's still possible to work with low power and make more than 1000 Miles per watt QSO's.

It is great to participate in a contest with "World Wide" activity.
This activity is almost as important as the propagation.
I met stations with Excellent Ears and many stations with very good operators.
As you can see, I had great fun with low power.
Thanks to all these fine operators.

zondag 10 juli 2011

QSO with RU1A with 8 mW

As a milliwatt enthusiast, I often make QSO's with the lowest possible power.
In the IARU HF World Championship 2011 I met RU1A.
Their signal was S+++20 dB. Thus S++ through a 20 dB attenuator.
When I was answering for the 10th time or more, and my signal was still not heard, I wanted to increase my power. But then I realized (again) that the signal was very, very strong. So I kept answering with 3.6 mW and my perseverance payed off.
He did hear my with 3.6 mW, but he did not copy my call, so I immediately went to 8 mW. Then my call was copied immediately and the QSO was made.

Большое спасибо to the fine operators with their Excellent Ears at RU1A.

This is the card that I received for a QSO with just 1 mW in 2004 .
Click to read more.

Sun spots or no sun spots, it is still possible to make QSO's with very low power.

woensdag 6 juli 2011

Beekse Bergen

Gisteren zijn we naar het Safaripark Beekse Bergen geweest. We zijn met de bus tussen de wilde dieren doorgereden, terwijl de Ranger vertelde en regelmatig stopte om de dieren goed te bekijken. Op "wandel safari" zijn we verder het park rond gelopen. We hadden prachtig weer.

zondag 3 juli 2011

30th OQRP contest with VLP

I participated in the 30th OQRP contest in the VLP category (less than 1 watt) and had fun with my homebrew 7 MHz CW transceiver.
The TRX is the HM7, that I built many years ago. Click on the HM7.
This rig comes from "Solid State Design for the radio amateur" page 214...218.
The antenna is an Inverted Vee.

My homebrew transceiver has no automatic gain control (AGC), which is a real pain in the ears, when the received signal is strong, such as RST 599 or even more.
In this contest I experienced again, that in a receiver with manual gain control, strong signals are very strong in the headphones.
With this receiver you are always too late with strong signals.

The report in the OQRP contest is RST, serial-no./ category e.g. 559001/VLP. This makes more fun than the usual reports with 599. You must be very keen on the received RST. All QRP stations that I met, gave a RST lower than 599. The QRO station gave 599.

My received RST
I received 519 (1), 449(1), 559 (3), 569 (1), 579 (3) 589 (1) and 599 (3)
The signal reports from 519 to 589 are a real RST.
Somtimes the other station was much weaker than QRM from other stations, but still the exchange was easily copied.

I made only 14 QSO's. My DXCC score: DL (11), OK (1), S5 (1) and SM (1).

On sunday we went to "Fort bij Vechten" to visit the fort, during the open day.

woensdag 22 juni 2011

More than 1000 MPW eQSL's from the CQ MM DX contest.

Using the lowest possible power in a contest QSO is not so difficult as it seems. In the CQ MM DX contest I was suprised by the excellent propagation, which made it possible to work with stations in South America and North America with just 1 W or 2.5 W.

2 Way QRP QSO with Brasil

After 8 QSO's with 1 W and 2.5 W, I heard PY2WC calling CQ, so I tried 2.5 W.
I fell off my chair when Waldir answered: SAQ, which means that he was using QRP and this was a 2 way QRP QSO. It was only after a few QSO's, also with 2.5 W, I realised that I could have made the QSO with a lower power.
More than an hour later I heard Waldir again and made a second QSO, but now with 1 W (980 mW). Thank you Waldir for a new DXCC in QRPp, thus less than 1000 mW.

Tip: Just make a second contest QSO, with a lower power if you can.
My most memorable very low power QSO with 0.85 mW with RT6A is a Dupe. hi

"More than 1000 MPW" QSO's

This list shows only the 1000 MPW QSO that are confirmed via eQSL.
I actually made many more 1000 MPW QSO's in the CQ MM DX.

After I receive an eQSL, I determine the distance using the QTH Locator and the Miles per Watt.
I place the 1000 MPW info in the comment field of the return eQSL.
E.g. 2.5 W and 6062 miles to GG66un gives 2425 miles/watt - 73, Bert

Power Overview

Most QSO's were made on 21 MHz.
Although I made many DX QSO's 34% of the QSO's were made with QRPp.
And 70% with more than 1000 MPW.

The Soapbox:

In total I made 56 QSO's in the CQ MM DX contest. I worked SA, NA EU and SA. I had great fun.
My RIG is a FT-817 and the antenne is an Inverted Vee.
I always use QRP, but never a fixed power of 5 watts.

Thanks to all the excellent operators that made this contest QSO's possible.

vrijdag 17 juni 2011

Propagation, activity and antenna

The order of importance is: Propagation -  Activity Antenna

 When I started as a HAM in 1990 I used a homebrew QRPp transceiver for 7 MHz, which I call the HM7 and an inverted Vee antenna.
In the 10 years that I used this CW transceiver extensively, I worked many European countries with a power of only 500 milliwatts in many normal QSO's and many contest QSO's. The excellent design comes from the book solid state design for the radio amateur.
I used this transceiver as a homestation and on holiday. Homebrew, QRP and CW (morse code) is a fabulous combination.CW is the most intriging mode of all. I noticed that you probably can not come closer to the signal, than in CW.

During the years that I used this TRX, I had great fun and I noticed that the activity on the band is more important than the antenna. With 500 mW the signals of the other stations must be S9 or more. Especially contest stations are eager to work everyone, so many QSO's can be made in a contest.
Further I discovered that propagation is more much important than the antenna. The Inverted Vee is not the best antenna, but the daily changes in the propagation can not be beaten by any antenna.

So to me, the order of importance is: Propagation -  Activity - Antenna

donderdag 9 juni 2011

The Lowest Possible Power

In many CW contest QSO's and other QSO's, I use the lowest possible power.
When a received signal is S9, I answer with 500 mW.
And when the signal is S9 + 10 dB, I use 50 mW.
I get 50 mW with the FT-817 on 500 mW and an attenuator of 10 dB.
When I change band, while the propagation is very good, I first look for very strong stations.

Using the Lowest Possible Power

Using low power is not difficult, if you keep your eyes on the S-meter. (1)
Before I answer a CQ, I first adjust the FT-817 to the power, that I want to use. (2)
Then I send my call just once or twice and then I listen. (*)
With many other stations answering, I have to be patient.(3)
If the station still calls CQ, without answering other stations, after I have sent my call (*), then I know that my signal is not heard.
When I am sure that my signal is not heard (4), I double the power (5) and try again. (*)
Don't loose your cool in (6), because the frequency has to be absolutely clear, for this weak, but readable, signal to be heard.
If my 50 mW signal is also not heard, I will have to increase to 100 mW. But...
Suddenly my 50 mW signal is heard (7) and I hear my call and receive a report. Then I only have to send my report and log the QSO. (8)

Increasing the power
Doubling the power is the optimal step to increase the power.
This is a step of 3 dB. A step of 1 dB is too small and 10 dB is too large.
Using the lowest possible power is actually QRO-ing with low power.

zaterdag 4 juni 2011


Today my wife and I visited the city of Gorinchem, also known as Gorkum. We did some shopping in the old centre. I took a some pictures of the city mill "Never Pefect" (Nooit Volmaakt) Later we visited "Outside the water gate" (Buiten de waterpooort) to have a nice look over the river Merwede. We had a wonderfull day.

Vandaag bezochten mijn vrouw en ik de binnenstad van Gorinchem, ook wel bekend als Gorkum. We deden wat inkopen in het oude centrum. Ik nam een paar foto's van de stadsmolen Nooit Volmaakt. Later bezochten we "Buiten de Waterpoort" om een mooi uitzicht over de rivier de Merwede te hebben. We hadden een geweldige dag.

Buiten de waterpoort.