Author Topic: My QRP Experiment Was A Huge Success!  (Read 7774 times)

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tazdevil

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Re: My QRP Experiment Was A Huge Success!
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2015, 11:39:28 AM »
a big diesel car has a big battery, no problems powering it at all

Tevin

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Re: My QRP Experiment Was A Huge Success!
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2015, 08:52:52 PM »
Another update...

I've been messing with my FT-817ND for a few weeks now, and after a bit of a learning curve I'm now seeing results.

I've checked into NATA net on 40 meter LSB a few times using my home antenna (home brew dipole up about 30 feet) and got good reports from stations 150-1000 miles away.

The other day I took the 817 out in the field and on 15 meters during the day with a home brew dipole in an inverted V configuration I had a phone contact with a station about 1000 miles away. He said my signal was weak but we completed the contact. No part of my antenna was more than 12-14 feet above the ground. The bad news is that he was using a triband beam on a tower. So if he could barely hear me with that kickass antenna then I'm not sure if from a prepper standpoint I can call it a successful test since in a SHTF world not too many people will have tribanders on 70 foot towers. Anyway, a contact is a contact and I was happy to go anywhere with QRP, especially during the day on 15 meters.

The antenna is a homebrew dipole cut for the center of the phone band carefully trimmed so I don't need a tuner. It never goes above 1.2 SWR.

The power source is a 4 ah battery with a small 25 watt solar panel. Everything, including the antenna and coax, fits in a backpack and weighs less than 20 pounds.

Going forward I will be adding dipoles for 20 and 40. All my dipoles are made so that an antenna tuner is not needed but I may include a tuner anyway to give myself some flexibility.

I also have some technical issues to work out with the power connections as well as awkwardness with the physical layout of the setup. It's an ongoing, learning process.

spacecase0

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Re: My QRP Experiment Was A Huge Success!
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2015, 10:50:54 AM »
thank you for the update
I was about to give up on QRP... but you have inspired me
just got my 20AH lithium battery pack assembled, 5 pounds with 18AH usable power, would last a long time running QRP and would not have to bother building a low voltage alarm if running it that way
figuring out a good portable antenna for QRP is my issue now
you are using a fixed install antenna that sounds pretty good, and I guess that is the best way to go

Tevin

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Re: My QRP Experiment Was A Huge Success!
« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2015, 02:26:37 PM »
thank you for the update
I was about to give up on QRP... but you have inspired me
just got my 20AH lithium battery pack assembled, 5 pounds with 18AH usable power, would last a long time running QRP and would not have to bother building a low voltage alarm if running it that way
figuring out a good portable antenna for QRP is my issue now
you are using a fixed install antenna that sounds pretty good, and I guess that is the best way to go

I've been in ham radio almost 35 years and never once gave much thought to QRP until a few months ago when on a lark I gave it a try. I was very, very impressed. So much so that I now have a dedicated QRP rig and the whole deal.

I use a fixed install antenna at home but my plans for the QRP involve using it away from home in a non-permanent set up.

I took my stuff  into the field again today and worked a station about 500 miles out on 20 meter SSB, then the band went to crap. I wanted to switch to 15 meters and see what I could do there, but that requires changing out antennas. Then the weather threatened and since I had the top down/doors removed on my Jeep I decided it was time to pack up and scram.

This experience is teaching me many lessons about the difficulties of operating portable. Anyone who just buys a bunch of gear and stuffs it in a cabinet without actually going through a rehearsal is going to be in for one hell of a surprise when shit gets real.

I will be making numerous changes to my "perfect plan" as a direct result of my field experiments. Details that I thought would be no big deal turned out to be a big hassle. Things that I though would be a big hassle I discovered I over-prepared for.

Everyone: Practice now while it's still just practice.

endl3ss

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Re: My QRP Experiment Was A Huge Success!
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2015, 07:31:20 AM »
I've been using the same kit lately, the exception being the antennas.
Although I've actually had the FT-817 (and 857 and 897) for a few years now, I actually only this year got my full license, so haven't been using them much.
But after getting the license, I've really started doing some work.
And as you, I'm fairly impressed with the little 817. I'm regularly getting QSOs from down south in Europe, with a MFJ-1622 balcony antenna from my home, not really the best there is antenna-wise. But it really works. Regularly have contacts on PSK31/63/125 on 40-meter and 20-meter, at ranges from 1100 to 1500 miles. A couple of days ago I used it with a Chameleon TD Lite dipole, less than perfectly set up, and had contacts at almost 2000 miles in Portugal on 20-meter band. Really impresses me. That last one was fully battery powered out in the bush, using the LDG Z-817 tuner and a small laptop/notebook with HRD software. Also tried it with the NUE-PSK modem at the same time, with equally good results  :)
My go-to gear is the FT-817ND, the LDG tuner and the NUE-PSK modem, as well as a Powerfilm R21 solar panel for charging the battery. Seems to work reasonably well, and as mentioned, the ranges is brilliant.
For my normal planwork I would only use this setup for 200-300 miles NVIS comms back to my BOL while underway there, and for that it works really well. That I'm able to get the extra range out of it, is just a huge bonus.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2015, 07:35:45 AM by endl3ss »

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Re: My QRP Experiment Was A Huge Success!
« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2015, 09:54:04 AM »
End

What general area are you located?  When you say "down south in Europe" I am think North Pole  :o

That's great. I just started getting into PSK in the last month.  From my QTH in a HOA with a poor end fed antenna I am getting out on 100 watts.

This time of year distance can be an issue but on Tuesday evening I did get to Dimetri in the Ukranie.  That QSO surprised me that he actually heard me.

As we move to the fall and toward the Equinox the band will open up and our reach will broaden. 
The only dumb question is the one that did not get asked!!

endl3ss

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Re: My QRP Experiment Was A Huge Success!
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2015, 10:05:32 AM »
End

What general area are you located?  When you say "down south in Europe" I am think North Pole  :o

That's great. I just started getting into PSK in the last month.  From my QTH in a HOA with a poor end fed antenna I am getting out on 100 watts.

This time of year distance can be an issue but on Tuesday evening I did get to Dimetri in the Ukranie.  That QSO surprised me that he actually heard me.

As we move to the fall and toward the Equinox the band will open up and our reach will broaden.

I'm in Norway, so pretty far north in Europe, but I get lots of QSOs from southern Europe. Currently I'm visiting my family further north from where I live, and having a late summer vacation, so right now I'm at LOC JP53DJ.
Actually got a Dimitri in Ukraine myself the other day, as well as Slovenia, France, Italy, Kaliningrad/St. Petersburg, Romania, Croatia and similar.
I heard a guy in Toronto, Canada while using the dipole in the bush, but an Italian was spamming him with calls, so I didn't get in to try if he could hear me  ;D
Probably wouldn't have, I was only on 5 watts (barely), and the dipole was oriented towards the south, so almost 90 degrees off for trans-Atlantic work.
But...ya never know, we DID manage to go trans-Atlantic on 2.5 watts using FSK-signals back in my army-days, not regularly but sometimes. VOACAP says it ain't happening, but previous experience has proved otherwise  :o
« Last Edit: August 07, 2015, 10:20:31 AM by endl3ss »

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Re: My QRP Experiment Was A Huge Success!
« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2015, 12:34:38 PM »
That orientation might hit me over the pole.  That's how I think I got Ukraine cuz my end Fedz wire was slopped facing north from Arizona.  That gives me the main lobe in that direction. 

I will PM you with my call. Maybe we can link up on PSK 31 on 20m which is the only antenna I have now.
The only dumb question is the one that did not get asked!!