Monday, May 28, 2012

45,868 miles with an attic antenna......SHUT UP!!!

The K3 is ready to go at 100mW's
Well as many posts have mentioned the CQ WPX CW contest is now history for 2012. There is no total score, multiplier count or a prefix total to brag about here. This contest I was hunting DXCC's. When the hunt slowed down ( and it did for long periods of time) I then worked stations with as little power that my Elecraft K3 could muster to see if I could make contact. I was able to add 6 more DXCC's to my count (at 5 watts QRP) but I must admit at the start of the contest I was hoping to score around 15 or so. Oh well it seems that I have at this point most of the popular entities. I found conditions to Europe to be great but the South Pacific areas were dead up this way. There was more of Africa this year but the pile ups were huge at times.
To make things interesting as I was not "contesting" in the true sense I started to drop my power as I gave out contest points. I started at 1.5 watts to CR1X in Finland that worked out to 2755 miles per watt. Update....Thanks to PE4BAS my distance to CR1X who is in the Azores not Finland is 2417 miles per watt, thanks Bas for the info!  He had no  problem copying me so down went the power. I leveled out at 100mW's just for the reason this is as low as the K3 will venture.
Proof 100mW's is on it's way...no SWR showing

Below are the top 4 low power contacts all at 100mW's

1.  HA8JV            45,868  miles per watt
2.  IR9Y               44,558   "                        "
3.  9A1A              44,187   "                        "
4.  OL7C             42,496   "                        "

Until this contest my personal best Miles per watt 16,737 miles per watt when making contact with ZS4TS at 500mW's. Even at 100mW's being copied was easy and I was very surprised. I did not want to drop my power to the point were the contest station was spending his valuable time trying to make contact with me, but that never happened. I am now in the market for an attenuator do get my power output to below 100mW's and see what happens. I was looking at the Hendricks 41db attenuator. It's a kits and looks like a very nice unit.

12 comments:

  1. COngrats with the results Mike. Great job with QRP(p) and a attic antenna. CR1X is from the Azores by the way, but owned by a radioamateur from Finland as far as I know. I only participated for 1 hour at Sunday evening didn't make any special DX. Have to analyse the log, I remember at least one station from Chile on 10m. 73, Bas

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    1. Good evening Bas, thanks for the update to CR1X's QTH as you can see the post has been updated. I found 10m's loaded with stations from South America but for some reason I was not able to contact them.

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  2. Mike,

    Amazing! Propagation finally cooperated with a tremendous opening over the pole into Europe including the following morning. It felt like the band was open 24/7 over the weekend. Likewise, how far can the station go at vapor power levels and a low profile antenna system?

    Keep up the great work and best results while hunting the remainder entities to finish the first 100 DXCC credits.

    73, Scot KA3DRR

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    1. Hi Scot, yes the propagation was great over the whole weekend but as I said in the blog post I was unable to make it to the south pacific. If so the Diamond Jubilee DXCC count would had gone way up. As for the vapor power with the addition of an attenuator to the mix I will add but a cool mist to that air waves!!
      Have a great week Scot!

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    2. Hello Mike. Congrats for this great achivement in DXCC and low power. Yes!! Even after 10 years of operating with an attenuator, I still can be amazed to discover that my 100 milliwatts is heard in the USA. The lowest power that can be used in a QSO, is the ultimate propagation indicator.
      Please visit the PA1B attenuator page. http://a29.veron.nl/pa1b-06.htm
      I have designed simple attenuators with good available E12-series carbon resistors.
      73, Bert

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  3. Good evening Bert, I will check out the link you sent me later to night...thanks. I am looking forward to using an attenuator to see just how low I can get.
    73's
    Mike

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  4. Mike, Please be very care ful! It's very adictive. 73, Bert

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    1. To late Bert the infection has set in....................

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  5. Mike,

    your article was more than a teaser. Well done and now I am again also infected. But thanks for that disease.

    http://hajos-kontrapunkte.blogspot.de/2012/06/18642-km-with-2-watt-using-jt65.html

    Hajo

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    1. Good evening Hajo, I copy and pasted your link and you have a great blog. Thanks for the kind words and QRP on!!!
      Mike

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  6. Hello Mike....unbelievable and many congrats. QRP rocks. The best ever under all circumstances. Sure makes a fella feel good when you make those long contacts!

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    1. Good evening John, years ago I would never had even thought I would be involved in QRP let alone QRPp.....never heard of QRPp back then. It does rock and cranks me on to do more!!!
      Mike

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