Sunday, February 16, 2014

Day 3 of ARRL CW contest time to drop the power!

Pumping out 1/2 a watt
On Saturday I was very pleased to see that my MFJ 1788 loop antenna was getting out. On Sunday it was time to push my luck to the limits, here are VE3WDM I always like to see how little power it take to make a contact. It seemed yesterday 5 watts most if not all the time was getting through. Why stop at 5 watts it was time to drop the Elecraft K3 below the 5 watt maker.............wayyyyy below! The conditions once again were very nice Flux levels were up along with the Sun spot count but the K index was also in around 4. That did not seem to matter the bands were full of contest action. Once again I stayed on 15m and it was very busy with DX from the contest. Today I made only 20 contacts as there was chores to get done around the house.
Hard at work
Yesterday's post concentrated on the country count and locations today's post is all about power levels and miles per watt. From 5 watts I dropped down to 2 watts to see what would happen and DK3GI was in my cross hairs. I was able to make the contact first call which gave me 2020 miles per watt. From there on out of my 20 contacts 19 were all over 1,000 miles per watt. Here is a run down:
1 contact made at 3 watts
4 contacts were made at 2 watts
7 contacts were made at 1 watt
6 contacts were made at .5 of a watt
1 contact made at .1 of a watt
1 contact made at 5 watts ( this being the only contact not netting me 1000 miles per watt)
Some of the miles per watt numbers
II9P at .5 of a watts netted me 18,470 miles per watt
K5RT at .1 of a watt netted me 11,808 miles per watt
CN2AA at .5 of a watt netted me 7682 miles per watt
F8CIL at .5 of a watt netted me 7662 miles per watt
F5NBX at .5 of a watt netted me 7608 miles per watt
CS2C at .5 of a watt and netted me 7216 miles per watt
This contest I was just a point giver and not in the contest to submit a score. I wanted to test out the MFJ 1788 antenna to see how my location and antenna performed. Some things that still have to be done, I have to get the contesting software and radio control software up and running. Have the SWR problem on 10m and 20m figured out with the MFJ 1788 loop, for some reason the best SWR I can get is around 9! On a positive side this contest proved to me that the antenna will get out even with QRP or QRPp power!!

10 comments:

  1. just wondering, what contest software do you use?
    VO1OK

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    1. Good morning Mike, first off I use N4PY's radio control program from there I can incorporate N1MM contest program, flex radio's flex knob vfo and K1EL keyer. One other contest related program I run with N4PY's program is CW skimmer. I also have the Elecraft P3 (the KX3 does have SDR capabilities) this is great for finding strong signals and were the action is in the contest.
      Mike
      If you have any more questions please feel free to email me and I can further assist you.

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  2. Mike, I did the same thing but ran mostly 5 watts but did make a handful of QSO's with 1 watt and then followed that by a few with .5 watts! I was after the QRP ARCI award and with the band conditions and contest weekend, this was the weekend to do it. Congratulations as it looks as if you have things dialed in there for QRP & QRPp!! Great job!

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    1. Good morning Phil, yes contests like these are a great time to go for awards as everyone is out and their ears are wide open for QRP.
      Mike

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  3. Hello Mike, I did not take part in this contest. Luckely you can enjoy QRP(p) again from your new home. I'm glad the antenna works well at least on 15m. Hopefully you can sort out the SWR problem on other bands. 73, Bas

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    1. Good morning Bas, yes I was very happy to get the power down to below 1 watt and still make contacts. Now having said that it was a contest and the other end was listening very hard for stations. I may stick to 5 watts during normal op's. As for the SWR I am going to look more into that and in time I will sort it out for sure. Have a great week Bas.
      Mike

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  4. Hey Mike, you seem well acquainted to your new Op position. Everything is perfectly ordered and well displayed, way far from the mess of my shack. Congrats on those QRPppppp :) contacts. I went QROOO this time and had the chance to put my KD2 call into use on a SO 40m HP entry using a great station in W2. A 2 elements beaming EU and 1.1Kw out made the trick and even if I operated only one hour I had tons of fun. Have fun on the air.

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    1. Very nice to hear from you Stefano, I still have some work to do on the desk and get things just right….manly software at this point. For sure 1.1Kw will do the trick for sure and great to hear you had a good time in the contest.
      Mike

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  5. Hello Mike, good to see that the loop does well.
    Often look for stations that I can work with 500 mW or 1 watt and reduce when the S-meter goes up.
    My Inverted Vee is damaged, so I had to use 5 watts in the ARRL DX CW.
    26 QSO's with 5 Watts and 2 with 2.5 watts.
    Thus only two 1000 MPW QSO's. hi. 73, Bert

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    1. Good morning Bert, those are great results with 5 watts and for you 5 watts must seem like you are running a KW!
      Mike

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