Monday, April 25, 2016

The numbers are down.

Not really this bad 
It's not ground breaking news to any ham who has had their rig on and searching for contacts that the conditions are not all that great. I have seen the SF index hit over 100 but the low sunspot numbers  are really not supporting a sustained up swing in conditions. I was on the radio this past weekend and was very surprised that my CW QRP signal was not making it to the East coast. That has always been an easy contact for me. I then tried to contact a K6 station calling CQ and I was not even heard! There is this very dusty knob on my K3 and it's called "RF power" knob. I am going to be venturing beyond the QRP limits and jacking things up to 10 watts. It's not a real drastic move but I want to make sure I am not causing any RF issues here at the condo. Having said that I have read of ham's who are in condos using 100 watts without any issues. I'm not going to take that change, not into the "lets see what happens" way of doing things.  So let's see what doubling my output from 5 to 10 watts nets me.

8 comments:

  1. I've run 20-30 watts from my USA apartment with no reports of RFI from others. No evidence in my own place. At 100 watts, yes! That with an MP-1 antenna on the window ledge and very close to TV and computer. 73 Dick

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    1. Good evening Dick, the K3 and KX3 that I have are the low power versions and can only hit 12 watts with the K3 and 15 watts with the KX3. So with the 10 watts out that I am planning on doing will be close to max for either rig. Hope your YL is feeling more better as the days go by.
      73 and have a good week.

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  2. Hi Mike, condx are very low since a few weeks now. What Dick said, I never have RFI problems even with 20 or 30 watts in my neighborhood. You can ask your neighbors if they have RFI problems. 73 Paul PC4T

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    1. Hello Paul, I have always left the power at 5 watts to just be on the safe side and I had always had success with that level of power. As for reaching out to the neighbours that is out of the question. If it was ever found out that I was transmitting and there was an antenna I would be shut down in an instant!
      73, Mike

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  3. When I lived in a condo, I never ran more than 10 watts and made plenty of contacts even at the lowest point of the last sun cycle. You'll be fine. But you're right. Conditions have be abysmal lately. It's time to fire up the soldering iron and build some projects when conditions don't permit operating.

    P.S. I really enjoy your blog. I've added a link to yours from mine.

    73 de N2ICZ.blogspot.com

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    1. Good evening Larry, thanks for taking the time to comment. I am going to stick with just 10 watts as my max. I am going to use 5 watts to make the contact but if that's not the magic number I will slowly raise it up maxing out at 10 watts. It's nice to read that you are enjoying the blog. I will be adding your blog to my site later this evening. You had a very nice post on propagation and I use 2 of the three sites you mentioned. I have yet to use VOACAP but since you find it to be you fav I will look further into this site.
      73, Mike

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    2. Thanks for the add, Mike. And I think you'll enjoy VOACAP. I'm not an expert with it but I like it. I use a simple end fed wire (abt 31 feet) on a squid pole with a 9:1 unun as my antenna. Curiously, my radiating "radius" on VOACAP is very similar to the contacts I show on the map on my main page of the blog. About 1000 miles to the west with occasional contacts to South America and overseas. Most of those contacts you see are on 40 meters. Anyway, have fun with VOACAP and don't hesitate to drop me a note if you have questions. 72/73 Larry N2ICZ

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    3. Hello Larry, my issue when using something like VOACAP I am not sure what antenna to use as I have the MFJ 1788 mag loop antenna. It's not a beam, long wire or dipole.
      73, Mike

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