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Messages - gil

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 189
Morse Code / Re: The One-Watt Magic Number.
« on: June 17, 2018, 07:09:28 AM »
id personally like the option to drop the power

Good point, I know of no small QRP rig with a low (lower!) power option... Great idea. It probably hasn't been implemented because of the extra circuitry. Often, dropping voltage will do the trick...

I was getting out to S. California on about 150mw.

That is amazing Joel. It really shows that sometimes it doesn't take much.

Thanks for your input guys.


Morse Code / The One-Watt Magic Number.
« on: June 15, 2018, 08:38:19 AM »

Trying to make a contact again with my Pixie and maybe 300mW, I recalled most of my past QRP and QRPp attempts using CW. Usually, anything a Watt and above is no trouble at all with a full-size antenna. I even made a contact once from Florida to Estonia (5K miles) using 1.3W! Even my Rock-Mite on 40m seemed to work fine, though the issue was more of a receiving one, because of the lack of selectivity. Then we get down to 500mW, where contacts are still possible, just a bit harder. Below half a Watt things become very dicey, though I have tested 100mW successfully on more than one occasion with Ray 820 miles away. For calling CQ however, one Watt seems to be the practical limit. It gets better from there on up, of course, up to five Watts or so, after which adding power doesn't seem to do much more, at least when conditions are somewhat favorable.

This brings me again to the conclusion that QRP radio designers know their business. Aside from Pixies, Rock-Mites and such, which are fun novelties, great practical radios start at around two Watts. I especially like the SW+ series (ME+ now), and of course, the Weber MTR rigs for QRO operations  ;) I would love to see a surface-mount SW+! Instead of adding current-hungry features, what don't we make radios smaller? We have the technology with SMT components. There should be rigs out there the size of a small box of matches. The limiting factor should be the connectors and controls.

Anyway, just rambling... I think a practical radio should have a minimum of around 2-3W to be safe, with 5W being great. One Watt could get the job done but I would not count on it. Below one Watt you're just having fun, and that's great. BTW the 817 with a less than a full battery outputs 2.5W and people make plenty of contacts with those, even using SSB.

What do you think is the practical power threshold for a CW-mode survival radio?


General Discussion / Re: Looking for Survival Camp Ideas
« on: June 14, 2018, 02:00:20 PM »
I suggest not using words like "Mayday" or SOS in Morse... Even for a simulation, and even with a warning.


General Discussion / Re: Looking for Survival Camp Ideas
« on: June 14, 2018, 01:23:53 PM »
Morse code with flashlights! Then have them try to decode slow code on the radio...


Digital Modes / Re: I tried FT8 last night!
« on: June 14, 2018, 07:54:15 AM »
I have had some luck on 80m and 2m USB... Otherwise it's 599-73, sad indeed.

Sent from my SM-G928F using Tapatalk

Antennas / Re: Random wire antennas and tuners
« on: June 14, 2018, 06:56:12 AM »
Try a clamp-on toroid choke and slide it on the coax for best SWR...


Antennas / Re: Random wire antennas and tuners
« on: June 14, 2018, 06:14:57 AM »
You might want to try a different wire length for 40 and 80m. Also, try a different coax length and maybe a counterpoise. Random wires can be a pain, but they do allow multiple bands...


Digital Modes / I tried FT8 last night!
« on: June 14, 2018, 05:01:34 AM »
Sure won't do that again! :o

I knew it probably wasn't for me, but with all the hooplah, I had to give it a try, at least to know what I'm talking about if ever that conversation pops up in good company... I even made one contact. For me, it's like watching paint dry, utterly useless and uninteresting. I'm not bashing FT8 users or even FT8 here, but it just isn't for me, by a very long shot.

I used the same software however for WSPR, to see my antenna radiation pattern, very useful, got Venezuela on 40m 2W. Of course with WSPR you don't put anything in your log, but I couldn't care less about my log. I actually only input contacts maybe half the time, when I don't lose my notes, forget to write the date or call signs...

Radio for me is about human interaction if only to ask what antenna someone is using... A few words about the weather, even a simple FB, exchanged between two people, make my day.


New To Radio / Re: New to HAM Community What is a good beginner rig?
« on: June 14, 2018, 04:20:16 AM »
Sure, and you're doing great, so keep at it :-)


New To Radio / Re: New to HAM Community What is a good beginner rig?
« on: June 13, 2018, 06:12:52 AM »
Current draw is my pet peeve, so I'll add my $0.2 here... I really like the 817 too. 350mA isn't too bad; more than my KX2 or my RT-320, 175mA, but you can run an 817 for some time on reasonably sized batteries. Now take a Weber MTR4b, 20mA current draw! That means it will last 17 times longer than the 817 with the same battery, 50 times longer than a QRO rig. A battery that will power your big Icom or whatever for a couple hours will run the MTR non-stop for four days ! Let's that sink in for a moment... Yes, a small CW rig beats everything else.


Morse Code / Learn How To Increase Your Morse Code Copy Speed.
« on: June 11, 2018, 10:30:35 AM »


Antennas / Re: MFJ 971 vs LDG Z-817
« on: June 11, 2018, 10:12:02 AM »
Pretty much...

It's hard to decide. I use both. With the T1, I just press the button and bingo! It will take upwards of 30-40W. It's quick and small... With my ZM-2 or 4S, tuning is safer for the radio's finals, a bit slower, but it works as well, and I don't have to worry about the battery being dead.

All in all, I'd say a small manual tuner with a bridge is better. Of course, we all like to just press a button...


Indeed, not the place to discuss politics here. I hear you though... Same thing in France, the media is VERY biased. There is MUCH more going on than the media portrays. One more reason to be prepared.

We'll leave it at that...


Antennas / Re: MFJ 971 vs LDG Z-817
« on: June 08, 2018, 12:32:30 PM »
The LDG is pretty big... I like my Elecraft T1 but it is expensive, and when the antenna is tuned, it doesn't matter then if you have an auto or manual tuner, the radio doesn't care! It can however see very high SWRs for short periods from an auto tuner... So better use an SWR bridge with resistors. A good manual tuner like the 4S or ZM-2 does everything you need. The one you have should be sufficient, but of course we never have enough QRP tuners...


Antennas / Re: Random wire antennas and tuners
« on: June 08, 2018, 12:28:33 PM »
Very nice. I would try to keep the wires as short as possible.


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