QRP – The Fun (and Challenges) of Low Power Operation

N8ZYA’s recent Blog post about working QRP and making a 2000+ mile contact brought back great memories of the last solar cycle and the fun time I had when I worked a lot of  CW / QRP / M.  You can find the link to N8ZYA’s Blog on the sidebar.

It was always aArgosy 525 lot of fun and a real challenge to make contacts into Europe and many other places on my old Ten-Tec Argosy 525 while driving down the highway at 55+ MPH with the 40 Meter Hamstick flapping around.  I made so many contacts with this rugged old timer that I do miss it from time to time. One of it’s best features was the fact that it could be easily switched from 5 to 50 watts when band conditions began to deteriorate. Hey! Got one for sale? Contact me, I’d be interested. I am still kicking myself today for being dumb enough to part with this little gem.

Some years ago, a friend of mine was going to take a trip to central New Jersey to pick up some Collins gear. He was also a CW / QRP / M nut like myself.  I haThe Old Hot Water - HW9 d some free time that day and took the ride. We were just getting onto the Belt Parkway and I was tuning around on his HW9 when I heard an OM3 calling from Western Slovakia. He was blasting in. Yep, we worked him and got a 539 signal report. Talk about ways to become hooked on a hobby. WOW!

My Ham friend in East Moriches was always the “bah humbug type” when it came to CW and he thought QRP was a total joke.  One day I went over for a visit and brought my MFJ 9040 with me. He just “happened to have” a Tri-Band beam up about 20 feet in his back yard. He lived so close to the Atlantic Ocean that he didn’t need much height on the MFJ 9040antenna. I asked him if I could connect the 9040 to his beam. With all that hardware in front of this peanut rig, I knew it would be a blast. It reminded me David and Goliathof David and Goliath. Anyway, I remember making a bunch of contacts without having to call CQ over and over and good signal reports were of course real easy to get. All of a sudden I got a guy from PA coming back to me. Man, he was hammering the front end of that toy radio. We got into a QSO and he gave me a 599 report. I asked him what I was actually showing on his meter and he told me it was 20 over. My friend and I were both laughing so hard our sides were splitting. I then told the op in PA that I was running 5 watts. There was dead silence for a moment. Then he proceeded to go on and on about my signal from the little old 9040. (I never told him that I was operating through the beam antenna!) I bet he will always remember that contact.

Ten-Tec 544

Yesterday I was tuning my Ten-Tec Triton IV Model 544 and heard a guy (not QRP) calling CQ  around 7010 from his mobile in Alabama. He worked a GB4 station (Special Event – Isle of Man). That did it, it gave me  the bug again! Now I want to start pulling more mobile stuff out of storage. ( I guess I am too easy to encourage!)

There seems to be some signs of life in the low bands again. It appears that the low bands are coming around for more DXing fun. After hearing that QSO I am getting the itch to pick by1up some more QRP gear and start banging the paddles again from the mobile.

However, I am older (any maybe a little wiser now) and will park my butt before starting a QSO.  Copying a QSO in my head at 55+ is best left to someone younger and more daring than I care to be these days. After hearing news stories about young men and women dying behind the wheel due to  text messaging, becoming a statistic is not what I have in mind. There is no DX in the great beyond!

Ever worked CW or SSB / QRP/ M?
If so, why not comment on your best contact or a challenging contact?
Not into CW? Why not  comment about your SSB mobile experiences.

Ice storm credited with generating interest in ham radio course

icestormFrom The Nashua Telegraph
Published: Monday, January 26, 2009
By DEAN SHALHOUP, Staff Writer

– If any good news came out of the cold, dark days and nights of the infamous December ice storm, most of it was likely the educational experience that everyone from residents to emergency preparedness experts came away with.

For instance, most of the nearly 20 people who gathered at the Brookline Safety Complex on Saturday for part one of a two-day course on becoming licensed amateur radio operators – commonly called “hams” – were there with visions of future emergencies on their minds.

Read The Full Article Here

LOTA – Lighthouses On The Air!

I don’t talk about DX very much but I do have a fascination with lighthouses. I  collect the exact replicas and have visited a few here on Long Island.spaceball

Anyway, this is a direct copy of a message that I received. It would be really nice to get a QSL with the photo of a lighthouse on it. For you, I am sure the card would mean something very different.  Oh yeah, I made up the term LOTA  so do bother chasing the term in Google 🙂

If you like looking at photos of the lighthouse(s) and a huge amount of other DX information then visit TA0U’s personal Web page.

Here’s a Flickr page with photos of the S.I.L.E. TUR/046 lighthouse and related information.

from    AKUT DXpedition Team <urcuncanel@akut.org.tr>
to    Undisclosed-Recipient
date    Tue, Jan 20, 2009 at 3:46 AM
subject    Light House TUR 046 / TUR 014

The light that embraces the world !!! Since 1859….150 years !!!
The second largest lighthouse in the world…
It still has original crystalls ( 1.5 Tones ) that may move in eight ( 8 ) different direction and flash every 15 seconds….

” Istanbul / S,I.LE Light House  TUR 046 ”

Between 17-18 January 2009 TC2SLH was QRV on HF ( SSB )

!!! You can see the pictures on the next link… http://www.ta0u.com/galeri2.asp?id=7

Next week end, 24-25 January 2009 ,  the 4th step and the 3th Light House will be Anadolu Light House / TUR 014…

TC-SWAT and AKUT DXpedition Team will operate to gether the station during all the week-end…

TC-SWAT and AKUT DXpedition Team will be QRV during the following five months from the historical lighthouses around Istanbul / Republic of Turkiye. In collaboration with the Directorate General of Coastal Safety, TC-SWAT and AKUT DXpedition Team is organising the “ Istanbul Lighthouses On The Air ” activity, which will take place from Karaburun ( TUR 036 ), Sile ( TUR 046 ), Anadolu ( TUR 014 ), Ahirkapi ( TUR  056 ), Rumeli/Turkeli ( TUR 053 ), and Fenerbahce ( TUR 021 ) Lighthouses as of last two weekends of December 2008.

The dates, locations and callsigns are as the following:

1.      20-21 & 27-28 December 2008 Karaburun Lighthouse TUR 036 / TC1KLH
2.      17-18 January 2009 Sile Lighthouse TUR 046  / TC2SLH
3.      24-25 January 2009 Anadolu Lighthouse TUR 014  / TC2ALH
4.      21-22 February 2009 Ahirkap? Burnu Lighthouse TUR 056  /  TC1ALH
5.      21-22 March 2009 Rumeli/Turkeli Lighthouse TUR 053  / TC1RLH
6.      4-5 April 2009 Fenerbahçe Lighthouse TUR 021 / TC2FLH

Stations contacting four or more of the lighthouses will recieve “ Istanbul Lighthouses On The Air Award ” .

Details will be later announced on the website;

* http://ta0u.com
* http://tcswat.org

QSL Manager is TA1HZ

AKUT DXpedition Team will be,



TCSWAT Team will be;

TA1FR Leonardo RAGNO
TA2RX Bekir Kemal ATAMAN
***    http://www.ta0u.com   ***    http://www.ta0u.com   ***    http://www.ta0u.com

TC12AKUT was QRV between 1-16 December 2008 for the 12.th Anniv. of AKUT Searc and Rescue Association… You can see the pictures on the next link  http://www.ta0u.com/galeri2.asp?id=6

!!! The movie ( DVD ) of the activity is ready and will be soon published on the web site…  http://www.ta0u.com  and http://www.akut.org.tr

if you want to have it pls reply with you post address..

Hope to hear you soon….

Best regards

73! de TA0U