Sunday, 15 September 2013

QRP - the unofficial challenge

Not so long ago three of us hatched a plan to add some competition to our radio activities. While enjoying a beer one evening along with Keith G0RQQ and Tim M6ZRT we decided we should set up a small competition that rewarded our QRP efforts, placed us all on even ground and that would give us things to talk about amongst ourselves.

It was decided that we would work on a system of awarding points for each DXCC we could work and the score would increase as the power reduced. This wasn't about furthest DX or how much further we could get but to see how many entities we could work while enjoying the hobby and being active on the bands.

This was early in 2013 and we are now well on through our year, we have all had some great contacts and even some decent DX. I know that Keith has worked into South America, Tim has worked into the South Atlantic and North America and I have worked into the Caribbean and as recently as today Japan. We have all worked lots of european countries too. Being that our challenge is all about reducing power many of the QSOs have been at the 500mw level where possible to produce some 1000 mile per watt or better contacts. It is all about the fun but we have become competitive with this too.

At this stage it may shock some people to know that most if not all of these contacts have been in SSB. It really is true QRP SSB can be effective and can allow you to work some interesting and varied stations, even DX.

OK so I may have had to apologise to my long suffering wife for having my additional QRP station set up at the side of the bed but when you hear a KP4 station on the bands in the middle of the night with no takers you have to have a go... right? She kind of understands, even if it did make her somewhat grumpy at me exchanging signal reports while she tried to sleep. The extra station is really only there for me to practice my CW skills when my insomnia kicks in, but hey why not make SSB contacts too when the chance comes up.

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