I have had a rather boring weekend stuck mostly at home feeling sorry for myself since my youngest daughter passed me her cold. I did however get a chance to enjoy some time playing radio.
I worked EA3EVL on sunday morning on 12m using 2w. When I exchanged my conditions and power output details with Pablo I was met with a comment of very fine business with 2w QRP for a 59+10 report. Now I wish I had got around to building the attenuators I have been looking at plans for. I am sure I could quite easily have worked him with 100mW or maybe even less.
My Sunday afternoon however was spent fault finding for RF problems at the shack of M0SIY, Simon is not really a huge fan of QRP and likes the dials turned full right most of the time. (Although I have seen him work several occasions QRP and, dare I say it, have fun.) Simon has a new installation at his place and we were trying to get something set up to reduce RF problems for him, we almost got there but his current setup seems delicate on 80m when there is more than 10w of power used. The good news was we did get him working on 40m and up ok using his (new to him) Tentec Orion - A nice radio but one that is large enough to require its own dedicated shack.
On the way home I received a message from Keith G0RQQ who asked if I would be able to do some on air tests to help him fault find distorted audio. To keep things short we found it... Keith had only gone and turned the power up above 5w! His indoor loop antenna was a little close to his radio - Another RF problem was on the cards. I will let him off because he was trying to work back into the area of Canada where he lived for so long.
It left me thinking after talking to Keith for a while about some of the advantages of QRP. It really seems that although it may be some recent good band conditions the low power doesn't seem to get in the way of making contacts. IT certainly never stopped me as a foundation licensee when all I had was the FT-817 and 5w max.
In addition and unexpected bill has made me consider the rehoming of my linear amplifier even more so, it has only been turned on once in the last 12 months, I think that means I don't really need it. If I actually get my CW skills honed to a competent level I can even take advantage of a better mode for QRP.
Final QRP thoughts, I am on a mission to get M0SIY to do some QRP even if it kills me trying. I managed to get Bob G7AVU working some QRP and with some good successes too. Go on Bob join us in the competition when we start it again in January.