Monday, 6 January 2014

The unofficial QRP challenge 2014 (Mark II) and the first DX of the year.

A new year, a new challenge. I have been talking with Keith G0RQQ about our QRP challenge moving on into 2014, we thought there should be some changes to our rules and point scoring system. We decided that in the spirit of including foundation licensees (10w maximum power here in the UK)  That our scoring system would begin at 10w maximum power and points awarded as the power reduces. The scoring is as follows. 10w 1-point, 5w 2-points, 2.5w 3-points, 1w 4-points, 0.5w 5-points. This will be awarded per DXCC for any mode or mixed mode contact. This is in the effort to include people no matter what mode they use. 

Today I had to have a go on the radio, as the Solar flux and Sunspot number both ascended the 200 mark, I fancied seeing what QRP could do. I got home from work and had a go at working a few stations. I was on 15m SSB waiting to work Rol, K3RA when I thought I might have to use the full QRO of 10w. There was a large pileup and lots of stations calling him. He was a 59+ signal to me using the MQ-1 mini beam and the FT-847. I called once using 10w and he came back to me, surprised to hear I was using 10w QRP and complimented my genuine 59 signal. Rol asked me what antenna I was using, he said I was a lot louder than many other stations and was impressed with the 10w. I maybe should have dropped it to less for the points, but still not a bad QRP effort for the start of the year. I think there is a chance that Rol's antenna was doing the work based on the image on his page. It looks like he was using a Step-Ir at some hight.

I will be keeping an eye on solar conditions to see if I can catch any more openings while the numbers remain high. I would love to see 6m open on F2 for 6m QRP adventures.

Watch this space for more details as we finalise things, we may even start the unofficial challenge trophy. Start logging your QRP contacts and join in with us throughout 2014.

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