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Showing posts from January, 2014

QRP contacts, DX and local QRM

I have been really busy recently with a mixture of work and family life. It is great to have a hobby but sometimes other things just stand in the way. This weekend however I got a sneaky few hours to visit a local radio rally to sniff out some bargains and then an hour or so to fire up the radio in peace.

I managed to work a couple of stations using QRP one on 12m (at 5w SSB) to Romania and another on 10m to SV5 group of greek islands (at 2w SSB) Both using the Butternut HF-9V. I then heard a good signal from PP5BS in Brazil, I settled in to try my best to work him, I kept the power low, I didn't want to work Brazil on higher power, I have done that before. Then it happened... The family returned and the house was filled with QRM in the form of children, laughing, playing, screaming, crying. I had to give up on the QRP DX, a reminder that this hobby is a part time pursuit and that Murphy's law always puts family before decent DX opportunities. I did however add a couple of cou…

My first CW contact... and using QRP too

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Last night I went to bed and checked my twitter feed to see that MW0IAN had reported working W1AW/4 on 40m CW. I thought I would have a listen to the frequency that Ian had posted. Sure enough they were there and a good signal to me. I only had the FT-817 at the side of the bed into the attic dipoles mentioned earlier in the blog. I felt it was time to have a go and a simple 599 TU type exchange would be easy enough not to mess up. So I plugged in the palm mini paddles and had a go, sure enough first call with 5w CW I was receiving a M0? after another two sends of my call I received my report and thanks.

So it seems 2014 is finally the year to be brave enough to have a go at CW and even if I make mistakes I am taking part. This has certainly spurred me on to make more of an effort to get my CW going this year and I will make every effort to make a few more simple contacts before I start to progress on a little more. The bonus is I do not wake the house calling DX stations late at nigh…

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…