Re: QRP SSB

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From: Clark Savage Turner WA3JPG (turner@safety.ICS.UCI.EDU)
Date: Thu May 06 1993 - 16:11:57 EDT


Hello Kevin:

I am an almost exclusively 40 meter SSB QRP guy here. Have been for
over a year. My equipment has been an Argonaut 509 and a Swan MB-40
there. I occasionally use a TS-440 or TS-530 QRP also (when I NEED filters!)
My antennas are wires: a 100 foot dipole running north-south
and a 150 foot dipole running east-west. I am a half mile from a salt
water marsh and have a good ground under me.

I have had tremendous success. I could list all the fun stuff, but would
probably bore everyone. Suffice it to say that on the WAS-nets like
OMISS and 3905 CC and HHH, it was a cinch to WAS in a couple of months.
When they are listening for you, they hear you everytime! Similarly,
though, freewheeling works just fine too! I have even checked into
the West Coast Swap Net with W6DFG....if you've done heard this net you
know that this is an accomplishment. Clarence even got mad at me for
repeating my words.

I have also worked some Aussies, some New Zealanders and plenty of
South America on 40 SSB at night. Really, it is astonishing, until
you figure the science of it all. If you have a pretty good antenna
and location, you might score "S9" somewhere far away with 100 watts
output. Well, with 5 watts output, you don't lost too much (well,
summer noise makes it pretty bad at times.) But you will come within
"S7" or so.....with 5 watts. NOW, suppost you actually take care to
optimize your antennas, tuner, feedline....and you use a carefully
chosen mike and maybe even a reasonable speech processor. You can narrow
the gap considerably.

I am sure that, with a little effort (and maybe split operation), DXCC
would not be impossible at all. Some work, for sure, but when the
Aussies roll in and you get a "5x5" report and chew the fat for almost
an hour, you figure you can do it. Just a matter of catching the
ionosphere at the right times!

The techniques are probably well known, maybe even simplistic, but here is
what I do:

1. Anal retentive antenna work, choice of low loss line, etc.
2. Anal retentive tuner, cable work.
3. Struggle for the best ground possible.
4. Compare mikes and choose the one that gets through. Pick up a speech
    processor that does not sound too harsh but keeps that wattmeter needle
    pointing to "5". :-)
5. Just call as though you were a normal powered station (QRO) and
    do not make a deal of being QRP, unless it is pileup situation and it
    might be helpful. I find that if I keep a low profile, the effect is
    much greater when the guy asks me what I am running. This is AFTER
    we have already exchanged "5x6" reports both ways.....I seem to get
    more respect this way. When mobile QRP, I will often make a statement
    about being QRP because I suspect I am usually way down, and I want them
    to listen. It works.

I do not personally look to the QRP SSB frequencies because I have heard
no activity there. I hang around down 7200-7240 in the evening. I have
found a smattering of other QRP folks down there, and am about halfway
to QRP/QRP SSB WAS on 40.

Anyway, I will keep this short, but I can go on forever. Really. I love
40 meter QRP SSB!

Clark
.....................

Clark Savage Turner, Graduate Student Researcher
Safety Critical Software Group home:
Department of Info. and Computer Science 1514 Verano Place
Irvine, CA. 92717 Irvine, CA. 92715
(714) 856 4049 (714) 856 2131

WA3JPG, QRP #3526, active on HF, VHF and UHF.
Your QRP Attorney!
Admitted to practice law in California, Massachusetts, and New York.
ARRL Volunteer Counsel


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