QRP & Contests

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From: Bob Gobrick WA6ERB (70466.1405@CompuServe.COM)
Date: Tue Feb 22 1994 - 11:53:09 EST


TO: >INTERNET:qrp@think.com

I got a chuckle out of reading Jim W1FMR's blow by blow on working DX with his
new NORCAL 40. It seems that whenever I get finished with a project it lands
on Saturday of a contest weekend and I end up doing my "final" alignment with
contest stations.

This year I was just about to finish my NORCAL 40 in time for the ARRL DX CW
contest this past weekend but lo and behold I was shy a couple of critical
parts so drats. Anyway with a big cup of coffee in hand on Saturday morning I
turned my old (new) trusty HW-9 on and thought I'd test to see if all the mods
that I put in this past year where still glued together. The biggest addition
was the xtal CW filter from Paul Levesque (sic and I forgot his call) and the
mods from QEX. Well what started out as a light hearted entry running QRP in
the contest got me hooked again...

I stuck to the high bands so I didn't need to switch antennas - just used my
Cushcraft A3 at 10 meters high. The bands weren't great but 15 was opened to
Europe and 10 opened to the Caribbean and South America. So after the HW-9
warmed up enough to stabilize drift (I need to get serious about fixing that) I
began my QRP contest technique of "Hunting and Pouncing, pouncing, pouncing
until I snagged a DX station. For the next two days in a half hearted attempt
(had to clean the ice off the driveway etc) I worked about 100 DX stations in
40 countries all with 3 watts from the HW-9.

What is really great about all this is that I worked many a kilowatt DX contest
station and they gave me the same great signal report (599) as I gave them
(599).....hmmmmm. Just goes to show you that 3 watts is as good as 1000 during
a contest weekend. Kidding aside a contest weekend (especially DX contests on
Sunday) is a good time to test your QRP rig out and improve your operating
skills. Why I may even mail in my log for QRP single op from Quebec award.

So my advice is don't stub your nose at contesting QRP until you tried it - it
lets you have some fun and maybe at the same time gives you a feeling of
accomplishment that your homebrewing and operating skills really do bring
results.

Now if I could just learn how to send (recieve) 50 wpm like the "big" boys with
those cigars....

72 Bob VE2DRB/WA6ERB


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