Re: QRP for beginners


Date: Fri Sep 30 1994 - 22:51:44 EDT

       Here are some belated comments on QRP for newbies:
        I have to agree that it is probably not a great idea for a new ham
    to begin with QRP. He needs some successful QSOs under his belt to give
    him confidence. The frustrations of unanswered calls and incomplete
    contacts can dampen his enthusiasm. That being said, however, I have a
    tale of some success under just those conditions.
        When I was a teenager and a newly minted ham back in the 60's there
    were a number of like-minded guys within a few miles radius. We noticed
    that when we tuned up our vacuum tube rigs into a light bulb dummy
    load, our signals were audible some distance away. Several of us who
    had received our novice licenses got on the air every day after school
    to sharpen our cw skills. Being timid to expose our undeveloped skills,
    we all formed a 40 meter lightbulb net. We even included some of our
    buddies whose licenses had not yet arrived (illegal for them, but the
    signals only went 2 or three miles). It gave us the practice we needed
    to sharpen our cw skills with (we thought), only our small group
    listening. At least the FCC never complained and their office was only
    in Philadelphia, 6 or 7 miles away.
        For my first Sweepstakes, I had my first QRP experience. I went
    multi-op with another new ham. We each had been licensed about a year
    and were not complete rookies. He had a "big rig" a DX-60 and matching
    VFO, a Drake 2B receiver and a good multiband vertical antenna. Since I
    had more experience by a few months I showed him the ropes. We
    struggled for two or three hours with me at the key, getting better all
    the time. Then it was his turn. When he took over the controls, he told
    me that I had been using the DX-60 in the TUNE position. And I had
    actually made twenty or thirty contacts! His father, also recently
    licensed and an electrical engineer, told us that it was impossible for
    us to have gotten out at all without the transmitter final energized.
    Of course he designed megawatt ERP radar systems for a living.
        Just my 2 cents.
    Joe E. N2CX

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