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[TenTec] QRP

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Subject: [TenTec] QRP
From: kg5u@hal-pc.org (Dale L. Martin)
Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 17:36:40 -0500

>Please help me understand. I am being perfectly sincere--this is
not meant to
>be a "cute," or smart-alec type letter...What is the big deal
about buying a
>good rig and then making it work as poorly as you can?

I think I understand your perplexity, Bruce. Maybe....

It's not a matter of making the radio work as poorly as I can as
much as it is to heighten the challenge to work DX with low
power, operate in and place in contests, because I feel it makes
me a better operator, because the FCC says we should use the
minimum power necessary to communicate, and to keep my
ignorant/idiot/intolerant/stupid neighbors on one side from doing
anything they might later regret because their TV system in their
house is a piece of crap and they are picking up every little rf
noise on their TV and won't allow me in to try to correct the
problem--I guess they don't want to miss the Simpsons and other

Now.  Does operating 5 watts out versus 100 watts out adversely
affect the radio and cause it to work poorly?  Not to my way of
thinking.  Just because the maximum power output is 100 watts,
why must I operate 100 watts.

Your speedometer in your car/truck/suv/etc. probably reads in
excess of 100 mph/160kmh.  Have you ever run it to max speed?
Maybe that's why there are multiple lanes on the freeways and
signs which say "slower traffic keep right"....because people
drive (operate) their cars (radios) at different speeds (power).

Also, some people ride their bicycles to and from work or just
out for an afternoon or morning ride.  I have never wondered why
they don't use a car.  Maybe because I ride my bicycle to/from
work one or two times a month just for the fun of it (it's eleven
miles and no bike path between here and there; otherwise I would
be riding every day).

I think if I ran full legal power, I would probably (1) have less
fun in the hobby, and (2) .....hmmm...well.....I can't think of
anything else....

Just about every DX station I have ever chased, I have eventually
caught....Actually, I think the only ones I have missed were due
to the fact that the radio was not on.

There is probably no more satisfying feeling than jumping into a
crawling, sprawling, snarling pile-up on a DX station, only to
nail him after a couple of calls and be able to get on to
something else.... hmmm....what could it be that might have
caused that to happen?  How about operator intuition, technique,
experience, and tactics that are learned by operating low power.

I think if you look at the schematic for the Omni VI+ (which I
use), you will find that much of the radio is given over to
receive signal processing.  The transmit side is pretty cut and
dried and does not offer a lot of complexity.  At least, no where
near the receive side of the radio.  When I am operating QRP, I
may be reducing the transmit power output capability of the
radio, but I am not affecting is transmit functionality or
performance.  When I am operating QRP, I am using the receiver at
100 percent of it's capabilities...well, I'm using the features
and functions which conditions demand.

Once, back when I was a Novice in 1959, I was using a lightbulb
as a dummy load on my Globe Chief 90.  I was playing around
sending v's and my callsign while playing with an antenna tuner
in line, when, suddenly the SX-110 receiver's speaker was booming
with a strong CW signal calling me!  It was a Novice friend of
mine about five blocks away.  We had a great QSO and from then
on, that's what we used for antennas: a 100-watt lightbulb.
Maybe it was that that really got me interested in doing QRP.

I hope this answers your questions, Bruce.

dale, kg5u
http://www.hal-pc.org/~kg5u -- my station is now on my homepage.

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