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Topband: Re: QRP DX (K1HTV)

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Subject: Topband: Re: QRP DX (K1HTV)
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Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2002 17:41:52 -0400 (EDT)
In a recent note to Rik, IK2CAW wrote:

> What kind of Dx experience can I expect at QRP level (5W - CW&SSB) and a
> "reasonable" antenna (say a T or 1/4 vertical) 
> I am afraid this band gets "magic" for QRO operators only !
> I would appreciate very much if QRP operators would share their
> experience about typical DX activity on 160 at QRP level (DXCC, WAC,
> Europe-US contacts, contest placement, etc.).

- - -
  Although many Topband ops run medium to high power on 160 Meters, 
when conditions are right you can work the world with QRP (5W), 
if you have a decent antenna.  My first 160M QRP QSO was with HF0POL
while using a sick TR7 transceiver running only 4 Watts output.
To my surprise, he came back to my QRP call with a 579 report!  
That QSO opened up my eyes to what can be done with QRP on 160 Meters.
Over the years I have managed to work 75 countries on all continents
with 5 Watts or less on 160 Meters.  Running my normal 100 Watts the
K1HTV 160 Meter country total stands as 181 in 32 zones.

On 160M I use a 25 Meter high shunt fed tower with a capacitive tophat
consisting of HF/VHF/UHF yagis on a 5M mast on top of the tower.
The vertical has around 16 mostly short (1/8 wave) radials around it,
limited by the small back yard.  This vertical has also been the receive 
antenna for almost all of my 160M QSOs.

The best QRP DX from the K1HTV MD (suburban Washington, DC) QTH includes:
South:     CE0Y, CE0Z, PY, PY0, HC8, CE & HF0POL (VP8) 
West:      VK6 (twice), ZL, KB1, VP6 & KH6
Northwest: KL7 & VY1
Northeast: UA3, UR, ER, SP & many other Europeans, some worked with 1 Watt
East       3V & 4X4 (three times, once with QRPP 1 Watt) 
Southeast: ZD8 & V5

On SSB running 5 Watts, I've worked SM, G, EA8, W6/7, YV plus many 
Carribean and Central American DX entities.

I've found that as the sunspot numbers decrease, the number of QRP 
DX QSOs increase. However even at sunspot maximum there have been 
times when Topband conditions have produced some great QRP DX QSOs. 
My contacts with VK6 & ZL came in the recent sunspot peak years. 

If you have a decent antenna system and you are persistent/patient,
you can and will work plenty of DX with QRP on the Top Band in the 
years to come.  Although not for all, Topband DXing can be loads 
of fun and give great satisfaction to those that do it with QRP.

73 de Rich - K1HTV

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