Big Power

Mockler Allen & Dixon mockler at
Wed Jul 13 07:20:34 EDT 1994

On Thu, 14 Jul 94 15:08:36 CDT, Derek Wills wrote:

> K1DG wrote:
> > I will now confess to  using high power in a contest. Once.
> If this was such an ethical conundrum, why didn't you just turn 
>        the exciter power level down to where the amp was under 1500 W ??????
> Paul, NX1H
>Gee, this was the first time anyone has openly admitting to using
>high power, don't be too harsh on him.   He was an op among many
>at someone else's station, and I suppose you do what the boss tells
>you to do.
>I now freely confess that I drove at 101 mph for a few seconds
>in the 70s out in west TX at night.  Phew, I feel better now.
>Derek AA5BT, G3NMX
>oo7 at
I smoked dope once...but didn't inhale. de VE9HF.

>From Dave Pascoe <pascoe at MathWorks.Com>  Fri Jul 15 15:17:34 1994
From: Dave Pascoe <pascoe at MathWorks.Com> (Dave Pascoe)
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 1994 10:17:34 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: W5WMU & GAS
Message-ID: <Pine.3.89.9407151058.F29000-0100000 at zippy>

On 14 Jul 1994, Rich K2WR wrote:

> I think the most significant thing to come out of the discussion
> about GAS and NITRO so far is that some people have come to the
> realization that what is "obvious" and what is "common
> knowledge" is sometimes not true.

Quite true, Rich.  But it's so convenient to hide behind big antennas.  
Still, nobody has addressed the amplifier issue.  So, we still don't know 
the whole story.

Or do you?

 km3t at

>From Douglas S. Zwiebel" <0006489207 at  Fri Jul 15 15:06:00 1994
From: Douglas S. Zwiebel" <0006489207 at (Douglas S. Zwiebel)
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 94 09:06 EST
Subject: Plasma phase?
Message-ID: <32940715140623/0006489207PK2EM at>

First of all, let me correct what I see as a mis-labelling of terms.
Namely, the use of GAS for running high power.  As far as I can
recall, people running high power were always accused of running
SOUP, not gas or nitro.  So to balance the discussion, let's call
it SOUP, as has been the tradition.
Second, thanks to Willy for documenting something most of us have
long suspected.  This "fact" was even documented in the N2AA film
TO WIN THE WORLD in one scene where our 80 meter op's were trying
to work UK9AAN for 30 minutes, without success.  This despite
running an Alpha 77 to an 80 meter beam at 200'.  AAN was quite
loud; we weren't!  Glad to know it wasn't "us".
Third, while I have not been at a contest station running illegal
SOUP, I have been at a field day which turned out to be running
from AC mains, even though they claimed emergency power.  Even 
though I had gone there several times before, when I found out what
was happening, I never went back.  I guess it's a matter of degree.
If this Doug was a contest station running SOUP, I would have left
then and there, no questions asked.  Being a committee type for
about 20 years has caused me to think about this type of thing and
has forced me to make black & white type decisions even though not
personally confronted on a direct basis.  I can see where if someone
is presented with this type of SITUATION and has NOT thought about
it beforehand, one could easily choose the "polite" way out.  No point
deductions for politeness (once!).
And finally, a defense for the accused.  I have found myself in a
very similiar situation to what is going on with WMU.  I have NO
IDEAS, other than what I have read here, about whether or not WMU
runs SOUP.  But I do know what I do.  As many of you know, I have
gotten into QRP in a major way.  I do it for fun.  I find nothing
for exciting than dancing my way around contest pileups on tip-toes
and "breaking" through a mound of 100w or KW types.  It's definitely
a thrill.  I also qrp outside the contest; I have 318 worked with 5
watts or less, and I have 233 worked with 300mw or less (0.3 watts).
This is FUN!  Yet not uncommonly, I run into others who ABSOLUTELY
REFUSE to believe this.  Many even accuse me of running a KW!
Frankly, I don't give a flying leap what they think; I know what
I've done and if they don't BELIEVE, too bad.  The point is, it is
easy have deprecators when you do things that seem unlikely, or even
impossible.  Let's give everyone the benefit of the doubt, until such
time as we have more concrete evidence than HE SAYS-SHE SAYS.
And now, a philosophical AND practical question.  Of what real use is
SOUP during a contest?  I have seen some comments that it is of real
use on the low bands (80/160).  It seems very strange to me one would
believe a qso possible with DX by running SOUP versus legal power.
If you can hear the guy on the DX end, then he certainly should be
able to hear you!  To my way of thinking, CONTESTERS (and that's 
what this reflector is all about) have the best antennas, the best
locations, and the best skills.  What would drive one to think that
if you can hear the DX's signal, with a probably lesser antenna and
lesser power than you are running, that he wouldn't hear you in return?
If some 3A is running 100 watts (or even a KW) to a dipole hung in a
tree, and YOU CAN HEAR HIM, for sure, he will hear you!  And as for
the other HF bands, nobody looks at an S meter during the contest.  If
you are audible (even barely), you will be worked.  Am I missing
something here?
de Doug/KR2Q

>From dgf at (David Feldman)  Fri Jul 15 15:40:10 1994
From: dgf at (David Feldman) (David Feldman)
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 1994 07:40:10 -0700
Subject: GAS II
Message-ID: <199407151440.HAA25855 at>

After explaining the 12 step program (someone posted this yesterday),
I got a telephone call back saying:

   "praise the lord and pass the gas"


>From raid5!davep at (Dave Palmer)  Fri Jul 15 15:59:26 1994
From: raid5!davep at (Dave Palmer) (Dave Palmer)
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 1994 08:59:26 -0600 (MDT)
Subject: Indoor antennas
Message-ID: <9407151459.AA24178 at raid5>

N6KL (I) wrote:
> (Note: the autotuner in your rig, if any, cannot be used with the IsoLoop
> or with the MFJ loop).

N7CL replied:
>> The above statement is simply not true.  While it is true that you cannot...

Hi Eric.  Thanks for your posting.  I stand corrected.  I never thought
of that use of the autotuner as a fine tuning mechanism, but its a great 
idea.  I'll try it, thanks!  (None of my rigs has an autotuner, but I 
can probably tune the manual antenna tuner faster than tuning the loop
tuner due to backlash).   My only concern would be to avoid arcing: the
last thing I need is a fire in the attic. But it seems to be working
great for you.
 73, Dave Palmer  N6KL
 davep at     CIS: 73357,3157
 Boulder, CO

>From Bruce Herrick <bdh at>  Fri Jul 15 16:12:42 1994
From: Bruce Herrick <bdh at> (Bruce Herrick)
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 94 10:12:42 CDT
Subject: Gas
Message-ID: <199407151512.KAA18896 at>

Anyone remember the 4CX20,000 amp for sale at Dayton several years ago?  It
was single band, 20M, and had a mod to allow it to be run on 11M!
Apparently someone from the FCC saw it and I heard he was quite upset in the
FCC forum that day.  BTW, I believe the amp was sold...

I regularly attend hamfests in the Chicago area.  There is a guy who always
has a table full of 4CX3000s, 5000s, 10,000s, and an occasional 20,000,
along with some 8877 drivers and a bunch of large tubes I never heard of. 
All the local big guns look and chuckle, but continue on down the aisle. 
However, this gentleman sells most everything he brings - and the buyers,
with their big wads of $100's, have never seen a ham license...

I can remember, as a college freshman at the Milwaukee School of Engineering
station W9HHX, we had a Collins 30S1.  This amp has a single 4CX1000, but
it's a Collins, and was originally built for the military, so it's very
over-engineered.  During an RTTY contest, the thing would drop off line due
to an over-current circuit that kept you within the tube limits.  Someone
discovered that a strategically placed toothpick jammed into the reset
button would cure the problem.  Of course, the next thing was to see if it
would load a little more.  Answer: Nearly 4KW input, according to the
meters...Of course, the tube didn't much care for this treatment, and we
soon found ourselves running low power.  One of the guys decided to write a
letter to Eimac.  He refused to tell us what he said in that letter, but a
short time later, a box arrived from San Carlos containing a brand new
4CX1000A!  We decided we could only get away with that once, so we banned
the toothpick.  But ya had to try it.  Ahh, the innocence (ignorance?) of
youth.  This was 1964. 

Bruce D. Herrick               bdh at      Home:   414.462.1270
Pryon Corporation                                  Office: 414.253.5678
N93 W14575 Whittaker Way                           Fax:    414.253.2772
Menomonee Falls, WI  53051                         PacketCluster: WW1M > NB9C

>From alan at (Alan Brubaker)  Fri Jul 15 16:21:42 1994
From: alan at (Alan Brubaker) (Alan Brubaker)
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 94 09:21:42 -0600
Subject: Plasma phase?
Message-ID: <9407151520.AA07457 at dsd.ES.COM>


Doug...let me ask you. Have you ever operated from the Western U.S.?
If you have not, you have no idea how propagationally challenged we
are out here. Europe, Africa and deep Asia are difficult to work from
here most of the time. South America, the Pacific and the Far East are 
not so difficult. The temptation to overcome this disadvantage by 
running high power to compensate for it is compelling and some folks 
give in to it. The California Kilowatt fables are no accident. Most of 
us who enter DX contests from this part of the country do not expect to 
win them. We can hope to beat the local competitors but that is about 
it. The top ten? - maybe, if we do exceptionally well. It takes an 
extraordinary effort from a well equipped station even to do that.

The contest environment is much different from the everyday environment.
Just because we can hear a station out here does not necessarily mean
that he will hear us, the rules of reciprocity notwithstanding. In many
cases, his receiving conditions are not as good as ours are, and he 
will hear only the strongest stations and the weaker ones will go
unanswered. If he is in Europe or Africa, that means that often we will
not be heard from out here. I have personally called many stations fully 
expecting to be able to work them, and having to give up after a few 
calls because it is just not worthwhile to waste your time if the 
situation is not favorable. The point here is that I do not believe that
just because you can hear him, it is not necessarily true that he will
hear you.

Alan, K6XO

alan at

Momma, don't let your babies grow up to be contesters...

>From Ron.Klein at (Ron Klein)  Fri Jul 15 13:37:20 1994
From: Ron.Klein at (Ron Klein) (Ron Klein)
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 94 06:37:20 mdt
Message-ID: <6768.2E26A99D at paranet.FIDONET.ORG>


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