[CQ-Contest] NAQP Power Levels

Michael Tope W4EF at pacbell.net
Wed Aug 5 22:54:51 EDT 1998


I agree. The guy on the other end can't tell whether the power came
from the MRF458's in my exciter or a backed off 4-1000. One hundered 
and fifty watts is 150 watts no matter how its generated (assuming
reasonable linearity for SSB). Doesn't matter how you get it. 

If the sponsors want to level the playing field, then perhaps a change
to the 100 watt limit would be in order. This power level capability
would encompass a larger subset of radios than the current 150 watt
level. This of course would increase the subset of radios capable
of cheating, allowing poor cheaters without amplifiers to join
the ranks of their more well endowed counterparts - the rich 
cheaters with amplifiers or FT1000s.

I think it more a question of integrity than it is true technical advantage. 
When you consider the difference in feedline loss, antenna gains, and QTH
terrain, your talking tens of dB difference in ERP. Add in the problem
you touched on, wattmeter calibration uncertainty, and you have a lot of variation
on your hands. As far as I am concerned, the guy who thinks he is running
 150 watts, but is really running 160 because of a scotch wattmeter has the moral
 high ground over a guy who thinks he's running 200 watts but is really only
running 160 because his wattmeter is off in the other direction. 

Interestingly enough, I was seeing things from both prespectives this
weekend. One my left was a TS950, which according to the Diawa meter
was giving me 140 watts output. On my right (the 40 meter station) I 
had a TS830 which according to the Collins phone patch/wattmeter console
was only putting out about 100 watts. Assuming that these wattmeters were
accurate (I haven't had an opportunity to check them against anything), I 
was giving away a dB or so on 40 because I had one of those 100 watt 
rigs. On the other hand, a rule change would have forced me to exercise
some self control on the TS950. Of course, two Alpha 78's sat on the operating
bench cold for the entire contest period, so some self restraint seems
to be possible. Who knows, with practice maybe I will start
paying for things when I go to the store and figure out what IRS stands

If you want to delve further into the gray area, consider a guy who has the technical 
savvy to put his power head at the antenna feedpoint. Should he be able to set
his wattmeter to 150 watts even though he has 50 watts of loss between his feedline, 
dunestar BPFs, and stubs? And what about the 5 watts of loss in the low pass filter
inside his radio. Perhaps we should go back to regulating input power!  

73 de Mike, W4EF/6.......   

P.S. If I am ever made evil dictator of the world, I will become a headquarters station
running 50KW while everyone else is forced to run QRP.  

From: 	Jim White, K4OJ[SMTP:k4oj at ij.net]
Sent: 	Thursday, August 06, 1998 1:34 PM
To: 	cq-contest at contesting.com; K4RO Kirk Pickering
Subject: 	Re: [CQ-Contest] NAQP Power Levels

As an Omni VI user that uses a Titan linear during the NAQP (missed last
weekend - family commitment) for one of the two stations I use when I do
NAQP I thought I would tell you why...

Because the rules say I can run 150 Watts.......

I appreciate the second station amp (Alpha 374) even more so than the main
Ten Tec stn - the olde TS430 driver at position two just don't have  much
ummph left in her....so on some bands its 40 or 50 watts out.

To those who say the meaning of the rules is that it was intended to say:
there should be no amplifiers I say......OH?  I never seen that in the

I have however read that 150 Watts is the limitation so I run 150...those
who have operated from my station KNOW the little pieces of masking tape on
the W4 wattmeters at the 150 mark and are able to figure out why they are

You enjoy the advantages of not having to tune up the linear when you
QSY....I will run 150 watts with the linear if the rules say I can run 150
watts and my exciter ain't 150 W output.

Oh yes, and one other thing......50 or 75 watts IS considerably less than

Now if I had an FT1000 I suppose some would assume I was running over 150
watts, right?

No, I did not take this personally but if it was intended for someone else
- I share your  disappointment at the assumption that you must be bending
or even breaking the rules.

Time to start up the how do you measure SSB power thread again....at least
on CW it is simple :-)


Jim, K4OJ

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