[CQ-Contest] 500 Watt Amp or 1500 Watt Amp

Bill Tippett btippett at alum.mit.edu
Tue Jul 17 03:03:30 PDT 2012


 >So the question, does the extra 1000 watts make a difference? as
compared to the ability to make quick band changes using a solid state amp?

         I agree with the comments you've already gotten but here's 
another point to consider.  Maintaining a run frequency means 
potential intruders must hear you.  I operate in some QRP contests 
and one of the worst problems is that other stations cannot hear my 
backscatter signal.  I can be enjoying a nice run and then suddenly 
discover callers answering another QRPer (who I cannot hear).

         Backscatter is normally weak on the higher bands so 5 dB can 
easily make the difference between someone hearing you and not.  On 
the lower bands the problem shifts to DX stations who may not hear 
you and begin CQing on your run frequency.  Europeans on 160 are a 
special problem because their local QRM level is often high and they 
will begin CQing on your run frequency.

         5 dB does not make much difference when signals are strong 
but it can make a huge difference when signals are at or below the 
noise floor, which applies just as much to potential intruders as it 
does to desired callers.

                                         73,  Bill  W4ZV

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