[CQ-Contest] History of Low Power Category

john at kk9a.com john at kk9a.com
Thu Sep 18 10:15:35 EDT 2014

When did this thread become a discussion on changing the ARRL low power
definition? As someone who has entered the low power category I happen to
like the 150w limit and my transceiver has no problem putting out that
power level. This seems like a logical category level since it is exactly
10dB down from the high power stations.

John KK9A  P40A

To:	Alan Dewey <aldewey at aol.com>
Subject:	Re: [CQ-Contest] History of Low Power Category
From:	Stan Stockton <wa5rtg at gmail.com>
Date:	Thu, 18 Sep 2014 08:18:36 -0500


Since all the popular radios will run 100w, I think the power limit should be
100w.  Those who have 200 watt radios can turn them down, just like they
in CQ WW.

Sure, antennas "can" make more difference that the difference between 100 and
150 watts.  It might be a very small project to increase your antenna gain by
1.7 dB if you have a trapped dipole at 40 feet OR it could be nearly
if you have large antennas.  The guy who does something about his trapped
dipole still has to buy a different radio to be equal to the guy who has an
equal antenna, terrain and propagation.

Regarding the explanation you heard about keeping the 100w limit, if someone
uses a 200w radio and doesn't turn it back they may only be cheating the guy
who has a 200w radio who does turn it back to 150w by 50 watts, but those who
have 200w radios all have an advantage over the more common 100w radio guys.
Those who already play fair and turn the dial down can, and will, turn it a
little more.  Some of those who currently don't turn it back at all perhaps
will think a full 3 dB is a significant enough threshold that out of guilt
would turn it back to 100w instead of using their current rationalization
the difference between 200 and 150 is insignificant.

I can't see any justification for failing to change the low power limit to
w "output" to match the current proliferation of radios being used when the
150w "input" limit (without considerable thought changed to output) was
established to match the predominance of radios being used at that time - a
pair of 6146 finals.

There is absolutely no question that 1.7 dB is very significant to those who
have done about all that can be done on the antenna end of things.  Ask K3LR
what it would take for him to achieve another 1.7 dB of gain on any one band.

73...Stan, K5GO

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