[VHFcontesting] CW for QRP station?

Ed Kucharski k3dne at adelphia.net
Tue Oct 2 23:32:02 EDT 2001

Hi Jake,
An interesting thought...  I have found, that most contest activity on 6 and
2 meters utilizes SSB.  Sure, many stations use CW on those bands in contests
but few use it exclusively.  What I would suggest for contesting with 10 
watts or
less is to enter contests in the QRP portable category -  have CW, SSB and FM
modes available for use.  Try to work as much as you can with SSB.  When you
encounter a situation where a you hear a SSB station and have made many calls
on SSB without a response try switching to CW (don' t forget to change 
as well if your xcvr has the typical offset) and call the SSB station, on that
station's SSB frequency on CW.  I have used this technique very effectively 
in my
past QRP portable expeditions and now that I operate mostly from my home QTH
with more power, stations that I can't hear on SSB call on CW and we often 
complete a QSO - sometimes it does take several calls to get my attention 
from a weak
CW station however.  There is some exclusive CW activity on 6m just below 
in contests and on 2m I hear CW across the entire weak signal portion of 
the band with
an emphasis just above 144.1MHz.  As QSO's become more difficult later in a 
many stations will switch to CW for a while and CQ on CW trying to squeak 
out every
potential QSO available.  To increase your potential for success, in 
addition to competing
in the QRP Portable category, try to pick an operating location that is not 
too far from
a population density area and find a location that is as high and clear as 
possible.  For
your location in FM09, try finding a location further east - the closer you 
get to EPA,
NY and NJ the more stations will hear your 10 watt signal.  I believe the 
reasons that stations
in your area do well (like K8GP, W4IY, K2UOP to name just a few) that far 
out is because of
big power, big antennas, big elevations and excellent operators.  There are 
many sites
in WPA, EPA, MD, the WVA panhandle and maybe even on Skyline Drive in Va. 
that fit the bill of
being high, clear and closer to the population density areas.  Don't forget 
Even though loops, halos, sqalos and multi-band LP's are small and easy to 
erect they don't have much gain.
Try to obtain and use yagi's as large as you are comfortable with.  A 4 or 
5 element yagi
on a 12 foot boom on 6m would be a good performer and a 12 - 20 foot boom 
on 2m would
work well and still be manageable.  I have used a 5 element, 12 foot boom 
6m antenna and a
Cushcraft 32-19 in my QRP expeditions with success.  Armstrong rotators 
work well too!
Best of luck and I hope to catch you in the January VHF SS.

At 08:38 PM 10/2/01 -0400, Qrpvhf at aol.com wrote:
>I was thinking about changing over to mostly CW for my VHF contesting as I
>have a small station (only 6meters) for now and at only 10watts.
>Had heard from friends that as far as range of mile 10watts CW is as good as
>150watts SSB? and since a amp is still a ways away for me money wise, I
>thought why not optimize what I have???
>73's Jake, K8JWT (FM09ap)
>VHFcontesting mailing list
>VHFcontesting at contesting.com

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