Author Archive

Russian QRP with a Handcrafted Magnetic Loop

Not so long ago, I discovered a group of people here in Russia, who likes so called “green” radio, i.e. Q-mac, Codan, Barrett, Soviet R-143 and other professional and military transceivers. They prefer work on air outdoors, fleeing from big city’s (and even small village’s) QRM. They are experimenting with extremely short antennas such as 3-meter-whip even at low bands. They have their own frequencies that they call “channels”. For example, channel “5” is 7175 kHz and channel “7” is 14342.5 kHz. They work low power, usually less than 30 Watts, SSB. They shoot video and exchange it via Youtube. They never feel boring of talking to each other repeatedly. They call themselves “manpackers” and call their activities “A man-pack day.”

You can have a look at one of these QSOs, between me and R1BBG/P located about 700 km away in suburbs of Saint-Petersburg, made at “channel five” by means of a handcrafted magnetic loop antenna and QRP rig Yaesu FT-817. 10 Watts and Icom was from his side. The weather was fine, minus 10C only.

These days I contacted these man-pack people several times. I used power of less than 30 Watts and small antennas. I really liked it! Not bad part of hobby somewhere between QRP and QRO. Yes, not truly QRP, but truly fun of the radio!

Friday afternoon pedestrian mobile QRP in a Moscow park

peter-r2abt-fila-parkLife is too short, that’s why in my opinion you should try to work QRP, hi!

This Friday afternoon me and my friend Stan UA3LMR (also RD2A) gave it a try again from Moscow park named “Fili,” a very nice and quiet place. This time my catch on the 20-meter-band wasn’t big at all in comparison with the previous outing which you can see in the video below.


Only two Russian stations from the Krasnodar region answered me during an hour and they were put in my log and then sent to the yearlong QRP marathon “Field Flowers.” An Italian ham didn’t make out my call, and New Caledonian’s didn’t ever hear my signal. Propagation and ultra low power are not only to blame. Probably during the work week is not the best time to find a lot operators working on the bands, on one hand. On another hand, the weekend’s bands are usually filled with contesters. What to do? To try whenever you can, of course.

R2ABT_AlexLoop_Walkham_FT-817

In my point of view, the results of working QRP may sometimes be unlucky, but you will be always happy with the process!

73 and see you on the bands!
Peter R2ABT

Pedestrian Mobile by the Moscow River

r2abt

This Saturday me and my friend Stan UA3LMR (also RD2A) tried to work as pedestrian mobile (/PM) for the first time. We took my FT-817nd (running 5 W output power) and his AlexLoop Walkham antenna, and walked to the park near Moscow river.

Despite cold and windy weather of minus 16C, we had luck to make 11 QSOs with 6 DXCC countries (UA, UA9, G, F, I, OE) during an hour and a half. We used SSB QRP frequency on the 20-meter band (14285 kHz), hf-pack frequency on the 17-meter-band (18157.5 kHz), and one very popular among ex-USSR HAMs frequency for mobile and portable operations on the 40-meter-band, i.e. 7175 kHz.

We worked together and honestly to say, it is hard to imagine how some people work /PM alone, holding a microphone in one hand and an antenna in another, as they should write down some information into the log and check the time! Well, we are newbies in /PM operating and have to learn, hi!
By the way, since January, 1st, there started a yearlong outdoor QRP Marathon “Field Flowers”. Everyone who likes QRP, including those, who works QRO with QRP stations, are welcome to participate. Details you can find here: http://www.outdoorqrp.org.
Thank you and see you on the bands!

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  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor