Day 3 of ARRL CW contest time to drop the power!

Pumping out 1/2 a watt
On Saturday I was very pleased to see that my MFJ 1788 loop antenna was getting out. On Sunday it was time to push my luck to the limits, here are VE3WDM I always like to see how little power it take to make a contact. It seemed yesterday 5 watts most if not all the time was getting through. Why stop at 5 watts it was time to drop the Elecraft K3 below the 5 watt maker.............wayyyyy below! The conditions once again were very nice Flux levels were up along with the Sun spot count but the K index was also in around 4. That did not seem to matter the bands were full of contest action. Once again I stayed on 15m and it was very busy with DX from the contest. Today I made only 20 contacts as there was chores to get done around the house.
Hard at work
Yesterday's post concentrated on the country count and locations today's post is all about power levels and miles per watt. From 5 watts I dropped down to 2 watts to see what would happen and DK3GI was in my cross hairs. I was able to make the contact first call which gave me 2020 miles per watt. From there on out of my 20 contacts 19 were all over 1,000 miles per watt. Here is a run down:
1 contact made at 3 watts
4 contacts were made at 2 watts
7 contacts were made at 1 watt
6 contacts were made at .5 of a watt
1 contact made at .1 of a watt
1 contact made at 5 watts ( this being the only contact not netting me 1000 miles per watt)
Some of the miles per watt numbers
II9P at .5 of a watts netted me 18,470 miles per watt
K5RT at .1 of a watt netted me 11,808 miles per watt
CN2AA at .5 of a watt netted me 7682 miles per watt
F8CIL at .5 of a watt netted me 7662 miles per watt
F5NBX at .5 of a watt netted me 7608 miles per watt
CS2C at .5 of a watt and netted me 7216 miles per watt
This contest I was just a point giver and not in the contest to submit a score. I wanted to test out the MFJ 1788 antenna to see how my location and antenna performed. Some things that still have to be done, I have to get the contesting software and radio control software up and running. Have the SWR problem on 10m and 20m figured out with the MFJ 1788 loop, for some reason the best SWR I can get is around 9! On a positive side this contest proved to me that the antenna will get out even with QRP or QRPp power!!

Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

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