Strange

Lots of yard work today.  As a reward, I put some time in behind the key tonight.  All the bands seemed to have a lot of background noise tonight for some reason. Last night, while listening on 20 Meters during the QRP Fox hunt, the background noise was almost non-existent.

Anyway, I worked OK1DX on 30 Meters at 10.120 MHz. He was calling “CQ DX” and wasn’t getting any takers. So I threw my call out there and got an immediate response.  Pavel was 579 here and I got a 559 in return.  No surprise there.  The QSO was a bit more than your normal run of the mill DX QSO; and by the end, Pavel had told me that I had also come up to 579.

Here’s the kicker.  I was running 5 Watts to my 88′ EDZ antenna.  He was pushing 400 Watts into a dipole. My first inclination at learning he was pushing 400 Watts, was to wonder why he was only 579 here. I would have thought at that power he would have been 599+.

Of course, there are reasons for that, I know. But sometimes, even as a QRPer, I fall into that “more power equals louder” trap myself.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!

Larry Makoski, W2LJ, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Jersey, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

One Response to “Strange”

  • Tom AJ4UQ:

    Regarding QRO=louder, I remember a story from Arthur C Clarke’s “How the World was One” book about the first transoceanic cables. The operators felt they needed a lot of power to get a signal all the way across the ocean. One engineer insisted otherwise, and was ignored. That engineer came in late one night and set up a thimble of acid as a battery, and had no trouble reaching the operators on the other end.

    It turns out that QRP was the correct approach, and high power was simply burning up the primitive insulation on the original cables.

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