Wow! – And a mention about the QRP Marathon

It was quite beautiful outside at lunchtime today. Sunny and 64F (18C). Unfortunately, it’s not going to last. Tomorrow is expected to be rainy with only a high of about 45F (7C). But I got to the car and enjoyed my time away from the desk. I only worked one station – EW1TZ on 12 Meters. Serge was 599+ in New Jersey and I received a 579 in return. I didn’t mention that I was running QRP (I rarely do), so I will take that 579 to the bank.

This QSO was entered into the pot for the annual “QRP Marathon” which is sponsored by Oleg Borodin RV3GM and Club72. It’s not a contest, but a QRP statistic gathering event. Basically, you add into a database your best distanced QRP contacts for the day. Here are some of the particulars from Oleg’s website:

Date and time: April 1 (00.00 UTC) to April 30 (23.59 UTC) annually.

Only the following modes are usable: CW, SSB, DIGI (PSK, MFSK, HELL, Olivia).

All HF bands 10 to 160 Meters including the WARC bands.

There is no conventional exchange. The Marathon is not a contest. Add your Maidenhead locator (i.e FN20to, for example) and your output power in the report form. Participants are to use QRP power only from 1 to 5 watts output, the “other” station may use any power. Only 1 QSO per each HF band per each day (UTC) may be submitted. Use the QSO which gave you the best distance.

Any passive power attenuators or power dividers are forbidden. Only output RF power from an active component before antenna (transistor, valve) must be submitted.

Only QSOs covering a distance of 500 km (311 miles) or more may be submitted.

All the details can be found at The form and webpage are pretty well explained. You should have no trouble.

As of right now, I am 5th in a field of 13. That will drastically change as more QRPers enter and more entries are received. I usually end the month somewhere in the bottom half of the pack. But it’s fun and it sure would be nice to see some other W/VE operators in there. I’m not sure as to whether or not you have to be a Club72 member to participate, but membership is free – so consider joining, if you haven’t already.

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

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

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