Are you looking to finally make your "1000 Miles Per Watt" Award? This coming weekend is an excellent opportunity!
This weekend the ARRL is CW portion of the ARRL International DX Contest. The bands will be buzzing with all kinds of DX this coming weekend! Last year, I used this contest as an opportunity to see how easy it would be to break the "1000 Miles Per Watt" QRP benchmark. I was amazed with my results. I set the K2 at 1 Watt out to make it easy - no division required! Within a half an hour from the time I had gotten on the air, I had several (10 or more) Europeans in the log - all of them more than 1000 Miles away.
This year, in addition to looking for new countries, I think I will play around with setting the K2 for 500 milliWatts out. The thing to remember (and be extremely grateful for) is that a lot of these monster DX contest stations have awe inspiring antenna farms. If these guys listened carefully enough, they could probably hear a cricket chirp under a rock at the bottom of a pond.
And there's points for them if they dig out your signal!
While I don't mean to torture anyone and make their ears bleed, it's interesting to see how many guys you can work in just a few tries. If they pick up the signal rather quickly, then that means they're hearing you rather decently. If you call and call and call; and all you get is "QRZ?" then please move on to someone else or boost your power a bit - maybe to the "full gallon" QRP 5 Watts. Don't make anyone knock their heads against the wall just to give yourself an ego kick. It's not the gentlemanly thing to do.
The other thing I'm considering trying is to see how many bands I can get 1KMPW this weekend. John Sielke W2AGN did that one year and earned himself a really nice 1KMPW certificate from QRP-ARCI to commemorate the feat. 1KMPW on 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 Meters on one award would be so cool! Might have to wait for the sunspots to come back to achieve that, though.
See you in the frenzy this weekend!
73 de Larry W2LJ