Sunday, June 08, 2008

Does QRP work?

YES! Outstandingly, yes!

But not always!

I am a QRP fanatic. I love operating with low power, by my own choice. From my Website and hundreds of other posts on this blog; I think you'll agree that QRP is my passion in Amateur Radio and hopefully, I'm one of its biggest proponents.

That is not to say that I am not a realist, however.

A case in point was my experience from last evening. I was tooling around the 20 Meter band; and I heard TCØW calling CQ. A quick visit to DX Atlas on my computer revealed that I was hearing Turkey quite well. I have never worked Turkey before; and I was starting to salivate! To boot, TCØW was not getting may takers, either - there was no pile up to speak of.

I called and I called and I called. No dice. I tried switching back and forth between the G5RV and the Butternut, I tried varying my transmit frequency just a hair to give a different tone. I tried varying my sending speed. I tried just about every trick in my book that has brought me success in the past. I even dialed the K2's power up as high as it would go. Since I don't have Turkey in the log, I was even willing to forgo getting him via QRP.


The last remaining trick up my sleeve was to wait a bit as DX Atlas revealed that grayline propagation might make a QSO possible. As dawn was approaching Turkey, dusk was approaching New Jersey. Frustratingly, TCØW's signal was getting weaker not stronger.

As Kenny Rogers sang, "You got to know when to hold 'em ... know when to fold 'em".

Last night was the time to fold 'em .... or maybe to have a 100 Watt radio on the side - that fifth ace up the sleeve!

73 de Larry W2LJ

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