My Most Recent QSO's

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Doing Your Best With QRP

The North American CW QRP Club is my favorite radio club because all the members, are not only QRP operators, they're also Morse Code operators. The club now has over 6,000 members; of which I'm now the 13th to receive the Friendship Award. I also hold the two way QRP X QRP certificates for working 50 and 100 QRP operators. I've been working on the log book recently and am in close sight of the 500 QRP x QRP award. Needless to say, I'm proud to be a member of this club.

I now have 18 certificates for working stations at over 1000 miles per watt, and considering my 40 meter antenna is about the size of a bird house (Isotron) and my 20 meter antenna is the size of a roll of paper towels (also an Isotron) and used indoors, I'm pleased to have the good luck and perseverance to accomplish this feat.

These are two of my favorite 1000 MPW certificates, although I've worked stations at 1500 and 2000 miles distance with only one watt of power. 

I've never been a big competitor because, lets face it, I don't have the equipment. To compete on a big scale requires a much larger antenna and a rig with excellent sensitivity and selectivity. I think I've worked my DX limit now with 53 different countries but I'm studying for my extra ticket with the hopes of working a few more stations. 

But recently, I've awakened to a another facet of the NAQCC Club.

It's not about being the "BEST"--- it's about doing the "best" with what you have.

John Shannon K3WWP, co-founder of the NAQCC Club, made a recent announcement that "everyone's a winner" when they participate in the various sprints, contests, special events, and the awards program. I've never looked at it like this; but he's absolutely right.

Being so close to the 500 QRP x QRP award has made me acutely aware of his philosophy. I am now trying to do my best and in essence,  compete against myself.

The monthly June QRP Sprint enabled me to do the best I've done in a long time.

Last night, I competed in the Milli-watt (QRPp) contest. All operators (myself included) were using less than one watt of power. I was able to work four stations in four different states. As you can see, I was far from the top of the list, but as John Shannon (K3WWP) stated earlier, it's not important to be at the very top of the list, it's important to participate in the process, and do the best you can. My future goals now will to compete with myself and I feel good about it.

I was shocked to work these four guys with 1/2 watt of power last night under poor band conditions. My best contact last night was KB9ILT, near Chicago, and around 400 miles.


VE9KK said...

Good evening John, congrats on the awards you have obtained so far. I agree with you in regards to contesting and the contest is with yourself. With my setup I am never going to get into the top standings. So I make goals for my station that challenge me and what I have here at VE3WDM. I have the 41dB attenuator on order from Hendricks this will allow me to lower my power to very low QRPp levels. Great work and hope to hear soon you have hit the 500 make!!!

VE9KK said...

John just wanted to also let you know I went to the NAQCC site and am now a member. Oh and told them I received the info about the site from you!!

Jspiker said...

Thanks do extremely well with your attic dipole and QRP. Wish I could do half as well. Hihi

The NAQCC is really a nice QRP CW it the most of all.

Dick said...

Well done John, especially with poor band conditions (at least at my QTH). 73 Dick

Bert, PA1B said...

Hello John, your so right. Winning is very nice, but there is much more to radio, when you do it in your own way. The limitations in your operating situation, being in the valley and your indoor antenna's, makes that your QRP and 1000 Miles per Watt achievements are inspirational to many other HAM's. Have fun with radio. 73, Bert

Jspiker said...

Hello Dick...very poor lately. Good 'ol 40 meters is about the only thing I'm hearing. It seems I'm always able to make a QSO there.

Jspiker said...

Hello Bert,

You're the master of low power QRPp!

Perhaps with the luxury of the extra class license, I'll make a few additions to the DX roll, but I fear DXCC will never happen without outdoor operations. I need to get away from the electrical noise and that big apartment building next door.

However, I'll always try; just for my personal gratification...

Jspiker said...

Hello Bert,

Thanks for joining the NAQCC Club. It's painless, it's free, and it's fun. I'm sure you will enjoy the contests with your QRPp station. I'll look forward to seeing all your future 1000 MPW certificates.

Of all my 1000 MPW awards, RD3A, on 40 meters, is the most cherished. I was VERY lucky that he could hear me. For the most part, he was out there, all alone my himself. The DX Clusters can be the "kiss of death" to most QRP operators. I got him before that happened.

ps...they're always looking for interesting articles in the club newsletter.

Jspiker said...

FM Bert PA1B....somehow deleted in error from g-mail:

Hello John, congrats on the beautiful Awards. The QSO with Valery RD3A on 40 m is a very memorable QSO. From my own experience with very low power in contest QSO's, I know that Valery is a very skilled operator, with Excellent Ears. Your QSO is showing that the Isotron is an excellent small antenna.
I joined the NAQCC for the 1000 Miles per Watt Award and their interesting QRPp Awards. 73, Bert