Does it work ?

R. Tyson

Does it work ?

QRP that is. Proved it to myself many times over the years going back to my using a HW8 around 1982.  That worked into the USA with around 1.5 watts on 15 meters and rubbish wire antenna.

Had a great demonstration today. I was listening to a Spanish station in QSO with a German station. Initial reports were 559 for the Spanish and 589 for the German station. After a few minutes they revised the signal strength to 569 for the Spanish station and 599 for the German.

No big deal then.... apart from the fact that the Spanish guy was running 5 watts of CW and the German guy was running........     400 watts !

It could be thought that the German operator's antenna was doing most of the work but... my piece of wet string was receiving both at the signal strengths they were giving out to each other.

When considering if 2.5 - 3 watts is good enough or carrying on to change components, alter coils, etc to get 5 watts then the answer lies in this example heard today. No need to bust a gut trying to squeeze the last milliwatt out of a QCX it isn't going to make a noticeable difference.

Reg                          G4NFR


Ah but Reg, if you are running mW levels and your signal is down in the noise and borderline discernible, then a few more mW might make the difference between a contact/spot and none. You are looking at QRO (5W=QRO hihi) signals with guys trying to burn each other’s front ends out. I would bust a gut (and do) to get the max smoke from all my QRP rigs...adds to the fun and physiologically a nats extra power makes you feel like you are running QRO.

best 73 Ken G4APB
stay safe, keep your fingers out of the antenna socket...

R. Tyson

Hi Ken,
If you are running milliwatts then a few more milliwatts isn't going to lift you out of the noise if you are struggling. It takes a fourfold increase in output power level to gain 1 S point.

G4BUE did some remarkable long distance QSO's at both milliwatt and microwatt levels.

He didn't try to screw every last milli or micro out of the rigs but he did invest in very good antennas and there lies the magic. Getting 3 watts or 5 watts out of a rig isn't going to make a discernible difference. Changing to a better antenna could make a big difference.

If you are trampling around on the hills near where I live then the height is going to help you. I live surrounded by sea water - that's always good for an extra S point or two even with portable antennas. Have a look at my photos on

Reg                   G4NFR