Day Operation

Field Day the hard way.

Marshall Emm AA0XI 2460 S. Moline Way Aurora CO 80014

Who says the bands are dead? We are at or near the absolute bottom of the barrel in terms of solar activity and, hence, HF propagation. The bands are dead, so this should be an extended period of [¡linking, and building, and saving dollars to buy kilowatts, right? Wrong! Once again the Colorado QRP Club* has proven that you can do with skill, persistence, and antennas what others do with power, even when the bands arc "dead"

Field Day is a trial at the best of times, and the constraints on site preparation and the logistics of manning a club operation are a challenge, but operating QRP really separates the sheep from the goats, CQC (Colorado QRP Club) has a corc local membership of experienced and talented operators, who saw QRP operation in Field Day as, well, nothing out of the ordinary at all.

The results speak for themselves— close to 1200 QSOs for 10.000 points, all of them at 5 watts or less, and high ranking in the 2A Battery division, if not oulright dominance. The formal results are not yet in as this is written, but the QRP grapevine functions very well- Once again, the CQC proved that if you can do it at all, the odds are pretty good you can do it QRP,

Of course, anyone with a ham license knows that power is probably the least productive of the factors that go into a QSO+ We all had to learn the power equations that prove the difference between 5 watts and 100 warts is roughly two S-points at the receiving end—go to a kilowatt and you pick up another one and half S-points! To put it another way, the difference between a watt and a kilowatt is 30 dB, or five S-points.

QRP operators are also aware that losses are more critical at low power levels, so there is a lot of concentration on antenna

14 73 Amateur Radio Today * October 1996

efficiency. It follows that a large pan of CQCs Field Day effort centered around the antenna farm, and what an antenna farm it proved to be!

Remember, we started ^planting" our farm on Friday afternoon, Despite the traditional Field Day thunderstorm, we £Ot our crop in and here's what we were ready to har-

Photo A The 60-foot tower, ready for launching. FD Chairman KF7MD. righi backgwundt looks a bit anxious, Phoios by AB0CD.

vest when the starling gun went off:

+1 0

Post a comment