Illustrating my Split Ham Personality – QRP or QRO? I am conflicted. On the one hand Dr. Jekyll wants to use QRP for the fun and challenge of minimal operations; because you can build your own gear and antennas, and because of portability – take it to the field!
But Mr. Hyde wants to work DX and collect countries and is tired of being a 90-lb barefoot weakling being pushed around by more powerful stations so he craves power!
Yes, I know about John Shannon, K3WWP, (who is a national treasure by the way) who’s worked the world many times over on 5 watts and simple wire antennas and who has made a QSO a day for 19 years (>7,000) on QRP so we all know it is possible but if you are still working full time as I am and have a limited amount of time to devote to DXing or even to just hamming in general, a little extra power is nice. Is this a long sentence or what? John’s excellent and interesting website is http://home.windstream.net/johnshan/ and worth a visit, IMHO.
The upper amp in the pic is an old Heathkit SB-200 that I have not been able to get on the air and the lower is a “new” used Ameritron 811H I just acquired and with a tuner that is coming soon I will have it on the air when needed. My strategy, initially at least, will be to go barefoot to try to make a DX contact calling CQ but failing that, up the power.
The rigs on the bottom are my Yeasu 817 bought used in 2012 and my NorCal 40A built from a kit in the nineties. It needs a new keyer at the moment, by the way.
I still want DXCC QRP and have 88 countries so far, so I’ll resume that after I get to 200 countries barefoot or QRO. Two hundred countries seems to be a nice threshold for DX accomplishments, based on the number of people at the DX dinner at Dayton a few years ago I attended. A well-attended event, the moderator had everyone stand who had 100 countries and of course that was most of us, absent spouses. Then remain standing if you have >200 and at least half the room sat down. So, I scientifically conclude that >200 would put you in the upper half and that’s where I want to be. As the count increased to 250, etc. more and more people sat down till just one hero remained but I don’t expect to ever get into a rarefied atmosphere; just the upper half will do for me. So I’ll use my amp(s) to get me there, then sell one and keep the other for special occasions.
Wish me luck; I have 111 entities confirmed (but 146 worked) as of July 2013 so this could take a while!