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"What can I do with a 1 watt output?"

Contrary to the opinion held by most amateur operators, one watt of output power on HF fed into a resonant, efficient antenna can do wonders!

After completion of the driver stage of the Genesis GPA10 amplifier, I've decided to 'give it a go' on 40m. The local time was an hour past sunset and the forty meters band sounded reasonably good.

My first on-air attempt was on WSPR.

With just 1W of output into a L/4 vertical antenna mounted in my backyard I got a bunch of spots after the very first transmitting sequence!

The first spots were from VK2 and VK6 (3,292 Km) quickly followed by N4EKV who is almost 12,000 Km away!

For the next few hours, until local sunrise, I got over 300 spots from 17 unique stations!



My receiving and transmitting activity looked like a fireworks show!



Obviously, WSPR is too easy with even 1W of output power!

My next attempt was on JT65 mode.

I'd tuned to 7.076 MHz and found the loud and clear signal of VE3ODZ calling CQ. Thomas got me on first call and a two way contact was quickly established! You can see his signal on the left side of the window, solid -12dB.



Later, VE3ODZ said: "I live outside the city so minimum noise levels at my end, and the antenna in use was a Butternut HF6V ground mounted vertical with abt 20w."

Here is a photo of his setup, followed by my setup:



My second contact on JT65 came just a few minutes later, this time with JA7BVS who is even louder in VK2!



Again, Tadao JA7BVS got me on a first call too!



On November 25th just on the local sunset, I had some great fun listening to needle bending K0RF. He was a solid 20-30dB over S9, working Japanese. I waited until his pile dried out, and threw in a couple of calls. As expected, he got my 1 watt signal without any trouble. Naturally, his high gain antenna did most of the hard work, but this is still a distance of over 13,300 km!

QRP is fun!

Now going back to a full 10W makes me feel like I am running some serious power :-)

73 and happy homebrewing and QRP DXing.

Nick VK2DX/QRP




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