Amateur Radio in Australia (VKFAQ)

QRP - low power operation

Yaesu FT-817 portable transceiver

Yaesu FT-817

The FT-817 is a success story for Yaesu. While the FT290, 790 and 690 offered 3w portable operation on the 144, 432 and 50 MHz bands respectively, the FT817 provides 5w on those three VHF/UHF bands and on all the HF bands as well. It has been enthusiastically accepted by many operators who take it backpacking through mountain ranges, use it as an IF for microwave bands or even adopt it as their main radio for home use. It is the most popular radio for SOTA operators in Australia.

Low power operation (QRP)

Some amateur operators enjoy the challenge of communicating with others, using low power.

With just a few watts of output power (or even less for the more dedicated), a good operator can even make international contacts. There are special interest groups supporting QRP operators, and many enthusiasts design and build their own equipment, some quite compact. The keys to successful low power operation are good antennas, good operating techniques, effective use of radio propagation conditions and reliable equipment. Because of its superior efficiency, most QRP contacts are made with the CW mode, though SSB QRP can also be very rewarding.

The CW Operators QRP Club supports QRP activity by running contests and nets, publishing a quarterly magazine (Lo-Key), issuing awards and making hard to obtain parts available to members.   There is a mailing list for QRPers in Australia and New Zealand. Information on subscribing to this list and Australian QRP in general can be found on the Australian QRP Home Page.

As SOTA is often a QRP operation for activators, it is proving every day how easy it is to make contacts with 5 watts or less. A new page about SOTA on this site is on the way.

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