Just under 9100 miles, VK6LW is my First DX QSO with 5 watts and the UrbanBeam and on 40M
Because we will all soon get tired of reading “Free Range QRP DX 300 Challenge”, I will abbreviate it to:
FREQ 300 – because that is the spirit of this award – its letting your FREQ Flag Fly. QRP-ers at one time were considered a bit “odd” – but I think that started changing in the 90’s for sure. I do remember in 1972 or 3 there was the Heathkit HW-7, which I think was one of the first “serious” attempts at getting people into QRP, and WOW – look where we are today. Oh yeah – Heathkit marketed that rig as “The Peanut Whistle”. QRP has always been “CW-centric”, but I can now understand why FT8 would attract QRPers big time. Ten Tec also had the Argonaut – and beat Heathkit to the punch with earlier QRP rigs – and the Ten Tec rigs were much, much better than the HW-7 or HW-8. The HW-9 was really nice though.
As soon as I saw RBN report me with 4 dB at a ZL station, I knew that it would be possible to make my first long distance QRP QSO in my new chapter as a DXer.
I called CQ DX several times and then decided to continue writing this blog. Less than a minute after I stopped, Kev started calling CQ on the FREQ I was on, and we had a very clear QSO. He gave me a 569, which I think is really great. I would have been happy just to write about being heard in VK-ZL, especially several hours after our sunrise. I used to take VK-ZL for granted, but not with QRP – no siree Bob. This is because at 9100 miles, we are talking:
1820 miles per watt or 2929 kilometers per watt. The big bonus is that this is only 2000 miles short of working VK0EK – my last ATNO – when I ran 1500 watts into a N6BT DXU-32 (2 loaded elements on 40M and 3 elements on 20M). This morning I’m using a low dipole up only 45′. Just wait until it goes up 21 more feet on Saturday!
Putting it into this perspective – WOW – that could be the best DX I have ever worked. Seriously! Who knew VK-ZL could be such killer DX given with more power – we West Coasters take OC-PAC for granted.
I have a whole new way of looking at DX-ing now – and am so grateful that this hobby – and even the sub-genre of DX-ing allows for letting your FREQ 300 Flag Fly.