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CW and QRP on 80 meters

Jul 2nd 2017, 15:11


Joined: Aug 25th 2016, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0

I'm thinking about getting a Cricket 80 meter transceiver kit and wondering if 80 meters is a good choice? With whom would I be attempting contacts with such a rig?

Jul 13th 2017, 07:09


Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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Total Posts: 0
Hello Chris,

The Cricket is a QRP transceiver with about 1/2 Watt of RF output. For this level of power, you would need a full size dipole antenna, about 130 feet in total length and at least one tall support structure, preferably two, to get it up high.

80 meters does work well with low power on CW. However, you will need frequency flexibility to make the most of your experience. The Cricket is Crystal control. This is just fine if you are patient, or want to talk across town and practice your code speed.

There is quite a bit of CW activity, at night, on 80 meters. It's a good band to chat on and the lower end of the CW band has plenty of DX stations to work. October through April are the best months to operate there, due to high static levels during the summer.

I'm the test engineer at the Lab, so I cannot recommend what to buy for getting on CW. Just about all modern HF transceivers have CW and are frequency agile.

Good luck and have fun!

Bob Allison
Jul 13th 2017, 07:42


Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Bob gives the scoop on 80 M, but I'd vote for 40 or 20 M.

For one thing, it's a lot easier to put up a 40 or 20 M half-wave dipole. (66 ft or 33 ft, give or take) You also don't need to put them up so high in the air for the same performance level.

Noise levels and year-round performance are more manageable on 40 and 20, and DX would be easier too. Of course, this assumes you have operating privileges in those bands.

Hope it works out for you!

73 Martin AA6E

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