Wednesday, April 1, 2020

News of the Day

QRP now defined as 100 watts or less

With band conditions steadily declining - and no end in sight - QRP Amateur Radio Club Global has announced a change to the definition of QRP.

Darrell Fahnstock of QRP ARGC states that any power level of less than 100 watts will now be considered QRP. He cites the difficulty of making contacts with the old 5-watt limit, explaining that today's 100-watt QSO's are as difficult as yesterdecade's (his word) 5 watt limit.

From today's date forward, operators in an QRP event or contest may use up to 100 watts and still claim QRP as their operating category.

Interesting consequence of COVID-19

Interest in ham radio has increased substantially due to much of the world's population now being confined to their homes.

Many people who would not otherwise consider it are now working to obtain their license. In fact, some have already received their callsigns thanks to online testing of their ability to memorize the correct answers to published questions.

In a show of appreciation for their new hobby, many new licensees are combining the hobby with the modern trend of body piercings. One young man in Meridian ID sports a 37uH toroidal inductor as a nose ring; a young woman in Alpharetta GA has a 2020-ohm resistor tattooed in an area best left unmentioned.

SMA connectors are commonly seen adorning ear lobes from coast to coast, along with some of the more adventurous new hobbyists skipping this phase and going right to BNC's and, in the case of a German ham from Hessen, N-connectors. Ouch!

"74" now replaces "73"

The age old salutation of 73 - "Best regards" - has been around almost as long as the telegraphic code itself. It is used constantly on all modes, from CW to phone and everything in between.

But we are now in a more modern era - and we are engaged in a global conflict with a viral microscopic enemy. In this light, 73 is now seen as obsolete - yesterday's expression.

As of today, 74 will be heard more and more on the bands, meant to express "Best regards - and wash your hands, bro".

New DXCC entity added

Officials at the National Radio Re-transmission League have studied the longevity and increasing size, and now its sovereignty as a nation, of an island in the Pacific Ocean and have determined that it qualifies to be added to the DXCC List.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch was discovered in 1997 and has an area of 8 million square miles. Since the GPGP is a floating entity (similar to Guam, according to Hank Johnson D-GA) it will count for a variety of differing grid squares over time.

"You could work this entity - and only this entity - and eventually work all of the grid squares for the Pacific Ocean", according to NRRL's founder Harry Percy Maxwell. "This is great news for DXers everywhere!"


PE4BAS, Bas said...

Well done John, especially the toroid.....I wonder were the the resistor is tattooed...
Almost forgot it is the 1st of April ;-)

73, Bas

SV1GRN said...

Hi I didn't forgot 1st April, good dx take care 73

John AE5X said...

Yes, I like the toroid idea - if implemented by the rest of us, it would be not only a fashion statement but also a recruiting tool to attract younger people to the hobby. You first, Bas!

As for the resistor on the young lady, we'll have to use our imaginations...

73 - John

John AE5X said...

And good DX to you as well, Panagiotis.
73 - John

Photon said...

Yay! That cheered me up! Well done!

I hereby declare the Great Garbage Patch an independent nation, under my sole and direct control, obviously, as it has hitherto been Terra nullius.

Photon said...

Surely, we now need a bunfight, lasting several decades, as to the selection of the correct nose toroid...

VE9KK said...

During the times and with the news being gloom and doom it's great to smile..........thanks John.

John AE5X said...

Yes, so many choices in both size and composition - T50, T68, powdered iron, ferrite...

74 - John

John AE5X said...

Mike, I feel like I've sort of joined you in retirement. Working from home now several days a week, and I gotta tell you - it's getting old!

Stay well and 74,

Dave New said...

Hmm, I always thought that 100 W was QRP. Have I been logging this all wrong all this time?

John AE5X said...

Only effective as of yesterday - you'll have to start all over!

John N7NWL said...

Hi, John. For me, the 'gotcha'part about returning to the 100-watt level for QRP is that I originally joined QRP ARCI when the QRP power level was defined, actually, as 100-watts. So - (a) it doesn't sound that far-fetched given todays' world, and (b) even if a group re-defined their power level doesn't necessarily make it applicable to me. I suppose my biggest question would be how long would it take for all of the various contest and award sponsors to get on board and change their rules??? Way too much thought, eh? 72, 73 es cul. John, N7NWL (ex-WA7NWL)

John AE5X said...

Hi John - I remember reading somewhere that QRP used to be 100 watts...I have it in a newsletter somewhere on my PC. I tried to find when it was changed to 5 watts (and work that somehow, into the posting) but could not find the info. But I agree with you - it sounds plausible in today's world for a variety of reasons!

Keep well & tnx for the comment,

SV1GRN said...

Hi John, with cw and todays digimodes 5W is ok for long distance communications, especially when digi qro (more than lets say 40-100W) signals are absent hi. I hope that ARRL* doesn't change the 5W limit for a long time. Today in many countries like Greece the maximum legal limit is 500W and its ok for me (I didn't have any linear) . Good health to all and have fun with the hobby with reasonable qro levels 73

John AE5X said...

No, I don't think the 5W limit will be changed, now or ever. Even on the low bands, 5W on FT8 will work a lot of DX.
73 - John