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Appendix Ionospheric Propagation, Transmission Lines, and Antennas for QRP DX'rs


Adrian Weiss W0RSP's BOOKS


Adrian Weiss W0RSP

810 Placita la Canoa Green Valley, AZ, 85614

[email protected]


QST (August 1985) The author, a longtime dedicated QRPer and low-power columnist for CQ Magazine, won the race for producing the first QRP book. Although others have been preparing QPP handbooks, Adrian Weiss pushed ahead and crossed the finish line ahead of the dawdlers! His book has a bright yellow glossy cover, and the printed matter inside is bold and printed on easy-to-read paper. Perhaps the excellent English usage and proper application of punctuation can be attributed to the Ph.D in English Renaissance Literature held by the author. I found the book easy to read, and the text is interesting throughout. Although the volume contains no index, it does have a table of contents. The chapter titles are (1) The Exciting World of QRP, (2) Sharing the Joys of QRP, (3) Planning for QRP Operation, (4) Putting a QRP Signal on the Air, (5) Homebrewing the First QRP Rig, (6) general Operating Techniques, (7) Planning and Operating Specific Types of QRP Activity, and (8) RF Power

Measurements. The list of chapter titles pretty much describes the contents of this book. Emphasis is on operating and the history of QRP, rather than on the practical application of circuits or design procedures. The book appears aimed at introducing the would-be QRPer to the world of low-power Amateur Radio. The author's history section-respective to the worldwide QRP movement seems to be well researched and complete. Weiss did his homework in that area of his text, or perhaps he has an unusually accurate crystal ball. Complete information concerning QRP clubs around the world, QRP nets and QRP contests is provided. This directory section should prove invaluable to those who aspire toward a venture in QRP operating. The operating section discusses times of day versus band conditions, band selection for best results, antennas for QRP and general operating objectives. This is the area of flea-power operation in which many newcomers fail after having grown used to high-power operation with elaborate antennas. Another part of the book deals with the use of store-bought QRO transmitters and transceivers. That is, the author describes ways to reduce the power of these rigs for QRP operation. Chapter 8 is dedicated to RF power measurements. Measuring power at the QRP level is not an easy assignment, owing to the general availability of QRO-only commmercial power meters and SWR indicators for amateur use. He covers the objects of dc versus RF-power measurements, RF-power concepts, RMS RF probes and a QRP RF wattmeter. Since many low-power enthusiasts use as little as 50 mW of output power, homemade equipment is needed to set the RF-power level accurately. I would have no hesitation in recommending W0RSP's book to any amateur interested in QRP operating. In fact, it will provide great reading for nearly any active ham even if QRP is not presently a hamshack objective. Doug DeMaw, W1FB, Technical Editor **************** SPRAT, G-QRPC BOOK REVIEW BY G3RJV ---THE JOY OF ORP: STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS Adrian Weiss W0RSP All QRP operators know, or should know, Ade Weiss W0RSP (ex K8EEG). Ade is the founder of MILLIWATT, the original QRP journal, now sadly no longer published; the QRP editor of CQ Magazine and the originator and provider of the Milliwatt DXCC Programe of Awards. Now we have his long awaited book on QRP operation. Long awaited because at one time we thought it would be published before the GQRP-CLUB Circuit Handbook. I am pleased to say that the book has been worth the wait. THE JOY OF QRP is the most comprehensive publication on QRP that I have seen, in fact the first that undertakes a broad look at our fascinating area of the hobby. The book begins with a brief historical background to QRP operation and then describes the whole gamut of our subject: QRP organisations and awards, objectives and planning for operation, commercial equipment -- both QRP and modified QRO, homebrewing the first QRP rig, general operating techniques, planning specific types of QRP operation, and concludes with a very useful chapter on RF power measurements. In short, a comprehensive guide to the whole subject of low power amateur radio operation on the HF bands. I can recommend it to all QRP fans without the slightest hint of bias or fellow-traveller nepotism because he's rude about the G-QRP-CLUB! He says we should catch up with the modern world .... tut, tut .... I thought we were ahead of it! But all is forgiven Ade, it is a great book for QRPers and a lot of QRO operators would benefit from reading it. Rev. George Dobbs G3RJV, Editor

CQ Magazine JOY OF QRP: STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS by Ade Weiss W0RSP. Ade is an interesting gent, one who has great enthusiasm for QRP, and he's the former publisher of The Milliwatt: the National Journal of QRP. He also serves as CQ's QRP Editor, and has done so since 1974. Solid-state design, propagation and DXing, and working other low-power enthusiasts are Ade's chief interests in amateur radio. He is a college prof, holding a Ph.D in English Renaissance Literature, and derives his greatest professional satisfaction from researching and teaching Shakespeare's dramas. The new book consists of 151 pages in 8 chapters devoted to the most important aspects of QRP operation. Some of the major topics covered include the various types of QRP activity, planning tor QRP operation, commercial equipment selection, homebrewing rigs, operating techniques, and RF power measurement. Ade's book covers some of the special problems and concerns tacing the QRPer. Chapter 8, for example, is dedicated to discussion at RF powec measurements. This is particularly important since measuring power at flea-power levels is not an easy task, as most commercial power measuring instruments are designed for much higher power applications. He also describes ways to reduce the power of commercial transmitters to milliwatt levels. And, while there is no specific chapter on antennas, these are nevertheless covered in general in Chapter 3, Planning for QRP Operation. Carl Thurber W8FX, Columnist ***************** RSGB (Radio Society of Great Britain) The Joy of QRP: Strategy for Success, recently written and published by Adrian Weiss W0RSP is now available from RSGB. The book contains eight chapters. The first, The Exciting World of QRP, begin with a history of QRP operation going back to the 1920s. It outlines some of the frustrations of QRP operating and tells how to put these feelings of frustration into perspective in order to enjoy QRP work to the full. It shows how QRP operating often brings out the best in high power operators who often become more determined than usual to listen for the weak signals of the QRP operator. It shows how QRP operation can take place on any mode and gives details of the fascinating experiments that have taken place with powers down to microwatt levels. The second chapter, Sharing the Joys of QRP, gives details of QRP clubs and societies worldwide, QRP awards, QRP contests and activity periods throughout the year, and QRP calling frequencies and nets. Chapter three, Planning for QRP Operation, is essential reading not only for low power enthusiasts, but for all who operate on the hf bands, particularly those who are relatively new to hf bands working. The chapter deals with the thought and planning that should precede operation of the hf bands ­ "What am I trying to achieve?", "is my antenna capable of achieving these aims?", "What bands should I operate at what time of day to achieve the results I require?" -these, and many other seemingly basic questions are raised and many common-sense solutions are suggested. The next chapter, Putting a QRP Signal on the Air: Commercial Gear, looks at ways of modifying second hand QRO transmitters and transceivers in order to transmit at low power levels. A useful list of features and specifications that should be kept in mind when purchasing second hand transmitters and receivers is given. The chapter concludes with a summary of commercial QRP equipment. Chapter five deals with "Homebrewing the First Rig". This chapter takes the newcomer through the planning stages of home construction. It

shows how to select the most appropriate circuits and components for a prospective project. Details of test equipment are given, the equipment being listed in the order in which it is probably desirable to acquire each item. Full constructional details, including printed circuit layouts, are given for a five watt transmitter covering any two bands between 3-5 and 14MHz. This is followed by two v.f.o. designs. These are intended to drive the previously described transmitter, but they would be equally useful as general purpose designs. Finally a regulated power supply is described which can provide between 1.5 and 15 volts at 3 amps. All these constructional projects are described in meticulous detail with particular attention given to explaining why specific components and designs are chosen. The following chapter, General Operating Techniques, is good reading for the QRP and QRO operator alike. The chapter shows how to judge the mind of the operator at the "other end"; whether he is really listening for weak signals when he calls CQDX or whether he is just looking for S9 signals at 30wpm. Various calling and transmitter netting techniques are described. Useful ways of maintaining contacts when signals are marginal are also detailed. Chapter seven gives details for planning and operating QRP during field days, contests and in the various QRP activity periods and QSO parties. This chapter also has interesting sections on QRP mobile operation and QRP working on 160m. The final chapter introduces the theory of r.f. power measurement and has a helpful section clarifying the various forms of r.f. power. Designs for an r.f. wattmeter and an r.m.s. r.f. voltage probe are given. At the end of this chapter is a thought-provoking treatise on standing wave ratio. The Joy of QRP is essential reading for anyone who is interested in improving their operating skills on the hf bands. The author has used a thorough and in-depth approach to all the topics covered in this book, but in doing so he has maintained an easy going and entertaining style. It would be difficult for anyone to read this book and not gain something useful from it. Staff. *************** THE WIRELESS JOURNAL (U.K.) JOY OF QRP: STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS. We have waited for this book for a long time! When the G-QRP CLUB CIRCUIT HANDBOOK was first published in 1982, we thought it would be out about the same time as a major book on QRP operation by W0RSP. The book has now appeared and is soon to be available in the UK. Adrian Weiss is perhaps the best-known figure among QRP operators in the USA. He is QRP Editor of CQ Magazine and was for many years the publisher of THE MILLIWATT, the first maateur radio magazine devoted to low-power operation. He is also sponsor of the MILLIWATT DXCC awards for under 5-watt and under 1-watt low-power operation. The book attempts to give an overall treatment of the subject of low-power working on the hf bands. It includes an historical introduction to low-power radio communications, and goes on to describe how to approach operating on the amateur bands with QRP. The book also contains a section on converting QRO equipment for low-power operation and building QRP equipment, including some practical circuits backed up with a p.c.b. service. There is an excellent section on techniques for operating with low power, and strategy and planning for hf band operation. The book concludes with a chapter on measurements with circuits for building suitable instruments for QRP operation. I am most impressed both with the scope and content of the book. Anyone thinking of trying low-power operation on the hf bands, or even currently using QRP, should benefit from reading this book. The sections on objectives, planning and operating techniques, band selection and propagation would help any radio amateur,

whatever power is being used by his station. It is good practical advice of the type more often acquired by experience or through the advice of others, than seen in an amateur radio publication.

*************** SECOND EDITION

NorCal WEB site:

QRP-L Announcement. Ade Weiss, W0RSP, has reprinted his classic book, The Joy of QRP which was orginally printed in 1985 and has been out of print for years. Chuck Adams, K5FO paid $50 for a mint copy 2 years ago, and I searched for 3 years to find a copy to replace the original one that I bought in 1985 and lost in the move to California later that year. The book had 151 pages in the original, and the reprint has all of that material plus 12 extra pages with new club info, more on antennas, WEB/Inet resources, updates on Viking-5, and the final DXCC QRPp/MILLIWATT Trophy list. So, this is basically a reprint with additions. NorCal wanted to let its members know about the book and we are planning to run a review in the next issue. But the problem is that there are only 1000 copies in this press run, and we did not get the information in time to include the review in this issue. Once the word hits the street that this book is once again available, they will sell out in a hurry. We decided to insert this flyer and order form in order to let all of the members know about the book and have a chance to order it. If you want this book, order now, as the 1000 copies will go fast. Doug Hendricks KI6DS (1997) ****************** QRP QUARTERLY It's back!!! Over ten years ago, Adrian Weiss, W0RSP put out a book called The Joy of QRP: Strategy for Success. It quickly achieved cult status, sold out within a few years, and for years after that copies were quickly snatched up by QRPers whenever anyone was foolish enough to part with them. (About the only reason I can think of for anyone wanting to sell their copy is being out of work for six months, all savings gone and having to make a mortgage payment--and they could almost cover that by selling off their copy of Joy!) Long time QRPers who know of The Joy of QRP need no explanation, and for newcomers who haven't heard about it, all I can say is don't ask questions, don't think about it, just write out the check today and mail it out right away! You'll be glad you did. As KI6DS pointed out in a posting to QRP-L shortly after the announcement was made, there are only 1000 copies being printed up this time. However, between QRP-L and NorCal/QRPp subscribers there are several times as many people as there are copies, so he and I don't expect them to

last too terribly long. I'll be mentioning its availability in the next issue of the QRP Quarterly but that won't hit the streets until January; I hope it won't be too late for our readers who haven't already heard of it via QRP-L and QRPp [NorCal QRP Club Journal]. Send a check or money order made out to Ade Weiss to: Adrian Weiss W0RSP 526 N. Dakota St., Vermillion, SD 57069 Prices are as follows: $23.00 First Class Mail (U.S); $28.00 Foreign; Seniors (65+): $15.00, Two copies: $40.00 (shipped to same address). The first 100 copies will be numbered & autographed. Package Deal: JOY of QRP and HISTORY of QRP (usually $15) = $33.00. US Funds only, make checks to Ade Weiss. Disclaimer--I have no financial interest in the book, and will not benefit in any way from its sales. (I can't say that I have no association with W0RSP himself though; but you'll have to buy either this book or his other, A History of QRP in the US, to find out what it is! (see below).) Also, the QRP ARCI is not associated with this offer in any way. 73 and Queue Our Pea de Mike Czuhajewski WA8MCQ ****************** REVIEWS OF HISTORY OF QRP IN THE U.S, 1924-1960 QST (May, 1988): New Books: History of QRP in the U.S., 1924-1960. The joy of being a QRPer results not only from building little rigs and bucking the QRM while operating. QRP purists extract satisfaction and pleasure from studying the history of lowpower operating and the related challenges. History of QRP provides extensive coverage of the QRP movement in the U.S. from 1924 to 1960. As a writer of books and articles, I cannot help but view Adrian's research efforts in awe. His dedication to the objective while gathering archival data is obvious as you read the spellbinding chapters of this book. Certainly, Adrian would make a great curator of some future QRP museum. His grasp of the historical aspects of our flea-power pastime is impressive, to say the least. The chapters are (in order): 1. The K8EEG (now W0RSP) Story 2. Prologue to Exploration 3. QRP Pioneers on the Frontier, 1923-24 4. 1925: QRP Takes the Spotlight 5. 1926-27: Newcomers and DXers 6. 1930-41: Grass Roots vs. High Power QRM 7. QRP Gains Ground, the 1930's 8. QRPers' Story in Their Own Words 9. The Uprising of `37 - The Flea Power Association 10. 1945-60: Before the Transistor 11. 1954-60: Milliwatts and Miles

The book is sprinkled with black-and-white photographs of old-time operators and equipment. My nostalgia was heightened by many of these illustrations. For example, Weiss shows a picture and schematic diagram of a WWII surplus mini plug-in unit, the BCR-746-A tuner. The diagram shows Barry Lindsey's (W4BIW) circuit adaptation that called for the addition of a 1S4 battery-radio tube, which was used to convert the tiny tuning unit to a QRP transmitter. When the ARRL staff tested this transmitter in 1947 ("A Bantam 1-Watter," January 1948 QST), they worked 22 stations in 10 states during a 12-hour period! How well I remember the excitement I felt when I bought my first BCR-746-A unit in 1946 for only 50 cents! Reading about it in Weiss's book brought back fond memories indeed. This book should serve as a guidepost to what QRP operation is about, especially with regard to the thrills that accompany the use of homemade equipment. This part of Amateur Radio is missed by many of today's hams who operate only with store-bought rigs. I recommend this

book for your Amateur Radio library, even if you never become a member of the fast-growing QRP fraternity. Doug DeMaw (W1FB), Technical Editor ***************** AntennasWest Rare Insight from a New Book: Exploits of Low Power Communication Ade Weiss, W0RSP, champion of homebrew construction and low power operating, has compiled a history of low power communications exploits, telling the story behind the great communications records of this century. His most recent book reveals the circuits, the construction methods, and the operating techniques that produced the milestones. Each rare photograph tells more than ten thousand words. Better still, Ade captures the driving spirit behind the pioneers of ham radio, and captures the drama of the events by telling the story of the hams who did it, often in their own words. Every radio enthusiast, whether listener or ham, can benefit from this book. The fruit of Ade's tireless and painstaking research, it's more than a priceless reference, it's a monument to the dynamism of amateur radio. The book, History of QRP in the U.S., contains over 70 priceless photographs and drawings and 200 pages of thrilling stories. Jim Stevens (KK7C) **************** SPRAT (Nr. 54, Spring 1988) G-QRPC History of QRP in the U.S., 1924-1960: A NEW BOOK FROM W0RSP Many radio amateurs in the UK will know Adrian Weiss, W0RSP, from his writings on QRP in the CQ Magazine, and from his fine book The Joy of QRP. Ade has recently produced another book with the mammoth title The History of QRP in the U.S., 1924-1960. The book traces the history of low power communication from spark transmission to early solid state designs. It contains well documented accounts of the major advances in QRP communication with special reference to work in the U.S. It is well illustrated with photographs and circuit diagrams of the equipment used by these pioneers of amateur radio. The book is a nice blend of good scholarship (W0RSP lectures in Shakespearean Literature at the University of South Dakota) and the "folksy" style we have come to know from Ade. The first chapter named "The K8EEG Story" describes his own early dabblings in amateur radio and the enthusiasm that has been with him to this day. This is a little gem of amateur radio writing! It shot me straight back to my early introductions to the hobby and revived the motivations and pleasures that have kept me active in the hobby for so many years. Throughout the rest of the book I enjoyed reliving the early trials and joys of keen amateurs working against the odds with little theoretical knowledge. This book is a must for those who enjoy finding out more about the pioneers of our hobby. Rev. George Dobbs (G3RJV), Editor ****************

The Five-Watter (Sept., 1987), MI-QRPC Quarterly FOR YOUR QRP BOOKSHELF When the author's Preface is dated August 10, 1987, you know it's current. And when that Preface is signed by Adrian Weiss (W0RSP), you know that you've got some well researched reading ahead. This latest of Ade's books -- History of QRP in the U.S., 1924-1960 -chronicles QRP in the U.S. and that chronicle certainly parallels, and indeed becomes, the development and growth of U.S. amateur radio itself. If you think that our QRP interest is an interest in a facet of amateur radio that just started yesterday, think again! History gives us QRPers a sense of belonging and gives us an extended heritage. It is technical and yet it is very academic. It is something to warm the cold winter nights with good memories and it is something to fire the imagination for today. If you were born between 1940 and 1945, Ade's Chapter 1 may move you to tears as he guides readers through memories of his own "awakening" in the mid-fifties. History is "crammed" with the photos and the schematics and the details and the specifics that blend together to tell the story of U.S. QRP from 1924 to 1960. Did the Heathkit AT-1 qualify as a QRP rig? What was the Jewell QRP Contest of 1926? History has the rigs and the people and the accomplishments. It is a MUST for your QRP bookshelf. The book is 200 pages and paperbound. It is similar in size and quality to The Joy of QRP and has the same print quality. Your money buys 11 chapters plus a Preface and and Epilogue, including 56 photos and 16 illustrations. Thomas A. Root (WB8UUJ) ************* The complete run of 33 issues of THE MILLIWATT: NATIONAL JOURNAL OF QRPp is available in a CD-ROM edition at $10 including USPS priority shipping.

1997 QRP-L POSTING Hi Gang! You've undoubtedly noticed that Mike [Czuhajewski] WA8MCQ has been taking orders for xeroxed reprints of THE MILLIWATT: NATIONAL JOURNAL OF QRPp. You don't want to pass up this opportunity, since only Mike's fantastic dedication to the QRP cause is behind it! He shouldn't have to keep doing this reprinting project over and over again. In fact, his little column in the originally 100-watt QRP ARCI newsletter is the direct

cause of the creation of THE MILLIWATT ) and ultimately the QRP movement here and abroad. See above for a rare surviving fragment of WA8MCQ's "QRPp Corner". Newcomers to QRP (the last 15 years or so) probably don't know what THE MILLIWATT was or what is in it. I thought that it might be helpful to the group to add some details to Mike's general comments about this little quarterly that "started it all" in regard to the QRPp world that we all now enjoy and take for granted. Before THE MILLIWATT, we QRPp'rs were isolated individuals out there plying our approach to ham radio, alone except for the very rare random QSO with another QRPp'r. Until THE MILLIWATT, we were basically

invisible, both to the ham world and to each other. No one knew that QRPp was a way of life shared by others. Occasional references in QST etc. to QRPp exploits of one sort or another were met with the attitude: "Oh, that's amazing -- I wonder when I can catch the guy on 75m s.s.b. to chat about the details." As far as 99.9% of the ham world was concerned, operating QRPp was a "lark" -- something a ham did when totally bored, just for kicks. You needed the edge provided by the linear when really operating! Now,

as Mike noted, THE MILLIWATT was hand-typed by me back in the "old days" -boy what I could have done with a keyboard operation! The photos will suffer from reprinting, but will still be intelligible. What is in THE MILLIWATT? If you read through the 33 issues, you will have a ringside seat watching the modern beginning of QRPp as a segment of our hobby and its growth to the point where over 800 active QRPp'rs were subscribing in about 40 countries and contributing material. We started out with a mailing of about 25! In the meantime, Rev. George Dobbs G3RJV was inspired to start the G-QRP-C whose membership makes THE MILLIWATT'S subscriber list look like an invitation to a local afternoon tea-party. The MI-QRP-C was another spawn of THE MILLIWATT. The U.S. QRP-ARC-I was still a 100-watt club five years after THE MILLIWATT died. You will be amused by a few tube rigs included among the growing number of transistor rigs. (WA8MCQ was one of the early solid-state transmitter designers.) Back then, knowing how to make a transistor puff out a few watts of r.f. was the privilege of Motorola and Defense Contractor Co.'s engineers. Not much to go on. Very few usable power trannies until the CB market brought the ballusted emitter 2N5589 and 2N5590 down into affordable range! We got whatever we could, and set about making it put out r.f. Power-FET's were in the future. Direct conversion receivers were made to work with audio filtering 'ala Wes Hayward W7ZOI, who, with Doug DeMaw, then W1CER, did QRPp great service by "showing us how" in special QST articles. You won't see any of the new mixer chips, but you will run across stuff about C.C.W. Overall, you'll see ancient history in comparison to what "QRPp" of NorCalClub and SPRAT of G-QRP-C publish these days! (Well, almost: not quite as ancient as the late1950's solid-state stuff you can read about in THE HISTORY OF QRP IN THE U.S. 1924-1960) On the other hand, I'd venture to say that the articles about technical topics and the "Operating Reports" section contain as much or more useful BASIC operating information thatany of the more recent books! We didn't have the answers back then -- we were trying to find out what QRPp could do and how to make it work. THE MILLIWATT instituted the DXCC QRPp (5 watts) and DXCC MILLIWATT Trophy programs to motivate guys to try to attack the DX barrier. We had a hard enough time working across states let alone oceans. But K4OCE checked in with his 100 bonafide QSL's in 1971, then W2GRR in 1975, and K8MFO, W6PQZ, and N2AA in 1976 -- during a trough in the sunspot cycle. But a lot of us were trying (I didn't finish mine until 1983 -- #58). We kept running lists of DXCC standings to keep up the morale. Of course, the DXCC MILLIWATT Trophy was more like SciFi: work 100 with under 1-watt? Crazy. Impossible -- until Ron Moorefield W8ILC did it on S.S.B. by 1978. He was up to 300 by 1984! Of course, most of the guys on this net don't even question the possibility of working DX with QRPp. That is because about 85 guys won the DXCC QRPp trophy by 1987! Commonplace, hardly a challenge, eh? In 1971, it seemed impossible. Now Randy AA2U has 100 countries on every band they've created! There was a time when working DX with QRPp was incredible. Soooo, overall, if you really want to "join the fraternity" and know where we've come from, check out WA8MCQ's reprint offer. You just might hold your head a bit higher! Old Rockey W9SCH used to like the motto: "QRPp puts the operator back in operating." A successful QRPp operator has a right to be proud! 73, Ade W0RSP


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