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"It's the antenna, stupid!"

It's refreshing to hear so many users reinforcing the fact that only a few
watts are needed!

I think the issue of using only 'the minimum power required' is the best
ammunition.  Need to shame these 'blasters' into submission with comeback
like "... ...",  well, can't mention the come backs here as there may be
children listening....

My rig is capable of 100W HF and 50W VHF/UHF, but I rarely use more than
10-20W on 144 and am also able to make some worldwide contacts on using only
25W on an outside dipole.  I can hit almost every VHF repeater within 30
miles (and one at 50 miles) on 10W with attic mounted loops.  A few
repeaters that are well over 15 miles away can be worked reliably with as
little as 3W.

I can see the need for 100W+ VHF, but only for trans-oceanic on VHF and
maybe on AO-10 with its very great height.

I do know folks who consistently make 15000km CW contacts on HF with well
under 10W!   A 'big-gun' at a recent swap meet told me that he needs his
1KW+ on VHF to "punch right through".  Yeah, right, -- punch right through
my sig!
I had tried for an ISS voice QSO for about a month (about 15-20 passes) with
no luck.  I did also listen to the uplink and was able to hear some QSOs
underway, based on their grid square, from hundreds of miles away.  They
probably were, as a lot of folks have encountered, running lotsa-watts.
Success for me came right after I added the radial kit to my M2 VHF loop and
was finally able to make voice contact on 15W with the station at 30 degree

I'm encouraged when I hear folks making ISS voice contacts with an HT on
about 5W or less.  Most HTs that are advertised with 5W usually put out a
bit less - making the antenna more important than power.

I'm adding the gear for packet now, and expect to be able to do it again on
the digital side at 10W.

Reinforcing the old adage that "It's the antenna, stupid!"

I've since added the radial kit to my M2 432 loop also, and have been able
to make a few SSB contacts via the transponder on other birds -- with thanks
also to the info in the AMSAT and ARRL sat manuals.


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