The Quest for USA-CA 2nd Time



Page Three - Closing in on the Last Ones

The Cost of QRP

It had taken me four years to reach the final 100 to go QRO and the final 500 QRP. It would be more that two additional years before I finished the counties for the second time QRO. I still need one more to finish the job. By the time I had spend four years chasing in October of 2001 the counties QRP I had 2800 counties, and by the time I had spent 4 years chasing them QRPp in January 2002 I have over 2100 counties in the log. So four years of work had netted my all by the last 100, four years QRP had netted me all but the last 250, and four years QRPp had netted me all but 900 counties. Clearly going QRP had not cost me too greatly. Again going QRPp without relays was another story. This then was a time to play catch up with the counties QRP and especially QRPp while the last batch QRO were coming in slowly.

The little table below shows the best comparison of QRO vs QRP vs QRPp with the numbers in red showing the count each way with approximatly the same amount of time spend trying to get the counties each way. Even that is not a completely fair evaluation as getting the counties QRO always took first priority, getting the QRP always had a higher priority than getting them QRPp. And lastly I would never use relays to get them QRPp.

Counties Worked QRO QRP QRPp
January 1, 2001 2962 2651 1813
October 1, 2001 3028 2829 2049
January 1, 2002 3042 2877 2167

AK all QRP

Getting the first three Alaskan Judicial Districts came rather easily in the first year of working the counties QRP. I first picked up the 1st and 4th Districts from KV1M/M. The the third district came from KL7Y in the DX contest at the end of November 1998. The 2nd District had to wait another three and a half years. In June of 2002 Bob, N4CD/M headed to AK. I had very little success getting him in the other three districts. But the propagation was just right when he got to Nome and he made it into the log. The same fellow had given me the last county in both AK and HI. With those two states under my belt it was clear that getting the rest of the counties QRP was just a matter of time.

Slow but Steady Progress

From then on till late 2002 it was a matter of slow steady progress. I built an Elecraft K2 in the spring of 2000 and followed that up with an Elecraft K1 later that year. Once those rigs were completed they replaced the Sierra as the rig of choice for QRPp operations. I kept the Ten Tec attenuator on the K1 so it was used most of the time. The K2 would come into play is someone moved to 15 or 10 meters and I had to follow them. The TS 570S was used for QRO operations. It was also used when I ran QRP at five watts.

Elecraft K1 Rig

The Elecraft K1

With the G4ZPY Paddles
and the 9 Volt NiMH Battery Used to Work 47 States Thus Far

At the end of 2002 I needed only two counties QRO. I still needed 43 counties QRP. And QRPp, well that was far behind with 591 counties to go.

Counties Worked QRO QRP QRPp
January 1, 2003 3075 3034 2486

The Last Six for 2nd Time Around

The first of December 2002 found me with six to go to finish up the counties QRO for the second time. The first five came in quick succession during December and early January. The last one was Blaine, MT and took quite a bit longer.

The Cost of QRP - Revisited

Well what about the QRP vs QRO comparison? Remember when I finished up QRO I will had spent about nine months less working the counties QRP. So the best comparison should be made nine months later. When I finished up I only needed 5 counties in 2 states to finsih up QRP. The QRPp count stood at 2,585 with 492 to go. The average power required to work a county for the 2nd time around was 1.16 watts. By state the average varies from a high of 12.4 watts for NV to a low of 7 mWatts for NH. Of the 50 States, 26 came in with an average power of under one watt. Two states came in with an average of over five watts to work a county - ID, and NV.

Counties Worked QRO QRP QRPp
September 6, 2003 3076 3073 2585

Page Four - Finishing up QRP

The WD3P Home Page

Contact WD3P at

Valid XHTML 1.0!