QRP no more?

Lonnnng time, no post!

Big changes are coming to AA4GA - the biggest of which is doing less QRP with small antennas, and going back to QRO with bigger antennas.  

I spent a full solar cycle operating at 5 Watts or less, and had a ton of fun.  Did fairly well in a few contests, and worked over 200 DXCC countries.  All with little wire antennas:  verticals and doublets mostly.  Not very high, usually around 40' or so.

But, my biggest complaint about wire antennas is that they're just too hard to keep up.  Even something like a simple inverted-L threaded through the branches won't stay up long.  The last one I put up for 160 only stayed up for about four months.  

I needed a more permanent antenna installation, and decided to put back up my Rohn 55G that I've had stored for about 15 years.  As of now, it looks like I'm going to end up with a tower height of 75' with a JK Mid-Tri-40 at the top.  The tower will probably be involved in 80m and 160m antennas too, so hopefully I won't sit down to operate a contest and discover that my antennas are all on the ground.  We'll see.

And, since I'm going to have (relatively) big antennas again, I figured it was time to go up to legal output, so I've added an Alpha 8410 to the mix.  Right now, just driving with 12 Watts from the K3/10, I'm getting around 500-ish watts out, but once I hit it with more drive, I'll be able to get the full 1500W out.

The new antenna location is also much better sited than the wires I've used.  I'm probably getting over 10 dB just by moving where on the property the antennas are located according to HFTA.  That, a gain antenna, and the amplifier means my signal will be going up by, oh, 35 to 40 dB compared to 5 Watts and a wire.  A noticeable change I'd say!