I plan to reduce the weight of my radio backpack to be able to find cool spot on bicycle. A 20m QRPver rig, ten AA 1.2V batteries, a microphone (not ready for CW yet 😕) and an EFHW.

QRPers, I need your feedbacks to understand which is the best strategy to make some QSO with few watts in SSB on 20m : frequencies, answer S3 or S9 received stations, or better calling CQ...
Actually, I've never managed to make a QSO with this kind of setup.

Thanks for your help !

@F1RUM I think the strategy would be not to use the 20m band. I made QSOs on SSB with 10-20W, but on the 15m or 10m bands.

@dl2jml the problem is that my TX is monoband, and it is on 20m 🤔

@F1RUM You chose a technical hobby. Solutions to your problem can only be of technical nature:
1: change the antenna
2: change the TX power
3: change the frequency
4: change the type of modulation.

@dl2jml I agree I have made the wrong choice with the band of my TX. But I can't change it easily (changing my TX seems to be the only solution, but it would be a shame to throw away equipment that works).
And before changing hardware, I would be sure I operate the good way. That was the meaning of my question.

@F1RUM You can change the antenna for a resonant antenna. A vertical with radials, for example.

@dl2jml an End-Fed Half Wave is already a resonant antenna

@F1RUM @dl2jml I would avoid 10 AA batteries. They are low current, heavy, and expensive in the long run. Small LiFePo4 batteries are really economical, and many QRP rigs can even handle either 3S or 4S lipos like the ubiquitous 18650. You will never see your transmitter struggle with voltage drop on either chemistry.

The EFHW is quite popular for portable QRP. Always a compromise, but a good comprimise in the mind of many.

@ve3mal I've chosen AA format because I use this kind of batteries for children toys and I have a charger.
LifePo4 exists in different format and which cherger to use is not very clear.
Which LifePo4 batteries and charger do you use for classical 13.8V radio stuff ?

@ve3mal @F1RUM I use that battery: It includes the electronics, so can be simply charged by connecting it to my radio 13,8V power supply.

@dl2jml ok, and you unplug when from charging when your 13.8V power supply indicates 0 A consumption ?@ve3mal

@F1RUM @dl2jml Yes, the BMS circuitry inside will cut off charging when full, though, I prefer using a dedicated charger for redundancy. A lifepo4 specific 5amp charger was less than $20 on a slow boat. Slower charging is easier on the cells anyway.

I'm.doing GMA activations with some regularity. Found 20 m to be not very productive, don't quite understand why. Of course, you have to use what you have. FWIW: I regularly have medium distance (single-hop) QSOs on 40 m, with 5 W, in both CW and SSB. So 40 m would be my recommendation for a next band to become QRV in.

@dj3ei @F1RUM It is a question of propagation. From France, 20m will work from France to regions where there are amateurs listening, but only at dawn and at sunset.

@F1RUM the AA battery pack is going to limit you a bit. I use LiPo batteries. Not sure where you plan to go but up or in the clear is going to help. Pick your time of day to suit the band and avoid any contests.

For some not entirely technical suggestion: Operate someplace where other people are keen to operate you. Use WWFF, IOTA, GMA, or any other *OTA-type program. Then announce your activation, both in advance and while you are doing it (self-spotting), via an appropriate channel. The site has good advice for many such programs.

@dj3ei yes, I have some SOTA spots near the QRA and I hope to reach them by bicycle !
I use to climb on summits but I have never done that in order to grab SOTA points, it is certainly a good mean to make QSO. Thanks for the advice

@g7kse @F1RUM I would expect a QRP activation to get some 2 hours of service out of a good 10-pack of AA NiMH rechargeables (2 Ah).

Our radios are rather "thirsty" on TX. Personally, I use "eneloop" a lot and they deliver what current my TX needs. (I'm not affiliated with them in any way.) I bought one batch of Varta "ready to use" a long time ago, but they did not deliver the current for TX.

I have no experience with primary cells (i.e., non-rechargeables) in high-current applications.

@F1RUM I’ll captain obvious a bit of advice. Remember to have fun, and in that spirit, try every chance you get. The more you call or respond to calls, the more QSOs you’ll make. As a cb operator, 4 watts can talk to the other side of the world when conditions are on your side.

@F1RUM chances are you'll find a USB battery with PD that gives you way better Amp hours per kg than the NiMH ones.

@dl4mat you're certainly right about a better ratio. However my 10 AA pack is smaller and lighter than my XT Power battery (340g < 430g)
And 2800mAh is enough for a 3w TX

@F1RUM Sorry! I mean left 10 AA battery case - does it need voltage stabilizer to power the transceiver?

@r2akf no, I use it directly 10 x 1.2V = 12V
Maybe it depends on your TX power. With my 3 watts TX, it works perfectly

@F1RUM Just out of curiosity, what kind of device are you using?

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