The 2013 QRP HOURS event runs on 6 April.

This is a fun event – a contest for QRP stations (5w or less output power) that runs for just one hour on each mode.  First an hour of cw/digital modes, then an hour of SSB.

Due to daylight saving still being in operation in the southern states that night (in fact it’s the last night of DST) the timing is late evening.  That gives everyone time to make those last minute antenna corrections in daylight, get a good evening meal, then settle down with the QRP radio and see how many contacts they can make in an hour.  There are some recommended frequency limits for the contest.

I operated in this event a couple of years ago and enjoyed the experience of making contacts on 80m with my FT817.  5 watts may not sound much but on 80m it goes a long way if you have a real antenna.  I worked several ZL stations and about a dozen contacts on each mode around vk4/2/3/7/5.  My antenna is a dipole supported in the centre by a 20ft (6m) pole and fed with RG58 cable.  Very simple but effective.

in the 2012 event I used an IC703 QRP radio, with the power reduced to an indicated 2w on CW and peaking 1w on ssb voice peaks.  The same antenna was used as the previous year.  Despite a reduced power output I made more contacts than in the previous year, about a dozen on cw and 17 on ssb.  Not a high pressure event.  CW ops, wind your speed back a bit, many of the QRP operators are not frequent CW users and their hand keys won’t match your Formula 1 speed.

Rules etc are at http://vkqrpclub.org/qrp_hours_contest_2013.php