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Author Topic: How do you QRP?  (Read 24657 times)

Posts: 117

« on: July 09, 2013, 02:21:26 PM »

In another thread it's getting pretty heated discussing the definition/intention of QRP.  Strong feelings abound.

How about you laid-back types?  What's your idea of having fun using QRP?  Do you work at keeping the costs to a bare minimum?  Do you try to be as stealthy as possible?  Do you use a $2,000 rig cranked down to 5 watts and feeding a 5 element beam at 80'?  Are you into contesting?  Are you more interested in operating while camping/backpacking?

Even though I'm very, very new at it sometimes I feel like I'm cheating by using a rig that weighs more than a pound.  I am using a portable type wire antenna that took me all of about an hour and a half to make and install which I think is in the spirit of QRP but that's me.

I'd like to get set up for portable operating at home and elsewhere.  To me that seems to be the idea behind QRP but not necessarily.

How do you do it? <please, no flame wars>
« Last Edit: July 09, 2013, 02:51:13 PM by KA0HVE » Logged

Posts: 1484

« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2013, 03:59:49 PM »

I'm not a diehard QRP-only type, just an occasional QRPer.  For me, QRP is usually with a little 817 carried out into my back yard on nice days after work.  I've got a rig-in-a-box now, so I just carry it and a barley-based beverage outside, hook the 817 to one of my regular antennas, and also to either one of the gel-cells or to my lawnmower battery, depending on where I am and which ones have been on the solar charger recently.  Then I settle back in the lawn chair, enjoy my cool barley-pop, and have fun!  It's a great way to relax, when the weather is nice.  (Right now we have a torrent of mosquitos, which makes being outside in the evenings not so much fun.)  The hound sits near me, getting up to chase the occasional squirrel, while I play--mostly on 20-10 CW.  It's fun!  Last fall I worked VK on 5 watts from my garden, with my ugly homebrewed paddles.  THAT is a hoot! 

Posts: 2495

« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2013, 04:35:22 PM »

I mainly DX and contest running QRP. I have a K2 (QRP) version, HW-9, and a Sierra. Antennas: Windom, HF5B

Posts: 35

« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2013, 05:45:03 PM »

I liken QRP to ultra-light fishing. When I'm out in the wild fishing for whatever bites, ultra-light is a ton of fun. But when it's time to land a "big tuna" I need a boat, a serious rod and reel, and plenty of chum...that's where my metaphor breaks down.

But seriously. I love QRP in the wilderness and for casual operating using home built gear and antennas. It's a big thrill to log a DX station on 5W. But I also love running my 100W rig and trolling DX or contesting. I don't own an amplifier, but I have nothing against them.

I guess my feeling is: if anyone takes this hobby too seriously and forgets to have fun or feels the need to correct others on "how to have fun", they're missing the point.

Posts: 70

« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2013, 07:05:39 PM »

QRP is kind of an accident for me.  I like to build.  There are many interesting little radios and gadgets to build and many are based around QRP operation.  When I first got interested in HAM radio Doug DeMaw was still writing books and they were some of the funnest projects I've ever experienced in the hobby. 

A recent build was a SSB rig from a quality kit.  Still a challenge to align and tune but faster and easier than piece building.  I've used it on the air twice.  Nice little 40m rig, I'll travel with it someday.  Next on my list is a SSB 20m rig to take hiking.  For now it's tuners and baluns, just for the learning. 

As far as QRP, or the entire hobby for that matter is concerned.  I couldn't care less what anyone else does as long as it is legal and not some form of cheating in a contest.  You wanna turn your $30,000 rig down to 5 watts and feed your 29 element beam, who cares?  You want to haul couple tuna can rigs and 40' of speaker wire to the top of a mountain, more power too ya!! The beauty of this hobby is it's diversity. 

I don't contest, I seldom ragchew, I don't have a shack full of high dollar gear, but I have soldering iron and simple test gear, and that's enough for my enjoyment.   Most of what I end up building is QRP crap so I hang out here to see what's new.

Posts: 718


« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2013, 08:49:39 PM »

Too me it's a way to get out and enjoy the outdoors and ham radio at the same time. I like trying out different antennas in different locations. It astounds me how I sometimes can receive strong reports from all over the world.

You just need a little know how, patience, and ambition. I love it!

If you wanna see how I QRP then visit my YouTube channel. It's mainly QRP with different radios and antennas both portable, or mobile. I've worked all over the world and pile up's don't stop me.

YouTube channel name is: N2RRAny


Posts: 537

« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2013, 01:00:43 AM »

If you're not running battery powered portable into a simple homemade dipole or end-fed long wire, and you're using more than 5w you're cheating in my book.  But who am I?  Just some random bloke...


Posts: 2100

« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2013, 02:47:14 AM »

Again, outdoor fun is key for me also.MM from canoe/sailboat with 20m MFJ Cub /20M dipole. Winter, ice fishing shack or campouts with Cubs/dipole with attachable radiators 20/30/40 meters. All power from auto jump start battery. When stuck at my QTH a 20m hex beam for my K1 and 30m bi directional inverted Vee for my SWL 30+.

Posts: 550


« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2013, 09:29:12 AM »

I enjoy the outdoor facet of QRP. I've taken a QRP rig on a few backpacking trips, but just as often leave the radio at home and just enjoy the trek. Check out the 'Flight of the Bumblebees' QRP contest later this month, which encourages participants to hike, bike, or paddle to their operating position.

Scott W5ESE
'BB #28

Posts: 128


« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2013, 12:09:30 PM »

I initially got into QRP because I was living in a noisy apartment.  I wanted to be able to take the rig out to the park easily, as well as be assure that when I did operate from home that I wouldn't be generating TVI.  

I've subsequently found that I really enjoy operating at a lower power level, have gotten active in operating portable, and have become more interested in the building side of radio - to the point that I'm starting to scratch-build some gear with the ultimate goal (years down the road) of building a high-performance TX/RX from scratch, not unlike what VE7CA has done with the HBR2000.  I have a lot to learn!

My radio interests have always been primarily contesting, secondarily DXing, and everything else after that.  Those interests continue today, but I'm just doing it at a lower power level, and with the addition of the portable operation (such as SOTA) and building, I've just added a couple of interest areas.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 12:13:00 PM by AA4GA » Logged


Posts: 295

« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2013, 03:04:10 PM »

To ALL who read this Qrp forum....

This is my Last posting! Period!

It is my sincere hopes that this forum will continue to seriously debate and discuss anything  and everything pertaining to QRP.....AND DO SO IN A KIND RESPECTFUL MANNER WITHOUT MALICE TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATE. 

The posting's originator  asks "How do you Qrp?"

How do I Qrp? How did I Qrp??

Simply put....HAVING FUN !! YES FUN!! Chasing DX with 5 watts or less in all modes using the highest gain wire antennas I could build and install on ropes up in my now non-existent wiped-out  beautiful trees. Also nightly rag-chewing on 40 meter LSB with my long time dear DX friends EA3BOX-Joan in Catalonia, F4BEW- Georges in Southern France and ZS1RJQ- Brother Mike in Capetown South Africa.

Best wishes and regards with many 72....73.

Posts: 7718

« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2013, 11:18:19 AM »

Almost all of my QRP operation is during contests where I am more competitive in the QRP class.

For everyday QSO's I run whatever rig I'm using at maximum power.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2013, 11:24:59 AM by WX7G » Logged

Posts: 17477

« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2013, 02:11:25 PM »

I got started as a ham using QRP, though unintentionally.  My homebrew 1-tube
transmitter could run up to 20 watts input, and only managed a watt or two output
due to a poor match to the antenna.  (It was designed for balanced line, and I had
no way to determine if it was really working.)

From the Novice rig I upgraded to an HW-12 (100 watts on 75m SSB), then for
my birthday in 1977 I bought myself an HW-8 which for the first time allowed
me to get on the higher bands.  Had so much fun that picked up a used Argonaut
505 later than year.  Still have both of those rigs, and they have been seen a
lot of travels:  logging camps in Alaska; hitchhiking around Australia, New England
and Nova Scotia; operating Sweepstakes from Nevada; activating Alpine, Amador
and San Benito counties in the California QSO party; as well as backpacking trips
into the Wilderness or operating from home.

Over the years my life has changed - I tend to take a hand-held DF receiver with me
when I travel overseas now rather than an HF rig.  The K2 is replacing the Argonaut and
HW-8, and I have an Argosy, Corsair and TS-450 if I want to run more power.  But, except
for emergency communications exercises, my casual operating is still usually QRP CW, as is
Field Day (a great excuse to put up big wire antenas).

We just moved from 3 acres with a tower in the country to a small lot in town with CC&Rs.
As soon as things settle down, I'll put up an antenna and get back on the air.  I enjoy the
relaxed pace of ragchews, as well as some occasional DX, as well as experimenting with
circuits on the bench.  And, of course, tinkering with antennas, as some may have noticed...

Posts: 2

« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2013, 10:27:39 PM »

I became a Novice in Oct 1983. My rig was a Hw-7,, 5 watts into a Cushcraft 20 ft vertical. I have operated CW- QRP for thirty  years making contacts all across the nation. CW was required in 1983 and many other novice operators were on the bands. Even with the CW no longer required, I still have many contacts with my HW-7 and enjoy QRP. The Cushcraft is no longer in use and a Isotron 40/20 has taken it's place. I suggest trying QRP and feel the fun of  DX on any band with 5 watts.   73 .. KA5SNG

Posts: 126

« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2013, 04:41:34 PM »

My QRPing is with an old Heath HW-9. Also an OHR100A. High tech rig is a FT-817 which is used rarely. No QRO rig and no intentions of acquiring one. Antenna is a Par EF-20, nothing else. A few straight keys completes the station.

I have noted that some QRP organizers began with the pure intention of keeping equipment and antennas simple. But as the years passed, more expensive and complex transceivers were acquired and they became big-gun stations, though at 5 watts or less. A lot of QRPers have gone in that same direction.

My choice is to keep it simple and inexpensive. Money is tight and even if it weren't I would still subscribe to my private KISS philosophy.

But to each his own, so enjoy the QRP aspect of amateur radio no matter how you choose to approach it.
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