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Speak Out: Your experiences with QRP...

A contributor asks: "What has been your experiences with running QRP? What are some of your favorite bands, modes, radios/kits to use? Antennas? What was your lowest power and longest distance contact?"

51 opinions on this subject. Enter your opinion at the bottom of this page.
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N9OH on 2002-08-05
Worked a station on 10m *AM* with under 1 watt to the antenna. Of course he was pretty close... but it makes me wonder just what can i really do? I'm considering the Elecraft K1 rig as my next project.

Steve, N9OH

W8KQE on 2001-12-11
QRP is a blast and a half! My most recent QRP activity is DXing with an 'Eagle Spitfire 454' 10m SSB walkie-talkie. You don't know the intense thrill and challenge of QRPing unless you have talked DX running 4 watts from a walkie-talkie standing in your driveway!!! I use a base loaded 4 foot rubber whip, and my neighbors seem to get a kick out of watching me freeze my duff off while standing in the driveway yelling into the HT in the dead of winter!

10 meters is a great QRP band, and I wish Elecraft would include the option of a 10m module in their K1 QRP transceiver.

G3CWI on 2001-08-24
I really only started on QRP a year ago. It's been a fun year though with several rigs built and lots of portable operation. I'd like to use my pair of 3CX800s portable but so far the weight lifting lessons have not delivered the goods. I guess I'll have to stick to QRP after all.

I started in ham radio running 2,000,000 Watts ERP from my EME system. I then dropped to running 10kW TXs on HF (I used to install commercial HF stations all over the world and usually "tested" them on the ham bands). I then dropped to the 3CX800s and then to 100 Watts. Now I'm running 500mW. I fear that I'm about to disappear altogether...

Anonymous on 2001-08-15
I'll hopefully be on QRP after I get a little better at my code. I can't wait!

W0KDX on 2001-08-09
I enjoy QRP from time to time. Unfortunately, there are many individuals out there that don't want to bother with a "weaker" signal, or acknowledge a station signing /QRP.

With the advent of the Yaesu FT-817, it is a wonderful little radio to use on QRP or anything for that matter. Lacks some features, but when you compare some of the specialty radios, this 817 is a winner.

I like QRP. When you make a DX contact you really feel a sense of achievement. When you make a DX contact over a mini-pileup, it really feels like a major achivement.

KQ4YY on 2001-03-01
I've been a fan of QRP for several years,almost exclusivly SSB.I'm the North Florida section SSB QRP 10 meter contest Champ 2 years in row.(probably 3)The upper bands work the best.10 being my favorite.but i've worked 160 also.Only recently have I tried CW,and of course it's a great mode for low power!I'm not a great CW op but i'll get better.For those not into CW,PSK31 and some other new digital modes are just awesome for QRP.The true advantages of QRP are many,1st budget friendly.Not all of us can plunk down several hundred or thousands at a time.Many great looking and performing Qrp kits or available.(another fun part the hobby gaining renewed popularity)Not to mention lower cost used gear.# 2 It's stealthy.Your nosy neighbors will have a hard time even knowing you're a ham.Small gauge wire can be run in many configurations,inside or out.# 3 running such low power almost eliminates the problem of TVI/RFI.# 4 Low current consumtion.Try running a solar panel and a deep cycle battery,I have for years.Besides being independant of the electric company, you'll be pleasantly suprised at the lack of line noise that is propagated down the power line. That pure DC makes for a quieter reciever.# 5 Portablity.These Qrp rigs are often light weight,that combined with low current needs and a light wire antenna makes QRP operating easy on a family vacation or camping trip.Just recently a hiking ham in california had a successful sked with another in New Zealand.Remarkably both stations were pedestrian/mobile That is to say they both operated as they walked! Yes it's true QRP takes a bit of patience and a better knowledge of building a better antenna system.Both of these skills will serve any radio amatuer very well.Remember It's not so difficult to call DX with 1500 watts (what amounts to a SW broadcast station)! But when you work another QRP station on the otherside of the world with less electricity than it takes to turn on one of you turn signal bulbs on your car THAT'S the true spirit and the art of Amatuer Radio communications. Thanks for reading these rantings.-Chris- KQ4YY..

W8OB on 2001-02-13
i have been using qrp for over 2 years now. at first i
was with the understanding i would never get out of my
backyard, was i wrong. if a station can hear me on 100w
they sure can hear me on 1 w. i have broken many dx pile ups with only 2w output power. my current qrp station consist of a elecraft k2 antennas are for 40 m a 2 el vertical array (soon to be a 4 sq if this snow ever melts) and a cushcraft a3 antenna at 32 feet. i also use a simple dipole for 40m/30m with excellant results. my country count on qrp is 125 only gripe is i wish some of the fellows would follow the band plans and keep the higher power away from the qrp calling final thing, building qrp rigs from scratch such as my homebrew 300mw tx and simple rx is very enjoyable and reminds me of the first cw rig i built 35 years ago as a novice nothing else seemed to work as well.

Anonymous on 2001-02-08
I think QRP is among the most fun a person can have on the radio. Anybody can do WAS with several hundred watts, but just try 80M WAS on voice (of course 800 ft of wire for your antenna helps) I did it and so far it is still among the most memorable events of my Ham "career"
John Clark, WØAVQ

KC5FUP on 2001-02-07
Well I cant wait to try it. Ive been inactive for a while but I gotta try qrp. If any one wants to add lincoln co. Okla. be listenin for KC5FUP ill be right with you.....73 & B C N U

N2CKH on 2001-02-07

Current rig is FT-817 with various antennae.

When I just do NOT want that rare one to get away and it is in line do go QRO with an FL-110 for 45-65 watts. But great things can be done with just 5 watts on 30-6 meters when propagation is good.

The lower in frequency you go the SSB and even CW start to require either more antenna or mor RF power. The answer then is psk31. I have done very well fixed/portable and even mobile of late with the FT-817.

However for mobile 15-6 meters is about it for I hear'em/work'em no pile up operation. I did break a big pileup for Swaziland on 10m phone two weeks ago.. I was stunned, took hearing my call again to jump start me.

73 de N2CKH

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