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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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K9TH on 2001-02-03
My experience with QRP has lead me decide never to work it as an operator. I have responded to several "QRP" calls on CW and had some interesting QSO's. However, the only one having trouble reading the signal is me.....the QRP rig never has trouble reading me. Why should I strain and filter and put on my headphones just so the person on the other end can say they are working QRP? When he works a full-power station like mine he never has a problem hearing me.

Maybe I am a little narrow-minded, but it causes him no problems and me a lot of them. And a lot of times when I say that I am having great difficulty hearing the other station, he turns his power up to 100 watts and we carry on a normal QSO.

It's not for me.

K2QO on 2001-02-02
I have been 99% QRP since first being licensed in 1993. It is really great to be able to take a small rig and battery anywhere and make QSO's. QRP field contests, and there are many of them, are a blast to work while running <5W.

Right now, I have about 120 countries worked QRP and about 70 of those were done at less than 1W. While my main rig is a TenTec Omni 6+, I see little reason to turn up the power except to have armchair copy DX ragchews.

So if you want to have SERIOUS fun, buy a nice little kit rig (K1,SW40+, NC20, SST, Sierra, etc, etc) and get on the air and go for it. You WILL be hooked. I was right from the start.

FYI, last week I worked 9A, F, DL, G, HP,GW, UA and LU all with about 3 watts on 30 and 40 meters. Also had a nice ragchew with a guy in GA who was running a new DSW40. We were both using < 1.5 W and copy was FB!

72, Mark K2QO

AC0X on 2001-02-02
Check this page out.. some QRP records

A lot of this stuff is in MICROWATTS. Amazing.

VK3YE on 2001-02-02
Lowest power and furthest distance contacts?

* JA to VK6 with 500mW, homebrew transmitter and unmatched antenna (on 50 MHz)
* 2 watts VK - W 7 MHz CW and SSB
See for more

It should be emphasised that these contacts are only occasionally possible. 2w is quite workable for
DX with wire antennas, on 20 metres provided one is near water. 40 metres is near useless as a QRP DX band (DX = over 3000km) unless your antennas are exceptional or conditions are favourable. 10 and 15 can be good, but erratic. 17m and 20m are probably the best bands for reliable QRP DX.

K3YD on 2001-02-02
Check out It's the story of one of the best Field Days I've ever enjoyed. W3TB & I won the 1C category that year operating Sailboat mobile QRP from anchorage in RI. The other GREAT one was with K4MU (Williamsburg ARC). That, too, was QRP, but land based.

AC0X on 2001-02-02
My QRP experience is a bit un-tradional, I suppose, because it doesn't involve a home built station, and it involves using a log periodic beam at 16 meters instead of a simple dipole. I got into QRP after putting my first tower up. For almost 20 years I had done all my DXing with wires, verticals, and low mini-beams running barefoot (100 watts) power. Over the years I had worked well over 300 countries that way. Once I put the beam up, I worked a number of new countries (those who were over the North Pole and were inaudible before or ones who were always found in pile ups too large for me before), but I found day to day DXing (calling an interesting an unusual station you happened to hear) had become "too easy", and I felt I was becoming one of the "DX Hogs" I had hated before. So I decided to turn the power down. All the way down to one watt. Since September, I've worked 135 countries that way. I've worked DXpeditions, but my best distance DX is Reunion Island for about 10,500 miles on one watt. Recently, I've turned the power down even further, to about the 200mW to 300mW range. Here things are REALLY tough, but I have managed to get a signal report from a Yugoslavian station. We'll see how that goes.

KK9H on 2001-02-02
I am new to QRP having built a Small Wonder DSW-40 last summer. Happily it worked from its first power-up. In the 6 months I have used it I have confirmed 32 of 50 states and am working on earning WAS by the end of this year. I have enjoyed my QRP experience and expect to enjoy this aspect of our hobby for many years to come.

WB4DX on 2001-02-02
QRP for me is like being in the Delta quadrqant and calling for help!
It hasn't been a good experience, though I am considering PSK, sounds like it will save ham radio!

W3HF on 2001-02-02
I've been running PSK31 QRP on 20m for the past two months, using a Small Wonders Lab PSK-20 and an indoor dipole. The rig peaks at about 3 W, and I have all of about 3-4 kHz tuning range since the radio is crystal-controlled. Stats so far are 41 states and 40 DXCC countries in the log, including WAC. Best range? A ZL3 9000 miles away, for 3000 miles/watt.

Still need to get AK and HI, though ....

KC4TXR on 2001-02-02
I've done all my operating QRP since I was licensed 10 years ago. I have thousands and thousands of contacts world wide. All with a good ol' dipole. I you can hear 'em generally you can work 'em. The first five years were with 1W 20 meters in the bad part of the sunspot cycle. Best suggestion I can make... don't tell them you're QRP. I've only had one jerk tell me he doesn't work QRP stations because it took just too much effort for him. We qso'd for about 20 minutes will he had to painstakingly explain all this to me and why QRP was NFG in his mind. He certainly copied me well enough to rebutt everything I sent and never asked for a repeat.

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