Monday, January 22, 2007

QRP as a mindset

Everyday, I read John Shannon's (K3WWP) "diary" or blog with intetrest. I noticed that in the entry for January 21st, he writes about corresponding with a Ham who seems to have no luck whatsoever with QRP.

I always kind of marvel at that, now. I can understand it though, because when I was first getting into QRP I also found it hard to wean off the dependency of 100 Watts. But as you make more and more QRP QSOs, you realize that it's not so much the Watts; but what it is that you do with the Watts you have.

While 5 Watts to a bedspring might cut it during a sunspot maximum, it's definitely not going to during a sunspot minimum. A decent antenna makes life easier. It doesn't have to be a monoband Yagi at 100 feet! Regular ol' vanilla wire antennas do a great job. Even attic antennas for those who are covenant restricted will do a decent job with a bit more patience.

But I think one of the major factors is that QRP is a mindset. If you have it in your brain that you will make QSOs, you will! One should not try QRP expecting to fail. If you think you're going to fail; then you will get easily frustrated and you most undoubtedly will.

The most successful QRPers are the ones who know their equipment inside and out. They know how to use it to its full advantage. They understand propagation (even if it's only the basics) and they use that knowledge to their advantage. They have patience and skill; but most of all they know that 5 Watts is not a serious handicap or limit and they operate that way. And boy, do they have the QSO tallies and contest awards and operating awards to show for it!

QRP is not for everybody, especially those who are totally dependent on instant gratification. But if you put your mind to it; I think you'll be quite surprised with the results you get.

73 de Larry W2LJ

1 comment:

Ned, W8VFM said...

Larry: Right on! QRP IS!