nor should they be!
As a QRPer, there have been many times when a QSO has gone very well until I mentioned my output power. Then all of a sudden, I become very difficult copy and the QSO comes to an abrupt halt as I have gone from 599 to 339 in a mere matter of seconds. I am sure that this is legit, sometimes, as we've all had QSOs abruptly close like that due to changing band conditions. But other times, I think it's psychological.
If you work stations that are only 599 and never weaker than that, you are going to miss a world of good contacts. I got on 40 Meters tonight and started calling CQ without much luck. I took a break for a bit and heard a less than optimal signal calling CQ. The station was K2HYD/1 in Maine.
As it turns out, Ray K2YHD and I have QSOed several times before; but mostly in QRP Sprints. Tonight we had a nice ragchew. Ray is up in Maine doing some work in a state park, helping the park Rangers. He was in his tent, using his KX1 and was sending out a 4 Watts signal out to a wire antenna up in the trees. Ray was 559 with some QSB at times; but between the K2's filters and the gray filter between the ears, I was able to get 99 & 44/100th's % of what Ray was sending. By the way, another "trick" I use is to make judicious use of the RIT knob to bring the CW pitch to a tone these tired ears can handle better. I lost a lot of high end hearing as a result of photographing concerts back in a younger lifetime and different line of work. Ear protection wasn't thought of back then like it is today.
But I digress.
If I hadn't bothered answering Ray because his signal wasn't blowing me out of the water, I would have missed out on a wonderful QSO. Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper for those gems, you know? And when you do, you will have found how worthwhile the effort was!
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!