Monday, July 06, 2015

Conditions sucked yesterday

Apologies for my bluntness, but it is what it is.

After completing a bunch of yard work, I got set up for the QRP-ARCI Summer Homebrew Sprint. All I heard was a bunch of nothing.  I ended up working K4BAI and N4BP and that was it. Discouraged, and thinking that it might be my portable antennas (which performed just fine for Field Day last weekend), I left the park early and came home. The HF9V and the W3EDP antennas connected to the shack KX3 weren't hearing any more or any better, so I guess it was just a bad propagation day.

So this morning, I noticed a post from another Ham in the Facebook Field Radio group. He didn't have any luck either in his own personal portable ops trip yesterday. He was wondering whether it might be his antennas or a case of an unacceptable SWR ........

So of course, someone had to pipe up with "Try a 100 Watt radio next time. Life is too short for QRP."

That just burns my biscuits. So I fired back with, "Propagation sucked yesterday, and can we do without the "Life's too short for QRP" line? Not only is it untrue, but it's really overused."

A bit later, I got a pang of conscience, feeling that I might have been a bit harsh with that line, so I added, "I've got nothing against QRO (use it myself sometimes). I have been at this Ham Radio thing since 1978 and have been 99 and 44/100ths % QRP since 2003. I'm not trying to make it a "religion" or force anyone into it, but I still get amazed and shake my head sometimes as what 5 Watts will accomplish. But still ...... whatever peels your potato. If you like QRO, fine - QRP, fine - CW, fine - SSB, fine - digital, fine - there's room for all of us. The more the merrier."

Really, there's no reason to ever demean or diminish what someone likes about Amateur Radio. Even if for the life of you, you can't understand why someone would like to spend hours chasing after some little island in the middle of nowhere, or why someone chases signals that you can't even hear with your own ears, or why someone just won't give up on an old, antiquated form of transmission that was invented over 100 years ago and has been dumped by just about everyone else in the world, or why some people seem to get together for hours just to kibbitz about old times or enumerate their aches and pains, or even why someone would "waste" their entire weekend working a contest while simultaneously "clogging up the bands".

If it's what you like, then that's all that's important - and don't let anyone tell you different.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!


  1. That's pretty funny Larry. Those are the same two stations I worked, plus N4KGL...and then I called it a day as well.

  2. Anonymous5:37 PM

    Hello Larry,
    I joined QRP-ARCI recently ( not yet in the data-base ).
    When I realized that there was a homebrew sprint that said sunday,
    I fighted hard to smuggle a homemade 20m TRX and a 6m collapsable fiber pole into our luggage for an extended weekend in Munich about
    500km south from here.
    Somehow got a CFHW-vertical set up on the small balcony of our hotel-room and listened/called for almost two hours - nothing, nada, niente - not only that I didn't hear any U.S. stations at all, worse even I could not even hear others working any members from anywhere.
    Ok I thought to myself, just try to make any QSO and make profit of the numerous bonus points ( I was /portable with a homemade and battery powered transceiver at 2W plus a temporary antenna...)
    Even that didn't work - heard two stations from Portugal, but the one
    I called in my desparation didn't get my call-sign correct even after massive QRS and a dozen repeats.[ No, it's not about my fist - later I heard other OPs giving up much faster than I did :-)].
    back home I found several RBN hits from my CQs, including the U.S. and
    Such is shortwave, on one day you can cross the pond with few milliwatts, the other day several watts won't work - guess, that is we love it for.

  3. Well said Larry. If it has to do with radio, I love it. QRP, QRO, mountain portable, a contest station, 6m or 160m. To each his own, just be courteous to others.


    Mike AD5A