Operating

The QRP Watering Holes

If you're interested in working and talking with other QRPers, then it makes sense to try and hang out where they hang out.  Just like in Nature, the "watering holes" provide a place where like minded animals can meet and greet.

160 Meters ~ 1.810 MHz
80 Meters ~ 3.560 MHz
40 Meters ~ 7.040 and 7.030 MHz
30 Meters ~ 10.106 MHz
20 Meters ~ 14.060 MHz
17 Meters ~ 18.080 MHz
15 Meters ~ 21.060 MHz
12 Meters ~ 24.906 MHz
10 Meters ~ 28.060 MHz

This is not to say that QRPers confine themselves ONLY to these frequencies - nothing could be further from the truth.  But if you are looking for a place where the odds of meeting other QRPers are stacked in your favor, then the above frequencies are a good place to go hunting.  Also, keep in mind that a lot of homebrewed QRP gear is crystal controlled and you might very well find those rigs on the above frequencies as well.

Does QRP really work ??? 

A very fair question.  A lot of folks are skeptical and wonder, "Does QRP really work?  What is a puny 5 Watts going to do for me?"  If you've worked your entire Ham career at the 100 Watt level it is a very reasonable question to ask. Admittedly, back in the days when I was a Novice; and I was restricted to only 75 Watts, I wanted to be able break those confines at my pleasure, too.  I was a part time member of the school of thinking that. "The more Watts, the better".

But as you progress and mature and gain experience as a Ham, you begin to realize that it's not so much the Watts as it is what you do with the Watts.  Brute power isn't the end all and be all.  Operating skill, knowledge of propagation, patience and perseverance - these  are what get the QSOs and the DX in the log!

I've mentioned in several places that I've been licensed since 1978.  Since the very beginning, I have always been attracted to and have dabbled with operating with low power.  In fact, when I first joined QRP-ARCI in the late 70s, QRP was thought to be operating at levels of 100 Watts or less; and I still have my original QRP-ARCI certificate to prove it. But back in 2003, I decided to ditch QRO for good and have gone QRP solo since.  I have never regretted that decision and have had a ton of fun ever since.  In fact, I'd dare say that since I've gone totally QRP, I've had the most fun I've ever had as a Ham.

The Proof is in the Pudding

So let me put my wallet where my mouth is and tell you some of the things I have accomplished using only 5 Watts or less. And let me state here for the record, that I have an uncanny sense of timing.  Since going QRP only, we have had one of the most pronounced and prolonged solar minimums in recorded solar history!  So you must think me a masochist, no?  No. I have worked all 50 United States and have earned WAS with QRP and CW endorsements from the ARRL, as well as the All States award from QRP-ARCI.

I have worked All-Continents.  I have not filed for that award, though, as I am still waiting on a QSL to come from Asiatic Russia.  At this point it looks, like I may have to work Asia again.  I have worked 124 DXCC entities at this point and have earned the QRP DXCC award. The pins in the map below will give you an idea of the areas of the world that I have worked.

click on map to enlarge

I am not listing these achievements to brag or pat myself on the back and make me feel good about myself.  What I am trying to say, is that if I can do this using only 5 Watts and a G5RV and a Butternut vertical, then YOU can do the same, and more!  No, it won't get accomplished in a weekend - it took me several years.  But look at it this way ..... Cycle 24 is up and going and Ol' Sol is becoming more radio friendly again.  In just a little bit you will probably be able to achieve way more than I have in a shorter amount of time.  Go for it!

But seriously, QRP may or may not be your cup of tea, It is fun and it is a challenge. If for some reason you've become bored with radio; then give QRP a spin.  You just might find yourself having the same fun you had back in your Novice days.


As you can see from the chart below, the quest for QRP DXCC took me several years.  I like to work DX; but am not what you would call a "DXer".  I work it when I hear it; or by partaking in the bigger DX contests. I don't normally run the TelNet server with the DX announcements, looking for the latest, choicest, juiciest DX. In fact, if I run the TelNet server at all, it's usually to make sure that I copied the call correctly of some DX station or DXpedition who's sending at close to 40 WPM !!!


QRP DXCC Tally

Date Call Sign Country Band
2/7/04 V73GJ Kwajalein Atoll 15M
4/17/04 CU2IJ Azores 20M
7/20/04 VE2PID Canada 40M
1/16/05 PJ5NA St. Maarten 15M
1/22/05 KP2/KI7VR US Virgin Islands 15M
2/5/05 RV6YZ/6 European Russia 80M
2/5/05 LY3BW Lithuania 80M
2/14/05 C6ALK Bahamas 17M
2/19/05 PY2T Brazil 80M
2/19/05 VP5Y Turks - Caicos 20M
2/20/05 HA80IARU Hungary 40M
2/20/05 DL1IAO Germany 40M
2/20/05 OH7M Finland 40M
2/20/05 T99W Bosnia - Hercegovina 40M
2/20/05 YR7M Romania 40M
2/20/05 SH7UN Sweden 40M
2/20/05 IA7G Italy 40M
2/20/05 8P5A Barbados 10M
2/20/05 S52TA Slovenia 15M
2/20/05 G3BJ England 15M
2/20/05 YT6A Yugoslavia 15M
2/20/05 OL3ZA Czech Republic 15M
2/20/05 EA3KU Spain 15M
2/20/05 PY0FF Fernando de Noronha 15M
2/20/05 F5IN France 15M
2/20/05 V47Z St Kiits - Nevis Islands 15M
2/20/05 V31LZ Belize 15M
3/1/05 VP2V/DL7DF British Virgin Islands 17M
3/28/05 J75RZ Dominica 17M
3/28/05 CO8LY Cuba 20M
4/10/05 OM2VL Slovak Republic 30M
5/5/05 EO6GEO Ukraine 40M
5/5/05 EW3EW Belarus 40M
5/6/05 SP3EPK Poland 40M
5/6/05 P42E Aruba 40M
5/10/05 WP4IXO Puerto Rico 20M
5/27/05 TF3YH Iceland 20M
5/29/05 LZ9W Bulgaria 20M
7/26/05 HB9CVQ Switzerland 30M
8/28/05 UA9NA Asiatic Russia 20M
8/28/05 KH6J Hawaii 20M
8/31/05 TG9ADM Guatemala 20M
8/31/05 TI8/DL4AMO Costa Rica 20M
8/31/05 6Y5WJ Jamaica 17M
11/26/05 VP2E Anguilla 40M
2/19/06 ZS2E South Africa 20M
2/19/06 9A3B Croatia 20M
2/19/06 EA6UN Balearic Islands 20M
2/19/06 PI4TUE Netherlands 20M
2/19/06 VP9/W6PH Bermuda 20M
2/19/06 PJ2T Netherlands Antilles 20M
2/19/06 CT1GPQ Portugal 20M
2/27/06 HI3/OK2ZU Dominican Republic 40M
3/29/06 YV5DMM Venezuela 40M
6/19/06 J88DR St. Vincent 30M
8/13/06 LX7I Luxembourg 40M
8/13/06 RK2FWA Kaliningrad 20M
8/19/06 GM4XQJ Scotland 20M
11/25/06 HD2A Ecuador 20M
11/26/06 HC8N Galapagos Islands 20M
11/26/06 CX7BY Uruguay 20M
11/26/06 ZF1A Cayman Islands 40M
11/26/06 EA8W Canary Islands 40M
11/26/06 9Y4AA Trinidad - Tobago 40M
11/26/06 TO5X Martinique 40M
2/11/07 5Z4/9A3A Kenya 20M
3/27/07 HH4/K4QD Haiti 40M
3/30/07 TK5JO Corsica 40M
1/2/08 W3BBO United States 80M
1/6/08 YU7VX Serbia 40M
2/17/08 EI5E Ireland 40M
2/17/08 V26G Antigua - Barbuda 15M
2/17/08 CT9L Madeira Island 20M
2/17/08 KL7RA Alaska 20M
2/17/08 4U1UN United Nations HQ 20M
2/23/08 VP6DX Ducie Island 17M
2/24/08 Z32ID Macedonia 40M
2/24/08 8R1PW Guyana 20M
3/11/08 TX5C Clipperton Island 40M
3/26/08 5T5DC Mauritania 40M
3/29/08 6W1SJ Senegal 30M
4/1/08 4O/YU1YV Montenegro 40M
4/19/08 YN4SU Nicaragua 40M
4/25/08 FG5HM Guadeloupe Island 20M
7/20/08 YL3GFX Latvia 40M
11/30/08 XE1MM Mexico 40M
11/30/08 EZ3M Turkmenistan 40M
11/30/08 D4C Cape Verde Island 20M
2/22/09 K5D Desecheo Island 30M
5/15/09 OX3XR Greenland 20M
6/16/09 J48HW Greece 40M
8/9/09 OP4K Belgium 20M
9/6/09 FS/W6IZT St. Martin 40M
11/27/09 YS4/DF7OGO El Salvador 20M
11/27/09 HK4CZE Colombia 20M
11/29/09 CN3A Morocco 40M
11/29/09 OA4SS Peru 20M
11/29/09 LN9Z Norway 20M
11/29/09 OE9R Austria 40M
2/15/10 ES4NG Estonia 17M
2/20/10 CE1/K7CA Chile 15M
2/20/10 8P3A Grenada 15M
2/20/10 PJ4X Bonaire 15M
2/21/10 HQ9R Honduras 40M
3/14/10 MI0SRR North Ireland 17M
7/25/10 IS0R Sardinia 20M
2/19/11 VP2MMM Montserrat 10M
2/19/11 PJ2A Curacao 10M 
3/26/11 GD4RAG Isle of Man 17M
3/26/11OZ8SW Denmark17M
4/4/2011 V44KJ St. Kitts and Nevis 20M
4/16/2011 ER1LW Moldova 17M
10/4/2011 T32C Eastern Kirabati 17M
11/14/2011 YI9EO Iraq 10M
12/4/2011 PJ5/DL7VOG Saba and St. Eustatius 30M
1/28/2012 HK0NA Malpelo Island 17M
1/30/2012 4Z5AD Israel 15M
2/17/2012 PZ5RO Suriname 40M
2/19/2012 ZD8Z Ascension Island 15M
2/19/2012 FY5KE French Guiana 15M
7/30/2012 CY9M St. Paul Island 30M
8/5/2012 D3AA Angola 17M
10/20/2012 ZB2FK Gibraltar 30M
12/30/2012 JN4MMO Japan 17M