Sunday, May 01, 2011

The QRP mindset

This post is a "back to basics" post, intended ideally for QRP beginners and those new to this blog.

Can anyone who is devoted exclusively to QRP have any fun and stand a real chance at Amateur Radio?

My first answer to that is to read Jim W1PID's latest - May Afternoon at the Pond.  Jim is living proof positive that a QRPer can have just as much success and fun as any other Ham Radio operator in the world.

If you're new to the QRP game, I have some words of advice.

1) Forget that you are running low power.  Don't handicap yourself.  If you take the "Woe is me, I'm just a lil' peanut whistle" attitude, you've already lost the game.  In reality, you're just another fish in the pond.  A smaller fish, maybe, but just another fish.

2) Don't advertise that you are a QRPer.  I never tell anyone that I am running QRP unless I am calling "CQ QRP" for a QRP Sprint or QRP QSO Party.  When I'm in a QSO, I have learned to mention that I am running a K2 and a doublet or vertical.  There have been many times in the past when I was engaged in a ragchew, where once I mentioned that I was running 5 Watts, that my RST went from 599 to 449 in a heartbeat and the QSO came to an abrupt an unfortunate end.  As far as I'm concerned, let them think I'm running a K2/100.

3) Don't work only the strong ones.  Many times, especially when working DX, I will also try to work weak signal stations.  For all I know, they may be running QRP also.  In fact, just this evening I worked S57JA on 30 Meters.  He was only 569; but in return, I received a 559, just a little bit weaker than he was to me.  We had a good QSO, even though it wasn't 599 both ways.

4) Don't fall for that line that QRPers have to resort to the receiving station "doing all the heavy lifting".  In many cases that is true.  But I personally have received 5 Watts signals that have blown the headphones off my ears.  Chances are that your signal is going to be loud to someone - somewhere.

5) Have fun!  You are an Amateur Radio operator, no different than anyone else, really.  If you take that mindset, you WILL have fun!  Power isn't everything!

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


  1. Hi Larry, a really true story. And a don't confine me only to QRP frequencies. I am all over the place. ;-) 73 Paul

  2. Anonymous11:01 AM

    you are on target. Antenna, antenna, antenna. I know that when I can get pack to my decent wire, I will be 5W again. 73 N2UGB