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 151 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 wire antenna 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 still up and going and Ol' Sol is still radio friendly.  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 !!!


10/29/2013 OH0H Aland Island 12M CW
2/17/2008 KL7RA Alaska 20M CW
5/23/2013 7X4AN Algeria 15M CW
8/5/2012 D3AA Angola 17M CW
11/26/2005 VP2E Anguilla 40M CW
1/17/2015 RI1ANT Antarctica 20M CW
2/17/2008 V26G Antigua - Barbuda 15M CW
5/6/2005 P42E Aruba 40M CW
2/19/2012 ZD8Z Ascension Island 15M CW
8/28/2005 UA9NA Asiatic Russia 20M CW
3/26/2014 TX6G Austral Islands 10M  CW
1/1/2014 VK2DX Australia 12M CW
11/29/2009 OE9R Austria 40M CW
4/17/2004 CU2IJ Azores 20M CW
2/14/2005 C6ALK Bahamas 17M CW
2/19/2006 EA6UN Balearic Islands 20M CW
2/20/2005 8P5A Barbados 10M CW
5/5/2005 EW3EW Belarus 40M CW
8/9/2009 OP4K Belgium 20M CW
2/20/2005 V31LZ Belize 15M CW
2/19/2006 VP9/W6PH Bermuda 20M CW
1/17/2015 CP4BT Bolivia 30M CW
2/20/2010 PJ4X Bonaire 15M CW
2/20/2005 T99W Bosnia - Hercegovina 40M CW
2/19/2005 PY2T Brazil 80M CW
3/1/2005 VP2V/DL7DF British Virgin Islands 17M CW
5/29/2005 LZ9W Bulgaria 20M CW
7/20/2004 VE2PID Canada 40M CW
11/26/2006 EA8W Canary Islands 40M CW
11/30/2008 D4C Cape Verde Island 20M CW
11/26/2006 ZF1A Cayman Islands 40M CW
5/19/2013 VQ975FOC/MM Chagos Island 17M CW
2/20/2010 CE1/K7CA Chile 15M CW
3/11/2008 TX5C Clipperton Island 40M CW
11/27/2009 HK4CZE Colombia 20M CW
3/30/2007 TK5JO Corsica 40M CW
8/31/2005 TI8/DL4AMO Costa Rica 20M CW
2/19/2006 9A3B Croatia 20M CW
3/28/2005 CO8LY Cuba 20M CW
2/19/2011 PJ2A Curacao 10M   CW
2/20/2005 OL3ZA Czech Republic 15M CW
3/26/2011 OZ8SW Denmark 17M CW
2/22/2009 K5D Desecheo Island 30M CW
2/16/2013 SX5KL Dodecanese 20M CW
3/28/2005 J75RZ Dominica 17M CW
2/27/2006 HI3/OK2ZU Dominican Republic 40M CW
2/23/2008 VP6DX Ducie Island 17M CW
10/4/2011 T32C Eastern Kirabati 17M CW
11/25/2006 HD2A Ecuador 20M CW
5/7/2013 SU9AF Egypt 17M  CW
11/27/2009 YS4/DF7OGO El Salvador 20M CW
2/20/2005 G3BJ England 15M CW
2/15/2010 ES4NG Estonia 17M CW
2/5/2005 RV6YZ/6 European Russia 80M CW
2/20/2005 PY0FF Fernando de Noronha 15M CW
2/20/2005 OH7M Finland 40M CW
2/20/2005 F5IN France 15M CW
5/12/2013 RI1FJ Franz Josef Land 15M CW
2/19/2012 FY5KE French Guiana 15M CW
11/26/2006 HC8N Galapagos Islands 20M CW
2/20/2005 DL1IAO Germany 40M CW
10/20/2012 ZB2FK Gibraltar 30M CW
6/16/2009 J48HW Greece 40M CW
5/15/2009 OX3XR Greenland 20M CW
2/20/2010 8P3A Grenada 15M CW
4/25/2008 FG5HM Guadeloupe Island 20M CW
8/31/2005 TG9ADM Guatemala 20M CW
7/8/2013 MU0PCB Guernsey 20M CW
2/24/2008 8R1PW Guyana 20M CW
3/27/2007 HH4/K4QD Haiti 40M CW
8/28/2005 KH6J Hawaii 20M CW
2/21/2010 HQ9R Honduras 40M CW
2/20/2005 HA80IARU Hungary 40M CW
5/27/2005 TF3YH Iceland 20M CW
11/14/2011 YI9EO Iraq 10M CW
2/17/2008 EI5E Ireland 40M CW
3/26/2011 GD4RAG Isle of Man 17M  CW
1/30/2012 4Z5AD Israel 15M CW
2/20/2005 IA7G Italy 40M CW
8/31/2005 6Y5WJ Jamaica 17M CW
12/30/2012 JN4MMO Japan 17M CW
10/14/2013 MJ0ASP Jersey 15M CW
8/13/2006 RK2FWA Kaliningrad 20M CW
5/12/2013 UN3M Kazakhstan 15M CW
2/11/2007 5Z4/9A3A Kenya 20M CW
2/7/2004 V73GJ Kwajalein Atoll 15M CW
7/20/2008 YL3GFX Latvia 40M CW
4/23/2013 HB0/ON4WRC Liechtenstein 30M CW
2/5/2005 LY3BW Lithuania 80M CW
8/13/2006 LX7I Luxembourg 40M CW
2/24/2008 Z32ID Macedonia 40M CW
2/17/2008 CT9L Madeira Island 20M CW
1/28/2012 HK0NA Malpelo Island 17M CW
2/9/2013 OJ0H/MM Market Reef 30M CW
11/26/2006 TO5X Martinique 40M CW
3/26/2008 5T5DC Mauritania 40M CW
11/30/2008 XE1MM Mexico 40M CW
4/16/2011 ER1LW Moldova 17M CW
4/30/2014 JT1AA/3 Mongolia 15M CW
4/1/2008 4O/YU1YV Montenegro 40M CW
2/19/2011 VP2MMM Montserrat 10M  CW
11/29/2009 CN3A Morocco 40M CW
2/8/2015 K1N Navassa Island 20M CW
2/19/2006 PI4TUE Netherlands 20M CW
2/19/2006 PJ2T Netherlands Antilles 20M CW
4/5/2013 ZL1ALZ New Zealand 10M  CW
4/19/2008 YN4SU Nicaragua 40M CW
3/14/2010 MI0SRR North Ireland 17M CW
11/29/2009 LN9Z Norway 20M CW
5/8/2013 A45XR Oman 20M CW
5/21/2013 HP1/IQ6CC Panama 17M  CW
1/18/2014 ZP6CW Paraguay 12M CW
11/29/2009 OA4SS Peru 20M CW
5/6/2005 SP3EPK Poland 40M CW
2/19/2006 CT1GPQ Portugal 20M CW
5/10/2005 WP4IXO Puerto Rico 20M CW
4/13/2013 A71CM Qatar 20M CW
2/20/2005 YR7M Romania 40M CW
12/4/2011 PJ5/DL7VOG Saba and St. Eustatius 30M CW
11/9/2013 5J0R San Andres Island 10M  CW
7/25/2010 IS0R Sardinia 20M CW
8/19/2006 GM4XQJ Scotland 20M CW
3/29/2008 6W1SJ Senegal 30M CW
1/6/2008 YU7VX Serbia 40M CW
1/19/2014 9L1A Sierra Leone 30M CW
4/10/2005 OM2VL Slovak Republic 30M CW
2/20/2005 S52TA Slovenia 15M CW
2/19/2006 ZS2E South Africa 20M CW
2/20/2005 EA3KU Spain 15M CW
6/4/2013 FJ/K5WE St. Barthelemy 17M CW
4/4/2011 V44KJ St. Kitts and Nevis 20M CW
4/14/2013 J6/N7QT St. Lucia 30M CW
1/16/2005 PJ5NA St. Maarten 15M CW
9/6/2009 FS/W6IZT St. Martin 40M CW
7/30/2012 CY9M St. Paul Island 30M CW
7/22/2014 FP/OE5OHO St. Pierre & Miquelon 30M CW
6/19/2006 J88DR St. Vincent 30M CW
2/17/2012 PZ5RO Suriname 40M CW
8/12/2013 JW/LY2KW Svalbard 17M  CW
2/20/2005 SH7UN Sweden 40M CW
7/26/2005 HB9CVQ Switzerland 30M CW
11/26/2006 9Y4AA Trinidad - Tobago 40M CW
11/30/2008 EZ3M Turkmenistan 40M CW
2/19/2005 VP5Y Turks - Caicos 20M CW
5/5/2005 EO6GEO Ukraine 40M CW
2/17/2008 4U1UN United Nations HQ 20M CW
1/2/2008 W3BBO United States 80M CW
11/26/2006 CX7BY Uruguay 20M CW
1/22/2005 KP2/KI7VR US Virgin Islands 15M CW
3/29/2006 YV5DMM Venezuela 40M CW
5/17/2013 GC4FOC/P Wales 20M CW
2/20/2005 YT6A Yugoslavia 15M CW