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Issue #7: For the Love of QRP

Discussion in 'Trials and Errors - Ham Life with an Amateur' started by W7DGJ, Jan 3, 2023.

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  1. AE7XG

    AE7XG Ham Member QRZ Page

    No not the same. You have streched A net across the stream . What ever is out there is caught.
    73 Dave
    W7DGJ likes this.
  2. AA0RI

    AA0RI Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    You're welcome to come any time, just let me know in advance so I can be here.
  3. W9BRD

    W9BRD Ham Member QRZ Page

    The idea that other operators somehow owe you a stronger signal so you don't have to work to copy them is preposterous. If a signal's strength is such that you think you can't copy it -- which condition, by the way, is just as likely to be the result of poor propagation as any particular power level being in use on the transmitting end, don't try. That's where the social contract between the sending and receiving ends of every potential ham-radio contact, such that any exists at all, begins and ends.
    N3AWS likes this.
  4. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't I move on and keep calling CQ looking for a signal I can copy without difficulty.

    That's amazing equipment you have that permits you to see the difference between propagation and power level. You should operate in a manner that suits you...I do. Thanks for your opinion.
  5. W9BRD

    W9BRD Ham Member QRZ Page

    You're not getting it: In avoiding weak signals and simultaneously (apparently) judging their owners for using power too low for your effortless copy, you don't know what power they're running to be able to judge. I assume nothing about what power others are running unless from context or their statement I know what their power level is.
  6. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    OH... I get it. You want to dictate how others should operate. Ain't going to happen. If low power was always as easy to copy as power at a higher level why would anyone ever run more than a few watts? You may want to consider trying to sell your "I know better than you how to operate" on another forum.

    ยง 97.313 Transmitter power standards.(in part)
    (a) An amateur station must use the minimum transmitter power necessary to carry out the desired communications.

    (b) No station may transmit with a transmitter power exceeding 1.5 kW PEP.

    "Desired communications" for me is running sufficient power that the other station has little or no trouble being able to copy me that includes running up to 1.5kW PEP if needed. I rarely if ever run that much power but would not hesitate in order to complete the contact. Your interpretation may vary.

  7. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for keeping conflict off this forum - much appreciated by all. Regards, Dave
    N3AWS likes this.
  8. US7IGN

    US7IGN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't like QRP. The work with low power requires good antennas. This is a necessary measure when you do not have a suitable power source. I don't like it when people suffer trying to hear your weak signal in the noise. QRP was good 50 years ago when the only source of noise in the city was the tram.
  9. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hello Wlad - thank you for commenting on the column. There's a particular skill and art to QRP operations. I'm happy that some nets and associated groups will ask for QRP to check in separately. I know that people will give them a break when they hear they are QRP. I admire them for doing the best they can with what is often a very tiny signal. By the way, I see you are from Ukraine, and I want to give you my sincere positive thoughts for your safety, your family, and your country. Regards, Dave W7DGJ
    N3AWS and US7IGN like this.
  10. WB9CYY

    WB9CYY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've been operating exclusively QRP CW for around a year. (The HW-8 puts out around 2 watts of RF with the battery that I'm using, and circumstances limit me to using simple dipoles.) It's not very productive for me to call CQ - most hams seem to tune past a weak domestic signal. However, I'm grateful that when I reply to somebody's CQ, the CQer will, more often than not, make an attempt to work with my signal, even if the person gives me an "RST 229" report. (By the way, the typical report is "559," indicating that "QRP" levels are ample for most casual CW communication if the distance falls within the "1000 miles per watt" range.)

    My goals are modest compared to what they probably would be if I was running 100W output.... But I'm also finding that my operating skills are probably a lot better than they would be if I was running the QRO power levels.

    When my dad went into an "old folks' home" I acquired two very good "100w" transceivers and an SB220 amplifier. They will be put into service if I operate as an SKCC "K3Y" station. But otherwise, that excellent collection of gear will remain in storage in the basement for the remainder of 2023. Frankly, the little HW-8 is more fun.
  11. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Great Post, Don. Thanks for reading as well. Your Dad's equipment, particularly the SB220, are likely in demand. It's possible to have and enjoy QRO and QRP at the same time, as just different facets of the same hobby -- Dave
  12. KC3RN

    KC3RN Ham Member QRZ Page

    For me, QRP operating is much more satisfying than running 100 watts (or more). However, I give a tip of the hat to the QRO ops that work a little harder to copy my little signal. I've been a ham for 30 years, and it's still a thrill when a DX station comes back to me, even if I get a 229 report.

    That having been said, I think QRP operation is more popular today than in times past. For example, look how fast the online retailers sold out of the FT-818. They were all sold out within a couple days of Yaesu's end of production announcement. When the sunspot cycle starts to decline QRP activity may become less common, but until then I'll continue to enjoy it.
    US7IGN and W7DGJ like this.
  13. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I agree Kevin - more popular today. I hope you saw my latest column on the Mountain Topper radio, Dave
  14. KU4GW/SK2023

    KU4GW/SK2023 Ham Member QRZ Page

    Until about 10 years ago I never operated QRP, but one night during the NAQCC (North American QRP CW Club) 2-hour sprint I decided I'd give it a try and worked only the last hour of the 2-hour sprint and much to my surprise I worked 23 stations in 17 states using 5 watts CW! After that I was sold on QRP! I still operate the most using between 50-100 watts, but during the QRP club's like NAQCC, Flying Pigs QRP International, and QRP-ARCI sprints I do QRP. Since that night I now have 2 QRP rigs, a Ten-Tec R4020 and a Hendricks PFR-3A that I use usually for portable operation. It really doesn't matter how much power you run if the bands aren't working because I talk to guys on 75 meter phone that run legal limit almost all of the time, but when the propagation isn't there they may as well be running 5 watts because I can barely copy them anyway. Things go so bad near the bottom of solar cycle 24 that we were using WebSDR receivers to hear one another and would transmit as usual. There were nights we couldn't hear one another from NC to GA or FL, but we could use a WebSDR in PA or one in AZ and hear each other well. I sure am glad cycle 25 has been working so well! I saw a prediction a few days ago saying cycle 25 will peak in 2025, but the way it's been recently I've been having an absolute blast on the 10 meter band. If everyone we communicated with were always easy to hear or contact there would be no challenge to amateur radio so QRP ops do make things more challenging and that's one of the most appealing things to me with the world's best hobby!

    Very 73 de Cliff, KU4GW
    US7IGN likes this.
  15. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Cliff you hit it on the head there. Yes, it's cycle related and such a joy when things are working as they are now. 10 Meters is a great example. Just a couple years ago 10M was as dead as 6M, and you could look there every day and not see a darn thing going on.

    Like you, I enjoy both normal operations on a barefoot transceiver, as well as QRP. But I also have a QRO sideband interest as well. That's the thing about this hobby isn't it. You have so much to choose from, so much to do and you can always find something new and of interest if you poke around. I appreciate you being here as a reader Cliff. Dave
    KU4GW/SK2023 likes this.

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