ready to give up on QRP

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by KI4QYI, Jul 24, 2019.

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  1. KI4QYI

    KI4QYI Ham Member QRZ Page

    None of my dipoles have SWR higher than 1.1 at their center tuned freqs so mismatch is not a problem. I am quite obsessive about getting SWR as low as humanly possible while understanding intellectually that tweaks below 2.0 will matter little if any. If it can be improved why not do it? I also understand the allure of seeing how little power wise and antenna wise you can use and still make contact. I love it but do I really need this frustration this late in life? Conversely, I really do love the challenge. Maybe I just needed to vent and share with others that share this mild form of madness :confused:. I am up to 4 dipoles now, 80,40, 30, 20, all up at 35-45 feet in a vee configuration. Plus my end fed 40/20 as needed. Now I suddenly feel the need to connect the K1 back up, go figure.

    Thanks so much for all of the comments, very helpful!

  2. KG7WGX

    KG7WGX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Back to the fishing analogy -

    I like to use a boat and fish for bass as much as I enjoy fly fishing. Depending on the lake, I can catch a half dozen or more in a few hours. I use a fish finder and GPS and have notes so I can find structure on a return trip.

    But I really enjoy catching trout on a fly which I tied, dropping it into a pool below a riffle which might have a resident waiting for something to float downstream. It is just so much simpler than bass fishing. I catch a lot less fish, but the challenge is greater.

    They are both fun. When I get tired of one, I plan a trip and do the other.
    WD4IGX likes this.
  3. KI4QYI

    KI4QYI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Fishing is always soothing, time for introspection and enjoying nature, always fun. QRP during poor propagation, not so much. Not enough bites to keep it interesting. Maybe I should add the sounds of a water feature over the band noise.
  4. KG7WGX

    KG7WGX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you can combine QRP and outdoor setups, that can provide the "enjoying nature" aspect. At least it does for me.

    You can find challenge in building and setting up portable antennas. Also, you can find locations which have an amazingly low noise level, compared to more urban locations.

    I think I'm too old for SOTA activations, but there is a significant interest in POTA.

    Also, I would use any type of scheduling tools available, to increase the odds of someone hearing you. I read a post not too long ago about folks just turning on their radio, seeing a flat waterfall and turning it off. I think the perception of "The bands are dead, Jim" is actually more damaging to successful QSO's than the poor propagation itself.
  5. MM3ENM

    MM3ENM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I tell myself that even if I don't make a contact, being outdoors does me good. I get contacts about 80% of the time using my KX3 and MP1 antenna. I don't bother myself with DX. For me a contact is a contact, and I'll take what I can get. If QRP really isn't working for you, I'd move up in power. Good luck.
    G4LJW, W1BV and WN1MB like this.
  6. KC7JNJ

    KC7JNJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    These dead bands wont last forever. Yesterdays sfi of 75 gave me a little hope. I heard IT9ZMX at 14.228. I could not make a contact with him. But I found it at least encouraging.
  7. VA3VF

    VA3VF Ham Member QRZ Page

    And that is perfectly fine, but not all QRP operators see it that way or operate outdoors even, if contacts don't 'roll in' it is frustrating for them.

    One thing that makes me shake my head is the advice to new hams to go QRP if finances are short. We all know that less than $100 dollars will get you on the air with QRP. Some of us also know that most that follow that advice will quickly see it was a mistake and 'upgrade', or leave the hobby altogether before experiencing its joys.

    QRP is more than low power, it's a state of mind.
    F8WBD likes this.
  8. WN1MB

    WN1MB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Unrealistic expectations are premeditated resentments.

    More often than not, the bands aren't dead; there's just scant activity.
    F8WBD and W5BIB like this.
  9. KI4QYI

    KI4QYI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't think QRP nowadays is frustrating, just a bad investment of my dwindling time resources. If QRP is a "state of mind" it is one I am having difficulty getting into but I like the analogy. I also use CW as a challenge to my aging mind, now that can be frustrating!
    WW2PT likes this.
  10. W9BRD

    W9BRD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I hear you. QRP on CW is extra tough nowadays, with more than a few hams drawn to the digital flavor of the month and the bands solar-minimum poor.

    That said, if I was committed to QRP = 5 W out and had to feed my antenna with 200 feet of RG-8X, I'd calculate the feedline loss on a given band, increase my transmitter power to bring my power back up to 5 W at the antenna feedpoint, and QRP away. No reason to handicap yourself with an attenuator.

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