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

    I run 10 watts out on my KX2, still not much luck. I guess I could go out on the patio and throw the end fed 40/20 up in the trees and try it that way though it is pretty hot here in Va right now. I think luck and choosing the right band/freq has more to do with QRP success right now than increasing ERP by a few watts. But I totally agree with your logic, thanks.
  2. W9BRD

    W9BRD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sleepy hams are one cause nowadays, especially at 80 and 40. 40 is the band that's "always open to somewhere," yet especially late at night you'd think there was no propagation because so many ops close down by 10 PM local or so. Yet enough CQs so your signal shows up at will reveal that your sig is sufficiently above the noise somewhere to make QSOs possible.
    W5BIB likes this.
  3. W9BRD

    W9BRD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I recommend hanging out near QRP calling freqs (, which you likely already know, but also try 7055, 7120 and 14050 (Straight Key Century Club [SKCC]), where ops working slower-speed code are also usually quite ready to dig deeper for weaker signals); and try the range 7100-7125 (emphasis on 7114 and 7120, especially on Monday nights when you'll hear ops calling "CQ NRN" [Novice Rig Night]), where the pace of ham CW life is intentionally slower and more than a few ops are using vintage transmitters and receivers in conjunction with vintage listening and stick-to-it-ive-ness skills).

    Especially on NRN Monday nights, if you mention in the Novice Rig Roundup board ( that you're a weak-signal station looking for contacts in the 7100-7125 range, you will at least get ops trying to dig you out because they know that's part of the fun.

    NRN Monday night is on right now!

    Last Monday night my line noise was bad, but even so I, running 25 W out from New Jersey (and four other ops), managed to work Steve, VE7SL, in British Columbia, who was running about 12 W out with a single-tube-crystal-oscillator transmitter a smidge above 7120.

    One more thing: There's no dishonor in running enough power to actually have fun if you're not having fun at the power you're running. For encouragement about this, I recommend reading one of ham radio's great short stories, the first-QSO classic simply titled "Jim" (

    And don't give up!

    Best regards,

    amateur radio W9BRD
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
    MM3ENM, KI4QYI and G4LJW like this.
  4. VK6APZ

    VK6APZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Tom don't give up on QRP, i just worked VE2DLJ 5 watts using his 12 volt battery on 80 mtrs SSB at 09:37 short path.

    KI4QYI likes this.
  5. KI4QYI

    KI4QYI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for your very informative post, Dave! I do hang around all of those freqs but just during daylight hours. My limited hours on the radio doubtlessly have a lot to do with my lack of contacts. My wife tolerates the wires in trees, coaxial cables across the back yard, and me not hearing her with the headphones on. Not pushing my luck even after 50 years of marriage by taking away important evening together time.
    F8WBD likes this.
  6. KI4QYI

    KI4QYI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow, just wow! Thanks for reporting! Tom
  7. KD8ZM

    KD8ZM Ham Member QRZ Page

    This summer, most of the time during the late morning/early afternoon, calling CQ on 40m (7.030 to 7.035) and often on 30m (10.110 to 10.115) gets a response fairly quickly, with 5 watts. I wonder if you might be calling the wrong time of day?
    Is the RBN picking you up? If it isn't, there might be something wrong with your transmission line or antenna. That's a good place to start checking.
    KI4QYI likes this.
  8. KF9VV

    KF9VV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Reverse Beacon Network is powerful for ensuring you are getting out. I tend to go back and look at for how my CQ calls are going. Plus, it is a dynamite tool to find where folks are calling CQ. I have put a lot of contacts into my log by watching RBN spots and then hunting them down.

    F8WBD and KI4QYI like this.
  9. KF9VV

    KF9VV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    One more thing.

    I came back to the hobby in the doldrums of this cycle two years ago. I am a CW only guy, so it has not been horrible, but also not easy. I run QRP from an RV when we travel, and also in some contests when I feel like it. There are days it does not work, and others that are big fun.

    My antennas range from a ladder line fed 110' doublet up in the hardwoods at home to a short vertical on the RV. Both are what they are.

    The thing that makes all the difference for me is timing. Picking the right band at the time. Hitting a guy at the right time after a QSO wraps up. Working during a contest, and then when the wolves are hungry. Stuff like that.

    But then again, at home, I run 100W a lot more than QRP. It is fun to be able to work stations first call.

    The QRP time has sharpened me as an operator. It is unforgiving.

    But, I get the frustration point. Holding a nice rag chew with too many ops means putting a 599 sig into them. That is a darn good day at 5 or 10 Watts.

    KI4QYI and MM3ENM like this.
  10. KI4QYI

    KI4QYI Ham Member QRZ Page

    RBN has not picked me up yet on 40,30, or 17m with 10W out into resonate dipoles. But the bands have surely been terrible. I will keep trying.

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