Why is QRP not for new hams?

Discussion in 'Becoming a Ham - Q&A' started by KI6ZRE, Jun 12, 2009.

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  1. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you want to break pileups easily, you need power and a beam. That's just the way it is.

    Actually the rule is An amateur station must use the minimum transmitter power necessary to carry out the desired communications, not to make the contact.

    If the "desired communication" is to nail a DX station in as few tries as possible, then maybe 800 watts IS the least amount of power to do that.
  2. K0CMH

    K0CMH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Least amount of power needed for a contact = all knobs full clockwise. :D

    If that doesn't make the contact, get a bigger amplifier and all knobs full clockwise.:D:D
  3. KB2FCV

    KB2FCV Ham Member QRZ Page

    You need knobs that go to 11 :D

  4. KB9BVN

    KB9BVN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello KI6ZRER...I would urge you to get into QRP as a new ham. It's a lot of fun but need to remember a few things.

    QRP CW works a LOT better than QRP SSB

    QRP Radios are usually sold in kit form and you just can't have any more fun with your clothes on than building a little kit rig, hooking it to a homebrew dipole, firing it up and having a QSO. The happy dance lasts for days.

    You can get started in QRP CW very inexpensively, or expensively...you decide.

    Working QRP CW teaches you some very good operating skills, do to necessity.

    Personally I got started in QRP in 1998, my first kit rig was a Norcal 40A, which I still use almost every week, pumping out about 1 watt. I earned WAS with it in 1999...of course we had sunspots back then. Built a few more monoband rigs from kits and from articles in mags, and eventually coughed up the cash for a 4 band Elecraft K1. Currently I have a Elecraft K2, a Elecraft KX-1, the Norcal 40A, a couple of Rockmites, a couple different SWL + rigs, and a handful of little transmitters and receivers I built.

    I say do it, it's rewarding and gobs of fun.
  5. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The HF amp I included the link for is $124. You can get a nice 35 watt linear amp for 2 meters for about the same price. Yes, THP is expensive, but some people really like their gear.

    What I've read about Foundation licensees in Britain is that many of them are using NVIS techniques. With low dipole in their gardens, their 5 watts lets them easily work other similarly equipped QRP stations all over Britain on 40 or 80 meters. There's certainly no reason the same couldn't be done here. A low dipole on 40 should make lots of regional contacts in the daytime with 5 watts. I suspect 60 meters would also be a great place for it, since the power limit for everybody is 50 watts. 60 might even be decent day or night.

    As we see more sunspots, 5 watts will do a lot more for you in the daytime on the higher bands.
  6. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    It is!
  7. K9ZMD

    K9ZMD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You may be right if you are referring to SSB stations. CW is another matter. Check this link to the last SKCC Week End Sprint and you will see lots of QRP participation, even though most participants were in the 100 watt category. Most noteworthy, though, is that very few stations ran more than 100 watts.

    I often operate at the 5 watt level and get a real kick out of it, especially when I am making lots of contacts with a home brew antenna. However, I'll buck the trend of opinion in this thread by flatly stating I did not become a skilled operator by operating at QRP levels. It is very very hard to become skilled when you are not making any contacts at all due to poor skills. Instead, I learned to operate effectively at higher power levels (75 - 100 watts), then applied & fine tuned those skills to become an effective QRP operator. I'd wager that most of the effective QRP operators followed that same path to QRP pleasure.

    Gary, K9ZMD/6
  8. K3STX

    K3STX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sorry BVN, that is bad advice. I too operate QRP, but I did not get into it until I was almost 30 years on the air at 100 watts. Even with my decent antennas and operating skill, I find it frustrating sometimes.

    New Hams should be encouraged to take the path that will give them the maximal ENJOYMENT of making contacts, either locally or around the world. QRP can do it, and I do it as a new challenge for my DXCC totals on QRP (I'm stuck at 275 at 100 watts, usually only get new ones when DXpeditions arise). But if it was my entry into the hobby, I might have been turned off by the lack of being heard/not knowing when/why I was not being heard, etc..

    My 2 cents, get a 100 watt rig and turn down the power (as I do).

  9. yigidv

    yigidv QRZ Member

    Hey all,

    I first came to this page before I passed my Tech test..
    I read, took practice test, and am learning. I passed my test the 4th of July this year. This site helped me do that. I hope to stick around and learn much more.

  10. VE3PP

    VE3PP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I worked a lot of QRP when I was first on HF. But that was in the mid 90's when the bands were in better shape.

    It always amazed me at how far one could communicate with 5 watts on SSB. Even on 75 and 40 meters when conditions were right then great distant contacts could be had.

    The way the bands are right now, it would be frustrating to say the least to try QRP if you are a new ham. Unless you have a high tower, big beams and very low loss feedline.

    Best to buy a 100 watt rig and if you want to try QRP all you to is turn down the power to 5 watts. If you can not contact someone you can always go back to 100 watts.

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