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. W0IS

    W0IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Most of my HF operation is QRP, and there is a certain amount thrill to doing it with the low power. For example, I recently handed out Minnesota QSO's to Russian hams working on their Triple Play Award. Since my only digital rig is my FT-817, that's what I used. I told them after the QSO was over (so they didn't give up) that I was running 5 watts, and they were blown away. So it is kind of fun occasionally pushing the envelope and seeing what you can do with low power.

    But for me, the main reason I run QRP is so that I can use portable equipment and run it on battery power. I didn't buy the FT-817 because it was low powered. I bought it because it was small, and would run on small batteries.

    If you want the portability, then definitely get a QRP rig, because it's a lot of fun to be able to take a complete station with you. But if that's not a priority, then I would say get a rig with more power. You can always turn down the power if you want to give QRP a try.
  2. K4TTR

    K4TTR Ham Member QRZ Page

    This has been a great read, thanks all. I am a 'new to HF' ham, and I'm currently planning my first rig. I'm also learning CW. I understand all the viewpoints both sides. I'm planning a qrp homebrew setup, because of the challenge. I can always go down to the club's shack and run 100W+ on the beam, but I want to find out what I can do from my QTH.

    73, K4TTR
  3. KB9BVN

    KB9BVN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Pete...that's the spirit. I see you already own a Flying Pig and SOC number...you are well on your way to having a lot of fun with QRP. The Flying Pigs QRP Club International celebrates 10 years of being in August. I hope to see you at FDIM next May. You ought to look into QRP ARCI as well, they are the biggest QRP group I know of, in the world. The publish a very nice magazine called the QRP Quarterly as well.


    72 es OO
    Brian Murrey
  4. K4TTR

    K4TTR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks Brian, I'm looking forward to getting on the air soon! I'll check out the QRP ARCI today.

    73, K4TTR
  5. KF5KWO

    KF5KWO Premium Subscriber QRZ Page


    I think using a standard 100W will ensure you make plenty of contacts, which will help you learn proper operating practices, best operating times (day, night, time of year) -- which is another way of saying "propagation", practical experience with antennas and modes, etc. When you can learn all those without the added difficulty of QRP operation, I think you'll be much better prepared. Once prepared, taking the plunge into QRP operation will not be as difficult. You'll need to know the best antenna for your budget/location/operating preferences; you'll need to know when the best times of day/night/season/year are the best times; you'll need to really understand why CW will work better than SSB, but why PSK31 may be a viable alternative; etc...

    Good luck!
  6. N6XJP

    N6XJP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I appreciate the fact that your last message was in June... it is now August, but I just ran accross it. I think QRP is an outstanding idea for beginning hams. If all of your contacts are at 100+ watts, and you are transmitting at 100+ watts you have a distinct advantage of NOT having to improve your listening, transmit timing, antenna selection, band opening identification and so on. No.... QRP is a fantastic opportunity to really learn.

    de N6XJP Northern California
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