OH2FFY                    

'Why I like QRP'.


There is the saying - 'Life is too short for QRP'.
Well , I guess that is true , if you happen to be an old man with one foot in the grave.

But for the rest of us that still have a bit of PEP in our step , QRP is a bag load of fun.

For the Hams that perhaps are not familiar with the term , QRP means low power.
In CW mode QRP is considered to be 5W or less , and for SSB this is using less than 10W output power.

As Hams we are required to use the least amount of 'power necessary to maintain the desired communications'.
This power requirement is easily determined under local contact conditions , but the amount is open to interpretation with HF DX contacts.
Suffice it to say is that the vast majority of Hams are guilty of using power levels far beyond what is required for a contact , even though they may not be exceeding the maximum legal power levels for their class of license.


There are two famous sayings regarding power.

The first saying is - 'POWER CORRUPTS, AND ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY'.

In Ham radio,  power often breeds mental laziness.
Hams that have linears often use them when they are not required , or at levels beyond what is really required.
They seem to have forgotten the basic truth that if a DX propagation path is not present , all the power in the world isn't going to get the signal through.
For many , but not all , the ability to 'flick a switch' to improve TX performance takes away some of the requirement of having an efficient station.
When a Ham starts down the road of mental laziness he tends to become a rag chewer , or even worse still , a contester......


The second saying is 'KNOWLEDGE IS POWER'.

While a linear may give power , so does applied knowledge.
QRP operators cannot spare any of their power in losses.
Like a person in financial distress , QRP Hams must carefully manage their output power resource , and not squander it away with inefficiencies.
Setting up an effective QRP station requires a lot more attention to detail , learning , and dedication , a big contrast to Joe Simpleham that only has to wind up the power knob on a couple of big tubes to be heard.


But I still may hear some say - ''If I run QRP , no one will hear me !!''
Really ? .. NAHHHHHH.

A person that makes a comment like this clearly does not understand the relationship between power and their radios S-meter.
The semi-standard of S-meter calibration dictates that an increase of 1 S unit equals an increase of 6dB.

This may not sound important but it shows that S-meters are logarithmic in scale , and for those fixated with penis S-meter readings this is a huge problem as more and more power is required to move that S-meter needle further to the right.

The calculation is this-
dB=10*log(P2/P1)


For example....

Say you are located in the UK and are in a QSO with a VK Ham.
He is running 1 kilowatt and he is pushing 10 over nine to you , a real cracker of a signal to be sure.





You sign off with him and take up a QSO with the VK Hams next door neighbour , amazing ,,, he has the same type of antenna as the first Ham but is running only barefoot with 100W.
This Ham is showing S9 on your S-meter.




That QSO ends and incredibly you snag a copy with the third neighbour of the VK ham using the same antenna again but is running QRP at just 10W.
On your S meter this QRP Ham is showing a bit under S8 , and he is still an armchair copy.






Now , can you honestly say that QRP stations can't be heard......?

And that's the reason why I like QRP.
.




OH2FFY