The world of QRP radio can be a confusing place, especially for amateurs that are just starting out. If you are new to QRP, or to ham radio in general, there are two things that you should do.; first, you need to either find someone that is familiar with QRP or you need to join a QRP club, Second, you should hit the internet and familiarize yourself with QRP as much as possible. The reason why you want to find someone familiar with QRP or join a QRP club is so that you have at least one person to bounce questions off of and help guide you through the complexities of QRP in general. Another recommendation for a novice QRP amateur is to start small and don’t take on too much at one. You may want to start by building a large and complex QRP transmitter that can broadcast over thousands of miles but for a beginner such a project will likely be much too complicated and the problems that you encounter can be rather disconcerting. One of the hardest things for an amateur radio operator to wrap their head around is the lingo that QRP operators use with one another. While this lingo is used in all of amateur radio and not just QRP it is still something that a QRP operator will have to learn in order to communicate effectively. The lingo used by ham radio operators tends to consist of a variation of shorthand and abbreviations as well as numbers that make for short but efficient communication. This lingo is especially necessary if you are communicating via Morse code because it takes time to translate the code into actual text.
As an amateur one of the things that you need to remember is that at least initially you won’t be as effective as other QRP operators that have been doing it for years. Many people, especially those that with previous high power ham radio experience tend to come into QRP with high expectations but even to those with amateur radio experience the world of QRP can be hard to conquer. If you are new to the world of QRP altogether you can consult a QRP guide or perhaps a friendly QRP message board on the internet for help. QRP operation is highly technical; there simply is no way around it. While it may be possible to QRP without learning how everything works it will be impossible for you to build upon your experience unless you know what you are working with. It’s not enough to sit down in front of a transmitter and start working away, you need to be able to know what you are looking at when you take the cover off of the transceiver and reveal all of the guts underneath. Basic QRP operation is simple, even a child can do it, but only the real experts know how to send their signal across the ocean on their homebrew QRP transmitter that uses less that 5 watts of power.