QRP radio operation tends to come with a variety of different difficulties that can continuously try your patience. Because of this, the most successful QRP operators tend to be the ones that have years of experienced and are both disciplined and patient when working with their QRP transceiver. The main difficulty that you will encounter as a QRP operator is how to overcome the hardships of using low power. With ham radio, lower power generally means a weaker signal and the weaker the signal the harder it is to transmit over long distances. Fortunately, experienced QRP operators have developed a variety of methods to help overcome a weak signal and in many ways it is this effort to get the strongest signal out of the least amount of power that embodies the principal of QRP operation. One of the main ways that QRP operators have been able to overcome a weak signal is to use larger and more efficient antennas for broadcasting. A well designed antenna can help magnify even the weakest of radio signals, helping the signal to travel farther without signal loss than it would be able to otherwise.
QRP operators also deal with a weak signal by picking the right conditions to operate in. Certain times of day or certain locations may not be conducive to transmit with your QRP radio so you may have to do some research and experimentation to figure out what are the best conditions for you to transmit in. In truth, QRP operators experiment with their sets quite a bit because every scenario is different and the only way to find the ideal settings for the transceiver is by trial and error. Another difficulty that may arise in relation to QRP operation is the difficulty of getting your equipment set up the way that you want it. If you have a large external antenna for your QRP transceiver you may have difficulty getting it set up in a suitable location or even more problematic, you may find that your antenna is causing your QRP signal to interfere with electronic devices around your home or even in your neighbor’s home. Since many QRP radios are incredibly small it can also be very difficult to build or conduct repairs on one of these little sets. QRP sets are very complicated and they require a vast knowledge of electronics and the principals behind radio transmission if you want to effectively work on them. For a QRP operator, the biggest advantage that you can have is knowledge about the things that you are working with. The better an operator knows his transceiver the more he or she can get out of it. This is why many QRP operators choose to build their own QRP sets because they can get to know them inside and out, they know how they were built and what their capabilities are. If you are experiencing difficulties while operating a QRP radio it may be worth your time to see about joining a QRP club so that you can get advice from people with more experience.