For many ham radio operators the choice between QRP and regular radio transceivers is really no choice at all. QRP operation is much more challenging, and rewarding, than simply operating a regular ham radio, which almost anyone can do. If you are looking to get into the world of ham radio you may eventually find that the challenging nature of QRP to be much more fun and enjoyable than operating a regular ham radio. There is also a feeling of superiority that many QRP operators get from knowing that they can do what most other ham radio operators try to avoid doing on a daily basis. QRP is a hobby, nothing more and nothing less, and before you pick it as your new hobby you should carefully consider what you want to get out of it.
QRP can be fun and rewarding but it can also be frustrating and complicated and while being frustrated isn’t exactly what you want to get out of a hobby most people feel that being challenged in such a way is well worth the frustration. Most of the people that make the decision to start using QRP are people that already have a background in amateur radio and are looking for a more complex and challenging hobby. It is very rare that you will find someone that went directly to QRP without starting with high power amateur radio first because high powered radio is sort of the first stepping stone to QRP, it is where people learn the lingo and figure out how to operate a radio on their own. Perhaps the most influential reason why people choose to operate QRP is because it allows them to build their own kits, make their own rigs, and experiment with all aspects of the transceiver. The lure of working with their hands is a major part of the hobby itself. While many QRP operators are active on the air waves many more spend their time toying around with various homebrew rigs, trying to find new and exciting ways to design an energy efficient QRP transceiver.
QRP operators also love it when they make a QSO and the user operator on the end refuses to believe that you are operating with such low power. The expression of “wow, I can’t believe you are operating at less than five watts” is a personal favorite for many QRPers. In the end, whether or not a radio operator decides to make the move to QRP is up to them, it’s a personal choice. Some people just don’t feel like playing around with a low powered signal when there is so much technology out there that is able to send high powered signals across the world. If you do not like working with your hands or could do without a greater understanding of electric currents, radio transmission and electronics in general then QRP is likely not for you. Some people are just more content with their full powered ham radios and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
QRP search terms:
- QRP Expressions