I wouldn't say I feel a lot like the Grinch at the end of the movie (where his heart grows 3 sizes in the matter of 30 seconds... which is probably a pretty painful experience, even if you aren't the most belligerent asshole in all of Whoville), but I feel a change going on.

When I started back into amateur radio a few years ago, I already had a lot of respect for the QRP guys because they did more with less.  However, I had little interest in going down to low power.  I felt as if I should stick to my barefoot 100W, and I've been contemplating getting (or more likely building) a 250W amp.  Not really QRO, but more QRO than QRP.

In the past many months, I have been making progress learning CW.  I also keep seeing things out of several twitter friends and blog posts where they're out having fun doing things like QRP Foxhunts and other QRP-only contests.  Heck, even just some of these people getting out to a park or something and operating for a few hours looks like fun (and some of this stuff I could do on my lunchbreak).  And if the past 2 years in amateur radio have taught me anything about myself, it is that my favorite operating mode is CONTESTING!  I don't care about winning, but I really enjoy the rapid-fire exchanges the battle against QRM, QRN, and my knowledge of how to use my equipment.

I will say that it helps the QRP cause when I see twitter updates along the lines of "I really had fun in the QRP Foxhunt last night" and I see others blogging about the fun of doing some of the sprints, or even just people sharing pictures of operating in remote locations.

So I've decided that my next rig will be a QRP rig.  It isn't going to be soon - I don't have the money to spend on it and I'm still learning CW.  But it isn't going to be in 10 years, either, since I very well could just build me one (and I probably will since I'm just about broke).  I'll probably become a member of some of the QRP groups out there sometime.  I'm a new member of NAQCC (#6570) and SKCC (#10489).

I'm not getting rid of my '706, though.  I will still maintain the capability to run some power for various reasons, and I may go through with building that amp one day.  But my priorities are set, they're really set on fun and joining the friends I've made via twitter on the air.  Mostly having fun.


Category: Operating
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About the Author

Andrew is the owner of this blog and enjoys computer programming, building things, and photography. He's a pretty busy guy, which explains why updates to this blog are so infrequent.

2 Responses to What The Hell is Happening To Me? I'm going QRP???

  1. imabug says:

    dial down the power on the 706 and do QRP SSB while you're learning code. I made an accidental QRP SSB contact to somewhere in the midwest a couple months ago when I turned the rig down to 5W for tuning and forgot to turn the power back up

    • Andrew says:

      Don't be surprised if I do that with SSB, and I WILL dial down the power when doing CW.

      In the first RTTY contest I did, I ran 25W to try to protect the radio. It didn't work (I blew up the radio), but I had no problem searching and pouncing on others. I may try one of those contests with 5W or 10W and see what happens. I may also do the Ohio QSO Party on 5W and see what happens. 🙂

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