Operating

The QRP "Watering Holes"

If you're interested in working and talking with other QRPers, there are frequencies where QRPers are known to "hang out".  These frequencies are known as the "watering holes".  Just like in Nature, the watering holes provide a gathering place for animals to meet and greet; so these frequencies are where the QRP animals gather:

80 Meters ~ 3.560 MHz
40 Meters ~ 7.040 MHz or 7.030 MHz
30 Meters ~ 10.106 MHz
20 Meters ~ 14.060 MHz
17 Meters ~ 18.080 MHz
15 Meters ~ 21.060 MHz
12 Meters ~ 24.910 MHz
10 Meters ~ 28.060 MHz

QRPers are by no means exclusive to these frequencies, by any means.  You'll find us all over the place.  But for a lot of homebrewed, crystal controlled radios, these are THE spots!  So you might find yourself listening to a lot of great home built transmitters or transceivers (ala' Rockmites) if you tune around these frequencies.


So ...... does QRP really work ???

A lot of folks remain skeptical and wonder, "Does QRP really work?  What's a puny 5 Watts going to do for me?"  It's a fair question, especially if you've been at the 100 Watt or higher level your whole Ham career.  Admittedly, when I was a Novice, I too wanted to escape the confines of a mere 75 Watts. I also got caught up in the school of thinking that "the more the merrier" as far as output power goes.

But as you operate more and more, learn more and more; and gain more and more experience, it finally begins to dawn on you.  Brute power isn't everything.  Operating skill, knowledge of propagation, patience - these are the things that count.  It's not the Watts, it's knowing what to do with them!

I've been licensed since 1978.  I've always dabbled with QRP since those days.  Back when I joined the QRP Club International, QRP was considered 100 Watts or less!  That changed in the 1980s and QRP is defined (pretty much) as power levels of 5 Watts (or less) for CW and 10 Watts (or less) for SSB.  A few years ago, I sold my QRO rig and have been a dedicated QRP op.  I've never regretted the decision and have had a ton of fun since then.

Just to show you what's possible using QRP and simple wire antennas, I submit a world map for your perusal.

In addition to working all fifty United States, I have worked the following:




This map gives you an idea of just how much of the world I've worked (countries worked appear as red pins). In reality, it's now over 100 DXCC entities. And most of this has been accomplished during a solar sun spot decline. I can only imagine how much fun things are going to be when ol' Sol start cooking up again and you'll be able to work the world with 1/2 Watt going to a wet noodle!

All the following QSOs were made with either a K1 or K2 and were at 5 Watts or less.


1 2/07/04 V73GJ Kwajalein Atoll 15M  1,445 MPW
2 4/17/04 CU2IJ Azores 20M 520 MPW
3 7/20/04 VE2PID Canada 40M 157 MPW
4 1/16/05 PJ5NA St. Maarten 15M 345 MPW
5 1/22/05 KP2/KI7VR U.S. Virgin Islands 15M 337 MPW
6 2/5/05 RV6YZ/6 European Russia 80M 1,067 MPW
7 2/5/05 LY3BW Lithuania 80M 853 MPW
8 2/14/05 C6ALK Bahamas 17M 229 MPW
9 2/19/05 PY2T Brazil 80M 928 MPW
10 2/19/05 VP5Y Turks & Caicos Islands 20M 264 MPW
11 2/20/05 HA80IARU Hungary 40M 889 MPW
12 2/20/05 DL1IAO Germany 40M 779 MPW
13 2/20/05 OH7M Finland 40M 826 MPW
14 2/20/05 T99W Bosnia - Hercegovina 40M 891 MPW
15 2/20/05 YR7M Romania 40M 934 MPW
16 2/20/05 SH7UN Sweden 40M 780 MPW
17 2/20/05 IA7G Italy 40M 901 MPW
18 2/20/05 8P5A Barbados 10M 419 MPW
19 2/20/05 S52TA Slovenia   15M  845 MPW
20 2/20/05 G3BJ England 15M 679 MPW
21 2/20/05 YT6A Yugoslavia 15M 910 MPW
22 2/20/05 OL3ZA Czech Republic 15M 830 MPW
23 2/20/05 EA3KU Spain 15M 762 MPW
24 2/20/05 PY0FF Fernando de Noronha 15M 811 MPW
25 2/20/05 F5IN France 15M 741 MPW
26 2/20/05 V47Z St. Kitts & Nevis Islands 15M 350 MPW
27 2/20/05 V31LZ Belize 15M -
28 3/01/05 VP2V/DL7DF British Virgin Islands 17M -
29 3/28/05 J75RZ Dominica 17M -
30 3/28/05 CO8LY Cuba 20M -
31 4/10/05 OM2VL Slovak Republic 30M -
32 5/5/05 EO6GEO Ukraine 40M -
33 5/5/05 EW3EW Belarus 40M -
34 5/6/05 SP3EPK Poland 40M -
35 5/6/05 P42E Aruba 40M -
36 5/10/05 WP4IXO Puerto Rico 20M -
37 5/27/05 TF3YH Iceland 20M -
38 5/29/05 LZ9W Bulgaria 20M -
39 5/30/05 HP1AC Panama 20M -
40 7/26/05 HB9CVQ Switzerland 30M -
41 8/28/05 UA9NA Asiatic Russia 20M 1,026 MPW
42 8/28/05 KH6J Hawaii 20M -
43 8/31/05 TG9ADM Guatemala 20M -
44 8/31/05 TI8/DL4MO Costa Rica 20M -
45 8/31/05 6Y5WJ Jamaica 17M -
46 11/26/05 VP2E Anguilla 40M -
47 2/16/06 C6AKQ Bahamas 40M -
48 2/19/06 ZS2E South Africa 20M -
49 2/19/06 9A3B Croatia 20M -
50 2/19/06 EA6UN Balearic Islands 20M -
51 2/19/06 PI4TUE Netherlands 20M -
52 2/19/06 VP9/W6PH Bermuda 20M -
53 2/19/06 PJ2T Netherlands Antilles 20M -
54 2/19/06 CT1GPQ Portugal 20M -
55 2/27/06 HI3/OK2ZU Dominican Republic 40M -
56 3/29/06 YV5DMM Venezuela 40M -
57 6/19/06 J88DR St. Vincent 30M -
58 8/13/06 LX7I Luxembourg 40M -
59 8/13/06 RK2FWA Kaliningrad 20M -
60 8/19/06 GM4XQJ Scotland 20M -
61 11/25/06 HD2A Ecuador 20M -
62 11/26/06 HC8N Galapagos Island 20M -
63 11/26/06 CX7BY Uruguay 20M -
64 11/26/06 ZF1A Cayman Islands 40M -
65 11/26/06 EA8W Canary Islands 40M -
66 11/26/06 9Y4AA Trinidad/Tobago 40M -
67 11/26/06 TO5X Martinique 40M -
68 2/11/07 5Z4/9A3A Kenya 20M -
69 3/27/07 HH4/K4QD Haiti 40M -
70 3/30/07 TK5JO Corsica 40M -
71 1/02/08
W3BBO
U.S.A.
80M
-
72 1/06/08 YU7VX Serbia 40M -
73 2/17/08 EI5E Ireland 40M -
74 2/17/08 V26G Antigua & Barbuda 15M -
75 2/17/08 CT9L Madeira Island 20M -
76 2/17/08 KL7RA Alaska 20M -
77 2/17/08 4U1UN United Nations HQ 20M 5 MPW
78 2/23/08 VP6DX Ducie Island 17M 1,109 MPW
79 2/24/08 Z32ID Macedonia 40M -
80 2/24/08 8R1PW Guyana 20M -
81 3/11/08 TX5C Clipperton Island 40M -
82 3/26/08 5T5DC Mauritania 40M -
83 3/29/08 6W1SJ Senegal 30M 768 MPW
84 4/1/08 4O/YU1YV Montenegro 40M -
85 4/19/08 YN4SU Nicaragua 40M -
86 4/25/08 FG5HM Guadeloupe Island 20M -
87 7/20/08 YL3GFX Latvia 40M -
88 11/30/08 XE1MM Mexico 40M -
89 11/30/08 EZ3M Turkmenistan 40M -
90 11/30/08 D4C Cape Verde Island 20M -
91 2/22/09 K5D Desecheo Island 30M -
92 5/15/09 OX3XR Greenland 20M -
93 6/16/09 J48HW Greece 40M -
94 8/9/09 OP4K Belgium 20M -
95 9/6/2009 FS/W6IZT St. Martin 40M -
96 11/27/2009 YS4/DF7OGO El Salvador 20 M -
97 11/27/2009 HK4CZE Colombia 20M -
98 11/29/2009 CN3A Morocco 40M -
99 11/29/2009 OA4SS Peru 20M -
100 11/29/2009 LN9Z Norway 20M -
    101    11/29/2009          OE9R                     Austria      40M              -
    102     2/15/2010          ES4NG                     Estonia     17M             -

Seriously, however, operating QRP only may or may not be your cup of tea.  But it is fun and it is a challenge; and if for some reason you've become bored with radio, give QRP a whirl!  It will take you back to the excitement of your Novice/Newbie days!