Recently I’ve become interested in low power operation of amateur radio, also known as QRP.  This is a bit surprising, because in the first year since I got my license I have almost completely ignored QRP. I instead spent a fair bit of time imagining how I might purchase / build / assemble the most powerful base HF station possible.

In retrospect, I’ve spent far too much time learning about amplifiers, tuners, and multi-band antennas. All of this stuff is cool, and I’m glad I’ve learned about these things, but along the way it has started to become clear to me that antenna resonance is a far more important topic than amplification, or any other area of focus in amateur radio. I’ve learned that a well designed and implemented antenna, resonant on the desired operating frequency, can perform beautifully, even with little power. This is the essence of QRP operation.

The idea of gaining enough competency in my knowledge and skills to effectively operate at 5 watts is quite appealing to me. After all, if I can be effective on low power, I should be able to apply that knowledge to high power operation and have spectacular success. When and if I finally get around to amplification I want to be confident that I’m improving on a solid foundation and not just masking my own weaknesses with watts. So, my QRP journey begins…        


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