QRP can mean a few different things in Amateur Radio – Sent to another party it can mean reduce power or should I reduce power, but QRP operation, or a QRP radio normally means operating or operates at low power. (Usually 5 watts or less). Many times on the air you will hear someones call sign followed by “/QRP” or simply “QRP”, meaning “I am operating this station at low power”.
Contacting another station at 5 watts or less can be a bit more challenging than operating at higher power, say 100 to 1500 watts of transmitted power, but it can have some very surprising results – and I personally find everything about intentional QRP operation to be a fascinating part of the hobby.
Over this past year, we have slowly set up a portable HF “QRP” capability, and spent no small part of yesterday afternoon/evening testing it here at the old Pondee – I took photos of the setup and will share a few of them.
First a few shots of our QRP backpack designed for the FT-817 radio that I purchased as part of a pre-production sale from China on eBay. Payed significantly less for the pre-order, but they are currently around $80 from the same seller. Note: comments are underneath each photo:
Fully packed as shown, the entire backpack weighs quite a bit less than 20 lbs.
Not mentioned above, but shown on the card table for our testing, I added another 3 lb battery (spare), and in the top/left a 35ah battery we will keep in our vehicle. Also in the middle/right, there is a West Mountain “ClrSpkr” which contains some audio frequency digital signal processing that is *very* effective in reducing noise. It worked so well, I am wondering if I can sneak it into the XYL’s pack without her noticing? 😀
Our testing session went very well indeed, of course I have a bit more trimming/tuning to do on a pair of MFJ 20 meter “Hamtennas” set up as a horizontal dipole. The 40 meter set are good to go, and I look forward to obtaining a 75 meter set soon to add to the kit in our F-250 pickup.
Bottom line, we are having fun with the Amateur Radio hobby, and looking forward to taking this rig up in the mountains when the weather cools down a bit in Southern California. Life is good!