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MAY 2021

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What is QRP ?

'QRP' is an internationally recognised morse code abbreviation which means 'reduce your transmitter power'.

QRP Projects

'QRP' is an internationally recognised morse code abbreviation which means 'reduce your transmitter power'. This term has a second meaning in amateur radio where it denotes radio communication with low transmitter power. Although there is no formal definition of what constitutes 'low power', many amateur radio organisations consider QRP to be any transmitter output power below 5 watts. Antenna gain is not included in the assessment.

I've always been interested in using low power equipment. Mainly because the effect of unwanted detection in the neighbours audio is minimal, but it gives you a thrill working DX with a few Watt's output.
The three rigs I still frequently use are described more in detail below.


NC20 14MHz CW transceiver

Red Hot Radio RH-20 / Norcal 20
My first "Manhattan style building" project. A 14MHz CW transceiver with 5Watt output on 13.8V designed by members of the Norcal QRP Club and sold as a kit by AD6A. Not available anymore but the manuals can still be downloaded.    More...

CHN8020 SSB/CW transceiver

This rig is a 10W SSB/CW transceiver designed by PA0CHN and build with (at that time in 1980) commonly used components. Most of them were available from old radio's, televison or audio equipment. Some special or difficult to get components could be ordered    More...

HW8 4-band CW transceiver

Copy of Heatkit's HW8
A homebrew QRP rig builded in 1976 after succesfully passing a morse examination (12 wpm). The output is 1Watt maximum covering the amateur bands 80/40/20/15m. It's a funny rig and I have spend many hours listening the QRP frequencies on all bands. Worked the USA during a fieldday weekend with a W8JK antenna somewhere on an open place in the forrest south from the city where I live.   More...

Under normal conditions, short wave contacts over distances up to 1000 miles can be made with a simple wire antenna and a transmitter power of typically 1 Watt, when the bands are quiet and interference is low. However, making DX radio contacts with low power is a challenge which places extra demands on operating skill and tenacity, good receiver design and careful placement and construction of antennas.
QRP also offers an opportunity to make radio contacts using simple, low-cost, home-made equipment and 'home-brewers' abound in this segment of the amateur radio.

QRP frequenties

QRP operators are most often found on the following frequencies:

International QRP-frequencies