QRP and Portable Operation


In amateur radio QRP operation means transmitting at reduced power levels while aiming to maximize one’s effective range while doing so. The term QRP derives from the standard Q-code used in radio communications, where “QRP” and “QRP?” are used to request, “Reduce power”, and ask “Should I reduce power?” respectively. The opposite of QRP is QRO, or high-power operation.

QRP is generally accepted to be 5 watts on CW or 10 watts on SSB.  Operating with less than one watt is commonly called QQRP or millawatt operation.

Check out the ARRL pages about QRP at http://www.arrl.org/qrp-low-power-operating.

Homebrew DDS VFO, Digital Display and SWR Meter

Gordon Gibby KX4Z has designed a multipurpose accessory that most anyone can build for their QRP projects.  Contact Gordon directly for information about obtaining a printed circuit board.  This useful accessory uses the inexpensive Arduino Nano micro-controller and is an excellent to learn about this exciting new direction in QRP transceivers.  Read the article at KX4Z DDS Application Note 1.

Portable Operation

Portable operation is often signified by amateur radio operators appending the suffix ‘/P’ to their callsign. Operating ‘/P’ normally means that stations are operating away from their licensed station address.  Although no longer required by the FCC, you may still hear ‘/P’ on the air.  You are not required to give the FCC advance notice to operate portable, so have fun!

For those hams who have antenna restrictions at their home, portable operating can be an opportunity to erect a large antenna.  For VHF/UHF operation, operating portable from a mountain top can provide propagation paths not available from home.

(more information coming soon)

Comments are closed.