Sunday, April 14, 2013

QRP Philosophy 101 - Expectation/Frustration Syndrome

QRP isn't for everyone, obviously or my blog would have a much higher readership:-) There are a variety of attributes that a QRP'er must possess to stick with this genre of the hobby. In my post, What Kind of QRP'er Are You, I mention the various main groups of QRP'ers I have observed, i.e, the technician, the minimalist, etc.., but even among those subsets, there are traits that we share.

I have been casually reading , The Joy of QRP by Adrian Weiss, W0RSP. This book is a comprehensive book on everything QRP to the minute details. There aren't enough pictures in the book to suit my taste, but then again, I'm not a highly technical QRP'er, but there are some nuggets in the book for everyone. In the very first chapter on page 2 of the book the author talks about the enemy of QRP operation and that is "Frustration". On the surface I think most of us would agree that you to have a certain measure of patience to enjoy QRP.

To paraphrase Weiss he describes the "expectation-frustration syndrome" as a manifestation of this frustrated condition. Says Weiss, "Quite simply, their expectations exceed the limits imposed by Nature's laws upon the phenomena which they are attempting to manipulate. In other words, they are expecting to achieve objectives that are either impossible, or at best, highly improbable"  So what discourages a lot of wanna be QRP'ers is the fact that they can't work the same DX they can with their high power stations, get frustrated and give up on QRP.

Well I have to take exception to Weiss's observations. I approach a big pile-up with my QRP rig with the expectation of failure, but with the hopefulness that I might get lucky. So I am always surprised by what I can work on QRP. Last Friday night QSO's are listed below. These exceeded my expectation.

7T9A                  5,886 miles            1,177 miles/watt
VK9/OH1VR     7,338 miles            1,467 miles/watt
TZ6BB               6,000 miles            1,200 miles/watt

After such a successful QRP session I didn't have "expection/frustation syndrome", I had  "exceed expectation/celebration syndrome"

Oh the True Joy of QRP, "exceeding expections".


  1. Good evening Mike, my QRP and QRPp adventure has netted me over 400,00 mile per watt using an attic dipole. As for's all about how you approach the QRP challenge.

  2. Mike
    nice blog, I have a blog about qrp operating too.titled "cincinnati qrp" - yours is very nice. I will return and keep updated. I tend to be like you, have low expectations, then Im very happy with the results.
    Hope to work you sometime, I saw your rockmite post on qrpspots...
    72 Kevin W8KJ

  3. Hello Mike, working with QRP gives great fun. To make many QSO's I participate in contests with a much activity.
    When the S meter goes up, my power goes down. hi. Just reduce your power when the signals get better, to boost your Miles per Watt score. Propagation does more than a better antenna.
    Good luck in QRPp. 73, Bert