Thursday, October 20, 2011

QRQ QRP

N4RLD, Rick
Thursday morning I had the pleasure of working N4RLD, Rick, in GA, during my semi-regular morning radio operation.  He was in QSO with another fella who's call I forget on 40m going at a good 30+ wpm.  Over the past 6 months or so, I have been on a quest to increase my code speed to what I consider "mastery" levels with the ultimate goal at 40 wpm.  My morning sessions, while often foggy and filled with mistakes, have helped a lot in achieving the progress I have made so far.  I am fairly comfortable at 30 wpm with short simple exchanges, but when we go into the ragchew mode, it gets a bit more hairy.  I need more practice. 

This is where I get kind of stuck.  I operate QRP.  Most low power ops do not do high speed CW.  I don't know why but that is the way it is.  I would say the average QRP CW speed is about 20 wpm.  Nothing wrong with that, but that is not going to help me get to 40.  Don't get me wrong, I love working other QRP ops and always send at the speed needed to make the contact.  So my dilemma is finding other like minded ops to practice with.  I probably call CQ about 100 times in a day, just look me up on the reverse beacon network.  I'm on the radio a lot.  But for some reason, when I go into the Extra class portion of the band, set the memory keyer to call CQ at 30wpm, nobody comes back.  I suspect it is the low power sticking me here.

The following is mearly a hypothoses and may not be rooted in any truth:

QRQ guys use high power (see above).  QRQ guys are used to listening to other high power QRQ stations.  The end result: a weak QRQ station is too hard to copy so they don't try. 

So what do we do about this?  Turn up the power?  I'd rather not.  QRP is something I am very proud of (maybe too much!)  but maybe that is the answer.  I don't know.  Can QRP and QRQ not co-exist?  Hopefully some folks will have some suggestions and can add some comments.  Anybody? 

73 W0EA