I suppose it’s human nature that we categorize ourselves and each other.
For years, I thought of myself as a QRPer. I took pride in that label but now I can no longer use it. Or can I? After all, I like both tea and coffee. My garage contains a Ford and a Toyota. My laptop contains MP3′s by George Strait and Coldplay.
I don’t like labels because I don’t fit into either of them. Few, if any, do. Whenever I hear a QRO op saying the tired old “Life’s too short for QRP” refrain, I’m reminded of my own experiences in QRP and how those experiences not only enriched the hobby for me but my non-ham life as well.
Fully 90% of the hams I know in person, I met through QRP. I believe QRP is more social than any other aspect of the hobby. QRP has taken me on backpacking trips I wouldn’t have gone on otherwise. Many were solo trips that, due to having a tiny radio along, weren’t solo.
The homebuilt rigs…all QRP. Fun to build, fun to operate. And working Europe with an AA battery-powered ATS-3 on 80 meters – what a hoot!
Life’s too short for QRP? Whenever I hear that, I listen politely while my inner shrink diagnoses the speaker as a small-minded bore.
And now to QRO:
I know with almost absolute certainty that ST0R on 40 meters and 4W6A on 80 meters wouldn’t be decorating my logbook if I were limited to 100 watts. Ditto for Lesotho and Swaziland on 20 meters. Horrendous pile-ups for the first two; iffy, weak paths for the latter.
They wouldn’t be in the log without a kilowatt.
Many QRP’ers have their own refrain for those who use more power than the QRP’ers think they should with their tiresome proclamation that “You shouldn’t use that much power”, usually said in a preachy, Prius-owner type of holier than thou rant. For them to be correct, I’d have to have the same goals as them. I don’t.
They bitch about splatter, saving the earth and being green. In other words, they’re perfectly content in imposing their beliefs on others. They haven’t worked 200 countries on 80 meters, therefore I shouldn’t either.
Obviously I’m talking about the extremes of each category where idiocy becomes visible rather than just suspect. Fortunately, most hams are balanced and take a more harmonious view of all that the hobby offers. QRP and QRO have enriched the hobby for me in ways unique to each of them.