[CQ-Contest] QRP Stew

Bruce Lallathin aa8u at modempool.com
Mon Dec 20 13:05:20 EST 1999

I entered the first event part time and I don't think I turned in a log. 
The second one I missed entirely. This time I decided to enter fairly 
seriously, at least not part time.

I read the rules at least once and decided, without much thought given to 
it, to enter QRP. I chose QRP mostly because so many QRP stations found 
their way into my SS logs and I was impressed. The thought occurred, hey 
try it and see how it works out. So, I did.

Now I read posts that border on disparaging toward QRP 
entrants....especially if you have anything more than a modest station. 
Gee...I guess I do. But, for 160 I only have one TX antenna, a full size 
vertical, and a bunch of electric fence wire Beverages. Not a super station 
in my book, but more than most I guess. All the stacked Yagi's for the 
other bands are irrelevant for the Stew Perry contest so I can't understand 
why any "Big Gun" or "Super Station" should be somehow deemed as an unfair 
competitor when entering QRP.

I didn't enter QRP to compete with anyone or any class of entrant but just 
to have fun and participate. Of course I tried hard, nearly my best effort 
I think. After it was over I had to look up how to score the mults, etc. 
and found the X4 factor for QRP. So, big deal. I didn't think I was 
competing with everyone else anyway. I surely didn't think I was at any 
particular advantage because of running such low power.

The conditions for the Stew were well short of normal so I think the 
apparent lack of DX is being incorrectly blamed on too many QRP entrants. 
Had the conditions been more normal I doubt this issue would have come up.

Maybe a X4 multiplier is too much for QRP. I don't know. This is a fairly 
young contest and if it survives until the next sunspot minimum and beyond 
we will all have a better set of data to base any rules changes on. For me, 
it is fine as is. It might be better to have QRP and QRO compete in 
separate classes or adjust the multiplier some to improve the fairness 
factor if that is necessary.

Oh, if you always run QRO like I usually do. You will really get your 
perspective adjusted by entering QRP. Not just for a part time entry 
either. Do it as you would if the amp was on and you were serious about 
winning. I assure you, you will have a greater appreciation of all those 
intrepid QRP contesters and their special set of skills. QRP is more 
demanding of the operator, equipment, antenna system, and tactics than you 
are used to. Don't knock it if you haven't tried it.

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