Use of QRP Frequencies

Funny Guy! Actually I would give more space than that for a spot frequency, probably something like 5 kHz, because at -60dB the FT817 handbook claims a bandwidth of 4.5 kHz. My actual point was how wide is the COA, given that datum it is second nature to work out how far to stay away from the COA boundary.

PS its 58 years come September!

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Yes I still think of myself as just 50 which so not true!

There was topic about 144,300 and what to do. Same about qrp frequency. After that I started to “hate” COA or call frequency and never again call cq on that frequecies. I move 3 kHz for ssb/cw up or down, one channel on fm up or down. If somebody is using that frequency I simple follow his pattern.

Whats wrong with that? If everybody started to “hate” that frequencies they will be empty. Thats nonsense. If one uses that frequencies he will be acused to not be polite, not following rules etc

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BTW, Here’s a read, to look back and without being forced to give a personal opinion, maybe something for rainy days:
The Five-Watt QRP Movement in the US, 1968-1981
Note: FT817/FT818 and SOTA are not yet mentioned in this post, hi.

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Woolly? Only in your mind, Brian. I think that partly explains why you conflated the two concepts [on that other thread], although I know it’s also because you [and others] resent RSGB bandplanners reassigning CFs as COAs and want [everyone] to continue to treat them as CFs.

As for being [im]practical, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and 1000s of us use COAs and enjoy their benefits.

I gave a clear description on that other thread of the differences in usage for a COA compared to a CF. I’ll try once more [but last time]: you’ll be happy with the idea of tuning across the SSB sub-band for SSB or the CW sub-band for CW to find a suitable station to work. Well, think of the CW QRP COA as the location of a very small sub-band. You go to the COA and tune about. It doesn’t have fixed upper and lower limits. That’s not woolly. That’s called ‘flexibility’ as the QRPers may need to spread out when there’s a lot of them.

Repeating what I said on the other thread, unlike a CF the COA frequency itself is nothing special other than being, er well, the centre of activity [for that mode/power level/etc] - you look on and around that frequency, like we used to do amateur radio before the internet told us where to find everybody.

Please don’t take my plain speaking as rudeness, I’m not trying to be rude.

regards, Andy


:+1: for explaining.

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Fine, Andy, though actually I never think of the CW COA at all, as I am a phone man! Of course you go to the COA and tune about, but the point here for me is just how big the QRP only SSB COA is? If hard line QRPers don’t want ordinary powered stations calling QRP stations in their ring fenced COA subband, how far away should a 100 watt station stay?

I’ll add the side thought that if hard line QRPers want to exclude higher power stations from working them, shouldn’t there be another COA for less fussy QRPers to work all comers while retaining their identity as a QRP station? But perhaps that might be thought a little mischievous as who wants a proliferation of COAs? :grinning:

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You say ‘of course’ but when we abandoned discussing this some months ago, you were still wanting to treat the COA frequency as the place to listen/call CQ/meet & greet/then QSY like you do with a CF. Hence my need to spell it out again.

There is no fixed answer to this. As with most things in life, it’s a judgement call, just as no-one told you when you learnt to drive, what exact minimum gap to squeeze your car through a restriction in the road.

I already mentioned the reason why activity is not confined to a fixed frequency range about the COA. Obviously, the further an operator strays from the COA the more likely he/she is to find other stations not confined to the COA purpose. But hey, that’s life.

Calling them ‘hard line’ shows you don’t understand what they want to do and are doing. Think of it like a minority sport in which participants take part with similar means. Someone with ‘extra help’ is spoiling or distorting the activity.

QRO operators usually have plenty of other QRO stations to work without having to resort to the small number of QRPers most of whom prefer to work QRP to QRP. As I said before, it’s no hardship to turn the power level down to QRP if you do want to work them. And if that means, you can’t make contact with some of them, then – wow – that’s all part of the QRP challenge and interest.

I have a question. Is there any rule that say I am not alowed to use 1000W (1kW) on 14,060. I am not aware of it. Correct me if I am wrong. Answer is only yes or no

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What I was trying to get over to you was the point that if you find no activity, then the CF was the place to monitor waiting for someone to show up, perhaps an Ar or Es opening or just another lost soul wanting a contact. Thats the point for me, a COA you are expected to treat in a dynamic matter, tune around, a CF is static, a lurking place. When 2m was a bit more active I used to set up the FT817 to switch back and forward between the FM and SSB CFs and played on HF with the other rig. Little point to that now since 2m has fallen into a black hole, but it used to be a viable procedure to net contacts or wait for an activator to show up.

So what you are saying is that the QRP guys can spread out either side of the COA and others are requested to give them that space, but you cannot say how far each side of the COA that hegemony extends before normal operating resumes, and yet you say that the COA concept is not woolly? :rofl:

I didn’t say that. I didn’t imply that. No QRPer [or other COA user] thinks that way. It’s a ridiculous suggestion. It’s a strawman. I’ve pointed out your many strawman arguments in the past. I find - not for the first time - Brian, it’s very frustrating discussing topics in depth with you.

It feels like you don’t read or don’t understand what I said in my previous post even when I go to some trouble to express my ideas as clearly as possible. I don’t see the point in continuing to discuss it. I just hope others got something from my contribution to the topic.


I think I share your frustration, Andy. I suspect that our thinking processes are too different for good communication. I mean, your quote is my attempt to condense exactly what you have been saying and you reject it. I think we have arrived at what Socrates would call aporia.

Didn’t you like the word “hegemony”? :wink: It was used in a humourous vein… :grinning:

Couldn’t it simply be understood like this:
The COA “concept” forms the basis for a radio operator to choose a frequency, with the help of his cognitive abilities, in the sense of a generally established convention.

I think I’ve followed most of the discussion on the thread and understand it, but one thing does puzzle me and forgive me if I’ve misread the intentions of the posts.
Is it being suggested that a qrp operator who is calling on (or around the centre of activity) is responsible for the people who may reply to their CQ call?
As what I would call a very casual operator, I don’t alert or spot , but I would call CQ on say 14.285 (ish) knowing that people may be listening for weak signals around there. Obviously, I’m not going to ask a responder what power they are running , nor am I responsible if that person spots me on whatever spotting platform take their fancy.
Maybe, I’ve misread.
Ian (G7ADF)


Assuming power limit for your licence is 1000W then the answer is no.

If you did that people would think you were a 24 carat idiot.

Actually I have done, and quite regularly too. The problem in VK is that 2m FM is a desert - you can be several 100 kms from the nearest ham when calling - and in several years of running the HT on activations, I’ve had exactly one complaint about it, and the others on the frequency jumped on him and told him I was the first activity on the band all day, and I was working stations efficiently and that it’d take longer to QSY than the rate I was going at. Total time spent on the calling frequency was about 10 minutes, mainly calling. The most common thing I hear when I call on a repeater looking for simplex contacts, or if, heaven forbid, someone actually is on the calling frequency (usually in a QSO) is guys saying, “I’ll try, but I can’t remember how to change the frequency on this radio any more, and I can’t find the manual.”


Dammit! I just sprayed the keyboard!

Oh, thank you for your answer.

I don t mind if somebody calls me an idiot. So, there is no rule that prohibits me using 1 kW on 14,060.

But, live and let others to live happy life. Use CF or COA frequency for what ever you want. I don t mind.

It is very simple. I don t know and don t care if one use say, ft818 or crystal oscilator and 14,060 is his only frequency

I think this might be one where you need to check out the local customs and expectations, and conform.

To be clear - I’m not currently actively involved in running QRP activities at present, so don;t speak officialy for the group. However, I can say that in ZL, QRO stations have been encouraged to participate in all QRP group activities, including nets and contests. The challenge here has not been ‘overcrowded QRP COA frequencies’, but getting enough visibility for QRP activities for it to be taken seriously. When our ZL-specific award schemes for lakes, huts and local parks were set up, the QRP COA was chosen and recommended as the recommended calling frequencies for such backcountry portable activations. This was done in consultation with the NZ QRP group, and at their recommendation - and whilst the group itself was a significant part of our core activators early on, they were also happy to encourage more low power stations to get out there and do stuff.

The battle in ZL has been more encouraging enough low power / portable activity that the QRP COA (and SOTA 40m freq) is kept free of daily nets and ragchews (a battle we seem to be losing on 7.090 currently) - not worrying about precisely how much power that SOTA, HOTA, ZLL or POTA station is running.


By the way, I like that “24 carat idiot” statement very much.

Monty Payton at his best