QST (August 1985)

The author, a longtime dedicated QRPer and low-power columnist for CQ Magazine, won the race for producing the first QRP book. Although others have been preparing QPP handbooks, Adrian Weiss pushed ahead and crossed the finish line ahead of the dawdlers! His book has a bright yellow glossy cover, and the printed matter inside is bold and printed on easy-to-read paper. Perhaps the excellent English usage and proper application of punctuation can be attributed to the Ph.D in English Renaissance Literature held by the author. I found the book easy to read, and the text is interesting throughout.

Although the volume contains no index, it does have a table of contents. The chapter titles are (1) The Exciting World of QRP, (2) Sharing the Joys of QRP, (3) Planning for QRP Operation, (4) Putting a QRP Signal on the Air, (5) Homebrewing the First QRP Rig, (6) general Operating Techniques, (7) Planning and Operating Specific Types of QRP Activity, and (8) RF Power Measurements. The list of chapter titles pretty much describes the contents of this book.

Emphasis is on operating and the history of QRP, rather than on the practical application of circuits or design procedures. The book appears aimed at introducing the would-be QRPer to the world of low-power Amateur Radio. The author's history section respective to the worldwide QRP movement seems to be well researched and complete. Weiss did his homework in that area of his text, or perhaps he has an unusually accurate crystal ball. Complete information concerning QRP clubs around the world, QRP nets and QRP contests is provided. This directory section should prove invaluable to those who aspire toward a venture in QRP operating.

The operating section discusses times of day versus band conditions, band selection for best results, antennas for QRP and general operating objectives. This is the area of flea-power operation in which many newcomers fail after having grown used to high-power operation with elaborate antennas. Another part of the book deals with the use of store-bought QRO transmitters and transceivers. That is, the author describes ways to reduce the power of these rigs for QRP operation.

    Chapter 8 is dedicated to RF power measurements. Measuring power at the QRP level is not an easy assignment, owing to the general availability of QRO-only commercial power meters and SWR indicators for amateur use. He covers the objects of dc versus RF-power measurements, RF-power concepts, RMS RF probes and a QRP RF wattmeter. Since many low-power enthusiasts use as little as 50 mW of output power, homemade equipment is needed to set the RF-power level accurately. I would have no hesitation in recommending W0RSP's book to any amateur interested in QRP operating. In fact, it will provide great reading for nearly any active ham even if QRP is not presently a hamshack objective.

              Doug DeMaw, W1FB, Technical Editor

                              by  Adrian Weiss W0RSP
All QRP operators know, or should know, Ade Weiss W0RSP (ex K8EEG). Ade is the founder of MILLIWATT, the original QRP journal, now sadly no longer published; the QRP editor of CQ Magazine and the originator and provider of the Milliwatt DXCC Programe of Awards. Now we have his long awaited book on QRP operation. Long awaited because at one time we thought it would be published before the GQRP-CLUB Circuit Handbook. I am pleased to say that the book has been worth the wait. THE JOY OF QRP is the most comprehensive publication on QRP that I have seen, in fact the first that undertakes a broad look at our fascinating area of the hobby. The book begins with a brief historical background to QRP operation and then describes the whole gamut of our subject: QRP organizations and awards, objectives and planning for operation, commercial equipment -- both QRP and modified QRO, homebrewing the first QRP rig, general operating techniques, planning specific types of QRP operation, and concludes with a very useful chapter on RF power measurements. In short, a comprehensive guide to the whole subject of low power amateur radio operation on the HF bands. I can recommend it to all QRP fans without the slightest hint of bias or fellow-traveller nepotism because he's rude about the G-QRP-CLUB! He says we should catch up with the modern world .... tut, tut .... I thought we were ahead of it! But all is forgiven Ade, it is a great book for QRPers and a lot of QRO operators would benefit from reading it.

                  Rev. George Dobbs G3RJV, Editor

CQ Magazine
                            by Ade Weiss W0RSP.

Ade is an interesting gent, one who has great enthusiasm for QRP, and he’s the former publisher of The Milliwatt: the National Journal of QRP. He also serves as CQ's QRP Editor, and has done so since 1974. Solid-state design, propagation and DXing, and working other low-power enthusiasts are Ade's chief interests in amateur radio. He is a college prof, holding a Ph.D in English Renaissance Literature, and derives his greatest professional satisfaction from researching and teaching Shakespeare’s dramas.

         The new book consists of 151 pages in 8 chapters devoted to the most important aspects of QRP operation. Some of the major topics covered include the various types of QRP activity, planning tor QRP operation, commercial equipment selection, home- brewing rigs, operating techniques, and RF power measurement. Ade’s book covers some of the special problems and concerns facing the QRPer. Chapter 8, for example, is dedicated to discussion at RF power measurements. This is particularly important since measuring power at flea-power levels is not an easy task, as most commercial power measuring instruments are designed for much higher power applications. He also describes ways to reduce the power of commercial transmitters to milliwatt levels. And, while there is no specific chapter on antennas, these are nevertheless covered in general in Chapter 3, Planning for QRP Operation.

                                            Carl Thurber W8FX

RSGB (Radio Society of Great Britain)

THE JOY of QRP: STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS recently written and published by Adrian Weiss W0RSP is now available from RSGB. The book contains eight chapters. The first, The Exciting World of QRP, begin with a history of QRP operation going back to the 1920s. It outlines some of the frustrations of QRP operating and tells how to put these feelings of frustration into perspective in order to enjoy QRP work to the full. It shows how QRP operating often brings out the best in high power operators who often become more determined than usual to listen for the weak signals of the QRP operator. It shows how QRP operation can take place on any mode and gives details of the fascinating experiments that have taken place with powers down to microwatt levels. The second chapter, Sharing the Joys of QRP, gives details of QRP clubs and societies worldwide, QRP awards, QRP contests and activity periods throughout the year, and QRP calling frequencies and nets. 

SPECS: 5.5" x 8.5" paper perfect bound; 163 pages, 9pt sans serif type;  39 illustrations + six tables.
Cover Photos:  The Viking guarding his Viking-5 Two-Band Transmitter. Bibliophile identification of editions:
First Edition (as high as $134 on eBay): Viking is looking left at the gutter bound-edge.
Second Edition: Viking looking right at the open edge.

Chapter three, Planning for QRP Operation, is essential reading not only for low power enthusiasts, but for all who operate on the hf bands, particularly those who are relatively new to hf bands working. The chapter deals with the thought and planning that should precede operation of the hf bands – “What am I trying to achieve?”, “is my antenna capable of achieving these aims?”, “What bands should I operate at what time of day to achieve the results I require?” -- these, and many other seemingly basic questions are raised and many common-sense solutions are suggested. The next chapter, Putting a QRP Signal on the Air: Commercial Gear, looks at ways of modifying second hand QRO transmitters and transceivers in order to transmit at low power levels. A useful list of features and specifications that should be kept in mind when purchasing second hand transmitters and receivers is given. The chapter concludes with a summary of commercial QRP equipment. Chapter five deals with “Homebrewing the First Rig”. This chapter takes the newcomer through the planning stages of home construction. It shows how to select the most appropriate circuits and components for a prospective project. Details of test equipment are given, the equipment being listed in the order in which it is probably desirable to acquire each item. Full constructional details, including printed circuit layouts, are given for a five watt transmitter covering any two bands between 3-5 and 14MHz. This is followed by two v.f.o. designs.

These are intended to drive the previously described transmitter, but they would be equally useful as general purpose designs. Finally a regulated power supply is described which can provide between 1.5 and 15 volts at 3 amps. All these constructional projects are described in meticulous detail with particular attention given to explaining why specific components and designs are chosen. The following chapter, General Operating Techniques, is good reading for the QRP and QRO operator alike. The chapter shows how to judge the mind of the operator at the “other end”; whether he is really listening for weak signals when he calls CQDX or whether he is just looking for S9 signals at 30wpm. Various calling and transmitter netting techniques are described. Useful ways of maintaining contacts when signals are marginal are also detailed. Chapter seven gives details for planning and operating QRP during field days, contests and in the various QRP activity periods and QSO parties. This chapter also has interesting sections on QRP mobile operation and QRP working on 160m. The final chapter introduces the theory of r.f. power measurement and has a helpful section clarifying the various forms of r.f. power. Designs for an r.f. wattmeter and an r.m.s. r.f. voltage probe are given. At the end of this chapter is a thought-provoking treatise on standing wave ratio. THE JOY OF QRP is essential reading for anyone who is interested in improving their operating skills on the hf bands. The author has used a thorough and in-depth approach to all the topics covered in this book, but in doing so he has maintained an easy going and entertaining style. It would be difficult for anyone to read this book and not gain something useful from it.


We have waited for this book for a long time! When the G-QRP CLUB CIRCUIT HANDBOOK was first published in 1982, we thought it would be out about the same time as a major book on QRP operation by W0RSP. The book has now appeared and is soon to be available in the UK. Adrian Weiss is perhaps the best-known figure among QRP operators in the USA. He is QRP Editor of CQ Magazine and was for many years the publisher of THE MILLIWATT, the first amateur radio magazine devoted to low-power operation. He is also sponsor of the MILLIWATT DXCC awards for under 5-watt and under 1-watt low-power operation. The book attempts to give an overall treatment of the subject of low-power working on the hf bands. It includes an historical introduction to low-power radio communications, and goes on to describe how to approach operating on the amateur bands with QRP. The book also contains a section on converting QRO equipment for low-power operation and building QRP equipment, including some practical circuits backed up with a p.c.b. service. There is an excellent section on techniques for operating with low power, and strategy and planning for hf band operation. The book concludes with a chapter on measurements with circuits for building suitable instruments for QRP operation. I am most impressed both with the scope and content of the book. Anyone thinking of trying low-power operation on the hf bands, or even currently using QRP, should benefit from reading this book. The sections on objectives, planning and operating techniques, band selection and propagation would help any radio amateur, whatever power is being used by his station. It is good practical advice of the type more often acquired by experience or through the advice of others, than seen in an amateur radio publication.

                          SECOND EDITION
NorCal WEB site:

QRP-L Announcement:
Ade Weiss, W0RSP, has reprinted his classic book, The Joy of QRP which was orginally printed in 1985 and has been out of print for years. Chuck Adams, K5FO paid $50 for a mint copy 2 years ago, and I searched for 3 years to find a copy to replace the original one that I bought in 1985 and lost in the move to California later that year. The book had 151 pages in the original, and the reprint has all of that material plus 12 extra pages with new club info, more on antennas, WEB/Inet resources, updates on Viking-5, and the final DXCC QRPp/MILLIWATT Trophy list. So, this is basically a reprint with additions. NorCal wanted to let its members know about the book and we are planning to run a review in the next issue. But the problem is that there are only 1000 copies in this press run, and we did not get the information in time to include the review in this issue. Once the word hits the street that this book is once again available, they will sell out in a hurry. We decided to insert this flyer and order form in order to let all of the members know about the book and have a chance to order it. If you want this book, order now, as the 1000 copies will go fast.
                           Doug Hendricks KI6DS (1997)


It's back!!! Over ten years ago, Adrian Weiss, W0RSP put out a book called THE JOY OF QRP: STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS. It quickly achieved cult status, sold out within a few years, and for years after that copies were quickly snatched up by QRPers whenever anyone was foolish enough to part with them. (About the only reason I can think of for anyone wanting to sell their copy is being out of work for six months, all savings gone and having to make a mortgage payment--and they could almost cover that by selling off their copy of Joy!) Long time QRPers who know of The Joy of QRP need no explanation, and for newcomers who haven’t heard about it, all I can say is don’t ask questions, don’t think about it, just write out the check today and mail it out right away! You’ll be glad you did. As KI6DS pointed out in a posting to QRP-L shortly after the announcement was made, there are only 1000 copies being printed up this time. However, between QRP-L and NorCal/QRPp subscribers there are several times as many people as there are copies, so he and I don’t expect them to last too terribly long. I'll be mentioning its availability in the next issue of the QRP Quarterly but that won’t hit the streets until January; I hope it won’t be too late for our readers who haven’t already heard of it via QRP-L and QRPp [NorCal QRP Club Journal].

[Send a check or money order made out to Ade Weiss to: Adrian Weiss W0RSP 526 N. Dakota St., Vermillion, SD 57069 Prices are as follows: $23.00 First Class Mail (U.S); $28.00 Foreign; Seniors (65+): $15.00, Two copies: $40.00 (shipped to same address). The first 100 copies will be numbered & autographed. Package Deal: JOY of QRP and HISTORY of
QRP (usually $15) = $33.00. Disclaimer--I have no financial interest in the book, and will not benefit in any way from its sales. (I can’t say that I have no association with W0RSP himself though; but you'll have to buy either this book or his other, A HISTORY OF QRP IN THE US, 1924-60, to find out what it is! (see below).) Also, the QRP ARCI is not associated with this offer in any way.

          73 and Queue Our Pea de
Czuhajewski WA8MCQ

>Viking-5  1- band transmitter (xtal controlled)
>Viking-5  2-band transmitter (xtal controlled)
>Single-band Vackar VFO with Varactor-Diode        Tuning (drives the Viking-5)
>Two-band Vackar VFO (drives the Viking-5)
>LM317K/LM350 Regulated DC Power Supply
>QRPp Wattmeter (W7ZOI), DC Calibration
>RMS  R.F.  Voltage Probe
>Bruene In-Line QRP Wattmeter/SWR Bridge
>Symmetrical Resistive R.F. Attenuator
>50-Ohm Resistive Dummy Load

                    Ordering Information>

1985 Back Cover of JOY OF QRP. Recent recipient of a copy remarked "now I'll know who I'm looking for at Dayton."  Sorry .....  see below.  My 1985 shack with the TEK RM-535 scope at my left shoulder, the 190B frequency generate on top at top right corner, homebrew sweep generator on RM-535, black receiver with big white round dial is my version of Wes Hayward W7ZOI's direct conversion receiver beefed up with two audio filter pc boards and audio amp. The S-meter of my SP600JX-21 just left of my neck (I bought it for $135 at the 1971 auction of National Radio's lab at Medford MA -- I carried it down three flights of stairs and about a block to my truck... and lived to tell the story.

JOY OF QRP 1982 Power Supply still in service 7/1/2011
Author still in continuous service during FD 2011 with Sierra, ZM-2, 40m dipole at 30ft fed with 300-Ohm ladder line and homebrew paddle (beside red pen). Results: 40m=63Qs. 20m=80Qs. 15m=42Qs. Total = 185Qs.