THE HISTORY OF QRP in the US 1924-60

QST (May, 1988) New Books:
                 History of QRP in the U.S., 1924-1960.

The joy of being a QRPer results not only from building little rigs and bucking the QRM while operating. QRP purists extract satisfaction and pleasure from studying the history of low-power operating and the related challenges. History of QRP provides extensive coverage of the QRP movement in the U.S. from 1924 to 1960. As a writer of books and articles, I cannot help but view Adrian’s research efforts in awe. His dedication to the objective while gathering archival data is obvious as you read the spellbinding chapters of this book. Certainly, Adrian would make a great curator of some future QRP museum. His grasp of the historical aspects of our flea-power pastime is impressive, to say the least. The chapters are (in order):

1. The K8EEG (now W0RSP) Story

2. Prologue to Exploration

3. QRP Pioneers on the Frontier, 1923-24

4. 1925: QRP Takes the Spotlight

5. 1926-27: Newcomers and DXers

6. 1930-41: Grass Roots vs. High Power QRM

7. QRP Gains Ground, the 1930’s

8. QRPers’ Story in Their Own Words

9.The Uprising of  ‘37: the Flea Power
10. 1945-60: Before the Transistor

11. 1954-60: Milliwatts and Miles

The book is sprinkled with black-and-white photographs of old-time operators and equipment. My nostalgia was heightened by many of these illustrations. For example, Weiss shows a picture and schematic diagram of a WWII surplus mini plug-in unit, the BCR-746-A tuner. The diagram shows Barry Lindsey's (W4BIW) circuit adaptation that called for the addition of a 1S4 battery-radio tube, which was used to convert the tiny tuning unit to a QRP transmitter. When the ARRL staff tested this transmitter in 1947 (“A Bantam 1-Watter,” January 1948 QST), they worked 22 stations in 10 states during a 12-hour period! How well I remember the excitement I felt when I bought my first BCR-746-A unit in 1946 for only 50 cents! Reading about it in Weiss’s book brought back fond memories indeed.

This book should serve as a guidepost to what QRP operation is about, especially with regard to the thrills that accompany the use of homemade equipment. This part of Amateur Radio is missed by many of today’s hams who operate only with store-bought rigs. I recommend this book for your Amateur Radio library, even if you never become a member of the fast-growing QRP fraternity.

            Doug DeMaw (W1FB), Technical Editor

CQ Magazine (April 1989, p. 60), “Antennas and Accessories”

History of QRP in the US, 1924-1960. This is the latest from Adrian Weiss, W0RSP, CQ's own QRP Editor of long standing. Ade's book represents a very well-researched reference text as well as an excellent guideline to finding out what QRP (low power) operation in “the old days” is all about. It also has some interesting stories about flea-power operatron in “the old days” tossed in, including material on the early radio pioneers. Too, the material on homebrew equipment is enough to make you want to “roIl your own” without further delay. I like Ade’s neat dedication of the book It’s “dedicated to those who have shared their experience and knowledge with others; who have led, like Kruse, Hatry, Schnell, Handy, and Battey; numberless QRPers who have endured against the odds; and unsung heroes, the receiving operators, who make ORP possible.”

Coming in at 200 pages. Ade’s $10.95, 11-chapter paperback is literally chock full ot historical data on the QRP world, more than we can do justice to here. Though profusely illustrated with photos and circuit diagrams, the print is small, however, so get out your reading glasses for this one! Some ot the maior topics include Ade’s own amateur radio background (as K8EEG and later as W0RSP); the early days

SPECS:  5.5" x 8.5" paperback perfect bound; 208 pages; 53 photos; 15 schematics. Includes "Perfect Summer Plus QRPp" by A. David "Mid" Middleton W7ZC (W9WFV, W4CA/5) from THE MILLIWATT -- found nowhere else.  C.F. Rockey W9SCH noted: "...the most exhaustive and informative history of the early days since DeSoto's 160 METERS AND DOWN."

of spark and CW; amateur pioneers of the 1920’s; surveys of the 1930’s and 1940’s in radio communications, and the 1945-1960 “before the transistor” era, to sample iust a few topics.

Ade's History of QRP book is published by Millwatt Books, 833 Duke St. No. 83, Vermillion, SD 57069. Ade also tells us that he's planned a book on a subject dear to my heart scheduled for 1989: The QRP'rs Guide to Transmisson Lines, Antennas, Propagation and DX`ing. This promises to be a detailed comprehensive look at antennas for flea power operation as well as ionosphoric propagation and its applicatlon to QRP work. It may be too late by the time you read this, but Ade indicates that he's looking for data and insights gained by QRPers for possible publication in the new book.
                              Karl T. Thurber Jr., Editor

SPRAT (Nr. 54, Spring 1988) G-QRPC: A New Book From W0RSP --

HISTORY of QRP in the U.S., 1924-1960
            by Adrian Weiss W0RSP, ex-K8EEG

Many radio amateurs in the UK will know Adrian Weiss, W0RSP, from his writings on QRP in the CQ Magazine, and from his fine book THE JOY of QRP. Ade has recently produced another book with the mammoth title THE HISTORY of QRP in the U.S., 1924-1960. The book traces the history of low power communication from spark transmission to early solid state designs. It contains well documented accounts of the major advances in QRP communication with special reference to work in the U.S. It is well illustrated with photographs and circuit diagrams of the equipment used by these pioneers of amateur radio. The book is a nice blend of good scholarship (W0RSP lectures in Shakespearean Lit­erature at the University of South Dakota) and the “folksy” style we have come to know from Ade. The first chapter named “The K8EEG Story” describes his own early dabblings in amateur radio and the enthusiasm that has been with him to this day. This is a little gem of amateur radio writing! It shot me straight back to my early introductions to the hobby and revived the motivations and pleasures that have kept me active in the hobby for so many years. Throughout the rest of the book I enjoyed reliving the early trials and joys of keen amateurs working against the odds with little theoretical knowledge. This book is a must for those who enjoy finding out more about the pioneers of our hobby.

               Rev. George Dobbs (G3RJV), Editor

THE FIVE-WATTER (Sept., 1987), MI-QRPC Quarterly

When the author’s Preface is dated August 10, 1987, you know it's current. And when that Preface is signed by Adrian Weiss (W0RSP), you know that you've got some well researched reading ahead. This latest of Ade’s books -- History of QRP in the U.S., 1924-1960 -- chronicles QRP in the U.S. and that chronicle certainly parallels, and indeed becomes, the development and growth of U.S. amateur radio itself. If you think that our QRP interest is an interest in a facet of amateur radio that just started yesterday, think again! History gives us QRPers a sense of belonging and gives us an extended heritage. It is technical and yet it is very academic. It is something to warm the cold winter nights with good memories and it is something to fire the imagination for today. If you were born between 1940 and 1945, Ade’s Chapter 1 may move you to tears as he guides readers through memories of his own “awakening” in the mid-fifties. History is “crammed” with the photos and the schematics and the details and the specifics that blend together to tell the story of U.S. QRP from 1924 to 1960. Did the Heathkit AT-1 qualify as a QRP rig? What was the Jewell QRP Contest of 1926? History has the rigs and the people and the accomplishments. It is a MUST for your QRP bookshelf. The book is 200 pages and paperbound. It is similar in size and quality to The Joy of QRP and has the same print quality. Your money buys 11 chapters plus a Preface and and Epilogue, including 56 photos and 16 illustrations.

          Thomas A. Root (WB8UUJ), Editor


Rare Insight from a New Book: Exploits of Low Power Communication

Ade Weiss, W0RSP, champion of homebrew construction and low power operating, has compiled a history of low power communications exploits, telling the story behind the great communications records of this century. His most recent book reveals the circuits, the construction methods, and the operating techniques that produced the milestones. Each rare photograph tells more than ten thousand words. Better still, Ade captures the driving spirit behind the pioneers of ham radio, and captures the drama of the events by telling the story of the hams who did it, often in their own words. Every radio enthusiast, whether listener or ham, can benefit from this book. The fruit of Ade’s tireless and painstaking research, it's more than a priceless reference, it's a monument to the dynamism of amateur radio. The book, HISTORYof QRP in the U.S.,  1924-60 contains over 70 priceless photographs and drawings and 200 pages of thrilling stories.
                             Jim Stevens (KK7C), Pres.

Ordering Information>

Adrian Weiss W0RSP
810 N. Placita la Canoa
Green Valley, AZ, 85614

Sample Pages.   -- K8EEG College Transceiver = 1959 Design