Let me begin by explaining the rationale behind this talk. In
fact, it applies to more than just that -- it is about why Dayton
is so important to us, why the Four Days in May QRP
extravaganza has burgeoned into what it is, why this banquet
is held every year, why select QRP’rs are inducted in the HoF,
and why someone gets up and gives a speech which everyone
hopes is brief and to the point. Usually most speakers will
make that a promise -- not me -- the doors have been locked,
so hunker down for the duration! Kidding of course! But, back
to the rationale.

Psychologists tell us that group-identification is essential for a
personal sense of well-being. The individual who identifies
with no specific group is indeed unfortunate: self-esteem, the
sense of belonging, the sense of a shared set of values and
activities, the opportunity to be instantly accepted and
included upon arriving -- all these aspects of experience are
lacking to such an individual. The formation of clubs based on
shared interests has long been a social method of providing a
source of group-identity.

Individuals join clubs for a variety of reasons, and their
expectations and degrees of involvement vary accordingly. As
far as we’re concerned, we QRP’rs have told similar stories
over the years about finding our way into QRP and this club.
Several common themes thread their way thru our accounts:
they all boil down to discovering that a large number of hams
are actually out there using QRP and having a ball.

Many have been attracted to QRP by reading about the
underlying philosophy and experience in books and articles --
there probably has never been a boring, un-enthusiastic piece
about QRP to appear in print. The excitement exhibited by
QRP writers inevitably strikes a note with some readers. The
challenge of working the world with a few watts, doing battle
with the QRO Goliaths and winning, as most of us know,
produces a rare kind of exquisite satisfaction -- I’ve tried many
times to find just the right terms to describe it. Several years
ago a book, then the movie, carried a title that hits home for
me: The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Many of you know
this feeling -- it is an excitement and sense of awe and
disbelief that is almost painful. I felt that as a kid, WN3COB
working CA in the wee hours after slipping down into the
basement when I felt the coast was clear. I felt it in the late
60’s when I built my first transistor rigs, not having much of an
idea of what made them work. That they did work was part of
the disbelief. Working 1w dsb on 160 around the east coast
was simply incredible to me. During the 80’s while on research
trips to England, this time carrying miniaturized transceivers
that I had designed and using antennas slung out of windows,
the same feeling was there. It still is -- most recently in my
love-affair with a 30m SST transceiver by Wayne Burdick
N6KR marketed by Wilderness Radio. Love affair surely
applies -- you know how lovers just love hearing the sounds
and words spoken by each other. That is exactly why I love
the SST -- I love hearing how it sounds in my ears and what it

Let me pause to comment on this important development in
QRP. For many, the promise of being able to build our own
mini-rigs was the alurement that led us out of the world of
powerful complex computerized QRO transceivers. It’s not
that a little QRP transceiver is all that simple, but at least an
average QRP’r has an outside chance of figuring it out and
fixing it. And there’s always an enthusiastic QRP Elmer off-
frequency to help out if it doesn’t work. The world of QRP kits
that has developed in the past decade makes building a rig so
much easier than in the old days.

Back when we started up THE MILLIWATT, followed by the G-
QRPC and MI-QRPC, the main challenge was finding QRP
circuits to publish so as to encourage homebrewing. The G-
QRPC’s journal SPRAT was devoted primarily to publishing
homebrew circuits from the start and initiated the concept of
the club kit project with GM3OXX’s famous Oner, then came
the Twoer . Behind the kits were the designers.

Ultimately, it is impossible to tell the designers like Wayne
N6KR, Doug DeMaw W1FB, Wes Hayward W7ZOI, Roy
Luellyn W7EL, John Liebenrood K7RO, Joe Stivec VE7TX,
Dave Benson NN1G and others how much enjoyment they
have contributed to our lives. If your QRP’ing has been
enhanced by their work -- drop them a line and let them know -
- they get little else out of the effort they put into designing and
developing rigs.

Likewise, the club kit distribution projects by NORCAL, the
New England QRP Club, the Knightlights Club, Colorado QRP
Club, Columbus QRP Club, the ST. Louis QRP Club and
others have constituted a massive contribution to the growth
of QRP by dedicated QRP’rs who want to spread the joy. I still
can’t quite fathom the amount of effort that has gone into
these projects.

I’ll never forget reading Doug Hendricks KI6DS’s editorial
which announced that all 1000 kits in the NORCAL project
were gone, and noted in passing that the project required the
sorting of 100,000 parts into kits! Which of us has ever even
owned a total of 100,000 parts? How many of us have looked
at a circuit with 92 parts, mentally calculated the amount of
time it will take to search for and order the parts, layout and
etch a p.c.b., and then say looks like a fun rig, but I don’t
have the time... This group of dedicated QRP’rs has
eliminated that obstacle.

So, I think we should give all these named and unnamed QRP
soldiers a hearty round of applause! The QRP movement is
greatly indebted to all of you.---

Another group of dedicated QRP’rs ought to be recognised --
those who commit time and financial resources to searching
for and making available the parts and kits for those of us who
want to homebrew our rigs. We’re familiar with them -- Dan’s
Small Parts, Small Wonder Labs, Oak Hills Research,
Embedded Research, Far Circuits, Jade Products, EMTECH,
Radio Devices, Whiterook Radio, S&S Engineerin,and
Wilderness Radio. When we see one of their ads or browse
their WEB pages for information on products, we have to keep
one idea sharply focused as we chose and reject. We’re
numbed into a market-place insensitivity by the avalanche of
commercial ads that buffet us every day, everywhere we look
or listen. But behind each of these QRP ads is a QRP’r who
has to be committed to the QRP cause, who cannot possibly
be in it to make a lot of money.

In this context, one story of joining a QRP club is especially
touching to me in a personal way. Along with his order for JOY
OF QRP and HISTORY OF QRP, Bob Dyer of Wilderness
Radio noted that he’d read the local library’s copy of JOY OF
QRP many times, and that he was overjoyed that I’d
reprinted it. He confided:

I consider your book a large influence in my decision to
become a QRP-DXer. (I worked all states in 6 months, and
have now worked 152 countries with 5 watts or less).

Notice the evidence of a genuine enthusiastic QRP’r here --
Bob couldn’t just stop with saying he was a QRP DX’er -- he
had to go on and give me his list! We all do that, don’t we? At
least I do and just about everyone who talks to me does. We
all understand the excitement that lay behind each number as
the total accumulated, don’t we? To return to Bob’s letter, he

Little did I realize what a profound change your book and ham
radio would make in my life. Shortly after becoming KD6VIO, I
met Doug Hendricks, Jim Cates, and Wayne Burdick. I got
involved with the NORCAL Club -- I’m member #8. For the
last two years I’ve been making my living as the owner of
Wilderness Radio...

I’m sure Bob’s story is typical of many in the basic process--
some QRP enthusiast, me in this case, lit a fire that enticed a
new ham into the QRP ranks, and that newcomer is now
passing on the torch and in his own way advancing the cause,
spreading the JOY OF QRP. The important point here is:
when you’re looking at the QRP commerical ads, just
remember that, if you scratch the surface, what you’ll see is a
Bob Dyer whether it’s Wilderness Radio or Dan’s Small Parts
or Oak Hills Research or the other companies. These ventures
are built on dedication and the desire to contribute to the QRP
cause, not on the profit motive of the marketplace. When you
pick up one of their products at the Hospitality Suite, sneak a
glance at their faces as they enthusiastically explain what it
does and why it is so good -- and you’ll see a glint of the QRP
fire in their eyes! I’m sure you’ll all agree that these folks
deserve a healthy round of applause.

And if you’re teeter-tottering about whether to buy the
Wilderness Radio or the Embeded Research kit, buy them
both! The Fourth Commandment of QRP applies here: Thou
shalt never have too many QRP rigs! Am I right?

At this point in my life, I’m looking down a short tunnel at
retirement. There isn’t much excitement to look forward to
professionally. So, more than ever before, I am getting to
appreciate how really important the thrill of QRP is in my life. I
know that, in ten years or twenty years, our QRP rigs may be a
bit different, but finishing up a rig and working other QRP’rs
and DX will always produce that Unbearable Lightness of
Being feeling. I don’t expect the circumstances or results to
be the same as with the 30m SST -- when I fired it up and
worked P40J and 3D2KT right off, I couldn’t believe it! I had
never even heard a 3D2 before, and I’d just worked one!
Pardon my french, but I kept on listening to him and excitedly
repeating aloud Holy Shit, a 3D2! Wow! for a while. And I
had to run upstairs and shake the XYL awake to tell her about
it. Like she cared enough about 3D2’s and SST’s and 30
meters to be shocked out of a deep sleep at 0100, with the
alarm set for 0600!. But sometimes the excitement is so
intense a guy just has to tell someone about it, awake or not!
You know what I’m talking about? How many of you have had
this same irrepressible need? Let’s see a show of hands...

We all know that the sharing is ever so much more satisfying
if the other person is awake, interested, and better yet,
impressed! And only another QRP’r fits that list of
qualifications. That’s where our QRP ARCI and all of the other
QRP Clubs come in. It is important to bear in mind that clubs
are nothing more than a method of giving QRP’rs a place to
share ideas and experiences with other QRP’rs. The clubs
don’t make QRP’rs, rather, QRP’rs make the clubs. Our
interest and enthusiasm and desire to share is the lifeblood of
the clubs. So, most of us belong to several clubs. It’s not a
etc. We are the clubs!

The end result of having all these QRP clubs is that we share
a strong sense of group-identity. Each of you -- glance around
and all you see are more QRP’rs like yourself -- wall to wall
QRP’rs! In the words of Joe Cocker at Woodstock, Wow! Hey
man, like this must be Heaven! You may not personally know
the QRP’rs sitting at the next table, but you know that you
belong with them and with all the rest of us. Isn’t this sense of
group identity special?

How many times have you been in some other kind of group,
like at a boring department meeting, silently wishing that it was
a bunch of QRP’rs so you could really enjoy youself and feel
that sense of belonging? I certainly have on many occasions.
My identity as a QRP’er is a very important value in my life.
Every tower and yagi, every wire, and most of the tall trees
that I see in the world remind me that I’m a QRP’r at heart.

I suspect that the same applies to many of you. The existence
of QRP clubs makes this group-identity possible. Without the
clubs and the activities that they sponsor, we’d all be a bunch
of QRP operators pursuing our hobby in isolation except for
the occasional two-way QRP contact that lets us know that
there are others out there like ourselves, different from the
rest of the world’s hams. Perhaps abnormal, wierd, a lunatic
fringe, but in any event, not belonging. A very lonely kind of
hobby indeed.

For those of you who haven’t been around long enough to
remember, that is precisely the situation that QRP’rs found
themselves in during the 1960’s before the QRP movement
crystallized. You can’t appreciate the magnitude of what has
happened to provide you with your QRP group-identity unless
you know what it was like before Mike Czuhajewski WA8MCQ
started up the QRPp Corner in the July 1969 issue of his
QRP/8 newsletter. In short, you have to know the HISTORY
OF QRP to appreciate what QRP is today and what you
actually belong to. That’s why I wrote HISTORY OF QRP IN
THE US 1924-60 -- to give QRP’rs a historical tradition that
stretches back to the beginning of ham radio. And that, finally,
brings me to the subject of this talk.

See what I mean about having to lock the doors?

(Incidentally, I still have 500 copies left after a decade. That
means that a lot of QRP’rs don’t know that they belong to a
group of hams that began with the introduction of the 1-watt
and 5-watt vacuum tubes in 1923 or so! If you don’t know the
HISTORY, you’re missing a very important component of that
feeling of belong.)

Part I: The 100-W QRP ARCI

The original 100-w QRP ARCI Club grew out of a letter in the
August 1961 issue of QST. Harry Blomquist K6JSS wrote, in

I admire those with a kw. final, but I don't need nor want
one. It should be readily apparent to all of us that now is the
time to cease interfering with one another through high
power and also to cease alienating our fellow hams in other
countries (limited to a lot less power) through our brute
force tactics. Anyone interested in joining up with me
building up a QRP Communications Club, to prove the
point? -
--Harry F. Blomquist, K6JSS, Saratoga, Calif.

A response from self-proclaimed California Kilowatt WA6TKT
countered with the reliability argument in the December 1961
issue. It seems fair to say that many hams agreed with him
when he said:

If anything, more reliable communications could be obtained
by increasing, not decreasing, present power levels, not only
because an increase would mean higher signal strengths, but
also because the present QRP operators would be less
tempted to use an already occupied channel where they
should not be trying to operate anyway.
--Gary B. Jordan, WA6TKT, Downey, CA

Bear in mind that K6JSS defined QRP as 100 watts, not 5
watts. Just imagine, for a moment, how you would have felt
when reading K6JSS’s letter and trying to figure out just where
you belonged if QRP meant 100 watts. And then being told by
WA6TKT that even 100-watters don’t belong on the air if a
KW decides to plop down on a frequency?

K6JSS’s first newsletter of Sept. 1961 entitled QRP NEWS
listed 25 charter members, including Mac McCullough
W4VNE, Joe Szempias W8JKB, and Sandy Wagner K6TBW,
QRP’rs who would later make a big difference in our club. The
total focus of the club was on the reduction of QRM by
voluntarily running no more than 100-watts input, unless you
wanted to, in which case you could join up as an Associate

That was the fatal flaw in K6JSS’s conception of a QRP Club.
His definition of QRP at 100 watts called for US hams to limit
themselve to the maximum power level allowed by the vast
majority of IARU countries. And a majority of US hams
operated at that level or below anyhow -- most commercially
available transmitters like the Viking Ranger or Heath DX100
were within his definition of QRP. And as HISTORY OF QRP
IN THE US, 1924-1960 reveals, in choosing the 100-watt limit,
K6JSS rejected a concept of QRP that had been accepted
since the beginning of the vacuum tube era. For a club to
generate enthusiasm and group-identity, its boundaries must
clearly distinguish its purpose and its members from the rest
of the world. The 100w limit did not.

Part II. The Mike and Ade Show

The club had sown the seeds of its own destruction in the 100-
w limit. A kid in Paw Paw MI -- don’t ask where that is! -- had
joined the club, and risen to the Board of Directors by 1969.
He wanted action, and the club was not providing it. So, he, as
eighth district representative, decided to start up a newsletter
for the district, appropriately titled QRP/8. At the same time,
he pestered the board about recognising genuine 5-watt QRPp
achievements with an award. As a result WAS-QRPP was
approved. The announcement in the Sept. 1969 issue of
QRP/8, if read suspiciously, raises some concern about his
motivation in getting the WAS-QRPP award approved. He


(A) Certificate #1 has already been applied for, and has been
promised to WA8MCQ, who will get the basic certificate plus
endorsements for 45 states and using under one watt.

Now, Mike is a nice guy, and all of us who know him just
know that he wouldn’t go as far as having an award created
just so he could get the first one! If anyone would make such a
charge against me for starting up the MILLIWATT DXCC
QRPp Trophy program, well, I’d just have to say, how’d you
guess? At least I didn’t have anywhere near a 100 countries
in the bag when I started up the program! To be fair to Mike,
he also hassled the BoD into adding a QRPp section to the
QSO’s Parties, and eventually, a stand-alone QRPP QSO
Party. Now, we could never be convinced that he did that
because he actually believed that he could win!

But seriously folks, WA8MCQ’s newsletter entitled QRP/8 is
where this club actually began. In the July 1969 issue, which
was the 6th in the series, Mike reprinted a whole page of a
letter from W7NUN about lack of participation in RANDOM
RADIATION, the newsletter of the PACIFIC AMATEUR
RADIO GUILD, a group which had splintered off from K6JSS’s
QRP ARCI in 1968 or so in order to provide a more clearly
defined focus. On p.10, Mike struggled to find such a focus
for QRPP within the 100-watt club, reporting:
(B) I have suggested to W4RNL that the membership lists
include some indication of those who use QRPp, or else a
separate list of QRPp’ers, to enable them to get together,
exchange ideas and brags, and to get together on the air with
two-way QRPP QSO’s.

Little did he suspect that this statement of focus was soon to
That took a bit of doing on my part -- but we’re getting ahead
of the story. And incidentally, you heard correctly -- Mr.
Antennas of the QRP World, L.B. Cebik, is the same W4RNL
mentioned by Mike -- he was on the BoD at the time. Now he
officiates over an incredibly valuable WEB page featuring
materials about antennas -- hit it and you’ll see what you’ve
been missing.

After a page or so of the usual QRO club trash in the July
issue, a new heading appeared with the title QRPP CORNER,
which Mike resurrected from a section of Don Stoner’s
column, and under it, the introduction that launched us. He

I hope to make this a regular feature, with news about what is
going on in the way of QRPp. Please send in anything you
can. Hunt thru the old mags if you have to, just send me some
information on what guys are doing with QRPP. For those of
you who haven’t heard of it before, QRPP is the generally
accepted designation for low power, up to a maximum of five

Mike went on to report some QRP news and finished up with a
half-page description of Doug DeMaw’s The QRP 80-40 CW
Transmitter found in the June 1969 issue of QST, noting:

it looks kind of complicated, using three transistors, but it is
worth the complexity.

At this point, very few ordinary QRP’rs were designing their
own rigs -- there was virtually no information out there to guide
us. Luckily DeMaw, and Wes Hayward with his seminal article
on the direct conversion receiver, paved the way for the rest
of us imitators who, lacking the technical expertise to design
our own, have taken bits and pieces of published circuits that
looked good and combined them into rigs without actually
knowing why they worked and whether they were working!
WA8MCQ’s closing plea for circuits reflects this situation:


(D) That’s about it for this month. Let’s see some stuff for this
column. It’s OK if you dig something out of a magazine, but be
sure to tell me where you got it, so I can ask the editor for
permission to steal it !.

Two actual circuits were included -- W7IGV’s unit from
Random Radiation , used a 2N3053 xtal oscillator to drive a
pair of 2N3053’s in the amplifer.

Ultimately, our 5-watt QRP ARCI evolved from this humble
beginning -- a report of a few QRP QSO’s and two QRP
circuits -- a total of roughly two pages of QRPP stuff. But the
process would take a decade.

By chance, as K8EEG, I received this issue of QRP/8 courtesy
of Mike’s sample mailing to 8th district members. It was a fire
and gasoline situation. His complaints of no materials being
submitted, the mind-blowing stuff in QRPP CORNER, the bit
about the list of QRPP’rs, the statement of focus, and the

exchange of ideas

ignited an enthusiasm in me that has never waned. I fired off
an excited letter offering to write up my QRPP info and rig and
Mike welcomed the offer.

But I was to discover that we were on two different
frequencies. He was a QRP ARCI BoD member and a loyal
one at that. It had never occurred to him that the 100w QRP
ARC was not an environment conducive to the flourishing of
QRPP. My instant reaction to the stuff in the July issue was
simple -- who needs the 100w QRP Club anyhow! It will never
become a place focusing on the exchange of ideas for
genuine QRPP’rs, not in a thousand years!

There was another slight misunderstanding. Mike apparently
thought I’d write a tidbit that he could include in his QRPP
CORNER. What he got was two pages of text, followed by
another page of schematic and instructions for duplicating my
rig and making it work. I kind of sensed that he didn’t realise I
wanted to write QRPP CORNER while he edited the QRP/8
QRO stuff. So, I titled my piece QRPP KORNER, spelled with
a K. When my QRPP KORNER sheets arrived, Mike replied
on 8/25

(1) 8/25: Got your papers today. You did a wonderful job,
both with the machine and with the content. I did not expect
you to, or especially want you to, do the QRPP Corner, but
that’s OK. I mean, LABEL it the QRPP CORNER, seeing as
how we already have such a column by the same name....
Boy, you really went and did it now, cuz now I am going to
send all my QRPP dope to you and you will forever be
responsible for writing the QRPP KORNER! If you have no
objections, I really would appreciate it if you would...

As for my strategy of spelling the title, Mike commented:

(2) 8/25 I was kind of disappointed that you labeled the
papers as you did KORNER with a K . I would do that kind of
thing, but somehow I can’t see that from a prof at a big
university, an English prof no less!

Both QRPP CORNER and QRPP KORNER, spelled with a K,
appeared in the Sept. issue of QRP/8. Mike introduced me in
the section titled NEW WRITER FOR QRP-89 and explained:

(2B) With this issue, perhaps, we acquire a new writer for the
QRPP CORNER. K8EEG said he would write me a little bit,
with some QRPP news he has gathered over the air, and
include the schematic of his QRPP rig. I told him to go ahead,
and he wrote up a nice little column, ran them off for me, and
sent them in. He titled his contribution QRPP KORNER, so in
this issue we have two such columns. In the future, I hope to
get Ade to write the entire column. He did an excellent job this
time, and am sure he can continue to produce such fine work.

In the regular news section, I am quoted as saying: Perhaps it
would be well to set up an editorial staff for this QRP/8 thing,
and even better, consolidate with other newsletters being
published ... I’m less inclined to contribute some item that I
know will not get out of the 8th district, or if it does, only a little

Mike was trying to expand -- but just into the combined 8th/9th
district newsletter. Big expansion! I guess that, to a kid in Paw
Paw, MI, the 9th district looked pretty far away! But that idea
never worked out.

The Sept. issue of QRP/8 was a landmark in the history of
spelled with a K, together put into print 5 solid pages of
genuine QRPP stuff plus three QRPP rig circuts. It also
contained the first TenTec advertisement with photos of the
four basic modules, at $7.95 each, which could be purchased
separately or combined into the first ever full-fledged QRPP
transceiver for 80-40 meters. THE MILLIWATT and TEN-TEC
grew up together. Almost five months would pass before THE
MILLIWATT replaced QRP/8. And therein lies a story of its
own -- you’ see why I’ve titled this section THE MIKE AND

It took two months of correspondence, during which Wes
Mattox K6EIL/2 came on board, to talk Mike into ditching
QRP/8 and going to an exclusively QRPP national publication.

The Sept. issue of QRP/8 arrived on Sept. 16, and I wrote
Mike congratulating him for the fine job, and then I started
planting the seeds for THE MILLIWATT. Mike had suggested
that I mail the QRP CORNER directly from SD, and I replied:

Somehow, the separation of QRPP CORNER from the
main newsletter seems to imply a separate existence, that is,
QRPP CORNER could become an organ in itself. On the one
hand, I think that this is undesireable because it has been an
organic element of QRP/8. As such, it has attracted readers to
QRP/8 (I hope!) and is perhaps the mainstay of the QRP/8

Note my strategy in the last sentence. On Sept. 21, Mike
replied associating mainstay with new subscriptions as
opposed to what I actually mean, that is, the only part of
QRP/8 that was worth publishing . He seized on the not
enough time yet issue, and broadsided me with that vein of
pessimism that seems to have grown out of his experience
with the lack of interest in QRP/8:

(3) 9/21: So far, no guys have been attracted to QRP/8 by
the QRPP CORNER, either yours or mine. There hasn’t been
time for anyone to subscribe because of it yet, and I very
seriously doubt if they would just to get it. Strike that last -- I
think they WILL, eventually.

But the mainstay of the publication? If you refer to your own
contribution, your head is getting kind of swelled, isn’t it?

In my letter, I had continued with:

If QRP CORNER were to be handled separately, then two
advantages might accrue. First, a much wider distribution
could be drummed up among the other call area guys
interested in QRPP, and the thing could eventually become
the national newsletter of QRPP. This is an eventuality which I
consider very desireable, because it is in line with my interests
in QRPP, my desire to see operating info from W5’s or W1’s,
or, in short, the happenings on the national QRPP scene. Mike

(4) 9/21: Yes, it has great possibility for becoming the national
QRPP scandal sheet. I don’t know how to go about it. We
really should keep it a part of the QRP/89, as it helps the
newsletter considerably, plus QRP/8 started it so QRP/8 keeps
it! HI!

The problem of getting materials for QRPP CORNER was the
next problem: I had commented:

It seems clear from this latest issue of QRP/8 that there is
much more than adequate material for QRPP CORNER as a
separate publication. If we build up a good intelligence
network here in the 8,9,0 areas, there will be adequate infor
for a good four-page issue six times per year, especiallly with
the anticipated rise in QRPP with the advent of the winter
season. Your QRPP CIRCUITS booklet idea would be a very
helpful item in any effort to render QRPP CORNER separate
but organically related to QRP/89.

Now when I look back, I don’t recall whether the reference to
a good four page issue six times a year was my actual
expectation, or whether I watered it down so as not to pull
Mike’s pessimism chain. At any rate, Mike replied with a word
of encouragement about my job of writing up QRPP CORNER
for future issues of QRP/8:

(5) 9/21: I hate to say this, but you think there is more than
adequate material for it? Just try to make another sheet as
good as your last! Actually, it seems like the typical QRPPer is
not dedicated to the art of QRPP, but is in it for the
momentary fun of it, then goes QRO again. Result -- the guys
give lots of QRPP news for short periods of time, then run dry,
and you have to seek new sources of information ... In any
event, don’t ever give up for lack of information -- just do
some editorializing on QRPP when space runs rampant.

Before Mike’s reply had even arrived with his reactions, I had
written On Sept. 19 to Howard Pyle, W7OE, General Manager
of PARG:

Mike WA8MCQ and I are thinking of running the QRPP
CORNER off separately and mailing it separately to both
subscribers and non-subscribers to QRP/89, ... I don’t
envision getting this underway as a separate operation until
the first of the year. I’d like to ask you to insert a simple query
into your RANDOM RADIATION to the effect that an effort is
being made to provide a general QRPP newsletter designed
specifically for the QRPP’er ... it will the only source of
operating information for them. ... Once it is underway, we’ll
push for separate subscriptions so that it can support itself....

Four days later I responded to several issues in Mike’s letter
of 9/21.

9/23 About the problem of the QRPP sources running dry, I
think you’re right in this respect ...Actually, you’ve hit the nail
on the head in your inimitable manner in regard to the weakest
part of my expectations regarding information -- and the
challenge about repeating the last QRPP KORNER was well
placed. It led me to question why such an attitude of
pessimism is so possible and prevalent, and my answer is: if
we sit on our asses waiting for the stuff to come in, it won’t!
But if we go out and get it, it probably will come in.

I then went into a half-page paragraph about setting up an
intelligence network and mailing samples and query sheets to
anyone who seemed remotely interested in QRPP. The end
result was that we both cranked out query sheets and started
mailing them. I had to back away from the idea of a separate
publication because I sensed that the turf issue was a
sensitive one for Mike:

: You’re response to the idea of a separate QRPP Corner is
well-taken. I hesitated to make my suggestion, because I, too,
see QRPP Corner as an integral part of QRP/8, and
essentially your creation ... To be clear then, QRPP CORNER
should remain in the QRP/8, and in no way become totally
separate -- if I had had that idea, I’d probably start up my own
operation, which I have no desire to do.

Admittedly, I was diplommatically lying thru my teeth, as
should be clear from my 9/19 explanation to W7OE mentioned
above, and it would not have taken a Ken Starr and his Grand
Jury to prove it! But Mike had to be nudged along step by
step. With the turf issue temporarilly settled, Mike got down to
business in his Oct. 3 letter:

(6) 10/3: First off, QRP-89 is dead. Lack of interest, so
K9VCM and I aborted by mutual consent. I am glad, as it
would have been much more work for me, and also, I changed
my mind and now feel that I reallly like QRP/8, and don’t want
to end it all after it has, hopefully, built up a good reputation.

About the sheets asking for QRPP info, this is an excellent
idea, so go ahead with it if you will. However, send me 25-
cents for each person you promise a free issue of QRP/8!!!.
No free issues just for news! However, you could promise
them a free issue of

QUOTE The QRPP Corner, a regular column appearing in
QRP/8 which is devoted to news of what is going on with 5w or
less... UNQUOTE

Frankly, I do not want to use QRPP CORNER as bait to get
more subscribers. I have so much trouble with the memeo
machine, the 70 copies I run off now is a real experience, and
if I went to more, it would kill me

Okay buddy, how about this --- what I want is QUALITY, not
quantity necessarily, but I would much prefer to have the
QUANTITY to be made up of 8th district members, and
QUALITY, which I want the most of, to be QRPP. I want all the
QRPP news I can get, regardless of whether it comes from a
member or not.

About the QRPP CORNER -- I sent you some news recently.
Now, will you be willing to be editor of that part of the
newsletter? I would appreciate it. It is enough to know that it is
my creation. I do not really care to get the credit for the actual
work. I’m getting lazy, and getting tired of all this work!

As you’ll notice, 25-cents for a free issue meant that I had to
pay for the samples I promised! Under his signature, Mike
scribbled the reminder: YOU (underlined) are paid up for 4
after this issue, but as you are printing it, you mayget some
extra, HI! Mike always counted the pennies! I was grateful for
that because I had no interest in the business end of the

Something happened between the 3 Oct. letter and Mike’s
next letter on 16 October. I hadn’t written him since 9/23. But
whatever happened, it pushed him over the edge. Perhaps the
ideas I’d been feeding him finally gelled. In any event, it was
the turning point for the QRP movement in the US and indeed
worldwide. Mike wrote:

(7) 10/16: Starting with the Jan. issue, QRP/8 will change its
purpose from that of being an 8th district QRP ARCI
newsletter to be a QRPP newsletter, with no geographical
restrictions. I’ve been thinking about this all day, and finally
decided it would be the best thing ... You mentioned that,
really, an 8th district newsletter is useless unless it coordinates
a lot with other newsletters, and this is not being done. Finally,
there is NO bulletin devoted to QRPP news. So, starting with
the January issue, we will devote our pages to QRPP news
from all over the country, and not just to member news of
QRPP’rs. We will print regular-type QRO news if we have
room, but will devote our pages mostly to QRPP news. You
had a good idea about making the QRPP CORNER the
national QRPP newsletter, and this is sort of what we are
going to do now. The name will stay the same...

I would like you to be my helper and associate, helping to get
the news, and helping to put it out. One reason I need you is in
case I get drafted or something, the newsletter can go on...
Please let me know what you think of the idea. It is going to
come to pass anyhow but would really like any suggestions
you have. Again, I think this will really be welcomed by all
those interested in QRPP whether associated with the club or

My response of 20 Oct. crossed Mike’s next letter of the same
day. I informed him:

As far as your earlier comments to the effect that we’ll never
match last issue’s QRPP CORNER stuff, I can only say that
was a rather naive statement! So far, I’ve gotten five pages of
stuff, including three vfo rigs for 80/40 and 20 m from K4OCE,
including one computer-designed attentuator for dropping to
QRPP from QRO rigs etc. This stuff can keep until the Jan.

I included a list of 13 items about the operational organization.
I tossed out a couple possible names: QRPP CORNER:
JOURNAL. And I asked about what my role would be in the
new QRPP newsletter Who is chief editor of QRPP
CORNER, now that QRP/8 isn’t any longer? .

Mike’s letter on 10/20 anticipated my question and added the

(8) 10/20: Now that we are converting QRP/8 to a national
QRPP newsletter, I will assume most of the responsibility for
handling the QRPP news. I suppose you can stay on as
Associate Editor or some such ... Now that we are going
nationwide, we should get more interest, but I doubt if we will
reach 100 or even 75. Maybe we will, I don’t know. ...

Now it was MY turf that had to be defended! This was red-flag
stuff! Now that I read over my letter to Mike of Oct. 22, I get
the distinct impression that I was really infuriated about being
phased out of QRPP CORNER. :

10/22: Got your letter today and I feel the need to clarify a
few matters. I don’t see why you have to assume responsibility
for the QRPP news, unless (a) you consider yourself the only
one who can do it, (b) consider yourself indispensible to the
QRPP movement, (c) you consider me totally incompetent.
As I see it, WE should make the thing a success ... I don’t
want to ‘stay on’ as an associate editor, whatever that is, or as
chief editor. You can be chief editor if you want -- I am in it to
serve the common need of QRPP’rs. I suggest that you decide
to take a similar attitude if you don’t already have it.

Secondly, I think that I can help by providing a counterpoise
to your pessimistic approach to (a) work, (b) the actual value
of what we can accomplish, and (c) the desire to serve as
many QRPP’rs as we possibly can. We have to stablize so
that I know what we’re doing, so that the guys know what’s
going to be going on next month, so that we don’t change form
and purpose everytime you get to thinking about something.
.... In short, we need a succinct statement of purpose that will
stand for the newsletter and its whole setup. Individuals then
don’t come in too much, but are agents for the common goal.
So, let’s get down to writing a batch of articles for this
newsletter, pick a name if we can think up something better
than QRPP CORNER, and get going on this in a professional

The key to the whole shift from QRP/8 to THE MILLIWATT
was Mike’s flexibility and readiness to accept new ideas and
ways of doing things. If he had chosen to dig in and fight the
inevitable at any point, we’d probably have gone separate
ways -- I was already committed to an exclusively QRPP
publication. So, his reply of Oct. 25 was a great relief. In
addressing the turf issue, his first comment was:

(9) 10/25: I don’t quite know what to call you. You certainly
aren’t going to be editor in chief, as it’s my baby, and no one is
going to take it away from me. Well, now let’s see -- choose
either arrangement that suits you best. I am the editor and you
are the reporter; or, I am editor in chief, and you are associate
editor; or, and this would be closest to what actually is, we are
both co-editors.


Two days later he crossed that out and rephrased it:


(10) 10/25: Well, you’re right on all of that. The main trouble
is that I look on the newsletter as my baby, a personal
project, and was acting like you were trying to take the thing
away from me. However, you’re right about it all, and the
important thing is just to get it out. Let’s both be co-editors of
whatever it would be called...

He seemed relieved now that the issue of focus was resolved,
and commented:


(11) 10/25 Remember, this November issue is still QRP/8
technically, and I am obligated to print the QRP Club news
that I have, even though I don’t really want to print it. So
please do not omit any of it. I certainly will be glad when the
January issue comes. We will no longer have to print that
trash we have been doing. It has been lots of fun, but I am
getting sick of it at least in the present form. Glad to hear that
you have so much QRPP stuff. Well, if you want, you can try
and save a lot of it for the January issue.....

Now about the name for the newsletter -- I would have liked to
keep QRP/8, but now I don’t think that is such a good idea.
MILLIWATT JOURNAL sounds good, but perhaps something
a little more unique is in order. But unless you come up with
something better, I suggest that we use either MILLIWATT

Along with his four page letter, Mike included an
organizational sheet including all the items we had settled,
including our early concept of format.

One of my favorite WA8MCQ-esque passages is in this letter,
a revealing item that I’m sure you all will find interesting:


(12) 10/25: You can write the ads if you want to, but I don’t
know if you can do a good job of it. I have this bad habit --
when I see something in print, I always feel that I can do a
better job and explain it more clearly. That’s why I wrote my
article for 73 after reading W6TYP’s article, which I felt was
quite confusing and Yechyy . For instance, from reading his
article, one gets the feeling that one must build a one watt rig
(no other power will do) and work a guy exactly 1000 miles
away to get started in QRPP. Perhaps I cannot do better after
all, but at least I try. Oh well. Now, getting back to the ads, I
am going to tear your last ad in the HAM TRADER to pieces. I
have a copy right here. I hope you take this criticism in the
spirit in which it is offered.

What gall! I had a Ph.D. in English and therefore no need to
prove my command of the language to this kid from PawPaw!
However, having said that, I must note that Mike was a superb
writer -- and not just because he was a kid. I haven’t edited
anything of the parts he’s read -- that is how they rolled out of
the typewriter patten.

To get back to the story, the die was sunk, and all we had to
do was file off the rough edges and pour in the stuff to make
THE MILLIWATT. We put out perfunctory November and
December issues of QRP/8 and saved the good stuff for the
first issue of THE MILLIWATT, scheduled for January 1970.
By December, Wes K6EIL/2 joined us with responsibility for
handling the 1-2-3 call areas and listing active QRP’rs; I
handled the 5,6,7 areas, and Mike took the 4,8,9, and 0 areas.
We commenced mailing queries and running some ads. Mike
added an ominous note at the end of his Dec. 13 letter:

I am draft #361, but the Michigan head of the Selective
Service says all will go, so I am sweating it. The Vietnam War
wasn’t over yet. Mike delayed mailing his material until after
the Xmas rush on the theory there was less chance that it
would be lost. So the PO lost it out of spite. That created a
delay. By Feb. 26, Mike complained:

No newsletter yet. Come on, we are now fully one issue
behind. Never again will I trust the PO with anything.

When I told him I was printing 300 copies, he said Wow!!
with 2 exclamation points. When he got the first issue of THE
he wrote:

(13) 2/28: Got my issue of THE MILLIWATT today. All I can
say is Fantastic!!!!! WOW!!!!! Well worth waiting for!!!!!

[Interestingly, while reading this, Mike anticipated my next
comment by adding his count of the exclamation points after
each phrase -- great extemporaneous addition!]


Five exclamation points after each adjective. Instead of
mimeographing it, I managed to have it offset printed and
folded into a booklet of 16 pages. It wasn’t a newsletter and it
sure wasn’t going to look like one. The rest is history.

Mike pre-empted the draft by enlisting later in the year and
disappeared into the Far East. C.F. Rockey came on as
Contributing Editor. Word got out about THE MILLIWATT. We
started up the MILLIWATT DXCC QRPP TROPHY Program
and the QRP FIELD DAY TROPHY PROGRAM. At the end of
the second year, the 300 copies of the first year’s run were
gone -- QRP’rs subscribed and bought the lot, so running
reprints became a regular chore. By 1975 when it ceased
publication after 33 issues, we had over 800 subscribers in
over 40 countries! George Dobbs G3RJV had started up the
G-QRPC in the meantime and published its excellent journal

[At this point, I called George to the mic so that he could read
his line below]

A couple of years later genuine 5-watt QRP clubs began to
appear, first in Michigan. They carried the torch until the QRP
ARCI was transformed into a genuine 5-watt organization in
1980. That is another story in itself, time is running short, so
we’ll have to rush thru Part III, entitled:

Part III: G3RJV’s Role in US QRP History.

George helped bring about the transformation of the 100-w
club into our 5-watt QRP Club by repeatingly making snide
remarks such as:

bloody yanks still think that 100-watts is QRP, ho-ho!

and sniggering or chuckling or chortling or whatever it is that
these Brits do with that attitude of superiority that is directed at
the former colonies. But all joking aside, George, over here,
we QRP’rs loved it everytime you took a potshot at the 100-
watt club. It was a joke to foreigners and a pain to us.

Part III. The QRP Takeover of the 100-w QRP QRCI.

When the takeover of the QRP-ARCI occurred in 1980, the
newletter was headed by a logos consisting of a 2-inch square
meter with the needle pinned under the 100 watt tick-mark.
Previously, the logos was simply a QRP with a 5/8-inch Q ,
at the top of which 100 was inscribed, and a needle inside
the Q pointing at the 100. The change to the huge 100-watt
meter made the focus of the club obvious, and was a kick in
the face to genuine QRP’ers. The takeover began when a
QRPr, Bill Dickerson, WA2JOC, winner of QRPp DXCC
Trophy #10, took over the editorship in 1977. Bill, Sandy
Blaize W5TVW, Mayford Flynn WB4ZOJ, and Joe Szempias
W8JKB were the other QRP’rs on the 11-member BoD. Bill
got the ball rolling in two steps.

First, he turned the newsletter into a 5-watt QRP forum by
running news from genuine QRP’rs. For example, the January
1978 issue contained 7 pages of member news, including
reports by QRP’rs WB9HPV, WA3TNJ, K6GKU, W6JTH,
and W8JKB, many recognizable as former MILLIWATT
contributors. Articles by QRP’rs WA3ZXK/5, W9SCH, and
WA2PGA rounded out the genuine QRP offerings. Several
QRP’rs called for lowering the power limit. W8ILC, who should
be in the Hall of Fame, reported 180 countries with 1-watt
s.s.b. In the midst of 5-w QRP reports about all the DX being
worked, one QRO type asked at the end of his brag: What
type of person wants to jump into a pile-up for EI2, VR2, 9J2,
or an IG9 while using less than 100-watts input? I am proud to
be that kind of person. Stark contrast. Totally defused focus.

The genuine QRP’rs reports had had an impact on the 100-w
club Founder Harry Blomquist K6JSS, who wrote:

For lo! these many years I have noted club members doing
marvelous things with 5 watts or less. But, after 20 years of
building my own gear I finally had to buy, getting an Argonaut.
After a month’s use of two watts output, and getting one
contact each ten tries, I bowed to those QRPp giants; and
went out an bought a 50-watt linear.

A different crowd, those QRPp giants doing marvelous
things . But it was the active crowd. The results of the QSO
Parties showed that. In the 1977 Fall Party results appeared
entries from 63 QRP’rs and and 23 QRO’rs. The Spring 1978
event produced 89 QRP and 36 QRO entries. Fall 1978
showed 70 QRP and 40 QRO entires. QRP’rs were in the
overwhelming majority. The newsletter continued to bulge with
reports from QRP’rs.

The second and biggest step was taken when Bill began
poking the hornet’s nest in the October 1978 by raising the

do QRP QSO’s initiated with QRO really count as QRP
contacts? He followed up in the January 1979 issue by
reporting that he was up to 132 countries with his Argonaut,
and then whacked the hornet’s nest with a full swing:

As one whose major interest is DX, I would be embarassed to
categorize a 100-watt contact as QRP to a DX station on the
air. However, there is no question that the 100-watt limit for
joining the QRP ARCI attracts a number of hams who might
otherwise not become exposed to QRP/ QRPp. If one is
serious about low power, 100 watts is simply not QRP for the
vast majority of hams. Therefore, I propose that the QRP
ARCI lower the maximum power allowed by full members to
TEN watts input. OK GANG -- WHAT DO YOU THINK?

That began the battle for the club. Within the news section,
Mac McCullough, W4VNE / W8LZK, made the point:

The only problem is that perhaps it is now after the fact since
I think that the QRP ARCI dragged its feet too long and let
those of us who have been interested for years in what a watt
or so would do, get more interested in Ade Weiss and his
MILLIWATT. That is now past history but the awards have
already been made through Ade and there is no real
achievement goal left except to collect more paper for the
shack’s wall.

The rest of the 11 pages of news, typically, was almost entirely
about real QRP.

But Bill’s editorial ignited an explosion of controversy in the
April issue. More importantly, out of nowhere, Tom Davis
K8IF, who had been running the QRPp nets, was elected
President of the QRP ARCI. His sole purpose in becoming
president was to transform the QRP ARCI into a 5-watt club.
So, Tom, Bill and I put our heads together on the strategy.

The main concern was to avoid panicking the 100-watt types
into action. This would leave the field open for the normally
active 5-watt types. In the April issue, then, Bill clarified the
point that his personal opinion about a ten-watt limit in the
previous issue was not to be construed as being anti-QRP
ARCI, and closed by quoting W8JKB’s reminder that club
policy is decided by a vote of the BoD. That was a 6 to 5 QRO
majority at the time, and a 2/3 majority was needed to make
the change. He commented that, judging from the deluge of
replies he’d gotten,

common agreement about the club’s power limit, is
unobtainable .

In other words, without saying it, the point was: it will have to
be either 100-watts or 5-watts. Bill selected the replies to the
power limit question to quiet the fears of the 100-w crowd --
most expressed the theme: 5-watts can be fun, but let’s keep it
at 100-watts for various reasons.

Among these, K6JSS laconically noted that

the newsletter indicates a revived interest in changing the club
level to 10 watts maximum. My records and memories say this
is the fifth time... I see nothing to be gained by going to10

My contribution to the plot appeared last in the issue and stood
as the final word . After pointing out that the QRP ARCI was
the only organization in the world to define QRP as 100-watts,
I suggested, as we had decided, that the membership be
polled, and

if a majority of the members considers QRP as five watts ... it
is time to make a basic change in the club by-laws. By no
means were 100-watt types to be excluded -- an Associate
Membership should be created for them. For his part, Tom
entirely ignored the power limit issue in introducing himself as
the new president, noting only that

1979 may prove to be a tough year and we can all see that.

Tom let the power limit issue fade until the July 1980 issue. By
that time, everyone thought it had gone away again. Then he
popped in a questionaire and a return postcard in that issue.
Only 43 replies out of a mailing of 600 were received by the
October issue. With respect to to the input vs. output issue,
58% favored output. However, only 25% favored the 5-watt
limit, with 46% undecided and 14% for 100-watts. In the
meantime, QRP’rs Ed Lappi WD4LOO and Red Reynolds,
K5VOL, had been newly elected to the board along with Pete
Spotts, N1ABS, the new editor. In reviewing the results, Tom
noted that

there is a strong feeling among at least half the members of
the BoD that the poll is insufficient to reflect the wishes of the
membership as a whole.

Behind the scenes, Tom had submitted two proposals for
changing the by-laws -- output power and the 5-watt limit -- to
the BoD. He strategically avoided trying to change the club’s
power limit per se, and limited it merely to claims of QRP
achievement, that is,

All QRP ARCI Certificates of Achievement will, therefore, be
endorsed as ‘QRP - 10-w input’ or ‘QRP - 5w output. No
endorsement would be carried on 100-w certificates.

Despite Tom’s diplommatic approach, one member of the BoD
in particular produced a three-page diatribe about the
sampling ratio of 43/600, the impracticality of r.f. output power
measurements, QRPp not being his
cup of tea -- never has been, never will be ,
and closed with a half-page attack on me --

He’s never been an officer or done nuttin for us!

and proposed ejecting me from the club because I had used
the wrong QRP number during the latest QSO Party. Needless
to say, I responded in kind, with the ferocity cranked up all the
way. He resigned after the takeover.

It was in such an atmosphere of controversy that Tom
courageously planted his feet and confronted the opposition

While those of us who wish to see a change may find this
disappointing, such a vote at this time does not mean that the
issue cannot be raised again, either when we get a more
widespread response from the membership, or when the
composition of the BoD changes to reflect what, at least by the
poll results, appears to be the wishes of you, the members.

After a pep-talk about voter turn-out , Tom took the bull by the
horns and announced that a new poll was enclosed in that

The new poll produced the desired results. Of 221 replies,
33% favored the 5-watt level, and 23% favored the 10-watt
level. Only 28% favored the higher power levels. In the
January 1980 issue, Tom reported that the by-laws had been
amended by a vote of the BoD to the output standard and the
club’s definition of QRP was now 5-watts r.f. output. The
QRP-25 Award would still be available for working members at
up to the 100-watt level. The club logos would be changed to
reflect the new 5-watt power definition. The old 100-watt meter
still appeared on the cover of the April 1981 issue, but the rest
was real QRP.

At Dayton 1981, Tom announced at dinner to Red K5VOL,
me, and a couple other QRP’rs that he was getting married
and he did not know how much time he’d have for the club.
We all moaned -- his innocent boyish smile told us what to
expect. He didn’t have a clue. For us, that
I do surely would translate into I’m out of here. But look
around you now and sense that QRP ARCI group-identity.
Tom Davis K8IF made this happen and he’s here in spirit. He
belongs, as he is, in the QRP Hall of Fame, and also in your
understanding of why you belong here. Thanks to him, the
QRP ARCI is a 5-watt club. He got rid of the two-inch square
100-watt meter logos. But the job is unfinished. HE ought to
be on the club logos instead of the founder of the 100-watt
club who was against changing the QRP ARCI into our 5-watt