FAQ: 'Which is the best band to start on with QRP?'

The following are the opinions expressed by various amateurs. I suggest you read them all and decide for yourself. Thanks to those who spared the time to assist with their ideas.
I think the best HF band to start with QRP operation is 40 meters.

Short-skip during the day and long-skip at night makes 40 meters a good
choice.  The band remains fairly active throughout the sunspot cycle and I
believe the new QRPer can have a very high success rate.

Chances are the the new QRPer would be using horizontal wire antennas or
verticals, along with the majority of the ops on 40; keeping a lot of us on
the same playing field.

72 Kevin N2TO


Dave    VE7PCC 

Regarding the first band I used on QRP was in my case 30 metres! My aerial is  
quite efficient on 30 (by accident) + there should be more space between QSOs 
than say on 20 metres. My cw is still very rusty. Someone with a QRP kit may not 
have the filters of a 1000MP, so 30 could be good for that. 
The band is under used too!

Those are my feelings. 

Colin. GW3WSU

Just read your packet request and thought I would give my shillings worth. 
I don't think an easy answer can be given because of the veriaty of unknowns. 
I think first priority should (for dx working) be given to the band the best ant of the 
station eg I like 20 as I have a 2 ele yagi and only dipoles for the rest and even 
milliwatts works well! For homebrew gear 80 has a lot of qrp sigs on it and with 
modest ant a lot can be worked.  So thinking still as I type it must be for me 20 
for  dx and with my homebrew you can't beat 80. I hope my ramblings of some use. 

73 Phil G4RVW 

*	80 meters. This is the frequency for the QRP ssb net on a Friday night
but I don't think that it's too good for qrp!  Far too much QRN, crashing
like you would not believe.  Mind you, when you do get a bit of dx, it's
good - and has been known to cover all VK.

*	40 meters, my favourite band for qrp.  Unlike Europe, 40 is relatively
quiet and peaceful.  Just the job at 7020 right up to 7040.  Above this
you start getting the ssb boys a bit cranky but I have been on a net at
7070 with no problems.

*	10100 up.  Nobody there, despite the Norcal's 38 special!  Longest
contact was with VK5RG, Rob, who lives a mile up the road!

*	20 meters. Yeh, ok but noisy and serious....leave 'em to it on this

*	15 meters.  GREAT FANTASTICAL OH JOYOUS BAND......both on cw and ssb. 
Worked Eastern Russia (Vladivostok) on 2 watts USB from the TenTec
Argonaut.  CW a breeze when the wind is blowing from behind!

*	27 megs.  Nope we don't have this band either, but it's fun to get a
rise from the chicken banders when you come up with a QRZ on cw!!!

*	28 megs	Good.  A couple of cycles ago, I exclusively worked t
his band on cw and side band, real low power and worked the States and into
Europe. Even worked my brother Phil (GQRP member, too!) G0MFH on this band on

Of them all, I'd chose 40 at this end of the world, because I built my
first and best rig for 40 (Wes Haywood's famous Mountaineer rig at 400
millwatts) and worked all VK areas with it (yep, even VK9 and VK0).
Norm, VK5GI

I believe that the best band to start is 20 meters due to it's being 
open almost 20 hours a day and you can work long distance with
QRP power. 
For other than General or above I would chose 15 and 10 meters
days and 40 meters at nite but with the reality of the interference
on 40 at nite in the novice freqsand the propagation chances on 15 
and 10. 
For simplicity and ease of building, 40 ,30, 20 are best to
have a usable rig when you are through. I would chose 40 for first 
time builders and 30 or 20 for those with a little technical and building
Now this information is for the USA and in Europe I believe it would 
be easier to work QRP to many countries on 40 and 80. 20 still has  
DX capability. Of course there is still the problem of HF broadcasting.
Donald W4BWS

In response to your FAQ-2 request I would like to nominate 40Mtr's for
the following reasons:-

1) Even with a very modest (small) antenna in restricted space it's easy to
work inter-UK qrp stations in daytime and dx qrp into Europe at night. I
base this on my own recent experience on H.F. and qrp. I have only been on
H.F. for just over 18 months and qrp for just over a year and found 40M
(though crowded) an easy band to work even with my 15 foot long loft dipole.

2) Because of the ease with which UK stations can be worked I feel this
gives the novice a chance to work some relatively local stations and "find
their feet" before they venture off to the world of DX. It worked for me!

3) 40M is a (generally speaking) a low frequency band and as such makes the
task of home brew much easier (and cheaper) for the beginner.

4) For those just breaking into the hobby who have perhaps had little or no
previous experience of H.F. working the 40M band offers a pretty "sure fire"
starting point with almost guaranteed results even when heavy constraints
are placed on the size of antenna and cost/complexity of equipment.

Just out of interest, I was an s.w.l. for about 30 yrs and had little
respect for the 40M band until my dad opened my eyes. He asked me to
assemble a "Howes" kit for that band, when the kit was finished I spent 6
weeks testing it :-) and was "sold" on 40m.

Hope the above is of help.



Here in Southern England the best is 3.560 kHz. 7.030 is usually too QRM in 
the evenings and the G-QRP Club members are ready to help beginners on 
most mornings before 9am and in evenings, plus all the weekend.

Victor G3JNB

I always start with the highest band, 10m. I don't call CQ and always listen
 for gud op's they are also good listeners...

Herm DJ3WM

Thanks to all the above for their valuable notes

Frank G3YCC

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