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Notes on call/QRP

Many well respected operators offered their opinions on call/QRP. It is considered sometimes as trying to gain unfair advantage, sometimes as deliberate altering of an official callsign but the majority considered it as counter-productive practice hurting both the user and his QSO partner. There is a significant number of high-profile DXpeditioners and contesters avoiding working, logging and QSLing call/QRP users.

Following overview came from [Topband] and [FOC] mailing lists:

G3SXW: On the hot end of a pile-up it drives me nuts. I aim to capture the whole call first time. But I hear 'W7noisenoise/QRP' then next time I hear 'noise noise QK/QRP', then next time it's 'W7noise noise/QRP'. Believe me, the /QRP always comes through, I don't know why.
Now think about it: had those four characters NOT be sent each time I would have captured the whole call first time.
I would argue that the QRP station is trying to gain unfair advantage. It's like saying '/FOC', when you want the DX station (FOC member) to offer you advantage.
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They should learn enough that it is not cricket - and even more that it is counter-productive.
Rest assured, I've had this conversation with many high-profile DXpeditioners. They all agree that they actively avoid working anyone who signs /QRP.

G3VTT: I never do this and I've yet to hear an FOC QRP operator who does. One should get through with low power then bask in the glory. No helping hand should be needed.

K6RB: QRP is a choice. When you choose to operate QRP, you choose to accept the realities that attend it. Your signal will be comparatively weak; and in turbulent QSB conditions, it will be very difficult to copy. If you are running QRP into a gain antenna, and the bands are stable, you don't need to send /QRP because I'll hear you just fine. If the bands are up and down, as Roger pointed out, sending /QRP won't help because of all the other things I could not hear. As I wrote earlier, I will come back to someone who sends /QRP but I won't replicate it, and given a small pile of QRPers calling me, I won't favor the one sending /QRP. I'll come back to the first one whose call I ferret out. Adding an extra four characters lowers one's odds.

W7AQK: Not long ago there was a discussion on this practice on another reflector. Some thought it was illegal to use the "/QRP" designation, but I think the conclusion was that this was not the case. The ID requirements, at least in most jurisdictions, do require specific procedures as a prefix, but there was no indication that a "non official" suffix was a problem. If that is indeed true, then I see no particular problem in do it, although it may not always be effective. Quite a few operators are sensitive to QRP operators, and will give them special consideration when they are apprised of that power level. Others won't, and some resent it. So, it may be a crap shoot as to whether or not it does you any good. So long as it isn't illegal, though, I don't see the harm in it. At worst, it just may be deemed to be superfluous. Also, it makes no sense to continue using it once contact has been established. I sort of see the point, though, when it comes to contesting, since it adds length to the identification process. So, possibly considering it a "bad practice" is situational.

ZL2IFB: Is someone signing /QRP trying to gain advantage? They're trying to compensate for their low power, and stand out from the hoi palloi ... like most of us do, and not just in pileups! We're all 'special', unique individuals at least.
Is /QRP unfair? I'd say it's no more unfair than running QRO, or QSK, or shifting off zero-beat, or going to P5 .... or whatever. It's just another technique, one that doesn't even work very well (aside from extending the call beyond the usual duration, which I think is why it stands out Roger). Some hams are so incensed by /QRP that they refuse to work, log or QSL them.
Just to be clear, I don't do it myself and I don't mean to encourage it, but I think we should be more tolerant of those who feel the need to sign /QRP, and keen to work more QRPers. They'll learn, soon enough, that /QRP is just not cricket.

K4OSO: I really like to run QRP whenever practical however, when I hear "/qrp" it really turns me off. I agree it's an attempt to gain an advantage.

KT5X (WS0TA): FWIW, I operate a lot of QRP, am always QRP on SOTA peaks, never send /QRP. I think that only beginners do. They eventually learn it isn't helpful.
Much ado about nothing. Is the QRP signal causing severe QRM? If you don't like it, ignore it. Most of the time, you can't hear him anyway. You probably only hear one guy in 30 who is doing it, rest are too weak to be heard.
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By the by, I don't know about "bad" so much as, ineffective, so don't bother. In a pile-up it will diminish the likelihood of a QSO. But it isn't to "gain an advantage." It is an ill conceived attempt to limit the DISadvantage of running one third of one percent the power one might be pitted against...

IK0IXI:Callsign/QRP is a bad and unuseful operating practice. QRP is an operating condition, not a callsign extension.

G2JL: "How else do I let you out there know I'm a QRP station."
You don't; it's your choice, or it's forced on U, as many of us have high noise, rabidly anti-ham councils, vandalistic neighbours and so on.
There are poor, inept, operators and have little time but we don't expect others to make special allowances for us.
That raises an interesting point; what ARE we expected to do ? It's like those ludicrous annoying "Baby on board" signs; So what ? It is known what causes it; it's not my fault.
One is reminded of the offensively patronising farewell: "Take care".
One is tempted to answer, "Well, I wasn't going to, but since you order it..."

K9YC:
Q: How else do I let you out there know I'm a QRP station?
A: You DON'T. I don't care -- all I want is your QSO.
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As a QRP op myself, I urge you to NOT do that. If I had worked to dig a weak signal out of the noise, I would interpret ANYTHING after R or TU as telling me I had miscopied something, and you are repeating it.
NEVER send anything extra.

W8JI: I agree 100% with Jim (K9YC) on this. The only thing sending /QRP or anything unnecessary does is make it take longer and make it more difficult.
I honestly think a good number of people will either just ignore a station signing nonsense or be confused by it.
There is nothing more frustrating than trying to dig out a callsign or complete a contact with unnecessary meaningless stuff tacked on.
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A person should never do that in a contest. Not ever.
It isn't actually even good to sign a "callsign/QRP" outside of a contest. It isn't a legal identifier, although it doesn't hurt anyone else as long as it is not a high rate or run contact series.
The real place for that in the non-contest exchange is during the ragchew. There is never a reason or place for it inside a contest exchange unless the contest makes it a mandatory part of an exchange.
I really hope people do not punish others by insisting on sending unnecessary, confusing, junk. That is what it would be doing, punishing others.

W4II: Tom (W8JI), not exactly certain of your meaning of legal. But, 97.199 4(C) Station Identification does allow for the addition of an "indicator" to your FCC assigned call sign.
(c) One or more indicators may be included with the call sign. Each indicator must be separated from the call sign by the slant mark (/) or by any suitable word that denotes the slant mark. If an indicator is self-assigned, it must be included before, after, or both before and after, the call sign. No self-assigned indicator may conflict with any other indicator specified by the FCC Rules or with any prefix assigned to another country.
That aside, every good pile-up, DX and contest op I know dislikes the use of any self assigned indicator, including /QRP. It s l o w s things down and can easily create confusion, busted call signs and missed Qs.

W7EW: Please sign only your call without any other letters or numbers. Where the QRP business comes in, is in your submitted log where you note your power level. That is where the power levels matter to yourself and to the others for scoring purposes. Same goes for your grid square locator.
When I am trying to work you from West Coast USA getting your call will be difficult and your grid square will be nearly impossible. Adding /qrp or /just married or /just paroled only makes the exchange more difficult and is totally unnecessary.
So...be sure to peruse the plaque list on the web site and note any particular plaques you may qualify for and properly fill out the log headers so we know your power situation, location and call in your submitted log.

VE9AA: Do not ever EVER sign /QRP !!! You are already most probably weak. It is NOT part of your callsign and worst of all, it wastes time.
PLEASE !

N3QE: Do not sign /QRP.
If your country's rules require you to, do sign /P.
...
A commenter in the other thread had it right... QRP out to 800 miles is usually easier than working a high power station at 3500 miles.