QRP or QRO for portable ops?

When considering a first rig for portable ops, a QRP radio is a common choice.

Small size and weight coupled with low current (and therefore small battery requirements)  make it a very attractive prospect.  In some situations, where weight must be kept to a minimum, it is pretty much the only choice.

In other circumstances though, where more weight and bulk can be tolerated, it may not be the best choice, as low power will limit the contacts you can make. For many, the challenge of this is what makes it fun, but for newcomers it may be discouraging.

To get an idea of the difference power makes, I ran some predictions for the 20m Band using 5W, 10W and 100W SSB.

In the diagrams, Dark Blue is 10% likelihood of contact and Pinkish is 60%.

5WSSB10WSSB100wSSB

Based on these predictions, the QRP SSBer would have had a pretty disappointing time.

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