How I started
When I started as a HAM on HF, I built my first transceiver myself. I had great fun with this homebrew CW QRPp transceiver the (HM7 >>). The rig comes from “Solid State Design for the radio amateur” page 214…218. In the 10 years that I used this CW transceiver, I worked many European countries on 7 MHz with a power of only 500 milliwatts in many normal QSO’s and many contest QSO’s. Homebrew, QRP and CW (Morse code >>) is a fabulous combination.
After I had worked with this transceiver (HM7) for a half year, I met Piero I5FPJ from Florence. After I mentioned that I worked with 1 watt, Piero reduced his power. I noticed, that when Piero went from 100 watts to 3 watts (-15 dB), the signal was less loud, but the readability of the signal was still good. Only the background noise was stronger. When Piero went from 3 watts, via 2 watts to 1 watt (-5 dB), I noticed that the signal strength only reduced a little bit. And when we were both running 1 watt, the signals were still good, with only more noise in the background. With this knowledge, I reduced the power of the HM7 from 1 watt to 500 milliwatt, a few months later.