So, that brings me to the term "QRP Key". We've all seen it, an advertisment or solicitation for a small morse key or paddle. Phrases like, "a nice compact morse key suitable for QRP operation" or the key is "QRP" sized. Now this brings a few questions to my mind. QRP in the technical sense means low power, so can you only sent 5 watts with this key? I suppose QRP operators are not suppose to use full sized keys or bugs as obviously you wouldn't be QRP any longer. Does using a full size key boost your signal? Does this mean that this small key cannot be used for QRO operation, will this "QRP key" degrade my high power signal? What are the specifications for a "QRP" key?
What about the QRPp operator? What are they to do for an appropriate key? Surely if you have QRP keys, QRPp keys must be even smaller and only those with very small hands can be successful, QRPp operators.
All of this is very confusing from a literal sense. If I am new to QRP must I get a new key? Dare I mix my QRO and QRP paddles or will I have problems if I do? I have this nice desk paddle that I love, but surely I couldn't use it with my KX3, or could I? Since the KX3 is larger than my KX1 maybe I could use my big paddle with it, but definitely not with the KX1. Surely you understand the dilemmas here. What to do?
Now, a few more descriptive terms for these small keys is the term "portable", "small "or the phrase "for field use". These terms, from a literal pespective, seem to make more sense. Certainly these "QRP keys" make sense for the QRO operator on an expediton who doesn't want to carry around a heavy key. Begali uses the term "adventure key", which seems to be self explanatory and doesn't invoke a QRP only use.
So, be careful and use your own judgement on when and where to use your QRP key, someone may be watching.