You can save some cash by double checking.

Over the past few weeks I had put some extra dust gathering ham gear up for sale. The sale was a successes and I ended up making 400.00 ham bucks. My main purpose for selling off some gear was to gather the funds for the new Elecraft K3 synthesizer (KSYNA3A as it's called) Without going into detail…'s a very nice upgrade to the already great K3. While at the Elecraft site I was looking at what else the my K3 could do with in regards to upgrades. I came across the high stability ref oscillator  called the KTCXO3-1, it would be a great addition since I am now getting more into the digi modes and the less frequency drift the better. It's a 100.00 dollar upgrade and I wanted to do some more research on the topic before dishing out the cash! I ventured over to Google and typed it in, low and behold one of the sites that came up was VE3WDM blog!! Hmmm did I post about this at some time?? Off I went to my site and to my shock I found out I ordered the KTCXO3-1 when I ordered my new K3. It sure was good I looked into this before placing my order but having said that Elecraft is a great company and after explaining my realization I have had no problem sending it back. I'm getting older so the memory is getting shorter.

Mike Weir, VE3WDM, is a regular contributor to and writes from Ontario, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

More e-Bay

This week, three items for the workbench of them the wrong item, but instead of complaining, I'll keep it.

First off were some 40-pin male pc board breadboard header strips, standard spacing. These will come in handy for making connections to both pc boards or to perfboard. At a cost of ~8 cents per strip and free delivery, hard to beat.

Next were some 2-pin screw terminal block connectors ... nice for a finished-look on a pc board or perfboard power connection. These came in at ~12 cents per connector.

The third item I had ordered was a small pre-built LM317 regulator board as I hate building these and they do come in handy.

However, this was not what I received (a first!). Instead I received a similar-looking AF amplifier board. It is easy to see why they might get easily mixed up by someone quickly throwing orders together for shipping. The AF board was about twice the cost of the $1.43 LM317 board and I can probably use at least one of them in my next lightwave receiver project.

A final item was ordered, from the U.K., some 250 solder lugs for just under 6-cents each, including shipping.

These are becoming very pricey domestically and are even difficult to find at a good price on e-Bay. With the Canadian dollar taking a big hit lately, bargains are even harder to find ... but I think I did OK.

Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

10GHz WBFM transceivers

The modern way of getting (simply) into 10GHz WBFM appears to be using very low cost 10GHz Doppler radar modules with a 100MHz FM receiver. Whilst with G6ALB for my Pixie tests Andrew demonstrated a working 10GHz link based on these low cost modules. These are useful links Andrew sent me.
Hi Roger,

These are the units I found when I was looking for [definitions of] the 10.525 GHz ISM band.

It looks like 3cm Doppler radar is alive and well,I’d assumed it had disappeared in favour of PIR.

Some data here:

These are very good pages (for wideband FM on 10 GHz).
 Andrew G6ALB

Roger Lapthorn, G3XBM, is a regular contributor to and writes from Cambridge, England.

Fairly significant QRP News

I saw it posted to QRP-L and is also appearing on the Web page for QRP Kits, that Doug Hendricks has sold the business. The new owners will be James Bennett and Kathy Long who own Pacific Antenna. For those of you who might not know, Pacific Antenna is the home of the PAC-12 antenna, a very popular portable, lightweight multi-band vertical. The target date for the takeover is April 1st.

It states that Doug will continue on as a consultant, but has decided to fully retire and will no longer be involved in the day-to-day operations of the company.

This is significant news and Doug has long been an advocate of bringing affordable, relatively easy to build kits to the QRP community. He has collaborated with Steve Weber and others in recent years to market such radios as the PFR-3, the Ft. Tuthill transceivers, and many other receivers, tuners, and useful accessories as well as pieces of quality, yet inexpensive test gear.

Best wishes to Doug KI6DS, as he embarks on his retirement. Maybe now he'll get more of a chance to get on the air more and enjoy the hobby he has supported for so many years.

On a similar note, when Dave Benson K1SWL ended his business, Small Wonder Labs a few years ago, it looked like a gloomy day for the QRP world. However, many of Dave's kits have been picked up by QRPMe and now I see Dave post to QRP-L every now and then about radio events that he is actually able to participate in and enjoy.

So we have the best of both worlds in that these long time QRP stalwarts are passing the torch to the next generation of QRP entrepreneurs. Not only are we not losing their life's work, but at the same time, we're actually getting the chance to meet and converse with these QRP icons on the air. Seems to be a win/win situation.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to say the very least!

Larry Makoski, W2LJ, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Jersey, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

40m Pixie measurements

Pixie harmonic measurements
This afternoon I visited G6ALB to do some more accurate measurements of my completed 40m Pixie kit. Power out with the 12V battery was 400mW and with a fresh PP3 9V battery 200mW. On the 12V battery TX current is around 129mA and at 9V around 83mA. 2nd harmonic rejection was about 20dB. Even the 9V output is a useful level. Maybe the cased unit should include an internal 9V battery pack which is switched off when an external 12V pack is available?

Pixie on the bench
To be more useful, I should add a 7.030MHz crystal and have a switch to select this or the original 7.023MHz one. 7.030MHz is the QRP frequency. My experience is this can be quite busy.

I should also case the unit!  Drilling the case could be a challenge in my current state of health! Just doing the building and testing was exhausting.

Roger Lapthorn, G3XBM, is a regular contributor to and writes from Cambridge, England.

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