QRP Labs kits

Recently I enjoyed a rare day out at the National Hamfest in far away Lincolnshire. Whilst I was subjected to a culinary travesty with a plate of something advertised as lasagne for an exorbitant price that bore little resemblance to the traditional dish. It was the only low point.

Meeting with a few fellow hams was great (no names mentioned but a couple of the were Lids) there was also really short conversation with Hans Summers, G0UPL who some might know through his kits and bits at QRP Labs. He was being mobbed by ‘gentlemen’ who were hell bent on smashing my knees and shins with their walking aids as a way to push me out of the way. I’ve bought a few bits and pieces from him in the past and really enjoyed building them. Most of which I have done with ease but not really understood exactly what is going on in every case. The most recent I bought a year or so ago at the Norbreck rally. The signal generator / vfo kit.

This time around it was the GPS receiver. I still don’t really know how the circuit works but it is something that I should really get my head around.

How am I going to do that? well one thing would be to ask the original designer. The other way is to increase my knowledge and chances of getting a better understanding of other designs by trying to work out how they work rather than to just build them and rarely use them. I’m doing a bit of both. I had a great chat with Hans but have completely forgotten what we spoke about owing to the beating I was getting. It was general chit chat rather than mind blowing stuff. Luckily there is a group on Groups.io that help to fill in the gaps.

The plan is to combine the 2 to make a natty clock/sig gen. The plan is currently working. Here is the evidence.

So what I hear you cry. You can follow some instructions. True. But I also flashed the Atmega with an upgraded .hex file using Xloader (a nice utility I found). Not done that before. This brings the score to learning stuff to 2. Eh? what else did I learn? Well I read all the docs and found out that you can combine inputs on an AND gate and do some level conversion. Just don’t test me on it! Perhaps not leaps in terms of learning but now I am slightly more competent.

Onward and upward people. Onward and upward.

Alex Hill, G7KSE, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cumbria, UK. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “QRP Labs kits”

  • Phil ZL2OWL:

    Hi Alex – interesting on the Xloader. Your lasagna experience gave me an unpleasant reminder of thirty or so years ago, when I was briefly working in London and by chance stumbled into a dodgy looking hash foundry on the embankment, which must have had a similar recipe – might be spreading? Doesn’t seem to have hit the antipodes yet!

  • Alex, g7kse:

    Xloader looks like a good find. Really straightforward and no cleverness required. Right up my street.

    I’ve tried to forget about the lasagne but it won’t go away. It was either that or a burger that may or may not have been meat. Next time I’ll bring my own (and some ice hockey pads).

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