Larry Makoski, W2LJ, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Jersey, USA. Contact him at [email protected].
While listening to the bands this evening, I finished my NorCal QRP Dummy Load kit that I purchased a few years ago.
This was one of my newly rediscovered kits that I “found” during the big clean up down here in the shack. It is no longer available from NorCal; but something almost identical is available from Hendricks QRP Kits. The NorCal kit that I have uses SMD resistors. So not only did I end up with a very handy dummy load; I also got a lot of practice in soldering SMD components. After all was soldered, I ended up with a resistance measuring 49.99 Ohms. This well within the +/- 5% tolerance that was advertised in the kit specs.
When I bought this kit a few years back, my intention was to build it using the solder paste and hot plate method. Basically, you apply solder paste to all the pads, place the components, and then heat the thing on an ordinary hot plate. Supposedly the paste becomes liquid, the components “magically” kind of snap into perfect final position.
I never got that far. I ended up using my super fine soldering tip and a tweezers and my binocular magnifying loupe headband thingy. Since I ended up with 49.99 Ohms, I guess I didn’t mess things up too badly. Let’s just say that some of my previous attempts at SMD kit building were not as successful. We’ll just leave it at that.
I built this first, because the next kit on the docket will be the Flying Pigs Pig Rig that Diz W8DIZ sells through kitsandparts.com.
There are quite a few of these out there, already. I’m a bit behind, with mine being still in the box. I hope to start construction this weekend, if I can find the time. (My wife Marianne hit me with a list of events that are taking place this weekend. I’ll be very lucky if I get any time to myself!)
The urge to get started on this kit hit me a few nights ago, but was reinforced this evening when I had a QSO on 40 Meters with Bob KR9Z, who was using his Pig Rig. It was my first QSO with one of these and it sounded very FB! I am looking forward to having some 2X Pig Rig QSOs in the near future.
In addition to working Bob on 40 Meters, I worked Greece twice (two different stations), on both 30 and 40 Meters and the Netherlands on 30 Meters. The bands seemed to be in decent shape this evening.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!
Looks good Larry. I’ll add the Pig Rig and KitsAndParts to my list. I missed this one.