Posts Tagged ‘commercial equipment’

Haven’t said this in a while

but "Thank You" to all of you who read this blog.  It would be foolish and time wasting for me to do this if you weren't out there. From the e-mails, photos and comments I receive, I know that you all are, indeed, out there. Again, thank you so very much.

On the QRP side of things, I see from an e-mail by Doug KI6DS to the QRP-L list that the QRPGuys have a new kit offering out. The following is their description:

The QRPGuys Multi-Tuner is a Z-match design that will match a wide range of coax fed, long wire, and balanced line antennas, like high-impedance, low-loss UHF twinlead or ladder line for 40m-10m. 

It uses the N7VE integral led swr indicator with an absorptive bridge to protect your final transistors from a poor match. In the TUNE position, you cannot damage your transmitter caused by a high SWR. It is looking at a 50 ohm load and the LED is indicating only the reflected power. At full brilliance your SWR is 4:1 or greater, at half brilliance your SWR is approximately 2:1, and the LED will completely extinguish at 1:1. 

Rated for 5 watts continuous, 10 watts intermittant, weighs (4.3 oz.) and comes with female BNC connectors for the input/output, with S.S. hardware for the long wire and balanced line connections. There is no point to point wiring. All connections are accomplished by mounting the components on the PCB. This kit can be built in a couple of hours. On a difficulty scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the most difficult, this is rated at 3.

For more information, and ordering, you can go to  http://www.qrpguys.com/

I don't have to tell you (but will, anyway) how important it is for us to patronize concerns like QRPGuys, QRPMe, QRP Kits, SOTA Beams, and the numerous other QRP vendors around the world that are out there. Blogging is my way to give a bit back to the hobby. Offering kits is the way these guys give back to the hobby. Yeah, they are there to make a buck or two; but they're definitely not in this with visions of becoming the next Elecraft. You keep me "in business' by reading; and we keep them in business (and as a result, keep the QRP hobby alive) by purchasing their wares.

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

Haven’t said this in a while

but "Thank You" to all of you who read this blog.  It would be foolish and time wasting for me to do this if you weren't out there. From the e-mails, photos and comments I receive, I know that you all are, indeed, out there. Again, thank you so very much.

On the QRP side of things, I see from an e-mail by Doug KI6DS to the QRP-L list that the QRPGuys have a new kit offering out. The following is their description:

The QRPGuys Multi-Tuner is a Z-match design that will match a wide range of coax fed, long wire, and balanced line antennas, like high-impedance, low-loss UHF twinlead or ladder line for 40m-10m. 

It uses the N7VE integral led swr indicator with an absorptive bridge to protect your final transistors from a poor match. In the TUNE position, you cannot damage your transmitter caused by a high SWR. It is looking at a 50 ohm load and the LED is indicating only the reflected power. At full brilliance your SWR is 4:1 or greater, at half brilliance your SWR is approximately 2:1, and the LED will completely extinguish at 1:1. 

Rated for 5 watts continuous, 10 watts intermittant, weighs (4.3 oz.) and comes with female BNC connectors for the input/output, with S.S. hardware for the long wire and balanced line connections. There is no point to point wiring. All connections are accomplished by mounting the components on the PCB. This kit can be built in a couple of hours. On a difficulty scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the most difficult, this is rated at 3.

For more information, and ordering, you can go to  http://www.qrpguys.com/

I don't have to tell you (but will, anyway) how important it is for us to patronize concerns like QRPGuys, QRPMe, QRP Kits, SOTA Beams, and the numerous other QRP vendors around the world that are out there. Blogging is my way to give a bit back to the hobby. Offering kits is the way these guys give back to the hobby. Yeah, they are there to make a buck or two; but they're definitely not in this with visions of becoming the next Elecraft. You keep me "in business' by reading; and we keep them in business (and as a result, keep the QRP hobby alive) by purchasing their wares.

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

The scoop from Elecraft at FDIM

So Elecraft came to FDIM today, to announce the new K3S.

The new product is an enhanced K3 with many new features - here's a link to a .pdf which explains them all in detail. And here's a link to a FAQ.

It appears the new K3S will be approximately $500 more than the old version, and the original K3 has been "discontinued" or "replaced" - whichever you prefer. In addition, it appears most, but not all the enhancements will be retro-fittable to make a K3 a K3S. The new bezel and the attenuator, for instance, will not.



I wonder - how does the guy feel who took delivery on a brandy new K3, in the very recent past?  Are they happy because  they squeaked under the wire and got their K3 at the lower price?  Or are they feeling a bit miffed because they ordered and received something that is no longer "the latest and the greatest"?  Except for the cosmetics, it appears that you can pretty much turn your existing K3 almost into a K3S - and you do have a "system" that is continually upgradable. So if you're an Elecraft owner, you can take comfort in the fact that when you buy something, the company does its best to stand behind their product and you.

I for one, am quite happy with my KX3's. They're all the radio I need, and should Elecraft come out with a KX3S tomorrow, I would not be bothered in the least.

The morning UStream feed from FDIM was disappointing. If you attempted to watch it, you saw that only a portion of the video picture appeared and none of the audio. Basically, you missed the entire Elecraft K3S presentation. Things got straightened out during Rev. Dobb's presentation and we were able to hear that the good Reverend was inaugurated as QRP-ARCI's very first Lifetime Member.

The silver lining is that hopefully the feed will be up and running normally for the remaining sessions.

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

Something new from Elecraft?

Will Elecraft be introducing something new at Hamvention tomorrow? Seems like it to me. Eric and Wayne posted the following on Facebook:


Notice the use of tomorrow's date in the display. Also - the current black chassis radios in the Elecraft line are the K3 and the KX3.  Both use black screws on the bezel - not silver. AND the last character before the word "Transceiver" on both radios is a "3" ...... not an "s". Lastly, there's no current radio in the Elecraft line (that I'm aware of) that has that little "down arrow" above the VFO knob.

Seems to me that a major announcement is in the offing for tomorrow. I guess time will tell!

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

Steve WG0AT test Drives the new LNR QRP rig


Certainly sounds nice and looks good, doesn't it?

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

Up and running

Today, after completing a few chores, I finally got a chance to assemble my KXPA100. For the record, I did not pre-download the assembly or instruction manuals. Maybe I should have, but I didn’t. I decided to just wing it and go with the flow after opening the box.

A few guys on the KX3 e-mail reflector claimed an assembly time of two hours. I completed mine in just a little over one hour. Basically, all you’re doing is securing the autotuner board to the amplifier, and then putting the housing on. Not much work, easy as pie to do, and you end up saving a couple hundred dollars.

I learned a few things the hard way:

1) Don’t assume you have the latest firmware in your KX3 just because you normally upgrade often.  I thought I had the latest version, only to discover I didn’t. When I couldn’t get my KX3 to go above the 12 Watt level, I knew something was wrong. A firmware update took care of that.

2) Keep the KXPA tuned “off”. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? There is an “On/Off” switch on the KXPA100, but it is meant for when you are using the amp with a radio other than a KX3.  If you use a KX3, it totally controls the amp.  Turning on the KX3 turns on the KXPA100. Turning off the KX3 turns off the KXPA100. If you have the “On/Off” switch turned on while using the KXPA100 with a KX3, the LED indicators don’t work properly. You may set the KX3 for, say 75 Watts – but the LED indicators won’t light up properly. Turnng the switch off remedies that.

Item 1 was prominently mentioned in the manual. I had assumed something, and you know what happens when you assume.  I didn’t see anything about the “On/Off” switch in the manual, but admittedly, I glossed through it and did not read it as carefully as I should have – again, my fault.

It is working properly, and I did give it a trial run my making some ARRL DX Contest QSOs at higher power just because I could – not because I needed to. I think in most cases, QRP would have worked. Tomorrow, however, I want to take the amp on a “shake down cruise” and really give it a go – just to see how these boots feel and break them in a bit.

Not that I am abandoning QRP – by no means. For 95 to 99% of the time, my KX3 will continue to purr along at the 5 Watt or less level.  But having this amp sure would have been handy a week ago for adding FT5ZM to my log. I’m enough of a DXer to regret having missed that opportunity.

73 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!

Double Red Letter Day!

Wow!  I received two of the best e-mails of the young year today!

The first was from Bruna Begali telling me that my Simplex Mono would be shipping within the next few days.  From the e-mail, it became apparent that they keep a stockpile of keys located somewhere in the US, in order to keep delivery times down. Also, she asked me which aluminum finger pieces I would like as she would be sending those from Italy.  I didn’t even realize that I was entitled to those!  Unexpected bonus!

The second e-mail came this afternoon and it was “the” e-mail from Elecraft. My KXPA100 kit (with autotuner) is ready to ship within the next 1-5 business days.  A pdf of my order was attached to review and confirm.  I did that faster than you could say “Jack Robinson”. Wow, if I can get that next week, and then build it next weekend, I just might be able to have it up and running should I have to resort to QRO power to get FT5ZM in the log.

Definitely a “Happy Dance” day! 
72 de Larry W2LJ 
QRP – When you care to send the very least! 

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