Posts Tagged ‘Flying Pigs’

Father’s Day

I was able to get on the radio for a bit today.  15 Meters seemed to be alive jumping with “AA” contest stations.  I didn’t have much interest in competing in the contest, but it’s always interesting to work Asian stations using QRP power. I managed to work several JA stations, cherry picking my way around, and trying the loudest ones. I also worked a few Asiatic Russian stations. Unfortunately, I did not hear or work anything more exotic.

I attempted to work Met TA3AX on 17 Meters, but this time QRP. Alas, Turkey was not to be had with 5 Watts – today. 😉

I finished the day by participating in the Run For The Bacon, the Flying Pigs monthly QRP sprint. Not a whole lot of activity, probably due to it being Father’s Day, but I did manage to work fellow blogger, Chris KQ2RP, and I also worked Jim W4QO and John K4BAI, twice. Earlier in the day we had another brief contact, so today was able to put John in the log three times today. I think that’s a record.

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

Interesting day

It rained ALL day, for the most part.  Not really heavy, but a good soaking Spring rain.  Just what I need to get the grass growing again after I mowed it Friday night!

I started the day with a nice rag chew with Joe W2KJ. I always get a kick out of working Joe.  He’s an outstanding QRPer; and it’s always a pleasure to chat with him. But I really get kick out of the W2KJ to W2LJ thing – our calls being one letter apart.

This afternoon, I worked VQ975FOC/MM. If he was in the Chagos Islands, where the call sign is from, that would have been quite the QSO at 9,366 miles away.  But as he was signing /MM, Jim could have been just about anywhere on the face of the earth. Shortly after working him, I got a tweet from Chris KQ2RP. He was intermittently trying to work the same station in between shack cleaning chores. When Chris heard the VQ9 come back to me, he redoubled his efforts and got him in his log, also.  You know what they say, “QRPers of a feather, flock together.”  Cool, Chris, I’m glad you worked him too.

I worked VP5/W5CW down in the Turks and Caicos on 20 Meters.  I have worked Dave several times over the years in the big DX contests. I guess he’s down in the islands getting ready for the CQ WPX Contest, which is next weekend.

I also got a new DXCC entity in the QRP log today.  By working CP4BT, I worked Bolivia with QRP for the first time.  I’ve worked that country several times over the years, but it was always QRO in the past.  This time it was with 5 Watts.  I am going to have to go through my log and see how many that brings me up to via QRP.  I think it might be somewhere close to 130 now.

I finished the day by giving out points in the monthly Run For The Bacon.  It seems pickings were sparse this month; and that might be no surprise. I am willing to wager that a lot of my fellow piggies were returning home from Dayton today and were just too tired to hunt for bacon!

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

The good and the not so good.

Last night, while hunting in the 80 Meter woods in the QRP-L Fox hunt, I continued to work on my PigRig.  I came to the part where I am winding T1, and I guess I had a case of brain flatulence, because I just couldn’t figure out from the instructions, how the center tap was supposed to be done.

Before going to bed (late), I came up here and fired off an e-mail to the Flying Pigs e-mail reflector looking for some enlightenment.  When I checked my e-mail this morning, there was an e-mail from the Head Honcho himself, Diz W8DIZ.  He explained to me (very patiently) what should have been as obvious as the hand in front of my face.

Thanks, Diz for excellent customer service! And also thanks for being super courteous and patient with someone who seems to have had a “Senior Moment”.

On the other hand, last night I was fortunate to work an SU9 station from Egypt on 40 Meters.  I was doing the “happy dance” as this was my first QSO with Egypt – ever.  So I dutifully went to QRZ to look up QSL information, only to find that LOTW is not accepted (as it’s too cumbersome and difficult to figure out), that paper QSLs are not really wanted, but if you go to PayPal and enter this particular PayPal address (along with the appropriate “donation”) that a QSL card can be had.

What ?!?    I mean, really …… what?

OK, I understand that Egypt is not the most commonly found country on the air; and I’m sure that QSLing is quite the tedious chore (if not a downright pain in the butt).  But isn’t that what QSL managers are for?  And really, I mean even I can figure out how to use Log of the World.  You know, the guy who had trouble figuring out how to wind a simple toroidal transformer? …… Yes, me – even I figured out how to use Log of the World.

I hesitate to use that hackneyed expression, but if I can figure it out – you can figure it out.

Maybe I ought to quit my job, move to a “rare and exotic” locale, get on the air, make a couple hundred QSOs a day, and start charging a few bucks per QSL card.

But then I guess I’d have to figure out how to use PayPal.  (Of course, I am being facetious, I already know how to use that. Learned how just around the same time I learned how to use LOTW).

72 de Larry W2LJ

PigRig Transceiver

Diz, W8DIZ of Kits and Parts dot Com, has come out with a new transceiver kit – The Flying Pigs “PigRig”.

It is a single frequency transceiver.  Sound strange?  Maybe it is, but listen to Diz’s own words:

“This transceiver was designed for Radio Clubs and/or Special Events. You turn the radio on…you listen…you do not tune…you do not switch anything…you do not search. If you hear someone on “your special frequency”, there is a good chance it could be a member of your group.

Here is what it is and is not.

It is a club radio.
It is not another me-too qrp contender
It is a single conversion design
It does not receive 2 sidebands…only one
It does have a full 5 watts output at about 13.6 volts
It does not have any tuning controls
It does have a piggie custom keyer chip
It is like a ham version of Channel 19 using CW only

The size of the PCB is only 2.5″ (63,5 mm) by 3.8″ (96,5 mm), and Yes…it does produce a full 4.99 watts RF out and it is as sensitive as just about anything else that you may have in your radio shack. Custom club/group frequencies are available for 40 meters. The name of this radio shall henceforth be labeled as the “Flying Pig Rig”.

For details – schematic and building guide as well as information on how to order, click here.

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

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