Posts Tagged ‘homebrewing’

Comprehensive kit provider listing

as compiled by Neal W2NDG:

I'm also adding it as a permanent link in the links section.

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

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!

Ring that school bell!

Our second Technician License class started last evening. This time, instead of being open to just the "public", this one is primarily intended for the Clark, NJ CERT Team. Drew W2OU, Marv K2VHW and yours truly met with, introduced ourselves to, and began the process of instructing 15 potential new Hams.

It's always fun and exciting to be with a group of people who show genuine interest in Amateur Radio, as was the case last night. All of these folks showed enthusiasm and curiosity and an eagerness to learn.

 That's Marv K2VHW on the left and W2LJ on the right. 
Notice the coffee cup - gotta have cup of coffee before class, after a long day at work!

We will become "buddies" over the course of the next seven Tuesday evenings, and hopefully after that, we will add more people to the ranks of Amateur Radio.

And if the teaching gig isn't enough, I was thinking of home brewing a magnetic loop this winter. My line of thinking is that I could build one for let's say 40-10 Meters. From what I understand they're not huge. Then, when it gets really frosty in the basement, I could just set the loop up on the main floor and operate temporarily from the dining room table or something like that.  Just a thought, though, as funds are kinda tight.  I have some spare coax (enough for a loop), and I think the only expense at this point would be the tuning capacitor. It doesn't need to be one of those expensive vacuum jobs, so maybe I can find something reasonable on eBay.

My inspiration for this has been Greg, N4KGL. I've been following his posts on Google+ and through his blog.  He seems to be having so much success with his loop that it seems like a worthwhile endeavor. That, and the fact that I feel like building something.

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

Sold Out!

The Four State QRP Group has done it again.  They have just recently introduced another kit, only to see the initial run of kits get gobbled up within 36 hours of announcing them as ready for sale! This new kit is a regenerative receiver, designed by Dave Cripes NM0S, who was just inducted into the QRP Hall of Fame this past FDIM.

The new kit is called the Ozark Patrol and is reminiscent of the Globe Patrol that many of us built in our very much younger days.

The kit will become available again in 2-3 weeks as per the Four State QRP Group Website. You can go to the Ozark Patrol page by clicking here.

The receiver covers 3.5 to 15 MHz in two bands. It's powered by 6 "AA" batteries and the radio comes with a speaker and a provision for plugging in a pair of "cans".

Even though they're sold out, I placed an order for one. I have built several kits offered by the Four State Group and I have never been disappointed so far.  I don't expect to be with this kit, either. In fact, I am hoping to relive some memories and get transported back to a simpler time. I think this little kit will do that, just fine.

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

Kit builder link alert!

Thanks and kudos to Jim W4QO (QRP HOFer, I might add!) for posting this link to the NoGA QRP e-mail reflector yesterday.  I never saw these kits, or this provider before, but they look neat and affordable.

Of course, W2LJ is not connected with the above provider, in any way. Just attempting to do my bit to keep kit building healthy and vibrant! Who knows? One of them just might fulfill a need, or strike your fancy.

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

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Do you want a treat?  Some “eye candy”?  Some really beautiful workmanship and craftsmanship?  Do you want to see what really excellent home brewing looks like?

All I can say is “Wow, I wish I could build stuff that looks this good!”

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

A bit more DX

at lunch time today. I went to the park, threw the PAR ENDFEDZ into a tree and tuned up on 18.078 MHz.  Janez, S51DX was calling CQ and he was loud so I put out my call and got into his log.

I probably won’t be able to get to the park until maybe Friday as the next two days are supposed to bring heavy rains to New Jersey.  I’m not complaining, as it’s been a very dry spring (unlike the Midwest) and we can use the moisture.

The nice thing about the PAR ENDFEDZ 10/20/40 MKII, is that you can remove the factory supplied radiator and replace it with your own for any bands from 60 Meters through 10 Meters.  This evening, I cut and tuned a radiator for the 17 Meter band.  I used 18 gauge stereo speaker zip cord and pulled it apart. The other half I will use for a 15 Meter radiator.  I soldered a ring lug to one end and then had to figure out an insulator for the other end.

The insulator that comes on the factory radiator looks like this:

I don’t have any solid plastic like that so I used the barrel of a stick ball point pen.  I cut it in half and drilled some holes and used the PAR insulator as a template.  Since this is always used as a very temporary installation, it will be more than adequate.

I saw on QRPSPOTS that John N8ZYA worked A45XR in Oman using 3 Watts and his indoor random wire antenna.  Great catch, John!  About 90 minutes later, I was giving it a shot using 5 Watts.  By the time I got on though, 17 Meters was changing, and even though the Omani station was still loud, he went QRT for the evening. Maybe next time.  That’s the thing you learn with QRP – there’s usually always a next time, even if it takes 15 years for someone to take another DXpedition to that island!

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

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