Posts Tagged ‘kitbuilding’

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!

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!

There’s a new radio hobby magazine in town!

Recently, a number of hobby radio magazines have either retired, or have merged into a digital mix of several. Filling that void is the new The Spectrum Monitor, a creation of Ken Reitz KS4ZR, managing editor for Monitoring Times since 2012, features editor since 2009, columnist and feature writer for the MT magazine since 1988. Ken offers this digital, radio communications magazine monthly.  The web site is at

There's a new radio hobby magazine in town!  The Spectrum Monitor magazine - get your's, today.

The Spectrum Monitor magazine – get your’s, today.

Ken, a former feature writer and columnist for Satellite Times, Satellite Entertainment GuideSatellite Orbit magazine, Dish Entertainment Guide and Direct Guide, is also contributing editor on personal electronics for Consumers Digest (2007 to present). He is the author of the Kindle e-books “How to Listen to the World” and “Profiles in Amateur Radio.”

The Spectrum Monitor Writers’ Group consists of former columnists, editors and writers for Monitoring Times, a monthly print and electronic magazine which ceases publication with the December, 2013 issue. Below, in alphabetical order, are the columnists, their amateur radio call signs, the name of their column in The Spectrum Monitor,  a brief bio and their websites:

Keith Baker KB1SF/VA3KSF, “Amateur Radio Satellites”

Past president and currently treasurer of the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT). Freelance writer and photographer on amateur space telecommunications since 1993. Columnist and feature writer for Monitoring TimesThe Canadian Amateur and the AMSAT Journal. Web site:

Kevin O’Hern Carey WB2QMY, “The Longwave Zone”

Reporting on radio’s lower extremes, where wavelengths can be measured in miles, and extending up to the start of the AM broadcast band. Since 1991, editor of “Below 500 kHz” column forMonitoring Times. Author of Listening to Longwave ( This link also includes information for ordering his CD, VLF RADIO!, a narrated tour of the longwave band from 0 to 530 kHz, with actual recordings of LW stations.

Mike Chace-Ortiz AB1TZ/G6DHU “Digital HF: Intercept and Analyze”

Author of the Monitoring Times “Digital Digest” column since 1997, which follows the habits of embassies, aid organizations, intelligence and military HF users, the digital data systems they use, and how to decode, breakdown and identify their traffic. Web site:

Marc Ellis N9EWJ, “Adventures in Radio Restoration”

Authored a regular monthly column about radio restoration and history since 1986. Originally writing for Gernsback Publications (Hands-On Electronics, Popular Electronics, Electronics Now), he moved his column to Monitoring Times in January 2000. Editor of two publications for the Antique Wireless Association ( The AWA Journal and the AWA Gateway. The latter is a free on-line magazine targeted at newcomers to the radio collecting and restoration hobbies.

Dan Farber ACØLW, “Antenna Connections”

Monitoring Times antenna columnist 2009-2013. Building ham and SWL antennas for over 40 years.

Tomas Hood NW7US, “Understanding Propagation”

Tomas first discovered radio propagation in the early 1970s as a shortwave listener and, as a member of the Army Signal Corps in 1985, honed his skills in communications, operating and training fellow soldiers. An amateur Extra Class operator, licensed since 1990, you’ll find Tomas on CW (see ), digital, and voice modes on any of the HF bands. He is a contributing editor for CQ Amateur Radio (and the late Popular Communications, and CQ VHF magazines), and a contributor to an ARRL publication on QRP communications. He also wrote for Monitoring Times and runs the Space Weather and Radio Propagation Center at  Web site:  Twitter: @NW7US  YouTube:

Kirk Kleinschmidt NTØZ, “Amateur Radio Insight”

Amateur radio operator since 1977 at age 15. Author of Stealth Amateur Radio. Former editor,ARRL Handbook, former QST magazine assistant managing editor, columnist and feature writer for several radio-related magazines, technical editor for Ham Radio for Dummies, wrote “On the Ham Bands” column and numerous feature articles for Monitoring Times since 2009. Web site:

Cory Koral K2WV, “Aeronautical Monitoring”

Lifelong air-band monitor, a private pilot since 1968 and a commercial pilot licensee since 1983, amateur radio licensee for more than 40 years. Air-band feature writer for Monitoring Times since 2010.

Stan Nelson KB5VL, “Amateur Radio Astronomy”

Amateur radio operator since 1960. Retired after 40-plus years involved in mobile communications/electronics/computers/automation. Active in radio astronomy for over twenty years, specializing in meteor monitoring. Wrote the “Amateur Radio Astronomy” column for Monitoring Timessince 2010. A member of the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA). Web site:

Chris Parris, “Federal Wavelengths”

Broadcast television engineer, avid scanner and shortwave listener, freelance writer on federal radio communications since 2004, wrote the “Fed Files” column for Monitoring Times. Twitter: @TheFedFiles

Doug Smith W9WI, “The Broadcast Tower”

Broadcast television engineer, casual cyclist and long distance reception enthusiast. “Broadcast Bandscan” columnist for Monitoring Times since 1991. Blog: Web site:

Hugh Stegman NV6H, “Utility Planet”

Longtime DXer and writer on non-broadcast shortwave utility radio. Former “Utility World” columnist for Monitoring Times magazine for more than ten years. Web site: Blog: Twitter: @UtilityPlanet YouTube:

Dan Veeneman, “Scanning America”

Software developer and satellite communications engineer writing about scanners and public service radio reception for Monitoring Times for 17 years. Web site:

Ron Walsh VE3GO, “Maritime Monitoring”

Retired career teacher, former president of the Canadian Amateur Radio Federation (now the Radio Amateurs of Canada), retired ship’s officer, licensed captain, “Boats” columnist and maritime feature writer for Monitoring Times for eight years. Avid photographer of ships and race cars.

Fred Waterer, “The Shortwave Listener”

Former “Programming Spotlight” columnist for Monitoring Times. Radio addict since 1969, freelance columnist since 1986. Fascinated by radio programming and history.  Website:

Thomas Witherspoon K4SWL, “World of Shortwave Listening”

Founder and director of the charity Ears To Our World (, curator of the Shortwave Radio Archive and actively blogs about short­wave radio on the SWLing Post ( Former feature writer for Monitoring Times.


QRP Kit News

As announced by the Four States QRP Group today:

The Four State QRP Group is very pleased to announce that Dave Benson’s, Freq-Mite kit has been added to the lineup of Four State kits. Upon retirement, Dave, K1SWL, graciously offered the kit to us to continue production. Along with his SW+ transceiver series, the Freq-Mite is one of his signature designs. The Freq-Mite provides audio frequency annunciation, and is intended to be installed as a frequency counter inside a rig. Thus providing an inexpensive alternative to an LCD display. It is easily installed in new or existing rigs and easy to understand installation notes for many rigs are included on the web site.

The kit sells for only $22 US, which includes shipping, and may be ordered from it’s home page All of the Four State kit offerings may be found on this page Additional kits are in the pipeline and will be made available as soon as possible.

As always, thank you for supporting Four State. All proceeds go to funding OzarkCon, the largest and best QRP conference in the Central Time Zone. Hope to cu in Branson on April 4t and 5th.

de Terry WAØITP

Between the Four States Group and QRPMe, it’s good to see Dave Benson’s designs not being lost to oblivion.  On a side note, K1SWL posted on QRP-L that he participated in the North American QSO Party this weekend – first time he’s been on the air in about 10 years. Good for him!  Personally, I am glad to see Dave enjoying Amateur Radio and QRPing again – he deserves as much for all his dedicated service to the QRP community over the years.

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

The Cyclone

no ……. not the roller coaster at Coney Island – but a new kit from the Four States QRP Group, designed by Dave Cripes NM0S.

“The Four State QRP Group is pleased to announce the availability of the Cyclone 40 Transceiver.

This innovative and simple transceiver by NMØS is an enhanced version of Dave’s QRP ARCI’s 72 Part Challenge Design Contest entry in 2010. This is a complete kit, including the enclosure. The price is a buck a part plus shipping, $104 total, for domestic sales. Purchasing info and more details are on the kit’s home page here  Here are some of the design features:

.  All through hole parts and easy assembly. NO SMD parts
.  Less than 100 components
.  Superhet receiver with very good sensitivity and selectivity
.  “Perfect” QSK very high speed and absolutely seamless operation.
.  VFO tunes the entire 125 kHZ CW segment of the 40M band at a comfortable
tuning rate.
.  Transmitter output is nominally 4W.  Those built so far are running ~ 4.6W
.  Frequency readout is included so you know where you are at all times.
.  A very attractive PCB enclosure is included, asy to assemble, looks great.
.  All parts are included, jacks, knobs, enclosure, transformers, everything.
This is a complete kit, including a black enclosure with white silkscreened

We hope you enjoy this high performance transceiver.”

Looks like the Four States Group have come up with another winner. And at the rate these guys are coming out with kits, we’re going to have to change that famous advertising slogan to: “Like a good neighbor …. Four States is there!”

On a side note, this weekend turned out to be even busier than I had first imagined.  Other than my accomplishments of Friday evening, and an 8 minute QSO with Bob W3BBO on 40 Meters on Saturday afternoon to give a listen to his new HF2V antenna, I was not able to squeeze in any on air time at all.  And that QSO with Bob was a bit disappointing as QSB was so deep that it made our QSO more of an adventure than either of us would have liked. Of course, now that I do have time this Sunday evening, we have thunderstorms off the horizon. So for safety’s sake, instead of getting on the air, I have disconnected the antennas.  The past four days have seen 90F (32C) plus temperatures, for the first real bonafide heatwave of 2013.  According to the weather folks, the coming storms will break the heatwave, but will also have the potential for a lot of lightning, heavy downpours and gusty winds.

Ahh summer, you gotta love it!

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

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