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Thursday, May 24, 2018

An Epic Evening on 40 Meters

I had a good night on 40 meters last night.   The Radio Gods were obviously with me.  

First I called CQ and VP2EIH on Anguilla responded.  Nice to start with a whiff of DX.  

Then Jason W5IPA called in and said he wanted to try out his uBITX! See the pictures below.  FB!  

Then I got a call from K5WDW on Hilton Head Island -- Dexter runs Collins gear from an ocean-front shack (see above).  Check out his QRZ page.  

Then WA4PUB called in.  Dave has been on the air since 1948 and was a student of legendary ham and radio astronomer John Kraus.  Dave has directional antennas on 40 -- when he switched the pattern he went from LOUD to barely detectable.  FB.  Check out Dave's homebrew rig below. 

Finally Gary W7DO joined us.  He has a big 4 Square on 40 that also has some really impressive directional properties.  See below for a look at his 80 meter 4 Square. 


W7DO 80 meter 4 Square

Monday, May 21, 2018

BITX Night on 7277: First N6ORS and then Canadian BITX Builders

 I was about an hour late for the Eastern time zone meet-up at 7 pm local on 7277 kHz Sunday night (my wife and I watch 60 Minutes at that hour). but I figured I could work some guys if I got on at 8 pm.  Sure enough, I was called by Keith N6ORS on his MIN-X rig.  I was on my QRO DIGI-TIA.  It was great to catch up with Keith. 

Then I got a call from VE3THR.  Last year I'd talked to Tom when he was using his BITX40.  This time he was on with his uBITX.  FB.   Tom's club in Barrie, Ontario is obviously melting a lot of solder and having a lot of fun.  Here are some pictures of their rigs. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

F5LVG's Nail Board Receiver -- Names for the Technique

Pete WB9FLW reminds us that Olivier F5LVG has LONG been using copper nails and wood boards to build amazing rigs.  See above for one magnificent example.  That, my friends, is a superhet receiver.  Inspirational! 

A few posts back we asked for nominations for the official name of this technique.   We still have to consult with Steve Silverman on this, but the nominations are: 

Armand WA1UQO (perhaps reflecting his proximity to Washingotn DC)  "Wire-Tapping" 

Gary Hinson:  "Coffin Dodging"  (sounds a bit dodgy to me). 

And the front runner so far, from Melbourne, Australia -- drum roll please: 

Peter Parker:  "NAILBOARDING."  (Peter thinks he nailed it with that one.  I tend to agree.)  

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Youngest Homebrew Hero: 17 year-old Sam Zeelof Makes His Own Integrated Circuits

Seventeen year-old Sam Zeelof, KD2ENL, is making his own integrated circuits in his garage. 

Wow.  This makes me think about another seventeen year-old -- the fellow who appears on pages 63-64 of Cliff DeSoto's "200 Meters and Down." (I have the story on page 81 of "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics.")   In the early days of radio that kid amazed us by making his own vacuum tubes.  Sam Zeelof is clearly following in that tradition. 

No "mysterious black boxes" for Sam!  No "appliance chips" for him!  FB OM.  

This is really amazing.  Here are the links:

One of Sam's chips
Thanks to Bruce KC1FSZ for alerting us to this amazing work. 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

A Construction Technique that REALLY "Nails it" -- But what do we call it?

Thanks to Rogier PA1ZZ (long in W6) for this.  I guess I have used a variation of this technique in some antenna tuner projects, and maybe in a crystal radio effort.   This also reminded both Pete and me of the electronic project kits that we were given as kids.  Those kits had little springs that were supposed to keep the components in contact.  They might have worked better with nails.  

This technique definitely provides an opportunity for an earnest young guy to make use of his soldering GUN.  I don't think a wimpy 35 watt iron would be up to the task.  

What should we call this technique?  We have "ugly" and "Manhattan" and
"Muppet Boards."   What do we call this? 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

NN2K's Beautiful Pine-Board Al-Fresco Thermatron AM Transmitter

On Saturday mornings (around dawn) I often listen to the Old Military Radio Net on 3885 kHz.  I find it inspirational.  This morning the inspiration was provided by Rick NN2K.  His signal from Binghamton New York was makeing the trip to Northern Virginia.  When I heard him mention that he was using a "Pine Board Transmitter" I felt the urge to look for a picture. provided the photo.  

Rich says he built this rig in January 2018 based on a QST article by Bob Heil.   FB Rich! 
And thanks to Ted W3PWW for running the Old Military Radio Net for so many years. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

KE4MIQ's Repurposed Raduino Receiver

FB James -- Really glad you are listening,  and that you are having fun with a Direct Conversion receiver --- souped up with a Raduino! 

Bill, Pete

Just listened to #204. (New Listener)
You talked about using the Raduino with other radios.
I bought one of Mike Hagen's RaduinoXs to use with my Bitx40. So, I have repurposed my original Raduino as a VFO for my 4SQRP ZZRX-40 DC receiver. I used Allards's v1.26 with a few code changes to tune 7.000 to 7.300. It's currently al fresco on a piece of Hobby Lobby foam board. I may "cabinetize" at some future date.
Attached is a pic of the ZZRX-40, Raduino, and Goodwill Sony speaker with Jameco stereo amp, all running off of Harbor Freight 9v Nimh rechargables.

So far I have heard over 40 states and 20 countries with a 65ft piece of wire in the rafters.
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