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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Back issues of QRPp -- Journal of the NORCAL QRP Club --- Free Online

Image result for NORCAL QRP Club


https://www.ncqrpp.org/?fbclid=IwAR3VUVXlZE8jpJj8L-1sxtfHCFw-9wEyF_4rBXOjbV78Is7tV4VApl6so6c


Sunday, December 8, 2019

ZL2CTM's Inspirational Tramping Transceivers (videos)



Charlie Morris ZL2CTM is working on portable (tramping) transceivers. Check out his amazing and innovative enclosures and circuit boards.  Really nice. A great way to keep that beautiful circuitry visible. 

More details on Charlie's blog: 

https://zl2ctm.blogspot.com/2019/12/40m-ssb-tramping-rig.html

Thanks Charlie.  Happy trails!  73

Saturday, December 7, 2019

VK3HN's Inspirational AM Receiver (video)



I'm always delighted when I check the SolderSmoke blog and YouTube list (right hand column of the blog) and find a new post from Paul VK3HN.  And this morning's post is especially good. 

Paul has built an AM receiver. Above you can see his video.  Here is his blog post with details: 
https://vk3hn.wordpress.com/2019/12/06/8-band-superhet-am-receiver/

This is the kind of blog post that makes you want to heat up the soldering iron and start searching through the junk box.  I'm thinking about putting Paul's 6 kHz filter in my 40 meter HRO-ish receiver.  And I may make use of his AM detector circuit.  And maybe I can put that same receiver on 75 and 160... And then there are the SW broadcast bands... See what I mean?  

Thanks Paul.  73  

Friday, December 6, 2019

My QRPp Signal Arrived in Utah -- 100 mW, 1950 miles, 26 db Above the Noise!


So yesterday morning I was calling CQ on 40 meters with my ET2 two-transistor 100 mW rig.  Later, I took a look at the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN).  Among the East Coast skimmer stations that regularly pick me up I saw an  outlier:   WA7LNW in Utah.  He's 1950 miles from me. And the RBN reported that his receiver had me at 26 db above the noise.  

Here is a screen shot of the RBN report.  Note the time: 1234 UTC.  Around sunrise here -- so gray line conditions.   



But the really BIG factor explaining that 26db s/n ratio is WA7LNW's location: 

"Realtime spots are being received at this location and uploaded to the Reverse Beacon Network."

"CW Skimmer antenna is located on cliff edge overlooking the Virgin River Valley, 1,200 ft. below."

We reported on the WA7LNW RBN station back in 2013:  https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/2013/03/edgy-skimmer-antenna.html

Check out Jack's QRZ.com page: 

RBN is an important resource for QRPers and homebrewers.  Three cheers for Jack and all the skimmer stations.  Thank you all.  

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

ET-2 Contact #18 W4FOA -- RANDOM, UNSCHEDULED, AND NOT SPOTTED (Video)



On December 1, 2019,  my 100 milliwatt signal flew more than 500 miles to reach Tony W4FOA in Chickamauga, Georgia. And -- icing on the cake -- this was a random contact.   Tony just heard my CQ on 7038 kHz -- he had not been alerted to my CQ by any spotting site or by the SKCC Sked page.  I made a quick video of my side of the contact (above). 

In a follow-up e-mail Tony explained how my CQ sounded to him: 


"I was just listening on the 40 meter band and having been a QRP'er for 50+ years, I tend to notice the weaker stations, thus explains my calling you.  Also, your signal had that little "sound" of "yesteryear" when signals were not all pure, hi.  Had it not been for the QSB and QRN we could have had a long chat despite the weak signal from your QRPp.  Over the years I have QRP DXCC, 2 way QRPARCI WAS, and my best DX was two QSO's with 2 different VK7 stations on 40 when I was running 1 watt.  I've had a lot of different QRP rigs and still have some home brew stuff plus a couple of HW8s, HW9, Elecraft K2, etc..."  

From Tony's QRZ.com page, we learn more about his ham radio activities (note his homebrew rigs and his obvious affection for the Drake 2B and 2BQ) 

First licensed as WN4FOA in April 1954. Other calls held include EL2AD, 7Q7AA, PY1ZBA. Prefer to work CW but I do work some SSB, primarily DX-related. Enjoy chasing DX on all HF bands. Have 9BDXCC and I now have worked and confirmed all of the current DXCC countries . I enjoy QRP operation and currently use an Elecraft K2 (#2213),Ameco AC-1, Kenwood TS-130V SW-40, DC-40, HW-8 (2), Heathkit HW-9 Deluxe (WARC) PSA-9 HFT-9B SP-99 HM-9 HD-420 VLF, MFJ 40T and MFJ 40V VFO,  and a homebrew 6AG7/6L6 or a 6C4/5763  etc. I also enjoy operating boatanchor gear which includes a Johnson Viking Adventurer, Viking Challenger,  an Eico 720 and an Eico 723 with a HG-10B VFO and a Heath AT-1 and a Drake 2NT. Recently added a neat Lysco 600 transmitter and a Knight Kit T-60, Johnson Viking II, and a Ten Tec 544.  Boatanchor receivers include a Hallicrafters SX-100, SX-110, SX-71, Drake R4C and the incredible Drake 2B/2BQ combo. Recently added a Kenwood TS-830S, VFO-240, AT-230 and SP-230.


Tony W4FOA
Thanks a lot Tony.  73

Sunday, December 1, 2019

ET-2 Contact #16 -- Pete, KD2OMV, Builder of a 6T9er (with video)



Yesterday I had my  first contact using the ET-2's improved receiver.  I had watched the video of N0WVA's receiver and I realized that more sensitivity was possible.  So I tried to replicate his LC ratio. I think that helped a lot.  Today I posted a plea for help on the SKCC Sked page and then called CQ on 40.  I was answered by Pete, KD2OMV who was so loud that I had to take the headphones off my ears!  He was booming in, all the way from upstate New York. The receiver was running off a somewhat depleted 9 volt battery.   I made a quick video (above).  I'm just holding the I-phone up to the headphone, while also trying to copy the incoming CW. 

This was a really great contact.  Pete has a wonderful knack story.   He was licensed as a kid but never made a contact.  As an adult he found his old box of parts for a 6T9er in his parents house. So he builds it and uses the homebrew rig to make his first ham radio contact.  FB Pete. Thanks for the contact OM.  I wrote your call on the ET-2. 


Pete KD2OMV

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Mr. Carlson's Analog Panadaptor -- "Like a digital waterfall, but fun!"



We've been talking about Panadaptors -- especially about NON-DIGITAL Panadaptors.  Kind of like waterfalls without the digital water.  A while back I rigged up a very crude non-SDR panadaptor using my Feeltech sign generator, my Rigol 'scope and a DITX40.   Here it is: 
https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/2019/05/diy-waterfall-quick-and-easy-panadaptor.html

In the above video Mr. Carlson looks at the old PCA-2T-200 Panadaptor.   The first five minutes give a really good overview of how the device operates. At around the 5 minute mark Mr. Carlson notes that modern digital receivers have SDR based waterfall displays, but noted (correctly!) that "that's no fun!"   Thank you Mr. Carlson. 

Friday, November 29, 2019

Follow-Up on Scratch-built BITX17 -- Board Map and Video


In my last post I put up a time lapse GIF of my BITX 17 build from about six years ago.  Above you can see my drawing explaining what each of the stages that you see popping up on the board wereMore diagrams here: 
https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/2013/11/bitx-build-update-19-layout-vxo-bal-mod.html
And a lot more info on this build are available on this blog.  Just use the search box for build updates (but be aware that this search will also bring up updates on later projects). 



Above is a slightly out-of-focus video tour of the board. 

I'm posting this stuff partly in reaction to the news that the BITX 40 module is no longer for sale.  I hope these posts will serve as a reminder that it is quite possible to homebrew from scratch your own BITX transceiver.  This is a fun and rewarding project.  Three cheers for Farhan! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

How A Homebrew BITX Comes Together

This is a bit of a blast from the past.  When I was building my BITX17 I paused after placing each stage on the board and took a picture.  Here is the animated GIF.  
Designer: Douglas Bowman | Dimodifikasi oleh Abdul Munir Original Posting Rounders 3 Column