After the Dayton Hamvention, our ace correspondent Bob Crane (W8SX) sent me the "Hamfest Buddy" kit that Rex Harper W1REX had put together and used in "The World's Biggest Build-a-Thon."
It is a single 2N2222 crystal-controlled oscillator for 20 meters. All the parts are plug-in -- no solder smoke is released. Mine went together in about 15 minutes and fired right up. You can see it above. It runs off the 9V battery. I had to hold it down with tape. You can see the key button in the lower right. That little inductor in the foreground is used to shift the frequency a bit. I had to remove the 10K resistor in the emitter circuit because with my antenna the circuit was going into low-level oscillation even in key-up. With the 10K resistor removed, this problem disappeared.
I hooked it up to my 20 meter dipole and called CQ. With only about 60 milliwatts into a dipole under poor conditions, I really didn't think I'd get any answers. But I figured the Reverse Beacon Network might pick me up. It did:
Thanks Bob! Thanks Rex!