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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Smoke-Free! On the Air with the W1REX Dayton Hamfest Buddy

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!

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