Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Old radio, Tallahassee thrift store

I was in Tallahasee, Fl for business the other week. They let me run around on my own one lunch hour, I found a Goodwill store. Found this radio in there, unfortunately they priced it way too high for any Ham to ever buy it. ;)


Yeah, theres a big problem with this being a "predominantly old-guy's hobby." That being, they occaisionally check out. So long, Lloyd.

W3EDP Antenna

As part of this QRP kick, I needed to upgrade my main HF antenna. Due to things needing to fit into the yard nicely, I chose the W3EDP antenna. Its basically a Zepp. Got it strung up a couple of weekends ago. I'll leave further explaination of the antenna to Google. ;)

In the last pic, the insulators are just weights to put a little tension on the 17' ladder line section. This servers two purposes, first to "steer" it away from the metal flashing on the edge of the shack roof, and second, to help create a drip loop for rain, which worked well last weekend!

The W3EDP needs a resonant Z-match tuner. (Emtech ZM-2, for instance.) I instead decided to build one like this: http://www.qsl.net/wb3gck/zmatch.htm

Almost done with it:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Zip ties

So that's where I left that bag of zip ties. Nice that they stayed put, after driving to and from San Diego county, then back and forth from work for over a month, then out and back from Lake Havasu AZ.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cactus Meeting

Last weekend I drove out to Lake Havasu (for the first time ever, both city and venue) for the Cactus Intertie annual meeting. Had a great time and met some of the faces whose voices come out of the radio speaker. ;)  There was some awesome gear being raffled, but unfortunately I won none of it, oh well.  Good time, and not too bad of a drive at all. It was a little bit of a pricey vacation, and I sleep-deprived myself a bit, but worth it. Definitely looking forward to next year in Tucson.

The Rock Hunt QRP Contest

Like a pendulum, my interest in HF QRP is coming back. (No, none of my UHF/Microwave projects will get deferred!) I've been a long-time Soldersmoke Podcast listener, especially on my drives down to northern San Diego County to visit my parents.

I've always been inspired by Bill's QRP DSB rigs, so I'm starting building one for 17 Meters. CARBON MICS FOREVER!!!  ;)

I've also been feeling guilty about letting my CW slip, probably for the better part of a year.

But then an absolutely absurd post came up on the QRP Tech yahoo group. (I subscribe to this as I can't stand either of the qrp-l's.) The idea is nuts. ;) My chances of making any QSO's are minimal. But I'm gonna learn things and it'll still be fun!

Here's the details: Rock Hunt QRP Contest Home Page

Last night I dug up a Hendricks DC-40 (non-A) that I didn't even build, modded it to tolerate swappable crystals, and called CQ for a bit.  No takers, and absolutely NOTHING showed up on the Reverse Beacon Network. I used to be able to reliably put my call sign in there with 5 watts with my old antenna, but the present one is just too much of an inefficient calamity. I have some reading and planning to do, and once I get a bit more financially caught up, I'm going to be ordering a few little kits.

Next step is to re-configure the antenna to a 40m EFHW.