Saturday, January 9, 2010

Projects for the New Year 2010

Well it's that time of year again when it's too cold to be installing antennas at the QTH. I want to wish all the best for this new year 2010. I wonder if I should refer to this year as 'twenty-ten' or two thousand and ten ?

I have a few projects for the work bench this winter and should begin building my DC40A direct conversion CW tranceiver from Hendricks QRP Kits. I've been tinkering with the pixie II but find it to be wanting. It has a problem that It receives transmissions from the Broadcast station three miles away. The station is louder than most 40M stations on the Pixie and I must wait until it goes of the air to do any hamming. No amount of bandpass filtering seems to help

I attended NearFest during the fall session and picked up a NEScaf kit . It is an Switched Capacitive Audio Filter kit and all indications is it will allow a degree of tuneability in the audio output. The kit can be obtained at New England QRP Club and the description is on their site including building info.

The other kit I bought was from an LCD Digital Dial/Counter.

I think this will keep me busy for a while and I intend to post my progress with these kits and if I can keep the cellar shack warm enough to work in. Maybe I can complete them before the lazy days of summer are back.

73 for now

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Pixie II

Well I finaly found my soldering station and went to work putting the little direct conversion rig together. I found that my old hands were steady enough to get the solder on the pads without bridgeing anything. Then my old buddy Murphy showed up (He realy didn't just show up. He lives here but hides well.). The kit that I bought on eBay had two missing parts, and were in the circuit was this? In the antenna filter network. The Pi network called for two 820pf capacitors and all I could dig up was a pair of 1000pf mylars so I gave it a shot and tomorrow I will go to RS and get the correct parts to finish. Of course the ant. connection is clip-leaded on and a coursory test netted a broadcast station around 1200Khz programing bible. Nothing wrong with that but I was holding out for CW at 7040 Khz.

The shack is in the basement and this time of year I can expect some seepage in several spots as the frost is leaving the ground starting at the foundation and were else would all that rain and melting snow go? You guessed it! Thanks again Murph. Enough for today because in ten minutes it will be tomorrow. Hi hi.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thoughts of giving up

For the past two weeks I have been trying to arrange my shack so it makes some sense. Too long it has been a repository for all things that come under the heading of; " I might need this someday". I have made up my mind that "someday" is going to be no more than 6 months away. I have reached the conclusion that I usually cannot remember where I put it ,when I need it, and have to purchase a new one anyhow. The problem is that I find it about 50% of the time within a week of new purchase. Somehow this does not apply to the "Ham junk box" this never loses it's value and if not used will be given away or donated to a deserving project. All other stuff is just used in the maintenance of property. The solution there is to buy the smallest amount that you can to do the job. It might be a little more expensive by volume but by the time you get to use it again, you will be hard pressed to find it ,or, it will have changed chemically so as to be useless (this isn't spacking! It's a white rock!).

Any way I have not been able to find my soldering station with the small point for working with solid state projects. This is slowing me down on building my Pixie and other projects that I want to do. Then the thought hit me. Maybe it's time to buy some neat storage devices such as shelving, new soldering iron, to make my hours more enjoyable pursuing my hobby? I'm sure the YL 'sic.' will be thrilled to hear my idea. They tell me the ice skating rink in hell is a big success.

The other option seems to be vegetating in front of the tube (LCD Display) or watching clouds go by.

Coincidence ?

I get a eerie feeling when too many things come together. While poking around trying to get my shack back to a working environment I am comming across more parts and pieces than I can remember originally acquiring. I guess that's a combination of not building and old age.

But too the point; I came across a book that was loaned to me around 1994 that I have been meaning to return. No more than three days later I find a reference to the same subject in an e-mail from K1DWU Ham News in an article labeled Sir Robert Watson-Watt Posted on K3OQ 's blog "Adventures in Radio"

Looks like I better shape up and tie up some loose ends

Monday, February 18, 2008


I was digging around in the shack the other day and came across a small mailer envolope with a complete Pixie II in it. I had forgot that sometime last summer (2007), I had bought it on eBay. What a find! The winter is getting to me and I was getting bored and looking for something to do, now I have it. I have to find my skills for building I put away back in 1972 when I last built a piece of ham-gear. With any luck at all at 68 years I may get the bug for building again. The notion of using less than 5 watts and CW is starting to appeal to me once more.

If nothing else I will have something to write about by updating my blog