Category Archives: Announcements

OzarkCon 2024 Registration is Open!

Many thanks to Ed (WG5F) who shares the following announcement:

It’s coming up quick: OzarkCon 2024, April 4th & 5th in Branson, Missouri. Once again at the Stone Castle Hotel and Conference Center.

Registration is open.

Same great slate of presentations and discussions, a fun kit build, wonderful fellowship with fellow QRP’ers and chances to win some great prizes.

Full details at http://www.ozarkcon.com

72,

-Ed, WG5F-

Thank you for the reminder, Ed!

Readers: OzarkCon is a premiere QRP gathering. If you’ve never been, I would highly encourage you to register and attend!

Teri: A Request from the POTA Babe to QRPer Readers

For those regular readers of QRPer.com, you know that this POTA Babe has a goal of 60 new-to-me park activations for 2024. I am planning a POTA trip this summer to North Carolina and/or Virginia. I will be on the road for eleven to twelve days with nine to ten of those days potentially available for activations. I’d like to hear from y’all what one park you think I should visit and why.

You can either leave your suggested park in the comments below or email me via the address on my QRZ page. As summer will be here before we know it, I’d like to nail down my plans soon. Please share your suggestions by Wednesday, March 6th.

For safety reasons, I will not share my itinerary before the trip; however, I will give credit in the articles I write from the trip to the op (or ops if the park is suggested by more than one person) who suggested that park.

Thank you in advance for your assistance! Keep having fun with your QRP adventures!

Important Update: How to Join the QRPer.net Community

Dear QRPer.net Members,

As many of you have likely noticed, our QRPer.net Discussion Board has recently been targeted by an influx of SPAM users and comments. In response, our superhero administrator, Brian (K3ES), has been diligently working to sort and flag the SPAM comments and users from the genuine contributors.

To address this issue, we are implementing changes to our user registration process.

To address this issue, we are implementing changes to our user registration process.

Moving forward, new user registrations will undergo manual approval to ensure the authenticity of each member. While this adjustment may require a bit more effort, it is essential for protecting the quality of our community.

Here’s what you need to do to join QRPer.net:

  1. Go to https://qrper.net/ and click on the register button, then Follow the prompts to create a username and submit your registration to our admin.
  2. After submitting the registration, send an email to our admin team at [email protected] with the following information:
    • Your full name and callsign (or indicate “SWL” if you’re a listener)
    • The username you chose for the discussion board (exactly as you submitted it)
    • The email address you used in your registration

Once we receive your email, we will process your request promptly and get you set up to participate in our discussions.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we work to keep our community SPAM-free. Your support is invaluable in maintaining the welcoming and informative atmosphere of QRPer.net.

We look forward to welcoming you to our community soon!

Best regards,

QRPer.net Admin Team

A break from email and reminder about the amazing QRPer.net discussion board

Dear Readers,

This week, I’m heading to the Dayton Hamvention––and fitting in a POTA rove, as well. (Woo hoo!) In the following two weeks I’ll be doing quite a lot of traveling.

QRPer.com will be updated regularly, but I won’t have a lot of time to answer questions via email.  I’ll mainly check email for news tips and guest posts.  Any replies I send will likely be quite short.

Since I typically receive around 40 emails per day just from readers, I suspect I’ll have an insane back log over the next few weeks!

Because I tend to want to answer everyone’s email–indeed, I do my best to answer any emails that aren’t accidentally eaten by my SPAM filters–I acknowledge this will be a struggle.

While it’s a privilege that folks want to reach out to me for advice, questions, and the like––the truth is, I’m reaching a point where there simply isn’t enough free time in the day even when I’m home, let alone when I’m traveling. I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do moving forward, but something will have to change soon.

I don’t want to reach a point where I have to choose between creating content…or responding to emails.  So if I just can’t get to yours, thanks for understanding.

But what if you still need some advice?  What can you do?

The QRPer Board to the rescue!

If you have a question, I would strongly encourage you to ask it in our amazing–completely free–forum at QRPer.net: https://qrper.net/

This discussion board is moderated and monitored by an amazing group of Elmers and volunteers who have a wide range of experience and expertise. It’s no secret that you’ll likely get a much better answer from these folks than you would from me!

Also, feel free to ask questions in the “comments” section of relevant posts here on QRPer.com.  You’ll have the whole reader community to hear and help you.

Thank you!

Thank you all for being a part of the community here on QRPer.com. I appreciate your support and also your amazing field reports, guest posts, and feedback!

Have a wonderful week, everybody…and, again, I hope to meet you at Hamvention or Four Days In May!

Cheers & 72,

Thomas (K4SWL)

Thank you, QST!

Many of you have reached out this week congratulating me on the article that features my work in the April 2023 issue of QST. Thank you all for the kind words.

I’m truly honored that QST would feature my work here on QRPer.com and my YouTube channel in their pages. Steve (K5ATA) wrote a very gracious article, and frankly, I don’t know what to say other than thank you!

I’d like to thank all of you, readers, for making QRPer.com what it is today with your contributions, guest posts, field reports, hints & tips, and words of encouragement to others in the comments section. I’m honored to have even played a modest role in your radio journey, and your feedback and contributions have taught me so much, which, I feel, has made me a better field operator.

So…Thank you!

On the Ham Radio Workbench Podcast crew

I have a nasty habit of not mentioning some of the most significant things that happen along my radio journey.

After posting the announcement about the March 25-26 QSO Today Expo earlier this week, I received a number of messages from readers asking if I had joined the Ham Radio Workbench Podcast crew in a permanent way. I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned this before.

The answer is YES!

Those of you who know me well know that I don’t have a lot of free time. At this point in my life, I’m a very busy father, husband, son, and hopeless field radio addict. But when George (KJ6VU) asked if I wanted to joint the HRWB crew, it was a no-brainer.

I have a fairly extensive list of podcasts I follow, but there are only four that I listen to each time they produce a new episode: QSO Today, The Airline Pilot Guy Show, Big Picture Science, and the Ham Radio Workbench Podcast. I cherry-pick all of the others based on the topic.

I’ve been a long-time subscriber to the HRWB podcast, so when I was first invited to be a guest in 2021, I felt like I already knew George (KJ6VU), Mark (N6MTS), Mike (VA3MW), Rod (VA3ON), and Vince (VE6LK).

After all, I’d spent…what…hundreds of hours listening to them as I drive, travel, mow, split firewood, and put around the shack–? Don’t get me started on the number of things I’ve purchased as a result of being a subscriber to the podcast.

During the recording of that first episode where I was a guest, I realized just how much I enjoyed hanging with those guys. They have such a wealth of knowledge between them, yet none of them take themselves too seriously and they’re always up for a good laugh.

They invited me back several times as a guest and in December ’22, I was asked if I would become a permanent guest.

Although it shows a certain lack of judgment on their part, I quickly accepted before they could change their minds.

So there you go.

On that note, I will be attending the 2023 Hamvention and will be hanging out at the Halibut Electronics and Ham Radio Workbench booth when I’m not cruising the event, taking photos, and likely recording some video. Please stop by and visit!

Register and join us at the QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo!

The 2023 QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo will be held on March 25 – 26 and I would encourage you to register now.

I have attended every QSO Today Visual Ham Expo since Eric (4Z1UG) created this brilliant virtual event. The online platform is quite easy to use and there are loads of fascinating topics from a wide variety of presenters.

Click here to check out the presentation list.

I applaud Eric for championing radio topics that are open and accessible to Technician (and equivalent) class operators.

Twice before, I haven’t been able to attend the Expo sessions live (due to my schedule) but I register anyway! Why? Eric archives and provides all of the presentations in video format on-demand for Expo attendees after the event has ended. I simply log in and work my way through presentations over the course of a month, one morning coffee after another! The gift that keeps on giving!

These presentations are a shorter format and (I find) focus less on general topics covered elsewhere; they’re truly unique to the Expo.

This is one of the main reasons I register for the QSO Today Virtual Expo: I want to support a platform that produces brilliant ideas, innovations, and encourages a wide radio of radio activities!

Click here to check out the Expo and register.

I have no idea how Eric puts all of this together, but I’m glad he does and we all benefit from it.

Ham Radio Workbench Podcast at the QSO Today Virtual Expo!

Join us for a live recording of the Ham Radio Workbench podcast as we help kick off the Expo on March 25, 2023 starting at 1:00 UTC (March 24, 2023, 6:00 PM).

Click here for the schedule.

Eric also shared the following preview of the Roundtable Lounge that allow Expo participants to hang out in real time and move from table to table fluidly.

Here is what the Ham Radio Workbench table will look like (20 seats):

I’m really looking forward to this event! I hope you’ll join us.

Click here to register for the Expo!

LnR Precision taking orders for the next batch of MTR-4Bs

Many thanks to Jim (N9EET) who notes that LnR Precision is now taking orders for the next batch of the Mountain Topper MTR-4B V2.3.

LnR notes the following on the MTR-4B order page:

Update: 2/24/22: MTR4 V2.3 online ordering is now active! We are releasing 100 units and they will be available as first come, first served. We have a handful of units built now but are expected to quickly have a 3-4 week lead-time before they ship. This could be LONGER and we can’t guarantee shipment in that timeframe but will do our best. We have enough parts in hand for 250 units so there will be another release of this model once we have shipped the first 100.

Also, the MTR4b pricing was increased slightly (up $20) to cover part cost increases. The overall costs were much higher but we know how bad overall inflation has been so we want to be as reasonable as humanly possible. Thanks so much for your continued patience and we know you will enjoy this radio!

This is great news for those of you who have been wanting to reserve an MTR-4B.

If you’re on the fence about ordering one, consider checking out my full review here.

Click here to check out details on the  MTR-4B order page.

Thanks for the tip, Jim!

End of an Era: The Yaesu FT-818ND is being discontinued…

Many thanks to Gavin (GM0WDD), followed by a number of other readers, who shared breaking news that both the Yaesu FT-818ND and the Yaesu FTM-400XDR are being discontinued due to parts availability.

The following announcement originally appeared on the Difona Communications Gmbh page on Facebook:

I suspect there will be a rush on remaining Yaesu FT-818ND stock. The 817 and 818 have been in production for well over two decades!  It’s one of my favorite QRP radios and certainly one I recommend.

Indeed, if you haven’t read it already, check out this article I posted only two months ago detailing why I think the 818 is such an enduring radio.

UPDATE: Many thanks to K4FBI who shares this announcement from Yaesu USA:

The FX-4L QRP SDR HF transceiver is on order!

This year, I’ve had a couple of readers very kindly offer to loan me their FX-4C transceivers to take to the field and review.

Those offers have been very temping because I’ve only heard positive comments from owners of this wee feature-packed SDR transceiver designed by Yu (BG2FX).

Earlier this year, I learned that Yu was retiring the FX-4C and would be introducing two new radios, so I decided to hold off on an FX-4C review for this reason.

My buddy, Don, informed me that the new radios were now available for pre-order, so I checked out the option on Yu’s website, and placed an order.

Details (features and specs) are still a little sparse because BG2FX is still finalizing the design and lining up production, but here’s a snapshot of the two models based on Yu’s preliminary info:

The FX-4CR

I was very pleased to read that my buddy John (AE5X) has one of these on order.

The FX-4CR can push 15-20 watts on most bands according to John, which is most impressive for a one pound radio that fits in the palm of your hand! It covers 80 – 6 meters, sports a color screen with a 48 kHz wide waterfall display, an internal sound card for digital modes, built-in speaker and microphone, 9 – 18 VDC input range, and even sports Bluetooth!

That’s an impressive array of features for $550 US (on pre-order).

The FX-4L

I pre-ordered the FX-4L and am told by Yu that it should ship by end of October or early November 2022. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s an optimistic projection.

The FX-4L is essentially a more basic QRP version of the FX-4CR; it’s maximum output power is around 5 watts.

It’s very similar to the FX-4CR in many respects: it has the same display from what I can tell, covers 80 – 6 meters, has a wide voltage range 9 – 18 VDC, sports an internal sound card, and is super compact and lightweight.

The FX-4L doesn’t appear to have Bluetooth. Lu doesn’t mention a built-in speaker or microphone, but there’s an obvious speaker grill and even a small hole that might be a microphone. I’ll try to confirm this. Yu does note that there’s room in the chassis for the user to add a battery or ATU.

I’ve been more interested in the FX-4L because, as you likely know, it’s very rare for me top operate over 5 watts of power.

That said, I certainly see the appeal of a 15W+ radio like the FX-4CR.

(Many thanks to Yu for sharing all of the FX-4L photos above.)

Stay tuned!

I’m really looking forward to checking out the FX-4L and also reading AE5X’s assessment of the FX-4CR.

I’m curious if anyone else has pre-ordered one of these radios. Also, if you’re an FX-4C owner, I’d love to hear your comments!