Looks like people are catching QCX Fever! What an amazing Radio!
I agree, Pete! It’s simply amazing how self-contained this transceiver is. I like the fact that the kit is through-hole and that the board appears to be high quality. I will soon have one on order. This will be a fun winter project! Thanks for sharing, Pete!
Colin Evans, M1BUU, from near Haworth, West Yorkshire attained SOTA Mountain Goat on Saturday 28th January on the summit of Whernside, G/NP-004.
Colin took rather an unusual approach to his activation of Yorkshire’s highest mountain, by constructing his equipment whilst on the summit.
Colin had taken a QRPme 20m RockMite kit, a home made key kit, a home made vertical antenna kit and a gas powered soldering iron along with him. Sheltering from the wind, rain and snow in a small tent, Colin successfully constructed the RockMite, key and antenna in just under 4 hours.
The first QSO for Colin with his 250mW RockMite was with N1EU near Albany, New York, over 3000 miles away, the three subsequent QSO’s were with European stations, satisfying the SOTA rule requirement of four QSO’s to claim the activation points.
SOTA Mountain Goat is awarded for gaining 1000 SOTA Activator points. For more information, visit www.sota.org.uk
This excellent random wire antenna tuner is the classic T-Match design which is known for wide matching range and smooth operation. Dave has added a nice wrinkle – the SWR indicator employs TWO leds, not the normally seen single red LED. A green one indicates output power with a red one indicating reflected power. The beauty of this arrangement is that the operator sees the output power peaking as the SWR goes down, just like a power meter with dual meters – very intuitive. This makes tuning easier and leaves no doubt that it’s tuned for maximum power output. For a high SWR the red LED is at full brightness and the green LED is off. At 2:1 both are at equal brilliance. At 1:1 the green is full on and the red is off. The small size is perfect for portable operations. Add this dandy little tuner to your portable ops go bag, or use it at home. It’s equally at home on a picnic table, in a tent or camper, as well as on the operating desk in your shack.
Specifications and Design Features
Wide tuning range: 80 meters thru 10 meters. Tested on EFHW and 100′ wire.
Maximum Power Throughput: tested at 10 Watts.
Low loss large toroid
Twelve taps for small inductance step selection.
Low insertion loss when matched.
Enclosure Size: 3″x3″x2″.
Shipped price is $51.00 (US), $55.00 (Canada), $60.00 (Outside US/Canada).
Dave Cripe designs excellent kits for the ham radio community; they’re easy to build, fun and functional. If this kit is as popular as his past kits, the first run will most likely sell out in short order.
In his blog, Bill mentions some of his first contacts on the Splinter II:
“I have never been to Dayton or the QRP event Four Days In May. I hope to go someday, but you see my birthday is May 17th and it always conflicts. My wife, kids and grandkids insist that I’m there at my party! As thrilling as it must be to go to Dayton and FDIM, I had my own QRP adventure about a month earlier. On April 16th I finished my own building session…the Splinter II prototype. Later that evening I made the first two contacts with the Splinter II…KK4GFR, Jim in Clarkson, KY followed by KF2UZ, Jack in Hyde Park, NY. Then on the 17th, I worked SV1ENG in Greece (see above). On the 23rd I worked PA3BUD in the Netherlands. Finally, on the 24th I had a QSO with SM6CWK in Sweden.
These contacts were especially nice since they were all new countries for my QRPp totals.
Yes, I really wanted to go to Dayton, but my Four Days In April were still pretty cool!”
Bill, I must say, you certainly would enjoy Four Days In May. We’ll sing Happy Birthday to you if you make it next year!
The OpenQRP 40m CW Transceiver kit is now available for delivery to the USA and Canada from OpenQRP.com (USA) at $150.00 plus $10.00 shipping (USD).
This provides around 6 to 8 Watts output at 13.5 V on 7 MHz. It includes an LCD display, CW decoder, memory keyer, and has 400 Hz IF selectivity. The processor is based on Arduino technology, allowing experimentation with the firmware. It is designed by Steve Elliott, K1EL, well known for his WinKeyer family of keyers.
The kit is priced at £89 (GBP) and has an LCD display and front panel controls for Tune, RIT, RF Gain, and 6 push buttons. Output is 6 to 8 Watts at 13.5 V. [T]he Open QRP transceiver also includes a separate chip that decodes incoming CW and CW sent via paddles!
The transceiver was designed by Steve Elliott, K1EL, of WinKeyer fame.
(Kits are also expected to be available in the USA at some point from a separate supplier.)
I was fortunate to be able to purchase one of the kits at the Hamfest. Although I haven’t yet had time to put it together, one purchaser already has his transceiver up & running.
This is an exciting product for us in the UK, as normally items like this are imported from the USA, suffering high tax and import charges.
It begs comparison with Ten-Tec’s Model 506 Open Source QRP CW Transceiver, which is more or less the same concept based on Arduino technology (probably the Rebel was inspired by K1EL’s design, which he started in 2009). The Open QRP is single band and a kit, whereas the Rebel has two bands and is ready-built. The Open QRP has an LCD display and 6 push buttons, where as the Rebel has no display and two push buttons.
When UK companies sell USA amateur products such as the Rebel, they quite often adopt a “dollar – UK pound equivalence” pricing, which makes them far more expensive here than they are in the USA (although the UK companies do have to shoulder the import costs). On this basis, if the Rebel is priced at £199 (GBP), it will make the Open QRP kit less than half the price at £89 (GBP).”
Many thanks for the info, Graham! Please let us know about your experience building and getting the OpenQRP transceiver on the air!
The Four State QRP Group is pleased to announce a new kit, the QRPometer, a sensitive and accurate power/swr meter designed by David Cripe, NMØS. Complete specifications, assembly manual, and ordering information can be found here ttp://www.wa0itp.com/qrpom.html
PayPal is accepted.
The range of accurate power easurement extends down to a low 100 milliwatts. This kit was conceived to fill a need within the hobby for an inexpensive, highly accurate RF power and VSWR meter for QRP power levels. With it’s large digital display it makes a very useful addition to your shack.
The QRPometer uses simple analog signal-processing circuitry to provide a set of essential measurement features not previously available in a single unit. High quality, double sided,
printed circuit board construction is used, with solder mask and silk screened component reference designators.
All components are through-hole for easy assembly. NO toroids are required, and all controls and jacks are PCB mounted. The QRPometer can be constructed by beginners as well as experienced builders. Construction time is approximately 3 hours, depending on experience level. The only equipment required for calibration is a digital voltmeter, and a QRP transmitter..
All proceeds go to fund OzarkCon. As always, thank you for supporting the Four State QRP Group. http://www.4sqrp.com/
UPDATE: See comments–first run of these kits sold out within 27 hours! More to come later.
Over half of the 2N2/XX transceiver kits have been sold. You’ll recall (see previous post) that these kits were first offered at Pacificon and have been sold online since then. If you are interested in building one of these kits, you should not wait to make a purchase. Go to NorCal’s website for details.
UPDATE — 12/01/2008
Please read the update below from Doug Hendricks:
Due to problems with the stability of the VFO in the 2N2 kits, we hav suspended shipping until the problem is resolved and we can figure out which parts to put in the remaining kits, and which parts to send out to those we have already shipped. Please bear with us. We will get it right. Also, please, please, please do not send us emails asking where your order is. Every order is safe, and will be filled, we just need time to take care of the problem that we found. Emails to me won’t help, nor will an email to James or Kathy or Dean or Jim K. Thank you for your understanding. 72, Doug, KI6DS
UPDATE – 12/16/08
Hendricks has started shipments again and fixed the VFO problem. Read message posted to QRP-l below:
Finally there is some good news to report!! James tells me that shipping
has resumed on the 2N2xx kits for those that were held up while Jim Kortge
solved the problems in the VFO. Jim did a tremendous amount of work and
we now have the parts to fix the problem. The kits we are shipping now
have the correct parts in them, and those parts are being mailed to all
who previously purchased the kits. Please, please do not email and ask us
where your kit is or when it will be shipped. We are shipping as fast as
possible, and hope to have all kits shipped before the 1st of the year
that have been ordered. (Don’t you just love my sentence structure?? My
English teacher is rolling over in her grave.)
We will be accepting new orders sometime in January and it will be
announced here. James, Kathy, Jim K., Dean and Ron are working like crazy
to get your kit to you. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
The NorCal QRP club is offering a limited run of their PN2222 based analog transceivers. These transceivers are based on 10 years of prior K8IQY 2N2 designs–an evolution originating from a design contest, Wayne Burdick N6KR, one of the co-founders of Elecraft, proposed for the 1998 Dayton convention.
A total of 500 kits are available – 200 on 20-meters, 100 on 30-meters, and 200 on 40-meters. They are available at $125 each (or $225/two, and $300/three). Only 5 kits per order are available.
These kits will be available for order on October 14th.
–UPDATE 10-13-08 —
Doug Hendricks posted a 2N2/XX update on QRP-l–this includes significant changes to availability. Here’s his message:
Guys, in our excitement at getting the NorCal 2N2xx CW transceiver kits
out we didn’t think things through very well. Here is the problem. This
coming weekend is Pacificon, and all of us will be totally tied up on
Thursday, Friday and Saturday and part of Sunday. The number of kits
available is only 200 on 40 Meters, 200 on 20 Meters, and 100 on 30 Meters
and we will have to monitor sales very closely or there could be a huge
problem. We don’t want to accept orders and not have kits to ship because
they are sold out. We just don’t have anyone available to monitor the
So this is what we are going to do. We will take one half of the kits to
Pacificon to sell in our booth. We will save one half of the kits for
“Internet” sales, so there will be kits for guys who can’t get to
Pacificon. I really doubt if we will sell 250 kits at Pacificon, but I
might be wrong. Even if we do, there will still be kits for those of you
who can’t make it.
The window for orders will now be open at 7 AM on Weds. Oct. 21st. I
apologize for any inconvenience that this has caused, but it is the best
solution that we can come up with.
Hope to see you at Pacificon. We have a great lineup of speakers and lots
of fun planned. 72, Doug