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Antennas Kits The Shack

QRPGuys No Tune End Fed Half Wave

About a year ago, I bought a few end fed half wave antenna kits from the QRPGuys. The No Tune End Fed Half Wave is of those that I got out of curiosity. The fact that there is no tuner required seemed intriguing. Basically, I’m skeptical so I’m going to build this one and try […]

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Equipment Operate Outside POTA SOTA

A Basic Portable Radio Station for SOTA and POTA Part Two: Batteries

In Part One, I wrote about the interaction between portability and capability with a focus on the radio transceiver itself. This time around, I would like to discuss how to pair a battery to your chosen radio. Again, portability and capability are paramount. Batteries are among the heaviest and bulkiest elements of any portable radio […]

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Gear Operate Outside POTA SOTA

A Basic Portable Radio Station for SOTA and POTA Part One: Portability and Capability

All amateur radio stations have the same five basic elements: a transceiver, an antenna, a power supply, a transmitting interface like a key or microphone, and a reception interface like headphones or a speaker. And of course, cables which connect all the aforementioned elements to the radio. There you have it! A complete amateur radio […]

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Gear The Shack

The Te-Ne-Ke Paddle

The last few times that I went to operate portable, I brought my Speed-X key. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a great key. When doing POTA and SOTA, I want it to work reliably above all. However, it is large and somewhat heavy. I’m always looking for ways to cut weight and add reliability to […]

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Antennas The Shack

A Hiatus, QTH Change, and Antenna Experiments

Since attending OzarkCon in April this year (which I still would like to write about), I took a break from ham radio. In the time since, my family and I moved seven hours north from Arkansas to Kansas, both my wife and I have started new jobs, and have renovated our new-to-us, eighty-year-old house. It […]

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The Shack

QRP Mobile: a Shark HamStick installation

Moving has a way of causing you to revisit the recesses of your house. As I was digging around in the closet in my shack, I discovered an abandoned project. Last hamfest I went to, I acquired a mobile antenna mount and some Shark HamSticks for 20, 30, 40 and 80. I thought: rather than […]

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Kits

5Watter Organic Transceiver Build Phase 3: Keyer and Keying Sections

This particular block should be straightforward. Basically, Diz’s kit ships with a programmed IC for using with a paddle. I believe that we will also be installing the keying switching transistors as well in this section. Components J4 – command button J5 – paddle jack J10 – speed control potentiometer (10k linear recommended; not included) […]

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Kits

5Watter Organic Transceiver Build Phase 2: Audio Amplifier and AGC

Last time around, I built the power supply and had an absolute blast discovering why components were placed in their particular way. This time, I’ll be building up the audio amplifier section while performing research as I did in Phase 1. In general, this section revolves around placing an LM386, the requisite components that make […]

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Kits

5Watter Organic Transceiver Build Phase 1: Power Supply

When building the 5Watter by W8DIZ, K7QO recommends building the power supply first as a troubleshooting measure. If the voltage regulators are installed and giving correct voltages, then you’ve eliminated one potential problem down the line. That, and it is difficult to determine whether everything else is working correctly if you can’t feed power to […]

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Kits

SMD Soldering Practice: Basic FM Receiver

A few days ago, I received a 5Watter kit from Diz, W8DIZ. I knew that it would contain some small parts but they were even smaller than I imagined. In preparation for soldering smaller and smaller components, I decided that a lower cost kit would offer the practice necessary to solder these small parts. While […]