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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 […]

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Kits

A 5Watter Organic Transceiver Build: Introduction

When I first began my ham radio career some seven years ago, I was immediately drawn to kit building. One of the first kits that I discovered was the 1Watter, offered by Kits and Parts. I held off too long on getting that particular kit because of the small SMD parts and the lack of […]

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Gear Kits The Shack

The 4SQRP Hi-Per-Mite CW Audio Filter

The FT-817/818 has been in production for over 20 years and now that I own one, it is easy to see why. It is a fun radio to operate and fits a lot in a small package. There’s really just one thing that I don’t like about it: the wideness of its filtering can make […]

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The Shack

Station Updates: Logging and QSLing

Soon after operating CW on a regular basis, I wanted to start sending QSL cards to the people that I worked. More than anything, I wanted to send them as a thank you for helping me learn the code. So far, I have sent out a few dozen cards. If you take a look at […]

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Gear

Closer Look: TalentCell 12V 6Ah battery pack

When poking around the internet for battery packs, this item from TalentCell piqued my interest due to its ability to supply 12V in an affordable package. The case is put together with screws. It’s begging to be opened up to discover what’s inside. Thankfully, the contents are exactly were as advertised on Amazon. Inside are […]

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Gear Modifications

MTR3b: Power Jack Modification

The Mountain Topper 3 Bander, or MTR3b, is a famous radio and for good reason. It’s a compact, lightweight radio that gets you on 20m, 30m, and 40m. It sips power yet has a 5W output. It has a nice receiver. It’s ruggedly built. However, the power jack didn’t match any other piece of equipment […]