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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

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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Backpacking Operate Outside SOTA

Bushwhack up Potato Hill Mountain: W5A/PT-005

The allure of an unactivated 8 pointer is hard to resist for long. Luckily, I had a four-day weekend during the Thanksgiving holiday so I set my sights on a long dreamed of summit. Potato Hill Mountain is a one-hour drive from my house and I arrived at the end of the forest service road […]

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SOTA

First SOTA 10 pointer: Poteau Mountain W5A/PT-001

After building up my new antenna, the QRPGuys Portable Multi Band End Fed Half Wave Antenna, I was hankering for an excuse to go try it out. After some plans fell through, I decided that today was the day for this antenna’s maiden voyage. Poteau Mountain is only an hour from my house and required […]

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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 […]

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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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Operate Outside SOTA

Mt. Nebo, W5A/MA-004

When you have a doctor’s appointment that will take all day, you might as well pack the radio in order to take advantage of a summit that’s on the way home. As it turns out, this particular summit was the first SOTA activation that I have ever done. It shows. Let’s just say that activating […]