Wednesday, April 26, 2017

New Kit Rig from 4 State QRP Group

I just saw this on QRP-L...the 4 State QRP Group has released their newest CW rig kit, and it is The Cricket.  At $32.68 shipped in the US it is an 80m CW QSOing machine.  Get yours now and make ten contacts.  Submit your contact list to 4 States and you will become an official Cricketeer!

Cricket 80m Transceiver

You can read all about it here:  4 States QRP Group

Best 73 de KB9BVN

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Straight Key Sprint tonight

Tonight the SKCC was hosting their Straight Key Sprint from 00:00 to 02:00 UTC, I was able to get on for a bit and I have worked two different stations. 

First up this evening was Tom WZ4M from down in Mecklenburg County NC.  Tom is a SKCC member and holds number 10827T and he is hard at work trying to earn his "Senator" designation. Tom has also been very active in the SOTA events using his old callsign of W4TZM. Based on the pictures I saw in his QRZ biography page, Tom likes to work his Elecraft KX-3 in the outdoors, quite a bit.  He gave me a good report and I had him 599 until the QSB just brought the QSO to an end.  He was pretty surprised at my 2 watts and the HW8.

WZ4M's Setup
After I worked Tom, I bailed out in hopes the shortwave broadcast interference would die down, so I built a HW-8-LM386 Audio board kit while I waited.  I am going to add this to the HW8 so I can use 8 ohm headphones and even a small speaker.  My adapter didn't come in yet for my Norcal Keyer so I am still hammering away with the Nye Viking Master Key. 

I got back on the air about an hour later, sent out one CQ on 7113 Khz and Bill WA4FAT came right back from down in Alabama.  We exchanged the SKCC info (RST, QTH, Name, SKCC #) and then he asked me if I was on the HW8.  We're getting famous! HAHAH  I told him I certainly was and the SWBC interference was strong as ever.  Bil has a pretty cool amateur radio blogsite, I have added it to the list.  Bill has been a CW op since 1962 ( I was 2 in 1962) and he prefers hand keying.  Hey too! 

So thanks to Tom and Bill for hearing my QRP signals tonight. Every contact I make is almost DX and just feels great.  There are a LOT of great fists out there, try to work them all! 

Mailman brought these today! 


That's it for tonight, and as always, thank you for reading my blog. 


Sunday, April 23, 2017

New Podcast Episode Tonight!

Hello gang...been under the weather for the last 4 or 5 days and have not made much effort to get on the air lately.  I am awaiting some parts to come in so I can connect my NORCAL Keyer to the HW8 and use my Vibroplex Vibrokeyer instead of the Nye Viking straight key. 

In the meantime Mike KD5KXF and I got together for another episode of our QRP podcast, The QRPian.  Give it a listen if you get a chance, and don't miss the part about our contest.  I hope to get back on the air in full force this coming week.  ( The QRPian Podcast )

This week I got a few QSL Cards in the mail, and here they are. 

QSL Card AK4JA - Second Time

QSL card for KI4I/M
QSL Card for N3ADF
That's about it for today!  

73 de KB9BVN

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Working hard...hearing nada

The 40m band is in very odd shape tonight.  It was WAY better yesterday but isn't that always the way things go...or so it seems. 

Last night I worked Iowa again, this time it was Chris WU1A/0 from Polk City Iowa.  The exchange was very brief, RST, Name and QTH sort of thing and the band went ugly.  Based on his QRZ page he's about 55 years old and an Extra.  I sure appreciate him pulling out my QRP signals.  I got a rock solid 2 way 599.  Thanks Chris! 

Tonight right after I got home from work I got on the air for an hour and scrounged up one contact, and that was Jason N3YUG from Maryland.  A new contact but not a new state.  I tried to talk him into driving over to Delaware and working me but he couldn't do it.  So right now I am still stuck at 30 states.  Jason is a busy ham, he's earned DXCC, WAS, Triple Play, and is SKCC 15885T.  He has a cool looking BitX 40 that he built and he has a nice collection of old regen receivers.  Check him out on QRZ. 

Right now the band is suffering from this:  SSN:0 SFI:80 A:9 K:1

THAT is an improvement from just an hour maybe things are swinging back, I may try to get back on a little later.  

I am impatiently awaiting an adapter plug so I can use my Norcal Keyer Rev 2 on the HW8.  Nothing worse than waiting on the mailman to bring you a new toy...or a QSL Card. 

73 de KB9BVN

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter!

Had a great Easter, went to Mass with the family last night for Easter vigil, and we had about 90 folks getting confirmed and their first communion. Mass started at 9PM and we finally got out of church at about midnight.  

Then I got up this morning and cleaned my grill, a chore not done in quite some time, and it was in need of it badly.  Once I got that all squared away I had some time to get on the air before my sons and their families arrived for grilled delights. 

I worked Bill NZ0T over in Missouri at about 11AM local time, we were both 599 amid the static crashes of oncoming thunderstorms.  Bill has been a ham since 1982 and is currently enjoying being retired.  His wife Mary is also a ham, N0HLV.  We passed it back and forth about three times when it started storming here so I had to say 73 dit dit and QRT. 

The herd showed up at about 1:30PM and we feasted on grilled delights including cheeseburgers, hot dogs, beer brats, and marinated chicken breasts.  I have plenty of left overs for lunch this week so when they see me coming, they be jellin. 

That's it for today, don't forget the Flying Pigs QRP Club Run for the Bacon Sprint is tonight coast to coast from 9PM to 11PM your local time.

73 de KB9BVN

Saturday, April 15, 2017

I could KISS my Mailman

Today we have been running around getting last minute items lines up for the big family cook out tomorrow.  We had to go get some stakes and bungees to hold down the pop up shelter thing I am setting up by the grill, then we had to go get the propane tanks filled, hit the grocery store, and drive over to see my son Jason and his family for a little bit.  


Got home at about 4PM and in the mail box I found a new QSL card from Roger W9BZ from up in Greenwood IN, about 10 miles from here, AND my W8DIZ 30m One Watter Kit!!  My friend Mike KD5KXF will be building one as well.  We hope to find really strange cabinets to build it in.  

The One Watter series from W8DIZ at are $49.00, including Tick Keyer chip, a solid watt of output and everything you need except a cabinet and the knobs.  You can set it up for paddles or straight key or both!

Chuck Adams K7QO did a great 10 part video series on the assembly of this little kit, and honestly I think even a beginner would have little trouble with this one.  See: 1Watter Transceiver Build, Phase 1 by K7QO

This is what I got in my goodie box today: 

The printed circuit board is extremely high quality, and notice DIZ includes sockets for the IC's.  Can't beat this deal for $49.00  If you are really interested in homebrew QRP radio...check out this website of  Steve Szabo WB4OMM down in Florida.

If you are so inclined, Google "W8DIZ One Watter" and you will find at least a dozen sites that have reviews and builder info on this cool little radio.   I have known Diz for over 15 years and he is one of the founders of the Flying Pig QRP Club International and a member of the QRP-ARCI QRP Hall of Fame.  His support is top notch. 

For more Pictures, Data and Links:

I am looking forward to building this and getting more states on the HW8, it's a great time to be a amateur radio operator! 

73 de KB9BVN