April 23, 2013
Finished the end-fed antenna for the RV today. I ended up taking off about four feet of the wire so the antenna is about 26 feet long. SWR using my K1 with auto tuner is as follows:
40 meters = 1.3 to 1
30 meters = 1.1 to 1
20 meters = 1.0 to 1
15 meters = 1.0 to 1
Sent CQ on 7031 KHz and N9OL in Evansville, IN (386 miles to the SW) answered and we had a short QRP QSO. I was running 4 watts and John was running 5 watts. Things were fine till three other stations crowded in and I lost John in the ensuing chaos. My end-fed is mounted as a sloper and should have favored the NW…but our trips RV’ing this summer will tell more on this.
The antenna is short enough to fit in the foot print of my fifth-wheel RV. I use my awning as the tie-point for the UNUN and coax. If I don’t have the awning up, I can always just use a stake or short pole to hook the UNUN and coax to.
This antenna was the brain-storm of the fine folks at http://www.earchi.org and is their end fed 6 – 40 meter multiband HF antenna. I followed their article and ended up with a great antenna for my RV. Anyone who is space limited as far as antennas are concerned, ought to check out this antenna. They also tell how to make a “No tuner needed” 20 and 40 meter end-fed antennas. The 6 thru 40 meter antenna does require a tuner.
April 18, 2013
Here is a pic of the 9:1UNUN I built last night for a 40 thru 10 meter end fed antenna I want to try out for our RV. Need to measure the antenna today (30 feet to start out and then tune) but we have bad storms going on till late tonight…so may have to wait till tomorrow to put up and try out.
I hope to try this one out first then try the three different vertical antenna ideas I have. More to come later.
April 17, 2013
Mounted the two poles I use for antenna mounts on the back of the RV yesterday. I use those three foot “army green” poles and stack them together to make a mast about 25 to 30 feet high. I have three vertical antenna ideas to play with and also want to built a 9:1 unun for a sloper antenna idea that is said to work good on 40 thru 10 meters…and only 26 to 30 feet long. That size would be perfect for RV’ing and small camping sites since out Fifth-Wheel is also 30 feet long.
We plan on RV’ing in the UP of Michigan, OH, IND, NY and maybe PA if time permits. I like using my K1 when camping…but now will also have my CC1 for 40 meters and my KX1 which is good for 40 and 20 meters. I have the 30 meter band PCB kit but have yet to build it. I also have the auto tuner (KXAT1) kit but think about selling it as I doubt I would ever use is.
Will post antenna results here as they become available and not eating hot dogs at the campfire!
April 11, 2013
Made a couple of contacts with the CC1 but have not yet attempted to measure and drill the front and back panels for the case.
The KX1 arrived today. A tad over 4 watts out on both 40 and 20 meters and the receive sounds fantastic! The KX1 may become my new QRP camping rig. I have the 30 meter option for the KX1…if I install it, it will be the same as my K1. Been raining here for several days now…if it ever stops, I can start playing with the antenna ideas I have for the RV.
Being retired is both busy and hard work…LOL!!!
April 10, 2013
OK, the KX1 is done…the firmware chip was bad but thanks to the KX1 guru Don, W3FPR, that along with a couple of solder reflows and he got the rig working. The guy really knows his stuff! The KX1 should be back here in a week or so and then I can try it out.
Completed the beta build on Etherkit’s new CC1 40 meter transceiver…nearly all smd and challenging for an old fart like me. But had fun, though I may hesitate from future smd projects unless they are size 1206…better yet, stick with thru-hole components…LOL. Made a couple of contacts this evening as is and it works rather well. 2.5 watts out and the receiver is really hot! I have yet to tackle the case which is included but not marked so I have to do some measuring and praying (!!!) to get it right.
We have uncovered our fifth wheel and I want to start playing with some antenna ideas to use this season while out and about…camping/fishing/QRP operation, it just don’t get any better than that!
March 2, 2013
Well, got up to the first Check and Alignment Section and then ran into a problem.The LED display does not work. I suspect U1 which is the microcontroller chip that controls practically everything on the PCB. Taking a break from the whole project and will get back to it in a few days. I have troubleshoot it for several days now and can’t find anything wrong. I can’t vouch for U1 without replacing it…so will have to order it and see if that fixes it.
February 26, 2013
I bought a KX1 back in 2004 while at Dayton and decided it was time to build it. I had forgot how much I enjoyed building Elecraft kits! I was missing a plastic screw and sent an e-mail to them yesterday…that was Sunday. They answered it today and sent out a new screw today…Monday. You can’t ask for better customer support than that.
Here are a few pictures of the build so far…as you can see, I am just now getting started.
December 27, 2012
Been messing around with some ideas and a little solder snuffing. Getting ready to start construction of the new PigRig, 5 Watt Single Frequency Transceiver. You can read about it at http://www.kitsandparts.com/fpra-7030.7.php. Looking forward to building this and also using it. Many of the FP members have bought it so it will be fun to use it and compare notes. Already thinking about a couple of mod’s to make it better.
Also have been playing with the Realtek RTL2832U & Elonics E4000-Based USB DVB-T Receiver dongle. It tunes from 52 MHz to over 2 GHz. Have start gathering parts for an HF converter and also ordered one that uses 100 MHz IF. So far have really enjoyed messing around with it. I got both the dongle and converter on e-bay from a vendor in NY. Fast ship time and no problems with products so far.
Have three vertical antenna ideas that I want to try out…but snow has now fallen here so this project may have to wait till spring time.
That’s about it for now. Will post some additional info and maybe some pictures of the two on-going projects as they evolve.
October 23, 2012
Tried to load Win XP on an A860 Dell laptop that had LINUX on it about a week ago…but was lacking the drivers to get many functions working including networking and internet to work. I found a 3.3 GB package from Russia that said would scan and update drivers for Win XP. Tried reloading Win XP today with the same results (lack of drivers) but then ran the driver update package and that seemed to fix everything. Was still missing the FT232R USB UART driver and a serial port driver…but found them with the Arduino software. So spent the afternoon playing with Ardruino micro-board and enjoyed it! Hope to get comfortable with the Arduino and then use it to interface with some projects on the workbench. Was really taken back with the ability to read analog voltages and then report those voltage to the laptop.
Been raining here a lot so no antenna work. Did get leaves picked up once, but still have to repeat that process at least once more. Several trees with lots of leaves left…but it won’t be long before all the trees are bare for the winter season.
Got on 40 CW last night and had a nice chat with Ken out in MO. He is 83 years young and only works CW…needless to say, he has a great fist and a joy to talk to.
Been clearing out lots of junk the last few weeks. We have garbage pickup early every Monday morning, so spend the weekend filling the trash bin with stuff that I forgot I even had. One of these days, I might even have room to buy new junk so I can fill in all the holes on shelves that I have created.
Got the Reggie II on the workbench and started doing the interconnects between the four PCBs. I have several projects that I have started over the years but never finished…so plan to complete them before I start any new kits or projects.
October 18, 2012
Hope to keep my web page ( http://www.qsl.net/wb8icn/ ) current with workbench activities, and I even made an entry to the effect about that today.
Raining today, so hope to get to the REGGIE II that I started months ago and never finished.