Archive for October, 2011

Overdue Update…

October 27, 2011

Been awhile since I have posted an update…the XYL is in NY for her annual family visit, which leaves me and the cats in charge of things around the QTH. Most of the leaves have fallen and some have been picked up. Looks as though we are going to spend another cold and white season here due to diesel costs.

The PFR-3 and the DC40A are both working and healthy. I just made my first contact on the DC40A, KC9SNC in WI who was also QRP with a Ten Tec. I am getting a tad over one watt out with a 14 volt PS. Now to focus on building a USB-ISP programming adaptor. I keep having issues with my serial to USB adaptor so just decided to buy a USB ISP programming adaptor and be done with problems. Hope to do so AVR and Arduino experiments this winter. Lots of ideas out there and have a couple of books also to learn from.

10, 15 and 20 meters have been really hot lately! I think I could work DXCC in one weekend if there is a contest going on. I remember 10 meters back in the mid-70’s and it was a blast.

OK, need to get some antenna prep work done for a dear friend who needs a new antenna. We have decided to build a G5RV for 40 through 10 meters. I want to play with the NorCal Doublet idea for an RV antenna…looks interesting.

72/73’s for now…Mikey


Lots of Chores Done, Yet so Many to Go

October 11, 2011

Only have to cover the RV and that will complete this year’s winterizing. Getting ready to put the PFR-3 back together. Got on 40 CW today and checked into the Armed Forces Net…been awhile since I did that. Bob, WB8BOR is normally the NCS and has a super fist.

Plan to play in the shack tonight. Once the PFR-3 is done, might either start the DC-40 from QRP-Kits, or start some basic experimentation stuff on the workbench. Have always wanted to do some impedance matching and determining of amps, oscillators and mixers. Have my trusty Return Loss Bridge (RLB) I built a couple of years ago…but not sure if I understand exactly how it works. In fact, I think I have forgotten more stuff than I have learned over the years…at least it seems that way sometime…LOL.

Just worked T32C on Christmas Island on 10 meters. Haven’t done that sort of thing in years. All the bands have been really good lately. Might drag out my 20 meter homebrew transceiver I built a couple of years ago and play with it.

Not much else to comment on, have a great day and 73’s!

PFR-3 Troubleshooting

October 6, 2011

Spent some time tonight troubleshooting the dead rig. Found that U2 wasn’t seated properly. U2 is a SA612 that is used as a mixer from IF to audio after the xtal filter. Also found a solder blob that might have been hampering pins 3 and 4.

Taking this rig out of its case is more than what I had imagined. The manual warns of this, but found that they were not kidding. Found that I had to unsolder several wires to get everything free and out so I could work. But, did make a diagram of what I had undone so putting back in the case should not be much of a problem…other than having to re-solder several wires

Activities at WB8ICN

October 6, 2011

Spent one day sorting boxes in the garage, then the next day went to Shipshewana to the XYL’s favorite flea market, then today I cleaned the garage by building two more shelf units, moving stuff around, burning more junk and throwing a lot of stuff away. Should be able to move the band saw up to the first garage’s workshop so I can cut PCB material during the cold and whiter months.

Weather here has been wonderful and I wish it could be like this year round…fat chance of that, but will enjoy it while I can. Got some antenna projects planned before the white stuff flies including climbing the tower for two projects. Since we will be here for several months while it white…I hope to get a hot antenna up at 45 feet for 2 meters to work SSB and CW. My Yagi for HF seemed to have died, so need to figure out what is wrong it it.

Now that the CC-20 is done, I hope to troubleshoot the PFR-3 and find out what happened to it after I put it in the case. Will know more once I pull it back out of the case and start going it.

OK, need a hot shower and maybe a campfire to make my old body feel better…

CC-20 Completed

October 3, 2011

Completed the CC-20 including a 2-way QRP contact with N1WPU in Maine.

I get about 2.5 watts out and the receiver does a really good job compared to my FT-2000. Dave, AA7EE also is done and did a superb job of building his and also documenting the completed project. Check out his blog at

Here are two pictures of my completed CC-20 in its PCB fashioned case.