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Thursday, May 19, 2011

3S4 QRP Midget

Last week I paid a visit to my friend Skip, K7YOO, in Winona. While rooting around in his parts storage I noticed a little transmitter. I've a weakness for QRP homebrew and this one, with miniature tubes, is of an era I don't have covered. A couple of days ago Skip dropped it off here in Rochester as he headed for the airport.

It is a version of the "QRP Midget" first described in July 1967 Popular Electronics by W5LET. Dave Ingram also covered it in November 1992 CQ. This one is build in a little bigger box with an added current meter and RF choke in the B+ line but otherwise it is a good copy of the original.

This transmitter uses tubes designed for battery powered portable radios common just before transistors took over the market. Two "power" pentodes in parallel run about a watt out on 80 or 40...not a barn burner but it should be good for some contacts.

Now I need to come up with a receiver along the same lines...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Spring at Last!

Spring is here at last, but I did have to drive 150 miles to find it.

Some extra time in my travel schedule today gave me the chance to do my first Picnic Table QRPxpedition of 2011. The I90 rest area just outside of Mauston, WI turned out to be fine place to stop, have some lunch, throw the antenna up into a tree and see who I could work. Mark, KQ0A, in Taos, NM heard my "QRL?" on 14.060MHz and gave me a call. He was 599+ the entire QSO while he gave me a 579 with some QSB.

With the solar cycle heading up I'm planning a lot more great QRP QSOs this summer.