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Saturday, April 9, 2022

Summer QRP => Portable Antennas

Summertime is QRPxpedition time here at W0VLZ. After a winter of playing with boat anchors in the basement I'm ready to get out to a park with my KX3. With any rig I always have to think about an antenna. Looking back on my blog and website I see that I've gone through this before.

Here are some links: Construction details and experiences using a 20 meter endfed halfwave wire "tuned" by 14' of TV twinlead. A portable 20 meter vertical Building and using a C-Pole Vertical My quest for a stand-alone 20 mtr portable antenna A 30-10 meter "clothes line" dipole

See you next time from a convenient park.

73, Niel - W0VLZ



Thursday, March 31, 2022

A Shack Tour

This past winter I finished setting up my new ham shack. It has 10 operating positions but (reflecting my ham radio interest in vintage technology) only one antenna.

See it on YouTube at

Friday, March 25, 2022

Building and Using a Push-Pull TNT Transmitter

My first '29 transmitter was a push-pull TNT. I built this transmitter in 1989 based on an article in the Nov 1930 issue of QST. I have web pages about this transmitter but those pre-date this blog. Here are links to those pages: 

- A 1930 TNT transmitter:

- Operating a late 20s/early 30s ham station:

Friday, March 18, 2022

Winter 2022 Vintage Radio

As of last Sunday my winter 2022 vintage radio season is history. Along the way I was on the air in five different events using 5 receivers and 5 transmitters. Three of these events are sponsored by the Antique Wireless Association ( ). One other, Straight Key Night, is sponsored by the ARRL ( ). The fifth was the Novice Rig Roundup ( ). These events allowed me to get comfortable with my new QTH and were low key enough that I could identify any hidden station quirks without feeling rushed or having to worry about keeping QSOs as short as possible. Each of these events was more like a saunter through the bands rather than a sprint.

The Novice Rig Roundup was my favorite. Its nine day operating window let me work around stormy weather, other contests, family obligations and propagation while still having fun.

I did find that I really like my Drake 2NT/R4B station. The 2NT operates break-in well with the R4B and its delay/timing circuit allows the crystal oscillator to run between code character elements. This minimizes chirp, even for the laziest of crystals. The R4B has KHz frequency readout and great filtering options. This pair is a keeper.

With almost 40 years of radio technology between my '29 transmitters and the 2NT it is not surprising that my '29 station is the more unique (and challenging) to use. Challenging, though, does not mean unusable. While unique and challenging my '29 station is still usable. Depending on conditions I can switch between an SW3, an early 30s National regenerative receiver, and my early 80s Drake SPR4. Once and a while it is good to go back and experience ham radio roots.

We've already had temperatures in the 60s this year. With spring arriving the snow has melted here in southeastern Minnesota. Now I'll start thinking about my QRP in the Park plans.