Unassembled 160m QRP kit from 1996 – found!

I don’t even remember having this kit on the “to do” list but a cool rainy day of cleaning and going through some old boxes last week resulted in a prize find from 18 years ago.

Back then, the kit’s designer, Dave Benson, was NN1G. QRP-L was alive with enthusiastic, knowledgeable and on-topic postings, Elecraft did not yet exist and millions of Americans were on AOL with a few hold-outs still on Compuserve.

By then, I’d built a Norcal 40a, a couple of SST’s and an OHR-100A/20m – and then Dave offered this kit. I have no idea what its price was but am happy to have found it and am looking forward to building it for the upcoming low QRN season on Topband.

Regular readers may be aware that I don’t have an antenna for 160m. That is a topic for a future posting – a posting that will  (if initial tests are any indication) tie in to my recent posting regarding my DJI Phantom quadcopter and a comment by W4KAZ. In the comment, he linked to this posting by him some time ago and in so doing, threw down the gauntlet.

After all, who wouldn’t want to be “in the Halls of HamHacks“?!

Stay tuned…………

SW-160 QRP transceiver kit

SW-160 QRP transceiver kit



  8 comments for “Unassembled 160m QRP kit from 1996 – found!

  1. September 25, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    The only thing about building it is that you will no longer have one of those prestigiously “classic” unbuilt kits :-)

    Happy building John!

    • September 25, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      That thought did pass my mind briefly but this kit’s getting built, if only to add further justification to putting up a 160m antenna!

      • September 25, 2013 at 12:53 pm

        If you can put up a 160M antenna that is even partially as effective as your 80M dipole, you’ll be in great shape!

      • Barry
        September 3, 2014 at 4:46 pm

        I sure wish I could run across one of those kits. How did urs turn out?

        • September 3, 2014 at 6:36 pm

          I haven’t built it yet!

  2. Alan Dove
    September 26, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Good luck using the quadcopter to hang the antenna. I’ll be very interested in hearing how it goes, as I expect the flight characteristics will get quite tricky with the variable drag of a line and all the possibilities for getting snagged.

    A pneumatic tennis ball launcher is much simpler for antenna hanging, and it works extremely well. Google “antenna launcher” and you’ll find a great kit for one. A few moments with a bicycle pump, a quick check to make sure you connected the fishing line and took the ramrod out, and then your line is hanging neatly over exactly the branch you wanted to hit, 90 feet up.

    • September 26, 2013 at 8:57 am

      Yep, I have/had the same concerns – the weight and the line getting tangled on descent but I think I have a way around them. Regarding the weight/drag, the Phantom is amazing in that it self-corrects for external forces. I’ll post a video to show what I mean and the extent to which it’s true but suffice it to say that that characteristic exceeds the weight of the line I’ll be carrying up.

      The trees are 110-120 feet tall. One of them holds one end of my existing 80m dipole (at the 80-ft level) – the other tree is 140 feet away. My plan is to raise the one end to tree-top level, hang another line over the other tree and add wire to the 80m dipole to make it a 160m dipole. 60 feet of each dipole end will hang vertically down each tree – an “inverted U” so to speak.

      Big plans – we’ll see how it goes after Tree #1.

  3. September 26, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Then again, maybe I should avoid Topband – could be dangerous.

    From CNN:

    (CNN) — Aaron Alexis was under “the delusional belief that he was being controlled or influenced by extremely low frequency electromagnetic waves” before he embarked on a bloody shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard, an FBI official said Wednesday.

    The 34-year-old contractor, who until a few years ago had served in the Navy, spelled out this belief — with the words, “My ELF weapon” — in the sawed-off Remington 870 shotgun he brought into the military facility’s Building #197 on the morning of September 16.

    “ELF” refers to low-frequency electromagnetic waves, a technology used for submarine communications that conspiracy theorists believe the government employs to monitor and manipulate unsuspecting citizens, the FBI said.

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