November is looking to be a great month for certain aspects of the hobby and my days off work are being put to use in preparation for them.
Several sizeable DXpeditions will be on the air: Easter Island, Banaba Island, Juan Fernandez Island, South Sudan and Swaziland. Banaba and Juan Fernandez will be New Ones for me – the others are “new again” due to my recent foray to 160 meters. The South Sudan DXpedition will be concentrating on 80 and 160 meters.
During the recent Clipperton DXpedition, Rich KY6R maintained a blog which he updated frequently with photos and impressions from the DXpeditioners as the DXpedition unfolded. I was glad to hear that he’ll be doing the same thing for the Banaba DXpedition and have added this blog to my list of links to your right for the duration of the DXpedition. Such frequently updated info is not only interesting – it can also be helpful.
I’m adding radials to my 160m vertical every few days in anticipation not just of the DX but also due to having received the latest QRP kit from Steve KD1JV. His “Multi-Band Direct Conversion” kit has a general coverage receiver and transmits with 5 watts on 80 and 160 meters.
Unlike his other kits (ATS-3, MTR, etc), this one does not contain any surface mount components. Thanks, Steve…my eyes appreciate that. And it has rotary tuning.
It does require the builder to buy two additional parts from other suppliers – a DDS board and a 16×2 display board. In the latest construction manual, Steve sources a Chinese seller’s eBay site where both boards can be had for under $10 including shipping to the US. American buyers who’d rather order from a proven reliable stateside dealer can find those parts at slightly higher cost here and here.
Both of those parts are currently on the way to me (from the Chinese seller) and I’ll be putting the recently-found SW-160 kit on hold in favor of building the MBDC from Steve first. Cost of the kit is $60 + $10 for the other parts – not bad at all for two bands and a general coverage receiver with digital display.
I don’t know how he does it but I can’t say enough good things about Steve’s kits (I’ve built them all) and his helpfulness toward those with whom he interacts. What an asset to the QRP world and to ham radio in general.
On a side not – I don’t have a KX3 and probably never will since the K3 will probably continue to suck away any Elecraft-destined funds from my pocket – but those who do may be interested in a few products from Steve W1SFR that will improve on the ergonomics of that rig (and the KX1) in certain operating conditions.