G0UPL’s “Unichip 80″

I recently had one of those chance encounters that comes along all too infrequently. While browsing the G-QRP List last night, I saw a post from G0UPL who is currently on a business trip in Greenwich CT. His post to the list mentioned that he was on the air with a newly-built rig, the Unichip 80m Transceiver. Since he’d just made the announcement minutes earlier, I tuned to 3558 kHz and there he was. We chatted for a while & I told him I was only 5 miles from his QTH. Turns out his business meeting location is adjacent to my work QTH so we made arrangments to meet for coffee the next morning before he flew back to England.

Turns out that in addition to being one heck of a nice guy, Hans is a homebrewer extrordinaire. Please check out his website at the link below. He brought his Unichip transceiver to our breakfast meeting this morning and a 30-45 minute meeting stretched into an hour and a half. Using a wire strung in the trees outside his window, 8 D-batteries rolled up in a NY Times(!) and a circuit board-mounted microswitch for a key, Hans worked Florida, the Pacific Northwest and other areas with 2 watts on 80 meters while in Connecticut. Hans’ entire ham shack back home is also is homebrew – made from discreet components, not kits.

As it came time for him to leave and start packing for the trip home, Hans told me to keep his transceiver and to just send it back to him when I’m done! Did I mention that he’s a nice guy! I offered him my ATS-3 to take back to England but every QSO Hans has ever had has been with homebrew (and often home designed) gear and he doesn’t want to break that trend.

I will use this rig for a couple weeks before returning it and also plan to start collecting parts to build my own. Most of the parts seem to be easily obtainable. Hans, if you’re reading this, thanks for the inspiration to move beyond mere kitbuilding and for entrusting me with your newly crafted rig.

Hans’ website has a ton of interesting projects described – here’s his Unichip 80 section.