I’ve accumulated a lot of QRP rigs over the years with most of them having been built from kits. But after 33 years in the hobby, 2011 was the year I became QRO-capable.
I suppose it’s human nature that we categorize ourselves and each other.
For years, I thought of myself as a QRPer. I took pride in that label but now I can no longer use it. Or can I? After all, I like both tea and coffee. My garage contains a Ford and a Toyota. My laptop contains MP3′s by George Strait and Coldplay.
I don’t like labels because I don’t fit into either of them. Few, if any, do. Whenever I hear a QRO op saying the tired old ”Life’s too short for QRP” refrain, Continue reading 'Thoughts on QRP, QRO'»
I’ve made no secret of my enthusiasm for Index Labs’ little QRP+ transceiver. As a fairly new ham back when they were released I couldn’t afford one. I wasn’t much more than a kid then, with mostly empty pockets.
But today, my new-to-me QRP+ shares shack space right along with my K3, while most other rigs – the FT840 and many QRP rigs – are relegated to the closet, packed away in boxes. I truly believe the QRP+ is destined for “classic status” of ham radio transceivers.
I was quite surprised when I recently learned that Index Labs is once again producing a piece of equipment for us hams. In fact, they have been for the past 5 years, but being CW-centric, it was news to me, and perhaps to you too.
Today, Index Labs’ produces a Class D AM transmitter for 80 and 160 meters. Continue reading 'The return of Index Laboratories'»
Shack updates were completed yesterday with the modification of my AL80B to allow QSK operation and with the arrival of a Palstar tuner.
Celebrating diversity with QRP & QRO
The results of the mod are great although its implementation has room for improvement. I wrote up a few “points of uncertainty” that I had while performing it in case others are similarly inclined to add QSK to their AL80B. I uploaded that info as a Page (located here) rather than a post. Continue reading 'QSK mod completed, tuner added'»
Separate orders - the QSK board (from Amateur Electronic Supply) and the AL80B (DX Engineering) – converged on my doorstep yesterday.
Ameritron is (in)famous for low prices and the resulting QC of their products but I gotta say I’m impressed so far.
There were no loose parts, no poorly soldered joints – nothing to cause concern. Packaging was amazing – double-boxed amp with lots and lots of foam between boxes; triple-boxed 3-500Z tube. Continue reading 'AL80B arrives, works QRPer'»
As I await the arrival of a new tuner rated for 2kW, my current 600-watt tuner is failing miserably at 250 watts on 20 and 40 meters. Bizarre because an old 100W tuner did fine at 100 watts – never a hiccup.
The new tuner will be rated for higher power but I believe the complex (and widely varying) impedences presented to the tuner will stress it as well, especially since I will be operating at 1000 watts.
So far, the antenna series-of-components has been simple: Transceiver-Tuner-15 feet of RG8-4:1 Balun-70-feet of ladder line up to the 80m dipole. Continue reading 'Problem, possible solution, question'»
In reading a metric ton of reviews lately as I ponder which KW box to buy, one thing has become pretty clear regarding Ameritron tube-based amps:
People either like them right off the bat or they eventually do…after phone support, parts orders, trips back to the factory or via their own troubleshooting – tightening loose parts, re-heating cold solder joints, removing stray parts like lockwashers, etc.
After all that, it seems they end up with a product they’re happy with. After all, the design itself (particularly the two 3-500Z amps) is sound – it’s the QC that’s at fault. Repeatedly.
One reviewer said that the best way to look at Ameritron products is as if they’re “assembled kits” that require finalization by the buyer. Continue reading 'Ameritrons as kits?'»