And Oldie Goldie – The Hot Water 8

Our Heathkit HW8A few weeks back my good friend John, WA2KSM offered me the use of a true oldie goldie! This old Heathkit HW8 CW QRP rig was so clean inside and out that it was hard to believe its age. No scratches or dings anywhere!

As you might imagine, the band control push buttons need cleaning but that’s about all the TLC it needs.

Not having a way to cleanly match this little gem to my G5RV, I purchased the “World’s Smallest Standalone ATU” from Elecraft.

Elecraft T1 Autotuner

Since I have owned Elecraft gear in the past and now get great pleasure from my KX3, I had no doubt that the T1 would be the right choice for the HW8. My assumptions were right. Tuning is a breeze and performance is all I’d expect from Elecraft.

The 20 meter band has been weak over the summer but I have already made a few contacts on this beautiful old QRP rig. Since I have the original manual, some of this winter will be dedicated to going over the entire alignment procedure.

If you are into QRP or low power operation and are in need of a portable Auto Tuner, take a spin over to the Elecraft T1 site for all the specs!

Elecraft KX3 SideKX Product Quickee Review!

GemsProducts Side KX With Cover

Enjoy taking your rig out into the great outdoors? If so, the Side KX with cover from GemsProducts.com may be a good choice for you. My product arrived via USPS in just 3 days.

Not only does it enhance the look of the rig but it does actually provide some useful protection. With the addition of the Side KX and the snug fitting cover, the face and controls of the rig are virtually free of those first few raindrops, dust and dirt.

It’s one of those kits that take a few minutes to install. Of course it’s a good idea to follow the suggested anti-static procedure during installation. Take a minute to insure all ground points on the inside of the  new side panels are clear of tape and paint. Mine arrived 100% clean.

Installation can be done without splitting the rig open but you may find it to be a hassle to get the mic connector back in place. Once it’s all together you will find the cover to be a snug fit but it is flexible and once you get the hang of it it is easy to install and remove.

 

The WW1X Homebrew Buddipole / Buddistick System Inspired By W3FF

W3FFA few years ago a small group of us built the homebrew buddistick system inspired by the W3FF Buddipole / Buddistick projects.

Rockwell WW1X  has done an outstanding  job constructing his versions of the W3FF homebrew projects.

Watch this video if you think you’d like to homebrew a set of inexpensive, great performing multiband antenna systems.

Constructing these homebrew antenna systems is a great project for yourself,  group or club.

Go to the W3FF Buddipole / Buddistick site for the original homebrew construction details. Get Rockwell’s 6 meter beam construction details from here and his BALUN information from here.

Elecraft Announces PX3 Panadapter for KX3

Just a quick note. I posted an article on my other blog about the new PX3 Panadapter for the KX3. You can seen the quick notes and a link to the Elecraft PX3 Companion Datasheet here.

KX3 Sees The Light of Day!

Ke2yk's Elecraft KX3

 

 

After being told by a fellow QRP’er that 15 CW has been up recently, I managed to drag my KX3 out of its Pelican case this morning.

Its been awhile since it has seen the light of day. Didn’t see much point to powering it on since my main antenna has been down for some time and the amazing Par End Fedz that I jury rigged in the yard some time ago has been beat to hell by the lousy winter and the high winds here in the Northeast.

After being very surprised by the fact that the auto-tuner was able to tune without moaning and groaning, I thought what the hell.

I tuned down to 21.025 and started hearing Europe. What was even more of a surprise is that I was able to work stations @ 5 watts on the first attempt.

That doesn’t say much about my skills but it says a HELL OF A LOT about that Par End Fedz antenna.

PAR End FedZ Antennas – Unique and Efficient

Received my EF 10-20-40 PAR End FedZ Antenna in the mail yesterday. Hoping to get it in the air to start testing later today. Used N2JFD’s at a recent Scout event and had to have my own. I am like that!

par end fedz 10-20-40

PAR End FedZ 10-20-40

The design of the PAR END FEDZ is unique and if you trim it properly, you can take the autotuner out of line.

As we all know when running QRP, you need the RF to enter the airwaves, not spin around inside the autotuner!
Find out more about this amazing design: .http://bit.ly/HL2az1

The eHamStore – Transceivers – Scanners – Vintage

The eHamStoreSome people complain about eBay for various reasons. But one of eBay’s assets is that it offers buyer protection. In addition, there are some Ham Radio parts which are hard to find through the normal channels.

The eHamStore covers the usual Ham Radio and Scanner gear but also includes a vintage section as well as pages for items like tubes. Why not take a spin over to The eHamStore and browse around, check out prices or maybe find that rare piece of gear you are after. Hey, you never know.

Best of all, no signups are ever required. Why not visit The eHamStore  today!

Ham Radio Kit Building Is On The Rise Again!

Elecraft KX3 KItOver at the eHamStore, statistics are showing that there is a lot of traffic steadily hitting the kit building pages. Among Ham Radio operators, kit building is definitely on the rise again! As anyone who has built a kit knows, Ham Radio kit building brings a sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction.

Imagine purchasing a kit, cobbling the parts together and sending out a CQ! When you hear another station coming back to you, it has to be a thrill. QRP or low power (5 watts or less) is a rather amazing and sometimes challenging way to work local and DX stations. But hey, we all live for the challenge, don’t we?

After building my first QRP kit (NORCAL 40) somewhere around 1985, I was hooked. One day, I brought that first kit over to a friend’s house and connected it to his Cushcraft A4S with the 40 meter add-on kit. We were both laughing hard each time I got a 599+ signal report from a stateside station. There’s nothing like a beam antenna to build up some ERP.

QRP continues to fun and challenging today. My latest Ham Radio kit is the Elecraft KX3. Now this kit requires no soldering; it’s designed as a modular kit which takes about 2.5 hours to put together. The end result is a truly amazing piece of Ham Radio gear. If you are not familiar with the KX3, take a spin over to the Elecraft site (see below). I am sure you will be rather surprised at its huge list of features.

There are a number of great sites to visit to find Ham Radio Kits. Here are a few to get your electrons flowing!

The eHamStore Kits A Variety Of Kits To Review
CanaKit  Canada – High quality electronic kits & modules
Carl’s Electronics  electronic kits, robotic kits, test equipment & more
Communication Concepts  HF/VHF/UHF amps, LP filters, broadband RF transformers
Crystal Radio Kits and Parts
Elecraft  Innovative Electronic  Kits
EMTECH  QRP kits and more
Etherkit  Devoted to open source hardware
Fox Delta Amateur Radio Projects & Kits  Excellent website by Dinesh, VU2FD
Hendricks QRP Kits
NorCal 40A  by Wilderness Radio
Oak Hills Research
Ramsey Kits – Headquarters
Small Wonder Kits (NN1G)
Ten-Tec  Worldwide reputation for excellent radios and kits
The ‘Rock-Mite’  Simple CW transceiver for 40 or 20 meters
YouKits Technology  Quality, well designed kits … check them out!

Which kits have you built? Do you work QRP? Why not tell us about your experiences!

LIMARC Hamfest

Getting back into blogging after a long layoff is starting to be fun again. Remembering how to spell and finding all the keys is another story. As you can see above I finally updated the Special Events and Hamfest Pages. Whoopee!

In addition, here’s a quickie about a local (to me) Hamfest  to get your 2013 Ham Radio Juice flowing. 

hamfest

LIMARC is having its Next (2013) Hamfest on March 3rd. The Hamfest is located at the Levittown Hall in Hicksville, NY.

For detailed information click here.

Hope to see you there!

New Two Band TEN-TEC CW QRP Transceiver

TEN-TEC R4020 and R4030

TEN-TEC R4020 2 Band Transceiver

As an old time QRPer, one of my occasional stops is the TEN-TEC website. This time around I happened to find two new QRP radios they offer. Here is a  bit of information and an excerpt from a review that I read.

Ten-Tec has released two new dual band QRP radios for the fun of QRP operation. Both the R4020 and R4030 are of a simple design and light weight. They can be a friendly companion for camping and hiking or any time the mood strikes you.

Ten-Tec has provided QRP radios since their founding in 1968.  Unlike the upper class of TEN-TEC radios, the R4020 and R4030 radios and not manufactured at the TEN-TEC plant Sevierville, TN.

As one reviewer wrote;  who owns both the R4020 and R4030:

“both work well and I use an external keyer with both. But as another poster noted, you must have your straight key/external keyer plugged in before you turn on the radios. When you do, they work fine. The instructions leave something to be desired.

Performance-wise, for the price, I’m pleased. They are feature-rich for the price. I’m blessed to have good antennas at my QTH and running both rigs on my antennas have produced excellent results. A week after getting the R4020 and connecting it to my 3 element beam for 20 meters, I had worked 20 countries and a dozen and a half states. I just roamed up and down the band and pretty much worked most stations I heard at will. At that rate, no need to even sign QRP! The radios are stable from a cold start, have reasonable selectivity with the built-in filtering, are not overloaded even though mine are connected to good antennas which might overload some lesser QRP rigs. I am told often they sound great on the air. Many ops are not familiar with these rigs since Ten-Tec has done no outside advertising — just on its own website. For the money, they are good values. Loads of fun. Someday I will take them out in the field with my Buddistick antenna.”

I think my favorite feature of all are the LCD readouts which display the full frequency, as well as other info. Some other radios only display the last 2 digits of the frequency you’re on. I don’t like that at all. I know some lament the lack of a built-in ATU that doesn’t doesn’t bother me one.”

For futher information: http://www.tentec.com/index.php?id=193