Ah yes. It is hard to balance the time spent with the family, work, and hobbies. Here is a quick summary of where my radio adventures have taken me in the last couple of months:
With the help of Bruce, AD7WV, I have been trying to figure out why my MFJ Cub puts out less than 0.1 W. It’s QRP, but not that low power. In diagnosing that problem, I posted a message on the RockMite reflector about power output because my HiMite-20 was doing the same thing. I was getting less than 0.1 W out of it too. The suggestion was to take off a couple turns of one of the low pass filter inductors and boom, I got 500 mW out. Perfect for a ‘Mite. Re-wrapping the toroids on the Cub didn’t help though. I even finished my LC tester to see if they were within spec. Turned out they were on the high side so I took a wrap off of both of them to get them where they should be. Still low power out though.
I operated the Drake rig at the W7OS museum one Saturday. Rich, KR7W, was my only contact. He was very patient with my really bad rag-chewing skills at the key. Still, I was commenting to one of the other club members that it’s a real treat-a unique ham radio experience-to operate a boat anchor rig. I would have made a terrible novice class amateur though.
I’m in the middle of building two new kits from Hendricks QRP Kits–the RF Probe and the Tracer/Injector test equipment. I’ve built several kits I bought there and never had a problem with missing parts. This time, both kits needed a replacement. I’m OK with that though because the kits are good quality, the PC boards are exceptional, and the build instructions are very clear and easy to follow. I really enjoy the MMR-40 kit I purchased and built. It works so much better than the Cub.
I took the MMR-40 to Portland on a business trip last month. My room was on the 14th floor with a window that opened-perfect. I hung a wire out the window in an end-fed-Zepp configuration and called CQ for an hour with no joy. Next time, I take some 8# test fishing line and get the end of the wire out away from the building using a tree branch or something.