From: Bob Gobrick WA6ERB (70466.1405@CompuServe.COM)
Dayton Ditties - QRP Ditties that is...
I always make it a habit at Dayton to run through the inside
booths on opening day and gather ALL the literature I can get my
hands on. While doing this I also get a quick glance at all the
new offerings that always seem to be released at Dayton.
Sometime later in the day I take a break from visiting the QRP
hospitality suite and peruse the literature for "goodies" to
scout out the next day. Well this year I didn't get any time to
peruse my pile of literature so I ended up hauling it all home in
one of my suitcases (yes one of three).
So here's a few late Dayton QRP Ditties that I am able to sing
- There were some great antenna catalogues this year - in
particular, the free (or almost free) catalogues from The Radio
Works, Antenna West's "1994 Radio Adventure" catalog and the
"Wirebook II" by the Wireman. These catalogues make for great
perusing and should inspire one with some great ideas for
homebrew antenna designs.
- Most QRPers know about the new MFJ 9420 SSB QRP rig (I was able
to convince Doug KI6DS to remove the cover from his new purchased
one at the QRP hospitality suite - it looked neat inside. Also
hot from MFJ was the "grid dip" attachment for the MFJ-249/259
SWR analyzer. A lot of folks missed (well they didn't have one
at the MFJ booth) the new MFJ-934 cross needle meter Antenna
Tuner with an Artificial Ground Tuner built in. This is a
Cadillac solution to Jim W1FMR's wire-out-the-window antennas.
And of course some of you may have seen at the QRP hospitality
suite the new MFJ-1780 Box Fan Portable Loop Antenna - now that's
a dream for you QRP road warriors. I'm wondering if that big
black box is just one of those epoxy sealed dummy load
antennas....actually I use an old AEA Isoloop and I can testify
the small loop antennas do play (I was Newfoundland QRP winner in
the 1994 Spring QRP CW Party - so what if I was the only VO1 to
enter...) Finally I bought myself a MFJ-940X Menu Driven Memory
Keyer that fits on top of my Bencher Keyer. This is basically an
enhanced clone of the CMOS Super Keyer and it really plays well
for calling CW during QRP contests.
- Ramsey: I bet many of you missed again the second
reincarnation of the newly cased synthesized 20 meter CW/SSB QRP
(sort-of) rig from Ramsey. I couldn't get any details since
Ramsey had absolutely no show literature at their multi-booths.
Just to let everyone know - the price is high for this rig but a
glance at the PC board tells you that it uses quality parts.
Another item which I was keen to pick up on was that Ramsey
offers a new Iambic key and keyer using non-moving resistance
paddles. I asked if the paddles were available separately and I
was told yes - I have a great QRP project for these paddles using
the Ramsey "touch" lamp switch circuit board. We'll see....
- The Schurr Morse Keys were on display inside on Friday but I
was never able to locate the booth again (that always happens
after a beer break). These keys are beautiful works of art -
Dave NN1G packaged the "mini" key version on a small box with
keyer inside and it made for one fine QRP iambic keyer (albeit
Dave keys with his left hand so "righties" have to turn the key
upside down to use - hi). It was a novelty watching Jim W1FMR
trying to operate the new Sierra rig with the new MFJ Fan Box
antenna controller and keying Dave's new Schurr keyer upside-down
- those New England QRP clubbers like to make things difficult.
- QRP Products: Jade Products was inside the convention center
with their EK01 Breadboard Prototyping Kit and Lead-Acid/Gel Cell
Battery Charger. A&A Engineering had their Gary Breed K9AY QRP
rig and Smart Battery Charger and were represented by ARW
Company. Ten Tec had some samples of their new "kits" on display
and Townsend Electronics was there again representing C.M. Howes
Kits and some new lines of gear. The QRP hospitality suite was
abuzz this year with offerings from S&S Engineering, RadioKit, an
Index Laboratories "QRP Plus" naked - wooow, Mike's SunLight
Energy System offerings and some great stuff from Kanga, Norcal,
New England QRP clubs and much more. It was disappointing not
seeing the new Oak Hills Research and Tejas lines but as I
understand there were some last minute problems that prevented
showing these new toys.
So that's a wrap for the 1994 Dayton QRP Ditties. I'm sure I
missed a lot more this year since I didn't spend a lot of time
outdoors in the rain looking for goodies, but wait till next
72's Bob VO1DRB/WA6ERB
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