From: Doug Hendricks (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The July meeting of the NorCal QRP club was held Sunday, July 3 at the
California Burger Restaurant near Livermore. About 30 members attended, and
we all attributed the drop in attendance to the Holiday weekend. The
attendance at the Livermore swap was also down. But, we had another great
Ralph Butler, K6ZAN brought one of the new Portable Power Stations, which
is currently advertised in QST. Ralph bought it at Dayton, and had plenty
of brochures to pass out. It is a 7 amp hour 12 volt supply that can be
recharged by plugging in to 110V or the cigarette lighter of your car. It
has several voltages available, and looks like just the ticket for that
camping trip or Field Day. It is a little big for backpacking, but if you
are going on a camping trip in the car, it is just right.
Eric Swartz brought the schematic for the Epiphyte SSB rig that one of our
Canadian members, Derry Spittle, VE7QK, has designed. It fits on a 3 by 5
inch board, and Eric put it through all of the tests with his Spectrum
Analyser and says that it is well within specs. Derry has done a lot of work
with the rig, and it is an 80 meter SSB rig, with coverage from 3750 to 3780
using a crystal resonator and a VXO circuit. It can be easily modified for
an external VFO, and is perfect for SSB experimenting. Eric made several
contacts using the rig and a simple antenna, and says that everyone comments
on the nice sounding audio. A construction article will appear in the next
issue of QRPp, and it will include a complete set of instructions on how to
build it, with parts lists, sources of parts, schematic, pcboard artwork,
parts overlay, block diagram and a wiring diagram. For those of you who want
pc boards, Far Circuits will be producing them. Please wait until the Sept.
issue comes out, as the boards will not be available until the first of
September. Special thanks go to Derry for writing the article and designing
the board and Eric for doing the schematics. NorCal will not be kitting this
rig, but the article will give full details on parts procurement. You should
be able to build this one for about $50.
Ed, WB6LRV, a new member from Sunnyvale, brought his Ark 20 from S & S
Engineering. It is a beautiful rig, and is the brother to the ARK 40 that
first came out from S & S. Ed says the rig works fine and is really fun to
build. He also had the MFJ816 SWR/Wattmeter that is just right for QRP work.
It is in a nice small cabinet, and works well at QRP levels. It was the
first time that I had seen that particular meter, and I was impressed.
Terry Seeno, N6YQD, had his NorCal 40 backpacking case with all of his
accessories there. You have to see the neat arrangement that Terry has to
believe it. He has taken a Nylon Cordura case and modified it to carry every
thing that he needs to set up a station. He took it with him to Alaska, and
said that it passed all of the "stress" tests that he could give it. The
members were impressed with a couple of items that Terry uses. One is a set
of homebrew paddles made from a piece of 3/4" plastic pipe, and 2 momentary
switches. Terry has written an article and it will appear in the next
issue of QRPp. He has also designed a neat way to store his antennas. I
don't know about you, but I have made many portable antennas that work fine,
yet when I get home from the camping trip, I wind up throwing them away
because they always seem to wind up in a tangle mess of spaghetti. Terry
has designed a system of storing the antenna that uses a wooden reel, and
he will write that one up for the December issue. It is really fun to see
all of the ingenous devices that QRPers think up.
Glenn, KK6ZC, brought his A & A Gary Breed transceiver. This was a very
popular rig a couple of years ago, and is still available today. Makes a
good 20 meter transceiver.
Vern Wright, W6MMA from Sacramento talked me out of my MFJ 20
meter SSB rig a month ago. I bought it from Martin Jue at Dayton, and was
so busy when I got back that I hadn't had time to try it out. Vern has been
looking high and low across the United States for one of the rigs, and when
he found out that I had one, couldn't wait for me to give him a report. He
finally wore me down, and I sold him the rig. Today he brought his log that
is 3 pages of nothing but SSB DX!! He gives the rig very high ratings, and
said that at his club's field day the guys shut down the QRO rig and all
wanted to operate the QRP rig. What a great story. Keep it up Vern!!
And, a NorCal meeting wouldn't be complete without a couple of NorCal 40
rigs. J.C. Smith brought his to demo the way that he mounted his keyer.
He used a piece of angle aluminum to mount it and did it in such a way that
it really strengthens the front panel. He too, has written an article, and
it will be in the Sept. issue of QRPp.
Stan Goldstein N6ULU is up to 77 confirmed countries on the NorCal 40. Does
anyone else have more? Looks DXCC with the NorCal is imminent.
And a final word, membership went over the 600 mark this weekend. Really
amazing what the explosion in QRP interest has become. We are having fun
and you are invited to join us next month at the California Burger
Restaurant at the Santa Rita Exit west of Livermore. The get together starts
at about 11:00 and goes until everyone goes home. Usually about 1 or 1:30.
Hope to see you there.
72, Doug, KI6DS
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