Issue #1 Issue #2 Issue #3 Issue #4 Issue #5 Issue #6 Issue #7 Issue #8 Issue #9 Issue #10
The final issue (#10) of QRP Homebrewer ever to be published was sent to subscribers in May 2003.
On June 4, 2003, the NJQRP Club merged with NorCal QRP Club to form The American QRP Club. Correspondingly, QRP Homebrewer and QRPp magazines have been merged to create the new HOMEBREWER magazine.
subscriber support over the years! The
QHB editorial staff really hopes that readers of QRP Homebrewer magazine, and
visitors to the QHB Extra pages, have enjoyed the material we've presented over
our three-year history. We've done our best to provide interesting QRP and
homebrewing projects ranging from the simple to advanced topics. We've tried to
be technically accurate and post corrections when needed. We know you all are
discerning readers and deserve the best.
We really appreciate the contributions of all the authors throughout our history. Without them we would of course not have had a magazine. Many of the authors came from the QRP-L ranks and from clubs throughout the world. You guys are the seeds for tomorrow and we so much appreciate your wisdom, creativity and willingness to go out on a limb, at times risking ridicule, armchair quarterbacking from others, and possible embarrassment from public mistakes made along the way. As you now know, the tremendous benefit derived from your intrepid forging ahead makes it all worth while ... and we all thank you!
Fifty-nine authors graciously contributed their time and effort throughout the years in QRP Homebrewer magazine ... Craig Johnson AA0ZZ, Phil DeCaire WB7AEI, Joe Everhart N2CX, James Bennett KA5DVS, Seab Lyon AA1MY, Larry Przyborowski K3PEG, Bob Liesenfeld WB0POQ, Bob Johansen WB2SRF, Doug Wilson WA0VSL, Matt Kastigar W0XEU, Jim Kortge K8IQY, Fred Bonavita K5QLF, George Heron N2APB, Dave Ottenberg WA2DJN, Harold Smith KE6TI, Dave Benson K1SWL, James Bennett KA5DVS, MIke Korejwo KB3HMR, Charles Greene W1CG, Graham Firth G3MFJ / W3MFJ, David Ek NK0E, Richard Fisher KI6SN, Jerry Hall W0WPE, Jake Carter N4UY, Tony Fishpool G4WIF, Tom McCuen AA2VK, Dave Meacham W6EMD, T.J. "Skip" Arey N2EI, Dov Rabinowitz AD0V, Lenny Wintfield W2BVH, Larry East W1HUE, John Sakellakis W8GXU, Bill Jones KD7S, Dave Redfearn N4ELM, Ron Skelton W6WO, Don Jackson AE5K, David Maliniak AD2A, Jeff Woods W0ODS, Fred Spinner W0FMS, Glen Leinweber VE3DNL, Dave Gauding NF0R, Gary Diana N2JGU, L.B. Cebik W4RNL, Mike Fisher WT9W, Ron Polityka WB3AAL, Mike Branca W3IRZ, Chuck Adams K7QO, Ed Roswell K2MGM, Tom Scott KD7DMH, Tony Colagouri W2GUM, Jim Nestor WK8G, Sam Billingsley AE4GX, Paul Harden NA5N, "Hap" Hurst WA3PTG, Jim Larsen AL7FS, Doug Hendricks KI6DS, Gary Diana N2GJU, Ken Newman N2CQ, Carter Cragie N3AO
And again, "thank you" to all you readers who encouraged us to do this labor of love called QHB magazine over the years. The best news out of all of this is that we will be continuing, and amplifying this whole adventure with the birth of HOMEBREWER magazine on August 15th, 2003. Subscribers of QHB and QRPp with issues remaining will continue to get their quarterly doses of homebrewing material plus other topics of interest in QRP circles like operating tips, contesting, club news, digital project focus, test topics, and more.
The saga continues!
Your humble correspondent and editor ...
George Heron, N2APB
PS: To learn more about the new HOMEBREWER magazine, visit the pages of the American QRP Club at http://www.amqrp.org/homebrewer/homebrewer.html
QRP Homebrewer magazine was published approximately four times a year by the New Jersey QRP Club as a service and benefit to the entire QRP community. One did not need to be a member of the NJQRP in order to subscribe and we encouraged article contributions from QRPers all around the world.
We had a dual theme for the content of QRP Homebrewer. The first part was, you guessed it, about homebrewing of QRP equipment, gadgets & gizmos, antennas, tools, and other accessories used by QRPers every day. We had occasional operating-related and other non-construction articles, but the focus of each issue was targeted for the technical homebrewer in each of us.
The second part of our theme dealt with the experience level of our target audience. We provide projects, information, ideas and common sense construction techniques suitable for the beginner homebrewing readers. Can you recall when you had (what now seems like) real basic questions about component lead length, which type of capacitors to use in a VFO, how to string a dipole in the trees, how to make neat enclosures, etc.? Well, QRP fever is hitting epidemic levels now and the thirst for this basic knowledge is correspondingly growing like crazy. That "beginner QRPer and homebrewer" audience is the one we addressed with our articles. But here too we will occasionally had some advanced topics tossed in to keep everyone's interest along the way.
We met the demand for this information along with the other fine QRP publications: QRPp, SPRAT, QRP Quarterly, The Peanut Whistle, The Lowdown, and others. In fact, our publication dates were offset from the dates of most others (we're set for mid-season) so as to provide a continual flow of information for QRPers throughout the year.
CONTENTS OF ISSUE #10 (shipped May 26, 2003) Copies available for sale
High-Performance HF VFO using the
AD9854 DDS Chip, by Craig Johnson, AA0ZZ
Back in 1997, radio frequency homebrewers really began taking advantage of the conveniences that DDS technology offered: 1-chip simplicity, DC-to-30 MHz signal generation ability and relatively decent signal purity. Since then, AA0ZZ and others have been creating and refining signal generators using this technology. Within the last 12 months, however, the author began working with one of the latest DDS chips from Analog Devices, with an end goal of designing a 0-60 mHz VFO for use with the recently introduced KK7B high-performance R2PRO receiver. This the AA0ZZ story of taming the AD9854 dual-output (I-Q) DDS chip and creating a PCB in the process that others can also use. The pc board and PICs are being made available to help others construct this project.
Build an Active Antenna, by Phil DeCaire, WB7AEI
If you need an antenna for a receiver in another room, or to check out a project on a workbench, or even to run a second station receiver, then maybe an active antenna would be a good answer.
Building Up the QuickieLab, by Joe Everhart, N2CX
Remember the QuickieLab from the last issue? It’s the experimenters’ platform containing a BASIC Stamp controller and lots of useful hardware peripherals that you can patch in to create real cool accessories for your QRP bench. In this issue, N2CX describes how you can build up your QuickieLab circuit board in stages to end up with a fully functional RF experimentation platform in quick order.
A Multiband Slinky Coil for the PAC-12 Antenna, by James Bennett, KA5DVS
Here’s a fun and easy-to-construct modification to the KA5DVS PAC-12 Antenna presented in QRP Homebrewer #8. Just find yourself a classic metal Slinky, secure it to a short piece of PCV and use the assembly as a loading coil for the PAC-12. A user-adjustable clip lead allows you to tune the antenna on multiple bands. Hope you enjoy this project!
The NJQRP "Sniffer" Field Strength Meter, by J. Everhart, N2CX and G. Heron, N2APB
An RF field strength meter is one of the simpler – yet more valuable – pieces of test equipment a ham can have around the shack. By nature, our interest centers on the characteristics of the radio frequency energy we are pumping out of our antenna … how much, how efficient, its directivity and bandwidth. A properly used Field Strength Meter (FSM) can provide invaluable relative insight to each of these characteristics, and more. The NJQRP Sniffer is a tuned-input, multiband-capable FSM for the HF amateur bands that is easily constructed using commonly available components. By building up this simple project you’ll have an enjoyable homebrew experience and end up with a measurement device that can be used for years to come.
The Diode Detector -- Revisited (Again!), by Phil DeCaire, WB7AEI
Sometimes "simple" things are the hardest to understand and get a grip on. Diode detector probes are easy to build and use, but when it comes to what the readings mean you hear a lot of different answers. A recent thread on QRP-L caught my eye – a fellow was using a computer circuit analysis program to analyze the behavior of an RF detector probe circuit. Diode detectors are a superb example of nonlinear circuit elements, and in theory a good computer model should be able to predict the circuit behavior with very good accuracy.
"SPaddle" -- a lightweight vertical paddle, by Seab Lyon, AA1MY
The vertical paddle or "SPaddle" was designed by AA1MY for the ARS "Spartan Sprint", where station weight is a concern. Learn here how to build up this simple and useful field accessory.
Tunable Audio Filter -- Another "20 Minute Project!", by Phil DeCaire, WB7AEI
Sometimes simple circuits can do wonderful things. This is certainly true of the simple active bandpass audio filter described here. Sure, we live in the age where things like DSP and switched capacitor chips give filter performance that nobody even dreamed of 20 years ago. This isn’t a substitute for a high-tech filter. But with a dozen parts you probably already have in your junk box, you can build an audio filter that you’ll probably like and that you’ll use on the air. If you’ve never tried a simple audio filter, give this one a shot. If you’ve used an audio filter before, you already appreciate what they can do for you and you may want to try this one.
Enhance your Sniffer with the "Sniffer Mark II" Mods, by Larry Przyborowski, K3PEG
Valued by many as a bonus, super premium and cool device, the clever creation of Joe Everhart, N2CX is an invaluable tool for the hamshack. I’m referring to the Sniffer kit that was provided to registered attendees of Atlanticon 2003. It’s an excellent foundation to which additional circuitry may be added to enhance its intended use ... and that’s just what I did! Here are my "Mark II" enhancements of bandswitching, audio output, and more all in a vintage collectable enclosure. [NOTE: Larry’s construction of a modified Sniffer is truly a work of art. The description in this article concerning steps he followed is a great guide for making your own version, and the full-color and full-resolution images from the article are absolutely stunning in the QHB Extra web site (www.njqrp.club/qhbextra/10). You definitely should check this out. -- n2apb]
Wireless Audio for Mobile Rigs, by Bob Liesenfeld, WB0POQ
If you operate mobile and sometimes have trouble hearing the receive audio, you might try putting together a wireless microphone that transmits the HF rig’s audio on 99 MHz so I can tune it in on the radio of the vehicle. This model is a VCXO with a final that does about 90mW into a 10" antenna. Just the ticket for those long hauls on the interstate.
Add a VCO to the Sniffer FSM for Audio Output, by Bob Johansen, WB2SRF
This voltage controlled oscillator circuit was developed for use with the "Sniffer" Field Strength Meter to provide an audio tone that varies in pitch from around 100 Herz with a weak signal, up to about 1 kHz or more with a strong signal. Use it when trying to get readings in the dark or if you are visually-impaired.
A Primitive Antenna Analyzer - Part 2 "Linearity Comp", by Doug Wilson, WA0VSL
As we chronicled in the last issue, WA0VSL was so enthused by the in-progress "Antenna Analyzer II" project that N2APB and N2CX are developing, he decided to get a head start. In this issue, Doug describes his experiences with compensating for the nonlinearity that detection diodes bring to the table.
Son of PC Power Supply, by Matt Kastigar, W0XEU
Matt W0XEU published an article in both QST and QHB last year that motivated many hams to convert computer power supplies over to bench use for powering HF rigs. Many have since written for additional information, and Matt has graciously allowed us to reprint his recent update made in the St. Louis QRP Society’s "Peanut Whistle".
CONTENTS OF ISSUE #9
CONTENTS OF ISSUE #8
Fun With Stubs, by Dave Benson, K1SWL
K1SWL presents a technique of "linear-loading" to use when designing a reduced size antenna if there isn’t enough space for a full-sized one. One can also use it to create a "trapless trap" to yield extra bands on a coax-fed antenna.
The PAC-12 Antenna, by James Bennett,
Here’s a very cool vertical antenna that’s easy to build with common materials, and you can easily take it along on quick trips to the field. It’s efficient and it’s designed by one of our original NJQRP members.
Meter Tester, by Dave Ottenberg, WA2DJN
Master gadgeteer WA2DJN presents another of his simple-and-useful circuits. Tis one is for determining the characteristics of a meter collected from those hamfest junk boxes.
Building the SOP Receiver ... Manhattan Style!,
by MIke Korejwo, KB3HMR
Veteran club member KB3HMR had previously constructed an outstanding version of the ‘4017’ Transverter using Manhattan-style techniques and he was looking for another project to sink his teeth into. Mike settled on the N2CX design of the SOP Receiver — but instead of using the printed circuit board supplied in the kit, he decided to do it Manhattan-style. Understanding the degree of experimentation freedom gained with this construction approach, as well as the improvement that could be achieved in circuit noise performance, we believe his choice was a good one. Follow the guidance of KB3HMR and give it a try yourself!
Build a Low Power 4:1 Balun , by
Charles Greene, W1CG
Over the last several years Chas has designed, tested and built many baluns -- and he's had lots of fun doing it! The perfect, tiny, low loss balun still eluded him, but he keep on trying. One of earliest baluns he built just happened to have good performance. So he investigated its design features, improved its performance, rebuilt it using readily available materials, extensively tested it and presents it here as a construction project for all homebrewers to enjoy.
A Gate Dip Oscillator , by Graham
Firth, G3MFJ / W3MFJ
More "test equipment that doesn't cost a mint" from our good friend Graham across the pond.
Serial Sender - Field Contesting in the
PALM of your Hand , by David Ek, NK0E
Here’s a fun and useful accessory to take along on your next Field Day operating adventure. The Serial CW Sender connects between your Palm PDA and your transceiver to provide automated CW keying while using the GOLog contest logging software on your handheld. Additionally, by plugging a standard paddle into the Serial CW Sender, you can manually key your transmitter to help nab those elusive stations!
The Re-Pete Tuner, by Fred Bonavita,
Fred wanted a good-performing QRP Z-match type tuner, but wanted one even more compact than the popular ZM-2 from EMTECH. So he found a small enclosure at Radio Shack, settled on single-band operation, and borrowed the ZM-40 design from Pete Hoover, W6ZH to come up with a dandy field-use instrument for 40m.
The Tuna Tin 2 - Islander Style!, by
Richard Fisher, KI6SN
KI6SN is a great friend of the NJQRP and he wanted to share with QHB readers his excitement at using our newest homebrewing tool, the NJ Islander Pad Cutter, to construct the timeless classic "TT2" QRP transmitter.
Islander Pad Cutting Template, by
Richard Fisher, KI6SN
KI6SN has been writing Worldradio’s QRP column for over ten years and he's developed a useful technique for using the NJQRP "Islander Pad Cutter" that he described in on of his recent columns. Richard graciously agreed to let us use it here in QHB so even a wider QRP audience could benefit from his experience.
A Manhattan-Built SST Transceiver, by
Jerry Hall, W0WPE
Are you looking for that perfect project to build while on vacation, or to operate while on business travel? One that is a time-proven design and is a joy to homebrew right from the schematic? Well, W0WPE thinks this is such a project. We here at QHB certainly have to agree with him ... and we think you will too! Jerry’s done an outstanding job of documenting his Manhattan-built SST -- why not give it at try yourself?!
Switched Capacitor VXO for the Tuna Tin 2,
by Jake Carter, N4UY
Well, Jake's been messing around in his Tuna Tin again. First was the chirp fix/keyer mod, and then there was the 2N2222 amp. (Both have been chronicled in previous issues of QHB.) Now he's added an easy way to shift the frequency. Jakes says that he sort of stumbled upon this mod — just stuck the caps in there and it worked!
CONTENTS OF ISSUE #7
Fun With Stubs, by Dave Benson, K1SWL
K1SWL presents a technique of "linear-loading" to use when designing a reduced size antenna if there isn’t enough space for a full-sized one. One can also use it to create a "trapless trap" to yield extra bands on a coax-fed antenna.
Build the SOP Receiver, by Joe
Try this experimenter’s CW receiver for 80m and 40m operation. It’s a direct conversion design for simplicity and performance, and easy to modify for use on other bands. Low current drain from 9V-12V battery is perfect for portable operation, and its open pc board layout is great for experimenting. A built-in FreqMite audio frequency dial gives the finished receiver a nice touch.
SOP Receiver Application Notes, by Joe
Okay, so you’ve heard about the SOP Receiver from others in the QRP community and you’ve read the design overview in the preceding article. Well, here are some "application notes" from the same designer, QRP Hall of Fame member N2CX, wherein he describes how to modify, extend and further improve on his original basic design.
Field Strength Meter, by Graham Firth,
If you came to Atlanticon or Arkiecon last year, you may have seen me showing, amongst other things, a field strength meter. This is a very simple device that is useful, if only to prove that you are "getting out" and not talking to yourself!
Instant Manhattan, by
Tony Fishpool, G4WIF/K4WIF
In the last issue of Homebrewer we saw the Islander Pad Cutter that introduced an "ad-hoc way" of Manhattan construction - however it did need to be mounted in a power tool. The method I’ve used over the years needs no power tool for the pad cutter. Simply drill a tiny pilot hole where you want to produce a pad and then "twirl" the cutter in your fingers applying very light pressure at first. The tool is made using a widely available (in England anyway!) Wood Drill Bit.
Clothes Line Spool Antenna, by
Tom McCuen, AA2VK
Here’s a very simple-yet-cool approach for constructing a portable antenna using an inexpensive and common store-bought clothes line.
WB7AEI Pixie Deluxe Transceiver R1, by
Philip DeCaire, WB7AEI
This is a modified version of the "Pixie II" design credited to RV3GM and WA6BOY. It has enhancements and an improved receiver. The original design has been called "the simplest ham transceiver". This is a revision to my initial homebrew version with improvements in audio filtering, receiver gain, and elimination of loud clicks in the headphones when the transmitter is keyed.
Updating the Argosy, by Fred
Fred shows us how he added a couple of very easy and useful mods to the Argosy QRP transceiver. The TiCK keyer and crystal calibrator will add new dimensions to your operating bench ... and these mods could be added to other rigs as well.
Modifying the WARC-bler, by Dave
Readers will remember the IA-QRP Group’s "WARC-bler" as the 30-meter adaptation of the PSK-80 Warbler design, featured in QHB #5. Well, renowned tinkerer W6EMD tackled some improvements to the WARC-bler design to produce a very usable rig. Dave reports that he’s very pleased with the results.
Surreptitious Slinky Skywires, by T.J.
"Skip" Arey, N2EI
Put a Slinky or two and some coax up in the air and what do you get? Either an antenna that's reminiscent of yesteryear, or some cool portable antennas the QRPer. Skip takes us down memory lane while showing how to make simple dipole.
The NJQRP "Slinkette", by T.J.
"Skip" Arey, N2EI & Joe Everhart, N2CX
We had a club meeting one Saturday morning -- someone brought along a bunch of extendable fishing poles and another guy found a whole bunch of Slinkies ... what do you think these QRPers were able to come up with as a group project? You guessed it .. a couple of "Slinkette" antennas! Skip and Joe team up to show the details of using the Slinky to create a dipole antenna and a vertical antenna.
A Look at the Low Power Scrapbook, by
Fred Bonavita, K5QLF
Fred takes a careful look at a popular newcomer to the QRP homebrewing scene. Published by RSGB, this quality-bound book is a collection of many projects printed over the years in SPRAT by the G-QRP Club. As you'll see, this publication can be a valuable addition to the homebrewer's shelf
The Short Finder, by Dave Ottenberg,
Here’s an easy, back-to-basics tool with which everyone can find good use on the workbench ... especially when doing the latest "island pads" craze of homebrewing .
Mounting IC Sockets a la Manhattan, by
Dov Rabinowitz, AD0V
As discoverer of the "Island Pad Cutter", AD0V has been working out various techniques for attaching components to the islands cut with his tool. Dov shares some of his recent findings for attaching IC sockets and pin header connectors.
Rainbow Tuner Lives Again, Joe
Everhart, N2CX and George Heron, N2APB
Back in 1996 the NJQRP Club unleashed the Rainbow Tuner as its first kit in the QRP community. The kits were an instant success with hams all over the world building the project and using it as stand-alone QRP ATU’s and built into other equipment and rigs. App notes were written, add-on projects were created and novel circuit adaptations were made. Kitting was stopped in 1998 as we moved on to other club projects, but many newcomers have been asking for the rebirth of the Rainbow Tuner Kit... so here we go again!
CONTENTS OF ISSUE #6
The Lowly Doublet ... Or Is It, by Fred
What is a doublet? How and where is it used? As K5QLF describes, you'll be surprised to find out that you probably know this popular antenna by another name - and it performs just great with the right length of open line feeders, per a detailed chart that Fred provides in this fine lead-off article.
Class-E Boots for the SNAP Transmitter, by
Lenny Wintfield, W2BVH
This 1's and 0's engineer stuck his foot in his mouth and ended up doing a simple, successful and hugely entertaining design of a Class-E QRP power amplifier for 80 meter operation. He learned a lot in the process - especially how much there is yet to learn - and still thinks of RF as black magic ... but less than he did before this project! N2CX provides a useful sidebar on efficiency testing.
Transistor Arrays to the Rescue, by Joe
Try using this common and inexpensive array of transistors for your next project - a mixer, an amplifier, or as N2CX illustrates for us in his article, a noise generator. Joe says that this DIP component is just great for a multitude of jobs around the shack, and he strongly hints at a near-future kit project based on the CA3045.
The St. Louis Switcher, by Matt
Need an inexpensive bench supply that will also run an HF rig? Like for under $10?! PC power supplies are getting cheap and used "chassis" are just piling up in landfills. Matt Kastigar, N0XEU of the St. Louis QRP Society contributed this article to show how a power supply extracted from a scrapped PC can easily be modified to serve as a bench supply or even run a 100-Watt HF rig.
Building the St. Louis Switcher, by
George Heron, N2APB
Clearly one of the many joys of editing a homebrewing magazine such as QHB includes being among the first to build up the projects presented in the magazine's pages. I was quite thrilled to follow N0XEU's guidance in the article above to produce a standard accessory for my operating bench, and with Matt's blessing I present a pictorial essay to augment his fine article.
Frequency Compensated Dummy Loads, by
Larry East, W1HUE
Try putting one (or more) of those 51-Ohm 35-Watt "non-inductive" power resistors onto a heatsink to make yourself a nice dummy load - but be careful of the capacitance between the resistance elements and the TO220 case mounting tab. W1HUE describes several tricks along the way of making some of these with an SWR of 1.000:1 up to 30 mHz.
The NJ Islander Pad Cutter, by Dov
Rabinowitz, AD0V (with graphics by Paul Harden, NA5N)
Some time last year AD0V wondered if it would be possible to do Manhattan construction by cutting the pad directly onto the substrate of copper-clad pc board material. The idea is really simple but would require exactly the right tool to be effective. So he started the hunt for a pad cutter ... and the result is an inexpensive 5mm diameter, diamond-coated end mill that cuts beautiful 5mm "islands" in the copper and seems to last forever! With the construction advice of Jim Kortge, K8IQY and the illustration genius of Paul Harden, NA5N, Dov explains how he found an ideal tool for creating "islands" for Manhattan-style construction.
The K8IQY Islander Audio Amplifier, by
Jim Kortge, K8IQY
Here's a chance to try using a very neat new homebrewing tool called the NJ Islander pad cutter. Chuck up this inexpensive diamond-coated end mill in your Dremel tool and cut perfect 5mm-diameter pads that are isolated from the surrounding copper ground plane. Components can be soldered to these "islands" and you can easily build up all sorts of nifty Manhattan-style circuits in record time. With the illustration prowess of Paul Harden, NA5N, master homebrewer Jim Kortge demonstrated how to use this new tool to create an incredibly useful project for your QRP operating bench
Make your Own PC Boards, by John
If you can write, you can quickly and easily make PC boards in your home using "ink" that is nothing more than a small part of petroleum-based asphalt driveway coating diluted with paint thinner. W8GXU methodically describes the process and shows readers an example of a double-sided pcb he made using the technique.
The Warbler Goes Multi-Mode, by Bill
Did you know that you could do "other digital modes" with your Warbler? KD7S describes how he and Phil Wheeler, W7OX experimented to communicate by means of RTTY and MFSK16 using their Warblers along with a couple of software applications on the PC.
Build a PSK31 Interface for the FT-817, by
Dave Redfearn, N4ELM
Does your soundcard-to-rig cabling for the digital modes inject hum on the audio? Does it unreliably key the rig due to unwanted RF feedback present in the shack? N4ELM shares several ways to make an isolated interface between your computer and the phenomenally popular Yaesu FT-817.
An RF Power Output Indicator for Your Warbler,
by Ron Skelton, W6WO
Here's yet another super useful accessory for your single board "Warbler" transceiver for working PSK31 on 80m - a power output indicator to let you know how hard you're driving the RF final stage. Couple this with the Warbler Audio Amp presented in QHB #5 by WA2DJN, and contain it all in the ABS plastic "Warbler Deluxe Enclosure" by master craftsman KD7S, and you'll be the envy of everyone at your next club gathering!
Emergency Antenna Connector, by Dave
Our regular QHB contributor WA2DJN comes through again with another simple-but-useful homebrewing idea that just might save the day for you in your next field outing.
CONTENTS OF ISSUE #5
K8IQY "4017" 40m-to-17m Transverter,
by Jim Kortge, K8IQY
We’re particularly excited about the continued focus on Manhattan-style construction this time from the master himself, Jim Kortge, K8IQY, who this time presents his latest endeavor called the "4017 Transverter". You can follow this article step-by-step in analysis and construction, and for a limited time, you can purchase a kit of parts for the 4017 from the NJQRP Club. (Ordering details.)
Transverters and 17 Meters Explained, by
Joe Everhart, N2CX
So just what is a transverter? Many hams aren't familiar with the technique of mixing the output of a standard 40m transceiver with another oscillator to get onto a higher band such as 17m. N2CX gives us a quick tutorial on a transverter's construct and use, as well as a quickie overview on the ubiquitous 17 meter WARC band in which we hams have usage rights.
A WARBLERing Experience, by Don
Don shared with QHB an article he wrote in his local radio club newsletter in which he described his experiences in construction and use of his Warbler. Perhaps you'll get some ideas for building your Warbler from this nice piece.
A Warbler Tuner, by Dave Ottenberg,
WA2DJN is one of the club’s most fervent supporters at meetings and at our field outings. He is also a regular contributor to QHB and this time offers up a couple of simple-but-useful accessories for the PSK80 Warbler transceiver. This one describes how he built a dedicated tuner for his Warbler, based on the tuner-portion of the N2CX "Squirt-80" antenna described in the last issue.
Building K8IQY’s "2N2/40 Transverter",
by David Maliniak, AD2A
AD2A (ex-N2SMH) is one of the more active homebrewing club members in the NJQRP, and Dave shares with QHB this time his experiences in constructing the famous K8IQY "2N2/40 Transceiver". This design by Jim Kortge is the project that started the entire craze of Manhattan-style homebrewing, and Dave called upon Jim (literally by phone) for some additional guidance and encouragement along the way. The result? A great packaging job, a perfectly functional rig, and some great learning along the way!
Super Antenna’s "MP-1" Portable
Antenna - A Review, by Joe Everhart, N2CX
Our antenna master, Joe Everhart, N2CX got a hold of the immensely popular MP-1 portable antenna from Super Antennas and contributed a very insightful piece on its use, strengths and weaknesses. All small antennas have tradeoffs in performance, as Joe tells us in a sidebar to his article. He also gives us some clever tips and tools for use in the field.
An Audio Amp for your Warbler, by Dave
This second contribution from WA2DJN describes how he coupled a standard LM386 audio amplifier to the receive side output of his Warbler to give a good indication of band activity whenever he turned on his little transceiver.
The 30m WARC-bler for PSK31,by Jeff
Woods, W0ODS & Fred Spinner, W0FMS
A surprise contribution is made this time by our new friends from the Iowa QRP Club: Jeff Woods, W0ODS and Fred Spinner, W0FMS. These guys are extremely bright and talented in the RF field and they recently figured out the components needed to move the Warbler from its stock 80m operating frequency to the 30m WARC band. They’ve subsequently dubbed their mods the "WARC-bler and have graciously agreed to work in partnership with the NJQRP and Dave Benson, NN1G (Small Wonder Labs) who is the designer and owner of the PSK-xx series of boards. Jeff and Fred have been working like crazy to get a number of prototype 30m mod kits available for the QRP community and they’ve shared their design and analysis with QHB. Thanks guys!
Using Noise Generators to Measure Noise
Factor, by Glen Leinweber, VE3DNL
We are pleased to have a return appearance of one of our favorite technical guru’s: Glen Leinweber, VE3DNL. Last year Glen wrote about transistor gain-bandwidth product, and this time his article contribution concerns the theory and practice of noise generators and the measurement of noise factor. Truly useful material for a good many of our readership.
CONTENT OF ISSUE #4
The contributors this time are real heavy
weights in our corner of the hobby. We hope you like this issue of QRP
Homebrewer as much as we've enjoyed
putting it together. We have 52 pages of homebrewing meat & potatoes, with two full-sized schematic inserts. We don't do interviews, or poems, or DXpedition stories, or contest scoring recaps ... we do homebrewing. We make things and we love doing it. And we hope you do too!
St. Louis Quickie & Vest Pocket Verticals, by
Dave Gauding, NF0R
NF0R offers us some never before seen material concerning his latest St Louis vertical antennas. I've used the SLVPV during Field Day, and he's loaning it to me again for my QRP trip this month to the summit of Eiger Mountain in the Swiss Alps! Paul Harden NA5N made some absolutely astounding artwork to help homebrewers make the coil.
The New Jersey "Warbler" - PSK31
Transceiver, by Dave Benson,
There's probably nothing hotter than PSK31 these days -- Dave Benson, NN1G is at the epicenter of this incredibly fun digital mode and offers us keen insight to his design of the PSK-80 Warbler transceiver.
80 Meter Alchemy, by Joe Everhart, N2CX
Newest QRP Hall of Famer Joe Everhart, N2CX presents us with another superb antenna treatise, this time concerning the theory and homebrew practice of a reduced-size 80m dipole with tuner - perfect for PSK31!
Boy Scout Regen Receiver, by George Heron, N2APB
"Mr Regen" Charles Kitchin, N1TEV couples up with a Maryland Boy Scout to help make his first-ever radio a homebrew success, while yours truly tells the story of how we made that radio Manhattan-style ... and you can make it too!
How I Modified My Epiphyte One Sprint, by Gary Diana, N2JGU
Gary Diana, N2JGU shows us how he finessed and enhanced his award-winning Epiphyte, starting with the bare artwork files from Derry Spittle.
Homebrew Parallel Transmission Line, by Seabury Lyon, AA1MY
Seab is doing more ground-breaking experimentation with his unusual skyhooks - instead of flying a kite, this time he's showing us how to make homebrew ladder line.
OF ISSUE #3
This issue of QHB has turned out to be a real interesting one. We hope your soldering irons are warmed up (for the receiver and power meter), your hack saw and eye protection are in hand (for the PVC fab), your safety belts are tightened (for stringing the N2CX skyhooks, and your bags and bags of unmarked crystals within reaching distance (for the crystal checker). Also, keep your SMK-1 transceiver on top of the pile because the excitement continues for this fun NorCal project.
PVC for Antenna Applications, by L.B. Cebik, W4RNL
A Universal, Tilt-Over Antenna Base, by George Heron, N2APB
What is the Best Antenna?, by Joe Everhart, N2CX
The Art of Kit Building, by Michael S. Fisher, WT9W
Books, Utilities & Websites for the Homebrewer, by Ron Polityka, WB3AAL
Atlanticon 2001 QRP Forum Announcement
The NJ Enclosure, by Joe Everhart, N2CX and George Heron, N2APB
Building the SMK-1 Enclosure Kit, by T. J. "Skip" Arey, N2EI
Build a Crystal Checker, by Dave Ottenberg, WA2DJN
A Manhattan Neophyte Receiver, by Jake Carter, N4UY
The NoGaWaTT SWR-Power Meter, by Mike Branca, W3IRZ
Converting the SMK-1 to Superhet, by Mike Branca, W3IRZ
The Transformer Checker, by Dave Ottenberg, WA2DJN
CONTENT OF ISSUE #2
This issue of QHB is another pretty special one,
with lots of exciting contributions from many recognizable and notable authors. I
think you'll like it. The "theme" this time is Manhattan-style homebrewing ...
techniques, preparation, finishing, tools, examples, tutorial, and more. Here's an
overview of all the content in this second issue of QRP Homebrewer.
Manhattan-Style Construction, by Chuck Adams, K7QO
Our very own Chuck Adams, K7QO takes center stage with his feature article this time with part 1 of a comprehensive tutorial article on Manhattan-style construction. Written in his characteristic down-to-earth and educational style, Chuck walks us through a brief background and overview of available homebrew construction techniques, and then settles in for a thorough, step-by-step guide on building "a la Manhattan." He covers issues of obtaining material, cleaning and preparing it, cutting it to dimension, soldering and gluing the respective parts, and orienting and soldering the components. The reader even gets walked through several "lab exercises", ending up with functional components for use in the shack and also as a lead-in to the K7QO follow-on article in Spring QHB ... study hard this time 'round, because Part 2 will knock your socks off!
Homebrew Chassis and Panel Labels, by Ed Roswell, K2MGM
Ed is well-known in the NJ QRP circles for being one to innovate with various assembly, construction and enclosure fabrication techniques. The K2MGM contribution this time considers making the labels for the panelsof our homebrew chassis. He reviews a couple of the more popular approaches and provides an example of a particularly easy-yet-professional looking one: computer artwork printed out onto acetate overhead transparency material. Produces very nice results.
Antenna Support using 20-foot Collapsible Pole, by Tom Scott, KD7DMH
The ever-popular fiberglass fishing pole (South Bend SD-20, or the Cabella "Black Widow) is the subject of a nice overview of its use, mounting and utility as a support for light-weight dipoles, inverted Vee's, the N2CX Halfer end-fed half-wave wire, and other wire antennas. Tom provides some current vendor information for locating this ubiquitous field antenna accessory.
The Gummer Tip-Over Antenna Base, by Tony Colagouri, W2GUM
Our famous gadgeteer, Tony "The Gummer", provides another of his "Gummer's Gizmos" in our Winter issue. This time he focuses on a clever contraption to support those ubiquitous fiberglass fishing pole antennas. W2GUM calls it the Gummer Base - an inexpensive tilt-over base for the fiberglass antenna supports like the SD-20 and the Black Widow, as well as for the 30-foot-long DK9SQ collapsible pole. Using commonly-available parts from your local hardware store, Tony details a clever way to quickly plant this antenna support in the field.
Measuring Transistor Gain-Bandwidth-Product, by Glen Leinweber, VE3DNL
Here's a taste of some of the more advanced technical topics of homebrewing. Knowing a transistor's upper frequency gain limit let's you find current gain (hfe) at any frequency. Glen has provided some expert insight into measuring the "Ft" with some very useful test circuits.
23 Years and 2 Tuna Tin 2s Later , by T.J. "Skip" Arey, N2EI
Expert story-teller Skip Arey, N2EI relates his exploits over the years with the Tuna Tin 2 transmitter, including a review of the NJQRP TT2 Kit.
Useful Mods for your Tuna Tin 2 Kit, by Jake Carter, N4UY
Okay, now that you've got your TT2 transmitter built up and have had a couple of QSOs on it, what do you do? Jake Carter, N4UY describes several mods that he found very helpful in taking his TT2 to the next quantum level. He details a cure for the chirp, a way to boost power to 400mW, and a convenient way to interface the popular TiCK keyer chip to the TT2. Also illustrated is Jake's Manhattan-style construction of his TT2 ... nice job!
Books, Utilities and Websites for the Homebrewer, by Ron Polityka, WB3AAL
Collector extraordinaire WB3AAL continues finding incredibly useful links for all of us on the homebrew scene. This time Ron points us to books, utilities, vendors, parts suppliers, and a couple of great websites.
Just Good Enough Construction, by Joe Everhart, N2CX
The actual name of the N2CX gem article this time is the "N2CX-Why-Did-I-Ever-Commit-To-This-How-Will-I-Ever-Finish-It-In-Time-And-Still-Keep-My-Job-And-Family-Obligations-PVC-Gusher-Loop-The-Loop-Rainbow-Tuna-Tin-2-Fireball-40-TiCK-Keyer-Ugly-Weekender-Fifield/Meachemized-With-MRX-Tec hnology-1999-Pacificon-Building-And-Operating-Contest-Entry." WHEW! The title of Joe's artucle says is all :-) Joe also provides good details on his combination of the TT2 transmitter, MRX-40 receiver, Rainbow Tuner SWR circuit, and his special loop antenna.
QRP Cartage - the Art of Carrying Stuff, by Jim Nestor, WK8G
If you've ever taken QRP to the field (and who hasn't?!), you know all the little do-dads and paraphenalia that need to come along. Jim Nestor, WK8G overviews the techniques he uses in making his field QRP outings successful
BIG LOOPS: The Method and the Madness, by Seabury Lyon, AA1MY
Seabury, AA1MY describes an absolutely wonderful experience that most of us only see in our dreams. With newly acquired 20-acre homefront, Seab details a 1600-foot Big Mamma loop antenna that now provides him with an incredible ERP.
The North Georgia QRP Club, by Sam Billingsley, AE4GX
With each new issue of QHB, we spotlight one of the popular QRP clubs here in the US. Sam, AE4GX gives a nice overview of the NoGA QRP gang, from their active homebrewing and club project activities (way to go guys!!), to their field radioactivity, and their presence in the local communities. If you're a newcomer to QRP and live anywhere in the North Georgia area, be sure to look up these guys ... they have a good handle on QRP and homebrewing.
The Handyman's Guide to Capacitors, by Paul Harden, NA5N
If you're like me, you have a heck of time finding just the right capacitor in your junk box for use in that project on the bench. Let's see, is this little guy good at RF or only at audio frequencies? What's its reactance at 40-meters? Does it matter if it drifts? What's the diference between a "mylar" and a "mono" capacitor? Which kind of capacitor should I buy for this project, from the thousands offered in Mouser? The list of questions is formidable! Well, Paul Harden, NA5N is our outstanding end expert technical resource in the QRP community, and he offers a *fabulous* Capacitor Selection Guide in this issue of QHB. I've referenced the article untold times even before this issue went to press!
The "Common Cents" QRP Dummy Load, by Dave Ottenberg, WA2DJN
Dave WA2DJN is a formidable sidekick to gadgeteer W2GUM and they teamed up to create a very handy piece of equipment that everyone needs in the QRP workbench ... a dummy load. But this is no ordinary dummy load, as it's made by sandwiching four carbon resistors between two pennies, soldered right on top your favorite antenna connector. So all you need to do is connect this little 1" dummy load connector to your rig ad your as safe as can be.
Butternut in the City, by Ron Polityka, WB3AAL
How many times in your ham career have you been thwarted by a non-friendly antenna environment. I know that I have had all sorts of challenges throughout the years. Ron WB3AAL of EPAQRP fame describes his solution to a common problem of apartment building dwelling and use of a commercial vertical antenna. Nice solution Ron!
Building a Pixie a la Manhattan-Style, by "Hap" Hurst, WA3PTG
Hap is the guy in the NJQRP Club who says "I don't need no stinkin' PCB kit ... I just do it a la Manhattan"! (With apologies to Hap, this is a paraphrase :-) Well, WA3PTG shows his skill and fervor for Manhattan-style construction in tackling the Pixie transceiver. He provides another wonderful perspective on the steps followed in doing this type of homebrewing. This si a fine guide that complements the K7QO piece and our theme this issue. Thanks Hap!
Ohm's Law Helper, by Dave Ottenberg,WA2DJN
In QHB we cover of some rather advanced aspects of homebrewing all the way down to the beginner ones. Dave Ottenberg again contributes, and this time it's an oldie-but-goodie chart that's good to have taped above the bench. Whenever you need to know power, voltage, current or resistance, a glance at this charts sets you in the right direction.
Adding RIT to the SW40+ QRP Transceiver, by Jim Larsen, AL7FS
Our northern-most NJQRP member, Jim Larsen AL7FS offers his views on upgrading of his SW40+ "Elmer 101" rig. So many QRPers have this wonderful and educational transceiver from Small Wonder Labs (http://www.smallwonderlabs.com) and Jim details adding a very convenient option to the NN1G rig.
CONTENT OF ISSUE #1
Our first issue of QRP Homebrewer was a very special one for us in that it addressed in a major way the fundamental question each one of us has asked along the way: Which kit should I buy and build? What's the best bang for my dollar/pound/peso? We're very pleased to have had Doug Hendricks, KI6DS contribute his wonderful piece describing the decision making he goes through in evaluating the various equipment on the market. It's only one man's opinions, but it'll get your juices flowing to consider your own particular needs. This is a fabulous piece for the newcomer to QRP!
We had a bunch of contributors from the NJQRP gang: Joe Everhart, N2CX, our technical guru and my mentor, describing antennas to build for success in the field. Other member-authors include WA2DJN, AA1MY, W2GUM, N2GJU, WB3AAL, and N2CQ. Let us know if you enjoy this issue!
Get a load of the great articles in this Premier Issue ... 64 pages chock full of homebrewer-focused material!
Which Kit to Build?, by
Doug Hendricks, KI6DS.
Like I said above, this major contribution by Doug substantially addresses the first question most of us had when we started. (And many of us continue to have this question!) This is an authoritative reference work. Thanks Doug.
Homebrewing your Own Printed Circuit
Boards, by Gary Diana, N2GJU.
When Gary Diana heard through the grapevine that we were doing a new publication to specifically address beginner homebrewing, his was one of the first emails in my Inbox requesting to submit an article. Gary brings a tried 'n true success track record with Brad Mitchell at Embedded Research, and he shares a very cool way to make pcb's at home.
Build a T-type Tuner, by
Dave Ottenberg, WA2DJN.
Dave is one of the more active homebrewers in the Jersey QRP gang, and he's personally assisted me on some of my antenna projects (Small Transmitting Loop antenna.) Dave actually submitted 3 articles for our first issue of QRP Homebrewer, but I had to leave out the third one due to space limitations ... just too much good stuff was submitted for our premiere issue!
Portable Antenna Success, by
Joe Everhart, N2CX.
Joe is amazing. He's my technical hero and I'm so very proud to have him as a friend and a mentor. Doubly so because of his guiding "guru" influence with us in the Jersey QRP group. Joe contributes this major article overviewing the variety of different antennas in the field, the benefits and uses of each, and what his recommendations are under various circumstances. Like Doug's, This is one from N2CX is one super reference article!
Super Field Day Antenna, by
Dave Ottenberg, WA2DJN.
Dave does it again with a neat construction article ... actually an "instantiation" (as we say in the software field) of one of the antennas Joe mentioned in his preceding piece.
A Beginner s Guide to the Jersey
Fireball 40 , by T.J. Skip Arey, N2EI.
Skip really dived into the construction aspects of the Fireball 40 QRPp transmitter project, and he shares some of his experiences with us. Nice augmentation perspective to the existing material ... you'll want to look at this one, even if you don't have an FB40.
Bringing QRP to the Field, by
Seabury Lyon, AA1MY.
"Seab" is a great story teller. (What else would you expect from the guy who put together the QRP Antenna Kite at Atlanticon this past March?!) He tells us all sorts of details of how he's found success in getting his radios operating out in the field. There are *many" non-obvious aspects to think about, and many homebrewing aspects of going to the field.
Universal Time Coordinated, by
Ken Newman, N2CQ.
Ken is our contest guru in the Jersey group, and he shares some of his thoughts on the importance of consistent use of UTC on QSL cards, skeds, correspondences, etc. Nice, simple & direct piece!
Introducing: The Eastern PA QRP
Club, by Carter Cragie, N3AO and Ron Polityka, WB3AAL.
We plan on spotlighting a different QRPclub in each issue of QRP Homebrewer. Tell of the club's activities, interests and personnel capabilities. Who knows, perhaps there's a new QRPer sitting in your local town and he'll get plugged in by reading out publication. This time it's the overview of the EPA QRP Club.
The Gummer Winder, by
Tony Colaguori, W2GUM.
"Gummer's Gizmos" ... that's what we've called "Tony the Gummer's" contributions of little toys he whips up in his workshop. This issues piece is very cool, and some of his pieces in coming issues will be of great interest to all.
Books, Utilities and Websites for the
Homebrewer, by Ron Polityka, WB3AAL.
Ron has been pumping this reference information around on the mail lists for some time (i.e., "look at this", "check out this program", etc.). Well, I put him to the test and he's stepped up just wonderfully with what may turn out to be a regular review of tools, software programs, websites, and literature that most of us find so enjoyable.
The Tuna Tin 2 QRPp Transmitter
(revisited), by Doug Hendricks, KI6DS.
As most of you know, we (NJQRP) have been collaborating with KI6DS and NorCal for some time on the Tuna Tin 2 project. Recent news is that we're offering the TT2 kits to the general QRP public, and this article is a bit of a revamp of the original information on the websites.
Atlanticon 2000 Announcement,
by Dave Maliniak, N2SMH.
Dave shares some of last year's rosey glow, and some of the planning issues on the table for next year's Atlanticon QRP Forum. Wait 'til you read where we plan on having it!
QRP Homebuilder Workshop Ideas,
from the QRP Homebuilder website.
Great complement to our newcomer to QRP and homebrewing theme ... what components to stock up with, ways to organize the bench and more!
The Ugly Weekender Revisited, from the QRP Homebuilder website.
This project is a favorite of mine, as it inspired our design of the Fireball Plus the 1.5W amplifier built onto the Fireball 40 transmitter pc board. W7ZOI has graciously allowed the NJ-QRP Club to use his material and he advised us during our design cycle. For these reasons we are pleased to put this article in our first issue of the QRP Homebrewer.
George Heron, N2APB
Editor & publisher of QRP Homebrewer magazine