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Saturday, May 29, 2010


Ray Sills K2ULR

Tom Kachnowski AB2FG

Vojtech Bubnik AB2ZA

Curt Myers WA2JSG

Jon Ashare KB2NAS

Ron McConnell W2IOL

John Acacia KB3OXW

Joe Jesson KC2VGL

Gerry Jurrens N2GJ

Meeting notes:

K2ULR brought one of those bright yellow "survival kit" backpacks. Apparently geeks.com is selling them again. He got a KX1 and made his first QSO with it to Maine (getting a 569) using his PY1AHD magnetic loop antenna and internal AA batteries on 40 meters. He also brought his Rockmite for Show & Tell. Details on the antenna can be found at http://www.alexloop.com/

AB2FG brought photos of his project: a regenerative receiver and audio amplifier. (See photos below) He got the idea from Charles Kitchen, N1TEV writing in "QEX" (from the ARRL). He mentioned that his other club, the Cherryville Repeater Group used to have a crystal radio "contest"

AB2ZA brought a number of projects including a beautiful 20 watt power amplifier (See photos below) in an Altoids tin. He used 2 RR510 switching MOSFETS, which he described as being VERY cheap! 2-3 watts in provides about 20 watts out. He also brought the prototype of a PSK31/PSK63/Morse decoder that will be kitted and sold by Steve "Melt Solder" Weber KD1JV. Details: http://kd1jv.qrpradio.com/decoder.pdf The device draws "extremely low power" on use, and would run off a C-cell-size Li-Ion battery "for a year!" Vojtech also showed some small AAA replacement batteries with built-in charging circuits that can be recharged using a USB cable.

WA2JSG told us about his experiences at Dayton Hamvention this year and his activities around SKCC and NAQCC. He has become a very active CW operator. He reported that he learned at Dayton that TenTec has discontinued the Argonaut transceiver.

KB2NAS recently returned to the amateur radio hobby and has been building much of his own equipment, hoping to have, one day, an all-homebrew shack. He was a very avid SWL before joining the ham ranks shortly after Desert Storm. He brought a 40 meter Rockmite that he wants to modify for multiple crystal frequencies (See photos below). He is building a NORCAL 40A and expanding the unit so that it covers 100 KHz. He built a KK1 miniature straight key that he enjoys using very much. There was a discussion about the "harsh sidetone" in the radio (which Vojtech attributed to the method being used to generate it). Next time, Jon will bring his PAC-12 antenna for Show & Tell.

KB3OXW brought his crystal radio receiver that he built (See photos below), even employing an antique wireless coil form with multiple turns giving it very good sensitivity. The design is more than 60 years old. I think if you contact John, he can send you a copy of his handwritten schematic!

W2IOL mentioned, for the sake of George N2APB, that the "Front Porch Bluegrass Festival & Pig Roast" will be held at Gazebo Park in Chester, NJ on Saturday, July 10. Details: http://culturemob.com/chester-nj For Joe N2CX, he brought one of his $5 Bluetooth headsets he says "work great!" that he purchased from Electronic Expo. Of course, he brought his van, with its back filled with freebies, including some decent UPS units that only require new batteries. He also "raffled" off a 30 meter transmitter/receiver combo (See photos below) that went to John KB3OXW. He also mentioned he is interested in the "New England Code Talker voice powered CW transmitter" designed by Mike Rainey, AA1TJ, Details at: http://www.nt7s.com/blog/2009/11/push-it-to-the-limit/

KC2VGL brought a really cool spectrum analyzer (See photos below) for sale. There were no takers at the meeting, but contact Joe if you're interested in this amazing device. A couple of us who heard Joe's presentation at the Trenton Computer Festival/NJ ARRL Convention at The College of New Jersey, asked him to share some of his info on "alternative forms of energy." You can download his presentation (2 MB PowerPoint file) by clicking here. If you can't open PowerPoint files, download this 1.5 MB PDF version.

N2GJ brought a Chinese-made HT for 2 meters and 220 MHz with its accessories. It's billed as "that $100 HT" there is also a version that's 2M and 440 MHz. Gerry suggests getting the USB programming cable (which is the same one used for Kenwood HTs but costs a fraction of the price of the Kenwood cable). He reported on his Dayton Hamvention experience, and mentioned a number of purchases: an Alpha-Delta 4 position antenna switch, a lightly-used Yaesu microphone for the FT-817, a Buddipole Deluxe system (he showed his autographed copy of "Buddipole in the Field" by B. Scott Andersen, NE1RD. This great book can be downloaded for free from the Buddipole website: www.buddipole.com

Gerry saw his cousin, Greg K5GJ, who was there with his company, FlexRadio Systems, demonstrating the new Flex-1500 SDR. Greg reported that they took more orders than they dreamed they would. Gerry ordered one several months ago and is awaiting shipment. A full report (and perhaps a demo) will be given at a future meeting. Details at: http://www.flex-radio.com/

We had an interesting discussion of SDR (Software Defined Radio) with Vojtech describing some of the potential "drawbacks" of the approach taken by Flex Radio in its products.

We also discussed WSPR (Weak Signal Propagation Reporting) and I'm happy to report several members of NJQRP are now experimenting with this exciting mode.

Our next meeting will be on July 24, 2010. For June, please participate in Field Day with your favorite club (or on your own). Of course, QRP would be the order of the day! (See the NJQRP Event Calendar for the full set of meeting dates.)

As always, comments, corrections and amplifications are welcome!


Gerry Jurrens, N2GJ

Photos (click on photo to see a larger image):

American Red Cross of Central New Jersey Chapter - N2ARC tower and antennas (where monthly meetings are held).

Curt WA2JSG shows off Vojtech's cool 20 watt amplifier in an Altoid's tin!

Another view of Vojtech (AB2ZA) amplifier. 1 or 2 watts input, 20 watts out. Gary K2GW would have liked the PowerPoles!

One final closeup of the AB2ZA RF Amplifier.

Vojtech AB2ZA displays his extremely low-power consumption Morse/PSKxx decoder.

John KB3OXW brought his excellent homebrew crystal receiver.

Recently back in amateur radio, John KB2NAS brought a couple of projects, including this lovely Rockmite.

Joe KC2VGL brought a fantastic 2.5 GHz spectrum analyzer to sell...worth "several thousand dollars" - it could be yours for $850! There were no takers at the meeting!

AB2FG's crystal radio for AM broadcast band built earlier this year for a crystal radio contest for the Cherryville Repeater Association (ham club of Hunterdon County). During a 24 hour period, he was able to pick up 17 stations with this set.

AB2FG's regen radio for 80 meters based on design by Charles Kitchin, N1TEV, in Nov/Dec 1998 QEX. This is a work in progress, lashed together to get a feeling for how well the circuit works. Answer: amazing performance for such few parts. Larger board to left is RF portion: RF amp and detector. Smaller board to right is quick-and-dirty audio amp. His plan is to pretty this up into one box and eventually pair with a to-be-built QRP CW transmitter

Last updated: June 20, 2010