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NJQRP Meeting Recap ... August 18, 2012

Meeting Attendees! ...

Joe N2CX

George N2APB


Frank N2PUU

Bob K2UT

Carl W2PTZ




Nick K2JMK


Bryan AA3WM

Denis AD2DA

Jim K2SZ



And the meeting itself ...

The photos below, with their individual captions, tell the whole story.  Great time by all ... if we can keep this level of attendance and excitement going, monthly NJQRP meetings would definitely be happening again!

Overall we had 14 guys attend and many of us brought projects to talk about.  Meeting there in the Brooklawn Community Center, we pull together three large round tables to sit at and spread out our goodies for viewing.  We spend about 15-25 minutes at the beginning of each meeting just going around and looking closely at the various projects and catching up with friends. Coffee and a "meeex" of Munchkin donut holes were available for guys to munch on during the rest of the meeting.
Corey WA3UVV lead off with some good discussion of his "retro computing".  Bringing manuals of his microcomputer boards of yesteryear (many of which he still has: Apple I, II, KIM, COSMAC), he described a great source for these projects today ... PDP-8, ELF, VT6 Terminal (www.SpareTimeGizmos.com), ELF in an Altoids Tin (www.retrotechnology.com), and KIM-1, Altair, IMSAI, Apple I, PockeTerm (www.brielcomputers.com).

The board shown here is the Micro-KIM, available as a kit for about $100 from Briel Computers.


Jim N2ADR lead a fascinating discussion on the Hermes single-board SDR coming soon from the HPSDR folks.  This "direct sampling" SDR board represents the leading edge of ham computing with its fast 16-bit ADC.  "Digitize right off the antenna!"
Nick (left) told us about the QRPOMETER kit from Four State QRP Group.  This nifty kit is a QRP Power and SWR meter good to 8W ... http://www.wa0itp.com/qrpom.html 

Frank N3PUU (center) gave us a bit of an update on his Battery Monitor project, as presented at one of our previous meetings.

Bryan AA3WM (right) is once again resurfacing from big work overload and tending to a growing family.

Once again we were honored to have Mike WA8BXN from Ohio drop in at our meeting!  Mike brought along his Deluxe Tenna Dipper kit (http://www.qrpkits.com/deluxetennadipper.html) and demo'd its use.  We really liked the enclosure and utility is offers for use in tuning one's antennas in the field.
Ray K2ULR brought along his newest prize possession:  the Elecraft KX3 QRP Transceiver.  Ray loves using it and has already been mod'ing it with a built-in antenna tuner. 

Ray also passed around his little LaunchPad from TI.  This little microcontroller board MSP430 LaunchPad (MSP-EXP430G2) - Texas Instruments ) which only costs $4.30!  Some of us are bound to build some projects around its MSP430 "QRP" controller.

Frank N2PUU showed us his latest project, the Softrock Ensemble RXTX three-band transceiver

And you can get the classy enclosure at http://km5h.softrockradio.org/index.php?route=product/category&path=37

George N2APB brought along a number of his test & measurement projects, but we didn't get a chance to overview many of them. 

Two great data reference books for QRPers
(www.kangaus.com), the Elecraft XG-3 signal source (http://www.elecraft.com/) , homebrew dummy load, 40-dB power taps (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/43021514/CWTD/Mar20.html ), the KA7EXM power meter (
http://www.ka7exm.net/Store/index.htm). and the Retro SWR project on CWTD (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/43021514/CWTD/Jun5.html)

The GPS project from the Chat With The Designer weekly show (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/43021514/CWTD/TeamspeakChat.html) has been moving along great, based on the LEA-6T module from u-Blox. 

Here you see the little GPS receiver  plugged into a PC displaying the fabulously-detailed U-Center dashboard showing all the parameters coming down from the satellite.




Joe N2CX showing off his prize measurement device, the AIM 4170C Antenna/Lab RF Analyzer from Array Solutions (http://www.arraysolutions.com/Products/AIM4170.htm)

Using it, Joe is able to characterize the performance of his latest creation: the N2CX Choke Balun.  See the bottom of this CWTD page ... http://dl.dropbox.com/u/43021514/CWTD/Aug%207.html


Bob K2UT showed off his exciting find of a 30-ft collapsible graphite fishing pole, great for portable QRP use with his Boy Scout troop ... http://www.allfishingbuy.com/Fishing-Pole/Pole-A1-114-3-10009.htm

It's a "super hard sensitive" model, so if you get different lengths you might want to see about the hardness. In the long run, the harder pole might be more brittle, but these are fishing poles, so anything designed to have a multi-pound fish at the end of a 33' pole is probably good enough for a temporary inverted vee :)

These guys also have even longer poles!

Bob also showed us his latest high-tech paddle purchase!

Joe "JJ" KC2VGL gave us a bunch of details and a demo of a plug-in module to an iPad that turns the device into a VHF/UHF power meter and spectrum analyzer ... http://www.oscium.com/products/wipry-combo-spectrum-analyzer-and-dynamic-power-meter



Dave WA2DJN showed us his version of the QRPOMETER (mentioned above), as well as his recent excitement about tube-based QRP radios.  He's currently building up a 6AQ5 VFO and Regen, following along the path of a prolific YouTube instruction line from WU2D.

If interested in some good demo videos of these simple tube Rx and Tx projects, google WU2D, or see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAUQVO5kiGw&feature=youtube_gdata_player and follow his other video links for more.]