WB3T - QRP
Bob Woish - Conshohocken, PA
QRP Since 1975 (Formerly WB3BBT / WR3K)
Rooster #1224 - Straight Key Century Club #2913
QRP Amateur Radio Club International #8090
East Coast Amateur Radio Club (ECARS) #30438
Flying Pigs QRP #2422
NAQCC Member #5365
G-QRP Club #14087
NorCal QRP Club
The Classic Rockmite / Altoids project. I've been having lots of fun with this. It has been beefed up to two watts and has the memory keyer upgrade. Running on a 12-volt motorcycle battery (which is solar charged) I get 900 mW. By replacing two crystals, I can convert from the US 40m QRP frequency of 7.040 to the International 40m QRP frequency on 7.030. I have built similar units for 80m and 30m, also in the traditional Altoids tin (but in different flavors!) The 30 meter version with built-in dot and dash buttons has worked into Slovenia from a park bench with a 1/4-wave vertical wire thrown in a tree. The counterpoise ran along the ground. I made no attempt to measure SWR in this installation, trusting the standard formula. The whole works, antenna and all, fit in one hand. After my European contact, I was called by W9DY/M, a mobile CW station in Illinois, who had been listening and called to congratulate me. My QSO with Bud was a nice one in itself. Yes, you can have fun with a shirt-pocket radio and a (carefully measured) chunk of wire!
See you on 7.030 AND 7.040, the NORTH AMERICAN QRP CW CALLING FREQUENCY SINCE 1968, AND HOME TO THOUSANDS OF ROCK-BOUND 40 METER QRP RADIOS.
Boss on your back? Bills piling up? Sunspots down?
Well here's the prescription, the Rx QRP! Really a Pixie 2 kit with mechanical VXO. With a little tweaking I got it up to 250 mW out on 40m, from 7.040 - 7.045.(Yes, the National QRP frequency!) Great little stress reliever! Runs on an internal 9V battery at 60 mA. The casing started out life as a promotional item from a healthcare insurance company, filled with bandaids, aspirin, and the like. Good audio from the DC receiver section into walkman-type headphones, but better with an outboard audio filter/amp (also homebrew). Weighs in at 5 oz. complete with battery, 12 oz. with key and headphones.
Good for what ails you!
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Page Last Updated 2/14/2022
In honor of the 35th Anniversary of the introduction of this legendary radio, the famed Tuna Tin Transmitter, I scratch built this 20 meter version from on-hand parts in the spirit of the original design. Total cost - $0.00. This runs 350 - 750 mW out depending on input voltage (QRPp is low power operation under one Watt). I would love to chase some DX with this!
Look for me in the 14.062 - 14.070 MHz range. You might be one of the first to hear it on the air as it is fresh off the test bench! Next will be a sister unit - a scratch-built 40 meter version.
NOTE! Thanks to Alan, N5NA for being the first to dig out the TT's small signal and make the Tuna Tin project a success! It only took a handful of "CQs" to make my first contact with this rig at 450 mW. 14.065 MHz, 2102Z, June 1, 2011. This constitutes a QSO of 1,058 miles with under half a Watt, which easily qualifies for QRP ARCI's Thousand-Miles-Per-Watt Award. The certificate is on the wall!
Thanks also to Greg, AB5PX, for the nice QSL confirming another 1,000 MPW QSO!
Hats - and tuna tin tops - off to Doug DeMaw, W1FB (SK), the godfather of QRP.
The "Tuna Tin" QRPp Classic
The 40 Meter Tuna Tin is Finished!!!
June 14, 2011 - Finished the 40 meter version and K4ORD was its first QSO. About 843 miles per watt, not quite award-winning, but close! I'll keep trying until I beat my personal best for 40 meters, which was way back in 1992 - Watertown, NY from Eastern PA on under 100 mW.
Rockbound Rigs and Other Novelties
For those of us who like easy, one-evening or weekend kits, a simple QRP transmitter, receiver, or accessory is just the ticket. Here is my Kluge station, built around a Ramsey QRP-40 VXO tuned transmitter, which covers 7.028 - 7.040 with two internal crystals (don't use the original Ramsey crystal, it won't QSY). The receiver is the Ten Tec 1056 "Any Band Receiver," a direct-conversion number that acts a bit like a superhet. The eBay Special frequency counter kit connects to the 1056 and is mounted in a spare Ramsey case. To the left is a repainted and re-marked MFJ -816 SWR/Power Meter tweaked a bit to read out in watts and milliwatts. The Four States QRP "MagicBox" provides RX/TX antenna switching, spot function (necessary for trans-receive operation), sidetone, receiver muting, and a tune-up switch. My only grief with the MagicBox is that it uses cheap audio connectors that are really for stereo use but in this application connect a mono receiver output to a mono MagicBox input.
Also in the audio chain is the amazing New England QRP Switched-Capacitor Audio Filte, or NEScaf. Because the output impedance of the MagicBox is 32 Ohms, a high impedance speaker works best. I have a few small 3 and 4 Ohm speakers that would look like a better fit for such a system, and one is built into the NEScaf, but the MagicBox will not drive it even thought the receiver, when connected directly to the speaker, will. But then you lose the sidetone and muting functions, so...
You have to be careful to use the type of cables specified in the instructions. It would have been much better if mono connectors had been provided. Also, the switches and case are not included. Understandable for the price, but the old bugaboo of having to pay for shipping for all the extras you'll need to complete the kit drives the cost up pretty well. I enjoyed the build, but to be honest this was an exercise in cable assembly. After this, I really appreciate my transceivers a lot more! Then again, I can build all the "Little Joes" and "Milliwatters" I want and have the convenience of a true trans-receive system.
Thanks go out to K1ESE, W4BTZ, and AA8V for sharing in the fun of the inaugural QSOs of my little "Rube Goldberg" special station! It's been fun making this old technology, made new again via the MagicBox, work.
The Sawdust Super-Regenerative Receiver
Outstanding performance capable of on-air QSOs. Great for the QRP minimalist, beginning kit builder, or just for fun! Finish your breadboard in any design you like - I chose Fall colors.
I liked the Sawdust Receiver so much I scratch-built this "Pebble Crusher" 2-Watt Xtal Controlled Transmitter and mounted it on an orange wood block as a mate. It operates on 7.040 +/- 3 kHz and I have already made plenty of contacts with this pair in the first week after it was finished. I've also added the Toothpick CW filter / audio amplifier unit and all works great. See it in action here:
The Breadboard Radio Splinter II
Based on the old premise that a wooden board makes a perfect project substrate, breadboardradio.com also offers this cool little 40 meter QRPp trans-receiver that can be built in an evening or over a weekend. Finishing the breadboard is half the fun! Mine runs 300 mW with a 12-Volt battery pack. I use 8 AA cells in a holder. With a decent antenna such as a simple dipole, you'll be able to say you made plenty of contacts with a radio you built yourself! But try this only if you dare - QRPp is for the courageous radio op wanting a challenge to be proud of. A great first kit.