Fwd: P&C Last Evening

Bill V WA7NWP wa7nwp at gmail.com
Thu Apr 28 11:57:28 PDT 2011

...and the ARRL can only come up with updates for the 'what are we doing for
gun's blog. The pqrp group has some great projects and activities.

 ---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Wayne McFee" <NB6M at comcast.net>
Date: Apr 28, 2011 10:07 AM
Subject: [pQRP] P&C Last Evening
To: <pQRP at yahoogroups.com>

Hello All,

I hate to say it, but if you weren't at the Crystal Creek Cafe last evening
you missed a really great P&C. I know, I know, I keep saying that, but it
really is true.

What a great bunch. Lots of building and experimenting going on, coupled
with more and more on-the-air activities with the bands opening up and
acting like we want them to.

We had about seventeen in attendance and everyone had a chance to talk about
their current interests and activities. Unfortunately, you-know-who (me)
didn't pass around a sign-in sheet so I don't have a complete list of names
and calls.

I'll try to hit the high points here.

Eldon started off the talks with descriptions of his current projects, which
were several and diverse in their interests. I'm not sure I can remember
them all here, hi hi. He showed a small FM transmitter, mounted on top of a
9 volt battery, a commercially produced PCB for his beacon transmitter, and
talked quite a bit about the computer program "Simsmith", from Ward
Harriman, AE6TY.

Eldon set up his laptop a little later in the evening and demonstrated the
program. It really sounds like a very useful tool, and easy to use. I'll
definitely be trying it out.

Roger had brought parts and copies of the recent tri-plexer article from QST
for Lyle. This triplexer is the one which allows three different
transmitters to be hooked up to the same tri-band beam, with one transmitter
on 20, one on 15, and one on 10 Meters.

John talked a bit about being diverted from his ham radio projects by
building a potting bench for his wife.

Bruce talked about his on-going Math Champs middle school ham radio classes,
which seem to be progressing nicely. Bruce is doing a really wonderful thing
for those kids, as well as for ham radio in general.

Alan has been working on a DC receiver from EMRFD (page 8.14 for those
interested), which initially didn't work, but now has started receiving its
first signals. Way to go, Alan! As Alan said, one learns very little from
projects that work properly from the start, but learns a tremendous amount
from those that require troubleshooting and repair.

Alan is interested in pairing the RX up with a recent TX project, and wants
to learn how to turn the pair into a functional transceiver. We've asked him
to post info and queries here so that we can all share in the educational

Ken talked about a couple of projects of his that also need some examination
and troubleshooting, and it would be great to discuss those here as well.

Charlie has been having lots of fun with 5W SSB, mostly on the high bands,
making lots of DX contacts. Charlie says that he has now truly begun to
understand how propagation works, in relationship to time of day, and is
learning when to look for signals from various parts of the world. Good
going, Charlie!

Lyle says he will have things to talk about next month, as he is heavily
into preparation for the Dayton hamfest and projects for Elecraft.

Dennis, a first-time attendee, talked about his antenna projects and his
experiences with Simsmith.

Bill (aob) talked about his antenna projects and his upcoming RV travels,
which allow him to experiment with various antennas. Apparently covenant
restrictions keep him from putting up antennas at home.

Bill (Joe Ham) talked boat his on-the-air operations, including carrying his
gear 4,000 feet up Table Mountain and operating from there. Bill is one of
the more avid operators in the group and always has good info to impart.

Fred gave us a run-down on his Genesis Radio project, which is an SDR
project from down under. Info can be found here


Ilkka demonstrated and discussed his regenerative receiver project, which
started with building an AF amp, then coupling it to a crystal (old style
galena type) detector (which he described as being just about as effective
as touching a screwdriver to the front end of the audio amp), then
continuing by building the regenerative front end.

He finished off the project with a front panel shaped like an old time radio
and spray painted black to give it a real antique look. Really great going,

Rick talked about his on-the-air operations which have shared time with his
boat building project, which is a tender for his 22 foot cruiser.

Rich brought some Darlington transistors to share with the group, and, like
Lyle, will have more to discuss next time.

Jeff talked about his recent operations, and a little bit about his
photography attempts from his plane, with turbulence vibrating the camera
enough that the shots were pretty much ruined.

I demonstrated my remote antenna switcher, as well as two other projects
I've been working on. One is an RF amplifier chain that I've been
developing, working towards a new version of the MiniBoots amp. The other is
a continuation of my automatic band selection project used to select
appropriate filters for power amps.

All in all, a full evening of discussions and demonstrations. I actually
stayed so interested and involved that I didn't even get around to ordering
pie. Imaging that, hi hi.

I know I've forgotten some items discussed, as there was so much presented.

One of the key things that was brought up last evening is that it would
really be a great thing for each of us who is involved in a project to share
info and discuss troubleshooting issues here on pQRP. Also, do post photos
and other info on the pQRP website so we can all see what is being worked

We all learn from each other and since so much information is generally
available, such as the schematic and other info for Alan's receiver for
example, in EMRFD, we can easily delve into the workings of a particular
project and help each other learn more about how it works and how to couple
one building block with another to achieve a functional goal.

Take care, and 73,

Wayne NB6M

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