Friday, September 26, 2008

K40 keyer and CW Reader

This was a fun kit and a fairly easy build.


The K40 connects to a PS2 keyboard and converts your typing into morse code.
I finished this a couple weeks ago and as I was testing it out - it worked fine reading cw solid copy as long as conditions were not too bad, then, I accidentally dragged the FT817 off the table onto the floor. It landed on the volume control knob and snapped it off. So, I was off the air for a while waiting on the replacement pot. Not as easy to replace as the dial encoder, but doable with my barbarian skills.
Anyway, someone posted that the the K7QO's Code Course mp3 files would play on the cw reader. I have this course on my Palm TX, so I plugged it in and it played flawlessly, got the feeling K1EL maybe used these files as test bed for the board. This is great addition to the already good morse practice built into.
Now to get it on the air.
I hope my next post is first CW contact - my code is ok, just dragging my feet I think.
Still having fun with psk-31, even though the band conditions have been poor, I still have made a few contacts with 5wts and the G5RV thrown up in a tree, also have the buddipole set up, neither antenna in great position.
QRP is like fly fishing while most are fishing with dynamite :)

stay tuned

de N8MAC

Sunday, September 7, 2008

More Kits...?

Well, I finished the BLT tuner and will have to see if it works here in the next day or two,

not a lot of operating.. on PSK last night and hooked up with another NUE PSK operator in NY. The T1 is working great, highly recommend that kit.

The next kit is going to be the K-40 keyboard keyer and cw reader, saw a good recommendation on this kit and I feel like it will smooth the transition to CW, I will post some pictures of the kit as I build it.

I still need to start on the Antenna Analyzer kit, probably a winter project. Also thinking of maybe a PFR_3 instead of a K1 for a trail rig. I eventually want the K1, but I may hold off and tray the pfr3 first. Pretty good user group on Yahoo.

stay tuned

de N8Mac

Sunday, August 31, 2008


OK, I was not ready for the thrill of a foreign contact, had not really thought much about it. But tonight I had two short Venezuela contacts PSK31 5 watts, G5RV antenna up abt 20 ft. WOOT

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cleaning off the work bench.

A project I had tucked away was a VE3DNL marker generator kit. I put this together yesterday in about one hour.

I also put together a Rainbow AC Line Voltage monitor kit.

I mounted this into a radio shack project box. There is room to spare, so I will probably add a headset amp or desk microphone switch later.


Then I started constructing a Norcal BLT tuner kit that I also had sitting around the bench.

This is Pittsburgh style (as apposed to Manhattan or islander similar styles) construction with the solder pads carved into the copper clad board.

Next will be a Arizona ScQRPion Paddle Kit that I have had sitting in a parts bin for some time.

The last remaining project will be the AMQRP 908 antenna analyzer kit I ordered when they first came out several years ago. Like I said I needed to clean out the workbench. The smaller projects will hopefully prepare me for the 908 - a lot of SMT components on that one. Once that is done, perhaps I will tackle an Elecraft K1....
- - - - - -
Finished troubleshooting the T-1 antenna tuner today.
I hooked it up to a G5RV and watched it tuneup on five different bands. Not sure what was the problem or whether I was not holding my mouth right, but it really works well. Really excited to have that done and working FB. The FT -817 cable for the T-1 is really sweet.

Made one contact today with a gentleman just down the road. We figured it had to be less than a quarter mile this on 20 m PSK 31. This was on the Yaesu FT -817 on the G5RV antenna. QRP is tough with the current conditions.

Stay tuned….


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

FT-817 Dial Encoder

I bent the shaft on the rotary dial soon after I got the radio (long story).

It did not work right after that, I was fine tuning with the mike buttons instead of the encoder.

So I ordered a replacement from Yaesu USA and received it back within a few days.
The FT-817 comes apart fairly easily, anyone who has looked into adding the Collins filters has been there. The front panel comes off by moving four tabs.


The encoder unplugs and the nut on the shaft is all that holds it in place.


Quick, easy repair, FB!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Friday, my psk31 modem from AMQRP club -NUE-PSK showed up.


It hooked up fine as instructed and I set it up, read the mail a bit and was able to make 5 contacts on 40 meters. This is a fun little machine and keeps with the QRP profile and weighs little.

I used the T-1 auto tuner with a G5RV antenna up 30 sloping to 20 feet (tree to a painter's pole) in the back yard.

The T1 seems to work, but I need to verify one last QC check.

Stay tuned .-.-.-

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Well, the Tenna Dipper is finished, but not working just right. I suspect some trashed parts, I will trouble shoot that one later.
I am done with the T1 as far as construction goes with a replacement smt capacitor installed. I am in the troubleshooting mode now. At first it would not power on, I tweaked some solder joints and now it comes on and starts properly. It failed the power measure test, the info function works, so I will finish tracing that down hopefully tomorrow.
I seem to have hit a wall with morse code again. I plan to switch to on air copying and practice sending to got over this plateau.
this is the next toy to add to the shack
in keeping with portable battery operation
stay tuned...

de N8MAC