Date: Tue, 11.08.20 02:04
[W2LJ] W3BBO to the rescue! Once again.
W2LJ QRP - When you care to send the very least!
W3BBO to the rescue! Once again.
Posted: 10 Aug 2020 06:16 PM PDT
I mentioned in the previous post how it's QCX toroid time. I had mentioned
to Bob W3BBO that as excellent as Hans Summer's assembly manuals are - they
differ from Elecraft in one important way.
When you're ready to wind a toroid in an Elecraft kit, they generally start
off the step with something like this "Cut off a 12 inch piece of the
supplied magnet wire". In the QCX manual, Hans just gives you the toroid
nomenclature and the number of turns. I'm not a rocket scientist - how much
wire do I need without cutting too much and wasting some - or cutting it
too short and REALLY wasting some?
Bob W3BBO had the answer, as always. Go to W8DIZ, Diz Gentrow's Website at
kitsandparts,com. He has a toroid page complete with winding info.
Take for instance - L4 on the QCX 40. It's a T37-2 toroid and you need to
wrap 16 turns on it. Simply go to
https://www.kitsandparts.com/xtoroids.html and you will see that you need a
10 inch length of magnet wire. Easy peasey, lemon squeezy!
This is the stuff you automatically know when you are a home brewer par
excellance, which Bob W3BBO is and I am obviously not. Thanks again, Bob -
for pulling my fat out of the fire. In thanks, I will pay it forward and
pass your tip to others out there who may need it. (I'm probably alone in
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!
Posted: 10 Aug 2020 06:34 AM PDT
It was a pretty busy weekend with a lot a lot of "stuff" going on.
Saturday began with our "new normal" VE testing session in the Clark, NJ
Municipal Building Parking Lot. Months ago, pre-Covid, we used to chuckle
when we'd have three candidates and maybe ten VEs show up on a Saturday
morning. Now, we need every VE we can get. These outdoor, socially
distanced exam sessions require that many VEs and more, in order to
maintain integrity and reasonably quick paper flow. We seem to be getting
better at it each month and we've been getting good feedback from the
candidates / new licensees. It will be interesting to see how we're going
to do this once colder weather arrives in 3 or 4 months.
The rest of the day was occupied with grocery shopping, cleaning, lawn
mowing and various other little things that needed my attention. I set up a
new Wifi range extender/repeater in the house as I was contending with a
few dead spots, and I also want to set up a Webcam to accompany my weather
station so that when I check into Weather Underground, I can visually see
what the weather is like at home when I'm not there. I also do most of the
cooking on weekends in order to give Marianne a break in that department.
The second Sunday of each month, I volunteer along with our Church group at
a local soup kitchen. They've resumed, as they were halted for the last few
months. Instead of giving our guests a "sit down' meal, we're giving them a
complete take out meal, as we don't have enough indoor space to accomodate
social distancing requirements. That eats up a bit of the day, but there
was enough time before Mass and after soup kitchen to work some more on the
At this point, I'm pretty certain I'm more than 1/2 way done. I finished
getting all the resistors in, the two RF chokes, all the electrolytics, the
potentiometers, the trimmer cap, the transistors and the voltage regulator.
I also got the power inlet, the pin headers and the three test points
installed. Of all the components installed so far, those three singular
test points were the biggest pain in the butt. You can't bend the "lead" to
keep them in place - so you have to find a way to support them from
underneath to keep them in place while you solder. You can't use a finger
to hold them in place as they get hot when you solder them in. They're
also shorter than some of the surrounding components and that doesn't help
The solution that I worked out was to use the foam strip that the ICs came
on. I placed that on top of each pin after I inserted it, carefully
inverted the circuit board and then soldered each pin in place, while the
foam supported the pin from underneath and prevented it from moving
laterally, or moving away from the circuit board. Once again - never throw
anything away that's excess before the kit is complete. You may never know
when things like a piece of IC foam or even a clipped component lead might
come in handy for something on down the line.
The next step is the toroids and the main transformer T1. I have no problem
with toroids. I'm a toroid veteran from my K1, K2 and their respective auto
tuner builds. But just because I'm a veteran doesn't mean I'm complacent
about it. It was after dinner when I finished for the evening. I want to
work on the toroids when I'm a bit fresher. Maybe I'll attempt them during
evenings this week, taking my time and going slow.
The long range weather outlook is not looking great for my QTH for next
weekend. I'm sure it will probably change between now and then, but right
now the forecast for next Sunday (Skeeter Hunt Day) is for showers and
perhaps a 1/4 inch of precipitation. If that is indeed the case, and things
don't change, I'll probably end up setting up in the back yard under our
big patio umbrella instead of going to the park that I usually go to. I did
this a couple of years ago and it worked fine. The only problem is that
situation would preclude me from using a home brew antenna for the event.
There's just not enough space for my portable W3EDP that I use on Field
Day, and I'd probably end up deploying the PAR End Fedz, which I've used in
the past. I could conceivably use my EARCHI end fed, but the total length
of that is 50 plus feet, while the PAR is around 39 feet, which is much
more suited to the limited space I'll be dealing with.
72 de Larry W2LJQRP - When you care to send the very least!
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* Origin: News Gate @ Net396 -Huntsville, AL - USA (1:396/4)