Tuesday, December 29, 2009
This year I plan to set up a portable station in the family playroom and get out of the basement. This will also give me a chance to be with the family but also work the radio on the side.
My setup includes an Icom IC-718, a cool Junker Key, MFJ Mightylite power supply, and an inverted vee antenna in the yard.
A link from the ARRL is below.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Going to motivate myself, set up the Buddi Pole in a upstairs bedroom and see if I can get out qrp style. Will keep the football game on in the back round and send out a few cqs.
If any thing exciting happens I will be sure to post them later. This is turning out to be a very lazy afternoon.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I have not been to a Radio Shack store in a long time. When I was younger that was the source for all my components and soldering needs. Back in the day the selves were full of all sorts of neat stuff, LED's, buzzers, IC's, etc. To my surprise they have two cabinets full of various components and a wall of a few test meters, soldering irons, and a fan or two. I guess if you need an item ASAP and do not want to wait for your mail order delivery to arrive it's OK, but price wise mail order is the way to go.
I did pick up a wire wrap tool for my perf board circuit building. The tool is a neat and easy way to wire up your circuits.
Time to look for something to build!
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Looking forward to an afternoon on the radio, PSK, SSB, or CW. Nothing planned just make some contacts and have fun. It is a cold cloudy day in the garden state with a forecast for some rain and wet snow tonight, perfect inside type weather.
I did not start Christmas shopping yet, how many days left?
Saturday, November 14, 2009
This is a great winter project and when complete the builder will have a fun little QRP rig to play with. Plus it is being assembled Manhattan style and should be ugly which is a good thing. I am going to be following the steps and building one myself.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
In the November edition, Joe starts out with Tips for Successful Kit Building. He includes some great ideas to make our building easier and much more organized. I especially like the idea of using a TV tray to do your building on, it keeps the parts from rolling off of the table. I do not know about you but my caps always seem to be running away from me right out of the bag.
A monthly column is a great way to promote and keep kit building alive.
Good Job CQ!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
I have been listening to SolderSmoke the podcast for sometime now, and Bill does a super job.
Here's a few links to the blog and podcast:
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
I was going through a box of old QST mags in the basement and came across two that caught my eye. The September 2000 has a review of the MFJ QRP-Cub Transceiver. The ARRL has a special bundle pack which includes the Low Power Communications book with the 40-Meter CW Cub Transceiver kit for $99.00. The idea of a small radio, wire antenna, battery, and key in a backpack sounds pretty cool.
Another article that I came across was in the July 2001 QST, a home brew Miracle Whip. I know this has been described as a dummy load but I have read a few interesting positive things about this whip. The bands have not exactly been on fire these days but it would be neat to play around with this on low power.
Tonight I plan on reading a few of the articles and see what I am in store for.
On the radio front will try my hand on CW tomorrow afternoon and maybe fire up the soldering iron.
This week I saw a flock of birds heading south, won't be long now. Burr.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
This kit features a varactor (tuning diode) tuned Colpitts oscillator and an RF amplifier stage that offers solid performance in the 88-108 MHz broadcast band. Varactor tuning is free from stray capacitance and drift. Recommended voltage is 9 to 12VDC. Per the instructions typical range is from 50 to 100 feet depending on antenna and other conditions.
Parts identification and assembly went smoothly. One resistor lays flat and all other resistors are mounted standing up on end to fit in on the small PC board. The electret mike is mounted directly on board. Kit contains 33 components. Board size is 3/4" x 2-3/4".
How it works: The circuit is broken up into three stages, audio, Colpitts oscillator, and RF amplifier. Audio is picked up by the electret mike and converted to a voltage signal and amplified by a PN2222A transistor. This acts as a small signal linear amplifier. This signal is coupled out to the Colpitts oscillator to provide DC isolation. The advantage of the Colpitts is there are no coils to wind or mess with. The kit instructions give a decent description of theory of operation and a piece by piece run down of the Colpitts oscillator. The RF amplifier uses biasing components (resistors and capacitors) to configure a PN918 to provide amplification of the oscillator signal.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Before it gets to hot out I am going to do some soldering on the picnic table and finish off the electronic kit started last weekend. Only a few more components to go and do the important smoke test.
I might even set up the Buddipole antenna and try few a few contacts on 40 meter CW before an afternoon drink or two.
Get outside and build something!
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Chances are I will not find a hidden transmitter at home or my place of work, but when the cooler weather comes I might have to take this kit mobile and play around just a little. The circuit can also be used for testing or troubleshooting RF Circuits. Since it was a nice afternoon I starting building in the backyard on the picnic table. It is always a bonus to be outside building. I managed to load up the resistors and two IC sockets before evening came and my light source got darker. My next component up was a surface mount Hybrid RF Amplifier, better wait until tomorrow for this installment.
They are calling for rain tomorrow so maybe I can finish up and test it out.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Velleman Magic Message #MK155
Street Price: $12.95 USD"
Wave the wand to make the message appear, looks like it is floating in the air. This is a small compact circuit built on a pc board that fits into a handheld wand.
"Notes: Easy to build and solder with simple part placement. Just be careful with LED's, try to keep them same height on board. Best bet is to place the first LED on board and bend leads on underside of pc board. Before soldering play it safe and size up LED with cover to make sure it is at proper height and fits in cover hole. This small move saves time and desoldering efforts later. Other than that kit assembly is pretty straight forward and simple.
Circuit details: The circuit is built around the PIC18C505-20/P IC which is inserted into a socket. Six limit resistors are for the six high intensity red LED's. Circuit has a roll ball switch that get triggered when you wave the wand. Two "AAA" batteries are needed to power the circuit.
Smoke Test: None.
Takes a few minutes getting the hang of waving your forearm slowly and getting the message readable, a dark area works best.
A cool kit to play around with, I like circuits with LED's.
The Magic Message worked the first time!
This blog is a collection of kits, circuits, and home brewing stuff. Plus I find this is a great way to keep my notes and general electronic / radio junk in one convenient place.
I find in easier to update a blog on the fly than the meltedsolder.com web site.
Be sure to stop by for an afternoon coffee or Friday night beer.
Comments are always welcome.