If you’re into QRP, I want to encourage you to consider learning morse code. While you can make plenty of contacts with voice or digital, it’s hard to beat the “cw” (continuous wave) mode for efficiency.
With voice, everything you say is stretched out and occupies about 3 kHz of bandwidth. With morse code, that energy is compressed/condensed into a sliver of the bandwidth, concentrating the energy like a laser pointer!
In this video, I show you one of my favorite places to work portable on Sunday mornings. (It’s a business park a couple of miles from my house and nobody’s working there on Sunday mornings.)
I made a few contacts (one shown in the video) before I rode my bike home to watch football.
I finish the video by making an argument for the Elecraft KX1 vs. the OHR 100A. To me, an internal keyer is a necessity in a CW-only QRP radio. That option pushes the OHR 100A up to $220. For $80 more, the Elecraft KX1 is a more capable, modern radio with a digital display – and it has upgrade options that aren’t available for the OHR 100A… like two additional bands (4 bands, total) and an internal antenna tuner.
A week ago, I made a video about my “Deploy-Anywhere” vertical antenna. In that video, I said it was one of my two “go-to” antennas. Well, this SOTABEAMS linked dipole is my OTHER “go-to” antenna.
I use this antenna frequently in the field. It’s just a pleasure to use. Watch this enthusiastic, in-depth review of the antenna to see why I recommend it so highly!
I finished building the 40 meter version of the Oak Hills Research 100A QRP transceiver. I also added the internal keyer.
In this video, I share my final thoughts about the build and the radio.
Summary: It’s a great radio and I encourage you to build one. The documentation could use some tweaking to make it easier to understand a few of the more confusing steps. However, I built it without help and it worked right out of the gate. If I can do it, you can do it!
My friend Tim Kreth (AD4CJ) is a big part of our local ARES group. He created a PowerPoint presentation on using solar power for ham radio. I’ve uploaded it to Youtube and am putting it out here for QRP fans who’d like to know more..Thanks, Tim!
Check this out. I worked a station today in Oregon with only 1/2 watt – on 20 meters in SSB mode.
Bad News: I forgot to push the Record button on my camera so I have no video!
Good News: I recorded the audio… so it DID happen and I can prove it…
I’m in the home stretch of my OHR 100A 40m radio build. I’ve finished populating the board with all components.
The next step is to mount the board in the chassis and solder the wires to the knobs on the front panel. Then, comes the final step… alignment.
I expect to finish this weekend and take it for a spin. More later…
My friend Andrew (AK4FA) asked me whether the vertical antenna I blogged about yesterday could be blown over in the wind.
Yes, it can! But here’s how to handle it…