This past weekend, I took the Mountain Topper radios (3B and 5B) to Bobcat Ridge and worked a bunch of stations. In this video, I show my antenna setup and work 5 or 6 stations. At the end of the video, I show all of the stations I worked.
Not bad for 3 watts and a wire antenna. I was only transmitting for about 90 minutes, total. The various contests running this weekend made it super-easy to work QRP!
LNR Precision (www.LNRPrecision.com) recently released the first production batch of their new Mountain Topper 5-Band QRP radio.
The MTR-5B is THE new pocket-sized QRP radio to have. Highly Recommended!
As soon as I took it out of the box and hooked it up, my first contact was CN8KD in Morocco on 30m. I take that as as good omen for all of the fun I will have with this amazing little rig.
In this video, I show you the improvements over the (still awesome) MTR-3B radio. I then hook it up to an antenna and take it for a spin, letting you see the new four-line LCD display and some of the many cool features.
Using a well-known circuit, I show you how to build a simple computer interface so your logging software can send CW through your radio.
The logging software simulates someone using a straight key. It changes the voltage on an RS-232 pin and the electronic circuit uses a transistor as a switch, grounding the lines as though someone grounded the contacts of a straight key.
This interface will let you work a contest or pile-up using your logging software – without having to use a key or paddle.
The circuit diagram: http://www.n3fjp.com/cwschematic.html
N3FJP website: http://www.n3fjp.com
Tripp-Lite USB to Serial Converter: See it on Amazon.com
I got the last Mountain Topper QRP radio of 2015 from LNR Precision (according to Ryan).
I’ve been having a ball with this gem for the past 10 days. In this video, I tell you about the radio and then show you how to use nearly every feature. It’s a long video that I made for those who may be interested in this jewel-like little rig… which should be EVERYONE!
A fun and effective way to improve your CW character recognition and gain speed is through the software program called Morse Runner.
Morse Runner is a contest simulator that lets you work a virtual “pile-up” (multiple people calling you at the same time). You can control the parameters so that your session is as easy or as white-knuckled hectic as you wish. This program really makes a game out of morse code. Note: This program assumes that you already know your letters and numbers… it’s not for learning morse code but for helping you to improve your speed.
Download it from the author’s website: http://www.dxatlas.com/morserunner/
Are you a new ham who is nervous about making your first contacts?
We’ve all been there, felt that! In this video, I give advice on how to stop putting pressure on yourself. You WILL make mistakes… but, I teach you two words that can help you gather the courage to move forward.
As a bonus, I also teach you two acronyms: “G.O.M.” and “N.N.”
Enjoy! – Cliff
My friend Tim Kreth (AD4CJ) sent me a couple of cell phone videos that he shot last weekend during the ARRL Sweepstakes contest.
Tim was only using 1/10th of a watt and he made a number of contacts. Here are a couple of them…
It’s practically rare to hear a morse code conversation where both stations are on the exact same frequency.
This video talks about the concepts behind tuning in CW mode… the carrier, tx offset, and sidetone pitch. Examples are shown using my Elecraft KX3…
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!