You can do a lot with less than a watt...



My fellow hams... My name is Bill and I love ham radio.  I discovered ham radio when I was 13 years old, but because I was a poor kid living with a single parent on the wrong side of town it took me two years to scrape together a station.  In 1968 I was licensed as WN2FSV and had a blast operating cw mostly on 40 meters with a primitive novice station.  For the next forty years I managed to stay active, but over time I found myself spending lots of money on fancy rigs and filling fewer and fewer log pages.  Then in 2008 (my 40th year as a ham) I decided to do something I hadn’t done in a very long something!  I found my old 1968 ARRL Handbook and took on the task of re-building my old novice station...Regen receiver and 5763 pentode (that’s a tube you youngon’s) crystal controlled transmitter.  It was fun again!  I found that I can’t stop and the simpler the better.  I’m having fun and I hope you will join me.  I am not here to become a millionaire...I’m not an engineer...I’m a ham!

You can do a lot with less than a watt...73, W4FSV

Beware of the Experts

Last week I came across a ham radio list serve site where a ham asked the following question:  I’m thinking about building the Splinter QRPp radio.  Does anyone have any experience with this rig?

Someone answered roughly like this:  Well, it doesn’t have QSK and you will get tired of using that send/receive switch.  Also, it’s very low power and you will get frustrated trying to make contacts.  He then went on to recommend another QRP rig that has been out of production for several years.

Obviously, this guy doesn’t get it.  I guess he doesn’t understand what QRPp is all about or that the Splinter was designed as a minimalist rig.  I went to the FCC website and looked him up in the call database...and there was the answer...this “expert” has been a licensed ham for almost five (5) months!  04-15-13

The Thrill of DX

Last night I finished building a Splinter for a ham friend who is disabled.  I finished at about 11:00 p.m. local time and plugged in an antenna and power supply.  I aligned the receiver and checked the spot function.  Then, under the spot tone I heard a CQ.  What the heck...I gave a call.  The guy came back with a QRZ?  So I gave another call.  This time he came back with my call and a RST 339.  The operator was OK2LT in the Czech Republic...a 10,412 miles per watt contact!  (Just posted the video under the Splinter) No, it doesn’t happen every time with 450 milliwatts, but when it does it’s more fun than a brand new Asian Rig with about one knob per watt!  04-19-13

Out of U.S. Postage

Since starting Breadboard Radio 15 months ago, I have not charged any extra for postage to foreign countries.  I have been proud to have my designs operating around the world.  A few months ago the U.S. Postal Service raised foreign postal rates significantly.  The rates are now actually higher than the profit I earn on all of the $24.95 kits!  I am also receiving more foreign orders (thanks) and have Splinters on five continents.  I am adding a reasonable amount of $3.00 to Canadian orders and $8.00 to all other countries.  The postal rates are usually $8.50 to Canada and $12.95 elsewhere.  Thank you for your understanding.  06-24-13

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