DC Voltmeter that speaks in Morse

I have a couple of battery powered radios that do not have an in built voltmeter or low battery cut off. After considering various options I settle on the DC Beeper Kit from Jackson Harbor Press

DC Beeper with battery

At the press of a button this kit announces the voltage in morse and provides both a Timer and Low Voltage disconnect function.

Continue reading

Miss Mosquita finished the build

I have now completed the build of my Miss Mosquita 3 a 40m CW transceiver.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I decided to mount all controls and connectors on the front as I feel this is a better configuration for a portable rig. The antenna connector was swapped to the RCA to save some internal space, and is reasonably common amongst qrp gear, so not too out of place.

The push button ‘f’ is for the freq-mite which announces the operating frequincy in morse code

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Upper left is the Freq-Mite pcb, just below it is the Simple Keyer from QRP Kits with its Peizo mounted on the perf-board.

TX power, at 10.0v- 2.4W, 12.0v- 3.4W and 13.8v- 4.4W

Drift is around 180Hz in the first minute and a further 300 Hz by the 5min mark, it then settles down and is not noticable on all but the longer qso’s.

Tuning range, 6997 to 7046 KHz (49KHz) and quite linear over the full range.

A Small modification to my EMTECH ZM-2 ATU

With the current bad conditions the need to run 80m during the day for SOTA activations has caused me to visit antenna options that would allow me to run 80 with a “minimum” amount of wire.

My normal SOTA / WWFF antenna is an end fed of around 25m with a 6m counterpoise, this is then matched to 50 ohm using an external L Match. This configuration is fine on 40m and up, but is too close to a quarter wave length on 80m to match well. Continue reading

Miss Mosquito 40m CW transceiver

After a stop start build, the Miss Mosquito 40 cw transceiver from QRPproject is working.

With the addition of a Freq-Mite from Four States QRP (left) and a Simple Keyer from QRP Kits (right) it is ready to install in its case.

Whilst mono-band transceivers have their limitations for Parks and SOTA, I felt the unique design with the FM receiver chip and its Varactor tuned VFO nicely complemented my other rigs.

miss_mosquita_2

A Vertical Antenna for SOTA (a project I am still working on)

The vertical has had a number of runs since the first post.
I have not actively compared its performance to my end fed antenna. But it seems to be no less efficient as I have worked a few JA station on 18MHz when using it.

The design remains similar with the exception of adding a 1:1 current balun. This was introduced to isolate the coax from the antenna system, as I noted some variation in VSWR as the coax was moved. This was discussed here on the SOTA reflector (look for post #7)

I have remained with the3.7m radials but I have increased the number to 8 (yet to be tested).
After reading An experimental look at ground systems for HF verticals (second link below) I may increase that number to 16.

Further Reading;

book2

Naturally the internet is most people go to when it comes to research, to date I have turned up three items of interest

Some Rules of Thumb for Ground Radials

I have also found some interesting reading by Rudy N6LF, Rudy has done a huge amount of work with antennas. two articles caught my with regard to radials for vertical antennas;

First one, on this page look for Series of QEX articles on ground system experiments
The summary of these articles are covered in this document Download QST March 2010 Ground Systems

The second one looks at radial length for shorter verticals, one this page look forĀ Are the lengths of radials related to the height of a vertical? to find the article Vertical height versus radial system