10th Anniversary Giveaway!

On April 30th, it will be ten years since the "W2LJ - QRP - Do More With Less" blog was born.

In appreciation for all who read this blog, I am going to give something away to one lucky reader. I have a new, mint condition, unused, complete sheet of fifty United States Amateur Radio stamps, issued in 1964 on the 50th Anniversary of the ARRL - Scott #1260. I am going to have the sheet matted and framed - ready for display on some deserving shack wall. All I ask is that you send an e-mail to w2lj@arrl.net - entitled "Blog Anniversary Giveaway". Include your name, call sign and mailing address.

Any Amateur Radio op worldwide can enter. I will package and ship the framed stamps to any destination that the United States Post Office will accept.

The names and call signs will be loaded into a software program such as RandomPicker on April 30th and a winner will be determined. The winner will be announced here, and then the framed stamps will be posted.

Good luck, and thank you for reading!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


No, I'm not a pirate - just a bit frustrated with myself.

I am about to begin building the ACME QRP Gel Cell Charger kit today; and of course did another careful read through the assembly instructions. I was about to begin actual assembly when I thought I'd run down the basement to check my old junker Toshiba laptop's wall wart - just to make sure its output was in the necessary 16 - 22 Volt range. That's when I was rudely reminded that the Toshiba doesn't use a wall wart! It uses 115V AC directly - it must have a built in transformer to charge its battery!

The only wall wart I have that has the proper voltage is the one to my Dell laptop, which is my main shack computer. I'm not about to use that!

So a quick search on the E of Bay yielded several inexpensive 18V wall warts. I hit one of the "Buy Now" ones for $3.99 plus shipping; and got one for less than ten bucks.

So I will probably have the kit completed and "ready to go" for later this week, when hopefully, the wall wart will arrive. It's supposed to come via Express Mail - 3 to 5 business days from now.

With all the stupid little wall warts I have just hanging around the house, it's just my luck that I don't have ONE with the proper output voltage and that I had to end up buying one.


73 de Larry W2LJ


Kenneth Finnegan said...

I usually use desktop power supplies, if you have any of those laying around. It gives you 0, 5, 12, 3, possible 1.8, -5, and -12, so pulling 17V or 24V low current is possible. Though it may be a little too low current for what you want.

Larry W2LJ said...

I considered that, too. But I don't have any of those hanging around the house, either. What I should do is go to a consumer electronics store and do some dumpster diving! My luck, I'd get arrested.

Kelly Martin said...

Just as a comment, that old Toshiba might not actually have a transformer. It's possible, even somewhat common, to build switching supplies without any transformers at all. You will need some inductance to provide smoothing on the output, but that can be in the form of a simple coil.