Sunday, March 29, 2009

Returning to our normal programming

OK - political rants aside ...... I received an e-mail from W3BBO yesterday. It concerned Neal W3CUV, who Bob has known for years since their Novice days together; and I have known only recently through a few on the air QSOs and a few e-mails.

Neal has been busy again, and recently completed another project, which is a homebrew amplifier for his SW-40 transceiver. 1.5 Watts in gives him about 35 Watts out.

From these photos (and you can click on any of them for a larger view), you can see the wonderful job Neal has done. As I understand it from Bob, Neal purchased the finished circuit boards from FAR Circuits and then sourced out all the components, hardware and enclosure himself. "Kit building 101A" if you will.

Being a QRP advocate aside, I still lick my chops at the sight of a finished project like this. First, this is obviously a first rate job well done. Second, there are times when QRP just doesn't cut it - like maybe the last day of a DXpedition and you're just not getting through. It would be nice indeed, to have one of these babies that you could pull out from your sleeve, put in line and have a little extra muscle to jump into the fray with.

But there's another lesson here. Neal had a need for something that there wasn't a current kit available for. He found sources for the circuit boards and components and got the job done. Being a homebrewer doesn't necessarily mean you can, or even want to fabricate your own printed circuit boards. It's nice to know that there are services like Far Circuits that can supply those for you. Then it's just a matter of going to the local electronics store or visiting Mouser, or Jameco or perhaps DigiKey on the Web to get the components you need to get going.

73 de Larry W2LJ

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