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!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Success !!!

More good news on the PFR3A front. I attached up the coax connector to the circuit board and hooked up my OHR WM-1 Wattmeter and a 50 Ohm dummy load in order to fire up the transmitter to see the power out.

At first, my heart sank as I saw NO power out. My first thought was, "Oh no, not MORE problems !!!!" Then after a few quick thinking moments, I realized that it had been a while since I had last used my WM-1. I opened the case and took out the 9 Volt battery and metered it to find out that it was below the 7 Volt level. After replacing the offending battery with a fresh one, my eyes were greeted by the pleasant arc of the meter's needle headed towards higher ground.

Of course, I got results just the opposite of what the manual says, but I am pleased nevertheless. The manual states that when the PFR3A is hooked up to a 12 Volt battery, that you can expect "about" 5 Watts out on 40 and 30 Meters, and "about" 4.5 Watts on 20 Meters.

On 40 and 30 Meters I am getting between about 4.5 Watts out (maybe a little less as the WM-1's markings are not the greatest at max. 10 Watt setting). On 20 Meters, I am getting the full "gallon" 5 Watts out. I have spread the windings on the coils for 40 and 30 Meters as far and even as I could and the results that I am getting are fine, as far as I'm concerned. I suppose I could remove a winding from each of the coils to bump that up even farther; but I won't. When I operate my K1 or K2, I usually keep the power at about 4.7 or 4.8 Watts as a matter of course. So I can deal with 4.5 Watts out in a heartbeat.

The battery issue in the WM-1 was what inspired the development of the WM-2, I believe. The WM-2 allows you to power up from either a battery or a wall wart. That's a nice option and would have saved me a few anxious moments; but I'm not about to replace my WM-1.

Getting back to the PFR3A, I guess that I can now say that I am 90% complete. All that is left is the installation of the enclosure decals and the subsequent "clear coat" and then the final chassis wiring. I might take on the task of enclosure decals tomorrow night. Boy, this takes me back to my model airplane and space model days!

I hate to jump the gun; but I think my next project will be the Jackson Harbor Press LC Meter that I picked up a few months back. I would like to concentrate on building a few pieces of test gear; in order to make building and more importantly, troubleshooting a little easier.

By the way, I discovered that my little Polaroid digital camera will allow me to do some simple videos. Once the "little yellow box" is 100% complete, I will take a video of it in action and will post it here.

72 de Larry W2LJ

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