Sporadic Reflections

29 September 2006

Steve Weber's Pixie Replacement

Frequently, I hear poor deluded newbies discussing buiding
a Pixie as their first rig. At $10 it seems appealing.
Of course, they probably will never make a contact using a Pixie.

Steve Weber designed a minimal transceiver that might
actually permit making a QSO.


Another good chice would be the DC-40 also designed by Steve Weber.

26 September 2006


I think the Scandinavians have been holding out on us.
While perusing a discussion of SMT vs. through-hole construction
on the softrock40 list, I came across this:

"Here in Sweden we have successfully offered a QRP-rig-kit
with 90% SMD:s to be used."

???? What QRP-rig-kit is he talking about?

I think I have found it: QROlle QRP-Transceiver
(The page is now in English and describes the follow-on
to QROlle - QROlle Next Generation. Swedish pages
describing QROlle Classic are still available.)

The only English description I found was this (from LA5EKA's site):
"QROlle 20 and 80 meter SSB/Digimodes QRP project. Very nice setup. CW is possible. Page is in swedish."

Being a little twisted, the name of this rig reminded of the Ole and Lena jokes.
Some more Ole and Lena

22 September 2006


I have heard Olivia mentioned recently, so I decided to do some research.
Olivia is a new amater radio digital mode. To quote the originator:
Olivia "is a hybrid of MFSK and a FEC (Forward Error Correcting) code based on Walsh functions. I named this new mode “Olivia”, which is as well the name of my daughter."

It was developed as a mode for weak signal QSOs.

There are executables for Cygwin + Windows and for Linux.
N1SU has tips on setting up the Windows version.
No open source at this point. MixW version 2 .17 supports Olivia with a plug-in.

There is a Quicktime recording of Olivia on G4UCJ's digital modes page.
Olivia sounds cool and has a unique look in the waterfall.

Frequencies and more info

Olivia MFSK on Wikipedia

20 September 2006

Inline holders for blade fuses

I was looking for a panel mount holder for a blade fuse
(like they use in RIGrunners) but instead I found these
nice inline fuse holders.

They look very handy for mobile installations.

19 September 2006

Passing the Morse Code Test

Passing the Element 1 test for your General and Extra class license
is usually a challenge for the newcomer to Morse Code.

Here are some tips for passing on the first try.

17 September 2006

Harold Beverage & D-Day Communications

At a recent NVIS presentation, I heard of Harold Beverage and
his contributions to D-Day communications.

Here is a little information about hime from the IEEE.
And a little more.

Among hams, he is best known for the Beverage Antenna,
a type of long-wire antenna that goes back to the early years
of trans-Atlantic communications.

1944 Biography

05 September 2006

Low-cost Frequency Counters

Would you believe a home-brew frequency counter for $10?
Check out this very simple design for one at the Feb. 2005 Norcal QRP meeting.
Search for IK3OIL about half way down the page. IK3OIL did the
original design (60kb PDF). I also dig the Uni-counter just above the
IK3OIL counter on the Norcal page. You can get the code for the counter
from WB4CHK.

You say $10 is still too much?
How about $4?
A vary clever design by PA2OHH, cleverly modified by Hans Summer, G0UPL.

01 September 2006

Lady Ada

I found this neat kit, the Minty Boost, on the LadyAda.net site.
The Minty Boost can charge an iPod or other MP3 player from two AA batteries.
The LadyAda.net site has a number of other kits and much interesting discussion.

The name of this site reminded me of Ada Byron,
the original Lady Ada (Ada Byron, Lady Lovelace actually).
Ada Byron is reputed to be the first computer programmer,
having written programs for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine.

The NiCd Lady