Introducing 'Ugly' Construction
Those with lots of experience of building homemade rigs will have no trouble
building the transmitter into a smart box. Those with less experience
would, perhaps, benefit by starting with a simpler approach. This prototype
can be constructed quickly on copper-clad board using 'ugly'
construction techniques (see picture
below). It doesn't look very pretty, but that really doesn't matter -
the important thing was that it is possible to use the prototype
to test the design, and have those first QSOs!
Note the construction of this ugly construction workbench. A large
piece of copper-clad board has been screwed to a spare piece of shelving
(chipboard, laminated with a decorative coating). The front and rear
runners use more copper-clad board to support the switches and sockets.
At the end of each project, the components that have been soldered to the
main board (and each other!) are removed so that the workbench is ready for
your next magical creation.
For more information about ugly construction techniques, click
listener report was from Rich, G0GGA in Hinckley, Leicestershire (118 km, my
signals 329 to 459). A good start!
worked Jon, GW0FJT in Llandeilo (100 km, my signals 529); and Rog, GW3UEP in
Cardigan (150 km, my signals 539). Neither QSO was scheduled, with
both stations responding to my CQ calls.
On 8th June, I worked two 5 watt QRP stations: Ken, GW4JGW in Swansea (100
km, my signals 559); and Colin, G3VTT in Dovercourt, near Harwich for my
best DX so far (250 km, my signals 239). Meanwhile, Norman,
GM4KGK on the Isle of Lewis (770 km) was recording my 40 mW CQ calls that,
at times, were just above his noise level. You can hear one of
Norman's four recordings
the morning of 9th June, something even more magical happens. You'll
have to understand that, by this time, I've gained the impression that a 5
watt QRP station has to be S8 or above for them to hear my 40 mW. At
07:40 UTC, I hear G4EXQ calling CQ on 5.262. He's not strong at 559.
Anyway, I give him a call and, after a slight delay, he comes back with my
callsign! A single call does it, and we're in contact! We manage a
full-format QSO and I learn that Andy is in Bude (100 km) and running 5
watts to a G5RV. Andy receives my name, QTH, power, antenna and the
fact that my TX is home made. We are both astounded by this contact!
But there's more!
Later that day, on the evening of the 9th June 2023, I put out more CQ calls
on 5.262 Mc/s at 40 mW. During this time, Norman GM4KGK, who had
previously sent me a recording of my 40 mW signals, is in the shack working
on something, but with the receiver still tuned to 5.262 MHz. Norman hears
my CQ calls, and reckons that a QSO might be possible. So Norman
responds to my CQ call! There's a lot of QSB, but we make a proper QSO
-- and I have a new 'best QRPP DX' in the log! The distance is in the region
of 770 km (to be confirmed).
Happily, Norman made some more recordings of my signals, recorded during our
QSO. This one is of me sending Norman's report:
And this one is of me sending my power:
all credit goes to the operating skill and the fine receiving set-up of my