Monday, May 21, 2012

The MTR station is ready to put on the air!


The Mountain Topper Radio is done and ready to go. The last two pieces needing completion was an end fed half wave antenna tuner and paddles. I have an end fed tuner for each of my portable radios. An order of polyvaricons from Doug Hendricks at QRPkits.com gave me what I needed to make several. In this instance the 20 meter wire alone tunes 20 meters and connected with the 40 meter wire gets you to the 40 meter half wave length. I had to connect both sets of plates together on the PV to get the capacitance I needed to tune 40 meters.
The paddles are homebrew. I was at my favorite electronics place in Bellevue, WA, a stones throw from Icom. I found a couple of small micro switches (that was sort of redundant) and a small Hammond box to put mount the switches in. The actuator levers are brass. Brass, because that is what I had handy. The radio is now ready to put on the air. After that is designing the bag the setup is going into. The wife sews my radio bags, the only question is whether it be in urban cammo or blue digital cammo....

72, Bob 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The MTR lives!


The Mountain Topper Radio lives! This was a fun build, the latest from Steve Weber, KD1JV. The radio is a dual bander designed for life in an Altoids tin. Mine was built for 20/40 meters. I thought long and hard about what kind of box the MTR was going to be put into. I had taken an Altoids tin and was getting it ready for the MTR when I found a Hammond 1591BTBU transparent blue case that is a little longer and a little deeper than an Altoids tin. This allowed me to swap the RCA jack that came with the rig for a BNC connector, which is standard fare for a QRP radio.
20 meters was pretty much dead here on the west coast this morning after the rig was finished so I did not even try a contact. Typically, I can get a signal into California virtually any day. But today it was different. I wanted to make an SSB contact with the USS Midway in San Diego, but I could not even hear them. I heard a few, obviously KW, stations calling them, but I could not hear any response. I hope to put the MTR on the air tomorrow.

72, Bob