Sunday, 29 March 2015

Frog sounds QRP transceiver fun and first QSO


Last night I had a chance to try my new Frog sounds QRP transceiver that I got from a Chinese eBay store. The unit cost me £21 and a few pence and I hadn't realised when I purchased it that it was pre built. I was hopeful it would be a kit but that is no huge loss. 

I am impressed by something so simple, the rx wasn't bad at all and the unit transmits well too. 

I had my first QSO with Keith G0RQQ which was just a few miles away but a contact all the same and wanted to test it out and make sure all was well. 

I found its frequency for TX was 7023.45 and te rx is approximately 3khz wide. I had a problem with the band being very busy and 4-5 stations all in the passband, something I think I can live with this for the simple and basic rig and low cost. 

I ran the tests using a PP3 9v battery and was pleased it all worked and had a stable tone too. The spec says it should put out between 1 & 2 watts from 9v but I have yet to test it with a reliable low power meter. 

My next step will be to try and work some DX with it if we can. 

Sadly the eBay price didn't include extra straight key skills so all I can do is apologise to Keith for my pretty poor sending. 

I have included a couple of images of front and back and hope to post more about my contacts with this great little machine. 


Sunday, 22 March 2015

CW practice and building a workshop space

This weekend I have been busy with some radio related activities. 
The first thing I did was to work a few contest stations on CW to give away a few points and see how the station worked at low power and with the modest antenna. I was pleased to work several stations on 40m and 80m CW and gave away a few points. 
My second mission was to get my components sorted out into their drawers and boxes. 
It was tough work but was helped along by a nice glass of red wine and some CW going in the background to help me practice at higher speeds. 

I encountered a problem now though. I had sorted everything but the dining room table was full of my "radio junk" to quote my wife. 

Sunday saw me planning a family trip to the park and then returning home to the garden and to sort out te shed. Many months of junk had stopped me from getting in and out easily so I decided to sort it out. The result was a pretty nice little workshop to build and repair my hobby items. 

All in all this weekend was a productive one and now I have this great workshop space so long as it stays tidy.