73 RADIO ROW MARKETPLACE
If you are a trail-friendly radio enthusiast who enjoys minimalist operation from outdoors, the Paddlette Co., knee mount and iambic keyer paddle may be for you. The BP iambic keyer paddle is mounted to a KM-2 knee mount via magnets. A 20-inch long knee strap has elasticity and a rugged plastic clasp to solidly mount to the operator’s leg. There are two magnets: one on the knee-mounting plate and one on the underside of the paddle. A 30-inch long key line connects the paddle to your keyer. You would prefer to use another paddle or a straight key? Replace or cover the magnets with Velcro®. Voila!
This small Morse code straight key is no toy. There are no markings showing who or which company made it. Its wood base bears some similarities to keys manufactured by Hi-Mound Electro Co. Ltd in Japan. That’s just a guess. Suffice to say, it is a handsome, precision, daily-use straight key that has all the adjustment features of similar Morse instruments. The bottom of its base is covered in green felt. The radio amateur won’t have to worry about it sliding all over the operating table. In the spirit of the vintage NYC Radio Row, 73RR has priced this far below what similar keys go for in the commercial world.
Highly-respected, longtime amateur radio antenna guru, the late Bill Orr, W6SAI (SK), left a legacy of fabulous educational books for the radio amateur. One of the most popular is his W6SAI HF Antenna Handbook, a comprehensive look at best practices for getting the best signal out – or in – on the many high-frequency ham bands. Accompanying images include a peek at Bill’s index of topics, from single-wire antennas to multiple-band dipoles; transmitting and receiving loops to inexpensive beams you can build. Its 175+ pages are easily accessible and all on a single CD. A screen-capture shows Bill’s writing style and illustrates how he goes from theory to practice.
The Arizona QRP Club’s Black Widow Paddle was designed and produced by Jerry Haigwood, W5JH, and became a very popular kit in the Morse community about a decade ago. No longer in production, 73 Radio Row has found one that – with a thorough cleaning and reassembly – looks and works like brand new. It is made of brass with a 3 inch x 3-inch base. It uses computer-controlled machined parts for excellent fit and accuracy. It has both spring and magnetic return force. Its arms ride on precision ball bearings. The contacts are silver plated for low resistance. Bearing tension, contact spacing, and magnetic return force are all adjustable. Click here to see the manual.
The MFJ-9320 QRP transceiver covers a busy part of 20-meter CW: ~14.050 to ~14.060 MHz. This one was generously donated to 73RR by Steve Gallchutt, wGØAT. Here are some of the CW rig’s specs, as noted by MFJ:
- 0.2 uV receiver sensitivity for weak signal work
- Sharp passband crystal receive filtering
- Differential-mode AGC: Audio output holds rock-steady over 80 dB signal range
- RF output rated by MFJ at 2 watts with 12-15VDC applied
- Seamless QSK (break-in keying)
- Loud side-tone CW monitor
- User adjustable TX offset/RX passband center
Click here to download the 9320 manual.
The Tuna Tin 2, a 40-meter QRP transmitter on a circuit board atop an empty can of tuna, was designed by the late DeMaw, W1CER (W1FB), and became all the rage in the QRP community in 1976. That’s when it appeared as the cover story in QST. At the time, all of the parts could be found at RadioShack©.. As RS inventory changed, several of the parts were no longer available. Years ago, the Fort Smith QRP Group offered QRP’ers a full TT2 kit – sans tuna can and 40-meter crystal. Click here and here for background on this classic and historic li’l radio.
This original, classic antenna autotuner is ideal for the low-power radio operator, introduced in the early days of LDG Electronics. This QRP Automatic Antenna Tuner kit was based on the LDG AT-11 design with attention paid to reducing size and power consumption. It was expertly assembled and has been tested. Click here to download a PDF of the original instruction manual. The tuner is a high efficiency, microprocessor controlled, switched "L" network designed to work with dipoles, verticals, inverted Vs, beams or any coax-fed antenna in the 1.8 - 30.0 MHz range. Power must remain on even when the autotuner has reached a match. Resting current averages 75 milliamperes.
"Whether you're just getting turned on to ham radio or already have your license, 'Ham Radio for Dummies,' 2nd Edition, helps you with the terminology, the technology, and the talknology," writes renowned radio operator H. Ward Silver, NØAX. "This hands-on beginner guide reflects the operational and technical changes to amateur radio over the past decade and provides you with updated licensing requirements and information, changes in digital communication (such as the Internet, social media, and GPS), and how to use e-mail via radio." Copyright 2013, it is in like-new condition. HRFD is a great beginner’s entree to amateur radio.
This MFJ-816 QRP/QRO HF SWR-Wattmeter was manufactured by MFJ Enterprises decades ago. Its look is old school; not much like MFJ products today. It is a perfect companion for antenna tuners that don't have SWR and power output reading ability. The '816 covers 1.8 to 30 MHz, showing Forward and Reflected power and SWR. Its front panel push button toggles the unit between FWD/SET and REF/SWR via a classic MFJ meter. It will handle up to 300 watts, but is also calibrated on a 30-watt scale. Standard SO-239 coax connectors are on the back. A copy of the original instruction sheet is included. It has been thoroughly tested and performs beautifully.
From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, the 4th Edition of the CQ Atlas A-Z is a nice pocket guide to 195 countries around the world. It is great for use at your home operating position or in the field. World regions are shown, as well. In all, there are 260 detailed maps. This atlas was not written specifically for the radio amateur and does not include country prefixes. It is 432 pages jam packed with country details. It is a product of DK Publishing and is the company’s most up-to-date edition - copyright 2010. It is in near-perfect condition, showing only the slightest ware.