73 RADIO ROW MARKETPLACE
Back in the mid-1990s, the St. Louis QRP Society produced an extremely useful QRP rig accessory: The LM380N Audio Amplifier Kit. It puts out a robust two-watts of clean audio to add oomph to a receiver or transceiver. This is a great beginner kit. There are no SMT (surface-mount) parts. While this amplifier would be a good addition to a home-based station, it can be especially useful in the field where ambient sounds can make reception a challenge. Provided in this package are a silk-screened PC board and all board-mounted parts. The builder provides a 10K-ohm volume control, jacks, switches, enclosure and on-and-off-board wiring.
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 unopened 3-CD package contains the complete run of the very-popular ‘Ham Radio’ magazine, March 1968 through June 1990. As its liner notes point out, “Each page – all the articles, ads, columns and covers – has been scanned to provide a black-and-white image that can be read on your computer screen,” or can be printed out. The package gives the user the ability to search for articles by title and author, select a specific year or magazine issue and to browse individual articles and columns. This “Ham Radio” CD set, once sold by CQ Communications, appears to be no longer available.
The MFJ-9320 QRP transceiver covers a busy part of 20-meter CW: ~14.050 to ~14.060 MHz. This one was expertly assembled and 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.
Eighteen years ago, Wayne Burdick, N6KR, wondered if a viable 40-meter QRP CW transceiver could be constructed using all discrete components; in this case, the 2N2222 transistor. Jim Kortge, K8IQY, took up the challenge and designed the popular “2N2-40.” Using Manhattan-style construction, he laid out the pattern of his full-featured radio. In the course of the project’s development, the Winter 1998 issue of NorCal QRP’s “QRPp” was devoted to the 2N2-40 project. Here we offer that annotated PC-board showing Manhattan pad placement, and the classic “QRPp.” The builder scrounges the parts. Accompanying pictures show how the magazine and PC board work in tandem. “QRPp” has a complete parts list and full details.
The SoftRock Combined Lite II is a simple to build SDR (software-defined receiver) kit with a fixed center frequency to be used with a sound card that can sample at 96 kHz, providing band coverage from 48 KHz below the center frequency to 48 KHz above the center frequency. This kit includes components for these bands and their center frequency (approximations): 160m (~1.843 MHz); 80m (~ 3.522 MHz); 40m (~7.055 MHz); 30m (~10.124 MHz); 20m (~14.047 MHz). Click here for specific band assembly information. Click here for additional information. NOTE: Includes both through-hole and surface-mount components.
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.
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.
“Reflections III,” widely regarded as one of the definitive texts on antenna and transmission-line practice and theory, was published in 2010 but is every bit as relevant today. Written by M. Walter Maxwell, W2DU (SK) – a guru in the field – this CD book is an outgrowth of a 1973 QST series entitled "Another Look at Reflections." Those articles and theory have been expanded, revised and updated into this 424-page reference book, carrying forward all the material from “Reflections” and “Reflections II,” published in 1990 and 2001, respectively. It is in PDF format. There is a ton of bonus material, as well. Accompanying screen grabs show its remarkable depth.
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.