NoGAwatt K4UPG style

Whew! It is finally put together and didn’t smoke when I put power on it. My new NoGAwatt power and SWR meter is in the enclosure at last. This is my first attempt to make a kit that did not provide an enclosure and hardware. Sure turned into a nice learning time and showed me how easy kit providers make the work appear!

Nogawatt by K4UPG
Nogawatt by K4UPG

Granted, I have stuffed too much in a small enclosure as well. For a novice builder, I learned thatI did not have the proper tools and equipment to make the task simple.  But despite the challenges, it was a fun project and with a bit more adjustment to get things to fit more comfortably, it is a nice addition to my shack! I put the mods in to include a switchable antenna/ internal dummy load  for testing and a 2 or 6 watt range. Pretty slick too! Later, I have to recheck the meter hookup as it seems to me that they are currently reading in reverse. But that can wait for another day!

On to the main course, getting back to aligning my Sierra and troubleshooting the low power output. Stay tuned!

My first contest AWARD!

As a new member of the Straight Key Century Club, I have tried my hand at the Weekend Sprints they sponsor. Most of the time, due to church activities and antenna restrictions, I’m not able to operate with the exception of the last few hours of the event. May’s theme was the “new antenna” and we were encouraged to try a new antenna and got extra points. I had a 154 foot long wire I wanted to try as a random longwire antenna. It was a special bronze/copper braided wire like we used in the military at times. When I took it out to the site and started unwinding it, it sprang into a tangled mess and it took me 90 minutes to untangle. Then my slingshot antenna launcher failed to work properly so I went to plan B… using my 20 foot Jackite pole to elevate the longwire antenna. But the weight of the antenna was too much for the fiberglass pole to handle so I lost more time repacking my station and returning home to get another antenna to use. YIKES! Time’s a wastin’.

With a 40 meter dipole fed with twinlead hastily thrown together, I tried again and managed 2 whole qso’s with my humble station. The event manager and his team had mercy on me and sent me this nice award for my efforts! I love it when a plan comes together!

My first ham radio award as K4UPG
My first ham radio award as K4UPG

Ozarkcon 2009

A gathering of qrp afficionados from all over met in Branson, MO for a weekend of fun! The highlight for me was having our grandson along for the fun and helping him learn to solder in the Friday night Buildathon. Killian is 13 and seems to have a real knack for making solder smoke. His first kit was a success! Thanks to all the elmers who pitched in with tips and encouragement! My wife, Connie did a great writeup on our blog that has more photos and info with the perspective of a non-ham & grandma!

Uncle Cy, The LED Guy, gave Killian a lesson in how to handle LED circuits and a sample LED to try his newly learned knowledge! It worked and Killian was thrilled and wanted to make more.

Doug Hendricks, KI6DS and owner of QRPKITS.COM, as an educator took a real interest in Killian and presented him with a PCB vise and a couple of door prize items!

Despite poor weather during this weekend, we have some great memories and will look forward to getting back together with the Four States QRP Group in the future! Special thanks to Joe Eisenberg, K0NEB for the photo he sent us by email.