Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Question about choosing a CW QRP kit.  (Read 9398 times)
KA0HVE
Member

Posts: 117




Ignore
« on: July 18, 2013, 01:26:24 PM »

Just how bad is it to be rock bound with a CW QRP rig?
Logged
NU4B
Member

Posts: 2286




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2013, 02:04:00 PM »

It depends on what you are trying to accomplish.
Logged
KA0HVE
Member

Posts: 117




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2013, 02:10:53 PM »

Mainly ragchewing.
Logged
WB6BYU
Member

Posts: 13335




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2013, 02:48:40 PM »

Well, if someone is already carrying on a QSO on the frequency of your one crystal,
it can be very frustrating!
Logged
KA0HVE
Member

Posts: 117




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2013, 03:24:30 PM »

I've seen a rig or two that has xtal switching for a couple of frequencies on the band.

I wonder if you can find a kit with the xtal socket on the front panel.  Seems like 3 or 4 frequencies would be all that would be needed and you couldn't beat the stability.  Are crystals that tough to find these days?  Would the radios be simpler to build?  (Guess it depends.)
Logged
K0OD
Member

Posts: 2558




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2013, 03:33:46 PM »

I built a little Ramsey kit years ago. It had two crystal positions and a  Variable Crystal Oscillator (VXO) to move each frequency a few kHz. Very primitive, but primitive can be a nice diversion. I did work some DX with it.

If cost is a huge problem I'd say being rock bound on 30 or 40 meters isn't too bad. For a few more bucks you should be able to find something much nicer used.

Or sometimes free "to a good home."
Logged
N3HFS
Member

Posts: 212




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2013, 03:40:49 PM »

I think I would be willing to accept being rockbound (in this modern era) under two conditions:

1. I built the rig myself, and take pride in understanding its function and design, and

2. I truly appreciate the challenges of operating a rig with limited power and limited frequency range.

Happy QSOing!
Logged
KA0HVE
Member

Posts: 117




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2013, 06:55:53 AM »

I think I would be willing to accept being rockbound (in this modern era) under two conditions:

1. I built the rig myself, and take pride in understanding its function and design, and

2. I truly appreciate the challenges of operating a rig with limited power and limited frequency range.

Happy QSOing!

I think that pretty much sums it up.  Grin

I already appreciate the challenge of limited power.  Limited frequency range wouldn't kill me.  I pretty much only hang out around 2 frequencies on the 40 meter band.  VXO would have its advantages but not a requirement at this time.

I'd really like to get started at building some gear.
Logged
NU4B
Member

Posts: 2286




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2013, 01:34:49 PM »

I think I would be willing to accept being rockbound (in this modern era) under two conditions:

1. I built the rig myself, and take pride in understanding its function and design, and

2. I truly appreciate the challenges of operating a rig with limited power and limited frequency range.

Happy QSOing!

I think that pretty much sums it up.  Grin

I already appreciate the challenge of limited power.  Limited frequency range wouldn't kill me.  I pretty much only hang out around 2 frequencies on the 40 meter band.  VXO would have its advantages but not a requirement at this time.

I'd really like to get started at building some gear.

You can always add frequencies. When I built my Rock-Mite I added a switch and xtals for several frequencies. For example 14.005, 14.015, 14.025, etc... So I wasn't just limited to (in the case of the 20M Rock-Mite was around 14.060.
Logged
K5LXP
Member

Posts: 4507


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2013, 02:48:53 PM »

Are crystals that tough to find these days?  Would the radios be simpler to build?  (Guess it depends.)

You can buy crystals to your spec all day long.  A stable VFO can be homebrewed for less than the cost of a new crystal though.  Rockbound rigs are quaint but if your goal is making contacts, you will have your work cut out for you not having any frequency agility.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM


Logged
WB0FDJ
Member

Posts: 144




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2013, 11:04:51 AM »

Sorry to come to the table so late in the discussion. Worked all weekend.....ugh...

Couple of thoughts, based on personal experience. One: obviously one can operate QRP anywhere but many have found an advantage of having a "watering hole" where other QRP ops hang out. Point being, crystal control is almost a point in favor of such operation. When I built my DC-20B I made a simple VXO on a piece of perfboard and have it spot on for 14.060. I've had a number of fun contacts with that rig, PO being about a watt. I found little need to move the frequency about, as I had planned. Two: the Rockmite forums have recommended making the kits with DIP pins (think thats what you call them) so that instead of soldering the crystal to the board, you insert it into the pins and it can easily be changed. 

I wouldn't want my little rockbound rigs to be the only thing I use, but there's always an element of excitement and adventure when I fire them up and make contacts (shades of my novice days) and I can still remember the details of many of those QSO's years later. These are high on the formula: Units of fun/Dollar invested.

WB0FDJ Doc
Logged
KA0HVE
Member

Posts: 117




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2013, 06:44:35 AM »

Some consider CW limiting.

Some consider QRP limiting.

Some consider a straight key limiting.

Some consider being rockbound limiting.

I'm not sure what these things limit but I think they increase the challenge and reward.

I once went on the company bass fishing trip.  I'm a fisherman but I don't limit myself to one species.  The other guys had fishing rods almost as stout as my hiking staff.  The fishing reels looked about the size of salt water reels to me.  17# line was about average for these guys.

I had my little Garcia/Mitchell 308 spinning reel with 6# line, my heaviest line, on a matching Daiwa ultra-light rod.

Those guys would hook into a bass and drag it through the brush and weeds to get it up to the boat.  I had to finesse every bass I hooked.

Guess who had more fun!   Grin

Rockbound sounds to me like it would add to the fun.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2013, 07:09:16 AM by KA0HVE » Logged
AD6KA
Member

Posts: 2238




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2013, 02:20:06 PM »

Quote
Those guys would hook into a bass and drag it through the brush
and weeds to get it up to the boat.  I had to finesse every bass I
hooked.

Nice fishing on UL tackle!

The truly sad part is that your buddies
don't (or can't, really) appreciate the difference
between the two styles:

A) Be a Sportsman and use skill, knowledge, and guile.
OR:
B) Get the fish in the boat AT ANY COST.

Again....sad.
73, Ken  AD6KA
Logged
N3HEE
Member

Posts: 120




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2013, 08:48:39 AM »

You will make plenty of contacts and have a ton of fun with just one rock.  Install a socket or switch so you can change rocks.  More importantly however, you will learn and become a highly skilled operator !! Amateur radio could use more skilled OP's !
Logged
GILGSN
Member

Posts: 207




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2013, 04:46:42 PM »

Hello,

As Doc says, I wouldn't use one as my only radio. The fixed frequency might not be your only problem... I built a DC20B and two Rock-Mites (20 & 40m). They don't have much filtering. That means you'll pick up a lot of stuff, even from outside the Ham bands. With those rigs, I get AM broadcast stations booming in all the time, some from as far as China. It's fun to hold a QSO while listening to music, but it gets old.. I can only use them with my magnetic loop, which does the filtering.
When on a fixed frequency, you will also have to call all the time to get contacts. It is frustrating to listen to someone calling CQ a few hundred Hertz away , but he can't hear you because he is using a narrow filter (while you listen to 3KHz and then some).
Those radios work well and are a lot of fun, but you'll be much happier with something that can tune around a bit. I consider frequency agility much more important than output power.

Gil.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!