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Author Topic: Homebrew QRP station article  (Read 3448 times)
KC9KEP
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« on: April 06, 2012, 04:22:03 AM »

Hello all,

A ways back, I had authored a feature for QRP magazine.

I thought that someone may find it interesting :-)

Links at:

http://www.bignick.net/qrp/cover.pdf
http://www.bignick.net/qrp/kc9kep.pdf

Thanks,

--KC9KEP AKA Big Nick AKA Tom Nickel
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K8AXW
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2012, 09:18:58 AM »

Tom:  I checked out the two links you provide.  As an avid homebrewer for over 40 years (ham for 55 years) and considered a "perfectionist" I'll tell you that your work is without a doubt among the best I've ever seen!

The layout, the wiring and overall finish gives new meaning to the term "perfectionist!"

I'd like to know how you finished the panels, especially the control backgrounds/markings.

Al
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W9GB
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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2012, 09:43:44 AM »

What I like about Tom's articles and projects, they remind me of the craftsmanship and attention taught when I started in the 1960s / early 1970s.  Those classic authors shaped the hobby.

QST and CQ don't write articles like this anymore, rather they write for readers with low attention spans.  The late Jim Fisk, editor at Ham Radio magazine, worked throughout the 1970s to maintain those previous technical and informative standards.

I get QRP Quarterly, so I had an opportunity to read this article earlier.  :-)

w9gb
« Last Edit: April 06, 2012, 10:35:49 AM by W9GB » Logged
W4OP
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2012, 05:06:23 PM »

Very, very  nice Tom. Please do tell us your technique for the white graphics.

My most ambitious project was my  solid state version of the Drake 2B with other refinements:
http://www.parelectronics.com/par-homebrew-projects.php
photos 2-->6

And YouTube at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O077VLhmCD4&feature=player_detailpage

It took me many months, but is a real joy to use.

73,

Dale W4OP
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K8AXW
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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2012, 09:35:12 AM »

OP: Absolutely beautiful homebrew gear!  How do you do your labeling?
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W4OP
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2012, 12:21:14 PM »

I used my CAD program to create the graphics and printed to water slip decal media. Once the decals were applied and dried, I sprayed on 2 auto enamel clear coats, wet sanded with 1200 grit wet/dry paper to remove any hint of the edges of the decals, and then a final satin clear coat. The end result is far superior to silk screening (albeit labor intensive).

Dale W4OP
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K8AXW
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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2012, 08:52:19 PM »

Dale:  This is a new one for me!  OK, can we get into some detail?  I presently use another computer program to print on a nice looking colored paper with an ink jet printer.  While the results look good, they don't look professional or anything as good as my silk screened linear panel.

So, what kind of printer.... ink jet or laser?  I've never heard of the "water slip decal media" so would like some detail on this please.

Do you spray with a gun or do you buy the "clear coat" in an aerosol can?

"Edges of the decals?"  What does that mean...... it seems that you would slide the decal over the painted panel, let it dry after squeegeeing out the bubbles and then cut the openings with a pointed Xacto knife.  Where does the "edges" thing come in?

Again, "satin clear coat."  Spray gun or aerosol can?  How about brand names to minimize finding suitable products?

I realize I'm asking a lot of questions that might require a great deal of effort for you to answer Dale but this panel finishing has been my nemesis for decades.  I would appreciate anything you care to offer.

Al
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W4OP
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2012, 10:36:40 AM »

Hi Al,

There are a lot of sources for the decal paper. Here's one:
http://www.decalpaper.com/?gclid=COqglc7rr68CFcJM4AodYifVoA
I have used laser and inkjet media.

I am not sure what you mean by using the Exacto knife for cut out after the dcal is applied.
 Before soaking/applying the decal, it is trimmed to its smallest dimensions
The decals, as thin as they are, will still show the edges of the decal when clear coated. So by applying a couple of layers of clear ( I use an airbrush with automotive enamel most often as it is very hard), and then wet sand- this makes the surface all the same thickness. Follow with a final clear coat.

Dale W4OP
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K8AXW
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« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2012, 08:59:58 PM »

Hi Dale,

Thank you for the great link.  Will spend some time there.

What I mean about the Xacto knife, etc., is I'm assuming that you have the panel cut out, all control/meter holes, etc., made and then you drag the wet decal over the panel and press it down.  That would be when you use the sharp Xacto knife to cut the decal for the control and meter holes.

Would be nice to be able to use an aerosol spray.  I don't have an air compressor and accessories for the spraying and at my age, can't justify buying big ticket items anymore.   Undecided

Thanks again for the info.
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