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Author Topic: First Time Build  (Read 2016 times)
N4GKC
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Posts: 16




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« on: December 21, 2013, 01:57:18 AM »

I'm 65 with ok eyesight (thanks to progressive lenses) steady hand with some slight numbness in the fingers. I've never built a kit but would like to try now that I have time. What would be a good starter build (preferably a single or two band qrp cw rig) for me ? I've always been good with my hands but I feel my time to do this is running out. Any suggestions !!!   Thank you in advance for any insight you may have to this question.  73 to all   Gary(N4GKC)  P.S. From what research I've done my QRP rig of choice would an Elecraft K-1...but don't know if I could pull it off....
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1815




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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2013, 03:46:37 AM »

Same situation as you, only I jumped back into the hobby at 62 and wanted to try this new (to me) IC/transistor technology. I took the easy way  and built an MFJ 40m Cub, the pcb was large enough for me to see what I was doing compared to a Rockmite I was thinking about. To my surprise it worked and I built a 20m and 30m CUB also. My confidence was up so built a couple of Dave Bensons (out of biz) SW+ kits, then ready for the big time I built a K-1 with just minor problems i.e. cold solder joints, diode backwards. Cubs are still working fine and are my favorite as I do rough and tumble qrp portable ops. Just get yourself one of those large circular light/magnifying glass combos.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2013, 03:57:30 AM by W1JKA » Logged
K8AXW
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Posts: 3963




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« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2013, 09:13:32 AM »

Gary:  It's good to see that you want to get into building a kit or two.....or more.....

Great move!  Great fun!

I suggest you prowl the QRP suppliers.  (Google is your friend here) Look over some of the available kits and choose one that interests you.  It really doesn't even have to be a transceiver.  But if that's what you want, there are several to choose from.

I also suggest you look them over pretty good, even downloading the assembly manuals for the kit that might interest you and look for traps like SMT (Surfact Mount Technology) which, for the experienced builder isn't that big of a deal, can be a problem for fledgling builders.  Read the info on the torroid coils, which some people find intimidating.  Stuff like this. 

Take your time evaluating what needs to be done when assembling the kit and determine if you understand what has to be done. Try to find out if the supplier is willing to help you if you have a problem or a problem understanding something.  Plan B would be to find out if there is an online forum where you can go for help.

Only after assembling a small piece of gear or two would I suggest you get into the K1-K3 rigs. 

Good luck and have fun!!

Al - K8AXW
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WB8YYY
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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2013, 03:42:31 PM »

Gary

The k1 is a nice building project and fun to operate.  Of course elecraft kits are high quality with excellent instructions.  Having a couple bands is nice also. 

To boost your confidence you might consider a simpler kit as a warmup.  One place to check is 4stateqrp as they have several choices including a nice keyer. Neqrp offers a nice audio filter called the nescaf.  If you can make nice solder joints you could succeed with the k1 but consider a warmup kit.

I use a simple clip on stand magnifier from Staples.

Email me direct as needed.

Curt
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N4GKC
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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2013, 03:44:27 PM »

Thanks James and Al, both have given what I think is sound advice. Today I ordered a small kit from QRPme.com .  Its the Two Tinned Tunas E-Z Build Kit 40 mts. That will get my feet wet for just a little bit of $$$ . Thanks again for your response. 73agn   Gary(N4GKC)
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N4GKC
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« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2013, 03:49:54 PM »

Thanks Curt, I just may take you up on that..... Gary
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