Altoid Tins Without the Altoids

Rich, KC8AON passes along this tip via the qrp-l.org mailing list:

These tins are bare metal making them well suited to painting to ones desire or leaving as is for small QRP projects.

They do cost $1.24, which is actually more than a tin of Altoids on sale, but, as Rich points out, you get to paint and label them however you like.

Some 80m Notes

Before I put up this random wire antenna, I had never gotten on 80m from my home QTH. I’d worked it on Field Day, but that, of course, doesn’t really give one a feel for the characteristics of the band. I’m finding that it has quite a different feel than, say, 40m. Here are some of my observations:

  • There is more of a tendency to ragchew on 80m. I’ve had some good ragchews on 40m, but it seems to me that there are more of them on 80m than 40m. Guys just like to chat, I guess. I kind of like that.
  • Operators tend to operate slower on 80m. I have no hard and fast statistics for this, but it seems as though the CW is generally slower on 80m than the other bands.
  • It’s more useable later into the evening. Lately on 40m, it’s been going way long at night, and then gets quiet. On 80m, you can find guys to work at 10pm, 11pm, and even after midnight. Maybe all the guys who were operating earlier, QSYed to 80m.

All in all, I’m really liking 80m, and after I get my 40m dipole back up, I’m going to have to work on putting up a better 80m antenna.

A Little History

This from Maggie, K3XP, via Allen Pitts, W1AGP, the ARRL PR guru:

In 1955, The Phil-Mont Mobile Radio Club, an association of mobile amateur radio operators, provided emergency communications during the…during the devastating flood of August, 1955 along the Delaware River and in the Pocono Mountain s following Hurricane Diane, the sixth costliest U.S. hurricane of the 20th century…fifty years before Hurricane Katrina. In 1959, the club produced this short film to explain amateur radio, and especially mobile communications as practiced by the club.

(The main film begins after a three minute interview with Jim Spencer, W3BBB, produced by a local cable channel many years later)

Dig the guy’s “walkie-talkie” in the scene where they’re providing communications for the marathon……Dan

View the video

Mini-Circuits App Notes

From Jason, NT7S, via the qrp-l.org mailing list:

I thought I would share a nice resource that I found earlier when I
was doing some research at work. Mini-Circuits (the guys who make the
SBL-1 DBM, plus other RF goodies) has a great list of reference
material on their application notes page:

Among some of the best documents on the page:

  • Return loss vs. VSWR table
  • dBm – volts – watts conversion table
  • The Effect of VSWR on Transmitted Power
  • Biasing MMIC Amplifiers (e.g. ERA SERIES)
  • Understanding mixers
  • Definition of mixer terms
  • VCO fundementals and concepts
  • Phase locked loop fundamentals

If you do any homebrewing, then this site is worth bookmarking.