This Weekend in Ham Radio at KB6NU

I got an early start to the weekend on Saturday, leaving the house at 6 am to get to the Holland Hamfest (about 2.5 hours away). At the hamfest, I gave my ABCs of Strong Clubs seminar. The seminar was sparsely attended, but the quality of the participants more than made up for the quantity. We had a nice discussion of clubs and what seems to work and what doesn’t.

At the hamfest, I purchased some stuff to help me finally build the Icom serial interface kit that I bought. It’s all surface mount parts, so I figured I better get some tweezers to help me handle the parts.

Fortunately, there was a vendor there who had a selection of them for three bucks a pop. Since I was kind of stumped as to which to buy, I asked the guy selling them for some advice. He said that I should probably get one with points that are not too fine, as the points tend to deform easily. With that in mind, I chose an appropriate set. I also picked up a couple of fine point Weller soldering iron tips and a new pad for my iron.

One of the exhibitors there was FISTS, the CW Preservation Society. They were giving out CDs with the K7QO CW Course. I picked up four of them to pass out here in Ann Arbor. They were a good deal too–they were free.

On Sunday, I had a family event to attend, but even so, I managed to make 40 contacts (in about two and a half hours) in the QRP ARCI Fall QSO Party. For a while there, I was even able to camp out on 7.042 and run stations. Then, the sun set, the band changed, and QSOs were as rare as hen’s teeth.

This was really a fun event; there was a lot more activity than I thought there would be. Almost makes me want to send in my dues to join.

Two of my contacts were notable:

  • 8P6BX. This was my first DX contact with the KX-1.
  • KE4RUN. Yet another to add to my collection of QSLs from stations whose callsigns spell words.


  1. Post a presentation about club building, I will post a link to at my club. I could use some enthusiam for my club, sadly.

  2. I found it on ARROW,

    H has to be for HOMEBREW, B for Building, S for Soldering , SMT O is for Ouch, that iron is hot!

    I hate meetings only. If the club doesn’t get together to build some project, rig etc, then set up a net to enjoy them, I just wither away. Sadly the ham radio books I read as a kid showed tube and transistor projects to build your own equipment, and I was lead down the wrong path. Ham radio isn’t that way anymore.

  3. I’m not sure what you mean, Ed. Sure, the rigs of today are a lot tougher to build yourself, but there are still an awful lot of things you can build. Search for the item “More kits than you can shake a soldering iron at” here on my blog. It lists many different sources for kits that you can build.

    Also, search for the item “Parts Places….for weird stuff.” It lists quite a few sources for electronics parts of all kinds.

    73, Dan

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