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Friday 31 December 2010

QRP2004 Build day 1

Here starts the log for the build today easy first day.

I'm creating the PCB and my process is to use press and peel film (Maplin AB15Rso I use the REVERSED images of the CU layer you can obtain either from the qrp2004 project team website ( the yahoo group ( Printer is a laser doesn't work with an inkjet printer, Samsung ML-2240 and I am printing 1200x1200 dpi and as DARK as I can get it.
Make sure you check the print size is right. I used a 40pin DIL socket and couple 8 pin DIL sockets to check the sizes. Mine I had to print at 107% size. Print to normal paper until you get the size right.

Anyway I have 7 nice pieces of blue film ready to use.

It is still cold out so doing the rest of this in doors.... (except the etching)

1. Cut out 7 pieces of PCB sized to fit. Mine are slightly oversized.
2. Clean them of all grease and finger prints (I use Acetone and then fine wire wool and emery paper in a circular pattern). You end up with 7 shinny pieces of PCB. Now clean all the wire wool or emery paper remnants away
3. Iron on or feed the sheets and PCB through a laminator (I will be testing the later option on another build).
4. Allow to cool, peel off the film.
5. I use black marker (permanent) on the top ground plane side, you can use close fitting tape etc... your choice.

Outside now in shack...

6. Etch. You do not need a tank but I home-brewed one from a fish tank heater and aerator pump. I use either Ferric Chloride or some clear etchant. The home-brew tank I set the solution to 35degrees C and let it bubble away for about 35 mins and the boards are usually fine. Wash the boards with water and allow to dry.
7. You have a choice: either remove the etch resist pattern off the boards now or wait until after drilling the boards. I will tin mine (you do not need to) so will remove the etch resist and the tape or pen from the other side and I use a dip solution, you can tin too by chasing a bead of solder around the board (hint this is much easier when NOT drilled!). If not tinning and if you remove the resist the copper will tarnish quickly so you might want to use a flux spray like KS10.

Now the boring bit... drilling c900 holes! This might take a while.
I use a Dremel in a stand (the task is hopeless if not in a stand) with 0.7mm drill bit. Note some holes will need to be enlarged will cover those in later posts.
Drill all the 3mm holes for the mounting and the other 4-5mm holes for the TO220 and other transistors.

I think the drilling holes is why so many home-brewers have moved over to SMD...

I'll post some photos later.

You can use a photo resist and print the CU layer images to sheets and expose and develop etc... but I have not done it that way but many other homebrewers do.

Thursday 30 December 2010

How to make a CW QSO

The original site at has disappeared so I post that page here for reference for those trying to get started in CW.

A search for zs6ez on QRZ:
Born 1964, licenced 1980 as ZS6BCR. I've basically been inactive since 2000, due to other commitments. I hope to resume some ham radio one day. My main interest was in contesting, where I held several world and continental records in the single band category of CW, RTTY and Phone contests. I attended WRTC three times, as W6O, OJ1W and S572L. I ran a series of DXpeditions in the Eighties and Nineties, emphasising low band, WARC band and RTTY activity. You may have worked me from 7P, 3DA, A2, IH9, V5, ZS0 or ZS9. I also once did a bit of DXing, with 10BDXCC, 5BWAZ, 5BWAS and Top of the DXCC Honor Roll. I've slipped down a bit with the most recent additions, but maybe I'll get up there again one day. In the mean time, I'm working on my DXFC score (see while flying business jets as a South African Air Force volunteer, playing with my daughter, holding down a real job, working on my PhD, managing a small group in our local church and running a flying school.

How to make a Morse Code contact...

The original is back up on a new site, here is email from Chris about it.
----- Original Message ----
> From: Chris R. Burger ZS6EZ <chris@********>
> To: Dominic Baines <dombaines@********>
> Sent: Fri, 31 December, 2010 1:02:57
> Subject: Re: Fw: [GQRP] Re: OT? Morse procedures...

> > Other emails used all bounced...
> To this address,or did you use an  obsolete address? I'm not aware of a
> problem with this address。

> >  Please let me know if this is a problem.
> I would prefer if you linked to the  actual article:

> That way,if I  make changes they will show up。Also,Google is more likely
> to pick up the new  address if you link to it。

> The original domain name disappeared,so I  suddenly had to establish a new
> one。 All the original content is  there。

> Regards

> Chris

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Tuesday 14 December 2010

QRP2004 Build

I have had a few questions about this project ( for details) so I will start a build from scratch and blog it here starting in the new year (i.e. 2011).

This is the designed polyphase network for the QRP2004

Copyright © 2004 - 2005 by QRP2004 Design Team

The project design team include details of the design and method where you can look at options using different components (depending on what you have to hand), using different components the results are:
(RED) C=33nF, R (Kohm) 12,10,6.8,3.9,2.7,1.8,1
(BLUE) C=10nF R (Kohm) 47,33,22,15,10,6.8,5.6

See the project docs for details.

QRP2004 Web Site:

Sunday 5 December 2010

Mag Loop

Just posting this as not QRT.

The WX here in Mechelen (Belgium) had been snowing for the last week. So I have taken a mag loop antenna built by Clive (M5CHH) (from G4TPH design) I have put it up suspended in the open door way out to the patio.

I determined that the door was 100% uPVC not metal framed and there does not appear to be any chnage in coupling with the door closed or open. The sealed windows are some metal looking but doesn't seem to effect the loop.

Just thought you might like to see these:

This is the loop on 40m :-)

This is the loop on 30m :-)

This is the loop on 20m :-)

I am about to go out to find a place were I can get some AA batteries for The 30m QRSS beacon I obtained from Han (G0UPL) and Steve (G0XAR). So hopefully ON/M1KTA should be QRV on 30m shortly.

The land lord still will not allow an external antenna so this looks like a good option.

BTW the pictures grabbed from MiniVNA Java software. Putting it on a contunous loop makes tuning dead easy.

Not tried a different balun that will give me 10m yet. I used 10 x 400mm legs to make up the loop. I'll post a photo soon.

I'll run it with the FT817 later.