The urge to melt solder

As a keen amateur radio operator, one of the aspects of the hobby that I like the most is being able to build and operate transmitters and other pieces of radio gear. And with Christmas fast approaching, I am beginning to feel the urge to tackle another construction project.

What will it be? What do I need in the shack?

I was thinking about this recently and decided to review the year just past to see if there were any glaring deficiencies in my shack that I could have done better without. It didn’t take long to realise that, when it comes to QRP contesting, I don’t have a working rig for 80m. We have at least one contest that features this band but there are probably more.

This year I intended to compete in the VK QRP Club’s QRP Hours Contest with my homebrewed Pixie 11 but for some reason, when I fired up the rig, there was no RF output. Probably due to a dry solder joint – it is Manhatten construction style with blobs of solder all over the place.

So I think I could do with another 80m transceiver and the way I am leaning is towards a RockMite that puts out around 500mW. I already have one for the 20m band and it’s a great little piece of kit that fits beautifully into an Altoids tin.  Another thing in its favour is its price: $35 US delivered to Australia.

Watch this space for news.

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