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Updated   29 - AUG - 2013

QRP Portable - Paddle-board

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New portable vertical antenna

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Heath HW8
Digital Display by Steve Weber - KD1JV
Radio Shack 21-543 DSP amplified speaker
Tick Keyer / TouchKeyer and Paddle
N7VE SWR Indicator


 HW-8 Mods

Hendricks PFR3
Very cool!  Designed by Steve Weber - KD1JV and kitted and sold by Doug Hendricks - just plug in a key, headphones, and an antenna and you are on the air.  Covers the 3 best CW QRP bands: 40, 30, and 20 meters.

Mine has a set of rechargeable batteries inside that seem to last a long time.  Has a built-in manual tuner with a bridge type SWR indicator, built-in 2 memory keyer, DDS VFO for rock steady freq control.

Some PFR3 Mods

Click here for QRPKITS.COM
Click here for
Doug Hendricks Video
Click here for
N7XJ Why PFR3 Video
Click here for Join Yahoo PFR3Grp

 Do the Math - QRP Works!  Click here to see why

 

 

Field Day 2006
Heath HW-8 - Butternut Vertical - Radio Shack DSP

104 QSO's  -  33 States

In March of 2005 I decided to try QRP operation with the acquisition of a Heath HW-8 transceiver.  This rig is true QRP with about 2 watts out on 80 and 40 meters and about 1 watt out on 20 and 15 meters.  When you tell me you're running a K-3 at 5 watts I'm thinking you are QRO!!  (But with that K2 or K3 I know that you can probably hear me!)  The HW8 receiver is sensitive but, being a direct conversion type, each signal appears twice as I tune across the band (only one side of the signal is the 'proper' side to use).

My plan originally was to have a nice portable (not a backpacking) station for operation from remote locations and to take with me on business trips.  See the picture at right with the HW-8, battery, and the Butternut antenna in the background.  However, after acquiring my PFR3 from Hendricks radio I now have a great portable QRP rig that can easily travel thru airports and in the trunk of my motorcycle.  It would also fit in a back-pack very easily and since the keyer, ant tuner, batteries are all built-in there are not very many extra accessories to haul along.

This is probably an old story here: I am amazed at the contacts that I have been able to make with QRP.  I routinely work stations across the US and have now worked some good DX to Europe as well as Alaska with 1.5 watt out on 20m.  New Zealand with 1.5w on 20m.  Remember, we're at the bottom of the solar cycle).  I am quickly learning where, when, and how to operate.  I also realize that making contacts to Alaska with 1 watt on a Butternut vertical is a testimony to the effectiveness of the Butternut, good propagation, and a patient operator with a good receiver and antenna on the other end.

I have been on the other end of many QRP contacts so I appreciate the work that sometimes goes on at the receiving end.  Thanks to all those who make the effort to copy our peanut-whistle signals.

At this point in time, HW8 does not have Receiver Incremental Tuning so sometimes I have to move the transmit frequency a little to tune you in.  Hope you can use your RIT to keep us from leap-frogging up or down the band.  I installed the TiCK-1 keyer into the HW-8 and that works very nicely.  I also have added a Digital Display (See  HW-8 Mods ) Soon I will make the modification to the HW-8 that will add RIT.  I am now (January 2007) using a radio Shack DSP behind the HW-8.  This provides an audio amplifier, sharp digital audio filtering, and a speaker.  I have also added a TouchKeyer and Paddle.

October 2009 : The PFR3 'Yellow Radio' that I bought at Daytom 2008 is on the air.  Not because I built it - but because I realized that I was not going to get to it for a while and I commissioned Dale Putnam-WC7S, to build the radio for me.  I am still trying to recover from a lightning strike on the tower and have plenty of other things to do.  Dale did a masterful job of building and adjusting the rig.  I would recommend his services if you are so inclined.  I call this 'the poor hams Elecraft KX-1'.  Plug in a headset or ear buds, connect a paddle, and hook-up an antenna and you are on-the-air with a near-5 watt QRP signal.  The receiver has very good selectivity, the DDS VFO is rock-solid, the CW keying and full QSK is great, and battery life with internal NiMH AA cells seems very good.  There is a PFR3 users group on Yahoo where you can meet other PFR3 users and share ideas and experiences.  Early success stories :  2nd QSO was with Dan-F6IWD in France on 40m with my  Butternut Vertical.  Saturday 01-Nov-2009 worked Mac-SP2XF on a very quiet 20 meter band.  This rig and its associated equipment (ear-buds, paddle, and antenna) won't take up much room in the trunk of our motorcycle!  It will be fun with a wire thrown up into a tall tree operating at a picnic table in a campground.  I think that another Touch Key paddle is in the works.


NEW!  04-03-05  - Anchorage Alaska - WL7CDC - Doug - 20m with 1 watt out - 3000 miles
NEW!  04-16-05
  - Just worked Gary - CU2JT in the Azores on 40 meter CW.  3000+ miles on 2 watts This is FUN!
NEW!  05-07-05  - DL5AWI - Gerhard in
GROSSENLUPNITZ GERMANY - 40meters - 4,000+ miles 2 watts
NEW!  05-07-05  - EA8FC - Tony - Canary Islands, Spain - 4,000 miles with 2 watts
NEW!  06-26-05  - Digital Dial added to HW-8   Go to  HW-8 Mods
NEW!  07-13-05  - F3NB - Andy - France - 4,000 miles with 2 watts (4th QSO - 1st QRP)
NEW!  06-29-06  - Field Day 2006 - 104 QSO's - 33 states worked in a part-time effort .
NEW!  01-14-07  - Built and installed my TouchKeyer and Paddle.  Go to 
 HW-8 Mods
NEW!  0
1-14-07  - North American QSO Party - 122 QSO's - 50 multipliers - in 9 hours all while watching football games. 
NEW!  01-16-07  - CT3KN - Ricardo in Madierra Islands answers CQ on 7.040  (3300 miles)
NEW!  02-18-07  - Added N7VE SWR Indicator - Go to 
 HW-8 Mods
NEW!  08-01-09  - Been a while...  Worked John-ZL1ALZ with HW8 @ 1.5w and 2 el Quad  - 8278 miles (5519 miles per watt!)
NEW!  10-15-09  - My PFR3 'Yellow Radio' is up-and-running - 2nd QSO was with Dan-F6IWD in France on 40 meters with a Butternut vertical !
NEW!  11-01-09  - Worked Mac-SP2XF on a very quiet 20 meter band with the PFR3 - on batteries - 4 watts
NEW!  02-21-10  - PFR3 trip to Florida  <CLICK HERE>

NEW!  10-28-10  - QRP from Brown County State Park  <CLICK HERE>
NEW!  01-21-11  - G3MJX - Tony in England answers CQ on 14.060  1.5 watts from HW-8  (3896 miles - 2597 miles/watt! )
NEW!  08-13-12  - PFR3 trip to Gatlinburg, TN  <CLICK HERE>


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