QRP Labs
CW Transmitter: first QSO PDF Print E-mail
Written by Hans Summers   
Monday, 20 April 2009 18:56

The picture shows radio G0UPL at the time of my first ever amateur radio QSO in March 2002!. At that time the Polyphase Tayloe-detector Receiver project was a mess of boards and wires. The frequency counter can be seen behind the receiver sitting on top of the ex-computer power supply. The ATU and power/SWR meter fed a few feet of wire hung in the attic. The morse key, which belonged to my Father, is screwed to a wooden block which permits one handed operation (you don't have to hold the key down with the other hand).

At that time (and most times since) I used a very simple earch connection consisting of a piece of wire connected to the central heating system, via a car-battery-recharging crocodile clip on the radiator (see right). It works fine, I have had no problems at all using this setup.

It was incredible to have my first ever QSO using this entirely homemade station. Somewhat embarassingly I had mislabelled the forward/reverse power on the ATU, thereby tuning the antenna for worse possible SWR and dissipating almost all my transmitted power in the ATU really in "reverse power" mode. This explains the 559 report from Larry G4GZG, at the not very DX distance of 12 miles. Once that labelling problem was corrected, many nice QSO's followed with QRP stations around western and Northern Europe.

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