QRP Labs 5W CW transceiver kit – FPARC 2018 Club Construction Project #1

Last year I spent a lot of time looking rather than doing as I’m slightly preoccupied at the moment with other stuff which can technically termed as “shite”. Look it up, it’s a genuine term to describe life!

Whilst looking rather than doing, I stumbled across an advert for good old QRP Labs 5W CW transceiver kit and thought how it’d be really neat to build one when I got my life back on track. The kit is an embodiment of a lot of smaller projects I’ve played around with all rolled into one.

You know I’m a fan of their projects as one of my very first builds was their WSPR receiver which I still cherish to this day, even though it’s buried in a box in a storage unit at the minute. Being sensible/slightly distracted I shelved the idea of buying one until the good old boys from FPARC checked in to see if I was still alive and announced that the club 2018 construction project was going to be the 40m version of this. In true spirit I was inspired and promptly clicked “Add To Cart” and joined the lengthy queue awaiting delivery. That’s the problem with QRP Labs products, they’re so damn good they sell like hot cakes. Over the festive month my box from Japan landed and I was rewarded with kit number 2136! This was duly consigned to the pile of “things to look at sometime if I ever got the chance during the next 365 days”.

Now 2018 seems to be following in the fashion of 2017 where my luck is concerned and on Monday I had a visit from a friend from Australia. Unfortunately not a hot blonde Aussie Sheila in a Wicked Weasel bikini bursting forth from the swell carrying a 6 pack of Fosters like Ursula Andress in Dr. No, rather that slightly less popular chap H3N2. So much for the 8 quid I spent getting my arm stuck with a needle loaded with flu vaccine!

After coughing, spluttering and sleeping for 3 days I eventually dragged myself out of bed with the idea that being vertical and ill rather than horizontal and ill would be a better idea. Admittedly I currently look like Dracula on a bad day and am sporting a beard that Ant Middleton and his ex SF cohorts would be proud of but hey, who’s going to be looking at me?

Now I had options here. Watch countless box sets on telly, read or do something more practical, so I cracked open my Japan Post Parcel to see what was inside. Hey, it’s 2018 and this is a 2018 Construction Project!

You know, I started to get excited!! That’s therapy if ever there is one for flu. Now knowing that setting off on a build stood in a freezing cold garage wouldn’t do my health any good I decided to relocate my kit to the comfort of the warmth and the dining room table.

My house, my rules. It’s a brave new world out there! I must admit I felt slightly rusty when it came to sorting my act out when building things. It could have been a combination of all the Benylin and the flu or just I’m out of shape. After a while my Mojo was back where it needed to be and we had things under way.

After sorting and checking my kit contents it was time to put solder to iron and get building. As usual the manual is spot on in walking you through the build and I was feeling good.

The first few steps involve installing the various IC packages followed by capacitors. A lot of capacitors!

And that’s where we’re at before the shakes, shivers and headache started to rear its ugly head again. At least it’s a start and certainly more entertaining than the rubbish on Freeview!

To be continued . . .