QRP Labs 5W CW transciever kit #5

Now unlike Mick, who can work wonders with Serif Page Plus I struggle when it comes to playing with graphic packages. I use them so infrequently that I spend more time cursing and accidentally deleting what I’ve just done than producing anything worthy. I’m sure if I spent the time to learn one properly I would get some good results but then I wouldn’t need it. It’s like being confronted with the child who has homework where they have to produce a PowerPoint presentation and they promptly produce something that someone giving a TED lecture would be proud of. I’m from the era of acetate OHP slides. I like them, they work!

All that aside my designing was done in MS Word. I built a table of cells, moved things around where I needed them, added my little icons and lettering then hid all the cell outlines. To be honest I’m really pleased with the few hours work it took to create. The plan for me is to revisit the idea of inkjet water slide decals like I used on my 1 Watter to great success. Mick does a very neat trick of printing his decals on paper using a monochrome laser printer then securing them behind an acetate protective layer with mechanical fixings which works really well. If you have a look at the readers wives page at QRP labs gallery and scroll down and look for QCX-40 by Mick M0GWD you’ll see the quality of his work. Unfortunately, not having a laser printer (which is something I really need to sort) nor a Prusa i3 Mk 3, I need to work with what I’ve got so my plan is to apply decals to the paint layer once sprayed and then lacquer protect them to give a finished article.

That’s my layout, which I intend to print as a single piece this time. The snag I found with the 1 Watter was that lots of little decals got a bit fiddly. My concern here is one large one may well rip when moved around to get it into position plus I need to cut holes to accommodate the screws and control shafts from the pots, buttons and rotary encoder.

That’s version 6 of my decal as a paper print for sizing etc. It’s evolved again since last night and I’m sure it will again before it gets placed on the enclosure. This morning I trotted off to Halfords to get some more primer and a very nice satin finish lacquer. I’ve never been a fan of high gloss finishes, so we’ll give this rattle can a go.

Unfortunately, the great British weather has put a hold on things. My spray bay is a sheltered corner of my drive and today it’s damp and windy. Hardly the conditions for spraying paint and the likes. So until there’s a break in the weather which isn’t looking likely this week, everything’s on hold.

To be continued . . .