QRP Labs 5W CW transciever kit #7

OK I’ll be the first to admit that I’m the worlds worst at finishing projects. The number of “almost completed” things I posses is ridiculous and the whole thing is starting to bite me in the arse a bit. I’m rapidly discovering that projects not in enclosures don’t tend to travel well and as I’m still living out of boxes and rapidly creating more cubic containers of possessions I thought it only right to at least finish this one off properly before my tools and workshop are consigned to storage!

I’m keen to use this rig in WSPR mode and for that I purchased the GPS unit offered by QRP Labs. Assembly of that was very straight forward.

The next trick was to provide my receiver with a suitable enclosure. Having learnt the hard way with my WSPR beacon, I wanted this to be slightly more durable as the number of times I snapped the wires between the main unit and the receiver puck were getting to be ridiculous. One of my pet hates is trying to solder multicore cable to plugs so this time I spent a whole £1-99 and purchased a pre-assembled cable which was screened along its entire length, with very nice moulded plugs on each and just lopped one off to solder it to the receiver board. One thing QRP labs advise is not to use a metal enclosure for the receiver so the hard part was trying to find a plastic one which had a degree of transparency to it so the status LED’s were still visible. I’ve used Hammond enclosures before but they were daft money so I plumped for a cheap and cheerful one from eBay, correct dimensions etc etc, lovely stuff.

Until the bloody thing arrived and the internal dimensions were 2mm too small to accommodate the PCB without a liberal application of my Dremel. Anything for an easy life please!!

At the risk of going all style over substance it seemed rude not to give my suitably hacked about enclosure a bit of corporate colouring to match my transceiver. Also it was an excuse to patch the chip on that which had been nagging me since the day  I finished it. Now time is of the essence here as the Met Office, local radio, Accuweather and the old man down the road are warning of a cold snap which the makers of “The Day After Tomorrow” would be proud of! Not the sort of weather to attempt any type of outdoor work let alone spray painting. So with the end of the world looming I made haste and hit my little plastic box with some Ford Vista Phoenix Orange and used the veritable hot house which is my dining room this afternoon as a slow bake oven.

The fact my cat is developing a tan laying on the table next to it is an indication of the warmth in there! It’s glorious.

So with everything all nicely painted it was a simple case of putting everything back together.

And there we go, what a lovely couple they make!

So as we’ve all been sent home from school today on the off chance there may be a snowflake sighted somewhere, it’d be rude not to see what this thing can do. What else am I going to do? Scrape the snow off the car?


And on that note, until next time!