“I Built This!”

Steve’s Secret Ham Radio Laboratory



WA3RNC 40M Transceiver

You can get yours here:  http://www.wa3rnc.com/shop/

IMG_0825 2

Builds in just a few hours, not a whole weekend – mine took just over three hours; Tunes approximately 7.017 to 7.047 MHz; Digital Dial reads directly in kilohertz above 7 MHz; 10-turn pot makes tuning easy; Output is adjustable from 0 to 5 watts; Receiver sensitivity 0.15 microvolts (MDS), image rejection -68dB; Sharp IF crystal filter (350 Hz @-6dB) for single signal reception; Front panel LED receive signal indicator for judging signal strength

My first contact – John W5LNI in AR – we were 599 both ways on 7.026 on 6 Mar 2020.

Here is John’s Inaugural QSL Card!

QSL Card WA3RNC 40 Inaugural Front N5LNI

dit dit     dit dit     dit dit     dit dit     dit dit     dit dit      dit dit     dit dit     dit dit      dit dit     dit dit     dit dit      dit dit     dit dit     dit dit


The 4SQRP Hilltopper 20

You can get yours here!http://www.4sqrp.com/hilltopper20.php

                Here it is making the first QSOs!

Dave Benson K1SWL, founder of the renown Small Wonder Labs, has come up with another winning design. Four State QRP Group is honored to have been selected to kit the new transceiver. The Hilltopper is a high-performance CW transceiver for the 20M meter band. It is the perfect solution to your portable operation needs – small, lightweight, wide 20-meter frequency coverage and low current drain, extending the life of your portable power source. The receiver is adapted from K1SWL’s SW+ Series with minor modifications. The front-end circuitry was revised to replace the now-vanished 10.7 MHz IF transformers. The receiver output is suitable for headphone use.

The transmitter strip is a proven design using three BS170 transistors for the PA. The frequency source for both transmitting and receiving is a DDS VFO employing a Si5351 PLL module. Control for the rig is provided by an Atmel ATmega328P. This runs both the frequency control and the full-featured CW keyer.

A custom silk-screened PCB enclosure is included with the kit. No drilling or cutting required!

There are two pre-installed SMT ICs on the board, but the remainder are ALL THROUGH HOLE parts, and all jacks and connectors are board mounted, the combination making this kit very easy to assemble with no external wiring needed.

Dave is “special” – for the first time ever, my work, “didn’t work”! (It wouldn’t transmit).  Everything else was great.  After a few days of frustrated trouble shooting, I sent it off to him – and he had it figured out and working in minutes!  (The IC socket had one of the pins folded under, and was not making the circuit on the board).  He is my hero!

Specifications and Design Features

Transceiver: Full-function CW
VFO: Si5351 PLL
Frequency Range: 14.000 – 14.350
Frequency Readout: Audio Morse
Tuning: 100 hz/20 hz steps
Reverse Voltage Protection: Series diode protection
Single Bander: 20M only.
Size: The board is 4.35 x 3.95 x 1.07 and weighs 8 oz
Power Supply: 12 volt battery or bench supply.
Current requrements Receive: Approximately 64 ma, Transmit: <700 ma.
Keying: On-the-fly CW speed adjustment control

Type: Single-conversion superhet, 5.185MHz IF
Sensitivity: Minimum Discernible Signal (MDS) -118 dBm.
Mixer: SA612AD 8-pin SOIC-8 IC
Current Requirement: 64 ma.
Audio: Stereo Headphones

Power Output: ~5 Watts
Final Amp: 3x BS170
Spectral Purity: All harmonics and spurs are 50dB or more below the carrier.
Current Requirement: <700 ma

And of course, here is the first QSO with this excellent rig!

QSL Card Hilltopper 20 Inaugural Front WN2T

I will be making “mods” & uploading new firmware to the controller in a few days….including a two-line digital display!  Watch for more!


dit dit     dit dit     dit dit     dit dit     dit dit     dit dit      dit dit     dit dit     dit dit      dit dit     dit dit     dit dit      dit dit     dit dit     dit dit


Mini Black Widow Iambic Paddle – Kit from ScQRPionKits at AzScQRPions

This paddle is of all brass construction with a 3 inch x 3 inch base. It uses computer controlled machined parts for excellent fit and accuracy. The paddle has spring return force. The paddle arms ride on precision ball bearings for an extremely smooth feel. The contacts are Silver Plated for low resistance.  Almost everything is adjustable including bearing tension, contact spacing, and return force. Set screws lock everything down once you set the paddle the way you like it.  Soft plastic feet keep the 1 lb 7 oz paddle from sliding around your table.  This was raw brass that was sanded and polished to a satin finish.  The Serial Number is #1093 – no longer in production, it was purchased back in 2011, and cost $57 with shipping.  Very smooth and small!  Nice!!  Finally finished it this past week by finding a correct return spring (had most of it finished about a year ago, the furnished spring was half of what it should have been – it’s been sitting on the bookcase waiting it’s turn).  Bringing it to the NAQCC-FL Chapter Parkpedition this Friday!  Show and tell!  Will need to disassemble and “re-polish it”, then coat with satin lacquer, it is already showing some oxidation…but what a beauty of machined metal!

dit dit     dit dit     dit dit     dit dit     dit dit     dit dit      dit dit     dit dit     dit dit      dit dit     dit dit     dit dit      dit dit     dit dit     dit dit


The 4SQRP “Bayou Jumper” 40M QRP CW Transceiver

Kitted and Offered For Sale By The Four State QRP Group   

“Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear” and build the Bayou Jumper. The name “Bayou Jumper” is a play on “Ocean Hopper”, a famous regenerative receiver of a bygone era. It retains that great retro look but with modernized circuitry. With it’s distinctive panel and wood box enclosure it pays homage to the famous spy radios of WWII.   It is designed for the CW segment of the 40 meters.

Specifications and Design Features

N5IB: Original prototype development, receiver development, PCB and panel layouts, part sourcing.
NMØS: Transmitter design, PCB, panel, parts sourcing, assembly manual.
RX/TX Design: Separate receiver and transmitter, built in RIT…….!
T/R Switching: Hand switched with a chicken head knob, just as in the old days.
Single Bander: 40M as supplied.
Toroids: Only one toroid to wind in the receiver, and none in the transmitter. Only ONE for the whole rig!
NO SMT: All parts are through hole, there are NO surface mount devices in the kit.
Current Requirements: Receiver 20 ma, Transmitter 750 ma

Tuning and Regeneration: Grounded front panel, and insulated shafts on the controls, so hand effect detuning is minimized.
Sensitivity: -120 dB (approx S1). Well below the typical rural band noise level of approx. -100dB (approx. S4).
Tuning Range: Tuning range approximately 120 to 150 kHz.
One Knob tuning: No bandset/bandspread needed.
Varactor Tuning: Varactor tuning employing readily available Schottky diodes as varactor diodes.
RF Gain: Optional RF attenuator control, useful when employing full-scale antennas.
Audio: Plenty of headphone audio, and will drive a small speaker

NS-40: Integrated into the PCB is Dave’s famous NS-40 Class E transmitter.    More info here
Crystal Controlled: The rig has a socket for the old-style FT243 crystals, plus 7030 and 7122 kHz crystals and included crystal adapters.
If you have old 7MHz Novice crystals, you can use them with this rig!
Output Power: Solid 5 Watts.
No Toroids: No toroids to wind, all inductors are etched on the pc board.
Keying Options: Straight key built into the front panel, just like the original Paraset! Also includes a 1/8″ jack so you can use it with
your favorite mechanical key, or an electronic keyer with an interface, such as one of these.
Spotting: You can activate the crystal oscillator at low power to allow zero beating the receiver to the transmit frequency.
Final Amp: Cool running robust MOSFET.
Spectral Purity: All harmonics and spurious emissions are 50dB or more below the carrier.

And here is my first QSO with it!


Get yours here:  4SQRP Page

dit dit     dit dit     dit dit     dit dit     dit dit     dit dit      dit dit     dit dit     dit dit      dit dit     dit dit     dit dit      dit dit     dit dit     dit dit



This excellent random wire antenna tuner is the classic T-Match design which is known for wide matching range and smooth operation. Dave has added a nice wrinkle – the SWR indicater employs TWO leds, not the normally seen single red LED. A green one indicates output power with a red one indicating reflected power. The beauty of this arrangement is that the operator sees the output power peaking as the SWR goes down, just like a power meter with dual meters – very intuitive. This makes tuning easier and leaves no doubt that it’s tuned for maximum power output. For a high SWR the red LED is at full brightness and the green LED is off. At 2:1 both are at equal brilliance. At 1:1 the green is full on and the red is off. The small size is perfect for portable operations. Add this dandy little tuner to your portable ops go bag, or use it at home. It’s equally at home on a picnic table, in a tent or camper, as well as on the operating desk in your shack.
Specifications and Design Features
Wide tuning range: 80 meters thru 10 meters. Tested on EFHWs, 100′, and other random wire lengths.
Maximum Power Throughput: tested at 10 Watts.
Low loss large toroid
Twelve taps for small inductance step selection.
Low insertion loss when matched.
Enclosure Size: 3″x3″x2″.
Pittsburg Construction.

Get yours here:  4SQRP Page


dit dit     dit dit     dit dit     dit dit     dit dit     dit dit      dit dit     dit dit     dit dit      dit dit     dit dit     dit dit      dit dit     dit dit     dit dit


“THE PIG RIG” 5 Watt Single Frequency Transceiver
Full 5 Watts output (7030.7 KHz) using 13.6 VDC
Full QSK, one Sideband only, Single Conversion Design
Includes built in Keyer IC

PigRig #122 Click on the photo for web page at Kits and Parts dot Com

PigRig #122
Click on the photo for web page at Kits and Parts dot Com



PigRig #122 Inaugural QSO QSL Card - to N2ESE on July 25, 2013

The purpose of this new transceiver is to …
“Provide a high quality, inexpensive transceiver that encourages special groups of hams to communicate with minimal effort.”

This transceiver was designed for Radio Clubs and/or Special Events.
You turn the radio on…you listen…you do not tune…you do not switch anything…you do not search.
If you hear someone on “your special frequency”, there is a good chance it could be a member of your group.
The size of the PCB is only 2.5″ (63,5 mm) by 3.8″ (96,5 mm), and Yes…it does produce a full 4.99 watts RF out
and it is as sensitive as just about anything else that you may have in your radio shack.
Custom club/group frequencies are available for 40 meters.
The name of this radio shall henceforth be labeled “The Flying Pig Rig”.

Get yours here:  Pig Rig Page


dit dit     dit dit     dit dit     dit dit     dit dit     dit dit      dit dit     dit dit     dit dit      dit dit     dit dit     dit dit      dit dit     dit dit     dit dit

100_0425  HamCan (top)

                       “Ham in a Can” – 40M 350 mW CW Transceiver –  powered by a 9V Battery!



photo 2

4SQRP 20W Dummy Load/Wattmeter & SWR Meter



100_0432   “Sudden Storm” 40M CW Receiver   

100_0428  “Two Tinned Tunas” – 250 mW 40M CW Transmitter



“9:1 BALUN” for and End Fed Wire (EFW) Antenna


100_0418  100_0420  100_0421

                                   “EZ Keyer – Keyer in a Can” – 3 memories, Iambic A/B Non-Volatile Memory


Pixix II in a can (top)  Pixie II in a can (bottom)  Pixie II (inside)

                       “The Pixie II – Transceiver in a Can” – 350 mW 40M CW Transceiver powered by a 9V Battery


TiCK Keyer (top)  TiCK Keyer (inside)

“TiCK-4 Keyer in a Can II” – Memory with Iambic Keying, Non-Volatile Memory




       4SQRP “SS-40” Receiver, “NS-40” Transmitter,  

             Ez Keyer, “Magic Box”  & QRP-o-Meter 



My YouKits HB1B 4 Band CW QRP Transceiver  –  I earned my

“Miles Per Watt” Award with this little gem of a radio………sold it in Nov of 2014….too many QRP radios!!!


Yes!  Play the video and listen to what the WB4OMM HB1B QRP Signal sounds like in KP4 (PR)!


4SQRP 40M CW QRP Radio….”CYCLONE 40″


This innovative and simple transceiver has less than 100 components and even better performance. The receiver is a superhet design with very good sensitivity and selectivity; the VFO tunes the entire 125 kHZ CW segment of the 40M Band at a comfortable tuning rate; the transmitter’s output is 4W; and a frequency readout is included so you know where you are at all times! What a gem of a radio! First QSO was with KI0F in Minnesota, 1,221 miles away, and he gave me 579! I’ll be bringing this one around for show and tell! This kit is available from The 4SQRP group. On to my next adventure!

Here’s Roger’s Inaugural QSL Card

Inaugural Cyclone QSO Front


QRPp Radio….”1Watter”QRPp

Provided by Diz W8DIZ at Kits and Parts

Build this 20 Meter QRPp Transceiver for $44
Designed for 1 Watt output on 20 Meters using 12 VDC
VXO Frequency Range is approximately 14,056 to 14,061 kHz, Full QSK, Dual Conversion Design.  Includes built in keyer IC.



The Inaugural QSO of 1Watter 20M #180 with KG9HV in Indiana on Nov 24, 2015 – 850 miles on 1W out and he gave me a 559!  John gets an inaugural “special” QSL card!

Inaugural 1Watter #180 QSO Front

The purpose of this transceiver is to provide a high quality
inexpensive transceiver for achieving DXCC and WAS via QRPp

This transceiver was designed for home and portable operation.  The name of this radio is “The One Watter” or “1Watter”.  The Xcvr has low noise and is very sensitive and selective.  Minimum Discernible Signal or MDS is -137dBm (Independently Verified).  The VXO covers both sides of the standard 20 meter QRP calling frequency. The PCB size is only 2.5″ (63,5 mm) by 3.8″ (96,5 mm).


A close-up of 1Watter 20M Serial # 180 – what a nice QRPp radio!

Chuck Adams, K7QO suggested the new 20 meter kit and helped test it to remove all the bugs and bad smoke. He has some great pictures on his website at http://www.k7qo.net/onewatter.html and a 10 part YouTube video series 1Watter Transceiver Build, Phase 1 by K7QO

W8DIZ’s personal operating experiences including QRPp WAS, QRPp DXCC and others. Diz’s Pictures and data is at http://1watters.com .  This innovative and simple transceiver has less than 100 components.



 Here it is in it’s case……



And here we are working new states for a QRPp W.A.S. today, January 6, 2016….worked TN and CT  (559 RST for both!).


Current QRPp State Count:  42     Current DX Count:  10

dit dit     dit dit     dit dit     dit dit     dit dit     dit dit      dit dit     dit dit     dit dit      dit dit     dit dit     dit dit      dit dit     dit dit     dit dit

73!!     More to come!!     Visit often!!!

10 thoughts on ““I Built This!”

  1. Hi Folks,
    I finally got around to starting my Cyclone 40, #175, and finished it yesterday (9/26/15). I’m still in the alignment phase. The manual says to tune in the “second” birdie while withdrawing the PTO screw and that it should have the PTO at about 3930. So I used the first birdie down from the starting point at about 4000. Confusing resultst. So I listened to the PTO frequency on my TS-430S and the first birdie is at about 3973 and sounds weak in the Cyclone phones. Then there is one at 3960 and is strong in the Cyclone phones. And another at 3949, weak in the Cyclone phones, And finally, I guess, one at 3933 which is strong in the Cyclone phones. Does anyone else hear multiple birdies? I will try the alignment again today with the Cyclone tuned to the 3933 birdie because I guess that is the tuning position that is supposed to be used.

    I also have a continuous drift of the PTO and the entire assembly is jiggly, and hence the frequency of the PTO is jiggly. Too jiggly to be acceptable. This entire mechanism seems too far less than robust to work out sensibly for PTO tuning. What are other folks experiences? Has anyone tried packing the threads with vaseline?

    TU ES 72,
    Garry WA1GWH
    near Syracuse, NY

    • Hi Garry,
      I too was a bit befuddled with the “second birdie” but ultimately found it (no, it was not all that strong). Once found it aligned nicely. Make sure the PTO screw is all the way in first (flush with the end of the plastic tube) and “move” the wire coil until you get the correct freq readout for 4.000. Then slowly back the screw out until you get the first birdie (actually the second, as the 4.000 birdie is the first!). My screw was a bit loose too, so I scraped the screw threads with candle wax (pretty much filled them) and then used a small piece of aluminum foil over it. Then slowly and carefully screw it in. It is much smoother and more stable. I finished mine sometime back (My ser# is 039). Actually works pretty good!
      Good Luck!!!!
      73, Steve WB4OMM

      • Thanks, Steve! Candle wax — good idea! I wonder if brass screws from different manufacturers might have slightly different widths and fit the threaded form better. Did your PTO “sound” jiggly when you were tuning a signal before adding the wax and foil?

        I find numerous birdies. The first one “back” from 4.000 is way too close to 4.000. It is not in the middle of the tuning range at all. I listened to the PTO signal on my TS-430S to find 3930, the approximate middle of the range.

        I find 9 birdies while backing away from 4.000. In the Cyclone’s phones they alternate strong, weak, strong, weak all the way back. I also have a problem with the RX/TX offset. The TX is supposed to “count” higher than the RX with the onboard counter. But it counts lower. So I’m stuck on that step because the manual has no remedy for that situation. Perhaps there is an out-of-spec component.

        But, I have been in correspondence with the rig’s designer, Dave Cripe, so hopefully I will get things ironed out.


  2. Hi Garry,
    Yeah, pick out the strongest birdie – helps to have a commercial rig tuned the the freq you want and transmit (low power into a dummy load!) to locate it. Also, are you on the Yahoo!Group for the Cyclone? Lotsa tips and fixes in it. If you are not, go to the 4SQRP site and get the info. I also had one heck of a time with the offset, had to mod the radio twice before I got it right. It is a tedious process but only has to be done once!
    Steve WB4OMM

  3. Steve,
    Been a while since I finished up my Cyclone 40. Did yours chirp and drift on transmit? Did you put in the mod for this which involves removing the silver mica from the VFO and replacing it with a ceramic disc plus polystyrene glued to the top of U1? Did you have to replace your VFO FET (2N7000). Some that were sent out were bad.

    What do you think of the 1Watter?
    Garry WA1GWH

    • Hiya Garry,
      I did the one mod to get the offset right (adding a gimmick capacitor) – otherwise, no mods or changes for the stock kit. It seems to work fine, no chirp, stable, lotsa band for the radio. Made a few Qs with it, just don’t like the tuning so much, kinda sloppy. Now the 1 Watter….wow! What a radio for $50! Add a filter (Hi-Per-Mite from 4SQRP) and it’s gangbusters! So far, I have 38 states on the thing. Mine is also stock, tunes from 14.051 to 14.060. I have it set for 900mW so it’s a QRPp radio. Easy build, lotsa fun.
      Steve WB4OMM

      • TU, Steve! How’s the sound of the 1Watter? I have an SW-40+ and the receiver has quite a harsh sound no matter what kind of phones I use on it. It is fatiguing to listen to. Lots of hiss also. I use a HP and a LP RC in series between rig and phones to deal with low frequency hiss and high frequency hiss. The cutoffs of both are calculated to about 750 Hz, but in practice I don’t know where they are. None of the write-ups on RC filters mentions the effect of Z match. There must be some.

        There are two things I did to my Cyclone and the tuning is quite good now, smooth and almost without warble. First I bent the U shaped wires supporting the VFO coil so the coil axis is offset from the T nut axis by maybe 1/8 inch. When the screw is guided back into it there is some “pre-load” between the two parts because of this. Also, the instructions should have had us lap the screw and T nut threads a bit to smooth out the feel between them. They have small scale roughness. I dealt with this by wrapping a turn of plumber’s teflon tape on the brass screw. After a bit of use it becomes compressed and worn so I put on another turn (too much causes binding). Then it is quit nice for a while. Depending on how much tuning you do, the tape will eventually have to be replaced. But I’m a stickler on tuning feel and this patch is quite good!


  4. Pingback: The Bayou Jumper Transceiver – Spy Radio | Amateur Radio Station WB4OMM
  5. Pingback: A New “Addition to the Family”! | Amateur Radio Station WB4OMM
  6. Pingback: AH Yes! A New QRP Radio! | Amateur Radio Station WB4OMM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s