So, I mentioned before about building radio kits, and covering a multitude of bands. I have also suggested learning languages and code as a security measure. Most recently, I have decided to get a 3D printed key. Learning CW will be most beneficial, especially in a SHTF situation. I am not great at electronic mathematics, but from what I understand, 100W CW equals 1500W SSB, so 10W CW equals 150W SSB, and the important number is 5W CW equals ~75W SSB. This is based on a more narrow bandwidth and a much simpler signal, on or off, that can be heard rather easily over voice on SSB, which depends on noise and such.
As we discussed earlier on my Field day post, I ran 20W SSB and made ~30 contacts that day while competing with a lot of stations running a lot more power. 20W SSB would equal about 1.33 W CW. This is interesting.
So, the start of this story for a build. I ordered contacts, and with that, am receiving a a pre-paid $80 visa as a rebate. I talked to my wife, as she is getting the same rebate, and asked if we could spend that rebate for ourselves. She agreed. Thoughts start racing through my mind. I want to learn CW. BINGO! CW kit for low power transmission. I began looking around, and found the QRP labs QCX.
The biggest issue with the QCX is that there is not a wide variety of enclosures available, and to make this safe for outdoor use, it would need an enclosure. This is where I found a ham who 3D prints cases for this radio. Affordable as well, at $30 plus $5 shipping in the US. The QCX has a built in key, but you can also use one plugged in. This enclosure comes with a power pole connection, an on/off swith, and extended knobs to make them accessible along with extended buttons to make everything accessible. These are produced by Mike, and if interested, email him at email@example.com.
Ok, so know we have a transceiver, an enclosure and a key. We need a power source and an antenna, probably a tuner wouldn’t be a bad idea either… Let us look at an antenna and a tuner… together? QRPGuys 40m-10m UnUnTenna Plus. Tuner and antenna together. This Antenna/tuner comes in at $40. The QCX comes in at $49. I am clearly over what the rebate card will cover. Since this kit can be used with the included key, that was an optional purchase. Coolest part? The radio and the antenna tuner are both kits. The key and the enclosure supports ham operators creating there own products.
I will post more here when I get further into the development here, and have some pictures to post along with actual product in hand. Right now I have the key and have ordered the enclosure. I still need to order the antenna/tuner and the QCX kit. I just wanted to put this up while I was thinking about it. I also have to figure out my power source. I will get back to you on this.