Wake Up and Smell the QRP Coffee

The OHR WM-2 Rocks!

It’s a great morning when you wake up and test a new piece of gear with coffee.

I had one bad solder joint on the board. The instructions warn you to use a very fine tip, and I thought mine was thin enough, but in retrospect, I should have used the thinnest pencil tip. My Haako soldering station, with heat readout was set to 750, which was right – delivered enough but not too much heat.

Once the calibration was done (last night and double checked this morning) all that was left was to test it on the air. This would test my transformer builds with toroid windings, and also the 1N34 detector diodes – which had two black stripes and we’re a little tough to tell which end the band was on.

Using a NorCal40A with a known 2 watts and my SteppIR UrbanBeam, I read the frequency off the code based frequency readout on the rig and then used the fine tune control on the SteppIR controller, and the WM-2 tracked what it was supposed to be perfectly.

I learned something with this tuning method – SteppIR antennas on some bands do need the fine tuning – the SWR curve on the UrbanBeam in 40M is pretty “V shaped” or narrow banded, and that this knowledge is very important for also using high power with the KWS-1.

In fact it reminds me of the days using high power on 160, where you really want the antenna tuned at the antenna, not in the shack, and it really makes me happy to have the UrbanBeam up 50 feet as I do. In fact, I really don’t want to use a tuner in the shack again – unless it’s a built in auto tuner and where the antenna is “close enough” and you just use that tuner for very fine tuning.

Speaking of the AB-577, a fellow from my nightly 75M net has extra tube sections, so YAHOO! I’ll be able to get the UrbanBeam up 65 feet.

Hot fun in the Summertime!

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