With a good turnout from the club members, Phil G3MGQ got the ball rolling at 7.30pm for what turned out to be an enjoyable evening at the Taplin Centre.
Mike Wade (M0EDU) brought along a MKARS80 kit, not as an entry to the competition but showing a QRP kit that he just received which, complete with case & all parts, would be a suitable radio project for the Intermediate Licence exam or a 80m transceiver for portable operation.
Next up, Gordon (M3YXH) introduced a home brew Morse key & practice oscillator made by John Heys, G3BDQ , that John has donated to the Club to encourage new licensees to get going on CW. Gordon also showed his home brew audio pre-amplifier, neatly fitted into the traditional small sweet tin.
A professional-looking transceiver kit was presented next by Rob (M0LYD), and was completed to a high standard. The kit in question was an ILER-40 for 40m for which Rob detailed the specs and construction, noting that the transceiver including modifying the PA heatsink to fit the case which was not supplied with the kit. Amongst other things mentioned was that the rig can be used with a Direct Digital Syntheser, which can be bought as an optional extra. is also capable of acting as a useful signal generator and had low power consumption.
Jakey (G3JKY) followed Rob with what he referred to as a nostalgic radio accessory which he used while in Beckenham, London many years ago. The home brew AMU was finished to a good standard and has certainly stood the test of time judging by its condition. The rear of the 19 inch rack-mounted panel sported large ceramic coil inductors and a “Mickey Match” for matching to the antenna. The “Mickey Match” comprised a thin wire threaded inside the braid of a coaxial cable to form a directional coupler which was switched to monitoring the forward & reverse power. This AMU had been used to end-feed a W8JK antenna, using a pair of 66ft lines driven out of phase & spaced to lower the radiation pattern, which he had used on 20, 15 & 10 meters, and which he used as an inverted L with an additional loading coil for 40, 80 & Top Band.
Following on from Jakey was Richard’s (G0ILN) pair of home brew Morse keys, ingeniously built entirely from scrap, one straight key and a very interesting tiny iambic paddle constructed on an inverted mains plug as a base. The mains plug iambic key had been neatly fitted with two cut-down nail files, which came with plastic ends making excellent paddles. His second exhibit was a small 700Hz speaker resonator for his CW operations. Using his FT-817, he demonstrated both his keys using the speaker resonator which, tuned to his preferred CW tone, doubles the audio volume by in-phase resonance. Small and perfectly formed and no doubt an asset to Richards shack.
The final entry at the construction evening was presented by Rodney who gave a brief talk about a circuit board designed and constructed by himself enabling diagnostic monitoring of communications on an IEEE488 data bus used for controlling test equipment from early desktop computers. This enabled up to 16 instruments to be monitored, showing whether faults originated in the instrument or its data source.
At the end Phil handed out paper for the members to vote on for the “top 3” entrants shortly after which the following scores were announced.
In joint third place were Jakey (G3JKY) with his home brew AMU and Richard (G1ILN) for his speaker resonator.
Second place, with 21 points, went to Richard for his two Morse keys.
Finally in a well deserved first place with 25 points was Vice Chairman Rob (M0LYD) with his excellent ILER-40 transceiver, winning the Hastings Electronics and Radio Clubs’ construction award against some fairly stiff competition from other club members.
Rob also brought the evening to a close by thanking everyone for taking part and wishing them a safe drive home. Thanks also go to Peter Firmlin (G0FUU) the clubs catering manager who as always does a grand job of running the kitchen and supplying the refreshments.
Here are a selection of pictures below of the evening..
Credit: Rob M0LYD and Phil G3MGQ for the photographs.