What Kit to Build, Part One


This is the first of several installments. Several guys have asked me to
post this, having heard my talk at Hamcom about kits. There are a lot of
newbies on the list, and that is great. Love to get new blood into the
group. You are a breath of fresh air and we welcome your contributions.
Some of you are interested in building kits and would like some advice on
what to build. Ok, here it comes, but do remember that it is my opinion,
not law or fact, just one man's opinion.

If you have never built anything before, or it has been a long time, I
suggest that you start with the VE3DNL marker generator kit from the Ft.
Smith QRP Group. Jay Bromley, W5JAY is the contact person, and you can
contact him by email at [email protected] or you can order the kit by sending
$12 ($10 for the kit, $2 S&H plus a self addressed mailing label) to:

Jay Bromley
9505 Bryn Mawr Cir.
Fort Smith, AR 72903

What does your $10 kit do? Well we like to call it a poor man's signal
generator. It puts a signal out on every 5, 10, 20 and 40 kHz depending on
the output that you select. You can use it to peak up receiver's, set band
edges, calibrate dials, find out where you are on the band, etc. etc. etc.
It is just a neat piece of test gear that you will use over and over again.
The best part is that it is simple, and it works. There is nothing more
frustrating than building a project and not being able to get it to work,
conversely, there is no greater pleasure (well maybe one that I can think
of) than building something and having it work. There are only about 8
parts in this kit, and it is a useful tool when you get done.

Why do I like this kit for the first time builder? All the parts are there,
you don't have to worry about finding some esoteric part, it is built on a
circuit board (supplied), and the instructions are easy to follow (written
by Chuck Adams, K7QO nee K5FO). It is a one evening project and is easy to
troubleshoot. The cost is low, and you don't have to hock the house to buy
it. All you need for tools are: 25 watt soldering iron, diagonal cutters,
electrical solder, and patience.

My advice for project number 1, build the Ft. Smith QRP Club VE3DNL Marker
Generator. I just talked to Jay last night, and he is going to continue to
supply this kit. The profits generated from it by the way, go towards
putting on the Ft. Smith QRP Forum which is held in the Spring. Tomorrow,
project #2
72, Doug, KI6DS