Project Show n' Tell Night

Our "Project Show 'n Tell Night" this month -- the first of its kind for TLARC! -- was of such great great interest that I was intently listening and taking notes throughout the entire meeting. AND when coupled with it being a PIZZA MEETING, well ... giddyup!!  This is just one man's opinion, but this was the BEST meeting we've had since I came down here 18 months ago.

The idea was that once the business portion of the meeting was done, members were encouraged to show and talk about any topic or physical item they though might be of interest to others.  We had ___ guys present some real cool items during this informal Show n' Tell, ranging from inexpensive measurement gadgets, some real capable DC power solutions, and even a "hardened" portable boatanchor (i.e., a tube-type radio circa 1960s).

So on this page here we recap each mini-presentation with photos and links so you can learn more and maybe even get one for yourself!

    ... n2apb


More than 20 members in attendance this month! 

You can see the remnants of the pizza and icecream in the back/right side of the room there at the Chota Rec Center.

Project #1:  Component Tester, by David N1ESK

David started things off by showing a fantastic little Component Tester from Amazon.com that measures Resistors, Capacitors, Inductors and many types of Semiconductors.  A way-cool part of this one (besides being inexpensive @ ~ $15


Project #2:  Rockmite QRP Transceiver, by Jim K0RGI

Jim showed us this famous QRP 40-meter transceiver kit that he built like so many other QRPer a number of years ago.  The Rockmite-II Kit is still available as a kit for just $50, and can be ordered for with components for 80m, 40m, 30m or 20m .  This classic radio first appeared in QST Magazine in 2003 ...Just attach a simple paddle, a 12V battery and an wire antenna to get on the air with a big ONE WATT CW signal!


Project #3:  Portable Boatanchor Radio circa 1960s, by Anonymous

Our favorite in cognito member brought his vintage Collins KWM-2A transceiver for some cool discussion of hot tubes and portable operation during disasters and end of world scenarios.  This rig is famous for it being one of the first "transceivers" ... prior to this time in the mid-sixties, radio manufacturers only built separate transmitters and receivers.  Collins Radio had the prescient ideas that the VFO and other tuned circuits could be made to serve in tuning a single unit instead of two separate ones, thus lending itself to more compact and reliable communications.  Collins Radio was a functional and styling model for many other radio manufacturers back then, including Heathkit.


Project #4:  Various Gadgets, by Terry Marlar

Terry's not a ham, nor is he a member of our TLARC group, but he heard about the exciting Show n' Tell session we had planned and decided to bring along a few of his recent findings.  Terry is a technology gadgeteer and he knows cool stuff when he sees it .. and can ultimately tell us all about it because of his background as a salesman.

What Terry showed us this time were some very capable power sources that could serve us hams well on Field Day and other venues where good battery backup would be required.






This PowerPole Distribution Hub ...


The Juicebox 1K ,,, See the specs below the photo ...


See the specs here ...


Project #5 : Homebrew VHF Antenna for Over-the-Air Television Reception (Gary K4RQT)

Gary says "It's so easy, even a real slow turtle could do it!"  This is the Grey-Hoverman "G-H" design that he researched on the internet for optimization and reproducibility, and here are various other renditions of the design. Gary suggested this might be a fun club project that each member could do when attending a future Pizza meeting.  He's worked up a fixture with screws-in-a-board for builders to quickly-yet-accurately bend the wire.  "We bring the cut pieces of solid PVC supports and screws, and the guys will bend, cut and screw the wire into place."  We can also being along the 300-to-75 ohm baluns.


N1ESK getting a closer look at the simplicity of the H-G Antenna ... #6 washers were carefully hammered into a 'U' shape to capture the wire when screwed into the solid PVC cross-member pieces.


Gary explaining how he made the H-G Antenna as two simple copper wires bent in a peculiar shape ... while N2APB stands holding it trying to look important.

Project #6:  Heathkit AM/FM Radio, circa 1962, by Bob AE4YJ

Bob excitedly showed off a working Heathkit that he built back in the 1960s ... and it STILL WORKS!


And the soldering gun from back then that he used to assemble it.  And this STILL WORKS TOO!


Project #7:  Some measurement devices from the bench of George N2APB

Hantek 2C72 Handheld Oscilloscope ... 70 MHz scope, DMM and AWG (Arbitrary Waveform Generator) ... $174

It's a handheld portable, battery-operated oscilloscope (with auto-scaling frequency counter) that can measure signals up to 70 MHz.  Further, it's a full-fledged Digital Multimeter and Arbitrary Waveform Generator.  I love using this instrument in the back room while working at the larger boatanchor repair bench.



NanoVNA ... Nano Vector Network Analyzer ... with 2.8" LCD,  50KHz-900MHz HF VHF UHF Antenna Analyzer ... Just $80 from Amazon.com.  This is an unbelievable instrument for measuring antenna performance, showing SWR and antenna characteristics on a standard SWR display, as well as on a Smith Chart formatted display.


Portable __Amp-Hr Battery Pack ... From Harbor Freight, this handheld Lithium-Ion battery has some great 12V juice to power your radios - QRP and otherwise.  Both N2APB and Juan AC6ZM have one of these and it's terrific to use in the field.  Also can charge your cell phone with its USB plug.  (While $79 from Harbor Freight, just contact N2APB as he has an extra, unopened one for $40.)


Anker Bluetooth Portable Speaker ... $28 from Amazon.  Great to have on the bench for more output from the audio projects, HT, your phone, etc.  PLUS, it can serve as an amplified speaker-phone when connected by BT to your phone!


Webmaster: George Heron, N2APB

Pages Last Updated: Oct 27, 2019