One Watt Wonder

Thanks to Dave, W3NP, who copied my NorCal 40 which I’ve tuned down to one watt out on 7040 kHz this afternoon.

Dave’s got a great home page at W3NP where there are a couple of FB photos of his vintage equipment and checkout his collection of photos of his stations from the past.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And then checkout this shot of my station 🙂 Oh my how times have changed. I couldn’t afford his electric bill!

imageDave and I exchanged SKCC numbers and I was using a straight key for the first time in a couple of decades and it was great fun.

The NorCal 40 in my photo is the blue box. It runs a watt and half to two watts full out but it seems pretty good tuned down to run just one watt as determined by the WM-2 watt. The antenna is a loaded 40-meter dipole which is part of the Hy-Gain Explorer beam at 16 meters.

The Oakvillle Amateur Radio Club is going to build the CRK-10a QRP CW transceiver later this fall and we’ll be xtal controlled likely on 7030. It will be our local club QSO frequency HI.

CW – QRP – Kits – Contests

The Oakville Amateur Radio Club has a new kit project underway. Following our very successful annual general meeting it was decided to go a group build later this year of the CRK-10A which is a Chinese version of an enhanced RockMite rig.CRK10A

Xtal controlled on 40 meters this three-watt rig has a built-in keyer and one memory which can send CQ and your call sign. Pretty neat for a rig that can fit in a shirt pocket.

The aluminum case and no controls (I mean it!) make this an ideal trail rig or transceiver to use on a single frequency where your fellow club members hang out (mainly because they can’t QSY).peanut-power-pete

If you’re in the GTA and would like to participate the cost of entry is a club membership in the OARC ($25) and the cost of the rig ($55 …yes you read that right plus shipping). I’m taking names right now and we’ll pick a date for the build (likely a Saturday morning) later this year or early next. (Contact

So to improve your CW you should get on the air. I just joined the Straight Key Century SKeyClub and I hope to participate in the North Georgia QRP Club’s Peanut Power QRP Sprinton Sunday, Sept. 28 from 2000z to 2200z.

As you might guess, the Straight Key Century Club rules state you must use a straight key or bug so I’ve dusted off my Nye straight keys and got two of my Vibroplex bugs original_deluxeworking (at around 18 wpm sending with spacing to come out around 10-12 wpm on air) and I’m set to go using the NorCal 40 which I’ve tuned down to one watt out. Not sure how this is going to work but I worked W1AW/4 last night at a watt and half without issue.

Let’s get on the air guys and get that old CW polished up 🙂

OARC New Season Underway

The first meeting of the 2014-2015 season (It was our annual general meeting.) of the Oakville Amateur Radio Club got underway last night at our new home at Abbey Park High School just off Third Line with 12 hams present.

President Rod, VE3RHF, couldn’t make the meeting so director Todd, VE3LMM chaired the meeting.

We elected a new slate of officers (roles to be determined by them at a later date) including Todd; Rod; Bata, VE3EXW; John, VA3BL; and Peter, VE3HG.

Bata gave us the good news about our financial situation. Thanks to several cost-saving cuts the club is solvent and we can move forward with more meetings (thanks to great rates by the school board) and more projects. Bata has really done a fine job of guiding the club through some difficult times.

Speaking of projects, John, gave us an extensive update on all of the work he’s been doing on the repeater. We now have a D-Star repeater up and running in a test mode in Oakville. Also our MESH network is moving forward and we should have a MESH system very soon available to members. Way to go John.

And more breaking news…as I am typing the new Oakville DStar repeater opened up with John, BL, on his way to work. I heard him on my Icom ID-31a while sitting inside the house and not thinking he’d hear me I returned his call and sure enough we had a great QSO on 442.06250 digital!


Peter (me) gave a presentation on QRP (QRP OARC) and the club has decided to build a CRK-10a which is a Chinese designed enhanced RockMite-type of CW transceiver xtal-controlled with a built-in keyer. I’ve got mine running right now and 7030 is alive with signals at 7am (local) with the CW Operators’ Clubs CWT mini contest. I can hear stations all around the north-east USA.

If you want to join the fun building your own 3-watt 40-meter rig that actually works (the direct conversion receiver is super quiet and sensitive and thanks to filter in the circuit more selective than you might expect. The entire rig slips into a provided aluminum case that’s pretty much bullet-proof making the CRK-10a perfect for portable or vacation use.) and you can carry in a shirt pocket please let me (Peter, VE3HG… know and I’ll add your name to the list. The cost of the rig is $55 (US) plus shipping (likely around $10). I’ll order the kits in a few weeks and we can pick a Saturday to assemble the kits at my Oakville QTH at a date to be determined.

This is a members-only project so if you wish to join in the fun membership is $25 per year ($30 for families) and we think we’re going to have a PayPal button working on our website VE3HB very soon.

All in all it seems that this season of Amateur Radio in Oakville is going to be a lot of fun.