Thursday, 26 April 2012

SW-20+ Gets some new toys!

I finally finished my Small Wonder Labs SW-20+. I had a PicoKeyer chip in my stores which I had originally intended to home brew into a tuna can based keyer project to add to my tuna can rig collection. I never got around to building my tuna can keyer, so my chip sat in it's box for months. After I built the SW-20+ earlier this year, I decided that it would really benefit from an internal keyer. I want to make this rig a good SOTA rig. I threw together a Manhattan style daughterboard, mounting the keyer chip on one of W1REX's MePads. I soldered the daughterboard to the rear panel.

The keyer works really well, although a front panel speed control would be a good idea - maybe I'll implement one in the coming weeks.

I then hit another problem - whilst I can answer CQ's no problem, it's always nice to know roughly where you are in the band, especially if you are sending out an alert for SOTA, stating you are to be found on 'x' frequency. The Small Wonder Labs Freq-Mite was the answer. This was an easy kit to make and it worked first time. I'm pretty impressed by the accuracy, although the readout is only to the nearest 1kHz, it's close enough to be very useful. My hits on the RBN matched with the indicated frequency very well (I also checked with my FT817).

I still think this rig will be excellent for SOTA in the Summer. It doesn't weigh very much, I just need to find a nice lightweight power source to power it!
PicoKeyer on rear panel, Freq-Mite between pots.

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