Super Kit Sunday

AmQRP Club unveiled new kits coast-to-coast

on Super Bowl Weekend

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The American QRP Club continues to provide more fun and excitement than QRPers should be allowed to have with its kits, online projects and weekend forums! This time, in a coast-to-coast "double-whammy", the AmQRP unveiled its two newest kits on Super Bowl Weekend.  

On Saturday, Jan 31st at the NJQRP Club monthly meeting in New Jersey, ELSIE the Atlanticon Kit was first shown and demonstrated to about 35 QRPers in attendance.

Then, on the very next day (Sunday, Feb 1st) at the NorCal monthly club meeting in California the Tin Ear Receiver for Beginners was first shown and demonstrated to about 30 QRPers.

Read about both of these fun new kits below .  Further information, including technical and ordering details, will soon be available on the respective project web pages.

West Coast:
Tin Ear Receiver
East Coast:
ELSIE the Atlanticon Kit

(Click on photo for larger image)

(Click on photo for larger image)

AmQRP designer Wayne McFee, NB6M was at the monthly NorCal club meeting and demonstrated his working Tin Ear Receiver prototype. This little receiver is a neat little project that gives good performance for the price category. It is not a toy - I have used mine all week to listen to 40 meters.  The Tin Ear receives CW, AM and SSB, and covers all of the 40 meter band  The PTO VFO that Wayne uses is very stable. The new kit contains a silkscreened, solder masked, plated through hole board of the best quality. All parts, controls and connectors are board mounted, and the kit comes with a pre-drilled aluminum enclosure that is the same size and quality as the NorCal BLT project. The Tin Ear is a direct conversion receiver that is an excellent kit for those who want to try their hand at building a project.  Wayne is finishing up an extensive manual in the style of Jim Kortge K8IQY, with step by step photos provided on CD-ROM.  The quality of the receiver isn't up to that of a K2, but it does do a good job. And for $25, everything is included to build it.  All that's needed are the proper tools, solder and 5 minute epoxy. This is our second kit in the Kits for Kids category, as we are aiming this kit at the beginner, no matter what age they are. The AmQRP has realized that there is a definite need for simple, inexpensive kits that are both fun to build and use. We believe the Tin Ear Rx fits right into this niche. 

Complete technical information and ordering information is on the TinEar kit page .

72, Doug KI6DS 
     for the American QRP Club

ELSIE is the brain child of two of the top QRP designers we have in the field today - Joe Everhart N2CX and Steve Weber KD1JV.  They've combined talents to produce a low-cost L-C Meter that will be used as the Atlanticon Kit this year at our annual QRP Forum being held in Baltimore on March 26-27.  (Atlanticon is sponsored by the AmQRP and hosted by the NJQRP and its members.)

The heart of ELSIE is an ATmel microcontroller that reads the frequency of an oscillator that uses a tuned circuit formed with the inductor or capacitor being measured. The controller computes the values of the component-under-test and announces the readings in Morse via a miniature speaker. When the user presses the 'C' pushbutton, the capacitance is announced.  When the 'L' pushbutton is pressed, the inductance value is announced.

Built "manhattan-style" and operated by a standard 9-volt battery, the ELSIE Kit has a bunch of neat options that are being outlined right now in the kit manual. We started with a circuit described in 73 Magazine from 1990 that used a Commodore-64 as the computing engine. But with our current technology and fascination for ingenious uses of microcontrollers, our ELSIE Meter is a flexible and easily-modified project that is differentiated from other component testers available today. Some hints about the expansion features to be described at Atlanticon ... RS232 serial port readout, single LED readout, multiple component measurement ranges, native frequency counting, semiconductor lead identification, and more.

Complete technical information and ordering information is on the ELSIE project page .

72, George N2APB 
     for the American QRP Club

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Page last updated:  February 11, 2004