Tuesday, November 30, 2010

W1 Completed and On-line

Here's the completed W1, on-line and in use for the CQWW CW contest the last weekend in November. The meter worked fine right "out of the box" and I used it throughout the contest for tuning the end-fed wire I use on 40 and 80 meters.

There were no glitches during construction. The only really time-consuming part of the project was winding T1, which I did while waiting for the missing caps to show up in the mail. I also put together a serial cable to try out the software that can be downloaded from the Elecraft web site. At first it seemed like the software didn't work. However, testing using HyperTerm on my PC revealed that the serial cable was picking up RF from the K2; winding the cable several times through a large toroid solved the problem, and the software worked great.

By the way, running 10 watts into dipoles and my 80/40 meter end-fed random antenna resulted in 165 contacts in the CQWW contest, including contacts in Australia and Japan on 20 meters (and thanks to both ops for hanging in there with me to get my call sign correctly)! Still can't decide whether I need additional filters; I'll see how the contest goes next February, I guess.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Elecraft W1 Wattmeter/SWR Bridge

My Elecraft W1 kit arrived in the mail yesterday. It weighed 1 pound and was therefore too heavy to be shipped USPS First Class. However, another shipping option was USPS Priority Mail, which arrived here as fast as First Class and was way cheaper than UPS.

I inventoried the kit upon arrival and it was unfortunately missing all 8 .01 uF capacitors. I wrote to Elecraft's parts e-mail, got an immediate response, and just received an automated e-mail telling me that the parts were just shipped USPS First Class ... should be here Thursday.

Here's the W1 kit (minus the missing capacitors) sorted and ready for construction. Immediately after I took this picture, I fired up the soldering iron and stuffed most the resistors and the two resistor packs.