Saturday, September 19, 2009

September 2009 - eBuild-A-Thon and BBQ

The September 2009 eBuild-A-Thon and BBQ has come and gone. Even with some rain and a light turn-out, many projects where worked and discussed.

Richard NoCALL worked on this antique look-a-like radio kit, but was unable to get it to receive. It needs a little more trouble shooting.

Steve KD7YTE worked with his Granddaughter, Annie, to build an AM Broadcast Receiver, with a Snap-Together Kit. We later sent more time erecting an long wire antenna for it, than that spent on the kit itself - but, when finished, it worked well.

Annie was sys-op for the Snap-Together Kit AM Broadcast Receiver. She learned that when wires were inadvertently disconnection, things do not work well - That's, Step One of Ham Radio!

Above, Tess is in the background waiting for Annie to get back to playing ball. Tess just does not understand all of this Radio stuff - especially when there is a perfectly good ball to be played with.

John KC7NVE and I scaned a 4:1 balan with several different types of antenna analysers - which confirmed that the balan is real flat up to 26mHz,  as we had hoped.

John calibrated his 100KHz marker oscillator with WWV, using audio from the receiver fed into the computer for spectrum display - which makes the task very easy.  John had several other projects to show and tell.

Charlie K7KN and I setup WSPR on 30m and received many spots, Charlie is planning to do the same from his QTH (Sorry, no photo taken).

For Demonstration, I demo'd the Laser Toner Transfer Process for creating PCB's. See previous posts. Next time around, Charley wants to build a PCB for a Band Edge Marker for his QRSS and WSPR adventures.

UPDATE: After detailed inspection of the PCB created for the demo, I have noticed two copper bridges on the PCB. If this had NOT been just a quick demo, we would have inspected the Laser Toner Image very closely before etching. I have now, also, reviewed the negative Green print and the two bridges are apparent, therefore the problem would have been easily avoided. With only a little more difficulties, this PCB can be salvaged.
Note: this was not a defect in the Laser Print, it was a small "chad" from the Green Sheet that I should have removed.

One of the Copper Bridges is shown

With the good food, I think fun was had by all - Thanks to my sister Carolyn and Richard NoCALL for help with the food.

My dog Tess, just loved ALL of the attention (Charlie, next time throw a ball for her, you will be her friend for life!).

We finished up just before the Heavy Rain Storm.

Thanks to all - It was great - Eldon WA0UWH

Follow up Email:

Eldon et al,

Annie, Richard, and I had great fun at today's eBuild-a-thon. Great location! Great rainy-day eating shelter! Great people! Many thanks to Eldon for hosting this event!

Best regards,


I'd like to send along my appreciation to Eldon for hosting the build-a-thon today. Nice spread Eldon! 22 acres of rolling hills/ranch-land with an 8000 sq ft "workshop" The cattle, alpacas, and donkeys were great to see.

I grew up working in my dad's metal products machine shop, but we didn't have the variety of machines that Eldon has. Most impressive was the vertical milling machine!

After spending about 30 minutes getting a thorough tutorial on WSPR ( by the time I left at 1600 hrs 15 stations were hearing Eldon including Japan on 30 meters 1/4 wave with his copper pipe antenna with no ground radials!) we moved on to lunch.

After lunch, the group followed Eldon from start to finish in creating a printed (surface mount) circuit board. He made the process seem so easy. We saw the schematic on screen as it was converted by two programs to laser printed board design on paper, then transfered again on to copper, through a few more steps to the final product. Very impressive.

Thanks again Eldon. Look forward to October.


Link to Charlie's photos:


Thanks again for today's event, to you and Caroline.  I enjoyed meeting you and the guys, had a fun time, and learned some useful things.  You have an excellent setup there at the ranch and it seems like a very nive location.  I hope to see you again next month. Take care, stay healthy.



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