Monday, October 08, 2018

Enhanced Frog Sounds low cost transceiver

The ultra-low cost CW HF transceivers you see on eBay such as the Pixie and Frog Sounds kits are great fun and certainly value for money. You couldn’t buy the components for the price.

Local ham Stephen, VK2BLQ, and I have played with these in the past (we had a Feld Hellschreiber contact once), but he’s gone on to enhance a Frog Sounds transceiver by adding a CDV VFO from OzQRP, a Rockmite iambic keyer and a variable CW filter and speaker amplifier.

Here’s how it looks.



As you see it's even "Juliano" blue.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Van trip north and an awning tent

On the latest trip north in the van I took along an awning tent that was on sale at Aldi recently for $190. It's quite good quality but takes a bit of effort to put up and wouldn't be worth it unless I'm staying in the one place for several days.

An awning tent is nice for giving a bit of privacy and protection from moderately wet weather. It wouldn't stand up to strong wind though.

On the way back I drove down the highway until about 4:30pm and then started to look for somewhere to camp before it got dark. Scanning around on Google maps, and using the satellite view, I looked for a track that ended without any houses near by. I found the place you see top right here which turned out to be a lovely quiet (free) spot for the night.

I did add the location to WikiCamps as it's clear people had camped here before and didn't seem to disturb anyone. While there's no signs relating to camping, there's also no signs saying that camping isn't allowed. There are probably many locations like this that can be slept at without causing any problems and modern mobile mapping is a great way to find them.


Here's the inside of the awning tent. It's big and airy enough to let me make breakfast without too much concern.


There is a sturdy ground sheet that can be zipped on to the walls to enclose the space.



I'm not planning to take the tent on every trip but will keep it for longer stays.