Category: Geeky Stuff

QRP Labs VFO Review [Spoiler: we love it!]

I’ve had the QRP Labs VFO for many many months now and it’s about time I got around to actually writing a review of it. When I originally purchased my BITX40, it did not come with a digital VFO. With the analog VFO, tuning was an exercise in futility. I had never owned an HF …

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WordCamp LAX 2017

WordCamp LAX 2017: Travel and Luggage This will be my first work partially authored at subsonic speeds at 33,000ft. I can see Lake Tahoe from here. Well, I could a minute it’s ago anyway. My employer has asked me to join them at WordCamp 2017 in Los Angeles, and so right now I’m aboard a …

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QRP Labs U3S WSPR Transmitter Build and Test

The QRP Labs U3S is a multi-mode transmitter kit. It outputs 200mw of power on any band you have a filter for, and is extendable to up to 6 bands that it can rotate through. It’s only $33 and is incredibly capable. Let’s check it out! I received the U3S in April 2017, but was …

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Catching up with MiscDotGeek: September 2017

It’s been a busy month at Chez Geek. This post involves an improvised lathe, a burrito, Linux, antique cast iron, and a duck. We’ve been working on projects off and on, and have had some family health issues to muddy the waters as well.  Rather than tell a big long story, here’s a few headlines …

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An Inexpensive Digital Multimeter for the Thrifty Ham

When playing with ham radio or any other electronics, it’s pretty obvious that you need a Multimeter (DVM, Meter, whatever you want to call it) and if you’re like me, you’re on a bit of a budget. For me, I wanted to accurately set the bias on the IRF510 PA in my BITX40. This requires …

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How to use a Reverse SSH tunnel to reach a server behind a NAT

If you’re reading this, it means my server is online and running. You pointed your browser at my website and connected to my servers IP on port 80. That is totally possible because this is a server with a publicly available IP address. But what if you want to connect to a server that does not …

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20M Inverted V with Lightweight Dipole Center

One of the many joys of being a ham radio operator is building antennas. I’ve covered the L-Match tuner and long wire antenna in the past, and while it’s a great way to get on the air, it is a compromise antenna. It’s not resonant, and so it is less efficient. When you’ve only got …

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The Quest for the Genuine IRF510

The Problem Recently, I had a need to replace the IRF510 PA MOSFET in my BITX40 radio. A malfunction with my VOX PTT circuit caused it to stay keyed down for a very long time while unattended. Oops! With that fixed, it was time to replace the IRF510. The Search I scoured the usual places …

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Amateur Radio: Upgrading from Technician to General

As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been slowly getting back into ham radio. When I started with Amateur Radio in 1996, there was a Morse Code requirement for all but the No-Code Technician license, which had privileges mostly in VHF bands, above 50mhz. There might have been some 29mhz (10 Meter) privileges, I don’t …

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The Mad Scientist Hacker Lamp

Cheesy puns aside, I needed to be able to see in my little work area where I plan to play with electronics while I try not to burn myself with my soldering irons. Over the summer I bought a couple of workbench tables at a garage sale. One condition was that I had to take everything on …

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