SW-3B Display Problem – Fixed!

The SW-3b is my favoite POTA rig. About June of 2023, the radio developed a problem with the LCD display. At first, the display would have random characters on one line. This was intermittent. As the year progressed, with each POTA activation or use, the display got progressively worse. The entire display would be garbled after a few minutes of use. The last time I tried to use it for a POTA activation in October 2023, the display was completely blank when the radio was turned on. I spoke with Dale at Venus about the problem. He suggested re-soldering the

Continue reading

Notes from Portable Operation

Even though I’ve been a Ham for 44 years, I have not done a lot of portable QRP operations. I have built numerous home brew QRP radios and several QRP kits, but have never taken them to the field. I guess I like to build radios more operating them. My recent QRP operating from the vacation cabin was the first time I’ve set up in the field since the 70’s, when I operated with a Heathkit HW-7. I’m very familiar with all the problems that can be encountered in QRP field operations, but I didn’t realize how difficult some of

Continue reading

Portable Operations

I am operating portable this week from the vacation cabin in southern Indiana. I’m using a dipole and a home brew radio I made back in 1993. It’s my version of the Micromountaineer with the addition of a VFO for the receiver. I call it the SB-40. (I will post info on this rig in the Projects page.) The antenna is newly constructed before the trip and I didn’t have time to tune it. The dipole was thrown together right before the trip using RG-178 mini coax, some Teflon coated #24 hookup wire, and a home made center insulator made from

Continue reading