Club Construction Projects in 2024

The club is offering two kits for members to build this spring.

One kit is a Morse Keyer & Practice Oscillator, and the second kit is the Rooster 40m QRP CW Transceiver from Kanga Products. The Rooster does not have a built-in keyer, but the two kits complement each other well and the keyer works very nicely with the Rooster.

Any club members wishing to participate in either or both construction projects should contact Dav M0WDV to register their interest no later than March 7th – full details in January’s edition of the QUA club newsletter.

Morse Keyer and Practice Oscillator

This keyer and practice oscillator may be just the ticket if you are planning to learn or brush up on your morse code skills this year. The unit can run in standalone mode, powered by the internal battery. Just add a straight key or paddle key, and practice away!

This unit can also emulate the Winkeyer2 contest-keyer protocol by K1EL, so it can be driven directly from contest logging software such as N1MM+ to allow very efficient keying during CW contests.

At the heart of this device is an Arduino Nano-compatible development board running the K3NG open-source keyer software.

The kit is supplied with step-by-step construction instructions and all parts needed to build the keyer, including a battery and pre-drilled 3D-printed case.  The board is supplied pre-programmed with the K3NG firmware.

The difficulty level of this kit is intermediate, with some fine soldering required. Build time is about 4 hours.

Features:

  • Paddle keyer modes: Iambic A, Iambic B, Single-paddle, Ultimatic, Bug
  • Practice oscillator for straight key or paddle key
  • Adjustable keyer speed (front panel rotary control)
  • Adjustable sidetone pitch
  • Sidetone can be disabled (front panel switch) when listening to the rig’s sidetone
  • Adjustable dit-to-dah ratio and paddle weighting
  • Paddle-reverse (swap dit and dah paddles)
  • Tuning mode (continuous key down for tuning)
  • Three programmable memories for CW shortcuts (e.g. CQ-call, 599, callsign)
  • Command-mode to program memories and change settings (requires paddle key)
  • Internal battery power for standalone use (PP3 9V battery should provide about 24 hours of use)
  • External power via USB connection
  • Compatible with Winkeyer2 contest-keyer protocol when connected to a computer via USB

Rooster 40m QRP CW Transceiver

Don’t be fooled by this kit’s superficial similarity with the ubiquitous and simple Pixie CW transceiver. Although the Rooster is also a fixed-frequency CW transceiver, that’s where the similarity ends. The Rooster is a much better performing unit, good for making real contacts on the QRP “centre of activity” frequency.

Features:

  • Fixed frequency 7.030 MHz  – crystal bound
  • Front panel RIT control for adjusting receive frequency
  • Good receiver pre-selection using a two-stage crystal filter
  • Narrow active audio-frequency filtering (500 Hz passband)
  • Approximately 2W RF output power
  • On transmit, the output is cleaned of harmonics using a low-pass filter and also two RC tank-circuit traps tuned to the 2nd and 3rd harmonic frequencies
  • Requires a 10V to 14V DC power supply (around 400mA drawn at 12V during transmit)

The Rooster does not have a built-in keyer, but of course it can be used with an external keyer. The sidetone on the Rooster is a sinewave.

This is a very easy kit to build, suitable for beginners. All surface-mounted components are already fitted to the circuit board, leaving just 20 through-hole components for the kit-builder to solder in place. An experienced builder can complete construction in less than an hour. The kit is supplied with all parts needed to construct the transceiver, including a strong aluminium enclosure.

2 Watts of RF output power may sound limiting, but you can still make international CW contacts with this power. Consider that the difference between 2W and 100W is actually less than three S-points, all other things being equal.

For more information about the Rooster check out the product’s page on Kanga’s web site, where you can download the construction manual:

https://www.kanga-products.co.uk/ourshop/prod_8079267-Rooster-40m-CW-Transceiver.html