Thursday, 12 February 2015

The 5 Watter and All That

When I think of Michigan, in my mind's eye, I see Doug DeMaw, QRP rigs galore, chef Mario Batali and the Michigan Wolverines NCAA football team from Ann Arbour. From now on, I'll also include Michigan QRP Club's print journal -- The 5 Watter -- T5W for short.

No 1 really kept track how long its been published, but Mikey, WB8ICN, began saving back issues of the T5W quarterly in the early 90's.

That's impressive. Small-scale journals peak my interest since they capture local flavor, unite members and kindle creativity. And, they've kept it in print just like day 1. Do you find there's something inspiriting about holding a paper book or periodical now and then?

I'm helping Mikey with some of the technical content and really enjoy contributing something along with the vibrant bunch who publish T5W. Keep up the good work crew!

Above — Mikey took some photos for me. Some sort of T5W archive seems prudent.
Michigan QRP Club link


When reading technical material, do you see the ω character? For example:  XC = 1 / ω*C  ….   so C = 1 / ω * XC etc. For some reason, I slept through the lecture and did not know what to call ω all these years. In 2015, I awakened --- it's the symbol for lower case omega. We use her upper case sister all the time: .

Commonly you'll see ω = 2 pi  * F . Engineers refer to ω as "omega" or the "angular frequency."

What are you working on?

I love to hear what you're up to. It seems that Arduino projects top the list. Making DDS clocks has ranked high for years --- now the Si5351A stirs the mix. I can't wait 'till mine comes from Etherkit. I've never applied Arduino -- but we've made very cool, original stuff with Netduino including robotic LED-laden cat toys with multiple sensors to keep the cats occupied. class cat_toy { };

I designed/built 3.7 regen receivers this Winter (1 isn't quite finished). I may present my #4 design if it works OK. It's almost ready for power up and testing. I still remember making my first regen at around age 10. This guy: Link.  I never got it to work.

I'm not a big fan of regenerative receiver audio (it hurts my ears) but still revel in their simplicity and versatility.
After that, I'm making my first receiver for listening to Jupiter -- venturing into amateur radio astronomy.

Happy building!


  1. "After that, I'm making my first receiver for listening to Jupiter -- venturing into amateur radio astronomy."

    Todd - if you are interested in sun noise or flaring, I've found that my 4 el 6m yagi is plenty large enough to hear this easily...especially the flares...and that size of antenna is not too awkward to install.
    I'm anxious to see what your Jupiter experiments turn up, sounds interesting.

  2. Todd, just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog. I especially like your schematics--they are a work of art. I am currently working on my first homebrew "T Match" antenna tuner. Thanks for sharing your radio-electronics knowledge with the rest of us.

    Al, N8WQ

  3. Thanks all. I'm l setting up a new VHF tower this Spring and hope to test out the Yagi as mentioned.