Last Update: January 27, 2010
At HamCom back in about 2004 I purchased an unmarked "40m" QRP CW rig from a fellow QRPer. When I got it home it seemed to work but I couldn't detect any output on 40m at all even though the power meter showed 1W. After taking the rig apart I found it was really a 30m rig. Research indicated it was one of NN1G's rigs that were offered by the New England QRP Club back about 1993 I think.
I took the rig as it was with my family for a week camping trip up in the mountains at about 9,000 feet. We were located near Cloudcroft, New Mexico. The rig performed very well so I decided it was a keeper.
In 2005 I decided to repackage the rig and add a keyer to it. I had a NORCAL Keyer that I was not using so I installed it in the new rig's package. Below are some more photos of the rig:
An upgraded version of this rig is still sold as a kit from Small Wonder Labs. I have recently built the 40m version of this rig call the SW+ 40.
In the summer of 2006 I took the 30m rig to the second tallest peak in Arkansas and strung up an end fed half wave antenna mostly vertical at my campsite. I used my little coupler to feed the high impedance antenna. I also used my homebrew paddles stuck to the side of the rig. My first two QSO's were with S57J in Slovenia (my RST 449) and OM3SEM in the Slovak Republic (my RST 549)! I'm sure having my antenna a couple of thousand feet above average terrain helped. Here are some photos of the setup:
Overall this has been a fun little rig. The frequency is very stable and the super heterodyne receiver performs well. With a good antenna the 1W transmitter is capable of many solid contacts yet it is still easy on the batteries.