20 March 2013

QRP with Style and Fun: The 4SQRP-Group

I was member of a lot of clubs in the last 20 years but after a certain time I lost interest and laid my memberships down. But times have changed.Why could this be? There were still the old and new hams doing their thing.

The trigger was a photo of an extraordinary QRP-Station from Woody WD9F.

© Woody (WD9F) and 4SQRP
I lied just a little bit ;-) my interest was aroused some time before that picture, but it shows the essence: Build on wood, all the components ( Keyer, Tansmitter, Receiver, VFO and a Magic Box) were there, didn't cost a fortune and Woody worked with this station already 43 states!

The source of this fun - not only communicating with other hams via the TRX but also building a QRP-station - was brought by the "Four State QRP Group". Four States ok, somewhere in the middle of the USA, never been there, but the tone makes the difference: It is called "The friendly One". And I can assure you it is really a friendly group (for me only in the internet) where

  • you get a heartily "Welcome", 
  • can ask questions, 
  • get answers even when asked a zillion times, 
  • you get encouragement when you plan something you have never done before
  • you can build little radios
  • and have Big Fun.
I want to stress it again: It is really a friendly group. Never heard a bad word, there are no open or hidden aggression on the list. And it is a list which doesn't sleep. It has a high frequencies of mails.

But let me come back to my initial interest. I was looking for a QRP-Meter and found one kit "QRPOMETER" by the 4SQRP-Group. 

David Cripe, NMØS made the design and the group bought the parts, sorted them and bagged the whole kit. I just read that they are doing this during a so called kitting party. Afterwards they are sold even to hams outside the USA for a price (in my case 60 $) that can not be beaten. Of course if you sit before your bag of goodies and the soldering iron is heating up you are not left alone:
  • Documentation is excellent
  • Problems are solved by the group
  • And when you although encouraged by all the fellow group members are unable to build that gadget, there are Kit Builders who would like to help you 
And this is not the only kit the have. One kit is especially interesting for homebrewers: The K8IQY MagicBox Solid State, Electronic, Transmit/Receive Switch. If you build your own stand-alone transmitter you always have the problem to switch between another receiver and the TRX. And if you are not very carefully your receiver will be blown away. And the 4SQRP-Group provided the solution: An automatic switch box which protects your gear.

Just to raise your appetite, here is a list of additional kits:
All in all from my point of view: Well done!

And the rest? Don't forget: For me it is a virtual group. But it seems that there are real guys and girls over there who organize events, hamfests, have their regular meetings on the air (Never heard them, they are too far away ;-)), meet near the Big Brutus, ... I am really sorry that I can not participate ...

So, this is is not a hidden product placement, this is an open call to participate and join the 4SQRP-Group, if
  • you like to build your equipment by yourself
  • want to have fun
  • you are friendly
  • you like QRP (but you are also allowed to use a little more power)
  • you search for a community which lives ham spirit
So join and I can assure you that there are no strings attached.

Stay Tuned!