The Marconi feeling

After reading an article in the newsletter of the "Benelux QRP Club" with the challenging title "Ten Minute TX" written by PAoGHS I started experimenting with this super simple design. This small transmitter of which was said that is was possible to build the whole thing in 10 minutes an even make a QSO with it in the same time. If you look at the circuit of this "thing" then it is hard to believe that the above mentioned statement is true. Especially knowing that most of the QSO’s made by radioamateurs are made with expensive Japanese many-button-boxes with at least 100 watts output.
But OK, you warm up your soldering iron and start gluing the components together. After a rather short while the circuit is ready and you can start doing some first experiments. Connecting a powermeter, the antenna and the supply leads, you’re surprised that it’s doing something. Producing just a few hundred milliwatts. While using a few test leads in your hand in stead of a morsekey you (automatically..) start giveing "CQ" and listen to the receiver to the beeps of your home brew transmitter. But then, as you stop keying and listen you can’t believe is true but somewhere deep in noise someone is responding. All at once you’re in contact with a radioamateur somewhere in England. Astonished and all sweating you’re able to make a complete QSO, keying with your test leads in your hand and this unbelievable simple transmitter.
At that moment you probably get the same feeling that OM Marconi had about a 100 years ago; the magic of that of which was to be believed impossible, making a wireless contact, spanning a distance of several hundred kilometres with only a hand full of parts consisting of one transistor, a few resistors, some capacitors, a coil, one x-tall and an improvised morsekey.

This again confirms the fact that low power (QRP) transmissions can give a very high grade of satisfaction. But I also must emphasize the importance of having the knowledge of morse-code because without that this experiment could never succeeded or even be possible.

  • BQC Nieuwsbrief nr. 78, June 1996: "Ten Minute TX" by PAoGHS
  • Varicon, nr. 58, (Newsletter VERON Helmond), December 1996: "Het Marconi Gevoel" by PA3FFK

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