While I occasionally get a bit worried about ham radio having to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, there are encouraging signs that some hams get it. The two areas in ham radio where this seems most pronounced is in Radiosport and DXing/DXpeditions. Outside of the United States, these aspects of the hobby seem to be doing a decent job of attracting folks under 50 to our nerdy little world (no offense to you crusty old guys; without you our hobby would be non-existent). I’m not quite sure why, but inside of the US, these pursuits haven’t quite had the same pull on the younger crowd. Speaking for myself, I’ve never felt I could seriously tackle either activity without having the ability to deploy a half-decent antenna, something I’ve only recently been able to do because I just purchased my first single-family house. Perhaps other younger folks have had a similar problem.
Anyway, let me show you the efforts of a few people who have helped in blowing a little dust off of our vintage hobby. First up is the website and video blog of XR0Y, the Rapa Nui (Easter Island) DXpedition. These guys have a very visually appealing website with tons of information about the operation, a blog to keep you updated on the latest news, a Twitter feed, and perhaps best of all, a really cool video blog. The production values are top-notch (they are promising HD video of the actual operation) and it’s interesting to get a behind-the-scenes look at a DXpedition from start to finish. Here are the first three videos in the series; it looks like many more are on the way:
Next, a topic a little bit nearer to my heart, courtesy of W2LJ. Larry was contacted by VK1AA regarding a new QRP transmitter kit from GenesisRadio called the Q5. It looks like this kit is geared towards the new kitbuilder/homebrewer, perhaps as something to build on a club “kit night”. The design uses CMOS logic for the LO and driver amp, which feeds into a class-A PA (about 1 watt output). I don’t see any low-pass filtering on the output and there’s no specification on the spurious products, so an outboard filter might be in order.
GenesisRadio got an excellent video spokesman for their kit; young VK2FJDX. Check out the FB job he does in promoting the new kit: