Although there are many days when I can barely stand the level of rudeness on QRP-L (and increasingly on qrp-l.org), I am sometimes reminded why I maintain my membership. Some recent events there have helped to boost up the numerator in the signal/noise ratio, and correspondingly, my interest.
In case you haven’t followed much of what has happened on the list in the last few years or haven’t listened to SolderSmoke, there’s a fellow by the name of Michael Rainey AA1TJ, who could be considered the mad genius of the QRP world. He has created what has to be considered some of the most unique and inventive minimalist QRP circuits that our hobby has ever seen. Take a look at his website to get an idea of what I’m talking about. I’ve also attached a YouTube video below showing you how AA1TJ has to operate this very unique transmitter.
His latest flight of fancy is his New England Code Talker voice powered CW transmitter. Yes, you heard correctly; the transmitter is powered 100% by voice sound pressure energy (about 15 mW RF output). AA1TJ has already made numerous successful QSOs with the transmitter, proving that the concept actually works. Recently he, AA1MY and W1PID met at the beach front cottage of W1REX to attempt the world’s first voice powered transatlantic QSO, as well as what was claimed to be the world’s first transatlantic QRP QSO on 160 meters (I think I misunderstood that. It’s supposed to be AA1MY’s first 160 meter transatlantic QRP QSO), both very amazing feats. I won’t spoil the story, so get yourself over to W1PID’s website to read the details of how this expedition turned out. I must salute all of you gentlemen for pushing the boundaries of our wonderful hobby and trying something never done before. Well done!
Update: Here’s the “Rexpedition2009” report about the event from W1REX (PDF format).
Update 2: A great video from W1REX showing the transatlantic 160 meter QRP QSO: