Category Archives: Kits

Stampfl products on eBay

This morning, I noticed that the Swiss radio and Morse key manufacturer, Stampfl, is selling some of their products on eBay.

In particular, they’ve listed the Junior 1 shortwave radio receiver kit (above) and the STM-11 Classic Morse Code straight key (below).

Stampfl was founded by Heinz Stampfl (HB9KOC)–I’ve been following his work the past few years, especially fascinated with his SDR designs which are (sadly) only experimental and have never been put into production.

I’m particularly fascinated with the MICRO SWRX:

And the EXPERIMENTAL SWRX:

I’ve written Heinz more than once encouraging him to put these on the market. Of course, it’s an easy request coming from a consumer who doesn’t have to front the production costs and inherent overhead!

Heinz, if you’re reading this, why not do a Kickstarter campaign for one of your fine SDR designs?!

The Junior 1 receiver kit

The Stampfl Junior 1 shortwave receiver kit looks like a lot of fun not only to operate, but also to build and I’m sorely tempted to purchase one!

Here’s a video of the Junior 1 in action:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to download the Junior 1 manual.

The Junior 1 is listed as an auction on eBay with a starting bid of $50 with $25 Economy Shipping to the US. The BuyItNow price is $70.

I think $95 US shipped is a fair price for what looks like a fascinating little receiver kit designed by an (obviously) talented engineer.

Click here to view on eBay.

Post readers: Have any of you built the Junior 1 or purchased any of Stampfl’s Morse Code keys? Please comment!

BITX40 Goes Digital

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Pete (WB9FLW), who notes that Ashhar Farhan (VU2ESE) has upgraded the BITX40 Transceiver with a Arduino Nano/Si5351 VFO:

http://www.hfsigs.com/

The BITX40 is an affordable, fully assembled QRP transceiver  we’ve mentioned on the SWLing Post before–click here to read more.

Thanks for the tip, Pete!

Real-time Flight Status And Radar For All US/Canada Flights

FlightAwareFor those who receive (and send) flight data from ADS-B capable devices such as the RTL-SDR dongles or have Apps for their tablets and phones, FlightAware announced on Wednesday this change to their service:

Hi from FlightAware,

After months of development, we released a large upgrade to our back-end flight tracking engine on Tuesday. Not only did the upgrade include dozens of bug fixes and flight tracking improvements, but we added a massive enhancement for US and Canadian flight tracking — the flight status and radar data is now live with no more five minute delay! Previously, the US/Canada data feed contained a five minute delay in addition to our ~30 second processing time, but now all data is less than a minute delayed from real time. In addition to the general improvement, this yields a lot of additional benefits:

  • More seamless transition between RADAR, ADS-B, and MLAT positions
  • Flights will no longer transition from “Arriving soon” to “Arrived 5 minutes ago”
  • Fewer estimated positions due to delayed RADAR data

Now that the radar data in the US and Canada is real-time, we’ll soon be enabling public MLAT data in the US, which is real-time just like our ADS-B data.

This is a major upgrade in data for folks in North America, and it will make using programs like PlanePlotter even more useful!

For those who might be interested in building their own dedicated ADS-B receiver, information may be found here. Of course FlightAware may be used as an online flight checking service just for tracking the progress of a given flight, which is in itself a lot of fun!

Robert Gulley, AK3Q, is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Robert also blogs at All Things Radio.

The KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit

KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit1

Tony Westbrook recently contacted me about a regenerative receiver kit he has designed and produced in the UK.  It’s called the KRC-2.  Here’s the product description:

1 – 30 MHz with band spread tuning.

Regeneration with a difference. The regeneration setting on the KRC-2 is unaffected by the receiver tuning or the antenna coupling. How do we achieve this? The regenerative stage is fixed at 10.7MHz and used as an IF amplifier. The main receiver board is extremely simple to construct using only one FET and an audio IC. Like all the KRC kits it comes with a comprehensive construction manual which brings this project well within the grasp of the keen constructor. It was referred to as “a very sensitive little receiver” by Rob Mannion of Practical Wireless. Its unconventional design and simplicity should amaze even the experienced constructor. Case size 7 x 4 x 3 inches. 6 x AA batteries supplied.

According to Tony, the kit comes with everything; UK orders are even supplied with batteries. Tony stated, “the only thing the customer needs is a soldering iron, solder cutters, etc.”

By request, Tony sent a few construction photos and three videos of the radio in operation:

Photos

KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit4KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit11 KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit10 KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit8 KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit7 KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit3 KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit2 KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit9 KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit6 KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit5

Videos

Video 1

5.505mHz Shannon Volmet

Video 2

17.650mHz CRI

Video 3

21.505mHz Radio Saudi

Click here to view the KRC-2 and Tony’s other kits. 

Stuart Sizer: Heathkit designer, dad, and “bon vivant”

Heathkit-Drawings-2Two weeks ago, through a radio preservation group, I met the son of Heathkit product designer of the 1950s-70s, Stu Sizer––”stylist, artist, maker of models, bon vivant.” His son described the discovery of a few vintage Heathkit brochures, photos, and illustrations his father kept in his family’s basement shop, many of which had been scanned at some point.

Stu Sizer––”stylist, artist, maker of models, bon vivant”––was tasked with crafting Heathkit’s user-friendly and attractive exterior designs. For many years Sizer was Heathkit’s only product designer, and was therefore often busy. “He was a great dad,” his son told me, “but he spent a lot of time in the basement proof-building kits.”  He adds wryly, “Let that be a lesson to the hams of this world.”

Sizer’s son kindly shared with us the following scans and photos of his dad’s work, many of which are original drawings; the series concludes with some clippings featuring Sizer.

PC241116 PC241108 PC241107 PC241106 PC241099 Heathkit-Drawings-16 Heathkit-Drawings-15 Heathkit-Drawings-13 Heathkit-Drawings-12 Heathkit-Drawings-11 Heathkit-Drawings-10 Heathkit-Drawings-9 Heathkit-Drawings-8 Heathkit-Drawings-7 Heathkit-Drawings-6 Heathkit-Drawings-5 Heathkit-Drawings-4 Heathkit-Drawings-3 Heathkit-Drawings Heathkit-Advertisement

On Stuart Sizer

Heathkit-Stu Walter SizerHeathkit-Stu Walter Sizer-3Heathkit-Stu Walter Sizer-2