At our October 2016 meeting (held on 16 October at the Lutheran Church Hall, King St, Mt Cook in Wellington) we held the annual Blackwood Cup contest for the best homebrew project over the last 12 months
With only one contestant, Doug ZL2AOV, the outcome was pre-determined and Doug was awarded the Cup for his QRP SSB project. It’s interesting that Doug’s late father Frank (then Z2CD) won the Blackwood Cup back in 1931 with an Emergency Transmitter.
It was Blackwood Cup time again on Wednesday 21 October. Four members brought along home brew projects they had completed over the last 12 months and gave a brief talk on them. John ZL2HD somewhat surprised himself by winning the competition, and taking away the cup. Of course the winner gets to go and get the engraving put on the cup base!
John’s construction was a clock inspired by a clock he acquired from the estate of the late Bill Hamer ZL2CD. However, this one is controlled within microseconds of the real atomic time and sources its time via an arduino and a GPS chip. In a sign of the times, most of the project time was spent in writing the Arduino “sketch” or program that controls the clock. Well done John!
The runner up in the competition was Col ZL2COL who produced a rugged lightweight box for his FT857, power supply, tuner and other bits and pieces, including a swivel out light for the portable shack! This was put to the test on the South Coast at Karori Rock Lighthouse in the International Lighthouse Contest.
Other entries included James ZL2ET application of a Raspberry Pi to a miniature transmitter deployed on WSPR service. Don’t know what that is? Then come along to the February meeting to receive a full explanation and to see it demonstrated!
Ted ZL2TB showed us a very well constructed home brew interface between his rig and the sound card in his computer. No RF in the computer with that one!
The fact that we are still getting a muster of entrants every year means Wellington branch members and still doing some home construction!