Updated October 22, 2011
Just build it
Some KR1S QRP Projects
Books Recommended For QRPers
- The Joy of QRP, by Adrian Weiss, WØRSP.
Oldie but goodie, full of operating techniques, construction ideas and a little QRP history.
- History of QRP In The United States, by Adrian Weiss, WØRSP.
What it says. I found this historical overview even more inspirational than The Joy of QRP.
- Handbook of Simplified Solid-State Circuit Design, by John Lenk.
Another old timer, but I found the amplifier design chapter easier to follow than Solid State Design.
- High Frequency Circuit Design, by James Hardy.
Another oldie (all the technical books I'm recommending are out of print but available used from several sources, like Amazon, Alibris, etc.), not overly math-oriented, but good information on receiver characteristics, matching networks, and the use of transistors at rf.
- Solid State Power Circuits, RCA Designer's Handbook SP-52.
There were two versions of this book, and this is the larger one. In addition to rf power amplifiers, it includes lots of theory and practice of other power devices and power supplies, plus heat-sink calculations and the like. The devices are obsolete but the physics hasn't changed. The network design information is quite useful.
- Practical Wire Antennas, by John D. Heys, G3BDQ, and Hf Antennas For All Locations, by L.A. Moxon, G6XN.
There are later editions, and there are more-technical antenna books. But if you study the first few chapters of Moxon and experiment with some of their designs, you will make good antennas without breaking your budget.
- The ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications.
This book didn't make the photo, because I assumed most hams already had a copy. Many people, apparently, do not own a Handbook, or haven't studied it if they do. The Handbook is a victim of its own success, and later editions can be hard to use for theoretical study. Any edition published in the last 20 years or so has all the information you need to get started building radios, and older editions are reasonably priced on the popular online-auction site. Understanding basic radio theory will increase your enjoyment as you build, and help you debug and improve your projects.
ARRL's Experimental Methods in RF Design is quite popular among homebrewers, but I've never been able to justify the cost. All of the above books together cost me less than EMRFD. My projects present their own experimental opportunities.
Where To Buy Parts
- Kits and Parts
Operated by W8DIZ from Florida. Carries ferrite and iron-powder toroids and a variety of useful semiconductors.
- Dan's Small Parts and Kits
Amazing variety of semiconductors and passive components. Located in Montana.
- Marlin P. Jones
A commercial surplus dealer, so stock sometimes limited. If you see something you want, better buy it! Good source for magnet wire and connectors. Located in Florida.
- BG Micro
A Texas-based surplus dealer. Lots of variety You have to spend some time looking through the catalog, but there's always a deal on something.
- Mouser Electronics
If you can't find what you need from the suppliers above, Mouser is a good alternative. Mouser is a commercial distributor, not a surplus house. They carry a wide range of new parts by reputable manufacturers. There is no minimum order, shipping is at their cost, and they provide fast service.
- Don't overlook eBay for components you'll use often, such as bypass capacitors or 2N2222As. You often can buy them in lots of one hundred or more for an excellent price, and they don't need refrigeration.
Another good place to find parts is under the tables at hamfests. Don't pay too much, the sellers will be glad to be rid of the stuff!