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Good up to 70W for 10 seconds; QRP levels 'til the cows come home. Cost: About $20.
On Saturday, May 11, 2019, 7:09:45 PM EDT, masch57 <masch57@...> wrote:
Hey Dennis, glad to be of encouragement. The ham fests usually do have useful some bits and pieces - just make a list and take it with you, because you will get distracted by all the awesome boat anchors. Pickup a cheap manual antenna tuner if nothing else, a small one that has metering for QRP would be nice. I got a like new one for $35. Then you can wire up (through the tuner) to any old invisible hunk of wire and as long as its got some length you'll get something going on at least a few bands. And don't be afraid to snake it around to get some length. Changing bands requires re-tuning, but that knob-twiddling is what makes you feel like you're really doing some radio operating.
Speaking of knobs, if you change out that stock volume pot for one with a 1/4 inch shaft, then it will match the encoder shaft, and lots of knobs from yard sale or thrift shop items may work. Mine came from an old Yamaha receiver I had in my junk pile. Just yank a knob or two off that thrift shop stereo, and if it has 1/4 inch half moon hole, give 'em a few bucks for it and you'll get a knob assortment.
Do what Curt said for the dummy load -- find some 50 ohm non-inductive (no wire-wound resistors) something or other and quit transmitting into it when it starts smoking. I wonder if a potato would work? But I would caution that use of a dummy load is usually associated with measuring stuff that you could opt not to worry about.