I’d like to discuss a couple of low power (“QRP”) ham radio transmitters. The first kit is a 10 Watt 75M SSB transceiver appropriately named The Survivor. For the modest sum of $140 you get all the parts required to build a practical rig with a digital frequency readout capable of making voice contacts at night out to a range of 200 to 300 miles using simple (low to the ground) wire antennas in NVIS (Near Vertical Incidence Skywave) mode. Another ham radio operator provided some additional tips and advice on building this kit on his blog.
The second kit is a crystal-controlled half Watt CW (Continuous Wave -an operating mode for amateur radio gear, used for Morse Code) transceiver with a built in iambic keyer called the RockMite. This is available in versions for the 80M, 40M, 30M and 20M ham bands. The basic kit (minus knobs and connectors) runs $29. For an additional $16 you can purchase the knobs and connectors. The kit is designed to fit into an empty tin Altoids container, or you may purchase a deluxe enclosure called the ‘MityBox’ from American Morse Equipment.
These compact radios can easily be powered using a 12 volt gel cell and used to provide long range communications during off grid/grid down situations.
Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.