QRP Chronicles: Part I – The Rockmite Creation

The Rockmite

Yeah so I ordered a Rockmite 20 meter cw transceiver kit about a month and a half ago from Dave Benson(K1SWL) on his website(http://www.smallwonderlabs.com/) to build a ready-to-go, “all in one” qrp cw rig. Fortunately my wait lasted until two days ago when it came in! I’ve already designed the panel layout as can be seen here:

Now you maybe wondering what all the switches are but they all have a purpose. I’m trying something different this time around – last time I built a SW20+ with a built in 9.6v nicd battery pack with charging circuitry:

This time I’m not only aiming to put in a rechargeable power system but also incorporate a led swr bridge based upon prior projects of mine along with a miniture internal L network HPF transmatch using a polyvaricon and four spst switches to switch in and out inductance combinations for a total of 2 ^4 (thats 16) possibilities. The polyvaricon measures about 12pf to roughly ~140 pf. If you look closely you’ll notice that there are no continously-variable volume controls whatsoever – thats because I decided that a simple Hi/Low volume control would do given from prior experiences using my 40M Rockmite. Here’s some pictures of that rig:

Here’s the miniature polyvaricon cap and toroid thats going to be used for the internal “tuner” below:

The other switches are used for charging the internal battery/batter power or external DC, switching the swr and/or internal transmatch in or out independently and keyer control if paddles are used. As you can see, the differences from the 40 meter and 20 meter Rockmites puts this new project on a different level of complexity. Hopefully all will go well and I’ll have it ready and built in time for the next meeting! As always you can reach me at KC2BNX@gmail.com if you have any questions! 73

– Mike