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In the beginning, it was called "Spark-Gap" code;
In the 30s and 40s, we called it the "HAMMER"
In the 30s and 40s, we called it the "HAMMER"
Then came CW "continious wave" as in telegraph, and/or Morse code.

US Army and JAN "Joint-Army-Navy" J-38 an old standard.  The J-38 had several mounting bases,
one was the leg strap, or spring clamp, the most common was the black, phoenolic base.

Don't BUG me about the speed keys......

When I first saw this contraption in 1954, I had to ask.... what does it do? I received a dozen
answers to my question...ranging from, it's an automatic code machine, to it cleans up your CW
errors, none of which came close to the real answer. Then Gale, W4CFB explained to me, the "BUG."
It was nicknamed the "BUG"... for what reason... it slips my old 80 plus years mind.. was the product
of a company named "VibroPlex."   This pile of metal components became the "speed Key" for
decades, and is still in use today.  Many ops have moved on to the "electronic-keyers" and to the
computer based digital or keyboard generated code.  Some of the skill of CW is gone, however, the thrill
is still there when you call CQ in code, and hear a reply, with your callsign in it coming back to you.

Soon came voice in the form of Amplitude Modulation or AM.  The code key was still
with us, but HAM radio evoloved a step higher, which called for many different
microphone styles
An old standard that was used in both broadcast and HAM radio was the JT-30,
most popular in the early 1930s. saltz crystal; of course.

In 1933 an industry standard was introduced to the world of communications.

The now well known D-104 "Crystal" Astatic microphone was introduced in 1933. The D-104"C" ceramic
 came along in the early 1960s.  Had to, the ceramic was not as sensitive, but was more durable
when handled by the CB operators. The grip-to-talk (PTT) "TUG8" stand was added by the HAMs in the 1960s.

The German version;
German D
In the mid thirties, the Germans had their own "dynamic" version of the "D"

The Commercial Broadcast industry had to improve the quality of microphones to
reproduce a wider frequency response to accomodate the higher audio frequencies
brought about by the Big-Band and voice music broadcasts.

Before the model 44 (shown above) the microphone manufacturers tried many different microphone
element suspension systems, with rubber-bands, springs, garder elestic... but the range was just not there.
General Electric and RCA both began experimenting with foil ribbon suspended between two core,
dynamic magnets. Walla, and new breed of sound was discovered.

The RCA BK-1 Ribbon type microphone.

from the early 1940s, well into the late 1950s, the RCA BK-1 became the popular studio microphone
for both voice and music.  Even Elvis used this microphone with most of his early recordings.
If you ever see an old Ed Sullivan TV show, you might see this microphone suspended (inverted) from
an (overhead) boom.

Other networks used the ElectroVoice 5D, Dynamic microphones.

Mutual, CBS, and Other networks used the ElectroVoice Dynamic microphones..  The sound reproduction
was accepted as their studio-standard for both voice and music, sound.

Gone are the days of the "California Killerwatts."  When you've experienced all the DX chasing
with full "LEGAL Limits"  and talked to every corner of the earth...... "the earth is flat...right."
Well, you know the drill; We become bored and want to try something radically different.

ENTER;  the world of QRP.  Every mode we use in HAM Radio can be experienced with "QRP."
In HAM radio, QRP operation refers to; transmitting at reduced power while attempting to
maximize the communications effective range.
We can use any digital, AM, SSB, or FM mode
while using QRP.  The QRP power level or reference is when we are using 10 watts or less.
In the following photos and images, we will offer some of the many QRP rigs on the market now, and from thed past.

The 5 watt Heathkit QRP transceiver covered 80, 40, 20, and 15 meters.
A quad band-deluxe CW transceiver.

TenTec's contribution to the CW QRP market.

The BuxComm PIXIE 40 meter QRP, CW transceiver kit; catalog # 40CWXCVR-KIT

A 1 watt QRP transceiver for the beginner, BuxComm sells the PIXIE II, shown here.

OR, you can build a more complex QRP RF Power Amplifier to enhance the power of
the PIXIE II transceiver.  Shown here with PCB layout, and complete schematic.

Don't let the QRP idea Nickel and dime you into another bank, try the penny sized QRP rig on a chip.
Sort of Rock-bound, but it makes QRP CW contacts.

The Elecraft KX1, sports its own built-in key.  Just add 12 Volts DC, and the Antenna,
and you're QRP CW airborne.

Index Labs SSB/CW 5 watt PEP transceiver. Overall selectivity is provided by a crystal filter in the I.F.,
and added filtering is available in the audio stage for better CW operation.

The BitX20A are complete SSB kits with board, all parts, digital display 
The kit includes a commercial quality plated through, silkscreened, solder masked board,
and all board mounted parts, Digital dial, Everything you need to build the kit is provided.


The MFJ Cub kit uses Surface Mount Technology (SMT) to achieve big performance in a pocket-sized package. The kit has all SMT parts mounted and soldered. You just insert and solder the through-hole parts such as the connectors, inductors and trimmer caps/pots.

The Oak Hills Research OHR500 is a five band CW transceiver that covers 150 KHz of the 80, 40, 30, 20 and 15M bands.
The OHR-500 is no longer in production. Some of the features include a super-quiet single signal superhet receiver, 
with diode ring mixer, and a new ultra stable pre-mix VFO system providing high side L.O. injection. The VFO is
tuned with a high quality double bearing, vernier drive air variable cap.


SDR HF 160-10m Transceiver SKY-209 Synthesizer With Si570 and CAT USB & CW QRP 5W

HF CW QRP portable transceiver supplied as a partially assembled kit.  All SMD components
are pre-installed and the display module is fully built and display.

Youkits HB-1B MK3 4 band QRP CW transceiver

LNR LD-5 Transceiver


CW/SSB with VOX Control
Speed-adjustable AGC in values 1 to 20 
DSP Filtering Incl. (CW FROM 0 TO 1000HZ AND SSB FROM 100-2500HZ)
Frequency Range: 7000 kHz – 22 MHz
Frequency Stability: +/- 1 ppm typical over 0-50 C
Antenna: 50 ohms; HF: BNC
Modes: USB, LSB, CW
Digital Modes (CW): PSK/RTTY/JT65
CAT/USB Port capabilities for logging
Dual VFOs
100 Memory storage per band
Built in Speaker
Accessories included: Hand Mic, Power cord.

Supply Voltage and Current
10.5 V min, 15 V max.
1 to 2 A typical in transmit; 350 mA minimum receive, typical

Weight (excl.mic) 19oz/.54 kilogram
Dimensions (LWD): 5″L x 4.062″W x 2.125″D (12.7cm x 10.32cm x 5.4cm)

The MTR5B 5-Band Mountain Topper

40M, 30M, 20M, 17M, 15M
Size: 4.337"L x 3.153"W x 1.008"T
Weight: approx 6.4 OZ.

Features:  Switch selected 40/30/20/17/15 meter bands (no band modules to lose or change out)

Wide operating voltage range, 6 to 12 volts 15 ma Rx current at 12V supply
Efficient transmitter. Low current with 4W output
LCD display

 AND for the QRP antenna, here is the BuxComm Cat# QRP-A66

For QRP mopuntain-topping, this complete antenna system; the BuxComm Cat# QRP-A66

AND there are more to come. 
If you are a vendor or OEM, send us your contribution, and we'll add it to our next update.

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