Hi All, 

hanks to the suggestion from Long Island CW Club member Dave W2DAB, we decided to have a QRP Kit Build-A-Thon.  A Build-A-Thon is a large gathering of hams who will build an interesting and useful kit and ours will be finished in an afternoon.  Thanks to partnership and interest from Richie K2KNB who is president of LIMARC ARC, both our clubs will join in the event at Levittown Town Hall or nearby sometime in June.  Now it is time to pick a kit and find out how many members are in.

I have been speaking to Rex Harper W1REX from Maine owner of For those not familiar with Rex and his line of products, Rex is most famous for his “Tuna Can Kits”.  They are called this because they come packaged in cans, and are designed so that the board fits on top of the lip of the can when completed.  Rex is also the current supplier of the famous RockMite kit, formerly from Small Wonder.

Rex runs build-a-thons all over the country.  We are looking to bring him down to run one for us, and LIMARC jointly, and possibly including other area clubs should there be interest.  Due to the logistics of trying to manage dozens of soldering irons at once in our chosen venue, Rex is recommending (and we are agreeing) to a solderless version of one of his build-a-thon kits.  These use machine pins and components laid out to make the process easier.

x likes to come up with new designs, but if asked could reuse an older one.  After talking to him, here are the suggestions he had for our Build.  Any of these would produce a useable product:

1:  A solderless version of his Limerick Paddles with Keyer.  This is a mechanical CW paddle attached to a PIC keyer.  Current soldered version here:

2:  A solderless CW practice board that would create simulated QSO’s to use as practice.

3:  A solderless crystal controlled CW receiver, set to receive W1AW on 40M

4: (This one was not definite yet) A solderless version of his Sea Sprite Transceiver design, which is a modified Pixie circuit usually built for 40M

We also need to figure out what weekend to hold the event.  Some of this will depend on the venue, and number of participants.  The weekends I would suggest are: June 1-2, June 8-9, June 15-16, June 29-30.  We need to work around Dayton, and Field Day.  Please pick MORE THAN ONE date as Rex’s own availability may be an issue too.

Cost will be minimal ($20 – $30 per builder).  We’re looking to cover kit cost, and Rex’s lodging, travel, and expenses.  He makes a very small profit on the kits usually. Feedback from his build-a-thons is great, and he is looking forward to visiting Long Island.

Please advise who is in


Neil W2NDG