ROCKs & ROLL.....your own!

Rex Harper


Since my very first field trip in 9th grade Earth Science class where we visited a quarry and I picked up a beautiful piece of crystal clear quartz, I've been fascinated with rocks....and fossils! Quartz and galena crystals have always been my favorites primarily because I was also into electronics and knew their hidden powers. To others, they were just rocks but to me they were the tools for communication. I never got to play with quartz but I did build a few crystal radios using galena crystals purchased from rock shops. It took a trip to Ozarkcon before I could actually find my own galena crystals... Enough history.

We had another successful Buildathon at FDIM...with the usual glitches here and there. We had about 40 builders in the session and I believe everyone left the room with a working kit. This year's build was an integrated Crystal Oscillator & Frequency Counter combo specifically designed to aid in grinding FT-243 crystals. I managed to wipe out my work-in-progress frequency code in the middle of the night and couldn't get it back in shape. I did have a beta kit working great so we ended up borrowing the micro chip in that to verify everyone's completed kit so that went fairly well. I had to spend a couple of weeks back home reviving the program and getting the remaining kinks out of it. I also taped a few videos to explain the kit build, calibration, mods etc. All the information about the kit is now up on my website. Everybody has received their care package now so I can start selling them off my website.

In my Miscellaneous Parts department, there are listings for the other FT-243 items that I offer. Notably, I managed to talk a crystal supplier to make me some FT-243 quartz blanks! I now have factory fresh FT-243 blanks cut for 7015 and ready to grind up into more QRP friendly areas of the 40m band. If you need a REAL FT-243 crystal or socket for a REAL spy or vintage radio, I got 'em... and the means to move 'em!

Crystal Oscillator/Frequency Counter kit:

Rocks & Sockets:

Rex  W1REX

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