Thursday, February 18, 2010

No crystals

I have been awaiting the arrival of the postman for the last week with eager anticipation and growing frustration. I have been expecting a set of QRP CW frequency crystals that I ordered on eBay almost a fortnight ago in order to try to make a contact using my little XBM80-2 transceiver. The only 40m crystals I have are for 7.040 which were fine for testing the radio but that frequency is in the middle of the 40m data segment so I can't go on the air using it. I don't have any 80m crystals at all, and I want to try the circuit on that band - which Roger designed it for - before coming to a decision as to which band to build it for.

I ordered the crystals from an eBay trader named spratreader because he offers a set of 5 crystals for £6.95 post paid whereas just two crystals plus postage from the G-QRP club would cost £4.60 - and I'd have the hassle of going to the post office to get stamps because they won't accept PayPal for anything less than a fiver. I've had crystals from spratreader before and they came quite promptly, so I'm not blaming him for the problem. Unfortunately I didn't order 80m crystals in the previous set, nor did I realise that the 40m crystals were not for the European QRP CW frequency - perhaps they'll come in handy one day for a WSPR beacon.

My order was delayed because spratreader was on holiday. He informed me last Thursday that they had been sent, so I began staking out the postman. After a week nothing had arrived, so I sent an email right after the post came this morning to say that I still hadn't got them. I'd hoped that replacements might be sent today, but I'm still waiting for a reply to my email. So it's looking less and less likely that I'll be able to test the XBM-80 this weekend. It's really frustrating, though with the ARRL DX CW contest on this weekend probably isn't a good time to try making a contact with 100mW anyway.


Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your woes Julian, but that moment when they do arrive will be sweet. There are not many finer pleasures in life than receiving little bags of electronic goodies in the mail!


Unknown said...

Yes, eBay has (mostly) proved to be quite a good source of electronic parts, much cheaper than most of the regular component suppliers who have high minimum order values and postage charges. Still no response from the crystal vendor, unfortunately. :(

Unknown said...

Grr, I see on the current eBay ad for these crystals "The seller is away until 20 February, there may be a delay in processing your order." I think I'm in for a long wait.