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.
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