Amateur Radio WB3GCK Operating a QRP Classic
The Tuna Tin 2

Craig LaBarge, WB3GCK

During the 2000 Atlanticon QRP convention at Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, I had the distinct honor of operating a bit of QRP history. Ed Hare, W1RFI, brought the original Tuna Tin 2 transmitter and put it on the air as a special event station operating as W1FB/3.

For those unaware of the significance, the Tuna Tin 2 was built by famed QRPer, Doug DeMaw, W1FB, and featured in QST back in the 70s. It was stored at ARRL headquarters for many years until it mysteriously disappeared. It was later discovered by Ed Hare in a hamfest junk box 100 miles away. Ed bought it back for a dollar and has been putting this classic rig on the air on a regular basis. The fact that it still exists at all makes it a very special piece of equipment. The design has been updated over the years and QRPers still continue to build versions of this venerable classic.

The Original Tuna Tin 2

Technically speaking, it's not much of a transmitter. A couple of 2N2222s in a simple, crystal-controlled circuit putting out about a half-watt or so (or about 800mW with the two 9-volt batteries shown). Using a toggle switch to switch from transmit to receive brought back memories of my Novice days. My only QSO was with another QRPer on the 4th floor of the hotel. Still, I was thrilled to be able to briefly operate this famous little transmitter. Especially, under Doug DeMaw's callsign, W1FB. That really made it special.

WB3GCK Operating the Tuna Tin 2

© 2000 Craig A. LaBarge

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