Dave Benson, K1SWL is the former proprietor of Small Wonder Labs. He has designed some of the most popular QRP kits ever offered. When he retired a few years ago, he closed the door on the Labs for good.

Dave continues to be involved in the QRP community and has been hitting the woods with some custom made trail-friendly radios. Recent reports and photos on his QRZ bio have created a buzz among kit-building enthusiasts, especially this one:

“My most recent project is a 20M CW rig intended for Summits on the Air (SOTA) later this year.  It puts out 3 watts and weighs a little over 6 ounces (180g). Audio-morse frequency readout, RIT and an ‘on-the-fly’ CW speed control.  A single 2.3 x 4.0” board includes an Arduino Nano and an Si5351 (DDS) breakout board as well as the Rx/Tx components.  It’ll be powered by an 11.1V LiPo battery (4 ounces) in the field. I’ve had it on the air since February and have worked 57 countries with it so far.”

Then yesterday the Four State QRP Group published the March edition of its monthly newsletter, the Ozark QRP Banner, that included photos and descriptions of several new QRP kits that will make an appearance at the OzarkCon QRP Conference next month.

One of them, “the Hilltopper”, is a 20 meter transceiver co-designed by Dave Benson, K1SWL and David Cripe, NM0S.

I’m glad I made plans to attend months ago and hope to walk away with a few new QRP kits to keep the solder melting.