Atlanticon 2003 

QRP Forum Speaker

Jim Kortge, K8IQY

"The K8IQY 2N2/30"
    ... A 30-Meter, Discrete Component, CW Transceiver

Jim Kortge, K8IQY is a master craftsman of Manhattan-style construction projects and has contributed solid and useful designs to our QRP community. These include the 2N2/40 Transceiver, the Precision Variable Crystal Oscillator (, and the Islander Audio Amplifier (  K8IQY is the newest member of the QRP Hall of Fame and he has a great presentation lined up for this year's Atlanticon

Jim's  presentation this year will overview the design, construction, and performance of a 30-meter, discrete component CW transceiver based on the author's previous award winning 2N2/40 design.  New and revised circuits are employed, providing improved performance over the 2N2/40 while retaining the straight forward, Manhattan-style construction approach.  Details will be provided for using SMT components with this construction method.  This new design carries forward the extensive use of PN2222 transistors, while also employing other discrete, active devices to enhance performance and reduce construction effort.

About Jim Kortge, K8IQY ...

Jim was first licensed in November of 1957 as KN8IQY, at age 14.  Sometime later in the summer of '58, he advanced to Conditional class, and call K8IQY.  The Conditional class license was issued to those living more than 125 miles from an FCC office, and unable to test before an FCC examiner.

He first operated QRP on 75 meters as a novice, using a single 6AQ5 oscillator, and later on 160 meters, using an AM rig consisting of a 6AQ5 oscillator modulated by a second 6AQ5.  Back then, 6AQ5 tubes were akin to today's 2N2222 transistor.  Those rigs were the beginnings of his building career.

Jim's formal education was at Michigan Tech University; he graduated in 1966 with a BS Degree in Engineering Physics.  The next 31 years were spend working for General Motors at their Vehicle Safety and Crashworthiness Laboratory, part of the GM Proving Ground, near Milford, Michigan.  His responsibilities while at the lab included instrumentation systems design, crash test dummy design, and software design.  He held numerous supervisory and middle management positions, and was the "head dummy" for several years.

His original call lapsed in the early 1970's due to interest changes, and raising a family.  He returned to amateur radio in 1988 with call NU8N.  His new license was obtained in one 5 hour VE session where he passed all of the written and CW test elements in a single sitting.  He regained his original K8IQY call when the FCC began the vanity licensing programs, and gave first priority to previous holders of their old calls.

Jim retired from GM in the summer of 1998, and spends his time riding bicycle and operating bicycle mobile when the weather is good.  He has also been learning RF design since retirement; applying that knowledge to designing and building QRP gear, most of it discrete component, and specialized test equipment.  His free time has also allowed him to return to his music, and he is back playing guitar with a local big band.  Recently, he restarted bluegrass banjo picking in anticipation of some gigs with daughter Amy.

He has been married to Kathy, KB8IMP for 36 years, and they have a son and a daughter.  Both children are engineers, working for GM, helping to fund their dad's retirement.  In 2002, Jim was presented with the NJQRP "Most Significant Contribution to QRP" award, and was also inducted into the QRP Hall of Fame by the QRP ARCI organization.

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Last Modified: March 16, 2003