Is there an inexpensive kit for the Technician 10M phone band?
In the comments for the kit roundup, a reader asked me about this, so I looked through the list again, and found the lowest priced kit available that will cover at least a portion of the 28.300 to 28.500 range. The YouKits TJ2A seems to be the only choice, but only after adding the accessory crystal pack #2. He pointed out the inexpensive MKARS80 as an example of a great SSB kit for very little money, but not covering a band available to a technician-class ham. On a side note, I wonder if it is possible to create an MKARS10? Here is my reply:
I’m not sure why there aren’t more SSB kits for 10 meters. In the list here you can try the Youkits TJ2A (http://youkits.com/ or the eBay store) and build it for 10 meters by ordering crystal option package #2. They only show one optional package on the website, but two in their eBay store for some reason. According to their specs this will give you 28.326 – 28.420. You might have luck contacting them directly and trying to order one with the correct BPF components for 10 meters with the initial kit package and save a few $$.
Another suggestion is to step up to general. I started studying as soon as I got my tech, and took the test about 6 weeks later. Tech-to-general is a pretty easy jump (mush easier than general-to-extra) and will give you the ability to use some of these other kits (like the aforementioned bargain-basement MKARS80).
A third option is to pick up a used Radio Shack HTX-10 or HTX-100 rig on eBay or at a hamfest. I have a Magnum-257 in the car (same rig as the HTX-10) that I picked up for $125. That rig with a modified 11 meter whip has been heard in Europe, Africa, and all over South America from here with 25 watts. In fact, my first contact on HF as a new ham was with France! I wish that good fortune on any new ham. It certainly got me interested in getting more great contacts.
Whatever path he chooses I’m sure it will be enjoyable. Once you make that first contact you catch the fever, and can’t wait for more.
EDIT: Andrew AC8JO reminded me about the Softrock RX/TX SDR kits, which can be built with 17, 12, and 10 meters at 1 watt. (you select the bands when you build, the kit comes with parts necessary for all). The kits are $89 when available. See http://www.kb9yig.com to order, or the Yahoo Group Softrock40 for announcements of upcoming availability or units to purchase. I hear that it is a moderately difficult build for a newbie, but there is PLENTY of info online to assist you.
The Softrock SDR kits can be built with 17, 12, and 10 meters at 1 watt. (you select the bands when you build, the kit comes with parts necessary for all). The kits are $89 when available. See http://www.kb9yig.com to order, or the Yahoo Group Softrock40 for announcements of upcoming availability or units to purchase.
Thanks Andrew! I’m adding that information to the post. –Neil
Beat me to the softrock comment! I thought that before I read the article! The HTX-10/100’s are great little rigs to have around for either 10m use or transverter use. I always buy working ones at hamfests when I see them for under $100.
I’d guess the recent dearth of 10m equipment is because of the many years of down sunspot activity. But when 10m is hot.. it’s really hot.