Should I or shouldn’t I?

Thanks to the latest blog post from John AE5X I have the web page for a new QRP kit open in another browser tab and the pointer keeps hovering over the Buy Now button. The kit in question is the TJ2A, a two-band handheld SSB/CW transceiver for the 20m and 40m bands that has just been produced by YouKits of China.

Regular readers of my blog will know of my fondness for handheld radios. I’m finding this one very hard to resist even though I have an FT-817 and so no need for another handheld 20m/40m radio. At this point in my life I’m not even sure if building it is still within my capabilities. If I did try, it would be the most difficult kit I have attempted since my Elecraft K2, and I built that 12 years ago when my eyes were a lot sharper and I was not suffering the after effects of a brain operation. Should I or shouldn’t I?

The TJ2A looks like an updated and improved version of the Mizuho HF handhelds that were produced during the late 1970s which still fetch a tidy sum whenever they change hands on eBay. Like the Mizuhos, the TJ2A is VXO controlled and covers a portion of each of the two bands, though you can install alternative crystals if you would prefer to have full coverage of one band in two ranges. You could also choose other bands by changing the VXO crystal and bandpass filters.

The building instructions are on the web and it looks as if the kit uses mostly through hole components but there are some SMD transistors. It isn’t perfect. There is mention of warm-up drift in the first 5 minutes after switching on or changing bands. There is also a mod already to stop BFO leakthrough into the IF stages. And there doesn’t appear to be any high SWR protection for the PA so using the rig with handheld antennas – or any type of antenna that presents a mismatch prior to tune-up – might be problematic.

But it looks really cute. And it’s a kit. There are few things in ham radio more rewarding than hearing the first signals, then making the first contact, on a radio you built yourself. Should I or shouldn’t I?

Julian Moss, G4ILO, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cumbria, England. Contact him at [email protected].

7 Responses to “Should I or shouldn’t I?”

  • Fred W0FMS:

    That is very cute.. Looks like it would be fun to play with… now if only someone would put a PIC and a si570 or a DDS in it then it would truely be updated…

    Go for it. It looks like it’ll be a lot of fun to get on the air.

    Fred W0FMS

  • Paul Griffith KE5WMA:

    Very tempting. I think you should.

  • Joe K0NEB:

    Di IT!! I’d like to hear of your experiences with it!

  • Joe K0NEB:

    Do it!

  • Demetre SV1UY:

    Julian I’m tempted to buy one for myself too. I also have a MIZUHO MX-14s with 2 crystals in the VXO which I bought before 1990, if my memory still serves me right, and is a lot better than this but it is a MONOBANDER.
    A new project seems a nice idea though.
    73 de Demetre SV1UY

  • Manuel - EA7EE:

    I got it for christmas! It is interesting for bacpacking. I build next year in summer holydais!

    Go for it!!

    72s Manuel EA7EE

  • PAUL W5PAR:

    I am wanting to purchase crystals #2 kit for TJ2A, any help

    Thanks

    73’s from AZ
    paul

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