Posts Tagged ‘do it yourself’
It might not take as much antenna as you may think would be necessary to make two-way contacts on shortwave radio (as an amateur radio operator putting an HF transceiver on the air). However, often, makeshift antennae are effective enough to be viable–just look at all the contacts many amateur radio operators make with their low-power (QRP) rigs (transceivers) using short, helically-wound, mobile antenna sticks. If they can work magic with such inefficient antenna setups, surely your effort at an antenna would pay off to some degree. Right?
Of course, I want to make a proper dipole out of this example antenna. But, while I wait for the rest of the parts I need to complete this antenna project (pulleys and a ladder, and maybe a potato launcher), I’ve put this makeshift antenna on the air, with it just high enough so that I can enjoy some time on the shortwave bands.
With this antenna, I’ve made successful two-way voice and Morse code contacts (QSOs) with stations in Europe and across North America. I am able to tune it on the 60-, 40-, 30-, 20-, 15-, 17-, 12-, and 10-Meter bands. Reverse beacon detection picks up my Morse-code CW signals, especially on 40 meters (the band on which it is tuned physically).
The bottom line: just get something up in the air and start communicating. Improve things over time. You’ll have much fun that way.
73 de NW7US dit dit
Kit building appears to be on the rise again. With so many people talking about it lately I attempted to research sources for kits, only to find out that there wasn’t a single-source for Ham Radio kit suppliers.
I decided to put together a good list of sources for kits that are currently available. Many of these are for QRP operation, but a few are full-featured professional transceivers (Elecraft, DZ). On the beginners side there are a few sources that stand out: Hendricks has a great assortment of kits, including some SSB QRP equipment. QRPme offers the inexpensive, easy-to-build tuna-can products, and I would like to make special mention of the Four State QRP Group NS-40 which has the coils etched right into the PC board! What a great idea! I’ve covered trasmitters, transceivers, and some receivers here. Some accessories are mentioned in the source descriptions.
Revised 2/18/2013 Changes in Hendricks, YouKits, Tony Parks. Added CR KITS, and BreadBoard Radio.
Revised 2/20/2013 Added K5BCQ & K5JHF Kits
Revised 2/26/2013 Added Kit Radio Company, GQRP Club, Kenneke Comm., Walford Electronics, Kanga UK, QRP Project, Kits by EA3GCY, and OZ QRP
Enjoy, and feel free to add any corrections, or additions in the comments. The list can always be found at RadioKitGuide.com–Neil W2NDG
-Hendricks QRP Kits http://www.qrpkits.com/
- BitX20A/17A SSB Transceiver. The BitX20A and BitX17A are complete SSB kits with board, all parts, digital display and custom powder coated and punched case that is based on the BitX20 that was designed by Ashlan Farhan. Output is Read the rest of this entry »
- BitX20A/17A SSB Transceiver. The BitX20A and BitX17A are complete SSB kits with board, all parts, digital display and custom powder coated and punched case that is based on the BitX20 that was designed by Ashlan Farhan. Output is about 10 Watts. $180.00 + S&H
- PFR-3a 3-Band Portable Field Radio. Bands : 40 meters, 30 meters and 20 meters. Tuning range: Full band coverage. Mode: CW only. $240.00 + S&H
- NADC30/40 CW Transceiver. Nearly All Discrete Component CW Transceiver for either 30m or 40m. Tuning range ~ 60 kHz. Power output: 3.5 watts. Full Kit: $130.00 + S&H
- Ft Tuthill 15 Meter CW Transceiver. Two 60 KHz tuning ranges, ~ 21.000 – 21.060 and 21.075 – 21.135 MHz. Power Output: 5 Watts. Complete Kit (w/ case and digital dial) $130.00 + S&H
- Ft Tuthill 160 Meter CW Transceiver. Two 30 KHz tuning ranges, ~ 1800 – 1835 and 1830 – 1865 MHz. Power Output: 5 Watts. Complete Kit (w/ case and digital dial) $130.00 + S&H
- –DISCONTINUED–Red Hot 40 Meter Transceiver. A high performance QRP CW transceiver kit for the 40m band. It has been designed to operate well in the presence of large out-of-band (shortwave broadcast) and in-band (contest station just down the road) unwanted signals. Frequency range is a (nominal) 70KHz segment of the CW end of 40m. Output power 0 to 5 Watts nominal (7 Watts typical). Full Kit: $250.00 + S&H
- –DISCONTINUED–MMR-40 CW/SSB Transceiver. The MMR-40 features both CW and SSB operation, the first rig kit in this price class to do so. Transmitter power out: 6 watts CW/pep typical at 13.8V supply. Typical tuning range: SSB: 7.280 to 7.150 MHz CW: 7.100 to 6.700 MHz. Full Kit: $225.00 + S&H
- –DISCONTINUED–TwoFer Plus CW Transmitter. The TwoFer Plus is a simple transmitter that will be offered on 40, 30, and 20 meters. The kits come with crystals in the qrp region of the band. It will put out approximately 1 Watt using a 2N3053 transistor for the final. It has a crystal based VXO that will give about 1.5kHz on 40, and 3kHz on 20. It also has a built in T-R switch on the board that mutes the receiver during transmit. We have upgraded the kit with a custom prepunched case that was designed by Ken LoCasale, WA4MNT. The kit comes complete, with all parts, connectors, case, knobs, wire, and our usual commercial quality double sided, plated through, silkscreened solder masked board. $35.00 + S&H
- DCxxB Board Only Trasceiver Kit. These radios are the next generation of the popular DC40 transceiver that was also designed by Steve Weber. The kit will come with 1 crystal for the band specified. 7.040 for DC40, 10.120 for DC30, 14.060 for DC20. Board-Only kit with decals: $30.00 + S&H
- Weber Tri-Bander. The Weber Tri-Bander can be built for any three of these bands: 80, 40, 30, 20, 17, or 15. 5 Watts out on all bands at 13.8 VDC. Built in Iambic keyer with 5 to 40 wpm code speed. DDS VFO for rock steady stability with 50 Hz and 200 Hz tuning rates. Many more features! $200 + S&H
- Scout Regen Receiver. A simple 2 band regenerative radio receiver that is capable of receiving signals from 3.5 to 11 MHz. A complete kit with L shaped aluminum chassis, quality doublesided silkscreened soldermasked board, all parts, hookup wire, board mounted battery holder. This kit is ideal for the first time builder. $50.00 + S&H
- –NEW– SMK-2 40m Surface Mount CW Transceiver. The SMK-2 is a fully functional surface mount component 40 meter transceiver. It has an independently tuned transmitter and direct conversion receiver. Full break-in TX with sidetone, and a modest 350mW output. The crystal VXO on receiver allow about 3 kHz+ tuning range on the crystal frequency. It was originally conceived as the SMK-1, a platform to teach SMT construction techniques. Transceiver Kit: $40.00 + S&H, Optional switched crystal board: $10.00 + S&H
- –DISCONTINUED– TJ2A 2 Band SSB / CW Handheld Transceiver. Can be set to operate on 2 bands from 160m – 10m. Output power 3.5 – 4 Watts. Rechargeable. Many band combinations available. $169.00 + S&H
- TJ4A 4 Band Backpack HF Trasceiver. Available in 2 TX models: 80,40,20,15, or 40,20,15,10. New general coverage receiver capability. 20 Watts output (adjustable), SSB, CW, AM. Full Kit: $399.00 + S&H
- –NEW– TT1A 2 Band CW Tube Transmitter Kit. This is a 2-tube 4-watt transmitter kit. Comes with crystals for 40 and 20 meters, but can operate from 60 to 20 meters with different crystals. Power supply kit coming soon, as well as custom case. $129 + S&H
- MFJ-8100K World Band SWL Receiver Kit. Regenerative general coverage receiver covering 3.51 – 4.31 MHz, 5.95 – 7.40 MHz, 9.56 – 12.05 MHz, 13.21 – 16.4 MHz, and 17.6-22 MHz. $79.95 + S&H
- MFJ-93xxK QRP Cub Transceiver Kits. QRP Transceiver available in 80, 40, 30, 20, 17, or 15. Output 2 Watts (except 1 Watt on 17 and 15).
- Too many kits to list here. They sell several different Transmitter, Receiver, and Transceiver kits, as well as shortwave converters for the car. A couple of the items seem to be kit versions of MFJ products.
- Similar assortment to Vectronics above, with several transmitter, transceiver and receiver projects.
- G11 5 band SDR Transceiver Kit. Power output 10 W. SMT components factory pre-assembled, buyer to assemble only large through hole components. Price in AUS$: $299.00 + S&H
- –LIMITED AVAILABILITY–G59 All Mode 160-6M SDR transceiver kit. The G59 is an all-mode 160-6m SDR transceiver with 10mW of output power. The output is boosted to 10W with the GPA10 linear amplifier. Genesis kits are produced in batches of 50 units at a time. Current demand for the G59 is much greater than our production capability. The best way to get a hold of a Genesis kit is to subscribe to our GenesisRadio Yahoo group and watch for announcements. G59: $349.00 + S&H, GPA10: $129.00 + S&H
- SoftRock RX Ensemble II Receiver Kit. The SoftRock RX Ensemble II Receiver Kit includes the components for building the kit for LF, 180kHz through 3.0 MHz, operation or for HF, 1.8 MHz through 30 MHz. $67.00
- SoftRock Lite II Combined Receiver Kit. The SoftRock Lite II kit now includes the components to build it for one of the following bands: 160m, 80m, 40m, 30m or 20m. This replaces prior Lite II kits that were set to a specific band when ordered. The SoftRock Lite II provides a simple to build SDR receiver with a fixed center frequency to be used with a sound card that can sample at 96 kHz, providing band coverage from 48 KHz below the center frequency to 48 KHz above the center frequency. $21.00
- SoftRock RXTX Ensemble Transceiver Kit. The SoftRock RXTX Ensemble Transceiver Kit provides a 1 watt SDR transceiver that can be built for one of the following four band groups: 160m, 80m/40m, 30m/20m/17m or 15m/12m/10m. $89.00
- SoftRock 6m/4m/2m RX Ensemble Receiver Kit. The SoftRock 6m/4m/2m RX Ensemble Receiver Kit may be built from the parts included in the kit for one of the three VHF frequency ranges. $68.00
- QRP Transceiver Kits (20,30,40, or 80 meters). 3 watts power output. covers a 50 kHz segment determined by you at the time of construction. With pre-labeled and painted case. $124.00 + S&H
- 9 Band Regenerative Receiver. 1.760 – 1.990 MHz, 3.3 – 4.150 MHz, 5.5 – 6.9 MHz, 6.9 – 8.5 MHz, 8.5 – 11 MHz, 10.1 – 13.2 MHz, 12.5 – 16 MHz, 14.7 – 18.5 MHz, 18.5 – 21.5 MHz Integrated audio amp IC for clean robust audio from internal speaker or headphones. includes parts, circuit board, assembly manual, battery holder, speaker, complete enclosure, and knobs. $93.00 + S&H
- 4 Band Regenerative Receiver. 5.9 – 6.4 Mhz, 6.9 – 7.4 Mhz, 8.5 – 10.2 Mhz, 11.5 – 16.5 Mhz. Comes with finished front panel. No knobs or case. $41.95 + S&H
- Digital Readout Superhet Receiver. 100 Khz to 20 Mhz coverage. This is the radio that Jay, KC2YSK built and wrote about in the Log previously. Several option available to improve performance from 3rd parties. $205.00 + S&H
- Any Band Direct Conversion Receiver Kit. Includes all of the parts and instructions to let you build the receiver (or change it to) ANY band of your choice (160, 80, 75, 40, 30, 20, 17, 15, 12 or 10 meters). $39.00 + S&H
- K3 Modular Kit. The K3 is Elecraft’s top of the line. Available in 10 and 100 watt versions and with a multitude of options. The modular kit comes with mostly pre-assembled boards that need to be plugged in. The K3 kit starts at $1549.95 and increases depending on what options you choose.
- KX3 Modular Kit. The KX3 is Elecraft’s newest transceiver. Similar to the K3 in features, but in a compact portable package. This is a modular kit like the K3 that requires you to assemble the pre-soldered boards. Many options available. Starts at $899.95
- K2 Kit. The K2 is available only as a full kit. This is not a modular kit like the two above, but a full kit for the advanced kit builder. The K2 is a full-featured transceiver available in 10 and 100 watt versions, and with many options. Basic kit starts at $739.95
- K1 Kit. The K1 is a small portable CW transceiver available as either a 2 or 4 band rig. You choose which bands you want at the end of the kit build. Adjustable output from 0 to 5 watts. The 2 band model starts at $299.95
- KX1 Kit. The KX1 is an ultra-portable CW transceiver. Available with 2 bands in the basic model, and upgradeable to 4. ! to 4 watt output. Starting at $299.95
- Hamtronics offers a variety of VHF and UHF receiver and exciter kits as well as many other interesting items.
- Emtech is currently out of stock on their NW-series radios. Check back. In the meantime, they have the excellent ZM-2 QRP tuner kit.\
- Series one kits. Three kits available. All DDS controlled, covering 80, and 40 meters. RX1 Receiver, 74.80€, TX1 Transmitter, 80.33€, and TRX1 Transceiver, 169.00€.\
- Series two kits. Two kits available. Both are high dynamic range, 10W output, SSB and CW transceiver kits, using quadrature sampling techniques for demodulation and modulation with low noise phasing. VFO is DDS controlled for a good frequency stability. TRX2 2-band model (80 and 40) 395.00€, and TRX2A 80 thru 10 model with general coverage receiver, 499.00€
- R1 Code Practice Receiver. High quality fixed frequency CW receivers designed for simple operation. Standard models are available for W1AW frequencies in the 80, 40 and 20 meter bands. $29.95 + S&H
- Rock Mite CW Transceiver. The Rock-Mite is a crystal-controlled direct-conversion transceiver available for 80M, 40M, 30M or 20M. $29 + S&H some accessories available.
- –Discontinued– The Retro 75. This is a nostalgic kit. A crystal controlled AM Transceiver with 2 watts carrier, 8 watts peak. $69 + S&H
- –OUT OF STOCK– Simple Superhet Receiver (SST). The SST is an optimized, superhet rig with an extremely low parts count . This may be the easiest to build superhet ever, and it comes with a miniature custom enclosure. 2 Watts output. $90 + S&H
- Nor Cal 40a. The revision B NorCal 40A is a third-generation 40-meter QRP transceiver kit, designed by Wayne Burdick, N6KR. The rig covers any 40KHz portion of the CW band, with a very stable VFO operating in the 2MHz range. The receiver is a superhet with crystal filter, AGC, and RIT. 3 Watts output. $145 + S&H
- –OUT OF STOCK– Sierra. The Sierra is the only compact, low-current, multiband transceiver kit available. Designed by N6KR and extensively field-tested by the NorCal QRP Club, the Sierra has been completely upgraded for Wilderness Radio–including a painted and silk-screened enclosure and improved performance on both transmit and receive. Uses plug-in band modules for 80, 40, 30, 20, 17 and 15 meters. 1.5 to 3 watts depending on band. LCD display. Starts at $245 + S&H with 1 band module.
- Ham Can Transceiver. A crystal-controlled CW transceiver, delivering 1/2 to 1 watts. Easy thru-hole kit. Crystal for 7122 included. $30 includes shipping.
- NS-40 Transmitter. Ideal first kit. There are only 14 electronic components, and NO TOROIDS or COILS of any kind to wind – NONE! All inductors are incorporated directly on the PC board as etched spirals. 5 watts at 13.6 volts. $30 includes shipping.
- SS-40 High Performance 40M Receiver. The SS-40 high performance receiver is the latest design effort from Jim Kortge, K8IQY. SS stands for “Stable and Sensitive”. It exhibits the signature IQY extremely quiet amplifier chain. Disconnect the antenna and the receiver’s noise floor is almost undetectable. A matched crystal IF filter provides a steep sided 500 cycle bandpass and outstanding opposite sideband rejection. Covering the 40M QRP “watering holes”, a Super VXO provides 25-30 kHZ of smooth stable tuning, and no perceptible drift even from a cold start.. While easy to build, this is not a trivial kit. There are 150 parts, and when completed the resulting high quality receiver is a pleasure to use. $60 + S&H
- Several inexpensive kits for the radio hobbyist, mostly supplied as a “bag of parts” with a schematic.
- A nice collection of kits including keys, keyers, and clocks.
- Little Joe Transmitter Kit. A small kit with board and parts from the book QRP Classics. Available for 80, 40, 20, and 10/15. Does not include crystals. $19.95 + S&H
- Cubic Incher Transmitter Kit. A small kit available for 40 or 80 meters. Crystals not included. Currently on closeout for $6.50 + S&H
- Sienna Transceiver Kit. This is a high end, full-featured transceiver with many options. The Sienna can be a full-control stand-alone rig, or a computer-controlled-only rig. Available in 10 and 100 watt version. Kits start at $2098 + S&H for the computer-only 10 watt model.
- HT-7 7Meter AM Walkie Talkie. The HT-7 is a simple AM handie-talkie that operates on the 40M AM calling frequency. $149.99 + S&H
- OHR 100A single band CW transceiver kit. Offered in 80, 40, 30, 20, and 15 Meter versions. Each can be aligned to cover 70-80Khz. 5 Watt output. $149.95 + S&H
- Micro 80D. Small tunable 80 meter CW transceiver kit. $35 + S&H
- Lil Squall Transceiver. A version of the Pixie Transceiver. A tinkerers delight. It fits in a small tuna can. Includes a socket for the FINAL transistor for easy experimenting with output power. Likewise, the feedback caps in the oscillator circuit also have sockets making it easy to experiment with new bands. The crystal also has a socket for easily moving the operating frequency about a band. Comes will ALL the parts necessary to complete the transceiver and a 7122 crystal for operating the Lil’ Squall ][ in an area where other minimalist rigs hang out, AND the ‘officially unofficial’ TUNA NET frequency for tuna can gatherings. $35 + S&H
- Super Tuna II+. A version of the Sudden Transmitter from the GQRP Club. Transmitter section is comprised of an oscillator, buffer and final driver transistor. Produces 2 watts at 12.6 volts. Frequency dependent components are mounted on an easily changed band module. The basic kit comes with a band module for 40 meter operation. $40 + S&H
- Tuna Tin 2 30th Anniversary Isuue. A re-issue of the original TT2 transmitter. Parts are laid out on the board in the exact same way the schematic is drawn. Simple, and easy to build. Comes with crystal for 7.030. $25 + S&H
- EZ Build Two-Tinned-Tuna Transmitter. EZ build version with no toroids to wind. Several socketed parts for experimenting and comes with 2 crystals for 40 meters. $30 + S&H
- Sudden Storm Receiver Kit. Great companion to any of the tuna can transmitters. Comes with components for 40 meters but can be operated on 80, 30, and 20 using the upgrade kit. $35 + S&H
- Reggie II Transceiver Kit. A lesson in minimalist design. The Reggie uses the Limerick construction technique. Output is about 100mW. $40 + S&H
- MKARS80 SSB Transceiver. This kit is based on the same design that is used in the BITX20 from Hendricks, but modified for 80 meter use. Main changes from Ashhar’s original design are the inclusion of a frequency counter and a Huff and Puff frequency stabilizer. Covers from 3.5 to 3.8 Mhz with about 5 Watts output. This kit is a bargain! Ranging from a basic no-case kit for £55.00 shipped to the USA, to full kit with connectors, knobs, and an undrilled case for £68.50
- Hunter SDR Receiver / Panadapter. This looks like an interesting and economical SDR kit, that can also be controlled by an existing rig for use as a panadapter. £87.00 shipped to the USA
- Soft66Lite. Small monoband SDR that can be built for different ranges depending on the bandpass components installed. Easily switchable by plugging in homemade bp modules setup on IC sockets. $18 shipped to USA
- BITX Kits. I won’t list the kits individually because the website is a bit confusing. They seem to have several different options from a basic kit with just the board and specialty components only for $18 to a deluxe complete kit with digital readout for $85
- AVALA SDR board only. There are a few sites supporting this SDR. Not sure if I’m ready to tackle something like this, but it does look interesting. Board only: $10
- Pixie II Kit. This includes the components for 80 and 40 meter versions of the famous Pixie II kit. It does not come with crystals, but HSC has them available individually or in a 6-pack. $9.95 + S&H
–Hans Summers dot com. http://www.hanssummers.com/qrsskitmm.html. Hans sells the Ultimate QRSS kit. The website lists many other projects and experiments.
- Ultimate QRSS kit. The ultimate QRSS Transmitter Kit is produced by Steve G0XAR and Hans G0UPL in 30, 40 and 80m versions. Supports many different modes: QRSS, FSK/CW, DFCW, WSPR, Hellshreiber, CW, and more. The kit contains the PCB, LCD, programmed microcontroller and all board-mounted components. 15.39 GBP + S&H