Posts Tagged ‘hendricks kits’
That font of all knowledge Steve G1KQH reports:
“Hendricks QRP Kits http://www.qrpkits.com has re-opened for business under its new proprietors, James Bennett and Kathy Long of Pacific Antenna. James writes:
“We are excited to resume operations as of May 1 providing Hendricks QRP Kits and in the very near future, we will be bringing back the entire Pacific Antenna line of antenna kits and parts. We very much appreciate the patience that has been shown as we worked through this transition and we look forward to serving the QRP community. 73 James and Kathy”
These days, with dirt cheap kits from China often with free airmail, it is sometimes a wonder that any USA or UK kit companies exit at all. One of these I have mentioned before is Hendrick Kits, which always has a good selection on their website. These are best value if you live in the USA. Several kits are shown as “retired” which I guess means they did not sell well or they had problems with reproducibility. One favourite is the derivative of the BitX SSB design from Ashlan Farhan in India. This uses easily obtainable parts and has been a well proven design. Hendricks sell versions for 20m or 17m.
It looks like they have just moved so there might we a little delay until early May.
The power out, around 10W, should ensure plenty of contacts. These 2 bands are usually good even when the sun is quiet, so make a good choice. You have to choose either 20m or 17m SSB. I am sure Western kit companies would really value our business. “Use it or lose it”, is a phrase often used about bands. In this case it apples to amateur radio kit suppliers. If we don’t buy from them they will close their doors and cease trading. I am as guilty as anyone having recently bought a 40m Pixie kit from China.
From the Hendricks Kit website:
“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. The original version was built ugly construction, and you had to source all the parts. I discovered the BitX20 site on Yahoo in 2007, and decided that the BitX20 would be a neat kit for Hendricks QRP Kits. The problem was that it did not have a pcb. A team of Dan Tayloe, Jim Kortge and Arv Evans have worked countless hours making sure that the pcb version was stable and would meet United States F.C.C. Specs. We had to go through several revisions to get it right, and we are happy with the result, even though it took a long time. Some things just take time. The kit includes a commercial quality plated through, silkscreened, solder masked board, and all board mounted parts, plus the polyvaricon tuning capacitor, digital dial, custom powder coated and punched case, knobs and controls. Everything you need to build the kit is provided.
I encourage you to check out the BitX20 users group on Yahoo. They have agreed to provide support for the kits. There are hundreds of messages on there about the history and development of this kit. Our kit puts out about 10 watts, features dual IRF510’s as finals in a push-pull arrangement. The schematic is available at the Bitx20 site on Yahoo. Cost of the kit is $180.00 plus shipping and handling.“
The BitX looks a nice, useful radio. For a beginner it is just about all you need to get started.
These are bands I rarely use, but some readers may be interested in the Hendricks Kits dual band transceiver. 5.5W sounds enough to work plenty.
These days, the main issue on these bands can be man-made noise from TVs, SMPUs and similar. At my old QTH I had an S7-8 noise floor on 160m and 80m. At the new QTH the noise floor on these bands is low currently, but this could change overnight. Some people use loops and nullers on RX to minimise problems. If you have a quiet noise environment then this transceiver may fit your needs. Don’t forget you will need a reasonably big antenna to get decent results. A half wave 160m dipole antenna is around 240 feet long.
In my youth we had rigs like the Codar AT5 12W AM/CW 160m/80m transmitter and companion T28 RX. I had the RX but not the TX although I did use an AT5 from the QTH of the late G4PJ. The T28 was mainly used as a tunable IF for my 2m converter. I heard my first 2m satellite signals via Oscar 6 and 7 using the T28 as a tunable IF. I remember being very thrilled hearing my first transatlantic stations on the top end of 2m.
At under $30 the Hendricks Kits DCxx series of direct conversion transceivers look good value. See http://www.qrpkits.com/. With a decent mixer, these rigs should do better than many. The image below is actually on the Hendricks Kits site. Link to image will be removed if this is a problem.