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  • Thursday, April 19, 2012

    Tiny Rigs: Big Fun!

    © by LU5DX

    Expensive rigs are nice, but smaller and not so expensive ones can bring lots of fun and enjoyment. Be it in kits or fully assembled and tesdted units, there are several options to choose from.

    When it comes to DSP based rigs and stuff , you may want to stop by at Tobias' website. He has a great deal of information at http://www.dh1tw.de/


    Here is a short compilation of some of them (both DSP and Analog based radios).


    HB1B Four Band CW QRP Transceiver (priced at US$ 299,00)
    Ten-Tec offers other two similar models one for 40 & 20 and the other for 40 and 30 meters.

    More info at http://www.tentec.com/categories/Amateur-Radio-Equipment/Transceivers/


    • Bright easy to read LCD display informs you of frequency, mode, supply voltage, S meter, RIT and more

    • BNC RF connector

    • Sensitivity (typical) .8 micro volts. MDS .2 micro volts

    • Transmitter power, 5 watts (typical)

    • Powerful DDS electronic synthesizers allow 3.2-16 MHz general coverage receive.

    • Convenient 30 frequency memory storage

    • Includes internal battery holders for Lithium batteries. An external (optional) 12 to 14 VDC regulated power supply may also be used.

    • Easily adjustable tuning steps for both Amateur bands and general short wave listening.

    • Low current consumption: About 60 mA on receive or about 800 mA on transmit depending on supply voltage

    • Built in adjustable keyer with automatic CQ and call sign insertion for memory keying.

    • Use with straight key or your favorite key paddle.

    • Adjustable 4 pole crystal filter, 400Hz to 3KHz continuousely adjustable.

    • 8 ohm headphone output (requires stereo plug). No internal speaker.

    • RIT (receive incremental tuning) allows for 10Hz or 100 Hz tuning

    • Power Plug- 2.1mm ID x 5.5mm OD with center positive. The Radio Shack part number for an equivalent is 274-1567. They come in a two pack for $3.29.

    • An optional Lithium battery pack R9411 is available.

    • Size: 5.2” X 3.4” X 1.4” (not including knobs)

    • Weight: 14 oz (not including batteries)

    FLEX 1500 , 160-10 M 5 Watts DSP Transceiver (priced at US$649 - currently in back-order)

    More info at: http://www.flex-radio.com/


    Two-tone, 2 KHz spacing third order dynamic range measured @ 14 MHz of greater than 80 dB 
    Full HF/6m transmit capability 
    BNC Connector for interfacing an external high precision clock source for ultra high frequency stability needed for VHF+ operation. 
    Internal A/D and D/A converters operating at a sampling rate of 48 KHz 
    Built In Test Equipment (BITE) for hassle free calibration 
    Optimized reception for the ham bands and a general coverage receiver.
    Multiple RF outputs for transverter IF or "full gallon" QRP operation 
    Dedicated Receive only antenna selection for use with the transverter IF or the 5W PA Transceiver port 
    Multi-Step high gain, low noise RF preamp for increased sensitivity on the upper bands 
    Simple USB interface to the computer eliminates messy sound card cabling that plagues other QRP software defined radios. 
    Compatible with all versions of USB controllers installed in any Windows personal computer. 
    External connectors for band data,  asserting PTT, headphones, key and microphone 


    SDR-Cube (priced at U$ 725) Single band DSP SSB/CW Transceiver.

    More info at: http://www.sdr-cube.com/


    • Add-on RF Amp & Attenuator ... Good control of incoming RF, optimize some SR features.

    • Quadrature Sampling Clocking options ... DDS, Si570, or I2C to target Softrock

    • Built-in Keyer ... 1-100 wpm, Iambic A, B, or straight key

    • Popular HF modes ... SSB, CW, AM, Digital (with special interface to NUE-PSK for digital modes)

    • Special interface to NUE-PSK Modem ... Digital interface provides best quality

    • Graphic LCD Display ... Provides clear indications of the many status and options

    • Bandscope ... Provides +/- 4 kHz spectrum visibility for Rx, signal monitor for Tx

    • Audio filtering ... Low corner 200Hz, high corners 700, 1500, 2400 or 3600Hz

    • Audio Output ... Headphones or amplified speaker, binaural audio

    • Beeper ... User interface clicks, code practice oscillator, and more

    • Frequency agile ... Fast/Med/Slow tune, dual VFOs, memories, RIT/XIT

    • Menus ... Calibration, all settings, system gain, sidetone frequency, etc.

    • Software Upgradeable ... Bootloader enables user to load new software versions

    • Open Source ... Take the source code and add your own features


    GENESIS G11. 5 band DSP Transceiver Kit - 10W out  (Priced at AUD$ 299)

    For more info visit:


    Building and operating your own equipment is still the ultimate goal of amateur radio, and Genesis is exactly that: Fun to build, fun to operate! There are so many things you can do with your Genesis: from regular 2-way Morse contacts, phone, digital modes like PSK to RTTY or WSPR - Truly, the list of activities for which you can use your G11 is practically endless! If you're into QRP, DXCC chasing or serious contesting, the G11 will deliver unparalleled performance you won't find in much more expensive analog radios. Do not underestimate G11 based on its low price - This CONTEST WINNING radio is a serious performer that will give you many hours of on-air enjoyment!

    The G11 is a "hybrid kit": for your convenience, all the difficult to solder SMT components (over 600 of them!) are factory pre-assembled. Your task is to assemble 50-60 large trough-hole components and to wound a bunch of toroids. The entire assembly takes 8 hours.

    Band coverage: based on your filter selection, the G11 can be configured to operate as a 10W+ SDR transceiver on up to 5 selected HF bands. Alternatively it can be set as dedicated LF SDR transceiver for either 137 KHz or 500 KHz or as a wide band LF receiver. 

    OHR 100-A Single Band QRP Transceiver. (Priced at US$ 149)

    More info at: http://www.mtechnologies.com/ohr/ohr100a.htm

    • 5W output on each band (4 to 4.5W on 15M), adjustable from a few mW to full power.

    • Single signal superhet receiver design.

    • New ultra stable pre-mix VFO system providing high side L.O. injection.

    • Local Oscillator signal is available at rear panel jack for use with the DD-1 digital dial.

    • RIT with a range of ± 1KHz.

    • Four pole crystal IF filter (we match the crystals).

    • IF bandwidth front-panel adjustable from 1200Hz down to 400Hz.

    • True sine-wave side tone (not square wave or sampled RF), with adjustable pitch and volume.

    • Silky smooth QSK.

    • Precision 10K VFO tuning pot with frequency index on the front panel.

    • Separate RF and AF gain controls provide for maximum comfort in noisy conditions.


    ELECRAFT KX-1 (starting at US$299.95)

    There are several options for this rig at: http://www.elecraft.com/


    An HF Rig You Really Can Take Anywhere!

    The Elecraft KX1 is a backpacker's dream: an ultra-light, multi-band CW station with internal battery and automatic antenna tuner. But it's also the perfect rig for shorter hikes, emergency use, and just plain fun. The top-mounted controls and plug-in paddle are ideal for beach chair, picnic table, or trail-side operation. You can use the KX1 standing up, or even while relaxing in bed. (Tired of your paperback? Turn on the logbook lamp and work some night-time DX!)

    The 4-band KX1 — with internal automatic antenna tuner, internal batteries, and clip-on keyer paddle — represents a new level of integration in QRP transceivers. The enclosure measures just 1.2 x 3 x 5.3 inches (3 x 7.5 x 13 cm), and the transceiver weighs just 9 ounces (11 ounces with both the optional ATU and keyer paddle installed).


    YAESU FT 817ND . 5W HF/VHF/UHF transceiver (Priced at U$ $699.95 ).

    More info at: http://www.yaesu.com


    Ultra Compact HF/VHF/UHF Multimode Rig
    Despite its incredibly small size (5.3" x 1.5" x 6.5"), the FT-817 delivers big performance! Its next-generagion PA puts out five watts on all HF bands, plus the 50 MHz, 144 MHz, and 430 MHz bands, on all popular operating modes: USB/LSB/CW/AM/FM/Packet/PSK-31/RTTY.

    Wide Receiver Frequency Coverage
    Enjoy shortwave and FM broadcasts, , public safety communications, and airband calls thanks to the extended frequency coverage of the FT-817, which includes receptino on 100 kHz - 56 MHz, 76 - 108 MHz (W-FM only), 108 - 154 MHz, and 420 - 470 MHz.

    Two Antenna Connectors for Ease of Installation
    The front panel includes a convenient BNC connector for attachment of a whip or VHF/UHF rubber flex antenna (supplied). The rear panel includes a type “M” (“SO-239”) connector.

    As shipped from the factory, the BNC jack is active on 50/144/430 MHz, while the “M” connector is active on HF. But using the Menu, you can assign, for example, 50 and 144 MHz to the rear panel, if your coaxial cables have matching plugs.


    Elecraft K1 4-band and 2-band HF Transceiver. (Starting at US$ 399.95)

    More info at:  http://www.elecraft.com/

    The K1…A compact, high-performance CW rig that you can build.  

    HF operation is more fun than ever these days--five watts is all you need to work worldwide DX. That's why we've packed up to four bands into our affordable, easy-to-build K1-4 transceiver. You can order the K1 as either a four-band radio (K1-4) or a two-band radio (K1-2).  The new four-band K1-4 covers 40, 30, 20, and either 17 or 15 meters. (All band parts are supplied with the kit and 17 or 15M are chosen as the last band at build time.) You can also upgrade the K1-2 to a K1-4 by purchasing the four-band KFL1-4  module and replacing the KFL1-2 in your original K1-2. The KFL1-2  two band module covers your choice of two bands (80, 40, 30 20, 17 and 15 meters available). Combining a K1-4 with an extra KFL1-2 band module on 80 + (15 or 17M) gives you all six bands on your K1! Both module types simply plug in to the K1's main board, internally, and you can swap either type in at any time.


    Additional Resources: 

    DH1TW DSP and contesting web site: www.dh1tw.de

    K3WWP CW/QRP Activities: http://home.windstream.net/johnshan/qrp_ss_rigs.html

    Ten-Tec: www.tentec.com

    Electraft: www.elecraft.com

    Genesis Radio: http://www.genesisradio.com.au/

    Flex Radio Systems: http://www.flex-radio.com/

    Yaesu: http://www.yaesu.com/

    SDR-Cube: http://www.sdr-cube.com/