Thursday, October 25, 2018

Four States QRP Group Does it Again...

The Four States QRP Group has announced a total of three new kits since I last looked at their website.  

The Hilltopper 40 

This is a Dave Benson K1SWL designed 40m transceiver, an improved version of the SWL+ 40 rig that Dave sold through his company, Small Wonder Labs.  Dave retired a few years ago and I, for one, am GLAD to see him back at it.  This baby puts out 5 watts and costs less than $100. 

Here are the details from the Four State QRP Group website.  You can go there directly by clicking on the link at the top of my blog page. 

Dave Benson K1SWL, founder of the renown Small Wonder Labs, listened to you and has designed a 40 meter version of his winning Hilltopper design. Four State QRP Group is honored to have been selected to kit the new transceiver.

The Hilltopper is a high performance CW transceiver for the 40M meter band. It is the perfect solution to your portable operation needs - small, lightweight, wide 40 meter frequency coverage and low current drain, extending the life of your portable power source. The receiver is adapted from K1SWL’s SW+ Series with minor modifications. The front-end circuitry was revised to replace the now-vanished 10.7 MHz IF transformers. The receiver output is suitable for headphone use.

The transmitter strip is a proven design using three BS170 transistors for the PA. The frequency source for both transmitting and receiving is a DDS VFO employing a Si5351 PLL module. Control for the rig is provided by an Atmel ATmega328P. This runs both the frequency control and the full-featured CW keyer.

A custom silk-screened PCB enclosure is included with the kit. No drilling or cutting required!

There are two pre-installed SMT ICs on the board, but the remainder are ALL THROUGH HOLE parts, and all jacks and connectors are board mounted, the combination making this kit very easy to assemble with no external wiring needed. Clubs and Groups Please Note! Group discounts are available, 5 kit minimum order required.

The Murania - AM Broadcast Band Receiver

The next one I saw, and I can't wait to build this with a couple of my grandsons, is the new Murania, single transistor AM broadcast band radio.  Designed by Dave Cripe NM0S, this cool kit offers an opportunity to go back in time.   Less than $40 for the kit. 

From the website:  

In the late 1950s, the technology of radio was overturned by a revolution in electronics. The newly invented transistor enabled AM receivers to be constructed that were a fraction of the size of the now-obsolete tube circuits. Transistor radios soon became the new popular obsession, as a portable entertainment device that was the iPod of its day.

Radios having two or fewer transistors were untaxed, as they were considered toys, and given the classification,’Boy’s Radios’. The designers of Boy’s Radios employed some creative design techniques to maximize the performance of these minimalist circuits, with sometimes amazing results. Many thousands of young (and not so young) people had their first exposure to the radio hobby from these simple sets. Today, Boy’s Radios are a highly sought after nostalgic collectable, commanding impressive prices on eBay and among collectors groups.

The Murania receiver was conceived as an opportunity for a new generation to experience the thrill of building and using a simple and effective AM radio receiver. Inspired by the classic design of these transistor radios, the Murania receiver is an ideal kit for a beginning builder, and can provide years of listening pleasure.

High quality, double sided, printed circuit board construction is used, with solder mask and silk screened component reference designators. A unique, construction technique is used in the Murania, called 'Pittsburg' construction, after the hometown of its inventor Joe, W0MQY. This method uses easy-to-handle through-hole components in a modified surface mount construction technique, where the back copper layer of the board forms a complete ground plane shielding the circuitry against hand effects. A pre-drilled silkscreened PCB enclosure is included, protecting the Murania circuit and making it into a handy portable set.

The Murania is simple enough to be constructed by beginners, and is rewarding enough to be enjoyed by experienced builders. Construction time is approximately 2 hours, depending on experience level.

This is a very excellent group project, and a quantity discount and combined shipping are available, 5 piece minimum order pse. Contact Johnny Matlock, ACØBQ

Last up is a new Cricket Rig transmitter for 30m, they are temporarily sold out .  See their website for all the details.  

Kids it's a great time to be QRP!   Lot's of new stuff to  build this winter and loads of fun to be had.  Enjoy! 

73 de KB9BVN

BTW I heard VP6D Ducie Island on 7015 Khz this morning, working the world....just not me.

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