Author Topic: Small Inexpensive Kits  (Read 5755 times)

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bryanthegoon

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Small Inexpensive Kits
« on: May 15, 2012, 01:58:38 AM »
Does anyone have any experience with any small inexpensive receiver/transmitter/transceiver kits.

An example is the rockmite http://smallwonderlabs.com/Rockmite.htm A simple HF CW transceiver, kit is under $30

I know these kits are extremely limited, and likely need some additional parts (speaker, key, ...) but this seems like it might be a fun (and enlightening) project, I mean come on a 40M radio that fits in an Altoids tin and you build yourself. 

So just looking for experiences any which way with this or any of the other extremely cheap kits out there, money is at a premium at the moment (just found out yesterday that child number 4 is on the way) so I would hate to buy a kit and then hear that a different one would have been better.

Thanks,
Bryan

scubadivingjoe

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Re: Small Inexpensive Kits
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2012, 10:43:11 AM »
Bryanthegoon

The best person that I know that maybe able to answer your question would be idial1911.  I have seen some of his builds.

bryanthegoon

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Re: Small Inexpensive Kits
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2012, 11:00:59 AM »
Bryanthegoon

The best person that I know that maybe able to answer your question would be idial1911.  I have seen some of his builds.

Cool, hopefully he will chime in here :)

I saw his posts on the Elcraft stuff, would love to do those builds, but that is alittle out of my budget for the moment, that and I have the urge to do something alittle lower level (ie solder the components in).

spacecase0

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Re: Small Inexpensive Kits
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2012, 01:34:03 PM »
I like the AM transceiver kits they have,
to bad they don't have one for the 220 band

BillinNM

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Re: Small Inexpensive Kits
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2012, 02:35:38 PM »
Can't say anything, good or bad, about the kits, but congrats on #4.
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idial1911

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Re: Small Inexpensive Kits
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2012, 07:04:05 PM »
I have never heard of those kits specifically, doesn't mean they are good or bad. If I were building another kit, or even have a starter kit i'd go here:

http://www.tentec.com/categories/Kits/

Those have a pretty decent reputation.

Mine are all Elecraft, and I can't recommend them enough top notch kits, they make a few smaller kits as well and their support is second to none:

http://www.elecraft.com/elecraft_products_page.htm

There is also this site:

http://www.qrpkits.com/

I know almost nothing about the last one, except that a few guys I was talking to said they were really interested in trying a few but I don't think they ever did. So that one is at your own risk..

You build a kit we need build pics!!
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bryanthegoon

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Re: Small Inexpensive Kits
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2012, 11:27:53 PM »
A few interesting options there, I didn't realize that TenTec had kits still, the Elecraft stuff is awesome but for this particular endeavor I am looking for something more in-expensive that I wont be worried to tweak and modify later ;).  There are some interesting ones on the last site too.

So next question, since my real world HF experience is almost non-existent.... If I had to pick one band/frequency ( with limited tuning around that frequency ) for QRP CW (figuring CW cause those are the cheaper kits) what band (or more specifically frequency) would you go with.  Many of these cheaper kits you have to pick a specific crystal and then have limited tuning around that frequency. (of course down the road there would be mods to expand on that but gotta start somewhere)  I would assume the best specific frequency would be the QRP calling frequency in whichever band... but the big question is which band

If I get to the point of getting a kit and building will definitely post pics

Thanks,
Bryan

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Re: Small Inexpensive Kits
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2012, 11:36:18 PM »
I am not into CW yet, but look at the band chart and see where CW of dig modes are allowed.
http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Hambands_color.pdf
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idial1911

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Re: Small Inexpensive Kits
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2012, 06:53:21 AM »
I'd probably pic 40m just because that seems to have the most amount of people on it regularly and will still give you the chance to get some good propagation during the day and evening. 20m would be my second choice, followed by 80m coming in third.
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bryanthegoon

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Re: Small Inexpensive Kits
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2012, 03:16:57 PM »
Thanks, I was guessing 40m was probably the way to go (also seems to be the most readily available option).  I just wasn't sure.  I will start looking and start a thread with pics if/when I get something.

Earthbound

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Re: Small Inexpensive Kits
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2012, 08:56:48 PM »
Whatever happened to the small inexpensive QRP kit plan? 

I am interested in doing it myself but if I can get help from someone who has already been there done that it would be a boost.  Note that I am focused on the INEXPENSIVE part as much as a portable solution that runs off rechargeable batteries.  I can do soldering but definitely prefer not to when possible.  CW only is OK if necessary but I will be very slow but that's OK because my contacts will be others learning as well.
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idial1911

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Re: Small Inexpensive Kits
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2012, 10:10:59 AM »
Yea i'd like to know too!! I had a blast building mine!
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bryanthegoon

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Re: Small Inexpensive Kits
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2012, 10:53:18 AM »
As for my plans to build one... still have plans but life got in the way.  Baby #4 is due January 19 so things have been a bit crazy around my house. 
Haven't had the time or $ to do any kits yet, but eventually.

Earthbound

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Re: Small Inexpensive Kits
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2012, 05:07:00 PM »
Does anybody know about what the total cost with the accessories would be if I get a Pixie or Rock Mite kit? 

I'm not even sure I can mount all those little gizmos w/o messing it up but I might give it a shot, do a little at a time.  The Yahoo groups on this subject that I checked were over my head.
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