A Review of the DC40

I mentioned earlier that I have purchased the DC40 QRP rig from QRPKits.Com. Well, recently on the qrp-l mailing list, Dave W7AQK reviewed this kit:

I’m fortunate enough to have plenty of QRP rigs to play with. Recently
added a 4 band board to my K1, and now that rig is fun again. But I was
pretty intrigued with the DC40 kit that Doug Hendricks has added to his QRP
Kits, Inc. line. It’s a KD1JV design, so you know it has to work!

Anyway, I needed a project, and Doug filled the void. The kit arrived
Thursday, and it was completed this afternoon. It’s another Steve Weber
masterpiece–simple but very effective. Crystal controlled on 7040, but
that frequency is jumping tonight. Worked K6RO on the first try. That’s
not DX, but he didn’t need any repeats, so guess I’m stirring up a little
ether anyway.

This is a relatively simple kit. Only 3 toroids to wind, and they are
pretty simple. Parts count is actually pretty high, which means you get
quite a bit for what it costs. There is a 15 page manual that goes with the
kit, and construction is in steps with test points to make sure you haven’t
missed something crucial. There are a few errata items, so be sure and
check the www.qrpkits.com website for updates.

The RX has good sensitivity, and earlier I was hearing lots of east coast
guys with good signals. The TX is just under 1 watt–mine registered 800 mw
using my W2 wattmeter. In half way decent conditions you can do a lot with
this little rig.

A keyer is built into the rig, and keying speed is controlled via paddle
input. The keying itself is pretty swift–QSK swift. It also has a tune
function, so you can verify output or run it through a tuner if you need to.

I’m impressed, and for the money it’s a hoot to play with. If you haven’t
built anything for awhile, or want something to stick in your shirt pocket
that really works, give it a look.

In a second e-mail, he noted that the manual contains a couple of errors:

  1. C6 is listed in the parts inventory O.K., but in the construction info it is listed as C16. The real C16 is a couple of lines further down.
  2. Diode D9 is listed as a 1N5718. It’s actually a 1N5817.
  3. The power connection points are actually marked “+V” and “GND” on the board, not “+P” and “G”.
  4. After you finish Group 3, and when you do the test in tune mode, it’s the Dash paddle you hit to put the rig into tune, not the Dot paddle.
  5. I believe some of the pin numbers on U1a and U1b are marked wrong on the schematic. Won’t affect construction, but would be a puzzle if you were troubleshooting. This is being corrected
  6. .

Watch Doug’s website, www.qrpkits.com for updates.

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