A couple of day ago I worked George W2BPI. He had a pretty good signal–he was peaking at S7, and as I expected, his QTH was in upstate New York. What I didn’t expect is that he was running only 500 mW!
He mentioned that the rig he was using was a “DC-40.” That didn’t ring a bell, so I did a quick Google search. (I love having a computer in the shack!)
I quickly found out that the DC-40 is made by Hendricks QRP Kits. Here’s what the website says about the DC-40:
The DC40 Deluxe is a design of well known Hall of Fame designer, Steve Weber, KD1JV. I asked Steve to design an entry level transceiver, that would be simple to build, yet would be capable of making contacts easily.
The DC40 is a moderately complex rig, which yields excellent performance, yet is small enough to fit into an Altoids tin. The receiver features nearly complete immunity to AM SWBC interference and can be run on an AC supply without hum pickup or AM BC interference common to most DC receiver designs. One stage of audio band pass filtering gives the receiver some selectivity. The transmitter puts out a respectable 750 mW of power, with a 12V supply and over 1 watt with 13.8 volts. The transmitter frequency is automatically shifted up about 600 Hz to provide the proper T/R offset. The rig also includes a simple keyer chip.
The rig is priced at $30 plus $4 shipping and handling in the US, $6 S&H DX. The DC40 Deluxe Kit includes all board mounted parts, including a 7.040 MHz crystal. You will need to supply the antenna and power connectors of your choice. The PC Board is double sided plated through, solder masked and silkscreened.
This sounds like a pretty nice little radio for only $30. I’m really tempted to buy one just for kicks.
Hendricks also has some other cool kits. For $60, you can get the “Firefly.” This transceiver has a variable, crystal-controlled oscillator and an SDR receiver. That is to say that you have to connect the rig’s output to a computer with a sound card to use it. All of the “tuning” is done in software.
There’s also the Altoids Long-wire Tuner (ALT). As the name implies, this tuner fits into an Altoids tin and allows you to tune up a long-wire antenna. It even includes an SWR bridge to help you tune it.
These sure look like great kits to me, and I’m going to add QRPKits.Com to my list of kit suppliers.