20180526 - Kits to build ...

Post date: May 26, 2018 12:46:49 AM

Charles NK8O has been building some kits, including the QRP Labs QCX 5Watt CW transceiver and the Four State QRP Group Hilltopper.

Photos: nk80

#nk8o #kits #hilltopper #arduino

Inside the Hilltopper 20.  It uses conventional architecture but with some modernization. Frequency generation is from an Si5351 chip, using a stock Adafruit board, and control is via an ATmega328 chip using Arduino code (fully hackable).  It is a superheterodyne configuration and uses a 4 pole crystal filter.  The design is by Dave Benson, K1SWL, of Small Wonder Labs fame. He “retired” but you can’t keep a good man from designing great radios.  The construction manual is among the best and most logical i have seen. All surface mount parts are pre-soldered.

There is no display.  Frequency is via annunciator, played when the push button is touched.  Gain is all controlled at the front end, using RF gain.  There is a built-in keyer and auto sensing for a straight key.   The latest firmware offers Curtis mode A & B keying.  The radio chassis is a very clever use of PCB board.

Old school setup.  Paper and pen for logging and Hungarian straight key (at 18-20 WPM).  The “other” radio is an old R4030, the TenTec rendition of the HB1B.  T1 tuner from Elecraft also was a recent build.