Subject: Part 5 of What Kit to Build?
From: "Doug Hendricks"
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 11:01:39 -0800
To: "Low Power Amateur Radio Discussion"

If you have been following this series you know that I promised that we would be building a full fledged transceiver in this installment. The kit that I recommend for this section is the Small Wonder Labs SW40+, designed and sold by Dave Benson, K1SWL. Dave is a wonderful designer, and his rigs work great. You will be building a quality transceiver capable of providing many, many hours of qso's. In fact, if I were limited on funds, and only had a few bucks to spend on this hobby. this would be the rig of choice. Why 40 meters? Well, 40 is open pretty much around the clock to somewhere. QRP is a fun hobby, but you do want to make contacts when you operate. The SWL40+ puts out about 2 Watts, has a very stable VFO that covers 40 Khz of the band (and you get to select which part of the band you want to cover), the receiver is very good, has a sensitivity of -130dB or more, and is easy to build. The manual is excellent. The cost? $55 for the board and parts. You supply the connectors and controls and the case, but all of these can be bought at Radio Shack, or you can order them from Mouser. Typically it will cost about $15 for a case, connectors and controls. The SWL40+ was also the series of postings on QRP-L where several experts took the rest of us through building the radio stage by stage, had us test it as we went, and explained exactly what was happening almost part by part. This series was the subject of an entire issue of QRPp, Fall 1998. Reprints of this issue are available from me for $20 (you get all 4 issues in the bound set, plus the Winter issue is dedicated to building the 2N2222/40 by Jim Kortge, another great project.). I'll give you details on ordering the back issues at the end of this. There are lots of single band kits out there. Why did I pick the SW40+? Well, first of all is the cost and what you get. This is a transceiver that is a superhet receiver, vfo controlled, and puts out 2 Watts. The board is well layed out, and every part fits. No bending of capacitor leads, Dave does it right. Most other single band kits come complete with a case and connectors, but they drive up the cost a bunch. Dave's method of selling you just the board and parts, and letting you get your own controls, connectors and case is sometimes a lot cheaper, especially if you get a deal at a swapmeet or hamfest. Another reason is the Elmer 101 course. I think that it is a wonderful resource, and is even probably on the net somewhere. You get all of these guys who know what they are talking about guiding you as you build. It doesn't get any better than that. But the biggest reason I picked the SW40+ is that when you get it built, you will be able to use it and make contacts. Now we have a VFO controlled rig. What a huge step up in convenience and fun that is. Plus, with this kit, you determine what portion of the band you are going to use it on. And, we have a fantastic receiver here. This is a superhet, and that means single signal reception, and selectivity. You won't hear the whole band when you listen. Here is a summary of the kit's features: Single-board transceiver, 2.8 x 4.0" (7 x 10.1 cm) Commercial-quality board, masked and silkscreened True VFO: 35-40 khz coverage Superheterodyne design, with crystal filtering Quiet solid-state T-R switching (QSK) Output Power Adjustable- 2.5W max. Power supply reverse-polarity diode 5 toroids to wind. 3 Crystal filter for improved skirt selectivity. A grounding point for the crystal cases is also provided to reduce filter 'blow-by'. The PA is a T0-220 device, capable of more output power than the original. Should you wish to modify the design slightly for more power, there's now space for a TO-220 heatsink. All in all, I think the SWL40+ is the very best bargain, dollar for dollar, in ham radio today. If you were to build your own case and scrounge for controls and connectors, you could be on the air for $60 with a VFO controlled transceiver that has a superhet receiver. Unbelieveable 10 years ago.

Here's the information on how to order your SWL40+ kit: SW+ Series Board Kit Price: The SW+ series is currently available for 80M, 40M, 30M or 20M. The SW+ series is $55 (postpaid) to US and Canada. Send your orders to: Small Wonder Labs 32 Mountain Road Colchester, CT 06415 USA Specify that you are ordering the SWLXX+ and replace the XX with the band, i.e. SWL40+ for the 40 meter version. Or, if you wish go to the following URL and order your kit via PayPal or credit card.

You will need to scroll down to the SWL40+ section. Also be sure to check the enclosure, connector and control kits on the same page. Hope you enjoyed this installment. The next one will deal with building a project from a schematic!! Exciting stuff.

72, Doug, KI6DS