Friday, November 04, 2016

Pre-built Bitx40 review

I've built a couple of Bitx rigs in the past but when I heard a company had been formed to supply pre-built radios for 40m I couldn't wait to get one. Thanks to my Indian colleague Thalha I was able to order one in India and then have it shipped to Sydney. Thanks mate!

You can see, and order the rigs here.

On the right you can see what you get. The board is fully constructed with very nice surface mount design. In the bag are all the connectors and pots you need, even a microphone is there.

The quality of components and construction is excellent.

I boxed it up in a $5 Woolworths "world explorer" box - which seems somehow appropriate.

Plenty of space for a DDS VFO in the future...

Tuning is very sensitive and I'm ultimately planning to install a DDS to replace the onboard (rather drifty) VFO.

Having said that, the receiver is very sensitive and signals sound great. My first contact was with a station in Melbourne - about 1,000 Km away.

The receiver is very sensitive and there's plenty of audio output to drive a speaker. Carrier was well nulled and I've had good reports of the audio using the supplied mic insert.

90mA is drawn on receive which makes this a great trail radio. My unit puts out a solid 6 watt but the availability of the option to supply a higher voltage to the final means you can get more if you wish.

Mine gets a tiny bit of broadcast band break through into the audio stage (when the volume is down) and it doesn't like noise on the power line (I have a solar charger that sometimes pulses).

This is a great rig and I recommend it to anyone who would like to play around with an easy to get going QRP 40m SSB transceiver. At about AU$50 it's an extraordinary deal.

I also enjoyed the newspaper that the board was wrapped in - lots of celebrity gossip there.

Update: Re-boxed with VK3YE's resonator mod

This is for commenter Alex who asked about the interior view. Since the article above, I decided to re-box in plastic and having found the VFO annoyingly unstable (by modern standards) I applied Peter VK3YE's ceramic resonator mod to give three small ranges of tuning. Here's how it looks now (click image to enlarge).

Back - The speaker grill is gutter guard.


Inside view


Joel Caulkins said...

Hi Peter,

It seems you are always one step ahead of me:-) I ordered mine on Oct 15th and have not received it yet here in S. Oregon USA as of Nov 5th, but I look forward to it when I get it. Im going to use a Arduino and a Si5351 with a small OLED disply instead of the drifty VFO. Thanks for Blogging about it.


Grotato said...

Looks great Peter! Have you worked any DX yet?

I'm workign on one at the moment. Would you be able to show me some photos of the inside? I'm not sure if I should insulate the tuning pot, volume, Spk and Mic ports etc.


Peter Marks said...

Sure Alex, I'll take some photos and add them soon. I have re-packaged the unit in a smaller plastic box and done the VK3YE resonator mod.