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Author Topic: The Hendricks "KD1JV Survivor" 75m SSB transceiver  (Read 10322 times)
K3RQH
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Posts: 17




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« on: January 07, 2014, 05:16:41 PM »

I don't see any reviews of this rig in the Reviews Forum yet.  I know some of you have built this kit and was hoping to get your feedback on its quality, signal reports, building suggestions, and anything else you think might be of value. I'd like to get one, but was wanting to first hear from some users.
Thanks,
Frank
K3RQH
Tulsa, OK
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1815




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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2014, 03:55:00 AM »

Just a passing semi related comment: Of late I've seen a few mentions of these rigs (no details) on the various Prepper/Survivalist type web sites. Apparently some of these folks are aware of them and I suspect having a license to operate them legally is the last thing on their minds.
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W7ASA
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Posts: 267




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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2014, 08:07:00 AM »

I am slowly building my 'SURVIVOR' and can say that the kit seems well thought out, materials are good, the enclosures is FAR better than expected (I painted mine in deep black crackle and light tan), including decals for lettering - a nice touch. I'll post when it's alignment and testing time, though that may be a while.  I limit my building to 1 hour per day, when I have time to build, so that I can enjoy my time.

So far , so good!



--- On The Other Topic ---

W1JKA Says:  "...on the various Prepper/Survivalist type web sites...and I suspect having a license to operate them legally is the last thing on their minds."

Oh, I've seen that sort of thing occasionally, on some websites, by some people and not all are preppers.  The CB crowed who emphasize having amplifiers are usually big on this sort of statement. I occasionally read a question like:

'Why do I need to get a license if the world as we know it has ended and there will be no FCC?'

People are accustomed to 'user friendly' communication like a cell phone or a CB and don't realize that HF ham is NOT user friendly. They'll have to learn a few things before even beginning, hence the license. Kit radios like the Hendricks SURVIVOR are largely self-regulating because of the technical aspects of the build, the alignment and erecting of an antenna keeps people from using them without a license. It's tough enough for active hams to accomplish this.

However, (and yes, I do enjoy some of the prepper websites) most of the hams I know who live by the old Boy Scout motto:  "Be Prepared"  make it clear on the very same forums that it's not the hardware, but what you learn as a ham that makes it valuable, both as a hobby and for good communications where infrastructure dependent comms are not available, like when out camping and etc. 



73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._  ._
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AD6KA
Member

Posts: 2238




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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2014, 10:29:44 PM »

I don't see any reviews of this rig in the Reviews Forum yet.  I know some of you have built this kit and was hoping to get your feedback on its quality, signal reports, building suggestions, and anything else you think might be of value. I'd like to get one, but was wanting to first hear from some users.
Thanks,Frank K3RQH

I have not built "The Survivor" but I have built the
Radiokits.UK MKARS 80,
http://www.radio-kits.co.uk/
a very similar kit WITH excellent reviews on Eham and other sites.
A fantastic little 75m QRP SSB rig with tons of terric working
mods published all over the Net. (Drop the Polyvaricon
Tuning Scheme and go with a varicap and ten Turn Pot)

Heck, it would even be a good, easy mod for the Survivor....
And the MKARS80 comes with a "real" PIC/LCD frequency readout.
Documentation, parts, PC boards all high quality, and email help is helpful and fast.
Even a Yahoo Users website....
And you don't have to wait a month or more for delivery.....
Cheaper, too, what's not to like?
73,Ken  AD6KA
(I also own some Hendrick's rigs too.......)
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KK4MRN
Member

Posts: 95




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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2014, 09:06:20 AM »

For the MKARS80, can it be modified to use the entire 80/75 meters band that hams in the U.S. have which is 3.5 thru 4.0 MHz.
I am only a General right now, and I can only do CW and digital data modes from 3.525 - 3.6 and then SSB and Image modes from 3.8 thru 4.0.

Also, any idea how much that would be in U.S. dollars?

Seems he does not have cases in stock for the radio kit.
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W4KYR
Member

Posts: 606




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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2014, 12:37:06 PM »

For the MKARS80..........
............any idea how much that would be in U.S. dollars?




I just put  following in Google Search 

£65.00 = $

Answer = 106.18 US Dollars
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Still using Windows XP Pro.
AD6KA
Member

Posts: 2238




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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2014, 01:21:44 PM »

Quote
For the MKARS80, can it be modified to use the entire 80/75 meters band that
hams in the U.S. have which is 3.5 thru 4.0 MHz.

Hi Sam!
SURE!   Grin
It's a very simple mod and it's included in the rig's manual.
If I recall correctly it's only a matter of changing the number of windings
in one of the ferrite inductors in the LO circuit. With the Polyvaricon
tuning scheme, I had about 350 KHz coverage. That is a LOT
of frequency to cover in a one turn Polyvaricon (which really
only turns clockwise from about 7 oclock to 5 oclock.)
The MKARS also has a "Fine Tuning Pot", which becomes fairly
useless if you install the Ten Turn Tuning Pot Mod, hihi.
When I changed that to the Varicap & Ten Turn Pot tuning
Mod (a super simple mod....three parts) the freq coverage
almost doubled. OR you build it with the stock Polyvaricon
and add a simple switch and a small cap in the LO circuit
to shift the frequency coverage up or down.
(It sounds a lot more complicated than it is,haha.
The instructions clearly outline how to do either mod.
After all, a lot of MKARS are sold in the USA)

If I were you I would buid it "stock" for the US frequencies and
the included Electret Mic, then modify it for a Dynamic Mic instead.
You remove the bias resistor R17 in the mic circuit, or add a series
capacitor, because electret mics need a small current to work.
I use a cheapo used CB mic I found at a garage sale and it works super.
I can send you all the mods or links to these mods.

Quote
I am only a General right now, and I can only do CW and digital data modes
from 3.525 - 3.6 and then SSB and Image modes from 3.8 thru 4.0.
This kit was designed basically as an 80m version of the famous BITX20
minimalist SSB QRP transceiver. I do not know if it is frequency stable enough
for data modes, even with the Varicap Tuning Mod. I kinda doubt it.
BUT.....I see at the web site there is a VFO Stabilization Mod
that just switches out two regular caps in the VFO for Polystyrene caps.

They used to sell a CW Conversion Kit for the MKARS 80 but
it is discontinued. I bought one and still have it, unbuilt. My MKARS
works so well I didn't want to fidle about with it anymore! The CW Conversion
Kit is yours for $25 plus postage, that's less than what I paid for it.
HOWEVER...I would build the rig first and see what your comfort level
is with mods. The MKARS CW Conversion Kit involves a lot of fiddling
about with your finished rig...which might be why they didn't sell many,
though I don't know that as fact.

Quote
Also, any idea how much that would be in U.S. dollars?
Answered above...and that price *includes shipping* to the USA.

Quote
Seems he does not have cases in stock for the radio kit.
THe MKARS Web Site says something like "cases expected after Dec 16".
Maybe Steve never updated that.
Drop him an email and ask him. The enclosure was cheap when I bought
it, about $7, You can't find any all metal enclosure that cheap anywhere.
If you get desperate for one,I still have mine. I built my MKARS
into an enclosure with more room. (I added an inexpensive PIC/LCD
SWR/PWR Meter). You can have the case for $5 & postage if you want.
My email good at QRZ, or address good in any Callbook back to 1986.

In summation:
This is a FUN to build and great performing minimalist 75m
QRP SSB rig that can be easily modded for USA freqs.
BUT if you are interested in an 80 CW QRP Kit rig,
I would make another choice.
GL ES 73, Ken Pendarvis, AD6KA / 5R8GQ
« Last Edit: January 16, 2014, 01:27:04 PM by AD6KA » Logged
KF6KXG
Member

Posts: 7




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« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2014, 05:03:01 PM »

The Dec 13 issue of CQ has a kit building article on the Survivor 75 on Pg 63. It is supposed to be a two part article with the second part in the Jan 14 issue, which I haven't received yet. 73 Mike KF6KXG
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