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Author Topic: Unassembled Small Wonder Labs White Mountain 40-Sell or Keep?  (Read 13454 times)

Posts: 2243

« on: August 21, 2012, 09:35:10 PM »

I have an UN assembled Small Wonder Labs White Mountain 40 Kit.
(40m SSB QRP XCVR which uses a user provided two pin HT mike)
Power output is 2 to 4 watts depending on the band.
These kits (there was also a 20m and 75m version) were offered
by Dave Benson in the late 90's. They are very high quality
with few shared parts/circuitry between the transmitter and receiver.
(I.E. Separate four pole crystal filters and double balanced mixers
for XMIT and RCV.) There are just over 200 parts on a 4.5" X 5"
through hole PC board. 15 toroids to wind. 7 plain inductors,
6 bifilar transformers and 2 trifilar transformers.
It has audio derived AGC, not common in monoband rigs.
It uses a 2N5109 PreAmp, which is sweet.
PA Driver is also a 2N5109 and PA is a 2SC2312.
TERRIFIC receiver section, XMIT 3 to 4 watts for 40m version
No 99 Cent IRF510 MOSFET final(s) here!

Frequency coverage is about 175 KHz and
the rig tunes with a 10 turn pot, NOT a single
turn Polyvaricon like so many designs today.

There is an option for these kits, which is included in mine,
 a "CW Frequency Spot" feature.
 Pressing a button on the front panel will give
you the frequency in last three digits in Hz in audio CW.
ex. Press the button on 14.165 and you will hear "165" in CW
in the headphones at either 13 or 20wpm jumper adjustable.
Rig comes with an indrilled extruded aluminum enclosure.

It is VERY easy to add any of the aftermarket digital frequency
dsplays available today. I added the DFD1 from AADE,
with the "Biggie Display".

What is ALSO REALLY cool about this rig is that it is VERY EASILY
built as a 20m or 80m rig, because every single Crystal
value is the same for all three models.
Of course you will have to change wound
inductor values, some caps and a couple resistors,
but I have the instruction manuals for all three models.

I think this rig blows away, in every way, every monoband
SSB QRP kit rig on the market today.
With the enclosure and optional "Audio CW Freq Spot"
option, I paid with shipping, about $190 for this kit in
the late 90's, about 1996 I believe.
I have had it up for sale a couple times,
but no one has offred me more that $175 for it,
which I declined.

>Is the market that bad for kits right now?
>Or do I have a "sleeper" kit that no one really
ever appreciated. (what few reviews you can
find on the Net are always good to great).
Should I bite the bullet and sell this at what people
are asking for it, or hold onto it until it becomes
a collectible and/or a more appreciated rig?

I am leaning towards the latter.

Sorry for the long post.
Comments most welcome.
Be well.
73, Ken  AD6KA/5R8GQ
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 09:41:27 PM by AD6KA » Logged

Posts: 42


« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2012, 05:50:36 AM »


How much would you be willing to sell it for?
I am interested...



Posts: 14499

« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2012, 05:58:08 AM »

Kits have a more limited following than they once did. Many don't even have the tools needed to build a kit today. Due to changes in technology, QRP transceivers today can include things like synthesizers and LCD frequency displays. If you don't need the money I'd probably hang on to it until it has some nostalgic value. If you were to sell it now, I think $175 is probably a pretty good price in that it is only $15 less than you paid for it.

This is just my opinion, which is probably worth what you are paying for it  Grin


Bob  AA4PB
Garrisonville, VA

Posts: 2243

« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2012, 05:34:39 PM »

How much would you be willing to sell it for?
I am interested...

Howdy Gil:
Sorry for the late reply.
I would like to get $225 for the kit,
which includes all options, enclosure, and I would
also throw in a copy of either the 20m or 80m assembly
manual if you didn't want to build it on 40m.
Yeah, I know.....
People in hell would like icewater too!  Grin

I will also throw in my AADE DFD1 digital frequency
display with the large LCD display (Approx 6" long).
It is all set to go for a 20m WM, but you would have to
consult AADE on setting it up for another band.

I would also consider a trade for a late model HF Packer Amp
(Version 3 or V4 ONLY) in good electrical condition.
Maybe a decent used FM dual bander. (2m/440)

I know these prices and trades sound a bit high.
But looking down the road, how long will
it be before all kits are SMT? And how many
hams will want to build SMT kits?
73, Ken  AD6KA

Posts: 82

« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2012, 03:54:13 PM »

"And how many
hams will want to build SMT kits?"

73, Ken  AD6KA

I do not know, but Tony Parks has no trouble selling all the SoftRock kits he can make and they have more than a few SMD components.  I think he was up to 15,000 + so far.

Randy AB9GO

From the WB5RVZ website:
"It is estimated that, since the Softrock's inception in 2005, over 15,000 kits have been shipped to builders in about 60 different countries."

Posts: 2243

« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2012, 01:47:11 PM »

I do not know, but Tony Parks has no trouble selling all the SoftRock kits he can make and they have more than a few SMD components.  I think he was up to 15,000 + so far.

Randy AB9GO

I went to that website. There are far, far more
leaded parts on those kits than SMT parts.

Most of those are just a few on the bottom of
the board. (At least from what I see of those
photos and clicking on the links).

I guess I posed my question poorly.
Maybe I should have written:

If Elecraft offered both a "leaded" version
of the K2 and a Surface Mount version
of the K2, which one would sell more units?

Also, if they offered a Surface Mount version,
I wonder if the number of "I can't get it to work"
inquiries to Elecraft Tech Support would increase
a good deal.

Eventually SMT will replace leaded parts.
That's why I am slowly building SMT projects,
working my up in complexity.
But I still feel that over time SMT will overall lower the
number of builders (excluding the "hard core" builders!) Grin

Of course there are other reasons the number of people
building stuff for their station is going down.
Ham radio, and what people want from it, is changing.
That subject has been beaten to death,,,,,,,,
73, Ken  AD6KA/5R8GQ

Posts: 128


« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2012, 12:45:58 PM »

If Elecraft offered both a "leaded" version
of the K2 and a Surface Mount version
of the K2, which one would sell more units?
I wish Elecraft did offer the K2 in a SM version - that would be super! 

I've built one of KD1JV's ATS3b rigs within the past year - I don't have a lot of kit-building experience and thought it was great fun - I had no problems with it at all.  I've built a few smaller SM projects as well as some through-hole kits, and overall prefer SM.  And I've got 55 year old eyes!

And speaking of kit popularity, the KD1JV rigs usually sell out 100 to 150 unit batches within a day or so of offering.  There are folks on the ATS Yahoo group every week looking to buy one of the kits.  I'm pretty sure he's sold over 1000 of the ATS series.  I think there is still a pretty good demand for the SWL SW+ rigs that Dave stopped selling in the spring - I'm sure he'll be able to sell a bunch of that kit's successor.  I think that the smaller QRP kit market (say for rigs under $100 or so) is actually pretty good these days. 

I'm personally moving away from kits and toward homebrewing kit copies (for now) Manhattan style, but I think there is still plenty of demand for some kits.


Posts: 2243

« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2012, 11:16:21 PM »

Yeah, I guess I am bitching too much about SM parts
and kits.

I recently finished a project (Hendricks Digital
Frequency Dial)
that had 25 SMT parts in it and
it wasn't half as hard as I thought it would be.
I thought that the 18 and 20 pin IC's would be
the hardest to solder but they turned out to be the easiest.
Turned out those itty bitty "0805" parts
were the hardest. Cheesy Project worked first time on power up.
73, Ken AD6KA

Posts: 5

« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2012, 10:39:48 AM »

The best bet is to build the kit and concentrate on making it a good looking rig.
I have seen some built kits that look great sell for around $400 on ebay.
Winter is here and it's a good time to melt solder.

Posts: 2243

« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2012, 01:43:14 PM »

Thanks for your comments Robert.

I already sold the kit, and I do already have
another White Mountain 40 (and WM-20), but
they currently are just PC boards (tested) and
not mounted in any enclosures......

Lots of unfinished projects in my shack right now!  Grin
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