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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | Hendricks KD1JV Weber Tri-Bander Help


Reviews Summary for Hendricks KD1JV Weber Tri-Bander
Hendricks KD1JV Weber Tri-Bander Reviews: 15 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $200
Description: Any 3 HF bands - 80-15 Meters
DDS VFO. 5-Watts on all bands
Digital Display. Built-in Memory Keyer
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.qrpkits.com/tribander.html
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ND6P Rating: 5/5 Oct 27, 2012 15:03 Send this review to a friend
Optimized for CW  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Mine was missing one part, an electrolytic capacitor that I picked up locally. And the power socket that came with mine was not the one I wanted. I picked up a PC board mount power socket that fit the square opening in the rear panel and installed that instead. The one that arrived with the unit was a panel mount type and it didn't fit in the square opening very well.

I painted my cabinet two tone blue, using a light tone for the front panel and a dark tone for the cover. The decals went on easy enough and I am pleased with how it came out. It's a very nice looking radio.

I took my time building and installed all the parts before turning it on the first time. Only problem I ran into is I needed to reverse the relay wires on the band switch to get bands B and C working. My three bands are 40, 30, and 20 meters.

My other QRP rig is an Elecraft KX1. It has SSB RX that is nice to have, but comes as a compromise to its CW capability. The Weber is optimized for CW only. I'll be keeping both.

Jim/ND6P
 
N4FZ Rating: 5/5 Oct 26, 2012 22:03 Send this review to a friend
Compact performer!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently completed the kit and am amazed how well it peforms! I am already working lots of DX with just 5W! I took my time and completed the assembly over a period of a few days. Some notes to builders: 1)Do an inventory of all your parts first. 2)get a small 1/32" tipped ESD safe soldering iron, a magnifying glass and some .032 solder and you will be in good shape. 3)Pay attention to soldering in the relays, making sure you get them oriented correctly match lines up.) Take your time winding the toroids, making sure to keep the turns snug against the form. Triple count the number of turns on each toroid to be sure they are correct.
I built mine for 20,30,40m. I am getting around 5W output on each band. The only transmit adjustment is the even spacing of the windings of the filter toroids. The receive alignment was simple, just two trimmers for each band. I used a small precision screwdriver for that. BFO alignment was easy as well, just peak the audio tones.
Overall, a fun kit to build, and even better to operate! My first kit build was a K9AY 40m QRP transceiver in 1992. Dave Hendricks will stand behind his kits, if you need a part, or help, he is there for you. Great little rig!
 
VK5GI Rating: 5/5 Sep 11, 2012 22:42 Send this review to a friend
Smart little Rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this little radio already built, so half the fun was missing, but on the other hand my eyes are not what they used to be so I'm not complaining.
This rig is really REALLY small. The menu is simple and intuitive, it has a digital readout, the side tone is at a good frequency which I believe you can alter somewhat, RIT, fast and slow tuning, it's all there. OK, what didn't I like? Lemme see..... a) lack of internal speaker, b) a simple switch to change a filter to resolve SSB. The rig traverses the whole of each band (mine is 20, 30 and 17m), so it is not beyond the wit of Doug or Steve to include this. And that's it. Minor quibbles when you look at the whole picture. It is reasonable value, has a lovely receiver, transmits spot on, no discernible drift, weighs nothing so is great for traveling with (I have a ZM-2 tuner to go with it). Highly recommended.
Kind regards
Norm VK5GI
 
HB9DST Rating: 5/5 Jul 24, 2012 06:10 Send this review to a friend
Good bang for the buck  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
If you've missed out on the "limited-edition" ATS-X series from KD1JV, this is the same basic tx/rx design -- but in series production, and you solder only thru-hole components. Another difference: in operation, the display shows only frequency in both main operation and RIT (unlike the ATS-4, which also shows battery voltage, a nice feature). The two keyer memories are plenty for my needs.

My unit went together relatively easily, just had to clean up a couple of solder joints. Alignment is very simple. It works like a charm on the SOTAs where I have taken it. It would be good if the kit included the male power plug as standard.

For $200 you'll be hard-pressed to find a better 3-band QRP rig. If you're put off by SMDs, this is a good choice. And unlike the ATS-X series, which when they're gone they're gone, the Weber Tribander is available to purchase when you want one.

Of course, you face the issues when dealing with any 1-man operation; if there is a family emergency or the similar, operations are pretty much shut down. But in my case, Doug has been very responsive and cooperative.
 
KG7RS Rating: 5/5 May 12, 2012 23:09 Send this review to a friend
Excellent QRP Rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Hi Folks,

I recently completed my new Weber Tri-Bander, built for 20, 17 & 15 meters. This kit is a brand new offering, at the time of writing, from Hendricks QRP & recently replaced the long-running Weber Dual-Bander. The Tri-Bander can be built to operate on any 3 HF bands, 80 thru 15 meters. This CW-only transceiver runs a solid 5-watts out on each band - the power level has no adjustment. This model features a DDS VFO & stability is rock-steady. Other features include digital frequency readout, a built-in keyer with two memories, RIT, two tuning rates & audio-derived AGC. The rig is small - 4x6x1.5". Its also battery-friendly. I measured 80mA receive current drain and around 600mA on transmit.

Building the kit is surprisingly easy. There are a few SMD parts (including the tiny DDS chip) which come pre-installed. All others are thru-hole and there are surprisingly few parts considering the capability of this rig. There are only seven toroids for the builder to wind, all of which are single windings. The small display board has an LED display module, a momentary contact switch and a few caps & resistors. It mounts to the main board by a 16-pin 90-degree SIP header. There are several discrete wires to contend with which connect to the bandswitch, volume control, power switch, key & headphone jacks.

The kit is supplied with an unfinished aluminum cabinet of nice quality which features pressed-in threaded standoffs for both boards. The builder can simply use it as-is - the cabinet is a brushed finish. I chose to paint mine. The top cover was finished in black wrinkle paint and the bottom cabinet in light gray. One thing I wasn't crazy about Hendricks kits is that the builder must install waterslide decals - just like on model cars we built when we were kids. After having built a couple of Doug's kits, I've decided I like the decals. It's very easy to give the kit a custom look with various colors & textures. The decals install easily and Doug supplies two sets "In case you mess one up". I did indeed "mess one up" on a previous Hendricks kit. Be sure to heed the advice in the construction manual & apply a LIGHT coat of clear coat spray. I sprayed a single heavy coat and within minutes, the clear coat, paint & decals turned into wrinkle finish! I had to take it all off with acetone and start over...not fun!

My kit arrived with one wrong resistor. A 1.5K was supplied instead of a 7.5K. Fortunately I have a good local supply house and picked up a couple in order to save the delay of having Hendricks ship me a replacement. I understand Hendricks is good about shipping parts quickly. All the parts supplied are of first-rate quality. In particular, the main printed wiring board is without a doubt the best quality I've ever seen provided in a kit.

Building presented no difficulties and both boards were built and ready to install within only a few hours. Fit is excellent and it was relatively simple to install the boards. The discrete wires are cut to length from a dimensional table and were the perfect length. It is suggested to wire the volume control and bandswitch, then install them along with the board. This makes good sense - there's not much room in the case to maneuver a soldering iron.

Alignment is super simple but did present a minor glitch. One of the first steps is to program the microprocessor to assign your chosen bands to Band A, B & C. To accomplish this, the builder steps through each band by tapping one of the keyer paddles for each of the three bands. For example, I set Band A for 20 meters, Band B for 17 & Band C for 15 meters. After each selection, you tap the function pushbutton switch and you are stepped to the next band. After all three are entered, the unit defaults to normal operation. I could only program Bands A & B - when I tried to step to Band C, the unit skipped right over to normal operation. This was probably due to key bounce on the function switch. Several attempts and resets were made until finally I was able to get all three bands programmed. You can adjust the DDS timebase to exactly 10Mhz, but I found my unit was dead-on and would likely only be a few hz out of adjustment anyway. The BFO is set with a single trimmer and can be done easily by ear although the manual describes how to more accurately set it using an oscilloscope. Finally, the builder peaks the receiver for maximum band noise by adjusting two trimmers for each band. There is no alignment for the transmitter section at all. I got a stable 5-watts on each band after testing. That's it for alignment!

Performance is very good. The receiver is very quiet and has good sensitivity. There is some AGC popping on very strong signals but its not obtrusive. QSK is excellent and the fixed sidetone is at a good level. Passband appears to be around 500hz and is fixed. I found the selectivity to be more than adequate on a crowded 20 meters. The best part is the rock stable nature of this rig due the DDS circuit. There is no drift at all.

This is not a kit I would recommend for a first time builder. Although the construction manual is entirely adequate, it doesn't offer the "hand holding" of some other kit suppliers. I can see several areas where an inexperienced builder could encounter trouble.

The only things which could be improved upon in my opinion include the choice of an encoder without mechanical detents. I would greatly prefer a detent-less tuning knob albeit the detents are not coarse with the encoder provided. I plan to research a suitable detent-less encoder and retrofit mine in the future. Also, one point of confusion is how to label the bandswitch. The construction manual indicates to assign the lowest frequency band to the middle position of the toggle bandswitch but which position is Band A, B and C? It doesn't state this in the manual. Consequently, I built, installed, aligned and otherwise played with my transceiver, then once the bandswitch assignment were noted, I took it all out, applied the band decals and reassembled the whole thing. In my case 20 meters was the center (assigned to band A); 17 meters was with the toggle to the left (Band B) and 15 meters was toggle right (Band C).

Overall, I'm very pleased with this little rig. It's small, cute and a good performer. It even comes with a flip up bail to elevate the front panel just like a big rig. Thanks to KD1JV and Doug Hendricks for bringing another neat QRP rig to the fraternity.

73, John, KG7RS
 
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