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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | Breadboard Radio Sawdust Regen Receiver / CPO Help


Reviews Summary for Breadboard Radio Sawdust Regen Receiver / CPO
Breadboard Radio Sawdust Regen Receiver / CPO Reviews: 4 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $24.95
Description: Easy to build receiver kit that tunes about 75 kHz on 40 meters. Also functions as a code practice oscillator (external key required but not supplied).
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.breadboardradio.com/
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KU4UV Rating: 5/5 May 22, 2016 14:03 Send this review to a friend
A nice kit and a lot of fun for around $30  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I ordered my Sawdust kit on a Sunday morning, and it arrived to my QTH in Kentucky from South Carolina on Friday. I built completed the kit in around 3-4 hours on Friday afternoon, taking my time to carefully wind the toroid transformer and solder in the components. The only part that was missing was the on/off slide switch. I sent an e-mail to breadboard radio, and they have one the mail to me. No worries, as I just soldered in a jumper wire until the switch arrives.
Once finished, I aligned the receiver per the instruction manual, using my Sangean ATS-818 to put find the Sawdust's oscillator at 7.040 MHz. I used a small wooden dowel rod that made to adjust the capacitor until I heard the oscillator of the receive on my shortwave radio. The Sawdust pulls in signals quite nicely, and I found that I had to back off the RF gain pot on the back of the radio to about the mid point to keep from overloading the receiver. I was even able to hear signals with no antenna connected to the receiver, so the receiver certainly works. Only problem I had is that some of the components like the glass diode went into the holes kind of tight. It would be nice if some of the solder holes were slightly larger so you don't feel like you're forcing them into the holes. Also, the gain pot at the back of the radio is a little too close to the screw hole for mounting onto the wooden base, so you have to lean the pot at a slight angle in order to get the screw into the hole. Not a big deal, but it would be nice to have these two items corrected if the circuit board is ever redesigned. Overall, a heck of a kit for around $30, and I may even purchase another. I was able to cleanly monitor W1AW on 7.047 With the kit, so it works. Nice kit, and I plan on purchasing some other kits from breadboardradio.com
 
KZ5AJ Rating: 5/5 Jan 12, 2016 10:32 Send this review to a friend
Performs way beyond expectations.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I built a Sawdust in Texas and brought it with me to Panama. I also brought a Toothpick audio filter. At the moment this is my only HF rig and I am very impressed with its performance. I have a 100 ft long wire and an ancient MFJ tuner and with this setup, I get solid copy (reception, not necessarily code reading :) ) from W1AW every evening, and have heard CW stations from as far away as California. There is little to no detectable drift. While I'm waiting to get my Panama license, I plan to build a 2 transistor transmitter and use the Sawdust on 40m. The Sawdust also works fine as a CPO. W5GEN/HP1
 
WB3T Rating: 5/5 Dec 31, 2014 10:21 Send this review to a friend
Great Kit, Great Radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I did a full review in the October Issue of the NAQCC (North American QRP CW Club) Newsletter. You can request a copy from NAQCC. As such, I'll keep my comments here to a nutshell.

The Sawdust is a fun build and performs beyond expectation for a tiny super-regen receiver. I bought mine really only to feed my addiction to solder smoke thinking I would just use it for fun listening from time to time, and ended up using it on the air to make real QSOs. It's sensitive enough and stable enough. I added the audio filter and a speaker, and have to say in this configuration it makes its way into the entry-level ham shack very nicely.

I was once a young broke Dad with little to no hobby budget and I had to make do with whatever I could build cheaply. And I mean cheaply. Nowadays I sometimes like to pretend I'm in that boat again simply because the rudimentary equipment I used way back when left behind a lot of fond memories, and I like to relive them. If I had been able to get my hands on one of these in 1975 I would have been thrilled as this is way better than the junk I treasured years ago. If you're looking for an inexpensive way to try ham radio, or to add a receiver to a spare room for monitoring, you're going to love this. No issues. It just plain works, and works well. I'm not going to say it's as good as a KenComYae receiver, but it's probably half as good for 1/50 the price. There's your "bang for the buck."

I have tuned in voice QSOs in the phone band of 40 meters and can listen in for an hour without having to retune. Audio is smooth and pleasant. And... you get to build it!

Tips on submitting eham reviews include comments about similar products. That would probably be things like direct-conversion single-band kit receivers. I would stack this one up against the best of them, and could name a couple of junkers that should blush in shame in the presence of the Sawdust. If you're on a budget and want to build an affordable but very good receiver kit, this is the one, take it from a 50-year kit builder.

I've just finished my Splinter II trans-receiver also from Breadboard Radio and I am equally impressed. I'll do a full review soon. With Dave Benson's retirement, there's a gap to fill in the QRP kit market and I am hoping Bill will keep the kits coming. So far what he's produced cracks the code for high-value, low-priced kits for everyone.
 
WA4FOM Rating: 5/5 Sep 23, 2014 08:51 Send this review to a friend
Hard to have more fun for $24.95 with your clothes on  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
OK, this little receiver isn't going to run circles around any of the ones from the Big Three, but for just a smidge under 25 smackers, it's about as much fun to build and use as anything else you can do without getting arrested. The wood base was especially fun, since I decided to just smear on a few coats of Formby's High Gloss Tung Oil Finish with a light dusting using 0000 steel wool to buff it. You don't even have to finish the base if you're just too excited to get it built. I'd rate it as a perfect kit for someone just squeaking past the beginner's stage, as there is one toroid to wind. Even that isn't hard to do with the application of a little patience and the RTFM principle.

Bill, W4FSV, makes several other kits in what I like to call the "Wooden Wonder" line; notably the Splinter II TX / RX, the Toothpick Audio CW Filter / Amp, The Matchstick Antenna Tuner, and The Wood Stain QRP Dummy Load / R.F. Probe. I will post reviews on these as my shed-yule permits me to brandish my Weller.

Kudos to Bill; these kits have a curiously high bang (fun) - to - buck ratio, which is something of a rarity these days...
 


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