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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | OzQRP MST-xxx Help


Reviews Summary for OzQRP MST-xxx
OzQRP MST-xxx Reviews: 4 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $85.00
Description: A series of QRP transceiver kits, for 80, 40 and 20 meters. PCB or PCB
and parts (less case) available.
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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VK3HN Rating: 5/5 Apr 30, 2017 21:22 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding performance and utility for the price  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased the first generation MST400 (Mark 1) (40m) kit and matching AD9834 DDS VFO from Leon at OzQrp.com kit in mid 2012 and left it nearly a year before assembling it. Assembly was straightforward and it worked first time. Alignment took a few minutes. I only needed a multimeter and my Icom base station to check signals, there was no need for even an oscilloscope. Build, alignment and getting it on air was absolutely trouble free.

The design follows a conventional single conversion superhet pattern with a 10MHz IF, SA612 mixers, op amp and LM386 audio stages, discrete and IRF510 5 watt P.A. My initial impressions were how quiet and sensitive the receiver was. The transmitter had plenty of audio gain and the IRF510 P.A. stage delivered reliably. I boxed it up in the recommended small instrument case and took it on the road to SOTA and portable locations.

That was 2013. As of May 2017, my MST has now done 65 SOTA activations (over 400 SOTA activation points) around VK3... it is my main SOTA rig. Apart from blowing up the PA on a summit at 1800 meters when I excitedly transmitted into a partially erected aerial to catch another summiteer, it has performance faultlessly. Away from the city noise, the receiver is remarkably quiet, to the point where I sometimes wonder if the aerial is working, yet when signals appear (in good conditions) they boom out of the speaker. The DDS VFO is reliable and stable. While some afficionados shy away from SA612 as a first mixer, I have had no cross-mod, noise, distortion or other issues with it, either on a mountain or at home. I have often compared the MST receiver with the home station Icom IC-746PRO and the sensitivities are roughly equal. In a strong-signal shootout, say when listening to a DX-pedition, the Icom would win out, but that never happens to me what I am portable.

Leon has subsequently updated the MST design twice. The current design adds audio derived AGC, a second audio pre-filter stage, and plug-in band modules. He also offers an si5351 based DDS VFO option. I am planning on building another MST, Mark 3 of course, for other bands.

Highly recommended for a beginner to mid-experienced builder, and to all portable operators looking for a positive kit building and operating experience.

For lots of pictures on the MST, SOTA and other homebrew projects, see https://vk3hn.wordpress.com/
 
W8TEE Rating: 5/5 Jan 28, 2016 07:13 Send this review to a friend
Surprising Performance  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have the 20M version and was stunned by what I could hear. Keep in mind that running 5W means you are a sapling in a forest of sequoias, but you will be pleasantly surprised how well the rig gets through. From central OH with a too-low dipole I've worked about 30 states with casual operating. This is one of the few kits that passes the Tap Test...tapping on the case does not alter the audio output from the receiver. Audio quality is excellent, the VFO stable, and the signal indicator useful. They have come out with a new MST3 version and I plan on buying one as soon as some projects get done. The new version has plug-in band coils and sells for under $75US. If it's anything like the MST2 I have, it's a steal! They also have an MDT which is a DSB rig and is about the size of a peanut butter sandwich and might be good for portable work. More on that when I get the kit finished.
 
KK6AYC Rating: 5/5 Jan 4, 2015 18:57 Send this review to a friend
beyond expectation  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I am new to HF, antenna theory and kit building. I was intrigued by the capabilities of HF but I am very cheap. So I bought the 40 meter kit from ozqrp, including DDS VFO.

It took me longer than I expected to put together because the first versions of MST kits didn't come with all the parts. So I had to source a bunch of stuff that was irritating to have to find and pay shipping on. Luckily someone gave me an old royce CB that I scraped parts from, including the microphone.

The new MST2 kits come with all the internal parts. That is why I am giving this radio a score of 5. I am now finishing a 20 meter MST2 kit. The MST2 now has AGC and a fuse! Wow! It also is now compatible with more microphones, great!

I have operated the 40 meter MST probably about 10 hours all together so far, and it has been a real pleasure. I have used my own antenna in different places and my clubs antenna, all of which produced excellent receive. Other more experienced hams in my club compared the MST for receiving with one of our clubs big base station HF rigs that probably cost greater than $3000 and were absolutely convinced the MST out performs the most expensive radios we had in the clubs shack in a side by side comparison with the same antenna.

With only 5 watts out, transmit is a different story but long story short, I always make a contact, I just can't talk to everyone I hear - which is fine and what you should expect for a QRP rig.

The alignment procedure requires equipment that costs more than the rig when completed. You will need an RF generator which I found a little difficult to find, I ended up getting someone in my club to help me because he has a service monitor. He help me align the MST and it has received and transmitted beyond my expectations.

I would say that the best part of kit building is that your expectations are usually met or exceeded. Whereas when you spend hundreds or even thousands on new highly complex ham radio gear, your expectation is that it should work perfectly all the time and I think that may get some newbies into trouble, specifically with HF where antenna and band condition are additional variables in contrast to FM repeater stuff that just works with little trouble.

Additionally, Leon VK2DOB answers all of my idiotic emails quickly and respectfully.
 
VK5GI Rating: 5/5 Oct 14, 2014 16:42 Send this review to a friend
Excellent value  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
These kits are produced in Australia, but exported all over the world. For your 85 bucks you get a PCB and all the parts, or for considerably less, just a PCB. You need to also provide a DDS VFO, which is offered, or use an N3ZI. The manual is excellent and if you take your time, it is an easy build. The kit lends itself to easy mods if you wish to go that route! Output is advertised at about 5 watts but reality puts mine at about 8 watts - this can be controlled by the front panel. The received audio is truly awesome, in both sensitivity and selectivity. I've worked all over Australia with the 40 meter version.
To date, I've completed the 80 and 40 meter versions, and the 20 meter version is on the bench for final hook-up wiring. I use the 80 M for local nets Tuesdays and Fridays!
Leon Williams who provides the kits, has a website, just google OzQRP. Excellent design, excellent value - even more so for the US hams as the OZ dollar is currently so low! Well worth your consideration. BTW, these are SSB, but can be modded for CW.
 


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