- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | Four State QRP Group - Bayou Jumper Transceiver Help

Reviews Summary for Four State QRP Group - Bayou Jumper Transceiver
Four State QRP Group - Bayou Jumper Transceiver Reviews: 7 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $86
Description: Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear" and build the Bayou Jumper. The name "Bayou Jumper" is a play on "Ocean Hopper", a famous regenerative receiver of a bygone era. It retains that great retro look but with modernized circuitry. With it's distinctive panel and wood box enclosure it pays homage to the famous spy radios of WWII. It is designed for the CW segment of the 40 meters.
Product is in production.
More info:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Four State QRP Group - Bayou Jumper Transceiver.

KA0AAM Rating: 4/5 Jan 31, 2018 18:24 Send this review to a friend
Nice Radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is a great little radio. It built up fairly quickly, and works like a charm. . .the radio has just a few minor problems that seem to fluctuate from either radio to radio, or builder to builder.
My receive has a bit of a drift when first turn from transmit to receive. There is a "kind of" fix for this. The transmit has a slight chirp in it, but folks have discovered that dirty contacts on the key will cause this. The radio to me, is very well designed. The receiver is sensitive and nice, the Transmit is a full 5 watts out, and it works with ft243 Crystals.
I wanted to give it a 5, but I decided not to. I do not want to overrate a radio, but I also do not want to underrate a radio with a 4. So, I would say a 4.5. And the reason why, are the two things I have mentioned. . . .receiver drift, and transmitter chirp. Both are curable with extra steps. Personally I would use a transistor to key the radio directly, instead of your Key, thus dirt and such on contacts would not affect the oscillator, causing a chirp on some radios.

Buy one if you have a chance, it is worth the money.
K4KRW Rating: 5/5 Nov 5, 2017 06:47 Send this review to a friend
Everything about this radio is just fun  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The Four States QRP club makes fabulous kits. When they announced this one, I had to get it. I have the original version with the white face.

I since purchased the Soup-er Up-er accessory. I highly recommend this. Just the fine tuning knob is worth the price. Having the CW filter is very nice too.

One 'have to' mod is adding a transistor to the keying circuit. The mod is listed in the instructions. Without it, the transmitter does chirp. It also draws a lot of current through the key and could damage an external keyer if it won't handle that much current (0.75A).

The radio is easy to build. There is a great yahoo group for it. My rig worked the first time. If you add the soup-er up-er the biggest challenge is getting the holes drilled for the new controls.

I had fun building the radio. I had fun putting the finish on the wooden case. The case does not come with the kit, but you can buy it for peanuts from Hobby Lobby. Using that case was a stroke of genius. It has been fun watching what everyone does with their case. It is a great opportunity to use a little creativity.

I have had so much fun using the radio. I have learned so much. I had never used a regenerative receiver. I had never used a crystal controlled transmitter. I now have 6 crystals for mine. And the trick of putting the crystal across the antenna port and tuning the receiver until it pops in order to find the frequency of the crystal on the receiver was a fascinating revelation. So simple and elegant.

Please join the fun!
NA1CC Rating: 5/5 Sep 24, 2017 10:09 Send this review to a friend
Relive Your Novice Days  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I looked forward to building this transreceiver to relive the excitement that I felt as a Novice licensee in 1957-58, rather than to have a replica of a paraset, though that's a lot of fun too. There was something magical in making contacts while running low power, being crystal controlled, manually throwing a switch between transmit and receive, fiddling with a regeneration control on a regenerative detector, and using the CW filter between your ears since selectivity was wide as a barn door. Modern gear is great--don't get me wrong--but quite often contacts seem too easy to make and the thrill is not the same as it was 50-60 years ago.

The Bayou Jumper has not disappointed. In four months, in casual operation, I've worked 14 states and four DXCC entities. Memorable contacts include long stateside ragchews, answering CQs on 7030 from F5UQE and G4TGE and having them come back, and calling CQ DX on 7012 and having SP9FV answer. My antenna is a dipole strung between trees, 20 feet high.

I also have relived the past by curing TX chirp and significantly reducing (but not totally eliminating) RX drift. The BJ in this regard affords good learning opportunities for new hams, who most likely have not experienced such technical issues with their modern commercial transceivers. Regarding chirp, the high amount of current on the keying line, on the order of 750 mA, means that even a little resistance, for instance from dirty key contacts, will result in chirp. I eliminated chirp altogether by placing a Ham Gadgets Mini Keying Adapter in the line, which also allows me to plug a small iambic keyer directly into the key jack. I now receive unsolicited comments about how clean the TX keying sounds. Also, my external keyer has a speaker in it, getting around the problem of no RX headphone audio when transmitting.

Regenerative detector receivers with simple designs, such as the BJ has, are notorious for RX drift. Mine drifted -2 to -3 kHz following power on. Drift, most of which is probably temperature drift, originates in not one but two LC circuits, one for regeneration, the other for tuning. I was able to decrease drift by adding a 20 pF ceramic NPO capacitor at C31, substituting a 120 pF ceramic NPO at C20, and using Q Dope to secure L1 to the PC board. (Note: Don't secure L1 until the regen and tuning circuits are working properly and you're happy with capacitor values). Now, on power on, I measure drift at about -650 Hz at 5 mins., -850 Hz at 10 mins., and -1000 Hz at the 15 min. point. There's a total of about -1250 Hz at 30 mins. As indicated, the RX settles down after about 15 mins. Minimizing drift further is a work in progress, with good suggestions coming from N5IB, the kit designer, as well as others on the BJ Yahoo group discussion board. By the way, I added a 100K ohm resistor at R5a to decrease the tuning range to 7000-7060, my area of interest on 40 CW, and I added capacitance at C33 to reduce higher frequency noise on receive.

Some may wonder why I given this rig a 5, since I needed to tinker with it with regard to chirp and drift. But that's just it. The BJ invites tinkering, which itself was a major part of the fun of building your own RXs and TXs years ago. You learned a lot too. Especially for the price, the pleasure of building, experimenting with, and operating the BJ on the air is difficult to beat.

N5MZX Rating: 5/5 Aug 1, 2017 09:01 Send this review to a friend
Great Spy Rig  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I am having fun with this little rig. It was fun to assemble and with the help of my Elmer helped me get it on the air. I have made quite a few contacts and have UN-hooked my Icom 718. It is well engineered and well kitted. The Bayou Jumper is well supported on the Yahoo Group. I built the " White Face Rev. "A". Great radio,great fun, and great Club.In this day and age I am Rock bound again and loving It. Great memories have turned into great fun.
WB0FDJ Rating: 5/5 Mar 18, 2017 14:23 Send this review to a friend
Very nice QRP kit  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Well I'm not an engineer but have built several kits over the years. I'd made the decision that I had enough of them when I ran across this radio kit from Four States QRP. There were several things about the radio that immediately attracted me: a regenerative receiver, which I had never used but always wanted to, an efficient 5 watt transmitter and a package that is designed similar to the old spy parasets that were used in WWII.

My kit came quickly. All parts accounted for. A very well designed board. Instructions are crystal clear. There is also a lot of discussion about how it works, so I got a great education on regen's. Once together I noted that the the IRF-510, used for reverse voltage protection, was running very hot. I posted a question about this to the Yahoo group and the kit's guru replied with instructions within 30 minutes! A few minutes later the ham who kit's these things sent me a note saying the part was going in the mail!. I am impressed with the support for this radio.

My receiver covers 7.020 to 7.168. I already had several crystals on hand so I am good to go. I get 5 watts very clean CW out. This kit is definitely a keeper. If you enjoy QRP operation and building kits this is a very good kit and a lot of bang for the buck.
AE5KA Rating: 5/5 Feb 20, 2017 09:41 Send this review to a friend
Terrific Little "Spy" Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Extremely well designed and simple 40m CW transceiver from the non-profit, just for fun, 4SQRP group. The kit went together quickly and easily and worked from the start. No test instruments are required to get it calibrated and running - another receiver is all you really need. It sounds great and puts out a good signal. Mine makes a measured 4 watts. It is "rockbound" of course, and two crystals are supplied, but you can use any 40m FT243 crystal, which defines the transmitter frequency. The receiver is a sensitive regenerative design which will cover about 150 KHz of the 40m band. The whole works fits perfectly into a small wooden box from Hobby Lobby, which you are able to finish any way you like - or not. Lots of fun, and it looks really cool.
N3HEE Rating: 5/5 Feb 2, 2017 06:22 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding !!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I ran across the Bayou Jumper by accident and couldn’t help buying one. Just way too cool!! The kit shipped fast and went together quick and easy. It comes with very good documentation and has a dedicated Yahoo group for support. I decided to put mine in a vintage 1955 record player case. However, it was designed to fit into an off the shelf wooden box sold by Hobby Lobby. The receiver is super sensitive and works very well. The transmitter delivers a full 5 watts and is a very efficient class E design drawing very little current. I have made a dozen contacts with it so far and have had more fun with this little rig than I've had in quite a while.

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.