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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | NorCal QRP Club NC20 Help


Reviews Summary for NorCal QRP Club NC20
NorCal QRP Club NC20 Reviews: 8 Average rating: 3.8/5 MSRP: $100 second hand only
Description: 20m 5W o/p CW txcvr kit - NLA - see Red Hot Radio RH-20
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.redhotradio.com/
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G0AZH Rating: 5/5 Feb 21, 2008 13:18 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Performance  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I thoroughly enjoy building the kit and the manual was first class. One of the advantages of building the kit a number of years after released has been to incorporate improvements from the start. I carried out the AGC mod and also included a Bourns 3540 10-turn pot for the main tuning; I get around 80KHz of the band. This is a really hot receiver the selectivity and sensitivity is superb and with the incorporated audio filter the sound is very pleasant to listen too. The switching from receive to transmit is a delight ‘no relays clunking away’ just smooth easy operating. There is no chirp on the transmitted signal just a nice steady tone and the PA didn’t have any parasitic oscillations that I have seen in other QRP transceivers this is probably due the NC-20s excellent TX output filter.On the ARRL International DX contest the receiver didn’t encounter any problems from the strong signals here in Europe and I managed to work a number of stations across the pond. This radio can hold its own with the best of them. I have enjoyed building the radio. I look forward to using the radio this summer for portable QRP operation.
 
N0OCT Rating: 4/5 Mar 21, 2006 14:05 Send this review to a friend
Solid Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I didn't get around to building this critter until 2001. This is the original kit.

Definitely 4/5. There's lots of literature available on this rig, and it's a winner. If you have problems with yours, search the internet. [If you're bound and determined that it won't work, send yours to me.] Mine had a chirp problem, and I replaced the 8 volt regulator with a high quality LM7809 and all is well.

Lots of room in the case for a battery pack, etc. Now, if the bands would just cooperate, the rig would make me happier.

Can't beat the solid front end.
 
JL1KRA Rating: 5/5 Mar 16, 2000 00:11 Send this review to a friend
Proud of skilled QRPer  Time owned: unknown months

Finally completed the NC20(RHversion). Need a lot of skill and understanding schematic for perfect alignment. Some additional mods are needed to stabilize AGC and output filtering. These are found in the internet and the efforts are part of our hobby. If you want perfect tranceiver at start-up, buy YaeComWood now. Since, still my output is 4W around. I need to study this furthur. This should not be the first kit for beginners. But it is proud of me to complete the NC-20 as an advanced QRPer.
 
KF6FPR Rating: 4/5 Oct 4, 1999 21:31 Send this review to a friend
Nice kit, good value for the money.  Time owned: unknown months
Not a beginner's kit this - there are over 300 parts in it. The components are close packed onto a single PCB with all the controls. The controls hold the PCB in place on the front and rear panels. There's no wiring up to do on this rig. The manual was clear and easy to follow - it uses the build-a-section-test-a-section approach. It took me about 25 hours on and off to build mine. My kit puts out up to about 5.5Watts and is clean, as advertised, with no trace of chirp or VFO drift. The AGC is a little primitive, but I measured its range as 100dB which isn't at all bad for such a cheap kit. The RX is very sensitive and does have good large signal handling capabilities - great for contests. I didn't like the automatic mode for the Morse code frequency annunciator - it gets in the way a bit - so I stick to manual mode which is fine. All in all, a very well put together kit that is well worth the money.
 
AA2VX Rating: 4/5 Oct 4, 1999 11:09 Send this review to a friend
A useful, pleasing radio  Time owned: unknown months
I hesitated to provide this review since I am a casual QRPer, I have not tried the wide spectrum of available rigs, and I am definitely not an expert radio evaluator. But the NC20 has served me well, and I think it deserves a much better overall score.
I built one of the original club kits, and it went very smoothly (I am very careful about cross checking myself). I will admit some nervousness in fitting the front and back panels to the circuit board. I found the circuit board and other parts to be of high quality.
I have been delighted with the sensitivity and selectivity of the receiver, and, with the recommended mods, the AGC works just fine. I fitted the 10-turn pot for the receiver tuning, and I find it has plenty of "bandspread" for the 80-kHz range.
With a stiff 13.8V supply, I had to throttle back the transmitter drive to make it a "legal" 5W QRP rig, and with small batteries, I get about 3W using the same drive. To me, the transmitted signal is very sweet sounding, but I did experience chirp after accidentally exposing the rig to overvoltage from a supply that lost regulation. Apparently the 8V regulator that supplies the VFO and VFO tuning diode was damaged.
I replaced the IC, and was back in business (By the way, this was a subtle failure; the regulator was still supplying a nominal 8V, but was changing very slightly with the keying load).
For the (mostly nit-picking) negatives, I would list the following: 1) Current draw is on the order of 150 mA (my expert local buddy tells me this is necessary to get the intercept point up). 2) Non-full QSK (not a problem with my typical QRP QSOs).
Final comments: Before getting the NC20, I was using another 20m transceiver of the same nature, and I was quite satisfied with it. Now I almost always use the NC20 for portable QRP operation.
72/73 -- Mike
 
Anonymous Rating: 4/5 Oct 2, 1999 23:35 Send this review to a friend
NC-20 exceeds reasonable expectations  Time owned: unknown months
Built from the original NORCAL version of the kit. Everything worked at first turn on. Rcvr is excellent, and the AGC after the mods which are now incorporated in the kit were installed is just fine. I also added the XIT mod and a dual offset range switch. 75 countries so far with quite casual operation.
 
G3VGR Rating: 4/5 Sep 27, 1999 04:39 Send this review to a friend
Excellent 20 metre Rig  Time owned: unknown months
Kit went together well and was easy to align. Good manual & plenty of support/info around on the web. I installed all the standard mods, including the better 78L08 regulator and get excellent reports on the quality of transmitted signal. Other NC20's I've heard sound good too. My only reservation is the AGC performance with very strong signals, but as it's audio-derived, one can't expect perfection there.
 
AB7CE Rating: 0/5 Sep 19, 1999 14:09 Send this review to a friend
Don't waste your money  Time owned: unknown months
The only thing this rig does well is recieve, at the expense of high current draw. Chirps and whoops on transmit. Very poor AGC. The worst QRP rig I have ever used.
 


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