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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | Ramsey QRP series transmitters Help

Reviews Summary for Ramsey QRP series transmitters
Ramsey QRP series transmitters Reviews: 10 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $$39.95
Description: Ramsey Electronics' "QRP" transmitter series kits
Product is in production.
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N4ZDX Rating: 4/5 Mar 7, 2016 20:41 Send this review to a friend
Very usable  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I built this 40 meter transmitter in about 1.5 hours and have had no drift or chirp within the transmitted frequency range. The output is a bit lower than I would like as it's only about 3/4 watt. All in all, I'd have to say I've had rather good luck with both the QRP40 and matching HR40. Considering the costs involved $15 for the HR40 and $20 for the QRP40, I'm not going to complain.
WB3T Rating: 2/5 Apr 17, 2012 20:26 Send this review to a friend
Just A Toy  Time owned: more than 12 months
The output was not as advertised until I replaced both the driver and output transistors, and re-tuned the output filter. Of course, you cannot do this without a spectrum analyzer. If you don't have one, you can't make any mods to the filter without risking high harmonic content, which violates FCC regulations - and potentially high current draw in the final, which could blow it out.

The transistors supplied are obviously the cheapest Ramsey could find, for a buck I used a replacement transistor I got from a surplus dealer, and I now get 3 Watts. Almost any other transistor I tried in the final far outperformed the one that came with the kit. Come on Ramsey, spring for decent parts!

Replacing the driver with a 2N2222A cured the chirp, which was awful until then (unusable on the air). I also got improved QSY - 10 kHz on 40 meters, but I also had to replace the original crystal as it would only QSY 3 kHz with the circuit in stock configuration. I used a $2.50 crystal I got from and got three times the range. Now, with two crystals I can cover a 21 kHz range.

I now have a nice TX, but only because I am an RF engineer with the spare parts, proper equipment, and the experience to redesign significant parts of the the transmitter. Unless you can do this, the QRP-xx transmitter is no more than a toy. If you use it on the air, be prepared to hear, "you have chirp," the first sign of a poor station.

Ramsey would only have to spring a few more cents per kit to make this a usable transmitter - but the Q-Amp kits all suffer from cheap parts (which blow out routinely), as does the Ramsey HR series receiver (which drifts incessantly) so this is no surprise.
K0OD Rating: 5/5 Jun 15, 2011 07:07 Send this review to a friend
Fun, easy, and somewhat usable  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought the 40 meter Ramsey transmitter kit on a lark years ago mostly to get my then-very young son interested in electronics and perhaps ham radio. He soldered a few connections before getting bored. My son still isn't a ham, but he's now studying electrical engineering.

The Ramsey is quite capable of making real contacts when teamed with a good antenna and first rate receiver. My unit shows 1.8 watts output on an Autek WM1 power meter. I used a much better than average antenna, an array of four phased verticals. From Missouri I even worked several European stations who were probably using large Yagis.

Yes, the transmitter drifts if held key down. Using my extremely accurate Flex-5000, I measured the Ramsey's drift at about 150 hz over several minutes from component heating. However drift is microscopic during a QSO at moderate speed where little heating occurs. Chirp is minimal. Assembly went very well thanks to the excellent manual and quality parts. I also have the matching Ramsey receiver which is pretty useless other than for soldering practice.
NG9D Rating: 5/5 Feb 27, 2011 18:39 Send this review to a friend
Second Look  Time owned: more than 12 months
Second look: My Ramsey QRP transmitter has a bit of character - close your eyes and you might imagine you are hearing a ship-to-shore transmitter of yesteryear. (Any “chirp” however is not even close to being enough to impress the MOPA guys.)

I checked the frequency stability of this transmitter on various radio contacts by using an ICOM 746 Pro as a monitor. The Ramsey 14 MHz transmitter has absolutely no frequency “drift”. I was not really surprised by this since stability is an inherent trait of most crystal controlled transmitters. Mine transmits on an adjustable frequency of 14054 to 14060.5 kHz, a range of just over 6 kHz.

I recorded these stability tests and measured the audio frequency on the recordings. No adjustment of the transmitter or monitor frequency is ever required in a contact, and the tests showed this little transmitter will happily transmit indefinitely without leaving the selected frequency.

If you would like to hear how the transmitter sounded, listen at:
In this recording, the frequency of the ICOM receiver was tuned to 14.060 MHz and the audio frequency of the received Ramsey transmitter signal was 600 Hz throughout the entire QSO indicating the transmitter oscillator never strayed off frequency.

73 de NG9D
IZ4KBS Rating: 4/5 Sep 29, 2010 09:45 Send this review to a friend
gets better  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my second review of this QRP transmitter. My first review was overly positive, mainly due to the fact that when I wrote it I hadn't used the device much yet. In spite of the care I put into building it, my unit did drift a bit too much, and it turned out to chirp significantly when keyed in real QSOs. The other day I wanted to give it one more chance, so I replaced the stock VXO transistor 2N3904 with one 2N2222A that I had on hand, and the chirping disappeared. Then I identified the cause of the frequency drift in the peculiar dual-varactor tuning scheme, so I replaced D3 with a MV2109G, and now the rig is quite stable, at the price of reduced frequency agility. With that mod mine has shrunk to 14058.9-14061.9 KHz, which is still plenty enough for a rig like this. And in fact I have already made a few QSOs with it, in spite of its meager 0.6 Watts. The most notable contact so far has been with a station some 800 miles away, with both of us using simple wire antennas! And I was reported 559! So, all-in-all I can give this thing a 4, but only after mods, otherwise it should really be a 2.
KA4DQJ Rating: 5/5 Jun 11, 2009 20:23 Send this review to a friend
Great Little Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've built many QRP rigs, starting with the late Doug DeMaw, W1FB's Tuna Tin 2 that appeared in a 1976 issue of QST. I built a 40m Ramsey QRP TX kit back almost 20 years ago, and it runs with the best of 'em. (Still have the Tuna Tin 2 as well) :)

I remember the crystal select switch was bad, but other than that the kit was complete. For some reason I didn't have the chirp that is a common complaint.

One thing I did do early on was install transistors sockets for the driver and final amp, so that I could experiment with different transistors. Some combinations of transistors would pull the oscillator causing the little rig to chirp like a slide guitar.

The driver/amp transistor combination I settled on was a pair of rather beefy 2N3053's. No chirp, and about 2.5 watts keydown output. Helps to install one of those slip on radial heat sinks on the final transistor since it does build up some heat.

I of course had to change the crystals when the 40m CW frequency allocations were changed by the FCC.

Remember to use a 12vdc battery power supply with the transmitter (as well as the matching receiver). The filtration just isn't there to use a any power supply.
JDWYER Rating: 5/5 Feb 21, 2008 11:03 Send this review to a friend
Great for expermenting  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had the Ramsey 30 meter transmitter which I used with a Sangean ATS 803A receiver. This may sound like a fish story but I worked a VK6 station from the Nevada desert in the middle of the night using this transmitter back in 1996. In fact we had a 20 minute chat. I later calculated the distance as ten thousand miles (per watt).

I wouldn't say this is a radio to use day to day but you can have a lot of fun with it. Make sure you have a QRO radio to use when conditions are poor.
WA8MEA Rating: 0/5 Mar 31, 2007 09:57 Send this review to a friend
Awful!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Not as advertised. They chirp, drift and you can't get a single watt out of them. Parts were also missing.

I wrote a review on this transmitter in the Michigan QRP Club quarterly: "The Five Watter". I mentioned that the transmitter "chirped like a robin in spring" and stated that I couldn't get but 100 milliwatts out of it. The sales manager called me up and cussed me out...literally! Used the F bomb repeatedly! But you must ask yourself why so many Ramsey dealers no longer sell the transmitter line.
KB5DRJ Rating: 5/5 Jan 7, 2007 19:14 Send this review to a friend
Very fun kit!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a fun little kit that can be completed and working in one evening. Construction was pretty easy with the supplied well written manual. The parts and the board are very good quality. Mine puts out right at 1 watt. The only confusion I still have is the function of L1 - it is a shielded inductor. There are no alignment instructions and the unit works perfectly the way it is. I'm going to get the rest of the set - the receiver and the amp. I close my eyes and dream of Heathkit.

Now to make contacts! :)
KB2HSH Rating: 5/5 May 6, 2004 21:21 Send this review to a friend
Great rig for novice builders  Time owned: more than 12 months
My father bought me my Ramsey QRP-40 in the fall of 1990 while I was a Novice. This rig is easy to build, easy to use, very cheap to operate, and modifiable for higher power using more powerful transistor finals. I have worked almost all states, a bit of DX, and have made many friends all with the one watt little rig. I have had mine in use with a vintage 1958 Hammarlund HQ-170 for about 14 years! Still love it today.

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