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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | HF Packer-Amp Homebrew Construction Project Help


Reviews Summary for HF Packer-Amp Homebrew Construction Project
HF Packer-Amp Homebrew Construction Project Reviews: 26 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $124
Description: Join the HF Packer-Amp Homebrew Construction Project and build a 160-10 Mosfet amplifier, 2.5W in, 35+W out.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.hfprojects.com/
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W1ITT Rating: 5/5 Feb 12, 2009 04:06 Send this review to a friend
fast shipping  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Virgil must have already had his coat on when I placed my order on his site. I ordered a switchable low-pass filter board from the amp to use in another project and, within an hour, received an email telling me that my kit was already in Express Mail. It's hard to beat service like that.
 
KG9E Rating: 5/5 Nov 13, 2008 19:22 Send this review to a friend
Great amp, fun to build, well worth the investment.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This amplifier kit provided the perfect solution for my picnic table portable operation. Virgil took my order over the phone and two days later the kit arrived, in time for a nice weekend project. The kit was fun to build and even more fun on the air! It took me about 25 hours to build, tune and test.
It is the perfect size and weight for portable operation and it draws a maximum of 6 amps, so it can be powered by a small gel cell battery. See my website, www.kg9e.net , for details about my portable operation and how I keep my station running at 35 watts for at least 12 hours.
This is my most used piece of ham gear to date, as I use it with several QRP rigs.
With this amplifier and my portable setup, I have been able to WAS, WAC, and I've logged over 65 countries on 40m and 20m SSB, all at a time when the sun has not been very active.
When I first put this amp on the air, I was getting RF into the audio, but several turns of coax or several snap on ferrite chokes quickly took care of that.
Its well worth the money and time invested. I highly recommend this project for an intermediate builder. I have had a lot of fun making contacts all over the world sitting at a picnic table in a Chicago city park.
Thank you, Virgil K5OOR, and I look forward to your HFPacker Pro 100 watt amplifier kit.
 
WA4KBD Rating: 5/5 May 2, 2008 03:38 Send this review to a friend
Satisfying and durable project  Time owned: more than 12 months
I built my HFPacker Amp in September of 2003 and since then it has been a workhorse both at home and in the field. Never a moment's problem except on one occasion when I dropped it and cracked a solder joint. Last year I added the painted/silkscreened cabinet option and the cooling fan control board. The latter really does keep the amp cool when running digital modes. The HFPacker Amp is a fun build and I highly recommend it. It is not a QSK amp.
 
W9DZ Rating: 5/5 Mar 21, 2008 19:09 Send this review to a friend
A Good Working Amp  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my Packer-Amp as one of the second build group. At that time Virgil was providing parts kits after a certain number of folks had them reserved and paid up front. He would then order parts in quantity and deliver the kits within a few weeks. At that time the kit was only $125 or about half of todays price with shipping. The kit has now gone commercial. A victim of its success.

I used mine with a Yaesu FT-817 and it made a big difference when conditions were poor. I didn't have any problems during construction and it worked great the first time power was applied. I did do a little experimenting with the timing caps to get the proper delay in the TR switching.

I recently sold mine on eBay and bought a used Tokyo Hy-Power HL-50B (NLA) for just a few bucks more than the current price of the Packer-Amp. I lost 160M but gained 6M which is of more interest to me.
 
5R8GQ Rating: 5/5 Mar 13, 2008 20:11 Send this review to a friend
Best Amp For QRP  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my HF Packer Amp for over three years now. It was a great kit to build and it works flawlessly. The boards and parts are allfirst rate, and the instructions are super clear. And if you get hung up, Virgil is an e-mail away and he answers inquiries very quickly.

I agree with the others that this is a "Medium Skill Level" project, mostly because there are a lot of small parts on three different circuit boards.
But I think a beginner could build it IF he
was very, very patient, had attention to detail,and bought the pre-made connecting cables, which are time consuming to make and very important to the project. There are also quite a few toroids and transformers to wind.

I use my Packer Amp to boost power on my PSK-20
(QRP PSK-31 transceiver kit from Small wonder Labs). I also have the PSK-40, PSK-10 and Warbler
(80M PSK31 and they all work swell with the Packer Amp). The instructions say to turn the power down when using digital modes but it hasn't been a problem for me. I decided to get the Packer Amp afer having nothing but problems boosting the power of my PSK-20using one of those garbage 20 watt "Q-Amps" from Ramsey Electronics. Don't do it! It's a waste fo $50 USD! GET THE HF PACKER,IT'S a ***REAL AMP***

The only problem I had with the kit was my own stupidity. I had it hooked up to my K2 and drove the amp with 15 watts and blew the finals. Big deal? Not really, the IRF510 MOSFETS in the finals are available at Radio Shack for $.99 EACH!
 
AB7DP Rating: 5/5 Nov 19, 2007 09:33 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful Performance  Time owned: more than 12 months
About a year ago I purchased an unbuilt HF Packer Amp on ebay. I contacted Virgil, at HF Projects, and he assisted me in how to get started and ugrading to the new painted case and pre-tapped heatsink.

I would consider myself a novice at kit building, but reading the instructions, pictures, diagrams, and working just a few hours a day resulted in a nice amp that worked the first time.

How well does it work? I am still very impressed with the result combined my Yaesu FT-817ND, I believe I could work any station just like it was a 100 watt station. I have always gotten fine audio reports, and I have asked other stations if my audio sounds allright.

This is a great addition to any QRP radio, and the customer service from Virgil at HF Projects is the best I have seen.




 
EHAYNES Rating: 5/5 Jul 23, 2007 10:00 Send this review to a friend
Product and Service - Excellance!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently received my HF Packer-Amp from Virgil. Using it with a FT-817ND and a LDG tuner has greatly increased my fun factor. I switch the amp to standby when not needed, but with a flick of a switch can boost my signal above noise level when required, resulting in several unusual SSB contacts, e.g. to Alaska from New Mexico on battery power. Virgil was very prompt in email correspondance, almost immediate to the 3 emails I sent. Very friendly and fair in price, he is a show case for customer service. I cannot wait for his 100W project to be ready!
 
VA3OL Rating: 5/5 Jun 8, 2007 08:32 Send this review to a friend
a great kit  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought my HFpacker amp used..... After about 10 minutes of testing it with my K2 on all bands and it was working; it stopped working; I blew it up! Took it apart; checked everything I could, but not having built it I wasn't sure how to proceed..The one thing that I did notice was a screw floating around in there... so I asked on the HFPacker group. Virgil was quick to diagnose my problem from my description. (I didn't tell him about the screw because I wasn't sure that it was the cause.BUT he sure understood the effect.) Bottom line is this: Virgil supports his group; new finals cost $6 and changing them was a easy; I am now getting 30 to 40 watts out for 2 1/2 watts in and haven't had a moments trouble .... and yes I have transmitted on the wrong band (amp on 40 xmtr on 80) it still works.
My points are these:
1. it works as advertised
2. easily fixed
3. cheap to fix
4. support is excellent.
Virgil now has a 100 watt amplifier kit . Given my experience with the HFPacker amplifier I think he may have another winner there.
 
AH6CY Rating: 5/5 May 13, 2007 21:57 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am not an experienced kit builder, but Virgil's help, both via emails and phone calls, was far beyond my expectation and he saw me thru the project. The kit performs just as described. Not only did I enjoy the process of building it, but I love the compactness, lightness and ease of use. This is an indispensable addition to my hill-topping with my FT-817. Virgil should be elected to the hall of fame of amateur radio for his unfailing assistance to fellow hams and his contribution to the QRP world.
 
K2LFP Rating: 5/5 Dec 4, 2006 19:03 Send this review to a friend
Bulletproof project  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Virgil is to be congratulated on a high quality kit that assembles like the old Heathkits (super instruction manuals) and performs exactly as promised. It took me a week of off and on again efforts (I bought the already assembled filter board) and the thing worked first time it was plugged in.

I get about 40-45 watts out on 160-20 meters, and about 15-25 watts out on 17-10 meters. This is with an FT817 (and an Elecraft K1) at about 2.5 watts into the amp. On 160-40 it seems to put out almost full output with a good deal less than 2.5 watts. I have to experiment more.

The only problem I have is with one of the chips, U2, thermally shutting down the power supply prematurely due to overheating after some hot and heavy cw ragchewing. The actual heatsink doesn't seem to get hot enough to warrant this. So I normally take the bottom off the box it is built in and aim a 24 volt fan, running at half speed off 12v, across the circuit board. Voila! No more problem.

By the way, it puts out useful power at 1 watt input levels also, so it can be used with the less-than-2.5-watt rigs and get you a meaningful increase in power.

I highly recommend this kit to allow full use of your qrp rigs during this bottom of the sunspot cycle.

Thanks again, Virgil,

Paul, K2LFP/4
 
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