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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | SoftRock QRP Kit Radio Help

Reviews Summary for SoftRock QRP Kit Radio
SoftRock QRP Kit Radio Reviews: 16 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $$31 to $38
Description: Excellent receiver, 1 watt QRP Software Defined Radio in kit form, single and dual banders, outstanding radio!
Product is in production.
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F6EHP Rating: 5/5 Jan 1, 2011 02:09 Send this review to a friend
TRX Softrock 6,3  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Really a nice job from the designer team KB9YIG ! Inexpensive way to begin SDR with a nice, complete documentation from W5RVZ. I have added the 10W amp from QRPproject DL2FI and a filter from Virgil K5OOR, so I now have a full QRP SDR rig for less than $250. I use an E-MU 0202 usb sound box for I/Q in and out (192kb) , and an USB headset for local audio ( 48 kB - mic and speaker ) and PowerSDR by SV1EIA 1.12.20 as software.
Unfortunatly, this set is not more produced . Tony now offers a single card rig TX ensemble, but really difficult to order from his website.
WZ7I Rating: 5/5 Aug 14, 2009 13:48 Send this review to a friend
Just amazing!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This afternoon I was watching the call signs rolling off CW Skimmer from a SoftRock v9 receiver on 40 meters and I got the same thrill I did 50 years ago from my first crystal radio. This tiny kit is simply amazing and I built it myself! I originally bought it to gain some experience working with SMD components. I figured it was cheap enough that if I messed it up, it was no great loss. I am not certain I really expected it to work. But work it did! I find it's sensitivity and selectivity a joy for something so inexpensive.

Build one even if you have never worked on SMD kits. Get yourself a magnifier and a tiny tip for your soldering pencil and have a go at it. What have you to lose but $10 for the 40M receiver?
N2ZDB Rating: 5/5 Sep 2, 2008 18:32 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Kit!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have built several Softrock Kits over the last few years for Hams. Recently I built a new Lite + Xtall v8.3 and I liked it so much I bought and built one myself! Hard to believe the low price of these kits from Tony!

Running a Si570 LVDS oscillator on my v8.3 and Rocky 3.6 with an attic antenna and it works and sounds great even with an onboard audio device!

Keep up the good work Tony -looking forward to what you will have for us to build in the future!

73's Michael
OM1AMS Rating: 5/5 Dec 31, 2007 02:22 Send this review to a friend
Go sdr!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased 3 kits in 2006 and built two of them (the 6.1 version - the predecessor of the Lite one). As the dsp is something I worked with in past I was curious about the quality of such simple front end concept. I did several mods (input filter bandwith, various xtals, voltages, amplifier gains)and had a lot of fun to experiment with it. It works good even with 16bit a/d card and without galvanic isolation from a PC. The only obstacle I saw was a need to isolate the antenna connector from metal enclosure I am using. It seems for me the appropriate transformers or optoisolators at I/Q outputs and an agility in changing the frequency of the mixer (e.g. DDS or onechip clock generators with adequate changes in the existing software) would be a great benefit as well. I am using mostly Rocky sw and even with my poor antenna and 16bit onboard sound cards I can listen almost the same as with my IC7k. So currently I am looking for an usb2.0 24bit sound card with 192khz sample rate (both a/d and d/a)ideally with an usb optoisolator. I am giving 5 to the kit and to existing sdr software as it is a kind of enabler to the new ham rig technology for anybody.
WB5KCM Rating: 5/5 Nov 23, 2007 15:27 Send this review to a friend
Very nice way to start with software defined radios.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the SoftRock40 Lite kit first to get the hang of kit building with the surface mount components. It really was not too hard. There are several methods of soldering the components to the PC board. There is the solder paste method that you can use a small hot air gun or you can actually solder all the components at once in the toaster oven. The other method and the one I ended up using is the small tip grounded soldering iron. It was necessary for me to also have a magnifier type light to be able to see to solder those tiny parts. I notice that some of the guys use the magnifier headset that has the built in lamps. Winding the small toriod coils and transformers take a bit of time to get them done correctly. If your not too sure how you would do building a kit like this you may want to start with the 40 meter receiver kit like I did the SoftRock40 Lite. It is only $10.00 mailed direct to you. I built this kit in several hours and it worked the first time. Dont think these are a Heathkit that you can build with your old 100 watt American Beauty soldering iron. You have to know a little about what your doing. There is a lot of help available on the Yahoo SoftRock group. After I got the 40 meter receiver kit going, I ordered the 40/80 meter RxTx 6.2 Kit ($30). This is the complete transmitter/receiver software defined radio kit. I have now completed building this kit and it was about the same as the 40 meter receiver kit but just took more time to build it. After I completed it and did all the preliminary testing I hooked it up to my computer and it worked! I have to find an enclosure and get it setup to operate CW and PSK and I will be ready to go. My goal is to have the SoftRock transceiver setup with my laptop and have a cool frequency agile CW/PSK complete QRP portable system.
I highly recommend these kits. They are fun to build and the performance is outstanding. One of the fun aspects is configuring them to operate with the various SDR software.
73, Randy, W5KCM
K4FX Rating: 5/5 Nov 19, 2007 11:05 Send this review to a friend
Out of this World!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Tony Parks and the guys at are simply the best! You might be skeptical about investing your time to build a 30 odd dollar kit rig, but these guys are into the hobby, not making profits, so you are really getting a radio worth a lot more. Basically you are getting it for costs. The 20-30 model is the highest at 38 dollars shipping INCLUDED! It cost a bit more due to the extra daugherboard that's used. The 40-30 and 40-80 are only 31 dollars shipped!

I have just completed my 20-30 and I have not turned on my 756 in days, this thing is amazing, with the Rocky software, you can do a LOT, it has a super PSK31 decoder built in, it has an iambic cw keyer, dual vfo operation is a breeze, key click filter, noise blanker, automatic AGC. Simply amazing, the reciever is hot as a 2 dollar pistol, looking at 20 meters on a A4S at 75 feet, EU stations are everywhere and the spectrumscope is outta sight! Its so cool not needing a sound card interface, or outside software for PSK, just switch to PSK31 mode and go, macros are built in, one click on call and one on name incorporate that date into the macros so you just hit the F keys to tell your life story! QSK cw too!! It's all way too cool. Your bandwidth is limited by your sound card, but with a cheap on board Realtec AC97 I can copy from 14.025 to 14.071 easy on 20 and all of 30 meters, the output is 1 watt so in modes like PSK31 you can really make some QSOs. One person has 50 countries on CW with his.

The bottom line is this, if you've been curious about SDR radios, here is the chance of a lifetime, VERY LOW cost to get started, no costly upgrades to your PC to get started, and one of the best support groups in ham radio. I am fully hooked and planning on buy another, and then another, till I have them all, some fellows have 50-100w PA plans to make these some serious radios.

Oh yeah the DSP, on Rocky the preferred SDR program for the Softrock, you can dial the bandwidth down to a sliver of 20 hz, there is a tiny bit of ringin that narrow, but you can go as low as 50-60 hz with no noticable ringing, I can separate signals almost on top of each other, my main rig is a 756 Icom non pro, there is not way it can compete, I have A/B'ed them and the Softrock blows it outta the water on it's recieve capabilites.

Construction is super easy, I built my 20-30 in about 12 hours total time, you have to install about 24 SMD caps, (really ez I wish all the resistors and caps were SMD's) there are 7 SMD ICs these are a bit tricker, but it took me about 10 minutes to install them with a 5 dollar grounded tip 15 watt radio shack iron,

Buy one of these radios, you won't regret it!
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