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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | Hendricks BITX20A SSB Transceiver Kit Help

Reviews Summary for Hendricks BITX20A SSB Transceiver Kit
Hendricks BITX20A SSB Transceiver Kit Reviews: 15 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $82
Description: The BitX20A is a board and parts only kit that is based on the BitX20 designed by Ashar Farhan. Dan Tayloe, Jim Kortge and Arv Evans designed a pcb version was stable and would meet United States F.C.C. Specs. The Hendricks kit includes a commercial quality, plated through, silkscreened, solder masked board, all board mounted parts, the polyvaricon main tuning capacitor, and dual IRF510's as finals in a push-pull arrangement.

This radio puts out about 10 watts PEP of clean SSB, has sub 1 uV sensitivity, and a 4 pole crystal filter.
Product is in production.
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JL1KRA Rating: 5/5 Mar 19, 2008 04:57 Send this review to a friend
Great design to keep us remind real amateur radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Spending several weekend spare time, finally I completed my BTX20A after 2 months.

Though I have experience of several QRP kits, it was formidable one including many toroids to be wound and many discrete parts. But I was encouraged by other builders report and work in Yahoo Group.

Sice the Group is already subscribed by more than one thousand, it must be very careful to post messages. Basically individual problems what you face is already happened and you can see in past messages. Find them first. In addition ,the Group is not only for 'BTX20A'. They discuss other BTX20 flavor as scratch build, FAR Circuit board and recent Ver.3 board from India.

Mention about the BTX20A kit, an original assembly manual in is well written step by step instruction. In this manual, parts mountings are separated into small section and minimize your human error.
Adjustment is clearly seen in videos now. PA djust video and basic alignment video by KC0WOX are my first video experience learning how to adjust rig from forerunners. Image training with the video avoid blow IRF-510 MOSFETs by over current. DVM which can read mA level current in 5-6A range is the must have equipment to adjust driver and finals.

As for BITX20A kit itself, though there are a few hundred parts, it is amazingly perfect since there was no missing parts and no extra parts. Doug's is doing excellent work.

But once you bought the kit, all responsibility toward completion is in yourself. In any case you should not claim to as you do to Yae-com-wood.

Sounds of BTX20A is exceptional. With minimum number of active device fully working, tuned only 20m band, readability of receiving voice is better than any other recent commercial rig. If you know TS-520's good sound, I feel BTX20 is similar to this old good Kenwood.
Adjustment in TX is rather critical. Driving MOS-FETs less than 10W is good choice to suppress spurious and using final safety.

Overall, started from Ashhar's design, the bitx20 is the most educational QRP-SSB kit for me. I was learned a lot from this. I hope many 2-ways BTX QSO in this solar cycle.

Junichi Nakajima
G0EBQ Rating: 5/5 Jan 26, 2008 11:46 Send this review to a friend
Bargain  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Thoroughly recommended.Worked all round Europe in a couple of hours with just an indoor antenna.Receiver is superb.
Do be careful though when you adjust the tx pots especially the drive,they are very sharp.
Great fun,proper radio and a bargain especially for European hams.

Nigel G0EBQ
KD7QGS Rating: 5/5 Jan 4, 2008 00:35 Send this review to a friend
A Great Educational Kit  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My kit arrived on December 29th. I had not downloaded the manual, and was surprised how small the box was. After reviewing the contents of the kit, and reading thru the documentation I have come to several conclusions. In my lifetime I have built many kits. From a Heathkit GW-12 in 1963 to a K2 in 2006. Those kits came with everything you would need to get on the air (for the exeption of a Mic on the K2). This kit is the bare bones of the essential radio. You need to supply the Microphone, Speaker, Chasis, a digital frequency counter, etc. What this kit makes you do is to learn how a QRP rig is built, and how it works. There is no description of how each circuit works in the kit documentation, but there is lots of info on Yahoo in the discussion group including videos. I suggest this kit for any Licensed operator that wants to learn radio theory, enjoys researching data, and enjoys building electronics. Jeff KD7QGS
M0WYM Rating: 5/5 Nov 30, 2007 16:17 Send this review to a friend
The Kit Kicks :)  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Warning: This review is entirely subjective and is limited to the kit and the receive section of the transceiver (I will return when I have the TX up and running).

First of all the kit: My kit was something like number 150 of the first 200 and assembly instructions were evolving as the kit wended it's way across the Atlantic to Southampton, England. (As an aside, this kit is a fantastic bargain for anyone in Europe but particularly the UK due to the low dollar.)

My kit arrived in a box not much larger in area than the PCB and my first reaction was one of pleasure. The PCB is very well made, the components of good quality and gave me an impression of professionalism.

The contruction manual is downloaded from Hendricks as a PDF file and it is well worth printing out. Each stage is clearly defined with tick boxes for each component and simple function tests performed as one goes long.

Before assembling the PA I decided to hook up the external components for the VFO and get the receiver up and running. I found my obligatory component errors and then the RX was up and running on 20m after I had taken some 4 turns off the VFO coil. Quite honestly I was bowled over by the sensitivity of the RX and after adjusting the BFO and balanced mixer (by ear) did some comparision tests against my Icom IC703 with it's DSP off.

The 20A is very sensitive and any station that I could resolve on the 703 I could also resolve on 20A. The xtal filter seemed to be comparable with that in the Icom. My XYL stated that she found that stations on the 20A were 'much easier to understand'. (This seems to be due to the 20A having more 'top' which helps it cut through the QRM.)By the way, the LM386 output IC happily drives a 4 inch 4 ohm loudspeaker.

Drawbacks? The obvious one is AGC and I will be adding some form to the 20A. It's a valuable lesson in how much we take AGC for granted and in how much QSB there really is! There are other things 'missing' such as Frequency display, S meter, etc, but they do not detract from the fact that this is a very good receiver!

Finally, who is the kit for? In my case, it has been some twenty years since I have been involved in electronics professionally and a year since I had come back to Amateur Radio after a 40 year hiatus! After all that time I have found the process of building the kit empowering and know that I will go on to construct other projects. (I suspect that I will become more of a builder than operator!) I would say that it is not a kit for someone who is new to the hobby or unfamiliar with electronic construction. However, it would make a great group or club project and there is lots of support and knowledge in the BITX20 Yahoo group.

It's a great feeling to turn around and see the RX on the bench and realize that I built that! Finally, I would like to give a big thank you to all the people involved in the development of this radio and the genorosity of spirit that makes this a fine example of Amateur Rdaio 'open source'.


VU2UKR Rating: 5/5 Nov 27, 2007 22:05 Send this review to a friend
Hat's off VU3ICQ - For the Transceiver Design  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a General Review of BITX.

The transceiver "design" by Ashar Farhan VU3ICQ is Simply Superb.

It's just the begining of a New Revolution in the field of Amateur Radio Qrp Communications.

The Quality of the Transmitted Signals are real good. I happened to have had contacts with stations using BITX on 20 meter Band.

There is more room for Add-On's, that's left to the homebrewer as such, the Core Radio is simply Superb.

Great Job Farhan [ VU3ICQ ].

VU2UKR /New Delhi - India

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