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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | GenesisRadio G40 Help

Reviews Summary for GenesisRadio G40
GenesisRadio G40 Reviews: 2 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $149
Description: Genesis G40 is software defined radio (SDR) 40m all-mode 5W QRP transceiver kit.
Product is in production.
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WW3JR Rating: 5/5 Jul 10, 2009 11:58 Send this review to a friend
Great Little Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I will echo Rowland's review of the Genesis G40, it is truly a great little radio and I'm stuck at the end of Phase 3 of the assembly process just playing with the receiver. The build process is truly enjoyable process. Tech support from Nick if needed is very prompt and very good. I recommend this radio to anyone who is thinking of getting into SDR.

I will continiue with the build process this weekend and hope to have mine (#41) on the air soon.

Best 73,

John WW3JR
K4XD Rating: 5/5 Jul 8, 2009 19:10 Send this review to a friend
Low cost / high function entry into SDR  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've been intrigued with SDR for a while now but having trouble finding an entry point. The SMT parts in the low cost Softrocks worried me, and the cost of a full-featured multiband high power rig was tough to justify when I already have a table full of radios. But I wanted to give it a try!
Along came Genesis with a package too tempting to pass up: very reasonable cost, full 5W TX, good specs on RX, no SMT parts, CW and digital mode support (also SSB but not in the US band plan), and I could play with several different SDR software packages including PowerSDR, the same package used with multi-thousand dollar rigs.
I was a bit hesitant to buy a kit from half-way around the globe but the vibe on the Yahoo! group was good (, support from the kit supplier Nick VK1AA and designer Tasa YU1LM was fast and friendly, and several hams were reporting their first QSO's so I decided to take the plunge and ordered it using PayPal.
The kit arrived in under two weeks - a very nice two sided PCB and several bags of parts, sorted by type (resistors, capacitors, inductors, etc.).
There was a letter in the box and links to download the manual, an assembly pictorial guide, and a bill of materials. I got them all, and checked the parts against the BOM -- all present and accounted for.
This is NOT a beginner's kit, but neither is it overly complex. The instructions are a lot more detailed than "stuff the PCB and power it up," but you do have to refer to the manual, look at the pictures in the assembly guide and check parts off against the BOM as you install them. Some of the silkscreen labels overlap, but by referring to the pictorials and through the process of elimination you can figure it all out. Take your time, double-check as you go -- far easier to spend time double-checking than troubleshooting. If you get stuck or are not sure about something, ask questions on the Yahoo group.
Assembly is broken into eight "phases," each of which you can complete in from an hour to a couple of hours. At the end of each phase, you usually test some voltages and some functional element of the G40. Immediate gratification is provided by a green power-on LED at the end of phase 1, and a working receiver at the end of phase 3! I almost stopped there, as I started downloading and playing with PowerSDR, WinRad, M0KGK SDR, Rocky... lots of fun with only 1/3 of the board populated!
In the remaining phases you build and test the CW monitor, PC RX/TX control, basic transmitter, and power amplifier. I was stuck a couple of times and was able to get help in the Yahoo! group within hours. I also found that just asking the question and stepping away from the soldering iron for a little while and mulling things over was often enough to get the needed insight to move ahead. I installed one resistor incorrectly but figured it out on my own, and the remaining "problems" were all issues of understanding, not flaws in the rig or construction. SDR -is- different and it takes a while to think through how the G40 is interacting with the sound card, and what goes where so you get audio to your ears and I/Q signals to the rig to cause CW to "come out the antenna!"
Once I had it all figured out, I made a few QSO's in mid-morning from my QTH in Raleigh NC to OH, PA and GA, all on 40M, with 5W, into an inverted vee doublet. And as always, nothing is a sweet as a QSO with a rig you got on the air by melting some solder!
I was impressed with the receiver -- purely subjective evaluation and only over a few hours of use, but it seems to have plenty of sensitivity, and with PowerSDR I could filter CW down to 100 Hz and still clearly hear the signal. Nice!
I am not going to repeat the feature list here, you can see it on Nick's website. But I think this is a compelling package if you want to play with SDR and have enough kit-building under belt to be confident "installing all the remaining parts in this phase according to the diagram."
Rowland K4XD

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