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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | PSK-20 Small Wonder Labs Help


Reviews Summary for PSK-20 Small Wonder Labs
PSK-20 Small Wonder Labs Reviews: 42 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $95
Description: Dedicated PSK-31 QRP XCVR kit for 20m
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.smallwonderlabs.com
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WK2W Rating: 5/5 Oct 18, 2010 16:35 Send this review to a friend
A very nice kit.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The kit is very well designed and has very good instructions to help you build a quality piece of equipment. The parts and the board are all of good quality and they are nicely packaged. The radio works very well and is very enjoyable to operate.
It would probably not be a good first kit, but if you are patient and have a good quality iron with a very small tip, you should be successful. Four toroids need to be wound and a couple SMT parts need to be soldered to the board. Some of the capacitors are small and the printing is even smaller. Many of the circuit board pads are very small and the traces are very close with tight component placement. It would be wise to have a magnifing glass.
As a business, Small Wonder Labs is a well-run operation. Your order gets an immediate response and the shipping status for all of the current orders are updated almost daily. Emails are quickly answered. Backlogged orders are now a thing of the past.
Overall, building this kit was a very enjoyable experience. It is well worth the money.
 
VK4JAZ Rating: 5/5 Jun 7, 2010 16:20 Send this review to a friend
Another great rig from SWL  Time owned: more than 12 months
Wow, another great product, and it worked first time for me. Just had a fb qso with a Russian station on 3W. Great copy using Digipan but the amazing this was the report I got back - 599. Puts many big rigs to shame, I think. And the build process was such fun, too.
 
K1QN Rating: 5/5 May 21, 2010 10:29 Send this review to a friend
Bears Repeating  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been living with the PSK-20 and -40 for 2 years now, and I just can't tell you what frisky little rigs they are. I've been getting transatlantic QSO's almost at will on 40M after dark. The day was when I had to crank up a big rig and drive myself crazy with CW (I'm good at it, but still...) to touch the same bases.
 
VK7JB Rating: 5/5 Mar 22, 2010 05:01 Send this review to a friend
Get one, build it, use it - you'll be hooked!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Building and using Dave's PSK20 kit has been one of the biggest thrills of my ham radio career. It's got me hooked on the excitement of QRP and working the world from simple stations. The kit is of the highest quality with outstanding attention to finish and detail and no missing parts. The instructions and manual are so explicit, it's very, very hard to go wrong and the kit goes together like a dream. Best of all, it functions perfectly.
From VK7, I've had easy contacts with EB5, UA3, KJ4, No8R, FK8 - the DX list goes on. All with under 3W from a wire loop antenna hung between some trees on my block. Nothing complex as far as stations go, but what fun to make these distances.
My only critical comment is that the receiver front end overloads easily and I've installed the RF gain mod mentioned by others: simple to do and fixes the overload problem. The PSK20 receiver is as sensitive as my IC7400 using the same antenna set up: I've tried both in A and B comparisons while working DX.
Thanks Dave for a great kit. Truly one of ham radio's greatest bargins.
John
VK7JB
 
WA4EQW Rating: 5/5 Feb 26, 2010 19:50 Send this review to a friend
Built it. Use it. It's Great.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I became interested in psk31 last year and found that low power in this mode can bring extreme pleasure either in rag chewing or dx chasing.

I built Dave's PSK-20 in two days... I can tell you it is not a beginners kit but I already owned a Radio Shack swr/power meter and a volt/ohm test meter so I went back to Radio Shack and purchased their little 25 watt soldering station with magnifying glass (I'm 72 and needed it!). That was a little gem because it holds the pc board during assembly. To cut a long story short, it worked as soon as I built it...., before actually because I dropped a 33pf capacitor from the driver section and for the life of me I couldn't find it. Dave very kindly sent me another one immediately but my impatience dictated that I reply to a cq from AE1P up in NH without the 33pf in place.. Max output was 2 watts and I didn't dare to ask him what my IMD was because I knew it couldn't be linear. When I did get the 33pf in place, the PSK-20 put out slightly less than 5 watts but was certainly within the limits of spec. All this by the way with a mag loop antenna that I built while waiting for my kit to arrive. My PSK31 station now consists of the PSK-20 transceiver, a Schumacher emergency car starter for a power supply and a home brew Mag Loop Antenna built from 1/2" tubing, 30" diameter 4' off the ground and tuned with a $29.00 Voltronics Corp. model NMT70 6E variable capacitor from Max-Gain Systems Inc. in Georgia.

Here are some results from Fort Myers Florida, and you've already heard me mention my first qso with AE1P... .-XE2HYR, HP3DX, PJ2/W8WTS (from our church parking lot), TG9AHM (several times), YV1FM, HR2/LU1DY, CO8ZQ and KH6CW (today 2/26/2010).

Thanks Dave for so much pleasure.
Pat. wa4eqw.
 
K6SDW Rating: 5/5 Jan 4, 2010 14:49 Send this review to a friend
Da BOMB!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
PSK-20 and Digipan software is the BOMB PSK31 setup.....QRP right now with the current band conditions is a challenge....but ain't that part of Ham Radio fun!

Wanna get on PSK31 quickly, this is the rig to own.

Cheers All!!
 
K6IPC Rating: 5/5 Nov 2, 2009 11:49 Send this review to a friend
No a Small Wonder  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got my kit when the article about PSK appeared in QST Magazine aound 2000. Not to sure but either 2000 or 2001.I ordered the kit and built it in one day, taking my time not to make any mistakes. I powered it up with my own supply and aligned it in about an hour. I connected it to the computer and started seeing signals on the water fall. My first contact was with a station in New York, which was great for 2 watts for I was in California. I lived in an apartment so only had a Ham Stick mounted on the railing of my apartmentat a 45 deg angle.I still use it today with a 3 el beam in Michigan. It has never failed me and is so much fun to work stations with so little power.
 
KB1NLW Rating: 5/5 Aug 1, 2009 14:21 Send this review to a friend
Great Kit  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I built it in a weekend while at my vacation home. I made some contacts right away (Massachusetts to Alabama). When I got home and connected it up to my home antenna/SWR meter I found I had miss tuned one of the inductors and was only putting out ¾ of a watt! After retuning I made a lot of contacts in the US and Europe.

To increase the power output I bought a Ramsey QAMP 20 and made a number of modifications to stop it self-destructing. (See my review in HF amplifiers). Note the Ramsey kit is much cruder than the PSK–20. I did have to increase the VOX sensitivity on the PSK-20 so that it would transmit at low power and not overdrive the QRP-20.

During field day we set up the PSK-20/QRP 20 and a dipole at ~20ft. We were able to make contacts faster than the main 100W SSB station. It got a lot of club members interested in trying PSK.

I liked the PSK-20 so much, I ordered a PSK-40, which arrived yesterday (unfortunately it takes Dave 2-3 months to fill an order). I will probably turn my Ramsey into a dual band amplifier.
 
HZ1SK Rating: 5/5 Jan 17, 2009 07:08 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Its one of the best kits I have ever built.Very high quality PCB,clear instructions and best of all Superb performance.The receiving part is Excellent and very sensitive, the rig worked from the first time.All what you have to do is follow the instructions,the tuning procedure is quite simple.
I am getting 4 Watts without any distortion.
I wrote an Article about the kit on the No.1 Arab Amateur Radio Website :
http://www.laselki.net/vb/showthread.php?t=3054
Next , I will be ordering the PSK-40 :)

Best 73,
Samir
OD5SK , HZ1SK , KC5RYL
www.od5sk.com
www.Laselki.net
 
K1QN Rating: 5/5 Jun 3, 2008 11:05 Send this review to a friend
Two are twice as much fun  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Had so much fun with the PSK-20, I got a PSK-40. 40 is open at night, 20 is open in the day. What could be better?

Hints to second-time assemblers: Please re-read the basic instructions and cautions. Overconfidence does _not_ help. I had to re-wind the 3 inductors (too many turns), and jimmy the mixer so it didn't contact the board.

A minor point, but the kit was missing 2 capacitors (68pf disk), and it had one too many 470 ohm resistors, and one too few 1K resistors. All were in my mailbox before I checked the rest of the assembly.

How to tell them apart? I put a "40" on the bottom of the PSK-40, out of sight.
 
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