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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | Small Wonder Labs DSW40 Help

Reviews Summary for Small Wonder Labs DSW40
Small Wonder Labs DSW40 Reviews: 23 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $130.00 w/case
Description: A Direct Digital Synthesis Monoband QRP Transceiver
Product is not in production.
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KG4HTT Rating: 5/5 Jan 23, 2001 21:45 Send this review to a friend
Excellent performance  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Put the kit together in about 15 hours; I'm slow and careful. No problems; my third kit, and the first one that turned out perfectly fine upon being finished. Impressed with the performance of the crystal filter, and used it for the North America QSO Party with great results. Worked as far as California from my QTH in Virginia using an attic loop. I like the little features like the RIT and frequency annunciator. All in all I would get another one in a different frequency if they were still available. The ease with which the radio is aligned is a very big plus for me and others who do not own a lot of test gear.
KC4TXR Rating: 5/5 Nov 28, 2000 09:45 Send this review to a friend
Too bad ya can't get it anymore!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
A real shame that it's not available anymore. Rumor has it that there is a next gen version on the horizon though. Look for the DSW price on eBay to top $800 or so. It's form, fit and function is worth it alone. Now it's a collectable... I have a feeling the DSW will be the benchmark that all other monobanders will be judged. The DSW is the pinnacle of QRP rig design and concept. Dave Benson is not just a talented design engineer... he's an artist. The DSW was my fifth QRP kit. I built the 20 meter version and it was a dream. Loads of fun to put together and well documented. It fired right up with no trouble what-so-ever. The controls are very basic, intuitive and ergonomic. Very well thought out rig. I've had many DSW to DSW QSOs so I know it sounds great on the air. The keying in perfect, no whoops, clicks, thumps or chirps. The VFO is rock solid. You don't have to chase the other guy up and down the dial unless he's using a MFJ 9000 series rig. You can turn it on and go immediately. Extremely little drift. High quality through and through. Great PCB with solder mask and plated thru holes. I just can't say enough good things about this rig so I'll stop here.
KK9H Rating: 5/5 Aug 11, 2000 10:00 Send this review to a friend
Loads of fun, thank you SWL!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I completed my DSW40 a couple weeks ago and am delighted to report that it worked perfectly when I applied power to it. Within 10 minutes I was having a QSO. Last weekend there was a domestic CW contest so I couldn't resist trying to work people with it and I worked everyone that I heard. The DSW40 experience has been a lot of fun. This radio is very clever in its design and is very well thought out. I really enjoy the frequency readout in CW and it is very accurate. The built-in keyer works well. The receiver seems to be quite sensitive and the selectivity is very good. 40M was quite crowded during the CW contest and I had no problem moving from one station to the next. I did perform the optional construction step of grounding the three crystal cases of the crystal filter network which is supposed to improve the bandpass skirts. Simply put, this is a fun little rig to build and operate. I truly recommend it.
AD4J Rating: 5/5 Aug 7, 2000 00:22 Send this review to a friend
Superb Value, Perfect for Portable Operation  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've built a DSW-40 and a DSW-20 this year. Construction is simple and directions are excellent. The small size, low weight and meager power requirements make this the perfect rig to throw in your suitcase or backpack. I took mine to London and had a blast with it.
AC7CF Rating: 5/5 Jul 28, 2000 13:39 Send this review to a friend
A great little rig!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got my DSW-20 in May. It took me about 7 hours to build. It was my first major kit, but I've had quite a bit of experience with a soldering iron, building things for my dad. I ordered the companion blue enclosure, but had to wait about 2 and a half months for that. It was worth the wait. Dave Benson is very quick to help out. I blew the final transistor during testing (a short) and Dave sent me a new one the next day. The morse freq. readout is very nice. So is the keyer. Have only had the rig on the air for an hour or so now, but I have made one contact. This kit was/is a lot of fun!
M0CQG Rating: 5/5 Jul 8, 2000 06:43 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic radio, great value!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have not had a great deal of kit-building experience, so I was apprehensive while waiting for this one to arrive (there was a delay due to parts shortages). I needn't have worried. It's an easy kit to build, and the instructions are both clear and precise. I had a couple of minor questions during the build process, and Dave Benson answered these within hours of my e-mails (thanks Dave!). Took me a couple of short evenings to build the kit, test it and rig up a temporary dipole in the attic. Since then (just six weeks ago) I've worked 20 countries using that same antenna. All the reports I get are excellent, the rig is fun to use and performs brilliantly. I do notice some SW broadcast signals occasionally when conditions are particularly good - images of some sort, perhaps? - but it's nothing major. The fact that the DSW has a keyer built in is a nice touch, but even nicer is the audible frequency annunciation in CW - wonderful! I commend Dave Benson on a superb kit in every way! I should mention that I have the DSW-30, not the -40, but I imagine the -40 is just as good...
N4QA Rating: 5/5 Jun 11, 2000 14:55 Send this review to a friend
Man, what a sweet little rig!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Well, my DSW-40 kit arrived a few weeks ago and I finished building it two weeks ago... time is tight around the farm this time of year. I gotta tell ya... I ain't NEVER !
Never had so much fun with a printed circuit board that would be hard to notice in your shirt pocket and a handful of components weighing, oh, about as much as a baby chick. Why, the DDS chip would get totally lost under a watermelon seed.
This rig is GRRRREAT ! Everything I expected it would be. You know, I hooked the thing up to a PC parallel port and can now tune from 7040 kHz to 7335 kHz (freq of CHU, Canada) in less than ten seconds... without wearing out the normal tuning encoder. Even shorted out two of the xtals in the IF filter chain, temporarily, in order to get some really good audio from CHU... I'm beginning to think that this rig may be indestructible. According to CHU's frequency standard, my DSW-40 is within 50 Hz of being right on freq. Was listening to some maritime CW traffic out of Cuba (CLA) up on 8573 kHz without retuning the rf front-end slug!(nope, not an image but the "real" thing)
Oh, yeah. The rig works really well IN the 40 meter band,too. Worked a VE3 in Toronto, from here in Southwest Virginia, as my first contact using the DSW-40. He was running a whopping 300 mw on a very noisy band and I could hear him just fine. I was kinda loud up there what with my 2 watts out and all. And the built-in keyer... mighty smooth. You've read all of the positive reviews about this rig. All true, trust me ;)
Bill, N4QA
N4NMR Rating: 5/5 Jun 3, 2000 08:54 Send this review to a friend
Tremendously Fun Rig!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This is a wonderful rig to build and to own (and to even use). It goes together very nicely, is easy to align and gets on the air quickly. This was my first big kit in over 20 years and I had very little trouble. (None that a magnifier didn't help.) The instructions are very clearly written and well laid out.

I can't say enough about the help that Dave Benson (owner and designer of the DSW40) has been. He has patiently answered all my dumb questions and quickly sent me any parts that I broke or lost. I've had my rig for almost a year and he's still helping me when I get in trouble.

The DSW Series is currently out of production but watch for a new version RSN.
W2RBA Rating: 5/5 May 11, 2000 09:36 Send this review to a friend
Wow! Great lil' rig!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I built a DSW-40 some months ago and couldn't believe how hot and how stable the thing is! This is simply the finest single band rig I've ever seen - kudos to Dave Benson for its design. Unfortunately, mine was hit by lightning during a freak thunderstorm in the midst of winter and is no more. But I've got a case and hardware ready to go, so all I have to do is pop in another kit and I'm ready to go. After the K2 is paid for I'm definitely ordering another kit -- and this time I'm grounding my antenna whenever not in use!
N4QA Rating: 5/5 May 5, 2000 20:39 Send this review to a friend
Mine is shipping soon... oh boy! oh boy!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Dave's site says they're now handling orders received on April 03, 2000... just ONE WEEK before they received MY order! I can hardly stand it! Before I know it, my kit will be in my hot little hands... mine at last... ALL MINE !
OK... WHOLE BAND COVERAGE... virtual crystal control stability on ANY 40m freq...built-in mode B iambic keyer...the rig will TELL you, on demand,
your transmit frequency ( in good ole' CW )... SOOO much radio in such a small but very attractive package! Much more, later!
I'm trying to be patient, honest!
Bill, N4QA
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