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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Hardrock-50 HF+6M Solid State Amplifier Kit Help

Reviews Summary for Hardrock-50 HF+6M Solid State Amplifier Kit
Hardrock-50 HF+6M Solid State Amplifier Kit Reviews: 58 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $260.00
Description: Based on Jim Veatch's winning ARRL Home Brew Challenge II amplifier design, it's been improved and functionality has been expanded to include a new aluminum enclosure with built in heat sink, an LCD display, pre-soldered SMT components, computer control options, software upgradeable, easier to use connectors, and MORE. All software is open source and the unit hackable, including an accessible I2C header to add your own peripherals.

Kit includes 4 PCBs (3 without .5W driver) with all surface mount components professionally installed using a reflow process. Builder only needs to install through hole components; toroidal inductors, relays, transistors, connectors, etc. Also includes professionally machined case with integral heat-sink, all chassis mount components, interconnects and instruction/assembly manual. Supports auto band select (depending on transceiver) and can be driven with 0.5 watts.
Product is in production.
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N5IIA Rating: 5/5 Sep 25, 2018 21:16 Send this review to a friend
Spectacular!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just finished building the Hardrock-50. I followed the instructions to the letter, and it worked as soon as I hooked it up. I am using it with my MCHF qrp rig, and 2 watts is all that is needed to drive the amp to 48-50 watts on all bands. If you are looking for a quality amplifier to assist your qrp rig during bad band conditions, this is the ticket. Take your time building it. Follow the instructions to the letter, and you will not be disappointed.
WA3DNM Rating: 5/5 Jul 3, 2018 16:31 Send this review to a friend
Great fun to build and operate  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Kit quality is wonderful, as is the support. Assembly straight forward with excellent instructions. Fired up 1st time and worked gang busters. Gives my Anan 10E 50 watts punch with 4-5 watts of drive. Took me a few days to configure DDUTIL for integration, but amp follows radio perfectly. Cannot be beat for the cost and fun of building my own amp. Have hit it with 12 watts unintentionally and it just keeps (hard) rocking out!
K3FT Rating: 5/5 Jul 2, 2018 21:48 Send this review to a friend
A1 Top Rated!!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I am very pleased with the product and the service. If I could rate the overall satisfaction level with Jim and Curtis as a 10, I would.

You cannot go wrong with Hobby PCB.

Excellent is another way of describing their products and support!

G4AON Rating: 5/5 May 22, 2018 16:03 Send this review to a friend
Solid performer  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought mine second hand, then added the QSK board. The interface to my KX3 was an easy wiring job and the amp switches perfectly, both band switching and PTT.

While I don't use full QSK, it does work to about 22 WPM.

Mine had a spurious switching spike that may not be present on other units. It was easy to see with an oscilloscope monitoring the output. I resolved the issue by adding a 220nF SMD cap across C1, C2, C3 and C4.

With the increased standing current from the more recent instructions (150 mA per device as opposed to 50 mA), only around 2W of drive is required.

Overall, a very useful addition to a QRP rig.
AI6B Rating: 5/5 May 21, 2018 23:17 Send this review to a friend
Best bargain in ham radio  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I built the amp, with ATU, about a year ago, with good performance, driving with an Elecraft KX2, 3 watts, into a 80/40 trapped dipole.

Several weeks ago I began experiencing problems tuning on the 40 meter band. After email exchange with Jim Veatch, we were unsuccessful at diagnosing the problem, so Jim suggested that I send the amp to him for repair. Less than a week after I put it in the mail, Jim emailed that he had fixed the problem, installed the updated back panel (which I had purchased), replaced the "soft" power switch and mailed the amp back to me. When I requested an invoice for the repairs, I was told that there would be no charge, although I could reimburse him for the return postage if I saw fit.

Where else can you get this kind of personal service? I consistently get 70 watts PEP (as shown by the HR50 watt meter, I have not calibrated that). That's only about 2 dB down from the 110 that I get from my Elecraft KXPA100; for a lot less money. Anyone wishing a bit more power from their QRP rig should seriously consider this little amp. Plus, you get the fun of building it.
K6WGX Rating: 5/5 May 1, 2018 22:11 Send this review to a friend
Great for getting 50W from 2W  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This thing puts out 50+ watts on all advertised bands with only about 2W drive from my FT-817D. It is a rock of an amplifier. As long as you do not feed it too much average power (about 6W) it can transmit into a 20:1 load. I recently had my CCAmp killed by an auto-tuner that went wacky, then I bought this. Life is now good.
I had to spend, maybe 8 hours assembling this thing, I did buy the pre-wound coils. This was the first kit I built since about 1975, when I did a DX-160 from parts.
Nothing bad to say. Support is excellent.
K3FT Rating: 5/5 Feb 25, 2018 13:33 Send this review to a friend
A very positive build experience, looking forward to operating.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This amp is a winner, I have enjoyed the build and the very extensive help that HobbyPcb and Jim Veatch have given to me. The amp works perfectly with my KX3 and look forward to a fun relationship with it and other Hobbypcb products. Building the Amp and the ATU were not difficult. The support from Jim at Hobbypcb including fixing my errors was over the top. I cannot say enough positive about Jim, Curtis and their support staff.The quality of the products are first quality and the build instructions are Heathkit quality!!

All of the positive press about this company is valid,deserved and earned.

KB0R Rating: 5/5 Jan 31, 2018 18:24 Send this review to a friend
HR50 w/ATU  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have had my HR5O amp for a few years now, it had performed flawlessly in rugged conditions. This past weekend, I added the ATU. Running mine with a KX3.

Fairly straight forward construction of both the amp and the atu. Instructions are very thorough, but read them carefully.

Mechanical design is top notch as it allows for easy installation of the add on QSK board as well as the add on ATU.

Tunes very quickly.
K9LZJ Rating: 5/5 Jan 22, 2018 02:29 Send this review to a friend
Great portable amp.  Time owned: more than 12 months
This amp now lives in Perth, AU where I spend my winters from the cold of central Indiana. I drive it with a KX3, and presently it is connected to a 20 meter dipole at 4 meters. This little amp allows me to make great DX contacts all over
on CW or FT8. I also have the internal tuner that works great, and allows me operate any place on the band. Use a switching power supply that provides 13.4 vdc. Would highly recommend this amp to be part of your remote operation anyplace in the world. 73, Hank VK6/K9LZJ
KG6IYX Rating: 5/5 Jan 21, 2018 16:23 Send this review to a friend
Great AMP/ATU!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
To cut down on the dulicate good comments. Will say I was very happy with this kit. I purchased this with the ATU option. The build was easy with the exception of the main board T-1 with 30 guage wire. No problem with it except using my own trusty stripper. No problems until I started to put the wire in the PCB. It broke of right away (a micro nick). The building site strongly recommends a type of stripper. I will second that advice! They sent me more wire right away after telling them the error of my ways and I had the stripper enroute. They arrived the same day and I quickly finished the amp.

The short story is the amp went together as advertised and was a very enjoyable kit to build. The alignment went to spec and was on the air right away. I utilized the "Toroid Guy's" toroids as I have used him before and I would rather use his professionaly wound troids on that beautiful PDB!

Been using it with my McHF on digital (JT-65) 20 and 40 meters. 1 to 2 watts input will belt out 50 watts! So I am able to use the lower power settings on my QRP rig.

I would highly recommend the Hardrock-50 and ATU. Oh... make no mistake... buy those strippers!
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