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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | Glowbug 40 QRP transmitter Help

Reviews Summary for Glowbug 40 QRP transmitter
Glowbug 40 QRP transmitter Reviews: 7 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $59.95
Description: 40 meter crystal-controlled, tube transmitter kit
Product is in production.
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HB9OBZ Rating: 5/5 Mar 4, 2011 06:07 Send this review to a friend
Excellent little one tube tx  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got mine and built it in one evening ! extremely compact and all components are of prime quality. Mine puts out 950 mW into my homebrew Oak Hills Res. QRP wattmeter. I gave it a "good home" by putting it on a wooden base and into a homebrew wire cage so that you can see the inside and more important the GE 6005W tube.
Nice contacts and strong reports on 7.040 mHz.
I really enjoyed this little rig. Strongly recommended and a new version with aluminium chassis and three xtals positions ready available from seller. Happy glowbugs QSO's !!!
KC5NWS Rating: 5/5 Jul 2, 2007 19:34 Send this review to a friend
fine kit  Time owned: more than 12 months
Finally got around to attaching the power supply and checking this little rig out and it worked fine the first time I put power to it. Puts about 1.3 watts and it really does glow in the dark.Brought back some fond memories. I recommend it .
VE3RPF Rating: 5/5 Apr 20, 2007 11:21 Send this review to a friend
Glowbug Fun  Time owned: more than 12 months
I really enjoy using my Glowbug 40. It's cool to use and always great reports. If you can find someone who is willing to part with their's, get it. You'll have a ball.

Even though this kit is no longer offered, there is a new kit from the same site called 1 der 40. It's a Glowbug transceiver. Check out how he produces the B+. That's cool.
W8WZ Rating: 5/5 Sep 12, 2005 22:39 Send this review to a friend
Great Kit!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a great kit. Very good board - easy to put together. Directions are clear. I put mine together in one sitting and made my first contact with it (559 rpt) the same day I got it.

An On/Off switch is not included in the kit - so if you want that you have to supply your own. Otherwise you can just jump the switch holes with a piece of wire and it will be ON whenever you plug it in. You also need some hookup wire for the power input - I used speaker wire. Other than that everything you need is included in the kit.

This is a very fun kit!
K3MD Rating: 5/5 Sep 5, 2005 15:00 Send this review to a friend
Great  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Took me around 24 hours to get this working due to a wiring error (mine). Modified the B plus to 270 volts instead of the design 135 volts, by making the circuit a full-wave doubler circuit. Puts out a soid 4 watts, chirp-free. Fun.
KB4ZVM Rating: 5/5 Apr 26, 2003 20:59 Send this review to a friend
What radios should look like  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got my start building kits in the 1950's by helping my father (Space Spanner, DX-40, etc.), and I have never stopped.

I have built most of the current rigs (MFJ QRP Cub, Elecraft K-2, etc.) and they work great, but I yearned for the days when real radios had tubes, gave off heat, and taught "discipline by voltage"! I found the Glowbug 40 mentioned on the Elecraft reflector, and I quickly ordered one. The kit was shipped that day via priority, and arrived the next.

The kit is first-rate. The circuit board is silk-screened, and of commercial quality. The GE tube (6AQ5A) and its box looked brand new! What year did they stop making tubes, anyway? The directions are only four pages, but they are excellent. In addition to the usual cautions about voltage and heat, they are somewhat educational. They give you tips you might not think about. Also, two color photos (taken from different angles) are attached to the directions. These were a nice touch, and really helped. I found myself refering to them several times.

Assembly was a matter of simply stuffing the board, and fabricating a cord for the wall transformer. It could probably be assembled in one sitting, but I made a two evening project out of it simply to make it more enjoyable.

A 7.040 mHz crystal is included, and it is socketed so you can change to others if you wish.

When finished, I connected a key, a QRP watt meter, and a dummy load. When I keyed it, it showed no output, but as I turned the tank capacitor (a trimmer) about a quarter of a turn, the output jumped up to 1.5 watts! It is advertised as 1 watt.

I connected an antenna, called a friend about a mile away, and asked him to listen for me. He said I was about an S3 on his meter. At that point, he heard a CQ and told me to call the guy. I did, and he answered me. He gave me a solid 599! He was near Chattanooga, TN and I am in Greer, SC. I would say that is at least 150 miles. It is rare that I have my first QSO with a rig on its initial test!

As you can tell, I really like this rig! It has motivated me to pull out some old theory books and study more about vacuum tubes. I recommend it highly!
WA4FOM Rating: 5/5 Jan 2, 2003 19:56 Send this review to a friend
It brought a tear to me eye...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The first questions that will come to mind for many when first viewing
this little transmitter will be "What's that glass thing?" and "Is it
supposed to glow like that?" If you're asking those questions, you
really shouldn't consider this radio unless you are just curious about
vacuum tube technology.

The Glowbug 40 is a single-tube, crystal-controlled transmitter that,
in my experience, pumps out 1.5 watts on 7040 kHz (the manual says 1
watt). This is clearly a "novelty" or "nostalgia" kit; it makes no
serious attempt to compete with other, more modern transmitters. If
you're looking for the zenith in performance/price ratio, look
elsewhere. If you're looking for something that will beckon you back
to the days of the Knight T-60 or Heath DX-40, this is the rig for you.
If you love the soft, warm orange glow of vacuum tubes or the sweet
aroma of the dust as it burns off them, buy this kit.

It's roughtly $60 price tag is rather steep when you compare the features
of this rig compared to more contemporary designs. It has no receiver,
although I hear a companion tube design is in the works. It has no
keyer or optional automatic antenna tuner. It is, however, a hoot to
build and the alignment procedure consists of tweaking one little trimmer
capacitor for maximum output.

Construction is a snap; just load the components onto the high-quality,
single-sided PCB and solder away. The toughest part is winding 4 turns
of wire around a preassembled inductor, and that takes all of 2 minutes
if you're really slow as I am.

The manual consists of 4 pages, including the schematic. It is nicely
written, but you definitely should read it over at least once before
digging out the soldering iron. Static-sensitive components?
Fuggetaboutit! Be aware that because we're talking about vacuum tubes,
potentially lethal voltages are present when the rig is powered up. The
manual makes this quite clear also.

I highly recommend the kit to any old buzzard like myself who remembers
when rigs were not entirely silicon-based lifeforms. I also recommend
it as a first-time kit.

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