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Reviews For: Hardrock-50 HF+6M Solid State Amplifier Kit

Category: Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M

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Review Summary For : Hardrock-50 HF+6M Solid State Amplifier Kit
Reviews: 59MSRP: 260.00
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
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KB0R Rating: 2018-01-31
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: 2018-01-22
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: 2018-01-21
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!
KC5WA Rating: 2017-12-13
excellent amplifier Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
How do you review perfection? I took my time in building the kit and ATU. I made a couple of errors in the build resulting in a dead amp. An email to Jim and a trip to the post office and it was on its way. The amp was returned in less than a week fully operational and at no cost for repairing my goofs. It's a great addition to my shack. Having that extra bit of power when needed. The Hardrock 50 has been in use almost six months now and I consider it one the best purchases I've made. The assembly manual is also top drawer excellent. A real 10+ EASY TO USE
Robert KC5WA
K1QN Rating: 2017-09-06
Like a Rock Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Putting it together was not a walk in the park, but it functions perfectly. The wire for the directional coupler is hard to strip. I left a 1/4" slack on all leads, and needed it on 1 of the 4 leads. The QSK board is printed with the three connectors on the wrong side.

That said, the thing is just perfect on the air. I've been building kits and hombrewing for over 50 years, and this is the first kit that worked perfectly, right out of the shop. No debugging, no problems to diagnose. Just amazing!

I'm using it with a Proficio which provided 5 watts input. I get 50+ watts out on all bands. (I don't run 6M.)

The only problem, which is hardly worth mentioning, is that I've had some EMC problems, especially on 40M. This was cured with a handfull of ferrite line chokes.

The support was fast, and right on target. It's like they were there in the shack.
K0INN Rating: 2017-08-06
What a nice amp. Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
What a nice amp! 100% reliable. Robustly engineered and can tolerate most user errors. I've had it for about a year and it has not hiccuped once. I have QSK option but no ATU. 60 watts output for me almost all of the time.

It works with all my qrp rigs. I operate 99% CW so my comments speak to that. For those rigs not supporting PTT, you can use COR mode. It works just about as well as PTT for CW. With the great QSK on the KX3 and the QSK on the HR-50, the combination functions like a 50 watt transceiver.

I reversed a connection when putting it together. Not the problem of the instructions but my problem. In my excitement, I just got into too big of a hurry. I sent it in to Jim and he happily fixed and returned.

I've just used it working one of the QSO parties. With my KX3, QRP was not enough to make the contact. Flipped on the amp and "no problem". That is exactly why I bought it.
KC8HXO Rating: 2017-04-21
Outstanding piece of kit! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Well engineered. Well supported. Works perfectly. FEW things in this hobby truly deserve a 5. This one does.
KC9OMS Rating: 2017-02-19
Great little amp Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This a great little HF power amp. I use an FT-817nd for portable work and this amp kicks it up a bit and adds a punch. The kit and instructions were very well done. The customer service was super. I was promised a working unit when I was done. I made several soldering mistakes. I returned the unit and in less than a week I had it back working great. The internal atu is well worth adding to the project. It tunes my DX-EE with ease. I would recommend this amp and atu for anyone with a qrp rig.
NE4XT Rating: 2017-02-01
Awesome Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I purchased the Hardrock 50 kit and am very pleased with it in every way. Everything that should be in the kit WAS in the kit. Directions were very easy to follow. Jim was extremely responsive via email. When I did run into a problem of my own doing, Jim quickly responded, I sent him the AMP he fixed my mistake free of charge (all within a weeks turnaround time).
I would highly recommend this AMP to anyone needing a very good 50 watt amp. I use mine with an ANAN 10 with no issues.
Excellent product and support.
KZ1X Rating: 2016-11-27
2 years and no problems Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I actually thought I reviewed this amp before, but didn't see my posting when I looked. Figured it's about time. I've had the amp (and the IPA stage) for a couple years, I think. Popped it together, upgraded the firmware, and in short order I was on the air. No issue, kit worked on first power up, and perfectly ever since. I have found it can take some thermal abuse with no ill effect, I also have more than once screwed up by forgetting to select the right band, and it handles my errors and 'funny' loads with ease. Mine needs to run a bit more input on 17 and 20 than, say, on 40 or 80, which is pretty typical, to get the 50+ output. Meter is surprisingly good. I run mine on 14.2V and have the bias cranked up a bit.