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Reviews For: Elecraft N-Gen Wideband Noise Source

Category: Tools & Test Equipment for the amateur radio work bench

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Review Summary For : Elecraft N-Gen Wideband Noise Source
Reviews: 8MSRP: 39
The Elecraft N-Gen is a wideband noise source (+/- 3 dB, 100 kHz - 500 MHz). It's useful for a variety of receiver alignment tasks. It can be used in conjunction with a software program such as Spectrogram to align IF filters in the Elecraft K2 or in other receivers. It can also be used to align the RF stages in Elecraft XV-Series Transverters or other HF, VHF, and UHF equipment. The N-gen can be powered either from its internal 9-Volt battery, or from an external source. A red LED is provided to indicate that the unit is operating.

Like Elecraft's other mini-module kits, the N-Gen is very easy to build. It comes with a complete, illustrated assembly manual.
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
K3ROJ Rating: 2009-09-23
Powerful Tool Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Already having a spectrum analyzer, I was in need of a good noise source. Sure enough, the N-GEN helped me align many front end filters, especially my Elecraft XV series transverters. Sometimes good things come in small packages.
WA3TTS Rating: 2007-01-26
Versatile instrument Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I was going to build a gated noise source out of the ARRL Handbook when I can across this kit. It is a great value for the money. I added a NE555 timer on a small perfboard to switch the DC power to the zener diode on/off at a 500 Hz rate. That allows me to tweak preamps for best noise figure by listening for the loudest 500 HZ tone on a receiver in the AM mode. A set of adjustable 50 ohm attenuators is also useful to get to a low level for preamp tweaking (R U listening Elecraft??) I also found it useful to boost the 0dbm output to +10 dbm with an outboard MMIC amp. That allows me to get enough wideband noise power to use the noise generator in lieu of a sweep generator for filter tuning with my HP141T spectrum analyzer. 73s Mike WA3TTS
N4HY Rating: 2006-05-07
Useful everywhere Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This piece of "HF" equipment has been useful to me through 3.4 GHz. I love these Mini kits from Elecraft.
VR2AX Rating: 2006-03-29
Worth more than $39 Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This is the first time that I have built something that actually worked, first time, in over 30 years.

Construction was ok. There was then odd moment of stress and uncertainty, not to mention self-questioning, but if you use decent tools and exercise care and patience it should work first time. This is a robust quality product. Observe the ESD guidelines would be my main humble advice.

Performance is excellent. In the twinkling of an eye, I have diagnosed a fault in my IC-781 on MF RX. If only it could diagnose the reason for the fault. Go for this product.
NS6Y_ Rating: 2005-10-22
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This was very easy to put together, took me about 15 minutes and worked just right. Tested it on all bands on my FT-817 and works great! It runs on a 9V battery and would be great to take to hamfests to test receivers. You could even see how many S-units it is on different bands and write that on the back, then test everything from low band HF gear to 440 MHz rigs and get a good idea if they recieve with good sensitivity.
K8TB Rating: 2005-05-31
Just whats needed . Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've always wanted a noise source (no jokes please!). I've looked at Ebay and other sources. Expensive and large. This little unit does everything you need. Cheap, small, and a very easy to build kit. I put it on the spectrum analyzer at work, and it is very flat up to about 500 MHz. It makes it a lot easier to do a simple go/no-go check on a receiver with rather than hooking up a signal generator.
K4BXN Rating: 2004-01-15
Delivers Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Typical Elecraft Kit...complete instructions, easy to understand. Nice first kit. Does everything it is suppose to do...has to be a 5 out of 5.
OZ6ABM Rating: 2004-01-10
it works... Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Bought one with my K2. Tooks approx. 25 minutes to build, but a missing part delayed its use by one week. I should have checked this because my K2 was just about to be aligned.

Nevertheless, aligned the K2 without the N-GEN, using antenna noise, and then checked it when it was operational. Basically it gave the same effect as increasing the AF Gain - only much more significantly. I didn't get a better result with the N-GEN - using Spectrogram - the filter shapes appeared the same.

I believe that if I had spurious atmospheric noise then it would have been ideal. But all in all it works and will keep it on the bench for those days when there's lightning and static in the air!