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Reviews For: Norcal 2N2/XX

Category: QRP Radios (5 watts or less)

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Review Summary For : Norcal 2N2/XX
Reviews: 2MSRP: 125
PN2222 based, QRP transceivers, available on 20, 30, or 40 meters. 5 watts of output power, adjustable down to the milliwatt level.
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KB7NRN Rating: 2011-07-30
Quirky Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I'm in the process of building the 2N2-30

The board and basic design is well done.

There are a few quirky things about this kit.

1. There has been a few revisions of the instructions and overlays. If you don't have the latest rev it can cause problems like it has me.

2. Non Standard conventions:
a. RF transformers with the primary side being connected to signal cource is not followed. Jim Kortge says this was done to help beginners. I contend this is not a beginner kit.
b. Transmitter is on the LSB side not USB. Jim Kortge said he didn't know most commercial built rigs had the TX on the USB.

Both of Jim's staments can be read on the 2N2 Yahoo Group.

3. In my kit there were about a half dozen components missing.

4. The kit was shipped with some inferior parts. Later upgraded parts were shipped. Made for a tedious process of sorting through the parts and instructions to make sure all the correct parts were present.

5. The 2N2 Yahoo Group has not been a source of much help. The TX section of my rig has low signal values (about half) compared to the values given in the instructions. Jim said it must be my o-scope. I'm using an 80mhz bandwidth o'scope which should be just fine to see P-P values of a 10mhz signal.
No one else has offered any help on the Group and Jim Kortge only pops in once and a while, most to question the quality of my test gear...

If Norcal plans to offer this kit again and it looks like they are, then they need to do better on the kit assembly. Having knowelagbale help in a timley manner for the Yahoo group would be a plus too.
WB2SRF Rating: 2009-03-06
Very good design Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I like to build kits, I was hooked many years ago building Heathkit's I learned quite a bit about electronic design in the process and this lead to enjoyment getting into ham radio and eventually I got into electronics as a professional.

When the Norcal 2N2XX series was introduced I was one of the early purchasers of all three bands 20,30,40M. I am impressed by The quality design work done by Jim Kortge K8IQY and Dan Tayloe N7VE on the pcb layout. It was a joy to assemble.

There is help online by Jim and many people that are sharing their experiences building the rig. This is not a beginners kit, It requires patience to identify the parts and soldering skills to assemble. There are comprehensive step by step instructions from Jim you will need to print from the web and Chuck Adam's K7QO created a nice step by step check list both remind me of Heathkit instructions.

There have been a few problems, not due to the design but some of the new components were not up to par. These issues have been resolved. Norcal sent replacement parts out to all builders.

I have completed the 20 and 30M versions and am in the process of completing the 40M version. I added the KD1JV digital dial offered by qrpkits to each of the units which provides an accurate display of the operating frequency.

The performance of the rigs with lab tests I have performed and on the air show a very good low circuit noise, high sensitivity and 500 Hz selectivity receiver and at least 4W of output from the transmitter. The rigs are designed to be used with a stable 12-14V power source.