Tuesday 23 February 2010

MKARS 80 LSB QRP transceiver

I have just finished my MKARS 80 LSB QRP transceiver kit - it took me about 10 weeks to complete on and off. The MKARS 80 is a kit from the Milton Keynes ARC and, while complex, can be built by anyone capable of reading and wielding a soldering iron. The slowest bit was cutting out the case and making the front panel.

I would like to say it worked first time, but it didn't. I wound the toroids incorrectly first off (read the instructions!) and had a short that I eventually fixed. Both builder error!

First QSO was with the homebrewers' net who said that it sounded great. I got 55-57/8 reports from around the UK using 5W and an 85ft end fed (W3EDP). If you are sharp eyed you will see that it says M6ELE on the box. This is my daughter's callsign and I thought it might encourage her to use it. I am using a cheap computer mic off Ebay, which came with two stones wrapped in Chinese newspaper inside for ballast! Maplin knobs as usual. The receiver is fantastic - I heard Japan when the board was just laying on the bench.

If you want more info see http://www.radio-kits.co.uk/mkars80page.html

I used Photoshop Elements to make front panel, which was then coated in plastic film and Spraymounted on. The case was sprayed with PlastiKote Velvet Touch - strange stuff , spray it when it is warm and keep about 40cm away. You end up with a stipple finish, but it is soft and marks easily.

1 comment:

  1. Seems like a nice radio, Steve. I've never had much luck with QRP SSB, otherwise I'd have been tempted myself to build one. But your W3EDP probably puts out a better signal than my bent end loaded short dipole.