SA868S module

I recently found out about the SA818 and SA868 modules that are used inside of some cheap VHF and UHF HTs, so I bought a few from aliexpress along with some tiny surface mount low pass filters. The datasheet shows that they are pretty easy to interface with. You can program it using the serial RX and TX pins. You can set the frequency, squelch, and volume of the module. Other than that, there are pins for audio in, audio out, ptt, power on/off , and an antenna connection.

(tr)uSDX kit

I picked up one of the (tr)uSDX kits off of aliexpress recently and finally got around to putting it together. It was a pretty quick afternoon build. The kit came in a pretty well put together package. It was missing the power connector pigtail thing with the barrel connector. It uses one of those tiny barrel jacks and I don’t have one laying around, so that was annoying. I ordered the kit without the 3D printed case.

MiniPA 70 Mosfet Amplifier

A while back, I picked up a cheap amplifier kit off aliexpress for a few bucks and finally got around to finishing it. It will supposedly put out 70 watts using a pair of IRF530N mosfets. The build itself was pretty straight forward. The surface mount components were already soldered on the board. They have these weird metal tubes that you have to assemble and solder to PC board material that make up one of the turns to the transformer.

QDX blown...again

Last night, I tried my hand at some FT8 with the new QDX. I called CQ a few times and got a reply. Just as I finished the first QSO, the QDX died and my power supply was showing a short. I opened up the case and could smell the magic smoke. I couldn’t see any obvious cause, but I figured it would be one of the output transistors since I’ve already had to replace them once.

QDX 4-band 5W Digital Transceiver

I finally received the QDX kit that I ordered back in July. This is the first kit that I’ve purchased from QRP Labs. First impressions were good. The kit was packaged well and seemed to be good quality. The transceiver itself was a lot smaller than I expected. The board that I received was revision 3a. When reviewing the excellent documentation and build guide, I found that this board revision contained a short, which is disappointing.