G3MBN Amateur Radio



Homebrew equipment at G3MBN The picture shows a selection of homebrewed Low Power (QRP) rigs covering the LF bands. They are all variants on the W7EL Optimised QRP Transceiver designed by Roy Lewallen. These rigs use a direct conversion (DC) receivers, and have full 'break-in' operation.

Over the years there have been a number of mods carried out, mostly by way of experimentation. This has included incorporating sequential change-over to some of the rigs, and maybe changing the TX circuit for another design.

From left to right they are for 80m, 40m and 160m bands. Other homebrew equipment includes electronic keyers and a number of ATUs etc.

I have built other rigs from kits, including the Hands GQ-20 and the G4ENA 80m transceiver. Some kits are a pleasure to build - others not so! One of the best rigs I have come across, both from a construction and operating point of view, has been that produced by NorCal - the NC-20. This radio was later kitted as the Red Hot Radio NC20. Although no longer available, there are some user comments here

More recently time has been spent building the K2 transceiver. This is a superb rig designed by Elecraft in Aptos, California. The K2 kit has surpassed all others so far attempted, and has been a real pleasure to build. The construction manual Elecraft supply is a work of art in itself, and the latest version is downloadable from their Website.

The radio itself is an all-band design, and the basic version is for CW only. Options are available for such things as an SSB adaptor, noise blanker, and internal auto ATU. However, it is much better to take a look at the Elecraft Website to see a picture, and to get the many further details of this fine rig. Take a look, and be amazed! I have hardly switched on my Corsair ll or my TS830 since I finished building the K2. It's an addictive radio - so be warned!

Elecraft's website is at:


During a holiday in California this year (Nov/Dec), I took the opportunity to visit Elecraft at their facility at Aptos, which lies at the north end of Monterey Bay, CA. Both xyl Margaret and I were made to feel very welcome indeed, and some time was spent chatting to the Elecraft team, at least, those present on that day. Please click here for a photo.

Whilst at elecraft, I picked up their latest kit radio, the K1. Again, more details on their website.


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