Cricket 80A

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by N3HEE, Jan 3, 2018.

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  1. N3HEE

    N3HEE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Santa brought me a fun little kit for Christmas this year. The Cricket 80A from The Four State QRP Group. Fun, quick and easy to build. On the air in less than two hours. Nothing to adjust. One on/off switch! No volume control, no RIT, no tuning control. Insert a 9 volt battery and connect your antenna and you are on the air.

    I was not expecting much from this minimalist transceiver but it really surprised me once I fired it up for the first time. It is very sensitive! The receive bandwidth is almost 10 KC wide. Use your ears to filter signals. This also allows for copying W1AW code practice on 3581.5 KHZ using the included 3579 KHZ color burst crystal. I could easily copy weaker signals from other QRP stations. The built in side tone sounds great and the semi break in keying is very smooth. I get about 1 watt output from a new 9 volt battery. The output transistor never even gets warm.

    So far I have made about 10 contacts on this cool little radio using the built in straight key. If you're looking for a very minimalist transceiver that really works well this is it.

    Joe
    N3HEE

    Short video demo.

     
    KD2RON likes this.
  2. KM4DYX

    KM4DYX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Joe, that's a neat rig! Thanks for posting. I'm not up on 80 right now, but if you hear me abusing the airways with my dodgy fist on 40 please give me a call.

    73,
    Al
     
  3. N2UHC

    N2UHC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've got the first generation Cricket 80. That design had some issues with getting crystals to work, if you used anything but the supplied crystal it might not oscillate. I did some mods and it works fine now. Still trying to make my first QSO on it, will keep trying and won't give up yet! But it's hard with around 1 watt on 80 meters.
     
  4. N2UHC

    N2UHC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I finally made some QSO's with my Cricket last night. My inverted V isn't nearly as effective on 80 as my 130 ft. random wire fed through a 9:1 balun, which just happens to be resonant right at 3560-3580. On the V I never could get seen on the reverse beacon network, but on the random wire I got quite a few spots. My very first QSO with it and I got a 579 from NE Texas, about 280 or so miles away.

    Only issue with using the wire is that I have quite a bit of electrical noise from the garage. I had to turn off the motion sensor lights to get rid of most of it.

    I can't wait to make more QSO's with it.

    Cricket.jpg
     
    N8AFT and KD8ZM like this.
  5. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am done with Xtal controlled rigs !
    Stuck on a few freqs when I was a novice on 80M .
    Then the early days on 6 & 2M FM, spent a fortune on Xtals whenever a new repeater came on and the simplex freq changed from 146.94 to 146.52 ! Then each rig I acquired needed different freq Xtals for the same operating freq. NO MORE XTALS please.
     
  6. N8AFT

    N8AFT Subscriber QRZ Page

    All xtals here unless a modern rig is used.
    This weekend should give you more contacts.
    Cricket QSO last week was 80m and him in Mississippi, I am in Ohio, som 600+ miles.
    So don't think about giving up, 3560 and 3580 here for you.
    My email on bio page to sked a time if u want.
    72 lane de n8aft
     
  7. N2UHC

    N2UHC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would feel the same way if I were actually stuck on a couple of frequencies, but this is just a fun little rig to play with. I do have my main HF rig.
     

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