SW-3B from Venus QRP Transceiver

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by W3KW, Oct 16, 2019.

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  1. W3KW

    W3KW Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I unboxed my $188 SW-3B transceiver this morning and quickly got it on the air. It is super easy to use, very functional, and has a hot and quiet receiver. I worked four stations, including two in France on 20 meters. The SW-3B resembles the MTR-3B and the HB-1B Mark III in many ways. It's one ounce heavier than the MTR-3B and weighs just 6.3 oz. It's marginally larger than the MTR-3B and much smaller than the HB-1B. The programming logic is very easy to use and it's nice to have a knob VFO, AF and RF Gain, Etc. It has RIT, XIT, * memories per band, Auto CQ, keyer, and the band switches are ganged together behind the panel so really only one switch to change bands. The -3B is very tolerant of voltage and uses 9-15 volts. Power out is 4.61/6.95/4.81 on 20/30/40 respectively at 13.1 volts input. I treid 9 volts and the power went doen about 2.25 watts per band and I assume a bit higher at 15 volts.

    This radio will likely spend the rest of it's life in my suitcase so I can on the air while travelling. I pair it with an LNR 10/20/40 EFT or the MTR 20/30/40 trail friendly endfed's.

    a link to the seller: https://www.venus-itech.com/product/sw-3b-qrp-cw-transceiver/



  2. WW2PT

    WW2PT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Interesting rig, nice price. Let us know how it works!
  3. W3KW

    W3KW Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well, here's an update. I accidentally left it on overnight after closing the shack. The battery still shows 13.1 volts. It uses so little power in receive, I cant get the in-line meter to read the power! I noticed the front end can easily get blown out by strong signals. Maybe the AGC could be better? Anyway, strong signals are easily attenuated by the RF Gain. Plus, the instructions say you can adjust the receive sensitivity on each band, but I like the receive levels right where they are. Hot. So far, I'm very impressed. I have a K1, a KX3, and MTR-3B, 2-QCX's, an HW-8, an FT-818, and an HB-1B. This rig, given what it is intended for, is possibly now my favorite. (OMG, did I just say that sitting in front of a K1? Have I been drinking?)

    The instructions can be printed from the Venus web site, but comes with a somewhat poorly written version from the factory. The web site version, though better than the included version, still has obvious language barrier and translation issues.

    The rig comes with a BNC to SO-239 converter and a 1.7mm power cord with ferrite filter. I put Anderson PP's on the end and I was in business. (Same power jack as the FT-818). The filter band width seems just right during crowded band conditions both on CW and USB/LSB. No issues with bleed over at all.

    So far, no issues other than fun operating and good signal reports. If I had a want to fulfill, I would ask for an SWR meter during transmit so I could accurately tune my Mag Loop while using this rig. A Mag Loop is my go-to antenna while travelling. Something I do a lot. I also have several LNR resonant antennas so I don't really need a tuner, but I use an Elecraft T1 when needed. The T1, and any Elecraft tuner, could bring a paper clip into resonance. They are amazing.

    I repeatedly pester Elecraft when I call them, to redesign and produce the KX1. I would love to buy an American made, CW only, tiny rig, just like this SW-3B. I'm sure they would sell like hot cakes and be an amazing performer. It would also have an internal tuner and put out 15 watts. And, would do my laundry.
    WW2PT likes this.
  4. W0AEW

    W0AEW Ham Member QRZ Page

    It would also have an internal tuner and put out 15 watts. And, would do my laundry.

    And be light enough to carry up Mt. Everest for SOTA work. :D
    W3KW likes this.
  5. WW2PT

    WW2PT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I hope they listen. I built my KX1 over 12 years ago when I was first getting back into the hobby after about a decade off the air. It was a great experience, the first transceiver kit I’d built since my HW-9 in 1985. Made me an Elecraft Kool-Aid drinker overnight! Lol! I think another kit radio in the sub-$500 range would be well received by the QRP community, but it would have to be a labor of love for Wayne and Eric as it would never match the sales volume of their other rigs. We can hope and dream, I guess.
    W3KW likes this.

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