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SW-3B transceiver

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by AE5X, Aug 14, 2019.

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  1. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    These type of (low volume) radios are made on a batch basis.

    Any changes, to the software, front panel and so on - will have to wait for another/next production run. IF there is another production run.

    I had assumed (my bad) that anyone that gave this any thought would know how these are made. I can see that was an assumption I should have not made.

    I've been following these little QRP radios for some time. I'm fascinated by the changes (many times for the better) as each new run is made. The HB-1A/HB-1B and all of its 'children' are just one example. (MK2, Mod 0 and so on)

    Even the Big Name makers run production batches for their ham rigs. Again, I had thought this to be common knowledge.

    On the other end of this equation is the DCW1 QRP rig. Never made it past pre-production prototype stage. I have both the radios that made it out of China. A shame, as they are pretty neat little rigs.

    The HS-1A/MFJ-9200 was a *one and done* as well. No longer available, it has been replaced with the HS-1B, in a new / different form factor.

    The SW-3B has a lot of clever innovations -and a very nice form factor. I'm trying to help keep it in production by writing a manual to support the technical side of the rig. That said, I have to imagine the market for QRP and CW radios is fairly small.

    Dale posted a schematic for the SW-3B (my Kidos again) which prompted my offer/effort. All the reviews I've seen are positive, but.... this is still a small (tiny?) market. I'm guessing that Dale has a day job and the Sw-3B is something he does on the side, as is the situation for many of these small rigs.

    Just the same, for an entry level ham - getting a assembled, 3 band, full coverage, feature-rich HF transceiver for under $200 USD is - to me - amazing.
    I started with a HW-16 and HG-10B VFO. The SW-3B is light-years ahead of that.
     
  2. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I Have To Rant !
    I recall when "QRP KIT" meant simple and easy to use.
    Now everyone wants the QRP rig to be as complicated and convoluted as the main rig, just in a smaller package.
    My $99 MFJ cubs make all the contacts I could want and just has "tuning, Volume and R.I.T." controls.
    I don't need a built in keyer or Data sent to a computer or LoTW ! I don't need a spectrum display , I just twist the tuning knob until I hear someone.
    And finmally, the price has creeped from under a Hundred bucks to over $ 1K !
     
    KC7JNJ, N8TGQ and OH1BOR like this.
  3. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    True, as they say, but...

    The Cub really is a sub-100$ radio. The SW-3B or MFJ-9200 et al OTOH, offers very stable DDS VFO, good sensitivity and so on -

    Now, with 3 bands. (3 x 1 Cub = 300 USD) (oddly the Cub kit versions runs from $109 to $119 USD and the wired version $120 to $170 :eek: USD) The varactor tuning is a tad old fashioned for me. As is the hit or miss tuning indicator. Still, they continue to sell....

    The kit world is much better now as well. One need only look tot he awesome QRP Labs QCX (single band) Xciever to see a bargain @ 50 USD foer the kit.

    As far as cost - today's dollarettes just don't go as far as they used to - eh?
     
    AG5DB likes this.
  4. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    The radio arrived today, I'm happy to say.

    ON6KE will be happy to know that AF Gain/RF Gain is now labeled w/ no typos.

    I must say I'm struck by just how small the radio is once in hand. Well done Dale!

    Work begins apace to finish the manual.
     
  5. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    By way of comparison

    [​IMG]
    MFJ-9200 vs DCW1

    [​IMG]
    MFJ-9200 vs SW-3B

    [​IMG]
    SW-3B and an mint tin
     
  6. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    In playing with the rig this AM
    The radio will transmit in both USB and LSB mode.

    In USB mode, the carrier is about 700 Hz above the CW/CWR setting and when transmitting in LSB, the carrier is about 400 Hz lower than the CW/CWR setting.

    What this means is, if you tune in a SSB conversation - say on a net - and transmit, you will likely be heard. The tone will be a bit different (pitch) for the other parties, but you will be heard.

    I'll have to play with this some more to to fully define the 'edges' of how with will work....

    The manual is now nearly final, with just the QC checks (links all work etc) before I send it off to Dale.
     
  7. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    The finished manual is now with Dale for review prior to release. Since no rigs are available right now, this is likely not an issue. .

    The manual is based on the current CW-3B3/2020 board. I've noted all of the differences with the earlier 3B/3B1 boards and parts layout.

    /.
     
  8. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    US7IGN likes this.

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