Monday, November 8, 2010

HB-1A now Ten-Tec R4030 & R4020

Interesting... the HB-1A QRP-transceiver, made by BD4RG, which disappeared from ebay where it was sold for a while reappeared at Ten-Tec's product range as R4030 and R4020. The manual, download-able from Ten-Tec, even shows "HB-1A 3 Band CW QRP Transceiver".

Funny, the original 3 band TRX is now available as 2 different 2 band TRXs. I wonder why this limitation, which most likely is just a bit of code in the main controller, was added. In particular since the DDS still is mentioned to deliver a receive range from 5-16MHz, as in the original HB-1A. Looking at the schematics, the only reason that I can see is the switchable low-pass filter. Probably some FCC requirements about spurious transmissions. I have doubts about commercial reasons; who would by two transceivers being more or less the same. When going on a trip, the three bands 40, 30 and 20 seem ideal. Now the OM has to select, either the band that is open around the clock, or the band that delivers the best dx results in average.
For myself, if I would consider trying to get my hand on a radio like this, I would go for the original HB-1A. Harmonics suppression in my travel kit is done by the aerial, which usually is a very narrow-band "rockloop".

When it all comes to buying, I would very likely go for the real original, the Elecraft KX1, which nowadays covers all band from 80 to 20.

UPDATE: Today, 10.11.2010, I decided to order a Hendricks PFR-3 kit. The design is thought through and straight forward. The controller however allows only for 40, 30 or 20m HAM-band action, no BC-RX though. In my view, this is a tiny downer...
The PFR-3 transceiver carries a built-in manual transmatch and a preselector, which sounds "old skool"... and it is! And that is why I ordered the kit.