Good morning Thomas, from wintry southwestern Ontario.
I thought I would send you a quick message to share my experiences, so far, with the little TR-35.
Yesterday, around 3pm, I took the above unassembled kit off the shelf and began to melt solder. The smoke test was successfully performed the next morning at 1:30am, after non-stop building (with the exception of a few hours for eating and catching up on a little tv). I measure twice and solder once hihi.
I ordered the kit a few weeks back from John Dillon, WA3RNC, and it arrived quickly by courier and all in one piece. John has super customer service and knows how to pack for delivery.
The instructions and the build went good with no surprises. Everything fit and worked as it should. The parts are all sorted and clearly labelled in a plastic sleeve and arranged in the order of assembly. Plus, a big bonus…… the toroids for the TR-35 are already wound and the ends tinned. 😊👍
So far, I’m super impressed with this QRP rig! 40/30/20/17 meters with narrow and wide CW. 9.5vdc – 14.5vdc power requirements. Built in keyer, variable RF output to 5+ watts, (depending on the power source), RIT, low battery voltage warning, separate jacks for a straight key or paddles. After the smoke test last night, I was powering the rig with a 9-10vdc LifePO4, 3AH battery; I was able to get a solid 5 watts output. I backed off the RF pot to max out at 3 watts for 9.8vdc. A 12 vdc Life battery yielded 5+ watts output.
I’ve previously built an Elecraft K2, K1, a Hendricks PFR-3B, some Norcals, a TenTec 1340, some sweet little MFJ Cubs, QCX and QCX minis and I would have to say the quality of this TR-35 build is getting pretty close to Elecraft. I put Elecraft at the indisputable top of the heap in terms of quality, build manual instructions and customer service. Elecraft still has that stellar customer service/backup.
[…]In retrospect, it was a very satisfying build. Didn’t take a long time, parts were excellent quality, build/operating manual was printed out and included and there was no laborious testing and calibrating at the end. Calibrations and adjusting was simple.
The top nine lines [of this RBN screen] represent the first transmissions with the new rig today. 9.8vdc battery, 3 watts output into a 43’ gm vertical with 30 radials. Looks promising based on the RBN feedback…..
Time will tell how it performs in the field….. I have an idea it won’t disappoint.
72 fer nw,
de Brent VA3YG
Thank you so much for sharing this, Brent! I can tell you that you won’t be disappointed withe the TR-35’s performance. WA3RNC sent me a pre-assembled unit on loan for review and, I must say, it’s a fun and effective little radio.
Note, too, that my buddy John (AE5X) has been having a ball with his TR-35. He took it out with the big guns in the ARRL DX Contest this weekend, and he’s checked it out on the scope. John says he may have a full write-up on the TR-35 with photos as early as tomorrow. Click here to check his blog.
I’ve been eyeing the TR-45 and may very well jump on one of those kits when available.
Again, many thanks for sharing your experience, Brent!