Check out John’s review of the Penntek TR-35

If you haven’t already, hop over to John’s (AE5X) blog and read his review of the Penntek TR-35 transceiver kit.

John reviews both the build and performance. He even put the TR-35 on his workbench and measured a number of parameters.

In short, the little TR-35 does exactly what it sets out to do and packs a surprising amount of performance.

John and I actually had a TR-35 to TR-35 exchange a few days ago (if not mistaken, the photo above was taken after that exchange). I was lucky enough to catch him as he activated a POTA site in Texas. From this end, his TR-35 sounded fantastic.

Click here to read John’s report.

I’m putting together a review of the TR-35 which will likely appear in the May or June issue of The Spectrum Monitor magazine.  I’ll eventually send this little TR-35 back to WA3RNC (it was very kindly sent to me on loan) but I do plan to purchase his TR-45 Lite kit when it hits the market later this year. Why? Because I don’t have enough QRP radios, that’s why.

14 thoughts on “Check out John’s review of the Penntek TR-35”

  1. How many QRP rigs to you have?

    I have 3 HF rigs, 2 VHF mobiles and 6 HTs and my wife thinks that is enough. With guns and radios she thinks “ you only have two hands so 2 is enough”

    1. So my wife and two daughters are also hams, thus I get a bit of flexibility. I haven’t counted recently, but I do have a fairly large number of QRP radios. I suppose it’s easy to buy them because, with a few exceptions (IC-705, KX3, KX2, TX-500), they’re less expensive than many 100 watts radios. That’s just one way I can justify the purchase–I’ve many more! 🙂

      1. I wish my wife had an interest in ham radio.

        I have noticed that QRP equipment is less expensive. In order to make my wife happier with me spending less money and make me happier by having more radios, I am making a major foray into QRP.

        I am okay with my shack setup but still working on my QRP portable setup… still trying to figure out the best coax for my QRP setup.

        Thanks for providing the inspiration and the knowledge for me to do this.

  2. Hi Tom…thanks for the information from John.

    So….many of your videos and I think reviews (such as TX500 in Spectrum Monitor?) indicated how valuable having Message-Memory(s) available…especially to do other workflow tasks while waiting (albeit most of time it is usually a very short wait) for a response to your CQ.

    It appears, if I read it correctly, that the TR-35 (and others) don’t have any memories. Yet John didn’t complain much about it even during the contest in his blog.

    I would be interested is what are your thoughts about lack of Message Memory(s) on the TR-35.

    Thank you,
    Jim / AC3B

  3. Hi Tom,
    I was wondering if you have some thoughts on comparing MTR4b with this radio? I don’t know if you have used LNR radio, but I would be surprised if you hadn’t ?

    Thank you

  4. Thomas, could you please post side and rear pictures of the TR-35? All of the photos I have seen of this radio are straight-on views of the top control panel.

    Rob KI4MCW

  5. Today I completed my second POTA activation with my new TR-35. 42 contacts, including 3 DX running 5 watts into a NY4G EFHW on 20 & 40 m. Not bad in my book!

    40, 30, 20, & 17 m bands make this a great POTA rig. I’m planning to build an EFHW for 40 & 20, with links for 30 & 17 to pair with the TR-35 on an ongoing basis.

    The only thing I really miss is a CW memory keyer, but hey, I need the keying practice anyway…

    73 de Brian – K3ES

    QSO Map:

    My QSO Map

    1. Brilliant report, Brian! You’re right: while I also miss memory keying, it isn’t a bad thing to get the practice either. The TR-35 is a gem of a radio.

  6. Your review of the TR-35 has pushed me over the edge and I went ahead and put in my order today. I went with the optical encoder model.
    I pay a lot of attention to your reviews especially the reviews regarding front end filtering and audio. I have experienced the bad filtering and being muted or overdriven by nearby signals. It was this review along with the review you recommended that had me pulling the trigger today. Can’t wait!!!!
    DE K1NGZ

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