(tr)uSDX kit: Just pulled the trigger

In January, I missed out on the initial pre-orders of the (tr)uSDX kit being managed by Rowaves in Romania.

I had my calendar marked for February 15 to check the site again for the 3rd batch as I thought that was the day they planned to issue another pre-order.

My buddy Eric (WD8RIF), who is the President of the Athens County Amateur Radio Club (ACARA), contacted me yesterday asking if I knew of any QRP kits designed with phone/SSB operation in mind. One of ACARA’s members was searching for one.

He was already aware of the

The only other kit I could think of was the new (tr)uSDX. When Eric asked for a link to the product, I went to the Rowaves site and discovered that they were taking pre-orders for the third wave of kits. Like, right then and there!

Without hesitation, I added one to my shopping cart and checked out.

I thought perhaps Rowaves caught up and no longer had a waiting list. This morning, when I checked the site again however, it appears they’ve sold out of the third batch.

Without Eric’s prompting, I would have never thought to check the Rowaves site yesterday.

Side note: There are various (tr)uSDX group buys out there. I don’t completely understand how they work, but perhaps someone with more experience can comment. DL2MAN has information and links on his webpage.

Intimidated

(tr)uSDX board “sandwich”

If I’m being brutally honest, the (tr)uSDX kit is a bit intimidating for me. I recently referred to myself as a “gross motor skills” kit builder. I think that’s a pretty accurate description.  I’m fine with through holes, simple toroids, and very clear, illustrated instructions. Truth is, I absolutely love building kits. But I’m not an electronics engineer, so when instructions are vague, I can get lost quite easily.

The (tr)uSDX toroids don’t look terribly complicated and all of the surface mount components are pre-installed. Still: it’s a wee kit and I’ve yet to check out the build instructions.

It might be a challenge for me, but I’m really looking forward to it. Besides: knowing that John (AE5X) will build his kit before I do, I’ll simply bug him if I have questions! [Sinister laugh slowly fades…]

More SSB Kits?

While on the topic of kits, can anyone point Eric to other SSB kits that are currently available on the market?  If so, please comment with a link and thank you in advance!

13 thoughts on “(tr)uSDX kit: Just pulled the trigger”

    1. Barb, WB2CBA, has a number of uSDX designs that you can submit to JLCPCB for production yourself:

      https://antrak.org.tr/blog/usdx-sota-modular-all-mode-sdr-hf-transceiver-for-qrp-operations/

      He is additionally producing a single band uSDX kit (with swappable band modules) called the mOnO. Kees, K5BCQ, is taking orders for the mOnO kits via email or in this thread:

      https://groups.io/g/ucx/topic/87925750

      Another SSB kit is the crkits CS-xxV, but I don’t know much about it:

      http://crkits.com/

  1. I’ll have to live vicariously through you Thomas, when I see toroids that have to be wound I get the same feeling I get when the dentist reaches for the drill. “ Uh oh, here we go”.

    And that kit has more than a few.

    Good luck

    de AD8EV

    1. Hi Mike,

      I was the same and to be honest the Toroids were not a Problem, except for sore finger holding tightly Hi Hi.
      I have now completed my first (tr)uSDX and first impressions are very good.

      All my of my SMD were on the board so only quite straight forward build to complete.
      Ian MM0GYX was the superb kit organiser for the first UK group buy.

      All the best,

      Ellis M5AEI

  2. Hi Thomas – I’ll be hoping for a 2X (tr)uSDX QSO with you!

    Those who completed orders for the 1st group of these kits should be receiving them any day now, if they shipped on time. Hopefully, you, I and others will be able to glean info that might help us in our builds from them via the forum here:

    https://forum.dl2man.de/viewforum.php?f=4&sid=fef57ad0c3f51e927d53a5473f8c0920

    Those who don’t like winding toroids might be interested in the kits from WA3RNC.

    73,
    John

  3. Hi Thomas,

    crkits sells a single band, limited tuning range SSB kit called the KN-Q7A.

    Barb, WB2CBA, has Gerber files available for a variety of uSDX options, including one with a built-in ATU. He is also selling a single-band uSDX kit with replaceable band modules called the uSDX mOnO on the ucx groups.io page.

    When Gerber files are available, it’s surprisingly not that difficult to purchase PCBs for these projects yourself from JLCPCB, if you don’t want to try to find a supplier or get in on a group buy. Both DL2MAN and WB2CBA have fairly comprehensive instructions on their websites that describe the process. The challenge right now is finding some of the ICs that are caught up in the global semiconductor shortage. It took about half a dozen orders and a couple evenings of work, but I was able to source all the parts for WB2CBA’s quad band uSDX SOTA, and should have my PCBs from JLCPCB fairly soon. The advantage of getting in on one of the group buys is two fold:

    1. The group buy organizer does all the hard work of finding, sorting, and packaging the parts.
    2. You get some economy of scale, which lowers the overall price

    Have fun with your (tr)uSDX. I have 3 coming in the round 2 group buy myself.

    Jonathan KN6LFB

    1. WOO HOO!!!

      I’ll be the first to admit I’m so stoked about this particular project. Not sure when my order will ship but hopefully within a couple weeks or so. Great to see how this little radio is spreading like wildfire across the planet. Such an accessible design!

      Thanks for all of the updates. I’m following the amazing AE5X blog for the nitty gritty!

      Thomas

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