Many thanks to John (AE5X) who notes that John (WA3RNC) has release information about his new TR-45L “Skinny” design.
Here’s the information WA3RNC shares on the Penntek website along with an update about the kit version of the TR-45L (non-skinny version):
TR-45L Kit Version Update
The kit version has been delayed for the time being due to several (most) beta builders experiencing frustration with the process of assembling the front panel onto the main board with 15 loose and unsoldered switches, jacks, and controls. These issues indicate that the TR-45L kit version will most likely be offered as a semi-kit with the main board being largely factory assembled, leaving the pre-aligned plug-in RF board in kit form. The internal battery option would be available in this kit version, but not the Z-Match ATU.
A second kit version in a thinner housing is also being considered (see the TR-45L “Skinny” photos). This version would be offered with no options available (other than a $20.00 tilt bail) as there is no room inside the thinner housing for the internal battery nor the ATU option. It does, however, contain an internal speaker. Unfortunately, while greatly simplifying construction, these semi-kits will erode the normally expected cost savings with a kit. The best guess price for these TR-45L semi-kits would be around $500.00. We welcome your thoughts and opinions on these semi-kit concepts.
For those interested in signing up for the reservation list, you can use the reservation form linked here. Be advised, it could take up to 6-8 weeks until they are ready to be shipped.
The TR-45L has been a long time coming, and I thank you for your patience during the development cycles with parts procurement issues due to the covid pandemic. Let’s hope that the ugly covid experience is behind us…
In a nutshell, the TR-45L Skinny will simply be a TR-45L in a skinnier chassis with no option for an internal battery nor Z-Match ATU, but will still have an internal speaker.
For those of you who don’t care for the Z-match or internal battery, the TR-45L Skinny will certainly be more portable and less bulky than the original TR-45L.
I suspect the performance will be identical. I’m sure the internal speaker will work well, but I will be curious if it sounds as full-fidelity as the original TR-45L. I might ask John for a loaner to check it out once released!
Again, if interested in this variant of the TR-45L, you might wish to fill out the reservation form.