(TR)uSDR QRP CW/SSB Transceiver

Started by RadioRay, June 07, 2022, 01:00:28 PM

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After seeing Gil's review of the (tr)uSDR transceiver on his YouTube channel, I decided to get one.  I took a month to arrive in my mailbox, all the way from P.R. China, but in fairness, over half that delay was in the US postal system,.

When arrived, the only adjustment I made is to calibrate the frequency standard and that is very easy: find the menu item and turn the main dial to zerobeat WWV or other standard frequency station, then press ENTER to save it.  I plan to peak the torroids in the final sections for best power, after I find my QRP dummyload/Watt meter.

First Ham Contacts:
Being an old sailor, my first real test of a two way conversation was on 14.300USB , the Maritime Mobile Service Network. Net control station came right back to my call IN THE MIDDLE OF A PILE-UP of many stations calling him.  The transceiver was operating on a nominal 12 volts, so power was likely 3 to 5 Watts. We chatted for a few minutes before I let him know that I was QRP using a 'handheld QRP transceiver.  He was amazed and frankly, so was I.  QRP for me is normally CW/Morse code so that it is quite reliable.  Voice QRP on HF has not been a favorite for me, though this little transceiver REALLY has it's place im my equipment now.

Shortwave Listening:
This makes a fine shortwave broadcast receiver when you use either USB or LSB and tune to zero beat.  Open the filter selection all the way and you might be surprised how well it works as a general coverage receiver. I listened to all the usual SW broadcasters and caught some news , music and ravings.

CW QRP:  3 to 5 Watts (estimated) Easy-peezy!  Nothing says efficient radio communication like CW Morse does.  Even at the 3 - 5 Watts output, I had solid conversations with more than a few hams.  I am used to this type of high performance in CW though.  The adjustable 'IF' filters make for a very selective transceiver if you like that sort of thing, and I do. Filters go as narrow as 50 Hz bandwidth.  I don't have test equipment for measuring such things, but my old radiotelegrapher's ears said it was all 'quite good'.

CW QRPp:  200mW per the manual, using the rig's USB port and a USB battery/light I commonly keep available.  This USB battery/light is easy to recharge from a car or solar panel with USB adaptor. That the transceiver operates flawlessly on the 5.x vdc from the USB port is impressive.  I answered a loud "CQ" late afternoon, using my minature straight key and he came right back from Central Florida which is over 600 miles away.  We chatted for a while and then I let him know that I was QRPp at aproximately 200mW.  We were both amazed.  He had a top notch station with a log periodic beam at 50 feet whic of COURSE means a lot, but any contact at 200mW not using a computer is simply amazing, thus proving the point that:


This is definately center stage in my Prepper's radio selection. I now have a fine CW/SSB transceiver with included general coverage SWL and 'utility' broadcast receiver, which easily fits into my shirt pocket.

I'll be trying it on my regular weekly sked in a few hours and hoping to compare it on 12 volts to my BIG home rig as a side-by-side comparisson test.  The home transceiver though /small/ draws 2 Amps on receive - not suitable for man packable use.

73/72 de RadioRay ..._ ._
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry


Excellent Ray! I even plan on getting a second one. I have an old unused Hammond cast aluminum case that might accommodate the boards.. For the type of operating we favour, thus radio is close to ideal. The 3D printed case is the only drawback. Well, maybe the screen, which isn't visible on a sunny day.. I will use mine as a CW radio with SSB as a backup.. The possibility to plus the radio directly into a solar panel with a USB output is awesome, for CW ony of course. Or one could power the radio with a laptop USB port and use JS8..



A second one is a good idea. I also have a second one on order and it cleared Chinese exit shipping today.  I hope to have it in a week or two.

Seriously, if not for your reviews on YouTube, I would not have bought one.  Now I've bought two from one of the 'approved vendors' mentioned.

Your aluminum enclosure is certainly on my 'to do' list, to up-armor it and to reduce the external cables to a bare minimum.  Basically, I want the rig to require the antenna coax and earbuds - nothing more. A internal battery, to moounted key/paddles, internal main battery and a way to use external 12 vdc as desired.

73 de Ray ..._ ._
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry


Honestly I almost did not buy it. It seemed more like a hack, which of course it is, but it is a good hack. There has to be a Hammond cast aluminum box that would fit it perfectly. The one I have is much larger but could host the batteries and maybe a solar charger. I still have to peak the RF on mine..



I received my second one today.  Set the frequency standard and it's quite good, right out of the box, from the AUTHORISED Chinese manufacturer. It's not a bad shortwave broadcast receiver in sideband and tuned to zero beat.  Great for keeping up on international news. Tested on the Reverse Beacon Network, This was the mix of 40 & 20 meter with a quick 1x3 CQ call in Morse (CW).  QRP CW into a simple dipole is quite reliable.  The fact tht this also works in SSB, for the rare occasion where I might want to check-in with a voice net - superb.  Now for me to design and make a METAL enclosure with room for paddles on top/front and more. For a field transceiver  fewer additional external cables, the better.

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de RadioRay  ..._ ._

LATER:  I used the SSB to check-in to my weekly 40 meters , regional Preppers Net and it all went well.  Net control was amazed that I was only "about 5 Watts" and we had a nice conversation.  As Gil mentioned, 'perhaps an ideal prepper's radio transceiver?'. 
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry