If you follow Jason NT7S’ blog, you’ll be well aware that he has been developing a QRP CW transceiver with low receive current drain that looks like it would make a good trail-friendly radio. He has just publicly announced that his open-source amateur radio company will be called etherkit:
Sorry for lifting your logo Jason. I know that strictly speaking it’s a breach of copyright, but I’ve linked it to your new site, so hopefully it qualifies as “fair use”!
The first kit offered will be the CC-40, and lifted from this blog post on Jason’s site, here are initial specs. They may have changed somewhat since he posted these, but it gives you an idea of what will be on offer:
- RX current draw is now around 30 mA, but I’d like to squeeze it down further if I can
- TX is Class E, so TX current draw should be pretty good as well
- Nominal TX output power is 2 W
- MDS should be around -130 dBm (500 Hz BW)
- VFO tuning range approximately 40-50 kHz
- VFO stability is very good (~2 MHz VFO frequency)
- ATmega88 microcontroller for built-in keyer, mute, frequency counter, battery status, etc.
- Other planned bands are 80 m, 30 m, and 20 m. Would like to tweak design for upper bands as well for a future date
You can glean some more info from the various posts on Jason’s blog here.
I think the part that interests me is the low current draw on receive. I already have visions of running my own 40m station with a CC-40 powered entirely by a small solar panel.
Fingers crossed that the beta testing goes well and we’ll be able to buy the CC-40 soon!
3 thoughts on “Etherkit – A New Kit Company”
Thanks for the plug, Dave! I have no problem at all with fair use of the company assets. Specs haven’t changed too much at this point, although the microcontroller has be upgraded to an ATmega168. Costs just a few cents more for twice the flash prog mem. Right now the firmware takes less than 20% of the flash, so there will be plenty of room for others to experiment.
Beta testing will be going soon, so keep your eyes on the website in the next few months for kit availability!
I forgot to mention one other thing which you might like. I put the PWM-generated sinewave sidetone back in. The microcontroller is now running at 16 MHz, which consumes a lot of current, but I put the uC in sleep mode after every 1 ms interrupt handler loop, so the average current consumption is much better than running it full-bore all of the time. The sine wave is a lot more pleasing than the square wave. 🙂
Jason – I cannot tell you how happy that makes me. The quality of the side-tone makes a big difference to my operating satisfaction, and that in turn influences how much I operate using a particular radio.