mcHF : Building a digital QRP transceiver

Shortly after I decided to become a HAM Operator, I came across the project mcHF. British radio amateur M0NKA developed a radio which supports bands from 80 to 10 meters. On just two boards in the size 186 x 66mm the whole electronics is installed.

The project is open source. Only the board layouts are not freely available. One can order either the blank boards or the complete set with all components. In the meantime, partly equipped kits can also be ordered. I ordered a kit with all the components.

The construction is not to be underestimated. Several hundred parts are to be soldered, some of which have yet to be prepared. Important is a good soldering iron. Use good soldering tin (0.5mm and 1.5mm) and the right flux. If you have a hot-air soldering station, the difficult components can be soldered without problems. The components in my kit arrived packed in Ziplock sacks with labels in which component number are contained. So a bag with R1-R3 with 4k7, another with R4, R8, R12 with 10k and so on. This is a great help. In the meantime there are various modifications, which fix errors in the design as well as extensions. It is recommended to read in the forums. My mcHF had hardly any errors in the soldering and now also a housing has emerged.

Price is hardly worth the effort. A Yaesu FT-817ND costs about the same and also brings VHF / UHF with. Of course, the graphical displays and the extensibility as a whole are missing. I thought it was an opportunity to get involved in the HAM radio hardware. The mcHF is compact, runs digital modes and can be carried in a hiking bag.

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