Hilltopper

Leland L. Bahr
 

I just ordered a 40 meter Hilltopper and have not built my 20 meter version yet!  Curt, KB5JO, a friend of mine, keeps telling me how much fun he is having with his 20 meter version.  So even though I have not built the first one, I did not want to miss out in being able to get a 40 meter version.  I can see, there is a lot a merit in simplicity.  The Hilltopper is well laid out and the instruction manual is great.  (I just finished populating the board of another vendor's kits, and the process was taxing to say the least.  At 81 years old, soldering surface mount parts was not fun.  Finding where the parts all went was like being on an Easter Hunt too!)  I love the fact the Hilltoppers are true 5 watt rigs at 12 volts and not at some higher voltage.  This makes furnishing a power supply and charging the appropriate battery pack much easier.  The rig covers the whole 40 meter band too!  I really like this as I love the 7100-7125 portion of the band.  Not all 40 meter CW kits cover this higher CW portion of 40 meters.  My only gripe is I think a 2019 rig should include a keyer with memory.  I like a memory keyer so the one built in won't be used much.  I'll be using my 4 States outboard EZ Keyer III. Not having to deal with finding or making a cabinet is also a nice touch.  The more I think about this kit, is it is a REAL SLEEPER!  Years ago I missed out buying a Red Hot Radio when they were available and have always kicked myself for not picking one up when they were available.  I think I would say the same thing if I didn't buy the Hilltoppers before they were no longer available.  The Hilltoppers are basic solidly built easy to build work horses.  Surface mount is taken care of for you and the instructions make the build pretty much bullet proof and fun to build. In short, this is a fun project to build and KB5JO says it is a really fun rig to use.  That is saying something as KB5JO has a lot of QRP rigs he has built.  For you guys on the edge of ordering one or not,  my suggestion is you need to seriously consider buying a Hilltopper while you can still do so.  As Curt has told me, the Hilltopper is a REAL KEEPER !

Lee, w0vt, w5drc

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