Date   
Re: Hilltopper

Curt
 

No one asked, but I think this radio ought to be a great candidate for more kit runs.  With all of the fine manual work and packaging, not sure why they haven't been flying of of the shelves.  I mostly operate 20M & 30M QRP and own a HB NE4040 ( and Bayou Jumper ) so HT40 isn't in my future.  But the radio is easily, quickly built and performs very well.

Curt KB5JO

Re: Hilltopper

Ronald Starr
 

Many thanks Jim for the notice of limited availability.  Have a 20m yet to build but would definitely hate to miss this one.  Just ordered to be sure.  Again genuinely appreciate the time and effort expended in this kitting venture for the benefit of the group!
73, Ron K0OXB


On Fri, Sep 13, 2019 at 12:45 PM, Jim Pruitt
<jpruitt67@...> wrote:
As a heads up: Just in case anyone is undecided about ordering the
Hilltopper be aware that I only have 8 kits left.  There has been talk
of another short run but even if that happens it will take time to get
the parts and boards ordered and in hand  and get them kitted and there
is no guarantee that the group will do another run. If the Hilltopper is
on your list but you have not ordered it yet, you might consider
ordering it now before they are gone.  Dave Benson did a terrific job on
this kit.

Thank you for your support.

Jim Pruitt
WA7DUY



On 9/12/2019 10:14 PM, Leland L. Bahr wrote:
> 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.
snip
>   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




Re: Hilltopper

Jim Pruitt
 

As a heads up: Just in case anyone is undecided about ordering the Hilltopper be aware that I only have 8 kits left.  There has been talk of another short run but even if that happens it will take time to get the parts and boards ordered and in hand  and get them kitted and there is no guarantee that the group will do another run. If the Hilltopper is on your list but you have not ordered it yet, you might consider ordering it now before they are gone.  Dave Benson did a terrific job on this kit.

Thank you for your support.

Jim Pruitt
WA7DUY



On 9/12/2019 10:14 PM, Leland L. Bahr wrote:
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.
snip
  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

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

Re: Hilltopper tales?

Jeff Logullo N0̸MII
 

On Sep 10, 2019, at 2:56 PM, K7AHR <therealmarauder@...> wrote:

No, I hadn't gotten around to looking that up, and since I'm pretty sure I fried the 5532, maybe I'll just go buy myself a 4556 to replace it. Do you have a link to the whole set of audio upgrade suggestions? It looks like a few resistor and other component changes could boost the gain, and I'm frequently working weak signals so I would benefit a lot from that.
_

Re: Hilltopper tales?

K7AHR
 

No, I hadn't gotten around to looking that up, and since I'm pretty sure I fried the 5532, maybe I'll just go buy myself a 4556 to replace it. Do you have a link to the whole set of audio upgrade suggestions? It looks like a few resistor and other component changes could boost the gain, and I'm frequently working weak signals so I would benefit a lot from that.

Re: Hilltopper tales?

Jim Pruitt
 

Hello Andrew.

Did you replace that stock NE5532 audio amp ic with K1SWL's suggested 4556 yet?

Thank you.

Jim Pruitt
WA7DUY

On 9/10/2019 9:21 AM, K7AHR wrote:
Incidentally, while practicing on Sunday, I did something and I think blew out the audio op-amp, so now my radio is temporarily out of commission.

Re: Hilltopper tales?

K7AHR
 

I've been operating temporary mountain-top stations for SOTA, and using the Hilltopper 20 has made that delightful. I have made a few 2000-mile contacts, to Mississippi and so on, and a collection of 1000+ mile summit-to-summit contacts. I worked Alberta from a mountain near Olympia, WA, and I held a wire on a mast out my 8th floor window and worked DX to Alaska at 1500 miles.

 

Incidentally, while practicing on Sunday, I did something and I think blew out the audio op-amp, so now my radio is temporarily out of commission.

Hilltopper tales?

Curt
 

I have been having fun with the Hilltopper 20, making contacts in US out to 1600 miles (CA).  No DX yet but cant wait for the CQWW 'test n Nov.

What are your Hilltopper stories?

Curt KB5JO

Re: HT20 Alive!

Curt
 

Just made contacts with MO n CA @ 4W to an 80M dipole up 50'  CA is 1400 miles, gave me a 539.  Of course he has a log periodic up high

Curt KB5JO

Re: HT20 Alive!

Curt
 

I hear the LiFePO4 batteries are more robust LiPo although have never used them.  For sure the lipos don't like total discharge or overcharge and can puff if subjected to either.  I use a balancing charger for the LiPo and they maybe are too delicate for banging around in a back or "go" pack.  I understand they can catch fire when abused although have never had that happen with the model airplanes.  I treat the LiPo like fine china and keep them in a special charging pack when not flying in an airplane.

Now to make some QSOs with emerald QRP.

73, Curt KB5JO

Re: HT20 Alive!

Curt
 

My results are: Fresh 9V battery ( 9.3VDC) - 600 mW; 8xAA fresh (11.3 VDC) - 4W; 7AH gelcel (12.2 VDC) - 6W; Shack 20 amp supply ( 13.8 VDC) - 8W.

So guess the 8xAA will fit need without stressing the finals.  The 8xAA provides 2000 mAH.

72, Curt KB5JO

Re: HT20 Alive!

Dave Benson
 

Curt-

Thanks for your kind words. :-)

The one thing I've seen with the small 3S batteries intended for RC use-  they don't tolerate a complete discharge.
Twice now, I've accidentally left them powering a rig overnight (in receive) and they were dead.  There's just not room
in the batteries for cell balance and over-discharging protection circuits.  The chargers balk at trying to recharge them,
and I've thrown away two of those batteries so far. 

The LiFePO4 batteries, by contrast, have worked flawlessly for me. 

73- Dave


On Tue, Aug 27, 2019 at 9:03 AM Curt via Groups.Io <rhulett1=consolidated.net@groups.io> wrote:
I imagine the 3s Lipo would be great for field portable and own some of those for RC model airplanes, but the furthest get from home with ham radio is the back patio.  Will try out the 9V battery and post my results.  Used that for an ATS-3B years ago, with nearly same transmitter chain from wilds of northern Canada, put out 1W for lot of QSOs.

This little radio is a real jewel IMHO.  Great design, great assembly manual, great packaging, wonderful performance.

Curt KB5JO

Re: HT20 Alive!

Curt
 

I imagine the 3s Lipo would be great for field portable and own some of those for RC model airplanes, but the furthest get from home with ham radio is the back patio.  Will try out the 9V battery and post my results.  Used that for an ATS-3B years ago, with nearly same transmitter chain from wilds of northern Canada, put out 1W for lot of QSOs.

This little radio is a real jewel IMHO.  Great design, great assembly manual, great packaging, wonderful performance.

Curt KB5JO

Re: HT20 Alive!

Dave Benson
 

Curt-

A 9V supply will work, although a consumer-grade 9V battery may not last long- its internal resistance will increase pretty quickly as the cells discharge.  A limiting factor on the minimum supply voltage may be the dropout voltage on the 5V regulator- a supply voltage in the 6-7 volt range.  Even then, it may be a graceful degradation.

I've never tried testing it. Let us know how you make out.

BTW- I've used a three-cell (3S) Li-Ion battery quite a bit for portable applications- they're rated at 11.1V nominal and work very well with the Hilltopper.  Mine's a 1.3 Amp-hour battery weighing only 3 ounces.

73- Dave, K1SWL



On Mon, Aug 26, 2019 at 11:26 PM Charles W. Powell via Groups.Io <doctorcwp=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Typically the value of the electrolytic caps and the heat capacity of the 5v regulators is the limiting factor.  I use 14.1 volts often without any problems.

72,

Chas - NK8O

On Aug 27, 2019, at 2:38 AM, Curt via Groups.Io <rhulett1@...> wrote:

The radio worked when turned on, and no smoke escaped!  Alignment was easy as described in the manual.  The receiver is fantastic, and am getting 5W output with a 12VDC supply.  One question is whether I can use the shack 13.8VDC supply without blowing up the finals?  Also, what is minimum voltage?  Will a 9VDC battery work, maybe 1W output?

No contacts yet but that will happen soon.

I think the little green box will become one of my favorites.  When the weather cools a bit, from the patio with an EFHW n tuner ought to be fun.

Thanks Dave and 4state!

Curt KB5JO

Re: HT20 Alive!

Charles W. Powell
 

Typically the value of the electrolytic caps and the heat capacity of the 5v regulators is the limiting factor.  I use 14.1 volts often without any problems.

72,

Chas - NK8O

On Aug 27, 2019, at 2:38 AM, Curt via Groups.Io <rhulett1@...> wrote:

The radio worked when turned on, and no smoke escaped!  Alignment was easy as described in the manual.  The receiver is fantastic, and am getting 5W output with a 12VDC supply.  One question is whether I can use the shack 13.8VDC supply without blowing up the finals?  Also, what is minimum voltage?  Will a 9VDC battery work, maybe 1W output?

No contacts yet but that will happen soon.

I think the little green box will become one of my favorites.  When the weather cools a bit, from the patio with an EFHW n tuner ought to be fun.

Thanks Dave and 4state!

Curt KB5JO

Re: HT20 LPF performance

Curt
 

With 12.5 ohms, Elsie output looks great.  I had forgotten about low FET output impedance.

Curt KB5JO

HT20 Alive!

Curt
 

The radio worked when turned on, and no smoke escaped!  Alignment was easy as described in the manual.  The receiver is fantastic, and am getting 5W output with a 12VDC supply.  One question is whether I can use the shack 13.8VDC supply without blowing up the finals?  Also, what is minimum voltage?  Will a 9VDC battery work, maybe 1W output?

No contacts yet but that will happen soon.

I think the little green box will become one of my favorites.  When the weather cools a bit, from the patio with an EFHW n tuner ought to be fun.

Thanks Dave and 4state!

Curt KB5JO

Re: HT20 LPF performance

Dave Benson
 

Curt-

I have. <g>

The source impedance is 12.5 ohms. That's how the HT is able to put out 5W - there's an impedance transformation in the LPF.

73- Dave


On Mon, Aug 26, 2019 at 9:45 AM Curt via Groups.Io <rhulett1=consolidated.net@groups.io> wrote:
Has anyone simulated the HT20 LPF?   Using ELSIE to simulate, must be doing something wrong, seeing 3 dB loss at 14 MHz.  Of course a deep 60 dB suppression at 25 MHz.  I am using 50 ohm input and 50 ohm output impedance.   What does the actual output spectrum look like on a scope?  ( I don't own one ).

Curt KB5JO

Re: HT20 LPF performance

K7AHR
 

I would not expect the input impedance to be 50 ohms, for one thing. This could affect your results substantially, especially where the impedance at the fundamental frequency is concerned.