CRX1 Specifications Change

We wanted to let you know that we have slightly changed the advertised specifications for the CRX1 receiver. The original measurements were taken on a beta CRX1 receiver, which was slightly different from the production receivers. In order to provide the most accurate measurements possible, we did our measurements again, along with a few new ones. Most only changed a few dB, but it is significant to note that the minimum discernible signal now measures at approximately -133 dBm (as opposed to the old measurement of -123 dBm). We have now also added measurements for the input 3rd order intercept and opposite sideband rejection. You can see a recap of the new measurements below, or visit the documentation page.

Thomas LA3PNA kindly did some independent verification of the CRX1′s specifications, which are in line with the measurements made at Etherkit. You can see his report here.

Frequency Range: Approximately 7.030 to 7.034 MHz (at +13.7 VDC power supply)
IF Bandwidth: Approximately 400 Hz
Current Consumption: 25 mA (at +13.7 VDC power supply)
Power supply: +9 VDC to +14 VDC
Minimum Discernible Signal: -133 dBm
3rd Order IMD Dynamic Range (20 kHz spacing): 82 dB
Input 3rd Order Intercept: -5 dBm
Opposite Sideband Rejection: 49 dB
IF Rejection: 74 dB
Image Rejection: 67 dB
PCB dimensions: 70 mm x 100 mm
Antenna Connector: BNC
DC Power Connector: 2.1 mm barrel jack
Phone Jack: 3.5 mm stereo
Key Jack: 3.5 mm stereo
Reverse polarity protection
Muting, sidetone (user enabled), T/R switch, full QSK operation, external VFO port included

Announcing the CRX1 Receiver!

We are pleased to announce the release of Etherkit’s newest product, the CRX1 receiver! The CRX1 is a simple VXO-tuned superheterodyne receiver for the 40 meter band, with tuning centered around the popular QRP watering hole frequency of 7.030 MHz. It is entirely constructed from surface mount devices in the easy-to-build 0805 (US) size for passive components and SOT-23 class semiconductors. The PCB is large and single-sided, which provides for uncramped construction and makes the CRX1 an ideal warm-up kit for the CC1 QRP transceiver (coming soon). The CRX1 is not just meant to be a novelty to be tossed aside after construction. All of the support circuitry for muting, T/R, and sidetone is included, so it can be paired with virtually any transmitter which uses grounded keying. There is also a port for an external VFO to enable further user experimentation. All controls and connectors are included with this kit, so you just need to supply an enclosure and a few knobs to finish the job!

Specifications

Frequency Range: Approximately 7.030 to 7.034 MHz (at +13.7 VDC power supply)
IF Bandwidth: Approximately 400 Hz
Current Consumption: 25 mA (at +13.7 VDC power supply)
Power supply: +9 VDC to +14 VDC
Minimum Discernible Signal: -133 dBm
3rd Order IMD Dynamic Range (20 kHz spacing): 82 dB
Input 3rd Order Intercept: -5 dBm
Opposite Sideband Rejection: 49 dB
IF Rejection: 74 dB
Image Rejection: 67 dB
PCB dimensions: 70 mm x 100 mm
Antenna Connector: BNC
DC Power Connector: 2.1 mm barrel jack
Phone Jack: 3.5 mm stereo
Key Jack: 3.5 mm stereo
Reverse polarity protection
Muting, sidetone (user enabled), T/R switch, full QSK operation, external VFO port included

Available Bands

40 Meters – 7.030 to 7.034 MHz

Polyvaricon Variable Capacitors Now For Sale

We are pleased to announce that we now have a limited amount of polyvaricon capacitors available for sale in 4-packs in the Etherkit Store. These are dual-gang capacitors, with each section having a 5-270 pF capacitance per section. They also have four individual trimmer capacitor sections which you can add in as needed. Perfect for all kinds of RF experimentation fun!

February 2013 OpenBeacon Stock Update

We apologize for running out of stock on the 30 Meter and 40 Meter OpenBeacon kits. They are both now back in stock in limited quantities, with more on the way in the near future. Thank you for your patience!

22 Feb 2013 Update

Again, we apologize for being out of stock of the 30 and 40 Meter OpenBeacon kits. Our anticipated resupply order is late from our vendor, so we will not have those kits back in stock for a few more days. The current best estimate for restock is Tuesday, Feb 26. Thanks again for being patient!

Introducing EtherProg

We are pleased to announce the release of our newest product: EtherProg. EtherProg is an inexpensive Atmel AVR in-system programmer (ISP) that can be used to program a variety of Atmel AVR 8-bit microcontrollers, including most of the popular ATtiny and ATmega series ICs.

EtherProg can be used to update the firmware on OpenBeacon or any future Etherkit product with an 8-bit AVR microcontroller. No need to remove the microcontroller in order to update the firmware, simply plug the EtherProg programming cable onto an ISP header on your Etherkit (or other ISP-compatible) product. EtherProg is also a great way to develop your own stand-alone AVR applications.

EtherProg is $19.00, and we are currently offering free shipping on EtherProg to any US address.

OpenBeacon de VE3GTC

VE3GTC OpenBeacon

Here’s an excellent example of OpenBeacon thermal shielding from the blog of Graham VE3GTC (via the Etherkit Forum). Graham has used two different Hammond die-cast enclosures nested inside of each other, with common fiberglass insulation used as the buffer between the two enclosures. He has broken out all of the external connections using feedthrough capacitors and ferrite beads. There’s also a unique way of breaking out the USB port via a XLR connector. Check out Graham’s blog for all of the details!