G3VGR Wilderness Radio Sierra      

  The Sierra was originally a Norcal project designed by Wayne Burdick, N6KR. It was designed specifically as a low-current drain portable multiband transceiver and uses plug-in band modules, similar to the TenTec Scout.   Sierra kits are marketed by Bob Dyer, KD6VIO, through his company Wilderness Radio.

I bought my Sierra from Peter, G3XJS in early October 1999.  It was originally built by G3TUX and is also fitted with the KC2 Display/Keyer option, Buzznot Noise Blanker and the DL-QRP-PA.  The rig was complete with modules for all bands except 12 and 160 metres.  I have now added the other two band modules and recently a DL-SWR LED Indicator from QRPeter, DL2FI has been installed in the rig.  The tiny SWR indicator uses surface-mount components and will reduce the number of accessories needed to transport when operating portable.  I've also built various QRP accessories (Battery Charger, Z-Match ATU similar to the Emtech ZM2 and a W1FB design Resonant ATU).

Sierra at home QTH

The photo on the left shows the QRP station setup at the G3VGR home QTH.  An MFJ digital clock sits on top of the Sierra and a Bencher BY1 paddle is to the side.  On the shelf above is a Timewave DSP9+ filter, LDG QRP Tuner and some plug-in band modules. The LDG tuner has been modified to include an internal balun

I'm totally impressed with this little rig and for a while used it instead of my IC735 as the main station rig.  The receiver has a clean sound, however dynamic range is noticeably lacking at night on 40 metres due to the NE602 mixer. The DSP9+ really enhances the Sierra receiver performance, although the Sierra tuning rate is a little too fast when using the filter in the narrowest position. Click on the picture to see an internal view of the rig with the DL-QRP-PA & and DL-SWR-Meter.The DL-QRP-PA gives a solid 5 watts outputs on all bands, although I had to change the original Sierra driver transistor from a 2N2222A to a 2N5109 to achieve full output on 15/12/10 metres.

Sierra in hotel room This photo shows the Sierra in some hotel room with a homemade Power Supply and a K8FF iambic paddle (another Norcal kit project).  Currently, when operating from hotel rooms, I normally use a half-wave end-fed wire with counterpoises for each band. This isn't always an ideal antenna and I'm looking to use some form of Magnetic Loop in the future.

Links to resources on other Sierra Webpages
Wilderness Radio - Sierra Kits and modules from QRP Bob, KD6VIO
Funk-Amateur - DL-QRP-PA Kits
DL-QRP Club - DL-SWR Indicator Kits
New Jersey QRP Club - Summary of Sierra modifications
G3YCC's Web Site - Sierra modifications
Dave Ek, AB0GO - "Elmer 102" - Sierra Kit Construction Guide