Norcal 38 Special
30M CW QRP Rig

38 Special Kit  60KB JPG
NorCal 38S 95K JPG
Here is the as-yet unbuilt
38 Special
The completed 38S with 5W mod.

The biggest mistake I made when building this kit was to try and do a few of the mods while I constructed the kit, rather than build it stock and then modify it. I ended up smoking the 74HC240 "PA" when I first fired it up due to mis-applied 12V through the 5W mod. So after I returned the kit to stock and replaced the PA, the 38S worked great. RX sensitivity isn't awesome at .3uV, but I haven't tried mucking with the matching transformer or any of the receive mods yet for the 38S. The 5W mod by K1MG worked just as advertised, I get +36.5dBm (4.5W) out at 13.8VDC input. The RIT mod isn't worth doing, as it tends to add instability to the rig and doesn't shift much towards the upper end of frequency coverage. So that's where the rig stands now, fully functional with just the 5W mod. I noticed that it seems overly sensitive to it's image at 12MHz, but other than that I was *very* impressed with the performance of this little rig. It's got a nice sounding note, no noticeable drift and decent (AF) filtering. This rig is a *smokin* deal at $25, I wonder if NorCal would consider another run of boards for this rig. It would be a sure sell out (again).

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