Well, my PFR-3 is complete and on air! I have just had a wonderful QSO with Ray VK4ZW, who was also operating QRP.
But letś go back a step.
Fitting the PCB to the enclosure was not a problem. I had already pre-installed the battery status indicator, so all I had to do was angle the board sufficiently to slide it into place, making sure that the SWR LED didn´t get bent in the process. It didn´t and went nicely into place.
Then it was time to wire up the connectors. My power jack proved a little too big to fit into the hole provided so I had to resort to the trusty rotary tool and a reamer. No problems there.
The internal battery holders are a stick-in-place job so that was easy to accomplish. All that remained to do was wire it, and the battery status indicator, up, being mindful not to apply too much heat from the soldering iron as this could melt the plastic. The way I have wired this up means that the battery status indicator reads the condition of the eight AA batteries in the internal battery holder, something that will be most useful when operating portable with AA battery power. In the shack I will be using an external gel cell which has far more storage capacity anyway so this won´t be as crucial to monitor.
Now came the on air test. I jumped onto my 2m hand held and asked Ray VK4ZW to listen out for my signal. Within seconds I had a 599 report back from him. We then tested the accuracy of the frequency readout on the digital display and it was spot on.
How cool was this?
Anyway, we tested the rig on 40m and 20m but not 30m as my antenna does not tune up on that band.
The BLT tuner works a treat and is really efficient too. I was also very impressed with the RX PEAK, which has a dramatic effect on the incoming signal.
So what is my overall impression of this wonderful rig? Itś great and the best rig I have built. It is also one of the few that I have built (and I have built many) that worked first time. Believe me, that´s saying something.
Now for some more QSOs!