Building a Small Wonder Labs Rock Mite 80m Transceiver

Well, it was time to melt solder once more and this time I decided to build a Small Wonder Labs Rock Mite CW transceiver for the 80m band. I wanted to have a neat little qrp rig of minute power for the upcoming qrp contest.

The kit arrived from the US safe and sound with no parts missing. What a turn up for the books.

The kit as it arrived.

I set about soldering in the one surface mount component without problems. The secret is to use flux on the pads.

The surface mount component (SA602AD) neatly soldered into place.

The rest of the components went in without a problem. The board was now beginning to take shape.

The RM80 is beginning to look like something.

Next I soldered in place the wiring.

Now it was looking more like a bird's nest.

Time to sort out an enclosure. I chose an Altoids tin. All good qrp’ers seem to favour them, and for good reason. It was out with the drill for a touch of metal work. The connectors were then put in place and screwed up nice and tightly.
The PCB next fitted in snugly and the wires soldered into place. I used dental floss to tie the wires up nicely.

I'm rather pleased with the final result.

The smoke test went well – no smoke. I then sent out a test transmission on 3.560 and received favourable reports back from Wallace VK4CBW and Tim VK4YEH. I took a DV voltage reading with my Hendricks dummy load/power meter and calculated the output of this rig to be 316mW. Nice.

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4 thoughts on “Building a Small Wonder Labs Rock Mite 80m Transceiver

  1. Good morning, very nice job on the building of the kit and congratulations on the smoke test as well. I find kit building to be very relaxing and it’s very cool to see something you have built working and making contacts.

  2. I just finished putting together the RM40 in an Altoids tin as well. It comes out very nice. I’m curious what you’re using for an antenna, and if you’re using a tuner? My plan is to get the Hendrick’s SOTA Tuner kit and use an end-fed half-wave on 40 meters, but I’d like to get the RM80 at some point as well. Cheers!

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