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An \"official\" SOTA-rig?

Hi!

(I sent this five days ago to The Management Team (contact form at http://www.sota.org.uk), but haven’t heard anything. Is it working properly?)

Sorry, but this will be a somewhat long mail.

You may have heard about the Chinese QRP rig HB-1A (very resembling the Elecraft KX-1) which is sold on Ebay and has received very good criticism. Furthermore it covers 20/30/40M (CW) which are typical SOTA-bands. The price for the ready made rig is/was about USD 200. For the kit it would be less.

Some links:

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/8263
http://k1hah.net/HB-1A-MK-II.html

Operating manual: http://www.hanzi.ca/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/hb-1a-operating-manual-07011.doc

Google translate of “introduction” (not very good): http://www.hanzi.ca/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/introduction-hb-1a-mkii.doc

My problem with this rig is that it’s ready made, and not available as a kit. I hesitate to operate a rig that I haven’t built myself. Building is half of the fun - operating is just the other half.

I asked the guy behind this rig, Yimin, whether it would be possible to have the HB-1A in kit form, but the problem on his side is that he doesn’t have any translation of the manual - that’s the situation right now.

Now, to my idea. I think that experienced builders would have no problems to assemble this kit with a minimum of basic instructions. For the less experienced builder I’m thinking of a web based wiki, where the basic
instructions are accompanied by comments and pictures supplied by the builders. By collaborative efforts (wiki spirit) I think this could end up in a full fledged manual (or even better!). I would love to see a kit of the HB-1A
branded like the “official” SOTA-rig, and the wiki should in my view be under the auspices of SOTA as well.

Yimin is perfectly willing to brand the rig with the SOTA-logo (“SOTA Special” or whatever), and could even toss in a portable 3-bands wire antenna, a paddle, and a water proof box in the deal as well (to make it a complete travel kit).

The only draw-back I have seen is that the memory of the keyer is hard coded for the time being, but I gather this would be an easy task to change. Can you see any other SOTA specific features to add? There are rumours of a SSB version coming up soon, although that doesn’t interest me personally. Other features?? Controller for a solar panel? A compass or even a built in GPS? :slight_smile:

I can assure you that I personally don’t expect to gain anything economically or otherwise from these ideas. My motivation is simply to be able to build the HB-1A myself, as well as letting others to do the same. And of course to find a way to promote the SOTA activity in general.

What do you think? There are no economical risks involved on SOTA´s behalf . The only investment to make is intellectual in terms of the collaborative effort to write the web based “manual”.

Looking forward to your reactions!

73

Anders SM0HPL

In reply to SM0HPL:
Hi, Anders, I can confirm that the MT received your email, however the holiday season is with us and some members of the MT have been out of touch and unable to contribute to the discussions. You will receive a reply soon.

73

Brian G8ADD