SW-3B-QRP-CW-TRX Part 2

It would be worth looking for an older model. Have you read this info?

This problem is now fixed - see on their Facebook page.

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Hey Guy’s

I tried responding on the previous thread. I reached out to them via email last week and received this response:

When I do get one in the next couple months I will update this response.

73 de VE6JTW, Jesse

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That’s good to know. It would be a real pity otherwise.

73 Armin

Any one know roughly how much the Import Duty would be on an SW3b to the UK.

I have tried looking this up on our UK GOV importing goods website but its made my eyes water and my brain turn to glue.

Amateur radio is 0% rated for import duty (code 8525600000) and will attract VAT at 20%.

If the total price is under £135 then vendor charges you the VAT and has to pay it UK HMRC. If it is over £135 pounds, they don’t charge you VAT and the VAT is collected by the PO or courier on delivery. You also pay the PO / courier handling charge (£8-£15 or so).

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Thank you very much Andy - very clear explanation.

Dave

Hi, colleges

I have a question about ordering from Venus Tech.

How quickly you get tracking number after purchase?
I purchased sw-3b 3 days ago but haven’t received traking number yet.

Updated:

Just checked,that there’s holidays 30.04.2022 - 04.05.2022 in the China.

I can’t answer your question directly, but my emails got answered within 48 hrs and some within 12 hrs. Shipping from China was with a carrier - DHL and the radio arrived within the week.!!

Update
I have been using the SW3B now since I got home from work in April and have been having a great time with this little rig. I highly recommend it to any activators looking for a awesome and small multiband qrp rig.

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For hams buying in the EU, I paid €36,87 VAT and €18 processing fee to DHL. I am actually very happy to pay the additional fees to DHL. Shipping to Austria via the postal service would have cost €15, via DHL it cost €42,30 plus the €18 handling fee = €60,30. That’s quite a bit more, but, it sailed through customs. It took only 10 days from ordering the package until it was sat on my desk. Had I ordered via the postal service, it would have been sat in the customs office for almost 4 weeks.

I used the rig for the first time yesterday. It is very easy to operate and I had no unexpected problems. Of course, having the LCD is a big advantage over my 2nd gen MTR3b from LNR (the MTR4 does now have LCD, and I wish I had bought the MTR3b with LCD when I had the chance). The current consumption is also very reasonable and I my Turnigy Nano Tech 460mAh battery would be good for quite a few activations. Having some control over RF and AF gain is good for turning down those very strong signals. The S meter and RF out meter are also nice. My rotary VFO knob occasionally misses a step; don’t know if anyone else has experienced this. It’s not a problem as such and does not impair tuning.
The biggest problem I found was the lack of full QSK. It takes about .5 sec for the RX to come back after transmit and as I (and the chasers who work me) am used to full QSK from the KX2 and MTR3b, I occasionally missed the first two characters of calls and info. Again, it’s not a major problem and if you work 20 wpm or less, you probably won’t notice it. I haven’t yet had a good look at the internet regarding QSK on the SW-3B, so maybe I’m missing something. A minor problem was that the CQ call memory was a bit short for my tastes and I would like to be able to record a bit more.

Apart from that, I think the SW-3B is a great little CW only radio and I am certainly looking forward to getting more experience with this rig.
73 de OE6FEG
Matt

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I ordered via postal service, I waited 4 weeks but I did’nt pay custom fees. Finally cost: 210 euros. I think I was lucky and I am more using this fantastic radio. Very nice activations with many qso and with long duration of batteries. Any issue at present.

Claudio IX1IHR

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Hi Matt

I paid NO customs duty on my SW3b, It came from China via DHL within about 5 days. I’m pretty sure I didn’t pay as much postage/shipping as you did though.

The lack of full QSK I haven’t found a problem - its not something I notice and doesn’t affect my operating. Its probably something you get used to. I remember an operator in the RN who always used ‘full QSK’. He loved it. I hated the thump, thump thump between the dits/dashes of the different noise levels everytime he keyed. - it gave me a head ache. But as you say its also about the speed you send - I’m obviously somewhat slower than you. The SW3b doesn’t have an SWR metre which I would have liked (the Youkits does) on the SW3b. I had a couple of aerial failures and/or linked dipole bad connections which I only noticed because of the SWR metre on the YouKits…

Overall I’m quite happy with it and its now my 1st choice over the HB1-b. It has a couple of less bells & whistles but in operating terms I don’t really miss/need them at all.

PS. I have noticed the VFO missing or jumping a few khz also . Its not something that has been a problem in terms of use.

Dave

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Not that 8 years and a little more than 3500 QSOs with the Mountain Topper MTR3B transceivers would be enough for me now, but simply out of interest, I also want to get to know the well-known and meanwhile mature SW-3B (2022 version).

It was very practical for me that not only the DC plugs of the Mountain Topper and SW-3B transceivers are identical, but that Iambic Mode B is also used.

After a good week of operation and several QSOs at home, I am already quite familiar with the SW-3B and enthusiastic about how it works. So I can hardly wait for the first portable use.

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I like the new display.
The weak point that I found in the SW3B is the change of speed of the keyer, quite cumbersome.
Anyway a great toy!

The designer of such a small transceiver simply does not have a 1-switch/push button for every feature. So an appropriate prioritization must be chosen, which I think is a good choice for the speed adjustment.

By the way, the same solution is chosen for the Mountain Toppers (instead of the CQ button, it is the Fn button there):
Press and hold Fn button until s, then incr/decr speed with paddles (or up/dn buttons).

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Heinz,

Could you do a favor and shot a little bit more photos with new screen (or make a short video)?

It seems like youtube does not have videos with updated 2022 version.

Hello dr Heinz,
I see you’ve prepared a neat mini table on your SW-3B, I couldn’t expect less from your expertise hands.
I am just curious about the screen as well, is this an Oled now? What about visibility in the open air?

Hearing you on air is good news!

73 de Ignacio

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Hola Ignacio

i’ve had one of those radios for about a year now and use it every time.

The screen has three illumination/light levels -

  1. On bright continuous = Readable in direct sun
  2. Bright for ‘X’ number of seconds then it goes dim if morse key is not used.
  3. Dim only = I can see it with some difficulty- but you would need the radio held very close.

David

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Hi David,
thanks a lot for the feedback.
I’m just wondering if they have updated the screen to an Oled in the latest version (2022) and if there is any change to the one you own.

73 Ignacio

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Hi Yury, Ignacio and David,

My SW-3B was delivered by DHL on 05.12.2022, 8 days after the order.

Turning on the radio and taking the first steps it was obvious that there are some differences compared to the very detailed description of KL7KN on 06/06/2020.

So I asked Venus-Itech what is new, changed or omitted in this SW-3B2 2022 version compared to the version(s) described by KL7KN a little more than 2 years ago.

Dale’s response was:
There is nothing major change in between the two versions.
In 2020 version we changed the DDS chip from Si5351 to AD9834, as Si5351 was not available at that time.

It’s just a pity that all the “non-major” changes are neither tracked in the documentation nor communicated. Such a WYSIWYG business model is very simple and saves costs and is therefore not comparable to revision management as maintained by Elecraft.
To be fair, that’s probably why Elecraft’s products cost “a little bit” more, hi.

So now to the differences I have noticed so far, somewhat by chance, compared to KL7KN s reference documentation:

- Display when switching on

SW-3B2

- Display during operation

Unchanged

- Display LED technology

OLED instead of backlit, brightness is adjustable in 5 levels (current consumption varies by approx. 5mA).

Easy to read from all viewing angles because the black and white colors are very strong and sharp. No problem with readability in direct sunlight, Ignacio, but maybe with reflections on the protective bezel …

- CQ button

Start message output: Unchanged.

Keying speed setting: Unchanged.

Message entry: Message format now free in terms of content (e.g. cq call, SOTA or WWFF summit id, station description) and timing (e.g. any spacing between letters and words).

Message length: Not defined, not character-oriented. For example, there is just enough space for a message like “cq de HB0/HB9BCB/P k” or “cq cq de HB9BCB/P k”.

No warning at end of memory, the memory appears simply empty afterwards…

- CW Keyer

Speed Setting: Unchanged.

Squeeze keying mode: Not defined.

It’s Iambic Mode B.

- T/R switching time

Pro memoria: QSK means the ability to hear between the characters you send yourself.

According to the manual: “fully QSK capable”

With an actual receiver muting time of approx. 0.5s, this is in fact clearly wishful thinking. Venus-Itech has not yet responded to my comments on this point.

In this thread, OE6FEG has already commented critically on this point.

- Operating current in RX mode

Not defined for current 2022 version with OLED display.

At 12V the current is approx. 55mA at max brightness and approx. 50mA at min brightness.

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