Digital Mode Transceiver
** All Builders **
Always use the latest version of your manual, as posted on the Documents page, We make corrections and additional notes in them from time to time and it's important that you are using the latest information.
Phaser Digital Mode
The Phaser gets reviewed in QST for July
Download article and read here! (With permission of ARRL)
... designed by Dave Benson, K1SWL
1.840 MHz (FT8) and 1.842 MHz (JS8/ALT)
Phaser-60 board: 5.357 MHz (FT8) and 5.357 MHz (FT8/Alt)
Phaser-40 board: 7.074 MHz (FT8) and 7.078 MHz (JS8/Alt)
Phaser-30 board: 10.136 MHz (FT8) and 10.130 MHz (JS8/Alt)
14.074 MHz (FT8) and 14.078 MHz (JS8/Alt)
* FT8 frequency hard-coded
* Alt frequency soft-coded to JS8, user reprogrammable
Tx operation: Phasing SSB
Tx power output: 4 Watts (nominal)
Receive MDS: -109 dBm
Adjustments: Tx Drive
Frequency Calibration: 1-time
Programmable ‘Alt’ frequency:
100 kHz to 30 MHz, 1 kHz resolution
Dimensions: 4.125” x 3.85” x 1.20”
DC Power: 12V @ 130ma (Rx), 1A (Tx)
SMT components: 8 (pre-installed)
Kits: All version available: 80m, 60m, 40m, 30m, 20m and 17m
Enclosure: Kits optionally available ... See below.
NEWS! ... University of Tennessee ARC
Click on photos above to see larger view.
See the 7-page article in CQ
Amateur Radio Magazine for Feb 2020 ...
CAT control from FLDIGI.
First contact on Monday April 6, 2020
Gwen NG3P shows off a STUNning view of
her 4W Phaser.
Initial contact at TLARC Group Workshop in November!
K1SWL's Family Photo (Phaser-80, -40, -30, -20)
80M conditions at dawn East Coast U.S.
(No Europeans, since it's midday there.)
K1SWL working Belgium
First Contact! (Sam KV4XY) ... Click photo
(Note the mic input to PC is too hot ... Must reduce mic gain.)
The Phaser is capable of transmitting and receiving on the 160m, 80m, 60M, 40m, 30m, 20m or 17m amateur bands. Each of these monoband transceivers is programmed to operate first at the popular FT8 frequencies, while a pushbutton entry shifts the operating frequency to an alternate frequency of the user’s choice, initially provided at the JS8 ‘watering hole’. This ALT frequency may be easily reprogrammed to be anywhere in the HF spectrum, thus providing frequency flexibility to accommodate other digital modes such as PSK31, JT65A, WSPR, Feld Hell, Olivia, SSTV, etc.
To ensure efficient use of spectrum in operation, the transmitter features an adjustment-free phasing single-sideband (SSB) design. The use of precision components provides unwanted sideband suppression in excess of 30 dB across its operating range, thus minimizing inadvertent QRM to other operators on the (unused) lower sideband. The use of SSB also eliminates the issue of out-of-phase signal cancellation at the Phaser's direct-conversion receiver. As such, it allows Phaser users to communicate with each other. This is a clear advantage over the use of 'entry-level' double-sideband (DSB) transceivers.
Build-a-thon workshop at local Ham Radio Club
In order to thoroughly test the design of the PHASER, we conducted a build-a-thon workshop with the local ham radio club here in Tennessee ... Tellico Lake Amateur Radio Club (TLARC).
Ten hams participated in the workshop, with kitbuilding skills ranging from novice-to-medium. The PHASER kit was designed to be assembled using only through-hole parts (seven surface mount devices come pre-assembled on the PCB), so construction was straightforward while carefully following our good assembly guide. We had reserved two afternoons that weekend to complete the kits, and by the end of the second session five hams had successfully completed and tested their PHASERS and immediately got on-the-air to achieve their first digital mode contacts! The others needed some extra time to finish their assemblies but were on the air later that week. Soldering skills were honed during the club workshop, and everyone came away with newfound talents for winding toroids.See below for some shots of our workshop:
Download PDF of "Phaser Schematic, Page 2"
This a custom Enclosure Kit for the Phaser Digital Mode Transceiver. The kit is comprised of interlocking fiberglass panels designed to be soldered together along the inside mating edges, thus providing a strong and attractive case for the Phaser. All panels have red soldermask to present nice, shiny surfaces, and the front and rear panels are silkscreened with labels for all the included controls and indicators.
The Enclosure Kit includes all parts pictured in the lower-right photo, and can be assembled in about one hour. The Enclosure Assembly Manual may be downloaded from the 'stack of links' in the upper left corner of this page.
The finished Enclosure measures 5” wide, 4-1/2” deep, 1-7/8” high.
~ Click on any photo here to see full-res view ~
Enclosure Kit all packaged and ready to ship!
Bag 1 and Bag 2 all packaged up and ready to go!
Nine (9) cards in all ... Stack 'em up in a card file, small shoe box, old cigar box, or whatever to provide easy access to the parts when called for in the Instructions!
(This unique parts management system is the brain child of master kitter Larry K3PEG with its genesis coming from kitting up many projects for NJQRP, AmQRP and Midnight Design over the years.)
From: Jim and
Debbie N6TYD/4 ...
In the last 2 weeks with just a portable, 6 foot helical whip antenna from Grid EM74/N. Georgia on FT8/FT4 farthest contact is St. Lucia at 2,000+ miles. Farthest reception was yesterday, ZL1/Grid RF72, 8,098 miles at 20:40Z. Have received several Western Europe stations daily in the late afternoon. The Phaser is definitely a top performer, especially since the only test gear available to date has been a dummy load. So there's probably room for further Phaser and antenna optimizing. .
RC, WW5RC ...
Phaser-20 #518 was built for me by Jim Ragsdale (W5LA) in 8 hours. It was activated on 15 Jun 20 and has been on the air now for 10 days. In that time I've made 85 contacts in 25 of the 50 states and 2 countries, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Power output is 4 watts. I'm using an Isotron-20 antenna sitting on the third floor balcony of my apartment. That has a VSWR OF 1.3:1.I'm also using a 20m center loaded dipole suspended from the ceiling inside the apartment. It has a VSWR of 1.7:1. The PSKREPORTER <https://www.pskreporter.info/pskmap.html> which is similar he Reverse Beacon Network is reporting spots from British Columbia to Venezuela. This little radio is awesome. I would expect nothing less from Dave Benson (K1SWL) and George Heron (N2APB). Thanks guys!
From: Erick VE2LRZ ...
Greetings fellow Phaser users (Phaserers? ;-) #562 is on the air (20m)! My first contact: I had NO IDEA what I was doing (never used WSJT-X), and still managed to call CQ and have a few "contacts", even after I made some (unrelated to this) mods to my EFHW (which made it perform worse). It still works, despite propagation being what it is. Going to definitely RTFM soon. PSKReporter informs me I was "heard" over 1259 miles away (Montreal->Florida). Not bad at all for the little red box.
Having been on the mailing list for a long time before receiving my kit and building it, I was a bit apprehensive. I've never seen such a well organized, well documented, and well thought out kit and product. The idea of performing tests as you move along makes so much sense. I was so excited I was building this over 2 nights this past weekend with little sleep... not something I would recommend. Almost made a few oopsies before soldering but good thing I double checked (well most of the time).
One idea would be to keep some sort of crowd-sourced FAQ extracting all the good outcomes from the mailing list (or, people can just search the archives). I can't believe K1SWL and N2APB spend so much time on this mailing list answering questions. A testament to the quality of the people and the product.
Thank you to the team and hope to make contacts with the rest of the group sometime soon.
McDowell AB4BA ...
This was a first build ever for me. I had a missing resistor and let the smoke out once, but replaced parts, soldered a jumper wire to the bottom of the board, found that annoying cold solder, and got on the air. First contact from Colorado to Kansas (K0AP/4), then Illinois and Washington. PSKreporter is showing coast to coast coverage. A great time was had by all. Now I will order the enclosure and probably try the 40 meter Phaser.
The 20 meter phaser #521 is now on the air and working great! This kit was so much fun to build and worked 100 % at power up. Thanks to the designers for a wonderful transceiver!
From: Brad AB4BA ...
Using grey line propagation, a 40 m EFHW antenna, and 3.2 watts the Phaser 20 pulled in contacts from WH6S (Hawaii, 3394 miles) and DK5WL (Germany, 5066 miles). I finally achieved the 1000 mile/watt mark. Thank you Dave and George for an amazing product.
From: Patrick W3HVG ...
I finished 639 this morning and made the settings. My Elecraft W1 Powermeter shows a solid 4 watts with a SWR of 1.1 with an occasional flicker to 1.2. With about 30 minutes of operation (contacts and CQs) Q4 was barely warm. I have had 5 contacts with the most distant over 2000 miles. Also, Psk Reporter showed over 100 receptions. Thanks for the wonderful project.
From: Joe K9TUX ...
I recently completed the Phaser 20M #538. I am really impressed with it. Worked Italy which was 4852 miles from my home QTH in Florida. PSK Reporter Map has displayed reception of my signal over most of USA and Europe. I am using a supply voltage of 14V and showing RF output of 3.5 W. My antenna is simply 17.5 ft 18ga wire hanging from a pole. The feed end is connected to an End Fed Matchbox which in turn connects to 50 ft of coax to a MFJ-971 tuner. Amazing.
From: Bob N4BP ...
#749, 20 Meters 3 Watts. Worked a couple of Europe on FT8, then took a break and programmed 14080 into the ALT frequency to get me on FT4. Really quite easy while following the instructions. Trick is to take your time. First two FT4 QSOs: France and Belgium. Really impressed with this little rig!
From: Al VA3IAW ...
My one contact using Phaser 20 #267 was KO4O, before diagnosing the cause of low power output (thank you George). Toronto area to Alabama at 300mw is over 2000 miles per watt! KO4O must have a good antenna. My antenna was an indoor dipole made of end-to-end hamsticks. (Condo antenna restrictions.)
From: Gerard ...
It took me 4 evenings to build the kit. It was fun as the kit was so well prepared. Thank you. Did my first FT8 contact today.
From: John N3AAZ ...
Please add me to the "on the air" Phaser Registry! Love the way u-all sort parts onto cards BIG THANKS makes life a delight on this 80 year old with one good eye and trifocals not to mention those pre-soldered specks of something already on the pcb hi HI .. TNX AGN fun build!
From: Dennis K4PU ...
I am pleased to announce that my 40 meter Phaser Transceiver is working flawlessly. The low output problem turned out not to be in the Phaser unit itself, but due to a mismatch between the transceiver and my antenna. After inserting a matchbox between the SWR meter and antenna, I was able to get almost 4 full watts out with less than 10% reverse. My first contact was with J68HZ. From Georgia to St. Lucia with a little over 3 watts into an end-fed long wire. Pretty impressive! Nice job guys!
Digital Mode Transceiver Kit .... $60
(for 160-, 80-, 60-, 40-, 30-, 20- or 17-meters)
Digital Mode Transceiver Kit ... $70
(for 15M or 10M).
|Phaser Enclosure Kit ... $25|
Phaser Value Pak:
Q4 Power Amp (2SC5706 Transistor) ... $1
Q4+Heatsink Assy (Heatsink attached to Q4) ... $2
Heatsink Enhancement (Heatsink + Copperclad strip) ... $2
DC Power Plug (Long barrel reaches through
rear panel) ... $2
ADDITIONAL DETAILS ON THE PHASER VALUE PAK ... i.e., "Do I need
these things for my new kit purchase?"
Power Plug – One needs a longer-barrel 12V power plug to reach through the Enclosure’s rear panel. We have included such a power plug in the kits for several month, so guys with older kits might need this for their older kit. For new kit purchases, this option is not required.
Blank Front Panel – Provided for experiments who wish to replace their ‘stock’ front panel in the Enclosure Kit to add custom labels, displays, switches, callsign, etc. Otherwise, this option is not required.
Shipping (for Phaser Kits)
Automatically added when checking out:
US: Priority Mail = $10 (3-5 business day delivery)
DX: First Class Mail = $30 (10-20 business days )
... OR ...
Check or Money Order:
Midnight Design Solutions
205 Okema Trace
Loudon, TN 37774 USA
Prices, availability and product specifications are subject to change at any time.
Customers accept all responsibilities for following safe and approved assembly practices and product usage.
Orders are typically shipped within 1-2 weeks due to order preparation.
All orders are acknowledged by email, usually within 24 hours. If acknowledgement is not received, please contact N2APB directly.
Discussion List: Chat With The Designers ... https://groups.io/g/cwtd/topics
Questions? Email to George N2APB ...
Copyright 2019-2020 Midnight Design
Solutions, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Page last updated: August 30, 2020