Digital Mode Transceiver


General:

     Overview

     Schematic

     Photo Gallery

     Enclosure

     Kit Parts Cards
   Testimonials

     Contact Us


Instruction Manuals


Reminders:

       ** 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.

 

 

News:

   Phaser-II Kits for 15M and 10M - Details and Order Now!

 

Ordered List for Phaser-10 and Phaser-15 Kits


^ Now with Rev C Troubleshooting Manual!


The Phaser Digital Mode Transceiver
is a single-board, 4-watt SSB radio specifically designed for using digital modes with computers running WSJT-X, DigiPan, FLDIGI and most other digital mode applications.

 

 

 

The Phaser gets reviewed in QST for July         

Download article and read here!  (With permission of ARRL)       

    

click image for full article

 


A Single-board, 4-watt
Digital Mode SSB Transceiver
for 160, 80, 60, 40, 30, 20 or 17 Meters

... designed by Dave Benson, K1SWL


Frequency coverage*:

   Phaser-160 board:  1.840 MHz (FT8) and 1.842 MHz (JS8/ALT)
   Phaser-80 board:    3.573 MHz (FT8) and 3.578 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)

   Phaser-20 board:  14.074 MHz (FT8) and 14.078 MHz (JS8/Alt)
   Phaser-17 board:  18.100 MHz (FT8) and 18.104 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

User Programmable ‘Alt’ frequency: 100 kHz to 30 MHz, 1 kHz resolution
                                                        No external interface required.

Dimensions4.125” 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


N2APB present Phaser #001 to the University of TN Amateur Radio Club. This first Phaser was assembled and generously donated to the young hams of UTARC by Ken Hopper, N9VV.  Thank you Ken!
 

Click on photos above to see larger view.

See the 7-page article in CQ Amateur Radio Magazine for Feb 2020 ...

 

 

Photo Gallery:

 


Graham VE3GTC controls Phaser #176 frequency using Arduino

for CAT control from FLDIGI.
Also reports WSJT-X control of Phaser using HAMLIB
and manually via RIGCTL.

 


Jim N3VXI shows off his Phaser #177 controlled by Raspberry Pi

First contact on Monday April 6, 2020

 

Gwen NG3P shows off a STUNning view of her 4W Phaser.
(Note the Tx Indicator LED mod on front panel)

 

Initial contact at TLARC Group Workshop in November!

 

K1SWL's Family Photo (Phaser-80, -40, -30, -20)

 

 


First 17M contact with Phaser-17, by K1SWL  (click photo)

 

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.)

 

Overview:

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.

 


Phaser hookup diagram showing simple interface to the PC running WSJT-X

 

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:

 


Sam KV4XY and George N2APB


Nice add of Tx LED to front panel, by Jesse WJ4VA


Excellent construction by Jesse WJ4VA.  Note how he brought out the Tx LED to the front panel.

 


Schematic

Download PDF of "Phaser Schematic, Page 1" ... 80m/40m and 60m and 30m/20m and 17m

 


Download PDF of "Phaser Schematic, Page 2"

 


ENCLOSURE KIT

(Separate/Optional Purchase)

 

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!

 

 


Phaser Kit Parts Cards

 

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.)

 

 

 


Testimonials

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.  .

From:  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.

From: Brad 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.

From: Bill W0PT ...
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!

 

 

 


Order

 

Phaser Digital Mode Transceiver Kit .... $60
(for 160-, 80-, 60-, 40-, 30-, 20- or 17-meters)            
Select Band:
NEW! ==>  Phaser-II Digital Mode Transceiver Kit ... $70
(for 15M or 10M).        
Select Band:
Phaser Enclosure Kit ... $25

Phaser Value Pak:              
** Details for these various options for replacement/enhancement are shown below.     
Select as desired and we’ll ship for $6 ($17 for int'l) … or can ship free with your Phaser Kit purchase! 
 
 

 

 
U10 Controller (with 6-Digit ALT Entry feature) ... $2  
(All kits since #775 already have the latest U10!).        

 

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  
(New kits already include this!)         


Blank Front Panel (For adding custom display).... $3 .

 

** ADDITIONAL DETAILS ON THE PHASER VALUE PAK ... i.e., "Do I need these things for my new kit purchase?"
U10 Controller
-- Not needed for new kits!  All kits since #776 have this with the new software feature.  But even older kits do not need this, unless you want to set your Phaser's ALT frequency with 100-Hz precision (i.e., for using WSPR mode.)
Q4 and/or Heatsink
– Some found that their final transistor overheated during test, due to excessive Tx time, not reading the Instructions, incorrect parts assembly, etc.)  Further, some think the power transistor and heatsink get too hot; but it is supposed get hot and is within the design parameters and is okay for most uses of the Phaser.  Regardless, we’ve offered an extra heatsink options if one wishes to be extra cautious and/or replace their blown final.  Otherwise, this option is not required.

Power PlugOne 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 PanelProvided 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.  

 

 

Select Band for U10:

 


 

 

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  )

For Expedited DX Shipping (6-10 business days)Additional $30  ....  

 

... OR ...

 

Check or Money Order:

 Midnight Design Solutions

205 Okema Trace

Loudon, TN 37774  USA

Fine Print
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.


Contact Us

 

Discussion List: Chat With The Designers ... https://groups.io/g/cwtd/topics

 

Questions? Email to George N2APB ...

 


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Page last updated:  August 30, 2020