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W4JBM's FOXX-3 QRP Transceiver

My birthday wasn't too long after my upgrade to Amateur Extra. One of the things I asked for was the FOXX-3 transceiver from Kanga US. I was fortunate to get one of the first three kits imported in mid-2001.

I was impressed with the quality of the board. There was an omission in the instructions that came with very early FOXX-3's (installation of capacitor C10). The capacitor was included, there was a place for it on the board, and it was shown in the schematic so it wasn't rocket science to figure out I needed to install it. This omission was corrected in later releases of the kit.

I changed the value of R6 to adjust the TR switch timing--it was a bit fast for me sending at 7 or 8 wpm.

The only problem I had was the testing after stage 4 (assembly of the crystal oscillator). My oscillator didn't work through the full VXO range. After some study, I decided that it would work once the oscillator was loaded by the mixer/PA stage. This was verified with a temporary load and things worked fine. Once assembly was complete things worked as expected.

This is an incredible little rig. Automatic TR switching, a sidetone, VXO, RIT, and can be powered by a 9 volt battery.

The only weakness is total gain for the receiver. Usually if they can hear you you'll be okay. But I use mine with an amplified speaker for more gain. This combination works great!

I'm a volunteer examiner and have taken the radio to exam sessions. I've also taken it to club meetings and ham fests. It never fails to get comments. A couple of no-code techs have said now they understand why they should bother to learn the code--something this simple and yet useful.

So if you get the chance, get the kit and put one together. Maybe I'll see you on the air for a 2-way FOXX-3 QSO!


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