The Simple Superhet Transceiver

The SST is an optimized, superhet rig with an extremely low parts count (only 80 parts, vs. 100 for a 38-special and 120 for a NorCal 40A).

This may be the easiest to build superhet ever, and it comes with a miniature custom enclosure, less than half the size of a NorCal 40A.

SST Features:

  • - 2 watts out (varies w/band and supply voltage), adjustable down to zero

  • - fast, clean QSK with transmit monitoring

  • - 3-pole crystal filter at a low I.F. (about 4 MHz)

  • - built-in, no-adjustments AGC with received signal indicator LED

  • - stable VXO coverage of 10 to 20 kHz using varactor tuning (range varies w/band)

  • - very low current drain--about 15mA

  • - stable operation from 10 to 16VDC, or internal 9V lithium battery

  • - works with the Wilderness KC1 keyer/ counter and BuzzNot noise blanker.

  • - both the KC1 and BuzzNot can be installed inside the SST

  • - all controls, connectors, and parts mount on a single 3.0" x 3.4" PC board

  • - 1.5"H x 3.2"W x 3.5"D custom enclosure (supplied unfinished)


    A superhet with a sharp, three-crystal filter, operating at a low I.F. (around 4MHz). The receiver uses a novel AGC circuit employing a single LED as both the detector and signal indicator. The AF gain control and headphone jack are on the front panel. The RF gain is rarely used in the SST, so I put it on the back.


    The Transmitter has *really* fast, exceptionally clean (totally thump-free) QSK with TX monitoring, as in the '40A. Power output is around 2 watts on all three bands with a 13.8V supply, and proportionally less at 12V or 9V. Power out is adjustable down to zero.

    Varactor-controlled VXO rather than a VFO with excellent stability. Frequency coverage (approximate):

    40m           7.032 -  7.042
    40m/novice    7.105 -  7.115
    30m          10.105 - 10.120
    20m          14.046 - 14.064

    VXO range can be increased by switching in a second varactor. All VXO and I.F. crystals used are *standard* frequencies available from Digikey.

    The custom enclosure is about 3W x 3.5D x 1.5H", and is supplied unfinished. Since the box is so small, we use .050 aluminum to reduce weight. (With a KC1 on the top and an internal 9V lithium battery, the SST makes a great TFR.



    The SST is supplied only as a complete kit -- no partials.

    The kit includes a high-quality double-sided and silkscreened PC board; a custom, unfinished .050 aluminum enclosure with hardware; all controls, connectors, knobs, rubber feet, etc.; detailed manual; and all parts for your choice of bands.

    The price for each complete SST is $90.


    1. Please enclose $90 per kit ordered.

    2. For each kit ordered, you must specify the band: 40m, 40m/novice, 30m, or 20m. (Remember, this is a VXO-based transceiver, so the rig does not cover the entire CW band. Approximate coverage is: 40m, 7.032-7.042; 40m/novice: 7.105 - 7.115; 30m, 10.105-10.120; 20m, 14.046-14.064. Other ranges are possible with small modifications.)

    3. Missouri residents must add your local state sales tax.

    4. Shipping charges are extra: $6 U.S., $8 Canada/Mexico, $20 DX (other). This is a per-kit shipping charge.

    5. Please make out checks to Wilderness Radio. We'll also need your name, call, address, phone number, e-mail address.

    6. Send U.S. funds only (checks drawn on US banks, or an international money order) to:
    For more information, call Bob at: Wilderness Radio

    Wilderness Page