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Thursday, May 20, 2021

The SST QRP Transceiver

Click on the schematic for a better view

Bob KD4EBM recently sent me an amazing package of radio goodies.  Included was a little metal box not much larger than a deck of cards.  It is a 20 meter SST transceiver designed by Wayne Burdick N6KR during the late 1990s.  This transceiver is built around three NE602 Gilbert Cell mixer chips.  It arrived in my shack as I was struggling to understand the Gilbert Cell.  TRGHS.  It also put me back on the path of QRP CW righteousness.    Thanks Bob.  Thanks Wayne. 

I e-mailed Wayne Burdick (now of Elecraft fame) to tell him I was now using the rig he had designed so long ago.  Wayne e-mailed back, saying that the SST was the smallest "real" radio that he had ever designed.  SST stands for Simple Superhet Transceiver

I've been using the SST every day for the last week or so.  It is a pleasure to operate.  I'm using it with the key from India that Farhan brought for me.   It is truly QSK -- the receiver stays on when I transmit.  I've never used a QSK rig before and I can now see the big advantage that this provides:   When I am responding to a CQ, I can immediately hear if the other guy put out another CQ or respond to someone else -- I can stop calling at that point.  My first contact with it was with F6EJN.  Again, TRGHS. 

I made two small mods to the SST:  I added 1 uH to the RFC in the VXO; it  now tunes 14.053 -- 14.063.   And I took out a noise blanker that had been installed. Removing the noise blanker left an ugly hole in the front panel which I promptly filled with a completely cosmetic machine screw. 

Here's the manual:



  1. I agree Bill - the SST is a cracking little rig. For several years, I wanted one, when Sierra Wilderness were still providing the kit. However, I had other radio projects going on and, being extremely frugal, decided to wait, and forego the $95 cost of the kit. I kept telling myself it would be available when I was ready. When I was finally ready, the kit had been discontinued, as Sierra was in the process of gradually closing down. At that time, the kit was available from a Japanese supplier for about twice the price, but they wouldn't ship to the US. I was up the creek without a paddle, so had to resort to building one from scratch.

    I'm glad I did, as it's a great little rig. Glad you're having fun with it. As the advertisers would say, it has "big rig" performance!

    73 for now,


  2. Great little rig. I scratch built one back in 2001. The only issue I have with it is the very loud side-tone. There's a fix for it but I just have not gotten around to doing it. 72 Neil wa4chq

  3. Is it possible to find the BuzzNot NB schematics for SST mod please?

  4. Got it... big thanks to Bill! 73 - Petr, OK1RP


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