Friday, June 26, 2009

My Rolls Royce

I have just acquired a Rolls Royce. Or at least, the Rolls Royce of transverters. Perhaps that should be the Mercedes Benz of transverters, since the new acquisition is a Kuhne Electronics TR 144 H 2m transverter made in Germany. It is probably the most expensive transverter in the world, as they say in the beer adverts. Though I didn't pay the eye-wateringly high new price as I got this one second hand.


If you know what this transverter is then you will probably consider that it is somewhat wasted in my full stealth situation. It boasts such a low noise receive converter that it can be used for high power EME without a preamplifier. And the transmit side is so conservatively rated that you can drive an amplifier to the full legal limit and still sound absolutely clean.

But why should you have to use budget gear just because your antenna opportunities are limited? Just like those old guys who finally afford a Ferrari even though they only use it to potter down to the golf club, it's good to own top quality equipment even if you can't fully exploit it. It's nice to have a 2 metre transverter that matches the performance of my K3. It's an investment. And should I ever want to go portable to do some serious 2m operating then now I have the best possible gear to do it with.

My first impression on receiving the TR144H was - it's huge! It's nearly as big as the K3 and about as heavy. There's a large heat sink on the back that makes it look as if it is capable of a cool 100W, not a mere 25W.

Remove the top cover and you will see that there is a lot of space inside. There are two main modules, a low power transverter module and the PA module, connected using high quality low loss interconnects. There is also a control board on the front panel and a large, well-damped meter that shows average power output.

As expected, the receive sensitivity is very good. I can hear the GB3VHF beacon a lot better than I could using the Spectrum Communications transverter. All I need now is a good 2m opening to try it out on the air!
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