Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Tempting Sienna

Ham radio kit builders in the USA have another full-featured HF transceiver kit to choose from - the DZKit Sienna.


Announced over a year ago, the first kits seem to be finding their way to builders now, and reports are starting to appear on the web in builders' blogs. Here you can see some pictures of a Sienna in various stages of construction.

The Sienna appears more complicated to build than an Elecraft K3, but involves some real construction. Some boards use SMT parts, but they are preloaded. The Sienna is modular, and can be built as a receiver, QRP transceiver or with 100W PA. It is available with or without a front panel (for computer control) and may even be built with an internal PC running HRD.

Unlike the Elecraft K3 the Sienna is not a software defined radio. The circuit design appears to be an entirely analogue, triple conversion design with a 20KHz roofing filter at the first IF. I can't imagine that the performance comes anywhere near that of the K3, but I wouldn't be surprised if it sounds better.

DZKit doesn't have a forum where one can see what builders and users are saying about the radio but you can download construction manuals to get an idea of what is involved. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't tempted to order one, but I'd have to sell the K3 to afford it and the K3 is working really well now.
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