Owner Feedback & Reviews
A collection of user feedback, comments and reviews of the NJ-QRP Rainbow Tuner Kit.
Worldradio, June 1997
A super report written by Worldradio QRP columnist Richard Fisher KI6SN. (Reprinted with permission from the July 1997 Worldradio.) Click here to see the Worldradio review
Doug Hendricks, KI6DS:
Yesterday I got a neat surprise in the mail. The manual for the Rainbow tuner arrived from the New Jersey QRP Club. I opened the envelope and gasped! Wow, a color cover with a color photograph of the tuner's board right there on the front page. This set the level of expectation high, and I was not disappointed. Guys, this may be the best manual that has ever been produced for a kit, commercial or club. The instructions are very complete, with accurate drawings, and they use the check off box method, which I think is excellent for the beginners in the group. The schematic is very clear and easy to follow. There is a great section on testing and operation. This manual is complete.
You might think that it is amazing that a club could produce this type of quality, yet it is even more amazing that this is the New Jersey club's first try at a kit. Take it from someone who has done a few kits, this is a first class operation. They have obviously learned from others efforts, and it shows in the final product. They are to be commended.
If you have not ordered your Rainbow Tuner Kit, check the NorCal Web page for details on how to order and I suspect it is also on the new NJ web page. The kit is only $25 plus $3 shipping in the US, what a bargain. They have done 300 kits, and are doing a second run of 200. I remember talking to Joe Everhart on the phone and trying to convince him that they would not have a problem selling 200 kits. The qrp community proves once again that they know a bargain and a good deal when they see one. Quality counts.
Great job guys. Now, don't forget to bring those tuners to Dayton and enter them in the NorCal Great Dayton Building Contest. There are two classes, the 38 Specials and the Rainbow Tuners. Judging will be Saturday night at 8:00, with Chuck Adams, K5FO in charge of the judgeing. Chuck is also responsible for all duplicate prizes. NorCal QRP Club will award 3 prizes in each category, with the decision of the judges final. See you at Dayton.
Bill Myres, KK4KF:
Thanks to all involved in this project. I sat down last night and assembled one of my Rainbow Tuners (I ordered 2). The assembly manual is very well done, and very easy to follow.
WARNING!!! Follow the advise on bending the leads of the glass diodes!!!
I have always used my fingernails to bend the leads of diodes and did so last night. One of them felt "funny" when I bent the lead and it "popped" when I soldered it to the board. Fortunately, I have a good supply on 1N34's. Unfortunately, I grabbed a 1N34A first and never could get the tuner aligned. Replaced it with a 1N34 and it works like a champ.
I took breaks when the manual told me to and still finished in in a couple of hours, even winding the toroid. Lost a little time when I had to warm up the 30 watt iron, the 15 watt iron would not melt the coating on the wire.
The only place I got slightly confused was looking at figure 3 for the "connections". After sleeping on it overnight, I think I have that figured out and will buy the switch and connectors at the hamfest this weekend, along with any other goodies I find.
Anyway, another project completed, and I love it.
BTW, used the tuner part with my ZM-1 and it works like a champ also. Tuned my 100' dipole fed with 450 ladderline on 80 meters and made a short contact with a friend of mine.
THANKS AGAIN TO ALL INVOLVED!!!!!!
Wow you did some job on the tuner. Checked all parts all in order. I love the manual, I keep reading it trying to make a decision as to how I will build this. A real tight fit into the "Altoids" tin.
After reading the post about the packing I wondered if all would be there.
Thanks for a great project!
N2CX follows up ...
Glad you enjoy the kit. The beautiful job on the manual is courtesy of Bill, W2DP for the outstanding composition job, Dean, N2TNN for the super photograph and a bevy of proofreaders including our ace Dave, N2SMH.
I finally got around to building my Rainbow Tuner Kit..... It works great!!!! A nice companion to my 38S.
I wanted to give the group a heads up on just in case you encounter the same problem I had with my Rainbow PC boad. There were two traces that were over etched leaving two open circuits. I found the traces before I tested the kit. Just give you pc board a good once over before you start soldering component just in case. I used a couple of resistor leads to bridge the gaps in the traces.
N2CX follows up ...
Sorry to hear about your problem with the pc board! We do attempt to inspect the boards for defects even though the manufacturer does. I guess this one was missed by both of us!
If anyone receives any defective or notes any missing parts in a Rainbow kit, just let me know and you'll have one sent out right away!
Bill Jones - KD7S:
I would like to offer a public "thank you" to the members of the NJ-QRP Club for donating the Rainbow Tuner kit I won at the Dayton Building Contest. It is obvious that no small amount of effort went into this project and I am anxious to begin construction. You have provided the QRP community with a valuable piece of equipment for which I am extremely grateful.
I just got finished putting the Rainbow tuner box together. Took me long enough. Very interesting time and quite a nice piece of extra stuff. Once I load the latest edition of my homepages, there'll be some pictures of how I ended up putting the one I built into use with "The Traveling Radio Box of Death" project.
Neat project, dude. I really like the way this puppy flies. I've rigged mine up so I can use it as a parallel LC with a tap and as a series-L, parallel-C tapped set up. Works both ways on the junk wires around here, tell you that. Can't imagine what'd be like to have one of these little tuners hooked to the TAC1 . . . I stand boggled.