I ordered an SStran AMT3000 kit from Phil just before xmas, it arrived in very reasonable time. I put off starting it right when I got it due to some other family get-togethers and working around my disabled son’s school schedule. I contented myself with inventorying the parts, reading and re-reading the manual/instructions, stripping a few old boards for my junkbox to get my hands in practice for the kit, and etc. I’d also gotten a new used soldering/rework station as one of my presents and I wanted to put a little time in with it before jumping right into the kit.
Finally I quit putting it off and when the house was quiet for a couple hours, I cleared off some table space and set up my assorted toys..
Not the most orderly or the best equipped, but it proved quite up to the task. The aluminum foil is a “poor man’s antistat mat”.
I broke up the build into 3 sessions on almost successive evenings. Total time for the build was about 3.5 hrs. Figured it was best to do it in sessions to avoid headache, eyestrain and etc, since I don’t do this sort of work every day anymore.
The kit went together really easy. All the parts were there, the instructions were clear and easy to follow. Very possibly the best kit of any nature I’ve ever built so far as being good parts and good instructions.
The unit powered up perfectly, no problem finding it on the reciever. Signal was nice and strong and with just a bit of adjustment on the SStran audio controls the sound was excellent! No noticeable hum, and once the audio controls had been adjusted, it was clear as a bell. I tried the treble boost with jumper 6, didn’t like the sound, took it back off. I am picky about audio, so I kept the compression fairly low.
Now the antenna was just the wire one that comes with the kit and all I’d done for testing was to take off the wire tie and toss the coil of wire to the other side of the kitchen table. It wasn’t even straight. I didn’t hook up any ground or bother with uncoiling the ground wire, since this was just power up testing. It peaked to about 6 V.
So then I tried radios around the house to see how it sounded more than a few feet away. Even to a small GPX clock radio all the way on the other end of the house (about 60 ft) the signal was clear and strong and sounded really good. The same GPX does *not* pick up my FM transmitter near as well.
Over the next few days I’ll be hunting for a good operating frequency to settle it on and seeing how it does with the antenna more straight (and actually vertical as opposed to draped across a kitchen table and hanging partway down to the floor).
So far I’d give the SStran top marks as a kit, and it seems to be a very nice little transmitter.
Kudos to Phil.