The Taunton is an HF transceiver in kit form from Walford Electronics and is basically an SSB rig using plug in cards to change bands.

A CW filter is however available as an extra option.

Bands from 1.8 - 21 Mhz are accessed by using single or twin band cards which plug into the main PCB.

The kit consists of all PCB mounted components, potentiometers, knobs, heat sink etc, but no box as an 'open plan' method of construction is recommended, and for this purpose a front panel sized piece of PCB is provided.

The size of the board is just 100 x 160 mm and is fairly tightly populated with components. To assist in their location, Tim G3PCJ uses a clever 'grid reference' system, which I found very useful.

Tim also recommends that the very good and detailed manual is followed closely. This guides you through building each section, testing it, and passing on to the next. Setting to and building the whole lot willy-nilly is definitely a no-no! The manual is well set out and a lot of thought has been put into it. For example, the circuit diagram is on a double sized sheet which you can view whilst working through the building process.

It is as I said before, a pretty packed board and I wouldn't recommend it to the absolute beginner (there are other super kits in his catalogue some of which are somewhat simpler).

The rig uses an IF of 6Mhz using a crystal ladder filter and a varicap tuned VFO covering 4.0 - 4.5 Mhz. This is very stable.

A digital readout is avilable as an extra and should be considered. I had a spare one anyway so am using that.

Each band card houses it's own crystal and associated circuitry (BPF etc) and also the transmit ouput section. The receiver can be built on it's own adding the transmit side as and when needed.

An optional extra kit provides useful items like S meter, SWR bridge, RIT and reverse sideband switching.

The receiver certainly works very well on the bands I have started with and I have no doubt the transmit side will do so too. It certainly peaks up to 5 watts on SSB so should be a useful addition to the shack.

Full details are available from Tim:

Walford Electronics, Upton Bridge Farm, Long Sutton, Langport, Somerset TA10 9NJ (tel 01458 241224 FAX: 01458 241186). Email (web site in preparation).

I have no commercial interest in the firm, just a satisfied customer of these kits, designed by a GQRP Club member.

Tim runs the Hot Iron Club which produces a quarterly journal (Hot Iron) which is packed with practical information.

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