Sunday 14 January 2024



After building (and enjoying) a Pocket-Transmatch from Kanga Products in England, I decided to try another one of their kits - the 2W Rooster CW Transceiver. It operates on a fixed 40m frequency of 7.030MHz - the centre of CW activity - but that can be adjusted slightly by swapping out the crystal.

This lovely little kit costs less than £40 and comes with everything you need. Because all the SMD components are already fitted, you only have 20 through-hole parts to install yourself. Kanga reckon that the Pocket Transmatch is their most difficult kit to build, but personally, I found this one to be a little more 'involved'.

First job is to download the excellent Build Guide from Kanga's website and make sure that your kit has all the right components in the pack. It's always far easier to view the instructions on an iPad or similar tablet rather than printed paper, because when using a tablet you have high-res, full-colour images which you can easily zoom in on.

You'll need a good soldering iron, a multi-meter, a HF receiver, some stereo headphones (mono will create a short in the audio-circuitry) and a single key (you can use a paddle but obviously only one side will work). You'll also need a 12V supply for the building stage  - preferably current-limited (I had a 600mA supply). 

I'm not going to repeat the contents of the instructions here because there's just no need - they are extremely clear and concise. The only thing I'd say, is check and double-check everything before moving from one stage to another. And keep your bench clear of all the legs you cut off the components after soldering them.

The kit went together really well and before I knew it, I was ready to do some testing and alignment before the PA transistor is installed. This involved transmitting (yes, without the PA) and then tuning the remote receiver to find the Rooster's signal. I found that my Rooster's output was at 7.296MHz. To cut a long story short, you basically adjust the TX frequency of the Rooster by turning the red trimmer until you get it as close as possible to 7.030MHz. The closest I got was 7.0298MHz.

It does not matter that the Rooster is not exactly on 030 - you put out a CQ and someone will tune into you and away you go. Like I said previously, you can swap out the crystals if you want to change the output, but why bother?

Once I had my alignment done, I installed the PA Transistor, the LED and finished the cabinet. I connected to my regular 13.8V PSU and transmitted a couple of test-calls before looking on the RBN network for any spots. To my pleasure, I was heard by four stations which proved that the little Rooster was crowing 😂

Using a mains psu and headphones (stereo remember), you will note a tiny bit of hum in the audio. It's not bad, but switching to a battery pack reduces it slightly. I would strongly recommend using a 1A QB fuse between the Rooster and the power supply.  Remember too that although the power output is low, you still need to feed the radio with an antenna that is pretty resonant or you may blow your finals.

So that's it - nice afternoon project and a nice little pocket transceiver at the end of it.

For size comparison


Easy Build 40m Crystal controlled Transceiver

Direct Conversion Design

Part Pre-installed SMD design

Only 20 parts to fit

No coils to wind!

Single Frequency Crystal controlled operation

Front panel RIT control

Approximately 2 Watts RF Output

Active Audio Filter

Pleasant Sinewave CW Sidetone

Visual RX/TX indicator

10-14V DC Operation 

Supplied with Strong Aluminium Case


Thanks for visiting the blog. Please leave a comment of just a simple 'hello'.

73, Tom, M7MCQ


Anonymous said...

Have you had any contacts with it? How wide is the filter. 2e0hxe

MadDogMcQ said...

@2E0HXE : Hi Simon, no I have not had any contacts because I'm only just learning morse and I'm not able to hold a QSO - I'd just be causing QRM, lol. That's why I tested it using RBN.

To be honest, I'm not sure what the filter size is - there's no mention of it in the manual.

Thanks for visiting the blog.

Happy New Year


John AE5X said...

After reading your recent posting about the transmatch, I went to the Kanga website and found the Rooster. I went through the order process but shipping to the US turned out to be $20, putting the whole thing at more of a cost for a single-freq radio than I can justify. Kanga used to have a US distributor, but no more.

Now I know how you Brits feel when contemplating a purchase from this side of the pond!

Thanks for the write-up. 73,
John AE5X

MadDogMcQ said...

@AE5X : Hi John, thanks for the visit. Yes the shipping from the USA is just ridiculous and it was only a few days ago that I tried to buy something but was presented with an $80 shipping fee!!! Errr no thank you!

Happy New Year!
73, Tom, M7MCQ

Alan Wyatt said...

Nice write up. Cheers. I'm condidering getting one so doing some research. Keep up the Morse practice. 73 G2DXU

MadDogMcQ said...

@Alan : Thanks Alan. They're well worth the small expense. A fun kit and a handy little transceiver.

73, Tom, M7MCQ.