I struggled with the construction of the PFR-3 I received for my birthday. I really wanted to get it done two weeks after getting it so I could take it with us on a camping trip but could not get enough hours in a row to do it. Chuck, AC7QN, loaned me his for our camping trip. I contacted W7GKF/MM who was riding on a ferry sailing out of Ketchikan AK. Bill was running 1 watt which made my 5 watts QRO! I made an easy 599 contact with KL7DX and a tough one with WA0JLY in CO. For an antenna, I hung up a field day special doublet in the trees around our camp site. Good fun. Once I got back, my build didn’t go so well. I had an intermittent problem that I couldn’t pin down so I sent the rig off to KD1JV for the $35 fix. Steve found the DDS chip (on of the pre-soldered surface mounts) had a bad solder joint — that one was on him. He also found that X2 was shorted — that one was on me. So he split the fee and sent me back an aligned, tuned, working rig that puts out 5W on all bands. Better than if I had finished the job myself. I banged out a couple of contacts on 20M during the NAQPCW and I’m pleased as punch.
Some talk on the PFR-3 reflector has been about driving a speaker and the low audio output. I found a little amplified speaker with an internal Li-ion battery that works FB. Search for “Super Mini Sound Box Speaker with Li-ion Battery” on ebay. I got mine from one of those ‘daily deal’ web sites but the same exact thing can be found easily. This is almost exactly the one I have:
Price at the time I’m writing this is $12.32 with free shipping from Hong Kong. Although I haven’t bought from this particular seller, I’ve purchased items from Hong Kong electronics purveyors before and it takes a while but the merchandise has always come in as advertised. Hey, if you can cut out the middle-Mart, why not. This speaker fits in nicely with the PFR Paddle and doesn’t get in the way at all. The sound quality is pretty good and plenty loud without modifying the audio amplifier in the PFR-3.
I have one small complaint about the PFR-3. The run of cases with the lettering silk-screened on them are gone. Now you get a painted case and a page of water slide decal lettering. It looks pretty good but even after 4 coats of clear Krylon paint, I’m afraid the letters will scratch off. Still, I’m not complaining too loud because the rig works and looks fine.