The HARDROCK-50 QSK Mezzanine kit adds high-speed diode switching to the HARDROCK-50 HF Power Amplifier. The QSK Mezzanine has low insertion loss in the receive path, less than 0.5 dB. Onboard relays provide a direct connection from the radio to the antenna when power is removed from the board. The kit includes an interface board that is designed to replace the T/R relay in a Hardrock-50.
This board is designed as a plug-in accessory for the HARDROCK-50 with serial numbers 1200 and higher (Rev F or higher board set). Contact technical support for earlier amps or non-HARDROCK-50 applications.
NOTE: Installing the QSK board in a Hardrock-50 (or any amplifier up to 50W) does indeed allow the amplifier to be switched in and out very rapidly, 20-25 WPM on CW easily. The QSK board does have an impact on the RF performance of the amplifier when compared to an electrico-mechanical relay. On 160-10M this impact is negligible; 0.25 dB less gain, a few watts less output and 0.25 dB in the RX path none of which are even noticeable. On 6M the story is a little different; 0.5 dB less gain, 5-7W less output, 0.5 dB in the RX path and increased input VSWR. There are certain circumstances where these impairments could have a negative impact on system performance. For weak signal work on 6M with a Hardrock-50 amplifier, the T/R relay will offer better performance.