SSB85 TRX - compact ham radio transceiver

This project is in early development stage and there is no good documentation. Heavily work in progress, making prototypes etc. Please, do not try building this project right now.

Everything on this page is a subject to change!

This transceiver is an idea sparkled by SSB6.1 kit. It has relatively simple schematic and easy in tune. But it was flawed by several things - it wasn't power efficient and not that compact. Also it was missing 160M band. I wanted to take it to a next level to be able to carry the rig in a backpack and use a power bank as a backup. All that gave me initial set of constraints to work with - most popular ham radio bands, ability to work from 5V powerbank, simple schematics, affordable components.

Name SSB85 speaks for itself: 8 bands, 5 Volts minimal power supply voltage.

Ideas for the rig:

  • Mobile/field ready (lightweight, compact, SMD components).
  • Based on SSB6.1 design.
  • +5 V power supply (using typical power bank)
  • Low power consumption in RX
  • High SWR/Shorts tolerant
  • Microcontroller used to switch between frequencies
  • Low frequiencies filter
  • Friendly price
  • Bands: 160, 80, 40, 30, 20, 17, 15, 10 meters.
  • Full complete design (not bunch a of modules as many other)
  • Compatible with existing microphones.
  • QRP but powerful enough.
  • Easy to operate
  • Guided navigation (use software to switch modulation and control modes in different bands)

Click on the image to view zoom in.

Technical characteristics

Power supply, voltage +5V USB 9..14.5V
Power consumption
RX <200 mA
TX < 2 A
Output power 5 W 16 W
Ham-radio bands 160, 80, 40, 30, 20, 17, 15, 10
Modulation SSB: LSB/USB, CW, AM (RX-only)
Size 55x110x160mm
Weight 0.5kg



List of amateur bands

Band, meters Frequency, MHz BW,kHz Notes
160M 1.8-2.0 200
80M 3.500-4.000 500
40M 7.000-7.300 300
30M 10.100-10.150 50
20M 14.000-14.350 350
17M 18.068-18.168 100
15M 21.000-21.450 450
10M 28.000-29.700 1700



4 boards:

1. Main board, contains RX/TX/BPF, LF amp

2. Front panel: Screen, encoder, contorols, processor

3. Power Supply + Switches

4. Amplifier, LPF, SWR Boards connnected using I2C

Main board

Amplifier board


Synthesizer - NANODDS

This solution supposed to be budget friendly, so far total cost = $10.87.

  • Si5351A
  • 1.8 inch screen ST7735
  • Arduino Nano Getting replaced with ATMega1284P-AU. More memory = advanced software.
  • The display is connected to Arduino using SPI interface and Si5351A using TWI (I²C).

Source Code and Firmware

Power Supply and Switches


Buy: eBay, AliExpress


SSB 6.1 engineers, community and Nick Strong in particular for help, guides and support.

KiCAD and community for great EDA.

JetBrains for an awesome CLion IDE.

Platformio and Arduino for bootstrap code and toolchain.



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