A red text on a black backgroundDescription automatically generated

MKARS80 Transceiver kit

A green circuit board with many componentsDescription automatically generated

The MAKRS80 is a QRP transceiver designed for use for use on the 80M band, the circuit was developed from the BITX20 designed by Ashhar Farhan. Although simple in design perceived performance is as good as a commercial transceiver.

Main changes from Ashhar's original design are the inclusion of a frequency counter and a Huff and Puff frequency stabiliser; this circuit will help keep the VFO tuned to the same frequency for long periods without any "drift".

As seen in the photo to the left, all components are mounted on to a single high quality PCB making construction relatively straight forward. The only "wiring" needed is short pieces of wire to connect the potentiometers to the PCB.

To assist with construction there is a comprehensive manual that can be downloaded from this page, also available for download are a drilling template and front panel overlay.

Why not joint the MKARS80 support group?


  • Full 80M LSB coverage (3.5 - 3.8MHz)

  • ~ 5 Watts output power

  • Single conversion superhet with 4 pole crystal filter

  • Frequency display with "Huff and Puff" circuit for stabilisation

  • Modulation monitor - helps stop over modulation

  • Volt meter - useful for battery operation

  • Reverse polarity protection (fuse protected)

A close-up of a deviceDescription automatically generated

 Photo showing a typical finished MKARS80, note that the knobs supplied as an option are all black without the aluminium inserts.


MKARS80 construction manual version 1.4

Latest version for currently supplied kits.

MKARS80 construction manual version 1.3 in Spanish

Thanks to Jon EA2SN for the translation

Drilling template

Printout with Adobe Acrobat reader, set paper size set to A4 and page scaling set to "none". Stick onto case as described in construction manual and use as a drilling template for the holes and cutout.

Panel overlay (Use for undrilled box only)

Print and laminate as a front panel, alternatively use the mirrored overlay below.

Mirrored overlay (Use for undrilled box only)

Print on acetate and use as a front panel, the print will then be on the reverse side so it doesn't become scratched

Panel overlay for use with ready drilled box

Print and laminate as a front panel.

Hires Schematic (JPEG)

Bold Text Schematic (PDF)

Two different formats of schematic which will be easier to read than that in the manual

MKARS80 PIC firmware

Download and modify for your own use, perhaps the easiest modification is to change the startup screen to include your own callsign. This will require the installation of MPLAB, download from the Microchip website free of charge.

VFO stability modification

Makes a significant improvement to the VFO stability on early transceivers, this was incorporated into the kit from Dec 2008

Old data

MKARS80 construction manual V1.0

Only for use with kit version V1.0, this has minor component differences so don't use with other versions

MKARS80 construction manual V1.2

For kit version V1.1 and V1.2

MKARS80 construction manual version 1.3

For kits supplied prior to 20-03-2016

NOTE: Kit version can be found on component listing in all component bags.

Kit Contents

The kit contains all PCB mounted components including display, connectors and a ready programmed micro. The builder will need to provide a loudspeaker (3-32 Ohms) and an electret microphone; a dynamic type can be used if the bias resistor (R17) is removed or a series capacitor is installed between microphone and transceiver.

Knobs are supplied with the boxed kit as standard, they may be ordered as an option for the kit sold without a box.

Neither kit comes with an overlay, you can either design a personal version or print off one of the options above.


Unfortunately some key parts (10MHz crystals, variable capacitor) have become obsolete, I have a small stock of variable capacitors and in order to use these up and produce a small batch of kits I'm trying to find a source of crystals, until I can do this the MKARS80 will be unavailable.

Steve G6ALU