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Author Topic: CW Rig for 40-30-20 < $500?  (Read 10710 times)
W0XI
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Posts: 67




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« on: August 13, 2010, 10:17:14 AM »

Hey Guys! I Want a CW rig that does full CW segment of 40-30-20; QRP output ok; see if I can get one new or used for < $500. Kit, maybe. IC-703 TX burnt out twice; will not wait for another 4-month repair cycle and big bucks! Also, not included to buy the new QRP two-band Chinese version offered by Ten-Tec. Ah...needs a decent CW filter too. What have your choices been? 73s, W0XI.
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N2EY
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2010, 10:43:25 AM »

Ten Tec Corsair II
Ten Tec Argosy
Elecraft K1-4

73 de Jim, N2EY
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NI0C
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2010, 10:47:03 AM »

The Elecraft KX1 and Hendricks PFR-3 might meet your requirements.  I built and operated a KX1 with all accessories (80/30m option, ATU, and paddle) a few years ago.  It was a fine little rig, and I wish I had kept it!

73,
Chuck  NI0C
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2010, 10:58:41 AM »

My choice for a "new" fun rig like this would be the Elecraft K1-4.

It covers 40-30-20 plus one additional band of your choice, CW only, QRP but well featured, easy kit to build: $389
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N3QE
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2010, 11:12:19 AM »

IMHO a used Ten-Tec Corsair, Argosy, etc. will be your best deal at your price point.

Way above your price point but a really sweet radio, you can get a new or used Elecraft K2.

The K2 and Ten-Tecs are designed very much with CW operation in mind.

Way below your price point (less than $100) and not meeting the 30M requirement but IMHO very satisfying CW radios are the Heath HW-8 and HW-16. Actually the HW-16 doesn't have 20M either. But mods for supporting the bands you are asking for have been done.

For a fun satisfying CW rig on 80M and 40M (again not all the bands you ask for!), the HW-16 is hard to beat. Find a HG-10 VFO too.

Tim.
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AE4RV
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2010, 12:23:15 PM »

The K1 has very nice filtering, standard not optional.
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N7DM
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2010, 12:51:49 PM »

Corsair........... that is CORSAIR.. not the  "2"...[have had both]         {The keyer in the 2 is awful, the Russian Woodpecker is LONG dead, the audio taper pots make 'hand control' of AF / RF gains hard, and should you HAVE a remotely controlled amp {some day}, the  C has output for that, the 2 doesn't}

But operationally... both fine rigs.......

dm
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W0XI
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2010, 06:49:59 PM »

Thanks a bunch guys for the fast response. I had looked at the K1. Will revisit the K1-4 too. These are good candidates and not super pricey. 73s. Phil, W0XI. I've designed a lot of kits; maybe it's time to build one by someone else! Hi. Might be fun.
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AD5X
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« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2010, 07:43:30 AM »

Here's an interesting looking radio:  http://cgi.ebay.com/TJ6A-6-bands-SSB-CW-QRP-Transceiver-assembled-/270605487606?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0

Phil - AD5X
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2010, 01:01:26 PM »

I've just read of a Yaesu FT-450, used, for sale for $550.  That's _almost_ within your budget.

You'd get 160m-6m, all modes (not "CW-only"), DSP noise reduction, and a bunch of other features (which you might find useless).

If you're running on small batteries, or want something _really_ compact, the FT-450 isn't a good choice.  The narrowest CW IF filter (in the current firmware) is about 600 Hz wide, and can be narrowed to 350 Hz with use of the IF notch.

              CHarles

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N4HAL
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« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2010, 01:57:31 PM »

One more you might consider that I started with was an HB-1A which is a direct conversion 3 band 5 watt unit for CW with a transmit coverage of the three bands, plus general receiver coverage. Runs a little over $200 from China with about a 1 month wait for receipt due to shipping.

Bill
KJ4RDQ
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W0XI
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Posts: 67




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« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2010, 02:17:06 PM »

One more you might consider that I started with was an HB-1A which is a direct conversion 3 band 5 watt unit for CW with a transmit coverage of the three bands, plus general receiver coverage. Runs a little over $200 from China with about a 1 month wait for receipt due to shipping.

Bill. That's got me wondering. I assume that it is a "knock-off" schematic-wise of some of the kits that came before from QRP circuit artists on this side of the great pond (or as far back as Doug DeMauw). Am I right? I'd be surprised if it had any DSP or (in particular) great dynamic range (such as the more recent K-1, etc). Reminds me of the early stuff coming from Japan - way back when I was a teenager in the 1950s! The AM pocket radios were cheap and so-so. As time went on, ICOM, Kenwood, and Yeasu took over for Drake and Collins. Now Shanghi Elec taking over for I, K and Y? History repeating? In 5 to 10 years, do you think they'll all be SDR based? 73s. Phil
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N2EY
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« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2010, 02:25:19 AM »

One more you might consider that I started with was an HB-1A which is a direct conversion 3 band 5 watt unit

The HB-1A isn't direct conversion. It's a single-conversion superhet. It's essentially a knock-off of the Elecraft KX-1.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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KQ6Q
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Posts: 979




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« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2010, 07:48:33 PM »

A TenTec Century 21 will do the job, and they're about bulletproof. 80-10, no WARC,. full break-in, AC PS built-in.
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N3QE
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« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2010, 08:57:15 AM »

One more you might consider that I started with was an HB-1A which is a direct conversion 3 band 5 watt unit

The HB-1A isn't direct conversion. It's a single-conversion superhet. It's essentially a knock-off of the Elecraft KX-1.


And I myself would classify the KX-1 receiver in the very broad category of small receivers with NE602 front end/receive mixer, crystal filter, and NE602 product detector.

The KX-1 does add some interesting bells and whistles like a continuously variable crystal filter bandpass via varactor tuning, and a LO based on the very-low-power consumption AD9834. I don't much about the HB-1A but I'm guessing it has a DDS-based LO too, and I don't think it has some of the very useful features of the KX-1 like the switchable attenuator (can be VERY important for the NE602 in real-world RF environments).

The vast proliferation of NE602 based receiver designs is simply remarkable. I could try to pooh-pooh them compared to radios with robust front ends, but their ubiquity would overwhelm any specsmanship I could try.

Tim.
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