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Author Topic: CW Rig for 40-30-20 < $500?  (Read 10500 times)
W0XI
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Posts: 67




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« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2010, 09:31:09 AM »

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 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.

Hi Tim. Nice comment. Assuming the next advent of the sun spots - and they will come, I'm not a doomist theorist - a robust front end will be helpful. Perhaps for the time & $$$ I'll spend an added attenuator will be sufficient. I'm leaning toward the K1-4 kit. Having spent half of my adult life designing packet and paging controllers, I don't really desire to do PSK, AMTOR whatever, just get back on CW. Maybe as we age we tend to return to what we did as teenagers, hi. Do you happen to know what the front end of the K1-4 is? 73s. Phil, W0XI
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N0NB
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« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2010, 10:24:13 AM »

I take it that you didn't make the KS convention this past Sunday, Phil?  BTW, EMR was there and took me by surprise.  I guess I hadn't changed enough for him not to recognize me right away.

Anyway, Mark, KB0MOF, of Derby Radio Shack had a K1 for $375 on his table as can be found at the bottom of his Products page:

http://www.hamradiocenter.biz/products.html

And a pic of it:

http://www.hamradiocenter.biz/photos/preowned/elecraft_k-1.jpg
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73, de Nate
Bremen, KS

SKCC 6225
KA5N
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« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2010, 12:24:59 PM »

The original Corsair (with all filters) and matching external VFO (if you want to run split).  100 watts, quiet receiver, great QSK.  Great support from TenTec even though it is 25 years +.

Elecraft K2 either QRP or with 100 watt output.  No filters to buy, able to work split with no external VFO.  Good keyer.  Used is a great value.  Easy to repair great support from Elecraft.

Allen
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W0XI
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Posts: 67




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« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2010, 05:47:19 AM »

I take it that you didn't make the KS convention this past Sunday, Phil?  BTW, EMR was there and took me by surprise.  I guess I hadn't changed enough for him not to recognize me right away.

Nate! You're right. Headed to Huntsville, AL this weekend. Wheeee. 73s, Phil, W0XI. 80% headed to a K1-4 for me. Later.
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N2EY
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Posts: 3879




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« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2010, 03:32:55 PM »

Some comments on rigs that have been mentioned in recent posts:

1) The Ten-Tec Century 21 and 22 are nice CW-only rigs, but they have direct-conversion receivers, which means you hear the same signal on either side of zero beat. This makes QRM twice as bad, plus you have to remember to tune to the correct side to call on-frequency. The '22 puts out 40 watts and has an AC supply, but stock ones only cover 80/40/20. Accessory crystals are needed for 15 and 10, and there's no way to put it on 30. The '22 only does 20 watts and has no AC supply but does 30 meters right out of the box.

2) IMHO a Ten-Tec Argosy is a better deal for TT rigs of that vintage. The Argosy has a superhet rx, can do 30 meters and SSB stock, and can do 5 or 50 watts output at the flick of a switch. There's an analog-dial model (525) and a digital-dial model (525D) Doesn't do 160, 17 or 12 meters, though.

3) The Elecraft K-1 has an SA602 for both first mixer and product detector, plus a built-in attenuator and 4 pole variable-bandwidth IF filter. Lots of accessories available (internal battery pack, noise blanker, ATU...) and it's in current production. Has lots of features the older rigs don't, such as built-in keyer. All through-hole construction and all parts available from Elecraft. Only 7 watts out, though.

The 2 band K1 can do any two bands from 80 through 12 meters. The four-band K1 has some restrictions on band choice, because the same coils are used on 2 bands. See the manual. A typical choice is 40/30 & 20/15.

You can download the manual for any Elecraft product FREE from www.elecraft.com.

4) There are several web pages devoted to the HB-1a. A two-band version is on the Ten Tec website. They mention that they distribute it but do not manufacture it.

73 de Jim, N2EY
« Last Edit: August 19, 2010, 03:37:46 PM by James Miccolis » Logged
W0XI
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Posts: 67




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« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2010, 05:40:40 PM »

Thanks Jim,

73s. Phil. Yes, familiar with the direct conversion problem/aspect for CW. In the case of a radio telescope that uses direct conversion, however, the two sidebands double the "noise signal " gathered, which is a good thing, hi.  73s. Phil.
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W4FID
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Posts: 132




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« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2010, 05:08:39 AM »

TenTec Argosy is great and easily in that range. But some do some don't have optional filters and for dedicated CW you'll want that. TenTec Scout also in that range but be sure you get modules for the bands you want as they are available but go quick when posted. BEST in my opinion is an old TenTec Triton IV or 544 I think is their model number. Can run about 2 to 100 watts. GREAT CW. The 5 basic bands. Solid state and digital and fairly low draw when run QRP. NOT truly low draw -- but reasonable low (unless you're back packing with AA battery). Also the Omni C and D are great rigs. Large and draw a lot so not for portable -- but really nice for home and are half or 2/3 what you're talking about spending. Also Kenwood TS-50 or 120 or 130 or 140 are in your range -- some half what you're considering $$ wise. They will need the optional CW filter so be sure you find one with that. Or an IC-730 or even an older IC-706 can be had in your range. Any of those will do CW nicely. They will also do more bands and SSB and more power if you ever decide you want that. Many of them will also do digital like PSK or RTTY which is great fun and well suited for low power and/or marginal antennas. I have the NUE-PSK self contained thing and it's GREAT on my TS-50 and IC-703.

If you are 100% sure all you want is limited band CW (remember 15 and 10 are opening and will get really fun soon with small easy antennas) and you're thinking 100% picnic table portable or backpack or battery then the above are too big and draw too much. So the Elecraft 1 series is great. Personally I like the K-1 since it is easier to use and the size and draw are still really good. The Vibroplex Warrior mini paddle is wonderful if the rig has a built in keyer. I had an OHR 100 for 40M and loved it. Think they make a multi band one too and with analog and simple and GREAT receivers they are a good choice.
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W0XI
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Posts: 67




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« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2010, 03:50:48 PM »

Thanks again guys. Just back from the Huntsville Hamfest. Very well organized and  in the Van Braun Center. Ten-Tec had a booth there with a live display on the two-band chinese QRP rig. It looked very nice. 73s. Phil Anderson, W0XI, Lawrence, KS.

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KF6VCI
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Posts: 79




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« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2010, 06:28:56 AM »

Elecraft K1-4 or KX1, see www.elecraft.com Or the Wilderness Sierra with band modules.
OHR makes a multi band QRP kit as well, the OHR 500. But I never had / tried or worked one. **On Ebay, you will find a huge selection of commercial rigs. No opinion as I never used one of those for CW. As I was bitten by the QRP bug when I got started. And in case of trouble, learned friends will respond within hours, not days and Elecraft truly stands behind their products. Actually, it's not all good as no one is selling a K2 here on eham.net :-( BTW, a used no frills K2 as cw machine is awesome. Why not add 100 bucks if needed for years of cw bliss and a quiet receiver? GL es 73 de Chris KF6VCI HS0ZFE MI1ESG
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AB2T
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Posts: 246




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« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2010, 07:31:35 PM »

Kenwood TS-830S hybrid.  Late 70's rig.  Heavy, rugged thing.  It'll survive mutually assured destruction.  It's strictly QRO (around 130W when the tube finals are happy.)  Gets an F for portability though.  Wouldn't want to lug this sucker up a mountain.  Still, it'll last forever.

Decide you don't need 30m after all?  Yaesu 101 series or one of the other Kenwood hybrids will fit the bill. 
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N2EY
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Posts: 3879




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« Reply #25 on: August 27, 2010, 03:36:38 AM »

Kenwood TS-830S hybrid. 

The one thing I don't like abouth the TS-530 and TS-830 is that the tuning rate is way too fast for me.

(If you think they're heavy, try a TS-940SAT)

73 de Jim, N2EY
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WF8O
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2010, 11:11:37 AM »

I built the Hendricks (QRPKITS.COM) PFR-3A last winter and use it often.  This rig is a single-conversion superhet receiver with a 300hz CW bandwidth and excellent sensitivity ans selectivity.  It handles 40, 30 and 20 meters with a solid 5 watt output on either a supply or 8 AA cells.  It has a built in antenna tuner for both coax and balanced / unbalanced wires.  The assembly took about four or five evenings and was very straight forward.  The price is a little over $200 and the valu in my opinion is way more than that.  (No connections with the mfg.)  I highly recommend this rig.  It is my go to portable rig for CW.  On the other hand, the Yaesu FT-817 is also a super value for between $500 and $600.  I have both, but the PFR-3A has the most bang for the buck for strictly CW ops. IMHO.

Sincerely,

Mike Narges WF8O
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N2EY
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Posts: 3879




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« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2010, 04:10:59 PM »

To WF8O:

WOW!

I went to that site (http://www.qrpkits.com/), and you weren't kidding!

Not just the PFR-3A, but a whole line of interesting kit rigs for under $250. The Dual Bander looks pretty interesting too.

Thanks!

73 de Jim, N2EY
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KF6U
Member

Posts: 6




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« Reply #28 on: September 20, 2010, 12:35:51 AM »

I recently ordered the Hendricks PFR-3, after researching similar rigs for the last month. Looks
like the best bang for the buck. I recently sold a Yaesu FT-817 that gave me nothing but
grief! I am looking forward to building and using the PFR-3. Good luck in your pursuit! 73,
Gary, KF6U
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W0XI
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Posts: 67




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« Reply #29 on: September 20, 2010, 08:39:22 AM »

Hi Guys. I think I started this thread weeks ago? Hi.

Anyway, as noted five or six posts ago on this thread, I went ahead and ordered the K1-4 Elecraft for 40-30-20-15. Arrived 9/1 and up and working 9/18. Just one assembly error, a blob of solder across two of the VFO pot PCB connectors. Removed that and all is well. Used my IC-703 (with dead TX) as a freq counter to check band settings/tuning. All is good and love the rig. My first two contacts were this past weekend with 55Ns to guys running the Salmon Run QSO parting in WA state. Not bad on the 2 watt setting I had at the time and the shortened helical vertical on 20 meters.

See the setup here: www.midnightscience.com/w0xi.html

73s, Phil, W0XI, Lawrence, KS.
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