eHam

eHam Forums => QRP => Topic started by: K4SKA on August 17, 2012, 06:00:15 PM



Title: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: K4SKA on August 17, 2012, 06:00:15 PM
I just joined NAQCC (NR# 6195) and at this time I only have a TS-940SAT.  When I turn the power knob all the way CCW it shows 5W output, but I can't be certain. 
I operate mostly on 40M CW since it is a convenient evening / night band and I have a 40M dipole up now.

I want to have a QRP only rig and was looking for some recommendations for a QRP kit.


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: ZENKI on August 17, 2012, 09:10:35 PM
I would recommend the Elecraft K2 with the battery Kit.

Its very easy to build and the performance is excellent.

On either mode CW or SSB its excellent.

If you dont want to build it  there are builders who will do it for you for a fee.

My view is that you dont really need a micro small radio  for QRP operation. The K2 with the internal battery is  just the right size. You dont need a pair of chopsticks to operate the radio!



I just joined NAQCC (NR# 6195) and at this time I only have a TS-940SAT.  When I turn the power knob all the way CCW it shows 5W output, but I can't be certain. 
I operate mostly on 40M CW since it is a convenient evening / night band and I have a 40M dipole up now.

I want to have a QRP only rig and was looking for some recommendations for a QRP kit.


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: NU4B on August 18, 2012, 03:12:39 AM
I would agree with "Zenki". The K2 is a great kit. Great support, great company. And you can get only those options you want. In addition if you ever decide QRP is not for you, you can add the 100W amp.

If you looking for a monobander check out the NorCal 40A from Wilderness radio. This is a CW only rig. I would also get the KC1 internal keyer/ frequency counter.

A good watt meter is the OHR watt meter. Also a kit, it measures down to milliwatts.


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: W9MMS on August 18, 2012, 08:26:12 AM
Elecraft also offer the new KX3 in a kit.
Rob Sherwood rates the Receive on the top of his list.

http://www.sherweng.com/table.html


(((73))) Milverton.


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: KE5JPP on August 18, 2012, 08:50:51 AM
Elecraft also offer the new KX3 in a kit.
Rob Sherwood rates the Receive on the top of his list.

http://www.sherweng.com/table.html


(((73))) Milverton.

Putting a few pieces together with no soldering required is hardly a "kit".

Gene


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: HFHAM2 on August 18, 2012, 05:36:15 PM
I would certainly NOT recommend you go out and buy a K2. I'm sure it's got a good receiver, but they cost a small fortune; especially when you add on all the bells and whistles. Sounds like you don't even know if QRP will suit you yet. Why not buy a single band (e.g. 40m) meter rig and play with that for a while.

If you want one ready made, the MFJ 90xx series are pretty good performers from what I've heard. There are also many single-band kits from e.g. Oak Hills Research (OHR-100), Ten Tec (13xx series), Wilderness Radio, Hendricks, etc.

Later on, if you decide it's for you, then you can graduate to a K1, K2, OHR-500, FT-817, etc.


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: AK4YH on August 18, 2012, 10:39:56 PM
Hello,

I built myself an Elecraft K1, and it is a great radio. It isn't the cheapest, but you can add the automatic tuner option, and that is great to tune random wires. The K2 would be good if you planned to add SSB later, but like HFHAM2 says, it gets expensive.. The KX1 is great too, but I opted for the K1 because of the higher power output (up to 7W), and better tuner. The KX1 however has wide SW receive.

Gil.


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: WB8YYY on August 24, 2012, 05:33:49 PM
Very FB on your interest.  If your interest is exclusively 40m then the NC40A from Wilderness Radio would be nice.  Or a simpler rig, the SST.  I would also consider a tri-band rig such as the PFR-3 from qrpkits.com - I have one that I really enjoy.  It is a new and different experience to operate a rig that YOU built - so do consider it.  One does not need to overspend to obtain such a rig, but do carefully review any other options that you might consider.  Also watch the QRP clubs to their occasional kit offerings - 4stateqrp has a really nice keyer kit, and also a nice power meter.  But first a rig ....

73 Curt


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: KD2AJN on August 25, 2012, 05:37:30 AM
I would recommend Hendricks QRPKits. http://www.qrpkits.com/  (http://www.qrpkits.com/)
They sell many inexpensive CW 'full solder' kits of good quality.


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: NO2A on August 25, 2012, 09:46:23 AM
I would also vote for the Nor Cal 40. The Small Wonder Labs rigs are great too,though difficult to find. 


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: N2RRA on August 25, 2012, 09:32:01 PM
If you have the money to dive into QRP and willing to wait 8 months then the Elecraft KX3, but what you can easily obtain now and not spend as much not knowing 100% if QRP is for you then you can't go wrong with these choices.

* ICOM 703+ - The reviews don't lie. Put filters in them and it'll rival most in performance and bang for buck.

* Elecraft K1 and K2

* YAESU FT-817ND - Another best bang for buck especially with filters installed. Except the front end gets easily over loaded with strong near by signals. We're talking a 40-50 over S9 though. like someone down the block over loaded.

All the other crap out there especially from MFJ.....forget about it!!

Don't get me wrong about all the other crap. Their all fun and everything ,but I wouldn't go into building and everything ,or very limited units where it'll piss you off missing out on stuff. You can save that for later. You won't and can't go wrong with these choices.

I'm N2RRA and I approve this message!  ;D

73!







Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: AD6KA on August 27, 2012, 09:56:32 PM
Quote
I want to have a QRP only rig and was looking for some recommendations for a QRP kit.

Welcome to the QRP fold!
Some excellent advice posted here, OM.

But a couple more important things you have to
consider before you make a purchase are:
1) Budget
2) Band(s) and Mode(s) you will be operating on.
3) Are you planning on backpacking with it?
(Size of rig and power consumption then become issues,
as well as what type pf portable antenna(s) you will be using.)
4) Past kit building experience and troubleshooting skills.
More and more surface mount kits are coming onto the market).

Good luck and have fun.
Oh, and I think your TS-940 dialed back
to 5 watts is an excellent way to experience QRP.
73, Ken  AD6KA


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: ZENKI on August 28, 2012, 03:07:59 AM
The FT817 has a terrible transmitter, lots of keying sidebands or keyclicks and its SSB IMD is terrible. Its a QRP splatter box. The K2 is way ahead of it  in terms of performance.

Any manufacturer that cant get the transmitter  right on a QRP radio needs to fire their  design engineer. Theres no need nor place for crappy transmitters.

Whats makes things worst is when people feed a crap transmitter into some cheap equally crap amplifier and cause a lot of interference. Its better to start off with a good radio like the K2 thats designer properly.

I will try a KX3 one day when its in version 2, there many bugs and features that still missing from the early release version.

You know the saying, build the first run  for your enemy, the second run for your friends and the third run of the radio you should get for yourself. That was the history on the K3 and I get the feeling that Elecraft has  been very busy
lately and firmware updates have been delivered rather slowly. Thats why I will wait.




* YAESU FT-817ND - Another best bang for buck especially with filters installed. Except the front end gets easily over loaded with strong near by signals. We're talking a 40-50 over S9 though. like someone down the block over loaded.

All the other crap out there especially from MFJ.....forget about it!!

Don't get me wrong about all the other crap. Their all fun and everything ,but I wouldn't go into building and everything ,or very limited units where it'll piss you off missing out on stuff. You can save that for later. You won't and can't go wrong with these choices.

I'm N2RRA and I approve this message!  ;D

73!








Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: N2RRA on August 28, 2012, 07:50:35 AM
The FT817 has a terrible transmitter, lots of keying sidebands or keyclicks and its SSB IMD is terrible. Its a QRP splatter box. The K2 is way ahead of it  in terms of performance.

Any manufacturer that cant get the transmitter  right on a QRP radio needs to fire their  design engineer. Theres no need nor place for crappy transmitters.

Whats makes things worst is when people feed a crap transmitter into some cheap equally crap amplifier and cause a lot of interference. Its better to start off with a good radio like the K2 thats designer properly.

I will try a KX3 one day when its in version 2, there many bugs and features that still missing from the early release version.

You know the saying, build the first run  for your enemy, the second run for your friends and the third run of the radio you should get for yourself. That was the history on the K3 and I get the feeling that Elecraft has  been very busy
lately and firmware updates have been delivered rather slowly. Thats why I will wait.




* YAESU FT-817ND - Another best bang for buck especially with filters installed. Except the front end gets easily over loaded with strong near by signals. We're talking a 40-50 over S9 though. like someone down the block over loaded.

All the other crap out there especially from MFJ.....forget about it!!

Don't get me wrong about all the other crap. Their all fun and everything ,but I wouldn't go into building and everything ,or very limited units where it'll piss you off missing out on stuff. You can save that for later. You won't and can't go wrong with these choices.

I'm N2RRA and I approve this message!  ;D

73!







The author wants a mono band radio then I guess the K2 would be the choice being it's only a CW radio and is probably a better CW radio than most. SSB optional!

As for the FT-817ND being a terrible transmitter....not according to actual all around operating prospectives. As I also did mention it does not have as good a receiver than some others ,but still not the worst. Thought I was clear and fair about that assessment.

I still approve my messages!  ;D


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: KB2FCV on August 28, 2012, 10:31:34 AM
Personally I would go with a K1 or KX1. Both are a great build and perform very well. I've had the K2 and while it was fun to build along with all it's options, I found I didn't get it out in the field as much as I liked. It was just too big a radio to do anything more than drive somewhere to a park or a campsite and setup. I have used a friend's K1 several times at field day and I finally got around to building a KX1 and I use that a lot. I love to just take it outside and sit on the deck and operate with just a long wire tossed in the trees. I think for portability the K1/KX1 does it best with everything in one box with the exception of the antenna. They pay attention to minimizing current draw so that you can get many hours of operating off the internal batteries. Having the tuner also built in is fantastic. I think to a degree elecraft picked up where heathkit left off. They offer great performing full featured rigs that are fun to build.

Of course there are less expensive options. Something like a NorCal 40 I've heard great things about. I have a Rockmite that I put together but you're kind of limited with that rig. Still it was a lot of fun to put together and it works very well for what it is. There are a lot of other mono-band kits out there that I don't know much about but people enjoy them. I think they range in the $150-$250 range if I'm not mistaken.


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: AD6KA on August 29, 2012, 05:11:36 PM
Forgot to add:

I vote for the K1.
Great performer and holds it value
well on the used market. Not to mention
that building one is  the most fun you can
have with your clothes on! (Except for the K2)  ;D

Two Band Model: Get 40m & 80M.
Four Bands: 20m, 30m, 40m, 80m.


73, Ken  AD6KA


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: AK4YH on August 30, 2012, 09:41:25 PM
You can't get 80m on a four-band filter board..
It's 40/30/20 plus 17 or 15. Most people get 15m.

Gil.


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: K8AG on September 12, 2012, 09:39:59 AM
Very FB on your interest.  If your interest is exclusively 40m then the NC40A from Wilderness Radio would be nice.  Or a simpler rig, the SST.  I would also consider a tri-band rig such as the PFR-3 from qrpkits.com - I have one that I really enjoy.  It is a new and different experience to operate a rig that YOU built - so do consider it.  One does not need to overspend to obtain such a rig, but do carefully review any other options that you might consider.  Also watch the QRP clubs to their occasional kit offerings - 4stateqrp has a really nice keyer kit, and also a nice power meter.  But first a rig ....

73 Curt

I second this.  I have had the PFR-3 for a while now.  Kit needed a bit of care.  The radio has a 4-pole IF filter and internal battery and manual tuner.  Mine is used all of the time.

72, JP, K8AG


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: W1JKA on September 15, 2012, 06:19:13 AM
    In answere to your question,40m qrp mostly cw.You may want to check out the MFJ cubs.Regardless of what others say these are nice little rigs,inexpensive,compact,easy/fun build and rugged.They will also drive a small 2 in. or greeting card speaker nicely.I have the 20 and 40m units and in real use comparison to my K-1  and SW-30 home rigs reception,signal separation,tone and amount of contacts are the same(it's all in your antenna system anyway).With these cubs you have to wait for about 5 mins. for freq.drift to settle (same with my K-1 and SW rigs)and tune with light finger tip taps since tuning knob is only 10 turns.My portable operations are sometimes extreme(kayak,canoe,ice fishing,winter camping,ect. in wet weather and I use the cubs exclusively,usally inside a quart zip lock bag with 3 small connection holes.
My K-1 would never hold up to these conditions.You can't go wrong with any of the previous post recommendations,they are all nice qrp rigs.    73 Jim


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: KH2BR on November 07, 2012, 05:43:11 PM
I vote for the juma trx1. http://www.nikkemedia.fi/juma-trx1/


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: N4FZ on November 07, 2012, 06:18:25 PM
Just finished building the Hendricks KD1JV Tribander for 20,30,40m, 5W output and a very sensitive receiver. Build took about 15 hours. You need an ESD safe soldering iron, WES51 Weller with a 1/32" fine tip and .032 Radio Shack 60/40 tin/lead solder works well. You will also need a good magnifying glass to check the tracks for solder splatters after each solder joint.  Overall a fun kit to build! I have worked several stations in Europe already. Volume is enough for a small 8 ohm speaker as well, I use headphones. A straight key or iambic paddle is auto-detected when connected. LED frequency readout. Doug Hendricks, KI6DS, will make sure your build is a success, just check out his warranty policy. Price is $215 shipped USPS.  80,40,30,20,17,15m bands are available, pick any three when you order.  ;D


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: AK4YH on November 08, 2012, 09:33:52 AM
Quote
Just finished building the Hendricks KD1JV Tribander for 20,30,40m,

If I remember well, it does not allow you to listen between bands, correct?
That would be a great firmware upgrade...

Gil.


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: KF4LXB on November 15, 2012, 06:59:30 PM
I second N4FZ. I just built the tri-bander as well, 15,20 and 40m. This was my first kit and went together well. Great radio and budget friendly. I bought it for hiking and backpacking operations but I like it so much I may make it a part of the home station.


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: OK1RP on July 21, 2014, 04:44:16 AM
Hi,

I would like to ask how K1 can be configured for 80/40/30/20m (as stated above) in 4band module version please?

73 - Petr, OK1RP


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: AF6WL on July 21, 2014, 07:36:45 AM
I would like to ask how K1 can be configured for 80/40/30/20m (as stated above) in 4band module version please?

The K1 4 band cannot be configured for 80/40/30/20
The 4 band version switches capacitors on the filters - 80/40 is too much of a spread ; 40/30/20/(17or15) is the choice.
http://www.elecraft.com/k1_page.htm (http://www.elecraft.com/k1_page.htm)

However also note that the 4 band module has just been discontinued - due to part availability ; the 2 band is still available.


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: WA2TPU on July 23, 2014, 10:09:34 AM
To-K4SKA.......

Since you have the TS-940 rig which was a "top of the line rig" from Kenwood at the time......Might I suggest you purchase another one of the "top of the line" rigs of today?? I highly recommend  that you consider buying either the QRP KX3 or K3 in kit form. Not only are they fun to put together but are TRULY SUPERB PERFORMERS that are  upgradable to 100 watts IF you want to go Qro. Just my thoughts.....I LOVE MY KX3...ITS THE BEST RIG I'VE EVER OWNED. PERIOD!

Best regards with many 72....73.
Don sr. -- WA2TPU/Qrp -- A TRUE ALL AMERICAN MADE 5 WATT QRP GREEN STATION.


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: OK1RP on August 01, 2014, 07:17:10 AM
Hi,

thank You (AF6WL). That's why I asked for it when Ken, AD6KA talked about 4 bands version with 80m.
I know that in fact this design is not allowing the 80m band on 4 bands module at all... even this module is discontinued which can be for lot of the owners serious issue.

73 - Petr, OK1RP



Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: KE7TMA on August 06, 2014, 11:38:42 PM
Elecraft also offer the new KX3 in a kit.
Rob Sherwood rates the Receive on the top of his list.

http://www.sherweng.com/table.html


(((73))) Milverton.

Putting a few pieces together with no soldering required is hardly a "kit".

Gene


It's a kit as far as the FCC is concerned.


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: WE2F on August 09, 2014, 06:46:15 AM
I've had a NorCal 40a, built a PFR-3, had a YouKits HB1a, and now I have a TenTec 503...that being said, you couldn't have my K1 without prying it from my cold dead fingers. Best QRP rig I've ever had. I have three two-band boards for it, but the 40/20 board is almost always loaded up and ready to go.


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: WA7NDD on August 17, 2014, 04:41:22 PM
I just wanted to say that I have owned an FT817 for seven years, and it has never let me down. I've used it portable, at home on wire, and on my StepIR beam. I've used it a lot on digital, SSB, and CW. Yes the KX3 would be a nice radio, but the FT817 at less then half the price with accessories, it is a very good bang for the buck. Unless you're into CW way more then most of us, you will want a QRP rig with more modes.


Title: RE: Need first QRP rig recommendation
Post by: AK4YH on August 19, 2014, 09:44:35 PM
I will definitely second the K1 or KX1. Also a good inexpensive kit is the Weber Tri-Bander. Of course there is the Weber MTR if you can find one... The K1 and MTR are my favorites, then the KX3.

Gil.