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   Home   Help Search  
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Author Topic: CW Radio  (Read 12648 times)
N6RHF
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Posts: 15




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« on: July 25, 2016, 06:05:11 PM »

This an awesome site and people!
Could I please get advice/recommendation for a not too expensive radio, just for CW on bands for Technician class, 80, 40, 15, and maybe 10. But I'm guessing mostly 40 meter.
I live in Puerto Rico and finally can put up an antenna!
Thanks,
Bill
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73 Bill N6RHF
K5LXP
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Posts: 5293


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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2016, 09:24:40 PM »


Desired power output?  The only CW-only radios you're going to find are QRP.  For 100W radios they will be all mode.  Can you put a number on "not too expensive"?

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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K7EXJ
Member

Posts: 875




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« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2016, 09:40:00 PM »

When TenTec introduced the Omni series of transceivers they made decision to create a CW operator's radio. They offered excellent filters, good performance, and ease of operation. You can get an Omni A or D for under $300 on eBay; do a search for "TenTec Omni" in Radio Communication but check the "sold listings" at the left sidebar to see what prices the rigs have sold for. Omnis only got better as the years (and the versions) went along. Today an Omni VI+ would fetch a price around $1,000 and guys like me haunt the classifieds looking for a "deal".

Sometimes you can snag an Omni V for under $400.

These were superb radios in their day and remain excellent radios now. And they were all 100w transceivers capable of SSB as well as CW so when you upgrade your license you'll be all set.

You will probably have to buy a power supply with the appropriate current ratings so factor that in. And an antenna tuner if you don't use resonant antennas.

And a Morse code key.

But with only CW privileges on HF now, I can't think of a better way to get on the air with quality gear. Just make sure that you pay with PayPal and that the description doesn't have any "gotchas" in it.

Edit: Make sure you do some research on the most likely issues and query the sellers to see if the rig they're offering is subject to those issues. I think I'd try to get a deal on an Omni V but the Omni II is, even now, fetching high prices due to its performance.



« Last Edit: July 25, 2016, 09:42:32 PM by K7EXJ » Logged

73s de K7EXJ
Craig Smiley
ONAIR
Member

Posts: 3525




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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2016, 10:14:08 PM »

This an awesome site and people!
Could I please get advice/recommendation for a not too expensive radio, just for CW on bands for Technician class, 80, 40, 15, and maybe 10. But I'm guessing mostly 40 meter.
I live in Puerto Rico and finally can put up an antenna!
Thanks,
Bill

   CW?  Possibly interested in a boat anchor?
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K8PRG
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Posts: 305


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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2016, 04:30:04 AM »

Check out the Icom-718...$650 new, about $450 used.
I'm exclusively CW, and I keep being told it's a good "entry level" radio, but after two years I still haven't found reason to upgrade.
It comes with a mic, it's around here somewhere.....
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OZ8AGB
Member

Posts: 333




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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2016, 05:00:33 AM »

Build a K1. It's only $299.

http://www.elecraft.com/k1_page.htm
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KE4OH
Member

Posts: 131




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« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2016, 05:18:17 AM »

Heathkit HW-16 and HG-10 VFO. But, I'm partial to boatanchors.
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73 de Steve KE4OH
N6RHF
Member

Posts: 15




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« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2016, 06:18:37 AM »

 Grin Great replies! Thanks so much!
Yes, now I remember, about 15 yrs ago I was looking at Ten Tec, Ya K7EXJ , nice Omni VII on ebay for $2200  Shocked oooh!

And yes K8PRG Icom-718 sounds good.
OZ8AGB  - Build a K1. It's only $299 - ya that sounds like fun.

Also to answer about stuff I didn't put originally:
CT 22 Iambic s/n 076 keyer
MFJ-403 Keyer,
MFJ-418 Code Trainer
ICOM 3210A (that was for Hang Gliding mobile and a handheld strapped to the glider)
Astron RS-12A  300W   so I have an amp, I think 300w would cover most anything I get for under $1000   Roll Eyes

And QRP sounds cool, but I need more chance at succeeding, already died on the vine once with a donated boat anchor. ONAIR guess that would be no to boat anchors.

So 100 watts would help I think, I'm in Puerto Rico, seems like a good spot for contacts.

"It comes with a mic, it's around here somewhere....." hahaha lol, very cool K8PRG...

And I need an antenna and tuner... on and on... haha!

-bill


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73 Bill N6RHF
K7EXJ
Member

Posts: 875




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« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2016, 06:44:22 AM »

If you're using CW then QRP isn't the total QSO killer it can be for SSB. But the antenna, feedline, SWR and location become far more critical.

I have a K1 and I love it. But I only use it portable and almost always try to find a place either high on a hill or mountain or next to a lake (or seashore). When I set it up in my mother-in-law's backyard in the middle of a senior mobile home park and it did nothing; but next to a lake I have never been skunked. Ever!

If you want to dabble in QRP then try the EK-1A. It's 5-watts, built in keyer, a tuning knob (just push it to select how fast you want to tune) and works on 40/20 (and listens on 30) and is only $150 (easy kit).

But if you can score an Omni D for $200 off eBay then you can choose how you want to operate: 100 watts or 5 watts.

Puerto Rico rocks! Seriously. You are rare DX for me in my QTH (WA state). Smiley

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73s de K7EXJ
Craig Smiley
KE6EE
Member

Posts: 1844




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« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2016, 08:18:33 AM »

Desired power output?  The only CW-only radios you're going to find are QRP.  For 100W radios they will be all mode.
Mark K5LXP

I started out as a Tech a few years ago, after being away from ham radio for 50 years, with a !00W CW rig.

An Elecraft K2 with the 100W amp. This costs a little under $1300 these days for a kit.

It is an excellent performer. The kit is straightforward and fun to build. You learn a lot about a radio when you assemble it.

Later on you can add SSB and other accessories if you want them.
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VA7CPC
Member

Posts: 2805




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« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2016, 11:07:20 AM »

. . .

An Elecraft K2 with the 100W amp. This costs a little under $1300 these days for a kit.

It is an excellent performer. The kit is straightforward and fun to build. You learn a lot about a radio when you assemble it.

Later on you can add SSB and other accessories if you want them.

For $1300, I can buy a Yaesu FT-991 for $1100, and a nice new paddle (or an autotuner).  That's an "all-mode, all-band" 100-watt rig, with IF DSP and all the modern conveniences.

I have no problem with the K2 as a radio; I have a problem with its "cost-to-performance" ratio.

I suspect the OP is working with a much smaller budget.


When I was looking for a portable rig, around 2007, I checked the "CW-only" and "PSK31" kits.   I finally bought a Yaesu FT-817, at its rather high price:

a) I wouldn't have to buy another portable radio -- it did "all bands", unlike most kits.

b) If I wanted to extend beyond CW and PSK31, it would let me do that -- it did "all modes".

I still have it, and it gets used for demos, Em Comm, and sometimes just for fun.  I've done a few satellite contacts as well.

So I'd vote for something like the IC-718, or FT-450 -- they're HF-only, but the OP might pick one up, used, at a reasonable price.  [I own an FT-450, and prefer it to the IC-718.]    They're both very competent rigs.

.        Charles


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N4UE
Member

Posts: 697




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« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2016, 01:26:22 PM »

Grin Great replies! Thanks so much!
Yes, now I remember, about 15 yrs ago I was looking at Ten Tec, Ya K7EXJ , nice Omni VII on ebay for $2200  Shocked oooh!

And yes K8PRG Icom-718 sounds good.
OZ8AGB  - Build a K1. It's only $299 - ya that sounds like fun.

Also to answer about stuff I didn't put originally:
CT 22 Iambic s/n 076 keyer
MFJ-403 Keyer,
MFJ-418 Code Trainer
ICOM 3210A (that was for Hang Gliding mobile and a handheld strapped to the glider)
Astron RS-12A  300W   so I have an amp, I think 300w would cover most anything I get for under $1000   Roll Eyes

And QRP sounds cool, but I need more chance at succeeding, already died on the vine once with a donated boat anchor. ONAIR guess that would be no to boat anchors.

So 100 watts would help I think, I'm in Puerto Rico, seems like a good spot for contacts.

"It comes with a mic, it's around here somewhere....." hahaha lol, very cool K8PRG...

And I need an antenna and tuner... on and on... haha!

-bill




Hi Bill. Pulled a couple of Navy tours in San Juan back "in the day". Went back years later on vacation. Enjoyed that much more than 10 days in Hawaii.....

Regarding your Astron. That's only a 9A DC supply. For a 100 watt class radio, you're gonna need 20A.

regards,

ron
N4UE
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N6RHF
Member

Posts: 15




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« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2016, 11:13:18 AM »

Ron - great heads up on the Astron thanks!
My Navy tour included Vietnam, based out of Sasebo, Japan.  Grin
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73 Bill N6RHF
WB2WIK
Member

Posts: 21753




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« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2016, 02:06:29 PM »

Another winner is the Ten Tec Century 21, which runs about 30-40W output, CW only.

Haven't been manufactured in a long time, and it's a "wanted" rig so you don't see many for sale; but they're a lot of fun, despite the direct conversion receiver.

I won't part with mine, though. Smiley
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W7ASA
Member

Posts: 458




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« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2016, 07:07:31 PM »

You know - I can second the Ten Tec Century 21, for CW only, as long as it's not being sold as a 'rare collectors' item'.  ;-)  It does not have WARC bands, but it's a great  radio for the CW op.  I sold mine a couple of years ago and regretted it.


73 es GL de Ray  ..._   ._

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