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Author Topic: $100 radio  (Read 1558 times)
N8RWB
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Posts: 9




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« on: November 15, 2007, 07:18:17 PM »

I've been inactive for quite a while but am thinking of getting a cw monoband rig to fiddle with.  Primary operating hours will be during the evening and I have limited space in attic for an antenna.  Am thinking 30 meters but don't have any experience with this band.  I'm considering the following radios (in rank order):
1.  SST30 (limited tuning but easy to build and align)
2.  SW30+ (good reputation but potential backorder)
3.  Ten Tec 1330 (not as selective, trickier to align)
4.  MFJ 9330 (drifty VFO)
5.  Used MFJ 9030 (a deal at $110?)

Any recommendations on radios and comments on the 30 meter QRP scene would be appreciated.
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KT4WO
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Posts: 153


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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2007, 06:12:01 PM »

the backlog is well worth the wait
wait on the SWL
KT4WO
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NU4B
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Posts: 2287




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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2007, 03:07:35 AM »

I would have to agree with KT4WO. For $100 you get a great rig and the box/hardware if you want it.
Dave has quality products. (I believe a recent note on his website says he is now able to catch up on his backlog.) In any case, as KT4WO says, it worth the wait.
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NU4B
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Posts: 2287




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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2007, 03:18:59 AM »

One more note -
I would stay away from the MFJ unless you are planning on just exchanging signal reports. My experience has been the drift in a ragchew is bad enough you are chasing the other station around the band. (for DX'ing and contesting its not a problem and was actually a decent rig for those purposes - any QSO longer is questionable.) These are getting a tad expensive also.
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W5ESE
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Posts: 550


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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2007, 12:41:17 PM »

I think you've enumerated the choices and their
drawbacks very well.

A couple others in the field are:
o OHR 100A - http://www.ohr.com/ohr100a.htm
o Emtech NW30 http://emtech.steadynet.com/nw.shtml

The Emtech is no longer available with an enclosure.

Alot depends on your building experience.

For a first QRP kit, I don't think you could go
wrong with the SST, the SW+, or the MFJ Cub.

The other transceiver kits mentioned are a bit
more complex, and may be a better "second
QRP transceiver kit".

Replacing one or two capacitors with NP0s
reduces much of the drift in the MFJ Cub.

The ARRL has a package deal on the 40 meter MFJ
Cub kit with Rich Arland's QRP book at:
http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=1042K

I bought my MFJ 9315K kit from WB0W. They
had a nice discount on these.

I usually suggest beginning with a 40 meter
kit, as there is almost always some activity on
that band.

During mornings, I've sometimes found 30m empty
of signals. Most 30m activity occurs during the
late afternoon and evening.

The QRP contests, like the Spartan Sprints,
'Flight of the Bumblebees', and 'QRP to the Field',
are alot of fun, but you won't be able to play
in them with just a 30 meter rig.

It is alot easier to work DX on 30m than on 40m
though, and if your main HF rig doesn't have 30m,
that would certainly be a reason to begin with a
30m QRP transceiver kit instead.

Hope this helps, and have fun!
73
Scott
W5ESE

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KA7PLE
Member

Posts: 25




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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2008, 10:52:43 AM »

I have an SST-20 and though its limited on its tuning range, its an awesome little radio. I also got the chance to use an SW+ 40 and it was equally as good. I believe that any of the Rigs you mentioned would be good, but I recommend either the SW series, the SST series, or the OHR series. From experience, and what I have heard and read, those would be your best bet.

73

KA7PLE
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5R8GQ
Member

Posts: 203




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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2008, 03:45:02 PM »

KD1JV's  MMR-40 is a 40m 6 watt CW AND SSB kit rig available at qrpkits.com. Great rig, comes with enclosure.

For $85 there you can get the BITX20A, a board kit only, 20m SSB 7 watts.

My personal favorite for this price range is the Small Wonder Labs PSK-20.

73, Ken 5R8GQ/AD6KA
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