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Author Topic: QSK full/partial on Tentec R2040?  (Read 7932 times)

Posts: 246

« on: July 31, 2010, 03:59:31 PM »


I'm interested in buying a Tentec R2040 rig.  They're also on ebay direct from the Chinese supplier.  Anyway, I work cw from a laptop (type and listen).  I'm not sure if it's a good idea to do this with such a small rig.  I wonder if the transistor finals are up to continuous tx one/two minute tx without much rest in between.  Does this rig have some form of QSK?  If not, could someone recommend a qrp rig that has break-in?  I'm on a student budget, so if I have to go with the yaesu 817 or icom 703 it'd have to be used.  I'd prefer to buy new.

Unfortunately I don't have a safe and convenient place to build (particularly ventilation issues), and I am a total klutz with anything outside soldering antennas and PL connectors.  I would either have to pay someone to build or get something ready made.  That really adds to the costs and severely limits my options, but there has to be a work-around.  

Thanks, Jordan

« Last Edit: July 31, 2010, 04:08:36 PM by Jordan » Logged

Posts: 700

« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2010, 07:33:40 PM »

The Tentec R4020 has semi break-in. It works well. I bought one of these little QRP rigs from Tentec. My first QSO with it was on 20m and I worked a British station who answered my CQ. The second contact was with a fellow in Minnesota. For its price, the radio has a ton of features. Your worry about it not being up to par for long transmissions is not an issue. I found the rig quite robust in every respect. Of course, I was using a 3-element SteppIR yagi at 60 feet with the R4020 so I had no trouble cruising the band and working just about everyone I called. I did find that when connected to the yagi, the rig's front end was a bit overloaded and there was some mixing going on. I could hear some shortwave broadcast signals mixed in with the strongest CW signals but this is ONLY because of the big antenna. This radio is primarily built for portable use and with a more modest antenna, the mixing issue wouldn't be there. When I activated the built-in attenuator the front-end issue ceased. But I did feel like there was a bit too much attenuation -- I would have preferred a bit less.

The radio, of course, is made in China. The manufacturer there now has a website. It's There, the company says the production of the HB-1A 3-band rig -- the same radio Tentec now sells as two two-band versions -- is out of production. So, you have to buy Tentec's version. In the meantime, the Chinese manufacturer is working on a 4-band CW QRP rig to take the place of the HB-1A. He is also producing now the TJ6A, a 6-band, 10 watt SSB/CW transceiver that sells for about $300 assembled, $245 as a kit. They're taking orders. Not sure if they have shipped any. Lots of photos on the website, schematics, etc. The company is also working on a all-band, all-mode HF backpack transceiver, they say. And they have just announced their HF 2 KW linear amp.

If you want to send CW from a keyboard with the R4020, I think you will have to use a mono mini-plug. The rig has a built-in keyer and is built primarily with the idea that you will use paddles with it. The manual says you can use a straight key -- and turn off the built-in keyer. An external keyer would function like a straight key as far as the radio is concerned.

I also have an FT-817ND. It has a better receiver and a ton more features but at two and a half times the price. The R4020 is impressive for a so-called trail friendly radio and offers many features for the money. Truthfully, few people would probably buy one of these and attach it to a big yagi like I did so the front-end issue I had probably wouldn't be an issue for most folks.

73, dave, N4KZ

Posts: 246

« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2010, 12:07:05 AM »

Hi Dave,

Okay, thanks for all the info.  I read the Ten-Tec online manual and also figured out that the keyer can be shut off.  It won't be a problem homebrewing a parallel connector between the qrp rig and the computer using a mini-plug.  I don't know if the parallel connector will work with a usb adapter -- we'll see.

No Yagi here.  I was going to cut one 40 halfwave wire to 7040 kHz and use a balun (20m qrp can come later -- not a big 20 person).

Given my apartment situation and lack of a club station I'm forced to ham outdoors.  The FT-817 seems like overkill, but I'd be interested in running qrp at a fixed station and that might be a good option.  The FT-817 reminds me of the old Ten-Tec Argonaut or Heathkit HW series.

73 Jordan

Posts: 499

« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2010, 11:46:08 AM »

The keyer is turned off by using a mono jack for the CW socket on the rig. It's automatic.
The R2040 is a great little compact portable rig. I did not feel like building the Elecraft KX1 and the R2040 fit the bill. It is not the ultimate contest rig nor is it the ultimate QRP rig. There is always something better, like the K3-10. You get what you pay for. But for only $249, you won't find anything better that you don't have to build. I had an FT-817 and loved it. I think it is a great little rig. I decided the IC 703+ had more features that fit my needs so I made the swap. I still have an still use my two MFJ little CW QRP rigs, the 9020 and the 9040. We are not talking about a lot of money tied up into QRP rigs here and I plan on keeping them all.
If you decide to go portable with the R2040, look into Nickel Zinc rechargeble batteries from Wal Mart or The one thing nice about these batteries is, the full charge voltage per cell is 1.6 volts instead of 1.2 with NiMh batteries. This will give you the full 5 watts out on internal AA battery power.
Barry, KU3X

Posts: 27

« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2010, 04:59:43 PM »

New yahoo group formed for TenTec R4030/20 QRP radio:

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