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Author Topic: New to CW and need advice on a QRP radio  (Read 6310 times)
WB2WIK
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Posts: 20666




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« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2010, 01:31:45 PM »

I built two Rockmites and they're fun projects but not much of a radio, especially when used with smaller antennas.  500mW output and crystal controlled only.  You can call a lot of CQs with something like that, especially with a compromise antenna.

Something like this: http://mfjenterprises.com/Product.php?productid=MFJ-9040
is a lot more fun, to me.  It's 5W output (10 dB more power), VFO controlled -- you don't have to be stuck on one or two frequencies, and people actually hear you!  I have one of these for 40m tucked into a drawer under one of the bench seats in the kitchen area of our RV and have used it dozens of times with a 12V lantern battery ($5.99 hardware store item) and a lightweight 40m dipole usually installed as an inverted vee by tossing a rope over a tree limb.  It makes contacts easily.

Of course one of my 100W rigs turned down to 5W would, also: But those are larger, heavier, and consume a lot more power even when cranked down to 5W, so the "teeny tiny" rigs are more versatile in some ways.

I built an N0XAS Pico-Keyer into one of these so I can just plug a paddle in and don't need an outboard keyer. I think the keyer kit is $19 or so, well worth it.
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K7WFM
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Posts: 5




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« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2010, 02:44:22 PM »

I like the Rockmite 40 and have made quite a few contacts using the radio with a full size dipole. If I were to build it again, I would put in a xtal socket and get a few extra frequencies. There seems to be a need for some hams to tune up and run other digital modes non-stop on the supplied 7.040 xtal frequency.  Angry
« Last Edit: October 29, 2010, 02:55:42 PM by Warren F. McIver » Logged
AE6ZW
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Posts: 100


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« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2010, 11:32:27 PM »

my station equipment is not so good,  33 ft vertical ANT
when I tried QRP 4 wts, I had difficulty anybody hearing me.
for beginner like me, I found normal power like 100 wts is less frustrating.  does not require special skill I don't have.  73
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AK9A
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Posts: 3




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« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2010, 06:06:24 PM »

 Shocked
KEEP IT CHEAP, Like the old days! Look at the QRP KIT Radios made my Doug Hendricks. See www.qrpkits.com
Doug's kits are top notch, extremely easy to follow for a beginner, and are very reasonably priced.
I found the support EXCELLENT!
I built the PFR-3A $200.  It has 20, 30, and 40 meters! With the 5 Watt output, I have had clear QSO's all around the US.  It has a built in keyer and antenna tuner.
I use mine with a wire antenna while camping and mobile in the car with a hamstick that cost 25 dollars!
TRY IT You'LL LIKE IT!
73 Bob AK9A Roll Eyes
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KQ6Q
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Posts: 995




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« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2010, 05:30:19 PM »

Look around for a used TenTec Century 21 - 50 watts CW, 80-10m no WARC. Use it with a dipole or a 1/4 wave wire and ground on any of the bands, no tuner required. Don't bother with QRP unless you can get up a really good antenna - a dipole clear of houses, a vertical with radials, etc.

I know - I own an Icom 703, the queen of QRP rigs, but in my mobile home with mobile-type antennas, it might as well be receive only. I use my 100 Watt Icom 746 instead and make plenty of contacts. Save the QRP for when you can get a wire into some serious trees, or put up a really great antenna.

Fred, KQ6Q
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KF7ATL
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Posts: 59




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« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2010, 08:37:34 PM »

Okay, I know I'm going to get criticized for this, but I'm surprised someone else hasn't said it: Getting started in CW is challenging enough without adding the challenge of QRP into the mix. Why not take one thing at a time and start on a modest 100 W station?

As far as band choice is concerned, I like 40 meters. Plenty of slow speed ops to talk with, and there is activity during much of the day.

Garth
« Last Edit: November 29, 2010, 09:04:05 PM by Garth J. Timmins » Logged
N4MJG
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Posts: 506


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« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2010, 03:58:34 AM »

I'm using  817ND with hamstick but going to use for code too beside talk ! i have a small streightkey that works great..


73
Jackie
N4MJG
WW.N4MJG.COM
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WX7G
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Posts: 6332




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« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2010, 04:56:37 AM »

I have a KX-1 and an FT-817ND (with the Z-817 autotuner). The KX-1 is extremely portable and with the internal tuner and two 25' wires and I'm on 40, 30, or 20 meters.

The FT-817 is more of a standard radio and I like it for the extra bands. It was the only transceiver at the N6VW field day this year.



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N6NUL
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« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2010, 09:10:39 PM »

Last year I sold all of my appliances and built and Elecraft K1 and learned CW.  This year, I'm going to work on building my non-contest speed and build a K2.

I really enjoyed building my K1 and enjoy operating it at every opportunity.  For some contests, I used a 100w loaner, but I have made many contacts with my 5w K1 despite everybody telling me I shouldn't layer QRP on top of the challenge of learning CW.

For myself, I believe it helped me because I spent an awful lot of time listening.

73, Byron N6NUL
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