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Author Topic: If You Could Only Have One QRP Rig  (Read 148766 times)

Posts: 49

« Reply #45 on: June 03, 2014, 07:16:15 AM »

I really like my Softrock RX/TX . 

Posts: 11

« Reply #46 on: June 08, 2014, 10:10:02 AM »

I'm very happy with my Yaesu FT-817ND. I've used a dipole with stealth wire and recently switched to a MFJ-1899T telescopic antenna.

At first I thought the 1899 was garbage (I'm using phone on 20m). But after adding a counterpoise connected to the GND screw on the back and making sure the counterpoise is the right length and nice and straight on the ground, I started making contacts. I've made many continental US contacts and had 59 signal reports. The band noise is awful, but with a good set of earphones I can hear what they're saying.

So right now the FT-817ND is my portable QRP emergency radio and I'm very happy.

I'm about to get a Hendricks SOTA tuner on the recommendation of my local ham store in Denver, so will try to report back on how that goes.



Posts: 2493

« Reply #47 on: June 08, 2014, 10:47:54 AM »

I love my IC-703. Has a good receiver. Does SSB, CW, and even PSK nicely. Simple to set up. Don't need the instruction book to use it. Has been a LOT of places and is 100% reliable. True -- it's not as battery efficient -- draws more than some of the analog rigs. So in the pure backpack lightweight kayak bicycle environment I would be less enthusiastic. But for overall fun, moderate cost, ease of use, features, and dependability while not the very top in any category it ranks high in all. So it's my choice. The OHR, Rock Mite, and MFJ rigs I had were OK and I enjoyed them -- but the 703 stayed with me while the others I tried over the years have moved on.

I sold my 703 when I finished building my K2. But I really did enjoy the 703. I never had any problems and worked well at home. The CW filter was easy to install.

Posts: 149

« Reply #48 on: June 15, 2014, 02:29:32 PM »

  Grin KX3.....My next Project  Grin

 K3/10 which I built 6-7 years ago....

 Index Labs QRP+......which I owned 20 years ago...  
« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 02:32:12 PM by N6UZD » Logged

"I SPENT all my money on radios and antennas; the rest I just WASTED!"

Posts: 9


« Reply #49 on: June 16, 2014, 07:49:55 AM »

I really enjoy the KX3, have it about a year. Love the performance of it's receiver in CW.
It replaced an IC703 i got a couple of years ago. The KX3 is my only radio, i operate "portable style" with an MP-1 antenna on my balcony.
The IC703 i sold meanwhile...
Cheers and 73s, thomas [DF1HX]

Thomas Krull
GnuPrivacyGuard: 0x7892102D

Posts: 68

« Reply #50 on: June 16, 2014, 11:10:50 AM »

I have read some of the answers about One QRP RIG,
 I would think the Cubs and MFJ 90xx rigs are nice enough , from my own Experience,   but only single banders.
 I built the cubs a few years ago, and have owned a 9030 and 9017 for a long while and like the tuning a lot better on the 90xx, but made my own calibrated tuning scale to go behind the tuning knob on my Cubs.
I would not remotely imagine taking a rig like the K2 or K3 on a camping trip, spending 3k - 6k+ bucks on a rig to get eaten by bears or sprayed by a skunk HuhHuh??/
The KX1 or HB1B would be a nice choice , I would not want SSB capabilities on my portable QRP rig like some models have.
If I could have the  gerneral design of the 90xx rigs in a multiband version I would be thrilled to have ONLY ONE QRP rig !
« Last Edit: June 16, 2014, 11:13:47 AM by K8JD » Logged

SKCC 1395T, FISTS 3853
Official US Taxpayer

Posts: 110

« Reply #51 on: June 16, 2014, 06:15:51 PM »

I have 2 favorites.  If you can find one, the Wilderness Radio Sierra is a fabulous QRP rig.  I have two of them.  The band modules make it very flexible.  I have 160m through 10m with the exception of 60m.  Some have actually built 60m band modules for theirs.  The KX3 (also mentioned by others) is a heck of a radio.  It is simply amazing how well it works.  Plus, the other thing to think about is the KX3 is still being enhanced even after you buy it.  New firmware with useful features comes out quite often.  A 2m module will be shipping for it sometime in the fall.  They just started taking orders for a panadapter too.  Check out the KX3 yahoo group.  Wayne (one of the founders of Elecraft) chimes in quite often.  Support is amazing.  BTW - Wayne also designed the Sierra.  So, my two favorites are both his babies.

Posts: 156

« Reply #52 on: June 17, 2014, 10:24:59 AM »

My choice would be one of the following:
Elecraft KX3
Yaesu FT-817ND
Elecraft KX1
YouKits HB1B (available from TenTec)
PFR3 from Hendrix QRP Kits

The more affordable option is at the bottom which is probably what I most likely end up buying and building.  Yet, the PFR3 has 3 bands, digital display, and built-in antenna tuner.  HB1B is very nice with its LCD digital display, 4 bands, and if ten tec resells it, you know it must be good.  TenTec even has a Go Pack with antenna and bag for the HB1B too which is tempting.  Elecraft KX1 is nice, but I would be only able to buy it with no options.
Yaesu FT-817ND I have heard from a local ham I talk to on the air all the time says this radio is great for listening to CW and making contacts.   Elecraft KX3 is the radio I really want.  Yet, I will settle for a MFJ Cub or PFR3.

Currently, I have a Sudden Storm Receiver and Two Tinned Tunas transmitter that I built from - they work ok considering they are simple QRP radios.  I even had the Sudden Storm receiver in my bed last night listening to it until I fell asleep.  Yet, I wished I had a better transceiver that I can carry around wherever I maybe, hang a wire and listen.   And if I am in a good area outside, make contacts.

What, nobody mentioned a RockMite?

Posts: 20

« Reply #53 on: June 17, 2014, 07:44:55 PM »

For me it's my Heathkit HW-9.  I can hear way back in time all evening long.  A little bit of 12V and lots of fun.  Yup, use a J-37, too.
Now if the ears were as sensitive as my Drake 2-C...................

Posts: 371

« Reply #54 on: June 21, 2014, 04:34:10 AM »

From a bullet-proof, minimal control, minimal connection viewpoint, my Small Wonder Labs DSW-II with the Palm mini-paddle gets my vote...


Posts: 159

« Reply #55 on: June 22, 2014, 10:33:10 PM »

Opened up my Christmas present from the wife and was greeted with a X1M Pro. Fun little rig. I did the side tone adjustment on it and left the mic gain alone. I've received some very nice reports with it. I am very pleased. My wife really knows me.  Wink

I got one, too, (but not from your wife). I really like it - just small and easy to use. I did add the AGC mod for $12 and use my little audio filter with it sometimes. More fun to use than my 857 with all the filters, so I imagine I'd like it more than an 817. I built a Wilderness NorCal40 that I like and added a lot of stuff to, but can't say it's the one I would choose over anything else. Yaesu could learn a few things about second function ergonomics from the X1M and Elecraft could learn about price points from it. The X1M could learn how not to be a flat brick from everyone else.

Posts: 38


« Reply #56 on: June 24, 2014, 10:18:40 PM »

My choice would be the Weber MTR. It fits in a shirt pocket, has a DDS VFO, covers three entire bands and outputs 5W. Not to mention the very low current draw on receive...


Posts: 8

« Reply #57 on: June 27, 2014, 09:27:44 AM »

Loving my new HB1B. Being able to see the display in full sun, is a big bonus.

Scott W5VTC

Posts: 753

« Reply #58 on: July 01, 2014, 11:46:14 AM »

I had KX1. I have K2 and KX3.

KX1 was very light. But only a few bands, the antenna tuner sometimes would not tune, and 1.5 W was not too much.

My K2 had lithium batteries built in. Never a problem. Made lots of QSOs CW/SSB including from TA, SV9 and KP2, SP, etc. Also QRP 160m SSB contest as portable. The RX audio in K2 is very nice, partly due to excellent AGC.

KX3 is much smaller. Many more features. But for 10W it requires an external battery. It has weird system for AT where it turns itself off in the middle. In EU, some overload from broadcasting stations. In SSB, inefficient processor that makes it weaker in transmit than K2. In the end, I feel that I am making fewer contacts with KX3 than with K2.

Anyway, due to weight issue and greater sexiness of KX3, my K2 sits in the closet.

Ignacy, NO9E


Posts: 48

« Reply #59 on: July 07, 2014, 06:15:33 PM »

I have three right now. The FT-817 with the dual filter board. A S&S Engineering TAC 1 for 40 meters, and the Small Wonder Labs DSW II for 40 meters. I mostly now use the 817 for travel as I can DX and talk with locals with the same rig, plus broadcast radio. The TAC 1 and DSW II are a lot of fun to play with, but stay on the shelf most of the time. I might consider selling the 40 meter rigs, though it would be painful.

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