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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | Youkits EK1C Help


Reviews Summary for Youkits EK1C
Youkits EK1C Reviews: 2 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $189
Description: 5 watt, 3 band (20/30/40m) CW-only transceiver.
Product is in production.
More info: http://https://youkits.com
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VE3XDB Rating: 4/5 May 18, 2017 05:48 Send this review to a friend
Nice multiband qrp rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the EK-1C from Scott Robbins at Vibroplex a couple of weeks ago. Delivery was prompt and the radio was in good shape upon arrival. I have had it on the air for several hours over the past week, and here is my experience so far.

Physical build quality - very nice solid build. The display is small but readable. The encoder works, but it gets heavy use because of the way the interface is designed.

Specs - 5 watts out on 20 and 40 meters, 4 watts out on 30 meters. Works according to specs.

Audio - clear but quiet. I used headphones and the audio was fine in a quiet environment. I have since hooked it up to my computer and am feeding the audio through my sound card and computer speakers. Works well, clean audio.

Receiver - quiet, sensitive and wide. Feels "old school" like my TS-440 with the filters wide open. Hears better than my TS-570 under some circumstances. I don't thinks there is a AGC/ALC so the audio volume can be quite variable, but manageable. I hooked up my SCAF-1 filter between the rig and the computer soundcard, which helps remove the higher frequencies. Sidetone is at 700, and the offset seems to be accurate. However, I have experienced situations where the incoming station is strongest in the 400-500 Hz range. RIT is a nice feature that works well.

Keyer - no memories. Works well but very sensitive. I think it may be an iambic B keyer? I don't have experience with B keying, so I'm not sure, but I was often getting an extra dit at the end of a letter. Hooked up my Picokeyer and it works well with the rig.

Contacts/reports - I have made contacts on 20, 30 and 40 meters. Reports have been good.

I recommend this radio for a fun and interesting qrp experience.

Best regards,

Doug VE3XDB
 
VE7JBX Rating: 4/5 Mar 22, 2017 11:25 Send this review to a friend
Solid performance for the price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently acquired a Youkits EK1C from the manufacturer and have had the opportunity to use it for a few months now, both portable and in the home shack. Note that as of present, this is only available as a fully premade unit.

Purchasing and delivery: good process, included email notifications from company of receipt of order and shipping. Unit was nicely packaged.

Build quality: Very good. One minor exterior issue, the tune knob label is placed too close to the actual knob so it's partially obscured. Otherwise exterior labelling and finish, very nice. Unit can be opened readily by removing 4 screws to lift top cover and see both circuit boards. All solder points looked good.

Manual: Not supplied. Available as a download. Minimalist and has two errors I noted. 1) pressing tune knob for 2 seconds activates a scan mode, not sets to 100kHz step (that's done via short presses); 2)"RV1" voltage readout adjustment in manual is "VR1" on subsidiary front panel board. Do not confuse with VR1 on main board (sidetone volume)

Features: RIT (good for 5 kHz at least, +/-); backlight has on/off/auto modes; 16 memory frequencies easily set; VFO tuning steps 100 kHz, 1 kHz, 100Hz, 10 Hz; readout clear and legible, gives op frequency, battery voltage, TX/RX indication, RIT status, keyer and key settings. No SWR or signal strength info. Very fast TX/RX switching; no click or chirp noted. Volume control with separately adjustable sidetone volume. Keyer present, not tested as I don't have anything but a straight key - but radio auto detects straight key vs. paddle type inputs at power up and displays input type on screen.

RX: Good sensitivity but filtering non-adjustable and quite wide (perhaps 2 kHz?) Radio receives a wide section of spectrum and can RX both AM SW BC stations and SSB ham stations - not great but understandable.Frequency readout is of expected CW carrier / TX point (ie RX is 700 Hz off this). AGC seems optimised for CW (as expected). Downside of this wide, non-adjustable filtering is that when CW band conditions are crowded, you hear multiple signals. For very strong signals, I've been able to hear then 2 kHz away.

TX: Power output on mine is a bit over spec. At 12.7V get about 6W on 20m, 4.5W on 30m, 5W on 40m. Works fine on 8, NiMH AA cells (10.6V nominal) still 4-5W output. I've been sent recordings of the received TX from other end of QSOs and sounds clean and crisp, no clicks or chirps.

Overall: For the price I've been very happy with the performance. I've had solid QSOs around N. America even with generally lousy propagation conditions, with many 579 to 559 reports. Giving a 4/5 rating for lack of ability to switch in a narrow CW filter mode.
 


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