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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | MFJ 93X0 Cub QRP xcvr Help


Reviews Summary for MFJ 93X0 Cub QRP xcvr
MFJ 93X0 Cub QRP xcvr Reviews: 38 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $79.95
Description: Single band CW QRP tcvr.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.mfjenterprises.com
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You can write your own review of the MFJ 93X0 Cub QRP xcvr.

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W1JKA Rating: 5/5 Nov 26, 2012 04:20 Send this review to a friend
2 year Cub update  Time owned: more than 12 months
Two year Cub update from original post.I have since added a 4sqrp hypermite filter and small 10:1 vernier tuning dials to my 20/40m cubs (a 100% positve difference).Drift problem solved by turning rig on,homebrewing a cup of coffee,settling in,scanning freq.and 15 mins.later drift gone.With improvement of my daily propagation and grey line knowledge I continue to have great dx results especially since I now have a homebrew 20m hex beam.A 5/5 for the budget minded,fun seeking,non egotistical green type ham.
 
NA1CC Rating: 3/5 Nov 25, 2012 17:50 Send this review to a friend
DXing with the MFJ 9315 is a lot of fun.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This review is for QRPers considering purchasing the 15M version of the Cub. I wanted a small, portable 15M QRP rig to supplement various QRP rigs that I have for other bands. My particular interest was to use the Cub for DXing. Bottom line: the rig is a great little performer, even, as in my case, with an inverted V antenna 25 feet high. In the week before the CQ WW DX Contest (November 2012), I worked 33 DXCC entities. In casual operating in the contest, I worked 28 more entities, bringing my total to 61 in a 10-day period. I managed WAC in the contest. Output power was 900 mW into the inverted V. That said, MFJ may wish to consider making a few changes regarding the design and construction of the rig. First, as other have noted, the Cub needs 20-30 minutes of warm-up time to reduce drift, which is quite noticeable after turning on the rig. The use of other types of capacitors for C6-C7 would do a lot to increase FQ stability; see W1HUE's good blogs regarding this matter. It's surprising that, after all these years, MFJ hasn't supplied different capacitors in the parts bag, even if it meant $1-2 dollars in extra cost to purchasers. Secondly, kit builders such as myself really, really would appreciate a plastic tuning wand in the parts bag. This would add little or nothing to cost. The wand could have a flat blade on one end and a hex on the other, to allow for easy tuning of the slug coils and trimmers. It is possible to align the rig with a small Allen wrench and metal screwdrivers, but it takes a lot of time and patience and there always is the danger of damaging the slug coils. And thirdly, the rig would be easier to use, ergonomically, if the volume control knob were smaller and the tuning knob were larger. I replaced both knobs that came with the kit. Otherwise, the rig was easy to assemble, and it fired up without any problems needing correcting. Output was exactly 1.0 W, as advertised, though I cranked down power a tad to 900 mW, for the sheer satisfaction of working DX (and ultimately making DXCC on 15M) with "less than one watt." Some may complain, incidentally, about the lack of selectivity on receive. The Cub does not include any kind of sharp filtering in its design. But my feeling is that this is a $100 rig, and you can't have everying at that price (except, maybe, better capacitors for C6-C7, a plastic tuning wand, and different control knobs). During the DX Test, the audio filter that Old Timers always used, that is, the one between the ears, definitely worked overtime. As indicated above, though, I made many DX contacts. An honest estimate is that I worked about 90% of the stations that I called in the contest. ...Hope this helps, for anyone considering buying the 15M Cub. 73/72, and Good DXing.
 
K9DP Rating: 5/5 Feb 17, 2012 14:28 Send this review to a friend
Great little performer!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am new to QRP. So I thought I would give the MFJ 9340 a try................It works fantastic..It has a nice little sounding receiver and I have not gotten any bad reports on tone....It drifts a tad but after a 30 minute warm up I have not received any complaints.....Well worth the cost and effort to put together. Dan, K9DP
 
K5TTE Rating: 5/5 Nov 10, 2011 13:47 Send this review to a friend
MFJ's simple triumph  Time owned: more than 12 months
I can't add much to these positive reviews. I've owned 4 of these little guys, the last being from a nice fellow on eBay .

The 80 meter kit is on my desk, ready for assembly.
I've bought many MFJ items; the simple small wire tuner
has been a steady reliable performer for over 20 yrs.
I can't say a thing about MFJ service except......I've never needed to call them yet!
The cub's deficiencies seem minor: I can live with the drifting
VFO that eventually stabilizes, the hair-trigger VFO knob that requires a light touch, the lack of a BNC connector,et al.
My only challenge has been to wrestle with a stereo-plug
that you must use for a small speaker. These rigs will power a small speaker nicely in a quiet room. In the car, not so much.
There's no point in comparing my cubs with my Argonaut V:
apples vs oranges.
I can't think of a good reason not to have one of these guys.
 
HB9OBZ Rating: 5/5 Oct 24, 2011 07:42 Send this review to a friend
NICE LITTLE QRP RIG  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I ORDERED THE 20M WIRED VERSION AND, DESPITE MY POOR ANTENNA CONDITIONS (HALF G5RV MOUNTED VERY LOW ON THE GROUND), I SAY WITH PLEASURE THAT IT OUTPERFORMED MY EXPECTATIONS. EUROPEAN QSO'S WITH EASE AS WELL AS CN8WW AND A FEW US STATIONS HEARD. I NOTICED ONLY 2 DRAWBACKS: 1. YOU HAVE TO SWITCH ON THE CUB 10 MINUTES BEFORE ATTEMPTING A QSO IN ORDER TO AVOID FREQ. DRIFTS AND 2. YOU MUST BE VERY SENSITIVE WHEN TUNING ESPECIALLY WITH WEAK STATIONS. A TEN TURN POT WOULD BE MUCH BETTER. BUT YOU CAN LIVE WITH IT ! I LOVE THIS LITTLE QRP RIG AND IT IS WORTH THE PRICE. YOU WILL HAVE FUN WITH IT !
 
WB0FDJ Rating: 4/5 Aug 14, 2010 17:58 Send this review to a friend
Simplicity....  Time owned: more than 12 months
I ordered this radio because I had decided to get into kit building and needed to log some hours with the soldering iron. This filled the bill. I apparently had better luck with mine than others: once assembled it worked without drama or surprise. As others have noted at first theres some drift, after 30 minutes it settles down. I get about 2 watts out. In retrospect this is a very simple kit to build and I would recommend it to the ham who hasn't done much building. I've made quite a few fun contacts with my 20 meter Cub and usually run it off a small 12 v battery pack that I ordered for my smaller QRP rigs. It's a real gas to build your own stuff and got me started in building.
 
KU4UV Rating: 0/5 Apr 12, 2010 20:54 Send this review to a friend
Be afraid, be very afraid  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Gee, I really wanted to like this kit, but after seeing all of the tombstoned SMD components on the circuit board, I am very reluctant to even finish building and testing it. The circuit board of the kit has about 5 different SMD capacitors that are not even completely soldered to the circuit board. One end is soldered to the board, while the other end is standing on it's end! MFJ quality and QC rears it's ugly head once again. I have contacted MFJ and requested a return shipping label. I will be requesting a full refund of my money from MFJ, and wish me luck as to getting a refund. I just can't in good faith recommend this kit after seeing the poor quality of this circuit board. To those who have built and are enjoying this kit, God love ya. I know now why everyone knock's MFJ's quality, because they deserve their poor reputation. It is really a crap shoot whenever you purchase an MFJ product as to whether or not you will get a dud. This is in no way knocking Mr. Littlefield who designed the kit. I contacted Mr. Littlefield and he was very helpful. I just can't recommend this kit at all. I will purchase a kit from Oak Hills Research or Ten-Tec. I can trust Ten-Tec because I know they will help me out if I have a question or need a replacement part. I think I have purchased my last MFJ product.
 
WB6IYM Rating: 5/5 Jul 11, 2009 15:07 Send this review to a friend
Another great kit building experience.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I built the 40-meter version of this little radio last Christmas and was quite impressed with its performance. So, having nothing planned for the July 4th weekend, I bought the 20-meter version now available from ARRL and gave it whirl.

Everything went together nicely, except when I applied power and went through the testing and alignment procedure, I discovered there was no output whatsoever! The receiver worked great, and the radio keyed, but no power out - zero!

My 9340 draws about 240 ma on transmit and puts out about 2 watts on the meter. The 9320 drew only about 120 ma and no output power. I triple checked all components and their locations without finding any errors. Then off to Fry's Electronics for a new PA (2N5109). Still nothing. A digital multimeter revealed some significant voltage discrepencies (from what is published in the manual) on the pins at U5; so I think I had a PC board with some bad SMD's installed.

Monday morning I called MFJ and they shipped me a new kit forthwith. I had it by Friday via UPS and 2 hours later, I was happily transmitting on 20 meters. I certainly need to tip my hat to the MFJ customer service department for that one! The first one goes back via prepaid label from MFJ on Monday.

The rig is every bit as good on 20 as it is on 40. However, for about the same power out (2 watts +/-) it draws about 340 ma on 20 compared to the 240 ma on 40. Don't know what's going on there.

This morning I worked Alaska, Hawaii, and several stations in the mid-west in the IARU HF Competition. Antenna was a Butternut HF9V on the ground. So the thing works!
 
K8JD Rating: 4/5 Dec 26, 2008 12:19 Send this review to a friend
More thoughts on the 9380.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
A few more things about my 80M cub, I like this rig enough that I just ordered a companion, 40M version of the CUB. I hope the grief I had with the shipping time is not repeated !
Makes a nice travel kit along with a roll of antenna wire,tuner/swr meter and my old 9030 rig and battery pack!
 
WA6L Rating: 4/5 Sep 2, 2008 13:53 Send this review to a friend
Best $99 radio kit around  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have completed many kits from Heathkit, Elecraft, and Ten-Tec, and the 9380 is by far the easiest kit I ever built. The majority of the components on the board are pre-mounted SMT, so you are left with just a couple of dozen "through the hole"" items to finish the radio. My total construction time was about 3 hours, including alignment.

You can say what you want about MFJ quality, but this kit was top-notch. All the parts were there, the instructions are clear and complete, and the alignment went without a hitch. The little cub worked the first time power was applied to it and has not had a single problem.

If I was going to pick a nit about the kit-building process, it would be that the instructions are not detailed enough concerning winding and installing toroids. This kit is geared toward the first-time builder, and they are probably going to need more help with toroids than anything else. The instructions were complete, but it would have been helpful to provide more information on stripping and tinning the coils.

Once the kit is complete and aligned, you have one nifty little $99 radio. You have to keep that figure in mind, and it is unfair to compare the cub with radios costing much more.

The receiver is impressive for a rig with this parts count. It appears to be very sensitive and the bandwidth is quite narrow. On transmit, my 9380 puts out a solid 2.5 watts and the signal is clear and clean.

The VFO is varactor-based and the drift is considerable when you first apply power. It takes a good 15 minutes for everything to stabilize; after which it is steady enough. This is just an operating hint and not a complaint.

The one complaint I do have concerns the tuning range of the cub. On my 9380, I have a range of approximately 70 kHz. The problem with that is the tuning control is a single-turn 10K potentiometer. With a large range and a single turn, it is difficult to accurately tune in signals. You can go right past a strong signal without hearing it, and once you find it, it takes a very, very sensitive touch to get it centered in the receiver bandwidth.

I don't see the need for that wide of a tuning range for a QRP rig. Half of that would be fine. I think that an easy mod would be to put a 10K resistor in parallel with the pot and reduce the tuning range in half. I will give that a try as time permits.

With that aside, the little cub is a fun project and well within the capabilities of the first-time kit builder. Once completed, you have a very serviceable QRP rig that can be a lot of fun to operate.

73,

John, WA6L
 
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