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Author Topic: help me pick a commercial qrp backpack/portable rig  (Read 4522 times)
NK7Z
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« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2019, 06:25:32 AM »

FT-817ND, or the non ND.  Lightweight, nice all band, all mode portable rig, with batteries built in.
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Thanks,
Dave
Amateur Radio: RFI help, Reviews, Setup information, and more...
https://www.nk7z.net
KH2BR
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Posts: 13




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« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2019, 09:58:35 AM »

http://www.m0nka.co.uk/?page_id=740
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N9AOP
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« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2019, 10:01:58 AM »

Both Codan and Barat make portable units but they are pricy.
Art
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W4FID
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« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2019, 02:58:43 AM »

I got a new Xeigu X-108G for under $500 last fall. It runs up to 18 or 20 watts. SSB, CW, Am. 80 thru 10 meters. It has worked flawlessly. I have checked in to SSB nets on 20 and 40 and made hundreds of FT8 QSOs on 40 - 30 - 20 -17 running 10 watts into a balun fed 30 foot wire about 12 feet high. It has a nice CW filter standard and a built in keyer. With experience knowing what I know now I would buy it again.
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KL7CW
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« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2019, 10:09:00 AM »

Much of my operation for 65 years has been CW, often with one to four watts.  I am happy with this myself.  However as a scientist I should not make a VERY non scientific observation, but here it goes. Operating with real QRP often CQ's go unanswered so often S and P operation is mandated.  Rag chewing, especially at high speeds is not too common. DX from other continents is for sure not a daily thing.  However occasionally when operating with something as little as 15 to 25 watts, operation would approximate operation with a 100 or 200 watt transceiver.  Perhaps answers to CQs, some real DX, and even occasionally being able to hold a frequency in a contest at least for a number of QSOs.  I do not think anyone can prove this, and personally I usually just travel with my < 2 watt rig, especially when backpacking or hiking, but others may have different objectives.         Cheers   KL7CW
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VK3YE
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« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2019, 12:54:16 PM »

Can't go wrong with the FT817ND or FT818.

I'd avoid some of the earlier FT817s as they had power amplifier issues.

Some FT817/8 tips.

http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/qrp/ft817.htm
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Peter VK3YE

One ham radio post each day. Visit http://dailyantenna.blogspot.com
Author of top selling $US 5 amateur radio ebooks on antennas, QRP, getting started and more. See http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/vk3yebooks.htm
KD8ZM
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« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2019, 04:23:42 PM »

There is no better rig than the KX3. It has the antenna tuner built in, works on all bands, has internal batteries, and incredible filtering and selectivity. Stretch a little bit to buy one, it will save you money in the long run and will be a joy to operate in the field.
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KG6LI
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« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2019, 03:16:17 PM »

The reality is simply this, if you spend more than your budget allows you really won't enjoy the hobby that much. Ham radio is very much like digital cameras, there is always a better one being released.... I own both the FT-817nd and the Argonaut VI. If your doing picnic table radio then the Argonaut will work, but I would not hike one in a backpack. I do my SOTA activation's with a FT-817nd with a 300hz CW filter installed. The biggest limitation of the FT-817 and 818 is the filtration. Ya kinda have to filter for SSB or CW...

The biggest item that we fail to factor is antenna, antenna, antenna...! A good mast and antenna are essential to making contacts, so factor that into your budget.

Keep in mind that we still are in the solar minimum, so keep your expectations in check when the sun goes weeks with lousy propagation.   

Take care and 73 de KG6LI (Mark)
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K4EMF
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Posts: 164




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« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2019, 04:55:02 PM »

Hopefully Phil - AD5X won't mind me utilizing his thread for essentially a modified repeat of his original question

My ideal backpack portable rig would be a modestly priced CW/SSB 80m, 40m 20m 5w - 10w transceiver.
Something similar to a MFJ YSK1A maybe, with the additional bands.

I have searched the web over and while there are higher priced units that offer everything I want, they also have far more capability than I care to pay for.
Or they're out of production and or get less than good reviews.   I was hoping to stay under $300 without having to go used.  But that may be unrealistic.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated

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N2DTS
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Posts: 952




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« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2019, 10:13:03 AM »

I just ordered an ft-818nd, I have an rs928 plus, and have had a K1, K2, KX2, KX3, a Ten Tech Argonaut 5, a wilderness radio sierra and an Emteck.
The KX2 and KX3 sure are nice, I like the KX2 over the 3 for some reason.
Operating 160 meters portable seems out, but 6 meters might be nice, yet I liked the KX2 best. Its SO small yet full featured and performs well.
 
My Argonaut had odd artifacts on CW RX but was nice for phone. A power hog though.
Loved the Sierra, and I love the rs928, all mode hand held sdr with touch screen, up to 20 watts out (best keep it at 10), fantastic RX audio.
$400.00 with built in battery.
It seems good for CW, TX audio quality is not great with the stock microphone.

The ft-818 does 160 to uhf and I plan on using it more in the car, does aircraft, CB, 2 meters, 6 meters, useful bands for mobil operation I suppose.
You can add a filter and get a bigger battery, and you can wear it and operate  6 and 2 meters which seems interesting....

Anyway, you can get any of the radios and use it, then trade it in on something else to try.

A used FT817 for $300.00 (maybe with filter added) seems like a GREAT deal.


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K4EMF
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Posts: 164




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« Reply #25 on: April 20, 2019, 11:50:10 AM »

I see where QRP Labs is working on an all mode multi band transceiver
https://www.qrp-labs.com/qsx.html

I plan to get one of them when they become available
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K0JTA
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Posts: 54




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« Reply #26 on: April 20, 2019, 02:41:06 PM »

Hello!

If you have not yet been aware of the "pocket sized SDR" that is becoming more and more popular, do consider the RS-918-PLUS.  This is a true SDR, with all mode abilities (including FreeDV), has a nice color panoramic and waterfall display, covers 160 through 10 meters and on and on.  The TX power levels are selectable at .5, 1.0, 2.5. 5.0 and 10 watts.

There is an active user group https://groups.io/g/RS-918-HF-SDR-Transceiver for the RS-918.  (Tap the link.)

It is now supplied with a 6800 mAh rechargeable battery and now, each radio includes a 50-step "pre-shipment" checklist of tests and adjustments.  (Several of this kind of radio arrive with show-stopping issues, which mean that the buyer must ship the unit back to China for a resolution, at their own expense!)  The "pre-shipment" check allows the buyer to side-step this risk.  The seller is in Minnesota, so the free shipping is quite fast.  (More info in the user group linked above.)

This is an SDR that does not require a computer to operate!  Add antenna, and you are good to go!

73!  Mike, K0JTA
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N2DTS
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Posts: 952




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« Reply #27 on: April 23, 2019, 06:26:53 PM »

Got my Yeasu ft 818 nd today.
What a mess!
I have had many radios, think I am somewhat normal in the IQ range, and the menu/operation of this radio drives me crazy.
Makes Elecraft look stupid easy.

I have figured some of it out, its my first modern Yeasu....
The main mess seems to be the memories...not user friendly!
Performance is quite good if you ask me.

For AM operation, I turned the carrier down to 165 I think it is, about a watt, then it modulates ok and goes out to over 4 KHz audio which is
very good (and rare on a modern rig).
I can hit 2 meter repeaters, and listen to cb channel 19.

CW seems to work very well, the pass band tuning helps a lot.

For HF, I would much rather use my rs 928 plus hand held sdr, or an Elecraft KX2 or KX3, but they don't do 6 meters/uhf/vhf/air band/FM broadcast..

So, for back packing, I would pick a KX2, or the rs 928 series sdr's and a small dual band hand held for vhf/uhf.



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K7LZR
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Posts: 133




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« Reply #28 on: April 30, 2019, 06:47:41 PM »

Got my Yeasu ft 818 nd today.
What a mess!


Not really once you get the hang of it but much easier with the programming software......
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N2DTS
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Posts: 952




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« Reply #29 on: April 30, 2019, 07:38:39 PM »

I got the hang of it.
Its a LOT easier to use then the ft991!
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