|Minute, super little transceiver, CAT works with JS8 and FAROS
||Time Owned: more than 12 months.
|Unbelievably small, good quality SSB QSOs.|
A few weeks ago I tried it with JS8, very good results, 3500 miles using 5W on 20 metres!
I have also just found that it works great with the FAROS 1.4, all 5 band beacon monitoring software. For the worldwide DX band beacons.
CAT control via Omni-Rig works with TS440 profile, but the Minion CAT setup instructions include a link to a Minion specific ini file held on Dropbox, that is easily added to the Omni-Rig list.
I have not tried it on cw - yet.
These rigs are made to order, just follow the instructions, filter fitted option recommended.
The website was recently down for a bit, but is now active again. I think QRPver is based in Odesa.
||Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
|I have buyed my new Minion SDR for SSB only, CW is not the best Mode for it, see Postings before, please order also the recommendet Filterboard. I have also tested the Origial Micro , you have to check the Settings so that you are not overmodulatet|
Power is about 8W
low weight (about 250Gramm)
i recommend a Lifepo4 6AH from EREMIT.de
Vy 73, Mike , OE7MPI
|Same tiny size, even more terriffic
||Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
|ATTN. Addendum to review. I recently found out that the radio I have does not have any output filtering. Fortunately, I always used it with an antenna tuner, so there was SOME attenuation of harmonics, but if you order this radio, you should order it with the OPTIONAL (should be mandatory) output filter board!!! Since I already have mine, I guess I am out of luck and may just have to build an external filter bank, but there is another problem to be considered.|
The CW performance on TX has switching problems. On quick "599" type QSO's it is OK, but on longer transmissions the CW TR switching has problems with not switching immediately back to RX. This is a serious problem that should be rectified as most QRP operation is on CW! As I recall, this persists even when using an external keyer, so it is the TR switching that is at fault rather than the keyer. Is this RF getting in to the radio because of it's lack of harmonic filtering? Who knows?
As it currently stands, I can only recommend this as a receiver right now. There has been no mention on the site that the CW problem has been solved, and the "reviews" on the site that mentioned the problems have been removed so Caveat Emptor! Sorry to say... it is in many ways promising, I hope they are able to iron the problems out. 73, Kevin
In my earlier review, I discuss the excellent "Minion Mini" and proposed a few nice to have features. Well, QRPver (the name of the manufacturer) has obliged us with the "Minion" updated version.
First, the model names are a bit misleading as both radios are actually the same size, that is, tiny (4 1/8 by 5 1/4 by 1 1/8). To keep things in perspective, December 2019 QST has a product review for a QRP kit that sells for $150 and covers only about 35 kHz of the 40 meter CW band. While it is still small, it's bigger than the QRPver radios that cover all HF bands, General coverage receive and both CW and SSB. In this context, the $350 (plus shipping/handling from Ukraine where they are manufactured) is quite reasonable.
By now you should have read the review on the original Mini, so let's see what the new Minion model brings to the table. First, the front panel now has 6 push buttons rather than 4 and a larger display that allows for some of the expanded features. And, FWIW, it has an on/off switch on the back panel! It also has a back panel feature often omitted on QRP radios, a jack for keying an external amplifier when 5 watts will just not cut it. Good job QRPver!
The filtering is now pretty comprehensive in that there are multiple adjustable bandwidths available for SSB and CW with the CW bandwidth adjustable down to 200 hz. There is also a Automatic Notch filter available and a Noise Blanker selectable in the Menu. A standard AM mode (no TX, however) with conventional AM detector is also available, especially useful for General coverage SW broadcast listening. (As an aside, I could foresee SWL fans buying this radio for it's good RX performance in it's small form factor and never using the TX!) There is also provision for selection of an RF preamp or insertion of an attenuator to allow the RX gain to be optimized for band conditions.
Other useful features now added are mic gain adjustments for SSB modulation (along with 3 band Mic EQ) and input gain control for Digital sound card modes. And Power/SWR indications now appear on the display on transmit. No more flying in the dark concerning your TX conditions. Also, there are now A/B VFO's making a second receive frequency available and also allowing Split operation for the DXers out there.
Probably, the most surprising improvement was allowed by the expanded display, there is now a Spectrum/Waterfall Display! The display is limited to 14 kHz, so no full band monitoring is possible but for most of my uses (at least) it's fine and works pretty well! You can see what's going on 7 kHz up and down from your RX frequency and that's quite useful. It should be mentioned that the display is of necessity small, but it's bright enough that in up close operation typical of QRP field and home operations the functions are quite readable.
Bottom line, as kewl! as the Mini is, the new Minion version addresses the lacks I noted in the Mini review and ups the ante with a few features I didn't even consider reasonable to expect.
Since I bought the Mini, it has seen a lot of use both as a fun QRP rig at the home station and as a traveling companion to work, while on day trips and as a SW listening device in the car. It's small size says throw me in the back pack or stick me in your pocket (I put it inside a zip lock sandwich bag) and take me along... wherever! It's such a fun rig I am keeping the original Mini just because I can.
|QRPver minion sdr new model
||Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
|Its new to me, today I open it first time and make lsb qso on 160 mb with my frends to 200 hundred km away. 59+5. My antenna is very low windom. |
Thanks Yuri and company, its fine radio! Its not my first QRPver radio, is is second. And it's LITTLE!
|Nice tiny SSB Rig - Poor CW implementation
||Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
|Overall its a fine rig for SSB, but be aware of issues in CW/CAT implementation..|
Odering Process - fine
I have ordered this tiniy radio including the Bandpass filtering in January and received it abt. 4 weeks later in February.
You could rely on the delivery timing on the website and the communication and updates during the order/delivery process was fine.
There is probably an issue with the delivery into the EU, as the TRX has no CE label and this could be an issue with customs (luckily not in my case, where the customs officer was helpful and did not complain about it)
Sending the device as a KIT could workaround this CE Issue and the kit could e.g. be jsut assembling the Hardware...
About the Radio - mixed impression
Great size for portable operations and a tiny but very sharp display including waterfall/spectum.
The Radio has a nice reciever and very good/clear audio, even with the integrated tiny speaker.
All necessary functions are reachable by the few knobs and with the menu other changes are at hand as well.
The bandpass filtering could be adjusted easily, is excellent and even with narrow filters there is no ringing or other effects.
The tx power is on all bands above 5W (on 40/30/20/15 even above 8-9W) and the power consumption is rather low.
Separate audio input/output connecters makes it easy to attach a PC for digi modes.
When ordering the radio consider to order the bandpass filters as well, or use narrow band antennas, as the TX signal is otherwise not clean enough.
On CW there are several issues:
- Receiver goes after cw tx randomly on mute - After sending some characters the Receiver goes on mute for several seconds. With this issue it is nearly impossible to do a CW QSO, withou missing Major parts.
- Sidetone starts with delay - When sending CW the sidetone Comes often with delay in. This leads to missing DITs or DAHs of the first character you are sending.
- IAMBIC Mode A implemented only - Many HAMs (except USA) are using IAMBIC Mode B for squeeze CW Operation. It seems IAMBIC A is the only implemented mode in the Minion Mini, as a Workaround I am using an external keyer and set the trx to „straight“
The implemented TS440 CAT emulation is generally working, but heve not TS440 conform.
- direct usage with WSJT-X or JS8Call not possible.
I am using a new dev-version of hamlib to connect the radio. At this version the hamlib developers changed several things to enable the minion to work as TS440.
My conclusion is:
For SSB portable usage a device I really could recommend!
As I am not a SSB operator, I am not that happy with the trx and could just give 2* to it.
I am waiting since March for fixes of the reported issues and still have hope to get an update from QRPver and get CW working as fine as SSB.