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Reviews For: Emtech NW40

Category: QRP Radios (5 watts or less)

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Review Summary For : Emtech NW40
Reviews: 8MSRP: $120 w case
40 Meter, 0-5 watt adjustable CW transciver.
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KC7JNJ Rating: 2014-09-12
WOW Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I loaned mine to a friend a few years ago. Just got it back today. Wow what a radio, I forgot how nice it is. It is so clear, between the bandwidth adjustment and the filter, along with the rit I can get stations in so clean. I think it is better then my DSP for knocking out unwanted noise. I have been dragging my feet at getting my CW back up to speed. Well I guess I have to do it now. I wish I had one of these for 20meters too.
W4UTI Rating: 2012-08-22
It's a GREAT rig! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
It's a shame these are no longere available from Emtech. Truly remarkable! The receiver pulls in signals my "big" rig can't hear. The filter works so well. If you can find one of these, grab it. Scott (Emtech) is very helpful if you have ANY problems. For a lot of fun and contacts in a very small package, look for an Emtech NW40.
KC8QMF Rating: 2011-02-05
Wish they still offered them!! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Took my time to build this and was not disappointed.The radio needs about 10 min. to really get stable,then your ready to have fun.It took me about 20 hrs. to complete but my eyes are not that great anymore. Power goes from .10 to 8 watts on my kit. Kept the power at 4.5 watts and have worked 167 contacts with it. The bandwidth filter really cuts out the adjacent stations.
Plus RIT and a 500 hz filter and you can't go wrong with this rig for the money. Directions are alittle screwy but take your time and it gets clearer as you go along.
I take this in a small backpack with a battery and end-fed antenna and I have fun all morning.
You won't be sorry if you can just find one now.
N2DTS Rating: 2007-08-06
very nice Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I built one years ago, easy to build, worked very well, very small and light, even with a battery installed in the lid.

It has two possable drawbacks in my book, no built in antenna tuner (one would likely fit inside) and quite a bit of noise (hiss) from the chips. The filter works very well, the VFO is real nice.
Could actualy be a fantastic radio without the hiss.

KB1HYR Rating: 2006-08-16
Excellent radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I built this radio a couple of years ago. It went together perfectly with no trouble, and took me about three evenings to build - but I'm meticulous. I'm lucky to have a good scope and I already had a freq-mite handy, so aligning the kit and adjusting the transformers was no trouble.

This radio is a solid performer. So solid, in fact, that on CW it does better than my much more expensive IC-718. It does one thing, and it does it well. I highly recommend this XCVR!
AE6RQ Rating: 2004-06-30
Great performer, Great value Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.

= Favorite Features of the Emtech QRP radios =:
1. Variable Bandwidth Tuning (VBT) - I love this. It works very nicely with little to no ringing and goes down to about 200 Hz if memory serves.
2. Sensitive receiver - see my report below.
3. Audio filter - This is a very narrow audio filter on its own and complements the VBT nicely. Very little ringing.
4. RIT - Some people report that the RIT on this radio tunes much too broadly. I strongly disagree with that position and think it is just about right. Make sure however that you mark the "center +/-0 " position on the RIT control so you can easily return there.

= Order / Assembly =
I ordered my NW40 with the optional audio filter and received the kit a week or so later in February 2004. Upon inventory, I found that it was missing a couple of parts -- no problem. A call to Scott and they were in the mail the next day.

I was a bit slower than the average tech because this was my first "real" kit in about 20 years. However, I found that assembly was relatively straight forward and the documentation and step-by-step test process was very well done. All told, it probably took me 15-20 hours of assembly time, not including the metal chassis work.

Everything went together exactly as specified except, for some strange reason, I get better passband response through the crystal filters when I tune the slugs for the opposite sideband for which it was designed. [Now, after two more kits since the Emtech, I suspect that I may have soldered one of the crystals too close to the board. But, I have yet to follow that up because the radio is working so nicely and I don't want to mess with a good thing].

You can read more about my assembly experiences at:

= Performance =
== Receiver ==
My other radio is an Argonaut 509 which has a nice receiver but with a very wide IF bandwidth (~2.6 kHz).

Subjectively (using a A/B test with an antenna switch), I find that the NW40 receiver is just as sensitive as the Argonaut receiver, when I have the NW40 Variable Bandwidth Tuning set to my 'normal' operating level of about ~1 kHz.

The combination of the VBT, the audio filter, and the _lack_ of AGC is exceptional. It allows me to pick out CW signals that my Argonaut would hide from me. This is my primary radio for CW operations on 40 m.

== Speaker ==
I built in a small speaker in the cabinet and the radio has the output to drive it for room filling (read: wife annoying :-) volume.

== Keyer ==
This radio does not come with a built-in keyer, so I integrated Steve Weber's(KD1JV) "Frankenkeyer" to good effect and got a keyer and Morse read-out frequency counter for $25. Visit a follow-up that I posted to the URL above to learn how I integrated that board.

== Transmitter ==
The transmitter will put out about 7 watts, but I have it adjusted to about 4 watts. Transmit reports are clean - even when running from a $12, regulated switcher wall wart putting out 1.25 amps.

QSK is quite acceptable, but not "in-between dit" fast like the Ten Tec.

= Enclosure =
I put it in a Jameco enclosure:;529;788; where it makes a nice system.

This is by no means a backpack portable solution, but it does fit nicely in the stack with my other toys. It could certainly be put in a more compact enclosure.

= Summary =
The NW40 is sort of in a class of its own. It is not a miniature backpacking rig, but then the performance and features from the NW40 are much better than those rigs in the same price bracket. Assembly was easy, support and response from Emtech was excellent, and performance is superb. I recommend this radio to anyone.

AB7UW-MONTANA Rating: 2004-04-14
Excellent rig! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I have been using this rig for about 7 months now and cant say enough about it. has built in filter as well as RIT control. It puts out a rock stable 5 watts and a gell cell battery can power it all day and night without recharging. A fantastic qrp radio! Keep it up Emtech! Vaughn-N1XV
K8WIW Rating: 2003-06-05
What a hoot! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Most of the comments regarding the NW-30 can be applied to the NW-40. As a builder I really appreciated the "test as you build" approach that the instructions indicate. There is a lot to like about this rig. It has a "real" dial that you can check your frequency and tunes 7.000 to 7.200 kc. The AF filter is great! The receiver is really hot with low noise. With my Carolina Windom and Emtech tuner I have no problems making contacts. It tunes in SSB signals with good audio quality. I had a cross mode contact with a SSB station. Construction is relatively easy. My hands shake from the medications I take yet I was able to solder all the parts in and come up with the rig working on the first attempt. If you want to put some fun back in your life, try one of these little rigs. 73s