Manager - NA4M
Manager Notes

Reviews For: AEA DX-Handy

Category: QRP Radios (5 watts or less)

eMail Subscription

Registered users are allowed to subscribe to specific review topics and receive eMail notifications when new reviews are posted.
Review Summary For : AEA DX-Handy
Reviews: 9MSRP: 299
QRP Handheld
Product is not in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
WB7R Rating: 2020-12-20
Most amazing QSO ever. Tough little rig. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I still own an AEA DX Handy bought new ~1990. It still works. These are a rebrand of the Mizuho MX-28S. Manufacturing in Japan ceased in 1992.

I like the solid feel of the thick aluminum sheetmetal case. The build construction is a thing of beauty, considering it is old school pre-SMD component. Behind the back cover, which comes off with one central screw is room for 7 Aa batteries. A dummy battery is supplied for use with alkalines. You use 6 alkalines or 7 1.2V rechargeables. I prefer NiMH cells for the 650 mA on transmit, and for easy recharging installed in the rig using a 12V wall wart. Just don’t forget that you have alkalines in there and connect it to 12V. (I did that.) And don’t forget to set the switch on the bottom to CHARGE when you connect to 12V with NiMH’s.

Received SSB audio has a pleasing natural (for SSB) tone. TX audio reports are good. One said the DX Handy audio was “kind of boomy.”

For CW operation to be practical, you need a keyer with a separate PTT function. The K1EL keyers such as PaddleStik have this.

Seattle - Cairns, Australia mobile on 2 watts (near a previous solar peak):

One afternoon parked in my Chevy Astro with whip on a bluff overlooking Puget Sound, I listened on 10 on the DX Handy. Heard a VK calling CQ, 5x7. I answered and to my surprise he responded with my call giving me a 5x3. That’s over 8,000 miles on 2 watts mobile! He was amazed and I was thrilled. We QSL’ed. His card said “I was blown away when you told me about your rig.”

After that I made many - all SSB — contacts to Europe mornings driving to work. One G station lectured me about how I really should run more power or use a better antenna than a mobile whip. I had to laugh because we were having a QSO nevertheless. Another day a J station with “7 over 7 stacked monoband Yagis” was booming in. He said I was 5 x 9. Then he said “I don’t believe you” after I described my mobile 2-watt handheld rig. He wasn’t joking. He sounded irritated, thinking I was messing with him.

Operating the rig with the telescopic whip is not very effective. An exception is using a counterpoise wire, of something like hanging overboard in saltwater an 8-ft copper pipe with ground wire attached. THAT really worked for DX.

I realize that much of these comments read like operating QRP on 10 meters in general. However, i tried a 10-meter 25-watt mobile radio and it was terrible and mostly unusable compared to the Mizuho. I own the 17-meter version as well. I had great fun with that at a previous QTH with a Mosley Super-33 3-element tribander for 40, 20 and 17 meters at 80 feet. These are unique, quirky but cool an rugged little vintage HF QRP handhelds.
SWL377 Rating: 2011-01-04
Finally, some QSOs Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Second review. I like this rig a lot more now that I have made some QSOs, some as far as 1000 miles away usiong only the telescoping whip. QRP is frustrating, but that is not the fault of this cute little 10M SSB HT. It does as well as any low powered SSB rig and is very fun to use. Buy one and play with it. They hold their value exceptionally well and if you tire of it you can sell it without losing much if anything at all.

CW is poorly executed on this rig from a user interface standpoint, so I suggest another rig if you are planning CW operation. For SSB it is great and even has decent rcv and xmit audio. Battery consumption is surprisingly good. This rig sips power on rcv.

There is a cult follwing for this HTs. If you use one you will soon understand why. They are just plain FUN.

K2PGB Rating: 2008-06-09
REAL FUN Time Owned: more than 12 months.
KU4QD Rating: 2002-12-11
2w 10m SSB/CW handheld is loads of fun Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The AEA DX-Handy MX-28S (the 10 meter version) is a Mizuho MX-28S with an American nameplate. (It is substantially different from the MX-10Z the previous reviewer referred to.) It puts out 2W SSB or CW on two 50kHz segments of the 10 meter band between 28.000-28.700. I have made quite a few contacts with this rig and it consistently receives good reports when the band is wide open. 10 meters is the "wet noodle" band, meaning you can practically transmit into a wet noodle for an antenna when the band is open and still get out. So... it's ideally suited for QRP operation with a small antenna. I find using a counterpoise really improves my ability to make contacts with the telescopic whip that came with the radio.

CW as described as awkward by the last reviewer, and I have to agree *UNLESS* you have a CW-2S sidetone and QSK unit to sit alongside the DX Handy. AEA never sold these, but fortunately others who have imported Mizuho gear before and after AEA did. You'll usually find them with either the JiM or Mizuho brand name. They do add to the size of the rig a little, though. Still, using the DX Handy as a CW rig with the CW-2S and an external key is a pleasure while using the little pushbutton and holding the PTT with the other hand is a royal pain.

Receiver performance is very good indeed. Frequency is VXO controlled (you are actually warping the crystals) and the VXO knob operates smoothly. Tuning is coarse, though, so turn it gently in small increments to tune in the station you want to work. Operation is simple and straightforward. Yes, the meter is tiny, but it's an HT, remember? I can read it fine.

Charging is done with an ordinary 12V wall wart and the charging circuit is controlled by a switch on the bottom. External operation is at 9V -- not 12V -- so be careful not to put 12V into other than when the charging circuit is turned on. I use the rig with 1600MAH NiMH batteries and they last a good long time and charge up in the radio with no problems.

Mizuho sell a soft case for their handhelds (model BM-6) which is still available and fits the DX Handy perfectly. Highly recommended.

The only real caveat is the limited portion of the band the rig can cover at any one time (two 50kHz segments determined by range crystals). The radio is spartan, but it also consumes little power and is lightweight, making it ideal for hiking and the great outdoors.

I should also mention that the AEA versions are from early production runs. If you find a Mizuho MX-28S with a shiny silver (not matte grey) case it's a much newer, but otherwise identical, radio. I also own or have owned the same handhelds (with the Mizuho nameplate) for 2m, 6m, 15m, 17m, 20m, and 40m. I highly recommend them.
K4TIN Rating: 2002-11-15
Tons of Fun! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This little radio is an updated version of the Mizuho MX-10, a 10 Meter CW/SSB H/T. Two 50 KHZ segments of the band can be tuned by a small (about 15mm) knob at the upper right corner of the panel.
Awkward provisions for powering, charging, and operating CW, but the receiver is excellent indeed. A tiny S meter I can't see without reading glasses sits right by a curious little push-button key. No memories, digital frequency displays or other modern amenities except RIT.
Nonetheless, it is loads of fun to use; many European, South American, Canadian, and west coast stations worked on SSB while standing on my driveway using the supplied telescoping antenna.
KF6AL Rating: 2002-02-27
Small,Fun and Functional Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased my 10 Meter AEA DX-HANDY used in Mint condition over a year ago. The OEM telescopic base loaded whip is OK for mountain topping.On lower ground getting a good DX transmission signal out requires a better antenna. You can make a cheap dipole or delta loop for less than a buck with old xfmr wire or just plain scrap.I have talked voice SSB all over the world in the past 2 months.Im hooked on QRP! If you like to work DX from an HT now is the time to do it. The bands have never been better for 10 meter operation. Its a shame these gems are no longer made, but there are still a few around on the nets and amateur radio swapmeets. I am looking for a Tech Manual showing allignment points for re-tuning the radio as the power tends to drop as you change xtals for anything above 28.40Mhz.If you know how I can get a copy please e-mail me at 73's KF6AL
KJ6CA Rating: 2002-02-12
I have worked DX with the handy on CW in the field . Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have worked DX in the field with the DX Handy with the stock whip antenna, mostly CW useing the built in button key. The MS28 seems to work the best, as I own a MS50 for 6mtr as well, and havent had as good as luck with it on the west coast. DX with the MS28= JA, ZK1, KL7=CW VY1=SSB and couple others not bad with 2watt hand held and walkie talkie type antenna. Now thats QRPin ? 73 BOB KJ6CA ..
WD4JDO Rating: 2000-08-13
Considering it's limitations, it's a great little radio. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I got my 10m DX-Handy (MX-28S) used at a hamfest several years ago from it's original owner.

He had an extra crystal for the bottom of the band, but it tuned DOWN from 28.000MHz. After reinstalling the original crystal, the rig works like it's supposed to.

Buying mine at the bottom of the sunspot cycle, and not being a big CW user, I haven't made many contacts.

I broke the original whip antenna, so now I'm using a Radio Shack back of set CB antenna (I cut out the bend, then retuned it for 10m). (Anybody know where to get a replacement whip?)

With the back of set antenna, I have made a few Field Day contacts, and didn't have any problem getting thru, although it did take a few more tries than the 100w rig the club was using.

Other than the normal limitations of QRP, and the rig limited to two (2) 50KHz segments of the band, it seems to be a great little rig.

I just wish I used it more.
KD7EJI Rating: 2000-05-08
Mediocre Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I purchased a 10 Meter AEA DX-HANDY used about a year ago. I have found that it receives quite well, however getting a good transmission signal out seems a little difficult. I made one local contact on the rig, even when conditions were somewhat favorable. Results may be better when using an antenna other then the standard which comes with the radio, but I have not tried it. There are some nice features on the radio though, it has an RIT, and a small built in CW button.