Seeking Suggestions for QRP Rig


Jim
 

Howdy 4SQRP,


I am looking for suggestions on a QRP rig. I had a Mountain Topper, which I liked. Problem was these eyes had problem seeing display. I would like a rig where display is easily seen. I have a Yaesu FT-817ND which I can easily see. However, I would like a smaller rig to throw in back pack. My main bands of interest are 40, 30 and 20. I thought of the MFJs with the frequencies on the case. But those are single banders. I do not want to pack 3 different radios. Any suggestion(s) would be appreciated. I am looking at you tube videos on different radios. However, advice from actual users is nice. 

                                               Thank You Very Much.                         Jim NV9X

 


Curt
 

Of course check out pfr3 and its dual and triband relatives.  of course these are larger cases to get the larger display.  I like my pfr3 for portable work.  to go smaller, there is kx1 and k1.  watching videos is a good idea, along with a paper sketch to scale.

Curt


Paul Ross <deadgoose@...>
 

I have a YouKits EK-1A for 40/20. Newer model does 30 as well. Bright display, solid 5 watts, CW of course.

73 /Paul W3FIS

Sent from my iPad


RWeeks <neotoxo54@...>
 

The MFJ 9200 series comes with plug in band cards...80,40,30,20,17,15 M bands...5W output depending on input voltage...

Sent from my iPad Mini
Rocky Weeks, AF5AF
East Arkansas Fur Takers, FTA Chap 29B

On Jul 8, 2017, at 18:39, nv9x@... [4sqrp] <4sqrp@...> wrote:

 

Howdy 4SQRP,


I am looking for suggestions on a QRP rig. I had a Mountain Topper, which I liked. Problem was these eyes had problem seeing display. I would like a rig where display is easily seen. I have a Yaesu FT-817ND which I can easily see. However, I would like a smaller rig to throw in back pack. My main bands of interest are 40, 30 and 20. I thought of the MFJs with the frequencies on the case. But those are single banders. I do not want to pack 3 different radios. Any suggestion(s) would be appreciated. I am looking at you tube videos on different radios. However, advice from actual users is nice. 

                                               Thank You Very Much.                         Jim NV9X

 


Ross Henderson
 

Have A unit that is frequency drop in the crystal slot and be a combo SSB/CW unit. And also have A regular antenna hook up (SO-259) instead of that other on. 72/73`s




On Saturday, July 8, 2017, 9:19:27 PM CDT, RWeeks neotoxo54@... [4sqrp] <4sqrp@...> wrote:


 

The MFJ 9200 series comes with plug in band cards...80,40,30,20,17,15 M bands...5W output depending on input voltage...

Sent from my iPad Mini
Rocky Weeks, AF5AF
East Arkansas Fur Takers, FTA Chap 29B

On Jul 8, 2017, at 18:39, nv9x@... [4sqrp] <4sqrp@...> wrote:

 

Howdy 4SQRP,


I am looking for suggestions on a QRP rig. I had a Mountain Topper, which I liked. Problem was these eyes had problem seeing display. I would like a rig where display is easily seen. I have a Yaesu FT-817ND which I can easily see. However, I would like a smaller rig to throw in back pack. My main bands of interest are 40, 30 and 20. I thought of the MFJs with the frequencies on the case. But those are single banders. I do not want to pack 3 different radios. Any suggestion(s) would be appreciated. I am looking at you tube videos on different radios. However, advice from actual users is nice. 

                                               Thank You Very Much.                         Jim NV9X

 


Ken Talbott
 

If funds are not an issue the KX-2 is the most functional, most integrated (internal batteries, antenna matching unit, and outstanding filtering) on the market.  It is a bit larger than the shirt-pocket rigs, but if you have to add tuner and filtering you are as big or larger and have a rats nest of cables.  The KX-2 covers all ham frequencies and modes from 80m to 10m.

 

Have you considered no-display rigs with CW only interface?  I really enjoyed my DSWK for lights-out operation (I regret letting it go).  These are one-band rigs.  I believe they are no longer in production but pop up often on the used market.  You may need to add keyer, freqMite, external tuner, and perhaps additional filtering. (See 4SQRP site for these.)  None tune the complete CW portion of the band. The rigs with which I am familiar are:

Wilderness Radio SST 40 Wayne Burdick N6KR

Norcal 40a Wayne Burdick N6KR (great performer and easy to use CW user interface)

SW40

DSW II 40 (add the optional firmware and this becomes the DSWK which I miss!  Very solid packaging.)

 

I really like the Mountain Toppers, MTR-2 and MTR-3 especially. Although the MTR-3 has an LED display, you can ignore it by turning on the CW annunciation.  Filtering is adequate but you MUST use an antenna matching unit or resonant antenna.  My only criticism is that you MUST limit your operating voltage to less than 12 VDC if you are not using a matching unit or resonant antenna.  I use the inexpensive buck/boost regulators from eBay with 3S1P 18650 batteries (12.6 to 10.0 VDC input, 11.0 VDC output).

 

Between this and the KX-2 are the K-1 and KX-1 transceivers from Elecraft.  Both meet my performance expectations.  They have adequate filtering and optional internal antenna matching units. The K-1 will tune 80 or 150 kHz of each band while the KX-1 covers the entire bands and beyond.  The KX-1 also allows for receive-only of SSB. 

 

If you need tri-band rig with highly visible display, the PFR-3B is an excellent choice.  I have owned two and they perform well except for the internal tuner.  I have never been able to get it to work well with coax to end-fed antenna.  I have been assured by many that it works well as a BLT.  I like the push-button tuning, but if you prefer a rotary encoder is now available with the rig from Pacific Antenna.

 

So, what would I suggest?  In order by price I would suggest the Norcal 40a, the MTR-3, the KX-1, or the KX-2.  In fact, these are the rigs that I use most often.  I have 4 operating locations (shack, bedroom, shop, wood shop) and frequently rotate these rigs.

 

Good luck!  I would like to know what you decide.

 

73 de ken ke4rg

 

From: 4sqrp@... [mailto:4sqrp@...]
Sent: Saturday, July 8, 2017 7:39 PM
To: 4sqrp@...
Subject: [4sqrp] Seeking Suggestions for QRP Rig

Howdy 4SQRP,

I am looking for suggestions on a QRP rig. I had a Mountain Topper, which I liked. Problem was these eyes had problem seeing display. I would like a rig where display is easily seen. I have a Yaesu FT-817ND which I can easily see. However, I would like a smaller rig to throw in back pack. My main bands of interest are 40, 30 and 20. I thought of the MFJs with the frequencies on the case. But those are single banders. I do not want to pack 3 different radios. Any suggestion(s) would be appreciated. I am looking at you tube videos on different radios. However, advice from actual users is nice. 

 Thank You Very Much.                         

Jim NV9X

 


Ariel Jacala
 

One of my favorites is the K1.  I have built and owned an EK1A and a KX1 but a K1 with a 4 band board is special.  Mine is for 40-30-20-15m bands.  It is hard to find and Elecraft only sells them now with only 2 bands.  With big letters and a tilt stand it is easy on the eyes.  It has RIT and XIT so you can work split with it chasing rare DX with 5 watts.

Ariel NY4G





Sent from my iPad

On Jul 9, 2017, at 07:42, 'Ken Talbott' ktalbott@... [4sqrp] <4sqrp@...> wrote:

 

If funds are not an issue the KX-2 is the most functional, most integrated (internal batteries, antenna matching unit, and outstanding filtering) on the market.  It is a bit larger than the shirt-pocket rigs, but if you have to add tuner and filtering you are as big or larger and have a rats nest of cables.  The KX-2 covers all ham frequencies and modes from 80m to 10m.

 

Have you considered no-display rigs with CW only interface?  I really enjoyed my DSWK for lights-out operation (I regret letting it go).  These are one-band rigs.  I believe they are no longer in production but pop up often on the used market.  You may need to add keyer, freqMite, external tuner, and perhaps additional filtering. (See 4SQRP site for these.)  None tune the complete CW portion of the band. The rigs with which I am familiar are:

Wilderness Radio SST 40 Wayne Burdick N6KR

Norcal 40a Wayne Burdick N6KR (great performer and easy to use CW user interface)

SW40

DSW II 40 (add the optional firmware and this becomes the DSWK which I miss!  Very solid packaging.)

 

I really like the Mountain Toppers, MTR-2 and MTR-3 especially. Although the MTR-3 has an LED display, you can ignore it by turning on the CW annunciation.  Filtering is adequate but you MUST use an antenna matching unit or resonant antenna.  My only criticism is that you MUST limit your operating voltage to less than 12 VDC if you are not using a matching unit or resonant antenna.  I use the inexpensive buck/boost regulators from eBay with 3S1P 18650 batteries (12.6 to 10.0 VDC input, 11.0 VDC output).

 

Between this and the KX-2 are the K-1 and KX-1 transceivers from Elecraft.  Both meet my performance expectations.  They have adequate filtering and optional internal antenna matching units. The K-1 will tune 80 or 150 kHz of each band while the KX-1 covers the entire bands and beyond.  The KX-1 also allows for receive-only of SSB. 

 

If you need tri-band rig with highly visible display, the PFR-3B is an excellent choice.  I have owned two and they perform well except for the internal tuner.  I have never been able to get it to work well with coax to end-fed antenna.  I have been assured by many that it works well as a BLT.  I like the push-button tuning, but if you prefer a rotary encoder is now available with the rig from Pacific Antenna.

 

So, what would I suggest?  In order by price I would suggest the Norcal 40a, the MTR-3, the KX-1, or the KX-2.  In fact, these are the rigs that I use most often.  I have 4 operating locations (shack, bedroom, shop, wood shop) and frequently rotate these rigs.

 

Good luck!  I would like to know what you decide.

 

73 de ken ke4rg

 

From: 4sqrp@... [mailto:4sqrp@...]
Sent: Saturday, July 8, 2017 7:39 PM
To: 4sqrp@...
Subject: [4sqrp] Seeking Suggestions for QRP Rig

Howdy 4SQRP,

I am looking for suggestions on a QRP rig. I had a Mountain Topper, which I liked. Problem was these eyes had problem seeing display. I would like a rig where display is easily seen. I have a Yaesu FT-817ND which I can easily see. However, I would like a smaller rig to throw in back pack. My main bands of interest are 40, 30 and 20. I thought of the MFJs with the frequencies on the case. But those are single banders. I do not want to pack 3 different radios. Any suggestion(s) would be appreciated. I am looking at you tube videos on different radios. However, advice from actual users is nice. 

 Thank You Very Much.                         

Jim NV9X

 


Curt
 

Those are a lot of requirements, not sure any existing radio will achieve all any better than the 817 you already own or the MTR which you owned.  I love my K1-4, but those are no longer made and would never throw mine into a backpack anyway.  Owned an ATS-3B that was great for small size and worked 6 bands with plug-in modules.  But, the single digit display was pretty small and the MTR is the same radio without the plugin modules.  All of the Elecraft offerings are pretty pricey.

GL on the quest, let us know what you decide.

73, Curt KB5JO