cheap 20 watt portable Chinese HF rig

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Purple_Mutant
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cheap 20 watt portable Chinese HF rig

Post by Purple_Mutant » Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:12 am

I just came across this 20 watt HF CW/AM/SSB rig on amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01IF ... em_1p_3_ti

It looks like a neat little rig for the price. When playing radio out in the boonies with a less than optimal antenna; 20 watts might come in handy over QRP power. The power draw on the rig is pretty darn low. For running off batteries that's important. I wish I had some spare change so I could pick one of those up. It's nice to see Chinese companies coming out with ham rigs. Not everyone can throw money at ham radio. So quality rigs at a low price are just what poor hams like me need.
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Re: cheap 20 watt portable Chinese HF rig

Post by ssdtopgun » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:15 am

I realize it's a 20W rig but for the price I would really suggest people save up a few more dollars and get an Elecraft KX2.

A good antenna with a quality feedline makes all the difference. I have a KX3 and can reach all four corners of the continental United States with a Chameleon Mil-wip antenna from my backyard on both digital and SSB modes with less than 10 watts. I've made several contacts into Hawaii and down into the carribean with the same setup from Colorado.

The Elecraft radios are durable, software upgrable, and extremely portable.

Check them out here http://www.elecraft.com/KX2/kx2.htm

Enjoy!

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Re: cheap 20 watt portable Chinese HF rig

Post by teotwaki » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:56 am

Here are two ZS threads on portable HF rigs

viewtopic.php?f=42&t=116138

viewtopic.php?f=42&t=118856
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Re: cheap 20 watt portable Chinese HF rig

Post by Purple_Mutant » Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:48 am

ssdtopgun wrote:I realize it's a 20W rig but for the price I would really suggest people save up a few more dollars and get an Elecraft KX2.

A good antenna with a quality feedline makes all the difference. I have a KX3 and can reach all four corners of the continental United States with a Chameleon Mil-wip antenna from my backyard on both digital and SSB modes with less than 10 watts. I've made several contacts into Hawaii and down into the carribean with the same setup from Colorado.

The Elecraft radios are durable, software upgrable, and extremely portable.

Check them out here http://www.elecraft.com/KX2/kx2.htm

Enjoy!
I would take the Yaesu FT-817 over the KX3. I have an 817 and really like it. The KX3 doesn't have all the capabilities of the 817 and it costs more.
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Re: cheap 20 watt portable Chinese HF rig

Post by ssdtopgun » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:23 am

Purple_Mutant wrote:
ssdtopgun wrote:I realize it's a 20W rig but for the price I would really suggest people save up a few more dollars and get an Elecraft KX2.

A good antenna with a quality feedline makes all the difference. I have a KX3 and can reach all four corners of the continental United States with a Chameleon Mil-wip antenna from my backyard on both digital and SSB modes with less than 10 watts. I've made several contacts into Hawaii and down into the carribean with the same setup from Colorado.

The Elecraft radios are durable, software upgrable, and extremely portable.

Check them out here http://www.elecraft.com/KX2/kx2.htm

Enjoy!
I would take the Yaesu FT-817 over the KX3. I have an 817 and really like it. The KX3 doesn't have all the capabilities of the 817 and it costs more.

Not to take the bait and start the Elecraft vs Yaesu debate but I would offer the following thoughts.

The only capability that the Yaesu has over the Elecraft is the ability to use 440mhz (70cm) band.

The Elecraft KX3 offers the following:
1. Its lighter and more compact
2. Lower power consumption
3. Up to 15 watts HF
4. Internal antenna tuner
5. Ability to decode digital & CW without a computer attached.
6. Software defined makes it upgradable.
7. Built in voice recorder

As for cost when you add a decent antenna tuner to the 817 and filters to the 817 the radios are nearly identical in cost. Plus to decode CW or use digital modes on the 817 you need a laptop or a tablet and extra cables which would make the 817 less portable and cost more.

Don't get me wrong the 817 is a fantastic radio but the debate between these radios is really for the most part silly.

If you have an 817 it's a great radio. If you are just looking at getting a radio I would encourage you to do some research and look at several makes and models and decide what works best for your mission and budget.

Enjoy.



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Re: cheap 20 watt portable Chinese HF rig

Post by Radio guy » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:31 pm

I've owned a Yaesu FT-817 and an Elecraft KX3 w/2m option and an Elecraft KX2. Except for the 440 band in the Yaesu that is not available in the KX3, I can say the KX3 is easily 20X the radio of an FT-817 in performance and features. It cost a bit more but what you get in the KX3 is night and day better than an 817.

Then there is the newer Elecraft KX2, which is 80 through 10m only but it has a built in antenna tuner and runs a really long time on its internal battery, far longer than any battery you can stuff inside an FT-817. The KX3 and KX2 rigs now put out 15W compared to 5W on the FT-817, and you usually need to carry around an antenna tuner with the FT-817 and so on. What you get with the little Elecraft rigs is $5,000 contest grade performance in a tiny little package and with the optional side panels with handles and Lexan cover, the KX3 and KX2 are far more rugged than the FT-817.

Back to the original post, the cost of the newer Chinese HF radio is not that bad but there are no performance reports out to tell if its worth the $$. Everyone knows how an 817 works and there are lots of reports on the little Elecraft rigs that can partially justify their price. But the Chinese HF backpack radio could be a complete piece of crap and if so not worth any price.
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Purple_Mutant wrote:
ssdtopgun wrote:
I would take the Yaesu FT-817 over the KX3. I have an 817 and really like it. The KX3 doesn't have all the capabilities of the 817 and it costs more.

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Re: cheap 20 watt portable Chinese HF rig

Post by TacAir » Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:09 am

The FX-9 is - at best - a 'garage radio' - a very low rate production built by one guy in his garage. The board is professionally done, all the I/O stuff is added.

No dealers, no real warranty as seen so very often with the Hencho en China radios. The postings on ham sites seem to run 50/50 - happy/horrified.

I don't see that this rig offers anything more than you could get with a used SG-2020.

You dough and your choice, I'll take a pass based on the past history of the FX series radios.
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Re: cheap 20 watt portable Chinese HF rig

Post by Purple_Mutant » Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:29 pm

Looks like it may be worth waiting until more people review them. Perhaps the 817 I already own + a QRP amp would be better deal if I feel the need to pack more than 5 watts.
TacAir wrote:The FX-9 is - at best - a 'garage radio' - a very low rate production built by one guy in his garage. The board is professionally done, all the I/O stuff is added.

No dealers, no real warranty as seen so very often with the Hencho en China radios. The postings on ham sites seem to run 50/50 - happy/horrified.

I don't see that this rig offers anything more than you could get with a used SG-2020.

You dough and your choice, I'll take a pass based on the past history of the FX series radios.
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Re: cheap 20 watt portable Chinese HF rig

Post by doitnstyle1 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:00 am

I picked up one. I am pretty impressed with it's performance. Now that I'm done studying for my Extra I will have a little more time to do some additional testing.
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