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 Post subject: budget QRP rig
PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:29 am 
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Hello all

while my Codan 9323 HF is wonderful...its a bit big and awkward to use.

so I've decided to look into getting a tiny Voice QRP rig for portable operations
my criteria are
- kit form...I want to save some costs and assemble it myself
- cost...the cheaper the better
- multiband, up to 6 bands, i would also like the capability to easily swap out bands
- idiot proof...in the field I want something easy to use and not overly complicated
- small and compact...packing requirements

and lastly, output 10W or less

any suggestions

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 Post subject: Re: budget QRP rig
PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:00 am 
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You can try comparison shopping for what you need at this site:

http://www.qrptransceiver.com/

I have no experience with any of these kit as of yet but you commit and are successful please post. I am currently set with main and QRP SSB sets but still would not mind doing a little project work myself given time.

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 Post subject: Re: budget QRP rig
PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:36 pm 
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If under $500 is cheap, then you are good.

All of the inexpensive SSB rigs that I am aware of available as kits are sold as monobanders.
(Note - there are no cheap kit radios worth owning IMO)

Of the SSB rigs sold as a monobander, the one I have recommended as a starter kit is the CR Kits (CR=Chinese Radio) KN-Q7A. In either 40 or 20 meters. No longer made - I'm noting this in case you run across a working unit for sale. (Selling as a kit for about $110)

The KN-Q7A was replaced by the new "CS Series" Much better radio than the Q7A as it has a real digital VFO. Also a choice of 40 or 20 meters. $140 which includes the required speaker mike. One of the smaller rigs - worth noting if you plan on using this in field.
http://crkits.com/cs.jpg

For your $140 you get quality components, a rarity in Chinese sourced rigs. The instructions are readable (not quite Chinglish) with photos to help in assembly. Parts spacing is tight, so you will need a quality soldering iron, some good skills and patience. The Vendor offer support via a Yahoo group - take a look to see if this level of support will work for you. Note manual is in re-write. The older KN-Q7A manual is online if you are interested.

http://crkits.com/sandwich.jpg
Pic of the VFO - you can see how tight I'm talking about.


The rest of the available kits use multiple boards (Speaky for DE or the Juma with a Motherboard & multiple daughter boards) ) or are just expensive (Juma $490 + shipping, but it is all band)

Most of the SDR rigs require a PC be attached, don't know if these are of any interest - if so, be prepared to deal with SMD sized components.

Alternatively to kits, the MFJ 94xx series of mono-banders go for $260 and offer a surprisingly good performance to price ratio. These can be had from 75 meters all the way to 2 meters. These are sized to be able to make a stack of power supply, radio and manual tuner. If that matters.

CW only radio kits offer a huge set of choices - once you go for SSB, the quality of components and complexity of circuits drives the cost up considerably.

Finally-
If you have the license class and can work the bands with DSB...

The MDT (Minimalist Double Sideband Transceiver) is an inexpensive and easy to build kit for the 40M band (ONLY). Available in 2 frequency ranges: 7.050 - 7.130MHz or 7.215 - 7.300MHz. 2 watts output. Made and sold from Oz.

It is ideal for the first time builder as all parts except the microphone socket are mounted on a single PCB and all the components are through hole.

This is a full kit containing everything you need even the case and specially pre-cut and printed front and rear panels. $86 Audollars as of today. One of the better deals in kits.
Other bands are available for about $140 AU dollars.
http://www.ozqrp.com/MDTindex.html for full facts.

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 Post subject: Re: budget QRP rig
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:51 am 
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Thanks for the reply Tacair

I quite like the looks of the ozqrp rigs. I also quite like the look of the old TenTec 555 scout with the band modules.

wonder if there is a way to mod the MST3 board to do something similar...ideas idea ideas

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Tropical Cyclone Marcia: Category 5 landfall 2015
Tropical Cyclone Nathan: Category 3 landfall 2015
Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie: Category 4 landfall 2017


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 Post subject: Re: budget QRP rig
PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:25 pm 
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Look at the Bitx40 kits. Super easy to wire up. All the hard work is done for you.

Print a 3d printed case and spend 3 hours or so assembling it.

$59 out the door.

Does SSB, and Psk31 without mods (I am working on a cable interface with my android) But manually ptt for psk works.


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