Best portable hf rig

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by N1QWI, May 2, 2015.

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  1. N1QWI

    N1QWI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Can someone recommend to me a simple but durable old or new model that can be operated on qrp with a battery and on full power (100 a or more) from the grid?

  2. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The best I can do is to recommend one of the small QRP portables, like the KX3, and adding an outboard amplifier to it for home use. KX3 is a great little rig, and Elecraft offers a nice amplifier for it, too.

    The old Yaesu FT897-series had provision to operate as a portable using internal batteries at 20 watts. With an external 12 volt supply, it would run 100 watts.
    K8BYP and N1QWI like this.
  3. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yaesu FT-897 might be worth a look.

  4. W8JX

    W8JX Ham Member QRZ Page

    A old Kenwood TS-140. (they were made from late 80's well into 90's and newer rig than older 440) I have owned 3 over last 26 years (sold two and own one still) and it is a very rugged rig and not as bad on receive power draw as modern 100 watt rigs because it is lower tech. I have used rig mobile for over 23 years and had no problems. BTW I sold my first 140 to a friend 15 years ago and it is still going strong.
    N1QWI likes this.
  5. N7GH

    N7GH Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Yaesu 857D has selectable power output from 5 to 100 (or more if you over drive it). It is billed as the worlds smallest HF radio and so far, as far as I've been able to find, it is. It does 160M through 70cm along with SSB on the VHF and UHF bands. The D model has a audio DSP and there are a full rang of accessories available for the rig. You can by a new one or used one--new is about 825 from HRO and used usually go around 600. I know several people that have them, and I had one and will buy another for this field day '15, and all have been very happy with the little full featured radio that does HF through 70cm.
    N1QWI likes this.
  6. KE0EYJ

    KE0EYJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have been looking at an 857D, but still wonder how long it runs on a 12v battery when it expects 13.8 plus or minus a bit? Comments?
  7. M0SDB

    M0SDB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Works brilliantly on 12v and is one of the main reasons I traded in my Ic 7000 which struggles badly on anything under 13.8v.

    The 857 and 897 are essentially the same radio in different clothes. The 857 is smasher though.

    I love mine...
    HUSKYKP and N1QWI like this.
  8. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    You can increase your operating time, at high power, if you decrease your output to 50 watts. The current drain on the battery will be much less and you will only loose 3 DB of output
    power. On the receive end of your 50 watt signal, that person's S meter will ready 1/2 of an S unit less. In other words, if you would have been S7 to the receive station, now you will
    be S 6-1/2. The odds are, if you can't be heard with 50 watts, you probably still won't be heard with 100 watts. In contest conditions, that's another story. But for day to day use,
    operating portable, you'll have tons of fun running at only 50 watts.
    BUT......remember one thing, "Use a good antenna !". Using a junk antenna could make your 100 watt signal sound like a 5 watt signal.
    E24OJT and K8BYP like this.
  9. N7GH

    N7GH Ham Member QRZ Page

    It all depends on how much power you want to run, like I said: "selectable from 5 to 100 Watts". Makes a nice QRP and up to 100 Watts. I see a lot of them on YouTube that are in a portable configuration on a pack frame--I'm getting things together to take mine portable to the wilderness beaches in Washington State. A little solar, and 13.8 sealed lead acid and I'll be running 50 during the day and 10 at night.
  10. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Have been very impressed with the KX3 my opinion it's in a class by itself, so many features in a small package just a great all around rig for QRP, portable or camping and you can add an amp if you feel the need. Recently had it on the WSPR mode with great results using the Signalink USB interface.

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