ad: ProAudio-1

QRP CW, Any input on rig selection?

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KD2RON, Nov 23, 2015.

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: L-MFJ
ad: Left-2
ad: abrind-2
ad: Subscribe
ad: Left-3
  1. W8ZNX

    W8ZNX Ham Member QRZ Page


    loved simply loved my IC-703
    but mine was a lemon

    been to the shop twice
    first deaf on receive
    second time simply dead

    now again it's not running
    no RF out

    when it runs its great
    runs rings around my FT-817

    thank goodness have a dozen or so QRP rigs
    Small Wonder and NorCal monobanders
    more than one 509 Argo, a Argo Six
    the Yaesu
    and a mess of HB tube transmitters

    Bill and Steve are right lots of rigs can be run QRP
    my Eagle, FT 920 and other rigs will run QRP
    the Heathkit Apache
    in the tune pos
    can be run as a QRP CW rig from about twelve to zero watts out

    more weight for your watts
    funny to be running a 100 plus lb transmitter at four watts

    sold my Century 21 last summer
    had lots of fun with it but
    if am going to be fixed station
    would rather use one of my HB tube jobs

    still in the stacks

    listening to Edgard Varese

  2. KK7EL

    KK7EL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    My recommendations are Ten-Tec Argonaut V, Icom 703, Ten-Tec Argonaut VI, Elecraft K2, Elecraft K3 in ascending order of preference. If the OP wants smal and portable CW in addition to affordable, Elecraft KX1 is a good choice.
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

  4. PA1ZP

    PA1ZP Ham Member QRZ Page


    I use my POP-Pixie 2 design for 80 mtrs QRPP (just 1 watt) and it is extremely simple.
    But only 25 kitts were made PA0POP .

    Can agree on IC703 , lovely rig but it is awfully unreliable and breaks down a lot and very often.

    FT817 series not bad but need a CW filter and a tuner.

    Elecraft KX3 , no fun for that price but awfully good.

    I use my FT857D for QRP , and the fun is when I need power it has the power.

    73 Jos
  5. KK7EL

    KK7EL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am surprised some had reliability issues with IC-703. I bought a 703+ new from Universal Radio July 2010, added an Inrad 250 Hz filter, and sold it November 2013 for $650 shipped in order to help finance a new KX3. The 703 traveled in a foam lined pistol case and made several excursions with me, never had any issues with it at all. I like the solid feel of the 703 better than the feel of the KX3, but the KX3 is far and away the better rig. Still, a good used 703 is very capable.
  6. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    the reports of unreliability in the 703 surprise me, too. I've had mine for several years now.... and have carried it on many, many DX-peditions and field days. It has never let me down.

    In fact, I just used it today at the Southernmost tip of th Ft Morgan Peninsula on a mini-DXpedition and it worked like a charm.
  7. PA1ZP

    PA1ZP Ham Member QRZ Page


    2 friends of mine had a IC703 as they were limited in use of power and rigs by their licence.
    One broke down 5 times in all sorts of strange defects , the other 3 times.
    Totally ubrelyable with very strange and often complicated defects, that never should or could have happened in normal use.

    Both of them said goodby to their IC703 after to many failures.
    But if they worked they worked realy nice and better as a Ft817

    73 Jos
  8. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    PA1ZP- I'm not doubting that others have had problems.... it just surprises me since mine has been such a stout and reliable performer. Maybe ICOM went through a period of bad QC.... or maybe I just got lucky.
  9. W7CJD

    W7CJD Ham Member QRZ Page

  10. KC2SIZ

    KC2SIZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I built a KD1JV Tribander a few years ago. The kit runs about $225 now. You get a lot for that money:

    • Any three ham bands, 80, 40, 30, 20, 17 or 15 meters, choose at time of order.
    • 5 watts output on all bands with 13.8V supply
    • Built in Iambic keyer with 5 to 40 wpm code speed, selectable Iambic A or B modes and two 63 character message memories.
    • Receiver sensitivity, 0.2 uV MSD
    • DDS VFO for rock steady stability with 50 Hz and 200 Hz tuning rates
    • Easy to read four digit LED display with leading zero suppression.
    • Rotary knob tuning
    • RIT (receive incremental tuning)
    • Four IF crystals for excellent selectivity and opposite side band rejection
    • 600 Hz audio filter
    • Audio derived AGC
    • Small size, 6" wide, 1.5" tall and 4" deep.
    • Light weight, 12 ounces.
    • Modest supply current requirements, 90 ma on receive (no signal) and 600 to 800 ma on transmit at 5W out (current depends on band, higher bands draw more current)
    (the above is from the QRPKits website).

    I use the Tribander a lot. I really enjoy it and have worked about 70 different countries with it.
    W8ZNX and AI6KX like this.

Share This Page