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You Kits new offerings - two, no less

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by KL7KN, Jan 15, 2018.

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  1. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    First is a
    Youkits CW-40 single band 40 meter CW Morse Code transceiver assembled

    So, a
    40M only, CW transceiver, DDS VFO and 5 Watts out. No case. Listed for $99. OK.

    I would note the You Kits ad for N/A lists a 40 M version, yet the photo in their site ad, clearly shows an 80M version. Also, the items is marked as 2018/02. I wonder if this means other boards for other bands will soon be offered?

    I would welcome a 30M for the $99 price point and build my own setup for portable ops.

    Is this in response to the huge sales of the QRP Labs kits (QCK kits) - a kit that sells for $49.00. Can't say - but it is interesting. And it is completely assembled.

    Next is the "new and improved"

    HB-1B MK IV, now I guess.

    Now offering QSK and a new chip set. I'll note the case mimics the HS-1B as do many, but not all of the features. The selling price has also dropped to $270. Welcome to say the least.

    Again, is this price point pressure from the HS-1B semi-kit that sells for $159.00? Or the new SSB/CW rig X-5105?

    Hard to say, but the price drop of ~ $30 is not trivial, being almost 10%.

    I'll add my by now standard whine about lack of technical data, schematic etc - but, still the folks at You Kits are paying attention to the market and at least offering something newish with a decent price point for the hobbyist.

    Yes, the QCK kits are more technically advanced with lots more features. Still, I can see a $100 entry level transceiver - one with a DDS VFO and if their other rigs are any indication, good sensitivity with decent filtering - as something that you will likely find a lot of shacks here in N/A as it comes ready to play. Face it, these days, a ~$50 difference is a tank of gas to most hams in N/A.

    New rig offerings and price cutting is good to see as it indicates, at least to me, that competition is coming to the low end market serving of Ham radio. YMMV
  2. VE7JBX

    VE7JBX Ham Member QRZ Page

    The price still seems a bit high for the single band (it's only $189 for the EK-1C triband already in a nice case) but the HB-1B looks attractive for the cost - particularly that IF filter knob might be useful.

    For the $100 price point, I'd be more tempted to get a uBitx which is a "kit" but from the description really just needs a case added. (OK not 'would be', I actively am tempted, but that Palm PPK key is also calling out and probably only one will win out in near future).
    KL7KN likes this.
  3. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    To a point, I'll agree that the $99 price point for a single band radio might seem a bit high to many.

    If we look at other single band rigs on the market I see:

    MFJ Cub - $99 as a kit with well know issues with drift owing to an analog VFO. Does come with a case, some assembly required - a semi kit, perhaps.

    Oak Hills 100A - $189, with case for a kit. Analog VFO again. Cover 7.00 to 7.070.

    BITX 40 - Comes assembled. Sells for $59 and is just SSB - close, but....

    SMK-2 40m Surface Mount CW Transceiver -from Pacific Antennas. Out of stock. Comes with a case and is a kit. 350mQ output. Price not listed.

    QCX mentioned in my OP. 5 Watts and $49.00 - a full DIY kit.

    So, a single band, 5 watt, DDS VFO (7.0 to 7.3) ready to play out of the box @ 99 USD. Still looks like a decent price point for many that just want to plug and play....

    Thanks for your reply.
  4. VE7JBX

    VE7JBX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Don,

    Yes, all good examples. If you haven't seen it, take a look at the uBitx. Same folks as the BITX but 3-30 MHz, SSB and CW, 10W, dual digital VFOs, etc. I recall from a recent post here it's like $120 including shipping.

    Not that I don't like YouKits - the more I get comfortable with CW and use my EK-1C, the more I like it. (I should, it's the most expensive radio in my shack!)
  5. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've seen the cBITx - the thread here has been informational - esp where Glenn had his blow up owing to how the power is routed to the PA section.

    As a side point, the You Kits product requires no soldering - and I know I'll get harassed for saying this - but so few hams these days can even solder a wire, I view the You Kits as a viable product. Not that I would purchase one, but I can believe there is a market for the product.

    I know it took me a couple of hours to teach my Grand-daughter how to solder properly. We used the session to make 'Art" with wires soldered to a practice (proto) board, so that made it fun. That she learned enough to properly assemble and solder a 4 State Hy per mite filter board was the bonus.

    Anyway - I was happy to see the new product and the improvement/price drop for the HB-1B. This is like, what? Iteration 13 or so for the rig? Shows the company listens to the market - a little it seems.

    Best of luck....
    KB2SMS and KD2RON like this.
  6. W4KYR

    W4KYR Ham Member QRZ Page

    $99 would be a great deal IF it came with the case and rechargeable batteries....
  7. N8DAH

    N8DAH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Bitx40 does CW pretty darn good by the way. It may require a few bits to solder but for 59$ its a solid rig. The youkits CW-40 not only looks pretty rough but that price, for what you get its a deal breaker. The HB-1B was my 1st rig and I can't say anything but I miss it, was a great little rig.
  8. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    David, Thank you. I did not see where the Bitx 40 supports CW ( as opposed to MCW). I learn something new each day.
  9. KF9VV

    KF9VV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I put a QCX together. I was really happy when it worked on first power up.

    It wasn't a horrible thing to build, but not as easy as putting some Legos together either. As much as I enjoy the end product, it was right at my limits vision wise to put it together. Humbling actually. The hard part for me was sorting the capacitors, they have very small printing on them, and until I dug out a set of jeweler's glasses I was unable to read the numbers.

    If I was to choose between a board and bag of parts at $50 and a populated tested board for $100 I would spring for the working radio.

    Then again, sometimes building is the only way to get somewhere.

    The QCX is just that product. I had wanted to try a phase cancelling method direct conversion receiver for a long time. The QCX is such a design, and it gave me a path to try one. Turns out I like the concept as much as I expected. If I had not been as curious about trying the receiver format, I would have gone a pre-built route.

    My point is that the threshold for me to consider building is that if it is a way to get something I want to try that isn't commercially marketed.
  10. KD8ZM

    KD8ZM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I now keep the Youkits hb1b mk3 in the drawer next to my recliner in the family room, along with headphones, a straight key and the tiny SOTA tuner. When i feel like making a few contacts I open the drawer, pull out my straight key and it works great, with a 22 ga wire running out the window.
    The only criticism I have for the hb1b is that the QRN pulsates rapidly, which I don't understand. Doesn't impede its useability, its only mildly annoying. Good radio.
    Just got a kx3 that I may use in the drawer instead, if I ever learn how to use it. Can't beat the simplicity of the Youkits rig.
    Brady KD8ZM

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