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LCWO Discussion Forum [Atom LCWO Forum Feed]

This is a simple discussion forum for LCWO users. Feel free to use it for any kind of discussion related to this website.

Thread: Opinion on good cheap rig (CW)

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AuthorText


Posted: 2013-03-11 10:19
Greetings,

I am picking up 2 Baofeng UV5Re radios I got from Amazon real cheap, in the hopes of getting my valid HAM Radio license. My Pops passed away and I managed to get his handheld IC 02AT, but the parts to fix it cost more than the Baofeng. And the couple times I borrowed his call sign, I figured its not worth the risk these days, not knowing what freq's I might be on (the IC has no manual, and my Pops was notorious for hacking everything).

But my primary interest is CW.

I struggle with a brain injury. I do pretty well, but find taking these practice tests I am a bit slow on the trigger. I am sure in time I will get the hang of it.

In the meanwhile, could someone please give me some input on what would be a good 'target' to shoot for as in a good bang for the buck CW rig. My dream is the Elecraft KX3, but unfortunately way out of my league right now money wise.

I spend a lot of time outdoors by proxy; my income does not get me much of a place to live. So I desire a good solid portable that I can recharge via solar and whatever other means I can drum up.

I am trying to study up on some SDR stuff, and have an interest in GNU Radio and open source software/computers. I have several computers, but all have one thing or another broken. But, with Open Source stuff I manage to get them all to work somewhat; which is a start :)

I also am interested in D-STAR, but would like to get involved more in an open source version. If anyone else is interested and would like to share ideas, I am looking for a buddy. Hard to find anybody in these parts interested in much else than cell phones. Which I hate paying a bill for!

Thanks for the site here. Nice work! And thanks for having me.

Sincerely,

Georg Curnutt wildegeist@gmail.com


Posted: 2013-03-13 02:53
Hello!

I just built a KX3 and am practicing to knock the dust off my fist so I can take it on the air. While I think it will be a great radio to take to the park, it would probably be tough to learn with as it is just a QRP rig.

I started to learn CW with an old Kenwood hybrid radio (tubes and transistors), a TS520S. I think you can probably find an old Kenwood TS520 or something similar for less than $300. With just that and a 20 meter dipole up 30-40 feet I was stepping right over people and getting in through pile ups easily.

If you can find an older rig that is affordable, don't turn away from it. Especially an operating Kenwood.

Good luck with your license. I was not interested in FM at all so since you are interested in CW you should skip the handhelds and go right for an HF license! Search for clubs nearby and go to their meetings...you may find someone willing to help you get set up.

Also, check out QRZ.com


Posted: 2013-03-19 05:16
I agree with KC2ham
Though not necessarily the best place to buy, ebay has lots of Kenwood TS140S radios for sale around the $300 mark. They can be a nice beginners rig, cover HF 160 to 10m and thus give lots of bandwidth for CW. I have both a TS830s and a TS140s. I like them both, though for CW to 830 works best with good filters and its a hybrid like the 520.


Posted: 2013-04-14 02:52
pardon, what are you looking for. A CW rig covers a lot of space. The old heathkit hw 7s and 8s are good portable rigs that cover multi bands. But are a real B**** in crowded bands. They are portable and easy to fix. Hard to find unmod-ed though. The 140 is the way I'd go if I had the money. They are very good rigs. Really solid. You have to use a tuner wid them though. I made a 40 m dipole with shock cord tent center pole and two pegs for a v shaped anntenna. I wound the antenna on a power cord winding bobbin I got from Homedepot. Found out I had to wind the ends on first cause the center didn't fit into the bobbin. I borrowed my brother's camera tripod and clamped the tent pole to it. Still blew over 2 times though. I used an MFJ tuner. I used gel cells 3 of them I got from emergency lights that were thrown away when a car dealership went out of business. I charge them from wall wart though. I never really thought about solar. Blah blah sorry I got a bit off the subject. If you want to build qrp there are nice inexpensive club rigs but they generally are xtal controled. But pm me and I will send you urls of several home buildable rigs.


Posted: 2013-04-14 02:53
pardon, what are you looking for. A CW rig covers a lot of space. The old heathkit hw 7s and 8s are good portable rigs that cover multi bands. But are a real B**** in crowded bands. They are portable and easy to fix. Hard to find unmod-ed though. The 140 is the way I'd go if I had the money. They are very good rigs. Really solid. You have to use a tuner wid them though. I made a 40 m dipole with shock cord tent center pole and two pegs for a v shaped anntenna. I wound the antenna on a power cord winding bobbin I got from Homedepot. Found out I had to wind the ends on first cause the center didn't fit into the bobbin. I borrowed my brother's camera tripod and clamped the tent pole to it. Still blew over 2 times though. I used an MFJ tuner. I used gel cells 3 of them I got from emergency lights that were thrown away when a car dealership went out of business. I charge them from wall wart though. I never really thought about solar. Blah blah sorry I got a bit off the subject. If you want to build qrp there are nice inexpensive club rigs but they generally are xtal controled. But pm me and I will send you urls of several home buildable rigs.

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