LD5 from LNR Precision (a mini-review)

Started by RadioRay, June 13, 2015, 11:03:29 pm

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This is a review where the only 'test equipment' is a pair of ears and the 'test range' is actual operation of the radio.

Bottom line: An good bargain in a CW (yes, SSB too, but WHY???) HF transceiver.

I'll leave the specifications over on the LNR PRecision page, but the basics are:

40-15 meter operation in CW/SSB (no A.M.)

Rig seems to put out ten Watts at REDLINE. (Why stress the finals for half an S-unit?)

Built in Keyer that works with a straight key too.

S-meter/SWR meter or power out can be displayed numerically or as a bar graph.


DSP (rarely needed, this is a good receiver without it.)

Current drain on receive 350 mA (about the same as an FT-817)

Very good form factor for field work, because it's controls are on TOP, so that you do not need a shelf to put it on like many rigs.


I have not tested it on SSB, but plan to do that, then put the microphone away for when I sell there rig in a few years. (I always seem to do this.)

In actual operation, I have been using this rig with my AlexLoop, small magnetic transmitting loop. I easily reach coast to coast, taped code with SOTA guys on mountains, even listened to TAPRN voice net Sunday on 40m SSB using the loop and had fair to good copy on the net, though I am 2500 miles away and it was still solid daylight - on forty meters.  Good receiver and the AlexLoop helps.

The CW filters come in three pre-programmed widths and one programmable width.  They are quite effective for very crowded band conditions, when all around you have their computers screaming '599' for some silly reason. 

I packeged rig in a Sigg, aluminium case made for mountaineers, contains 3.4 Amp/Hour NiMH battery, a mini-paddle bolted to the inside of the top lid, ear buds and etc. I use a small, multi-pocketed bag to hold it , additional batteries and an "AA" x 10 holder for emergency power, a 10 Watt folding PowerFilm panel, my rhinestone yo-yo and autographed picture of Perry Como.  ;-)

In short, fine rig, a little less than the venerable FT-817, no VHF/UHF but far better filtering for HF.  I prefer to carry an HT and an HF rig so that I can monitor operating in camp on the HT while active on HF: not limited to one or the other.

I like it.  It's right at the edge of what I would spend for it though, being so close to the price buying another FT-817. I think pushing the price downward toward $500 would make them sell like hotcakes.

Additional features: as it arrived, it was a ham band ONLY rig - no SLWing outside of the ham bands.  However, band edges are programmable in menu driven software ( a little tricky the first time) so I spread out each band so that I could listen to shortwave, utilities and etc. EZ-PZ


de RadioRay  ..._  ._

"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry


Great Ray. You should post your Sigg case and the way you set it up...



I'll see about taking some pics and putting them here on the site.

>>>>===>  I made a digital interface cable and it works well with the laptop.  PSKreporter had my signals all over the USA while testing on 20m at 2 Watts into the AlexLoop inside of our front room.  CW is more fun, but digital is handy.

73 de RadioRay ..._  ._
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry


Quote from: RadioRay on June 14, 2015, 03:23:16 pmAlexLoop inside of our front room.

Ray, I assume you built your own AlexLoop (his costs $400 shipped); what design details did you use?



June 15, 2015, 07:33:43 pm #4 Last Edit: June 16, 2015, 09:17:22 pm by RadioRay
Well -

I've been 'going to build' one for a long time.  it was not happening, so Idid buy the AlexLoop.  Now, I am so impressed with the performance, that I bought 14.5 feet of 7/8 Heliax (1" OD) and have an old WWII capacitor for a loop better for forty and more power for indoor use.  My dog will glow in the dark, when it's finished!

>RadioRay ..._  ._
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry


Ray, we should try PSK from your LD5 to my Warbler!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


That would be cool!

I surprised , with the strong desire for more Warblers, that no kit manufacturer will pock that up! Warle and an android or tablet and you're on the air!

"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

hank scorpio

Thanks for the review. I've been looking hard at these, but I'm leaning more towards the FX-4 simply for the even smaller form factor. I too prefer an HT for monitoring VHF/UHF and having a separate HF rig. The only other advantage the 817 has aside from being a shack in a box is that it makes a pretty good SW receiver, which I love to do at night.