In a recent video on the Radio Prepper Youtube channel, the opinion was expressed that the most useful single band is 40m. I am not here to prove or dispute that claim. What I would like to know is what is the "best" single band QRP 40m transceiver? Has anybody compared these three transceivers?
Youkits SK-1A 40M single band SSB CW Transceiver:
MFJ-9440 with CW Adapter:
I have the BitX40 and would not recommend it. It is more of a tinkering platform. If you want a kit look at the EA3GCY MFT-40. The Youkits looks very interesting. Also check out the QRPver 40m transceiver: https://qrpver.com/transceivers/qrpver_1_v_3.html (https://qrpver.com/transceivers/qrpver_1_v_3.html). The MFJ is a good transceiver, I used to own a 9406.
I have used the MFJ and quite a few of the BitX's and Gil is right, unless your a techi kind of person, better steer clear of the BitX's. I have made some great DX contacts, (Antarctica on a BitX17), but not before a lot of work. The MFJs are great single band radios. My only gripe with them is they tend to drift a little bit as they warm up.
I have the MFJ9420 with CW and it's got its limitations. There is no Morse keyer and unless they've changed the CW adapter board the side tone is a joke. Either a piezo buzzer everyone but you hears when using headphones, or gigantic thumps at the start of each dot or dash. The filtering doesn't change from SSB to CW so you are doing CW through a 3KHz wide filter and hear stuff on all sides.
I'm putting a Pico_Keyer and NESCAF CW filter in a little box just for this kind of rig. It will give me a keyer, narrow filter and side tone in the headphones.
All that said, it's a great QRP SSB rig with a sensitive receiver and with a keyer and filter a perfectly acceptable CW rig too.
If I ever get an MFJ-94xx again, I might put in a small Laserbeam DSP filter from Sotabeams.
I used to own the 9406, but my next one might be a 9402, just for the smaller antennas.
Local Hams do chat on 2m USB here, but I never heard anyone locally on 6m.
The YouKit is good for a QRP unit.
But with the sunspot cycle at the bottom, you should really think long and hard about a used Icom IC-718 or similar radio. Also look at the Alinco brand HF base radios. They are all simple but give you higher transmit power which give more reliable communications. They also have full HF receive (1.8-30 MHz). The wide RX is a big plus. Careful shopping can get you one for $400.
These can also double as a CB radio if modified.
Years ago I could feel myself going down a slippery slope. With the money I've spent on all the little QRP rigs I've purchased I could easily have bought an FT-817 and had money to spare for the MTR kit. Then I'd have a does-it-all rig and a super-light CW only rig.
Ah well, this way is more fun ;D
QuoteWith the money I've spent on all the little QRP rigs I've purchased I could easily have bought an FT-817 and had money to spare for the MTR kit.
Bob, I sort of came to the same conclusion. Even my KX2 isn't ideal for my kind of operating. The FT-817nd really has it all. Its only problem is the current draw, but that can be worked around, at the cost of some weight and space, namely a slightly bigger battery and maybe larger solar panel.
I don't regret buying all the other radios, mainly because I enjoy building them from kits, and if all you had was an FT-817nd and it failed, you would be SOOL. I still might buy one, or an MFJ-9402 to complete my KX2, the jury is still out. The KX2 is an awesome CW machine, but I have a hard time getting attached to it for some reason, like my KX3. I was much more enamored with my K1 (rip!).
If I wanted a CW-only radio I'd get the MTR4b, hands down. Something else I might get as well since I have two PRC-320 HF military manpacks... Maybe that's all the HF SSB I need.
Still, one FT-817nd can replace all my radios, and then some... You can't have it all... Unfortunately, if Yaesu revamped it, it might draw more current! Unless they learned their lesson... Nothing else out there comes close, that I know of, and I am not counting Chinese rigs, which might be good, but a buying risk regarding reliability and customer service.