What QRP Rigs do you have, and how do you use them?

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Brian - K3ES
Posts: 94
Joined: Fri May 27, 2022 12:55 pm
Location: NW Pennsylvania

What QRP Rigs do you have, and how do you use them?

Post by Brian - K3ES »

On some other platforms I have seen QRP operators discussing the rigs they own, and how they choose among them for particular field use cases. That seems like a good topic for this forum. Any thoughts?
M0RGM
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2022 2:28 pm

Re: What QRP Rigs do you have, and how do you use them?

Post by M0RGM »

Good topic, before I start, I'm a self confessed QRP addict.....

- KX2 for mobile, camping and dry portable ops
- G90 for planned mobile ops
- TX500 for SOTA and wet portable ops
- MTR3b for SOTA
- SW-3B kept in the car for random ops
- TR-35 home work-desk companion ops
- Tr(u)SDX for novelty ops
- KX1 for "back yard" (garden) ops
- HW9 for vintage ops
- FT817 for old time sake ops (had it for years!)
- x5105 for motorcycle ops (when parked in the countryside)
- QCX Mini for "back up radio" ops
- IC756 Pro III (on low power) for shack ops
- Elad FDM-Duo for digital ops

I think that just about covers it!

Interested in others' radios and primary usage.

Richard M0RGM
N8TGQ
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2022 5:06 am

Re: What QRP Rigs do you have, and how do you use them?

Post by N8TGQ »

I have the Heathkit HW-7 and HW-9 that get used very little.

I have MFJ QRP rigs for 40, 30 and 20 meters. The 20 and 30 rigs get used a few times each summer. The 40m rig is my desktop rig at home.

And I have the original LNR MTR-3b. This is the main rig when I go out to the park at least once or twice a week.
Rick N8TGQ
Brian - K3ES
Posts: 94
Joined: Fri May 27, 2022 12:55 pm
Location: NW Pennsylvania

Re: What QRP Rigs do you have, and how do you use them?

Post by Brian - K3ES »

I have 3 QRP rigs, all of which fit my mostly CW operating needs:
  • Lab599 TX-500
  • Penntek TR-35
  • Elecraft KX2
I also have 3 primary QRP operating needs:
  • Parks on the Air (POTA) with different activation methods, including:
    • activating from a vehicle
    • activating from a bench or picnic table
    • short walk to activate in the woods
    • activating during a longer hike
  • Back porch QRP
  • Operations while traveling
The KX2 tends to be my pick for compact and agile. It has a built-in tuner so I mostly use it with random wire antennas to let me jump between bands very quickly. Its internal battery makes it very small and light when I need a rig for shorter operating sessions. Of course I can add an external battery for marathon sessions.

The TX-500 is my pick when moisture might be an issue, whether rain or condensation. I also find it has all the features I need, yet remains very intuitive to operate, so it gets exercised even in good weather.

The TR-35 has no extra frills, so it is very easy to use and supports the bands I most often use for POTA. With a linked EFHW, I can operate on all 4 bands without need for a tuner. The price of the TR-35 is reasonable enough that it can be a travel companion, without undue concern for thievery.

Honestly, each rig has its own appeal, and each is a keeper in its own right. I tend to look for excuses to use each of them during my portable outings.

Best 73 de Brian - K3ES
K1GC
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2022 2:13 pm

Re: What QRP Rigs do you have, and how do you use them?

Post by K1GC »

Right now I have a MTR-4B V2, TR-35, KX1, KX2 & KX3. Paired with them I have about a dozen antennas that I experiment with. Most of those are homemade dipoles, linked dipoles and EFHW, but I do have a four from commercial makers. I usually don't need an external tuner, but when I do I use a T1 or ZM-2.

I rotate the radios and mix up the antenna combinations. I tend to favor my linked dipoles, but I use EFHW, a vertical and random wire too. I do tend to use the KX3 on missions that don’t require lots of elevation gain. Not that it is that heavy, but I tend to carry the KX2/TR-35/MTR in those instances. The KX3 is however my usual choice for on the sailboat.

I have been having fun seeing how light I can get a kit. 3lbs seems pretty easy, but I want to work on a micro kit next. I like some of the 1-2lb options I have seen others put together. I think I want a QCX Mini for 20M for that purpose.
KN3A
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2022 11:42 am

Re: What QRP Rigs do you have, and how do you use them?

Post by KN3A »

I love QRP and doing POTA/SOTA. My QRP radios are (tr)uSDX, QCX Mini 20 meter, SW-3C, IC 705 and Xiegu X6100. Yes, I have too many of them, but each get used. Lately I've been using the x6100 most of the time and even though I like to switch up antennas, I seem to have been using my EFHW spark plug antenna. When I'm on my bike doing park activations I'm usually using the MFJ 17 ft. whip and Hustler 40 meter antenna with ground radials.

Scott
KN3A
Rob-W4ZNG
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2022 9:54 pm

Re: What QRP Rigs do you have, and how do you use them?

Post by Rob-W4ZNG »

FT-817nd, with the usual complement of field gear: LDG Z-817 tuner (kinda goes with it), whatever wire antenna I'm trying out at the time, Portable Zero rails, SOTAbeams speech compressor, 4.5 AH Bioenno batt, signalink and a recycled linux laptop, and (the BIG ONE) a rite-in-rain notepad.

Yeah, boring. But it makes contacts. Usually I'll chuck it in the bottom of an Osprey Talon 22 pack with lunch, stuff some water bottles in the pack's side pockets, and go hike off into Tate's Hell Swamp in cooler weather to get away from all the RFI here in town.
Andrew (grayhat)
Posts: 147
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2022 2:59 pm

Re: What QRP Rigs do you have, and how do you use them?

Post by Andrew (grayhat) »

Rob-W4ZNG wrote: Mon Sep 05, 2022 10:45 pm FT-817nd, with the usual complement of field gear: LDG Z-817 tuner (kinda goes with it), whatever wire antenna I'm trying out at the time, Portable Zero rails, SOTAbeams speech compressor, 4.5 AH Bioenno batt, signalink and a recycled linux laptop, and (the BIG ONE) a rite-in-rain notepad.

Yeah, boring. But it makes contacts. Usually I'll chuck it in the bottom of an Osprey Talon 22 pack with lunch, stuff some water bottles in the pack's side pockets, and go hike off into Tate's Hell Swamp in cooler weather to get away from all the RFI here in town.
Hi Rob, regarding the pack, have a look at this one

https://www.ferrino.it/en/shop-en/equip ... re-28.html

:D
NM3A
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2022 3:36 am

Re: What QRP Rigs do you have, and how do you use them?

Post by NM3A »

I have original QCX for 40 & 20; QCX mini for 80 & 30. I just built a TR-35, too. These are mainly for POTA & SOTA in the field operations.

I also have a HeathKit HW-9 in the shack. It is largely for nostalgia, but it does work perfectly well and gets the rare use.

Dan
NM3A
JeffK9JP
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2023 2:54 pm

Re: What QRP Rigs do you have, and how do you use them?

Post by JeffK9JP »

Currently, I am using a Xiegu 6100 for CW and Digital.
73, Jeff K9JP
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